Can Clemson do the unthinkable and knock off a third top 10 opponent this season at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson? The Tigers already own wins over previously ranked No. 4 Duke and No. 5 Louisville.
However, for Clemson to stun the sixth-ranked Seminoles today and get a much-needed win for its postseason hopes, they will have to play stronger on the offensive end than they did in Tuesday’s loss at Georgia Tech. The Tigers turned the ball over 16 times in Atlanta, a lot of times just getting the ball stripped while cutting to the basket.
Clemson (14-13, 8-9 ACC) also turned the ball over 20 times at Boston College. After the loss to Tech, Brownell said his team was playing soft on the offensive end of the court.
“We are not competing enough for catches in areas where you can score,” he said. “We’re getting stripped taking the ball to the basket. Not sweeping, facing up and being strong with the ball, getting the defense back off of you.
“A lot of times when you hear coaches say we got to be tough. We got to be physical, most people immediately go to the defensive end. ‘We have to guard. We have to block out and rebound.’ But you also have to do offensive things with toughness. You have to set physical screens. It takes discipline like waiting on cuts. Setting up cuts, being strong with the ball, fighting pressure without dribbling. There are a lot of things you have to do as a good offensive player that requires some toughness. Some of it is physical. You might not be getting hit, but there is a guy that is making you uncomfortable in the guarding area. So, you have to deal with that and if you are soft you kinda shy away. You are not strong. You are not physical, and you do not play through contact.”
Clemson better play through contact today against a Florida State team (24-4, 14-3 ACC) that is one of the best in the country.
“At this level, there is a lot of contact. They don’t call all the fouls and there is a lot going on, so you better be strong,” Brownell said.
CLEMSON/FLORIDA STATE SERIES HISTORY:
- OVERALL: Clemson trails series, 32-44
- HOME: Clemson leads series, 20-13
- ROAD: Clemson trails series, 8-24
- NEUTRAL: Clemson trails series, 4-7
- LAST MEETING: Dec. 8, 2019 (L, 53-72)
- STREAK: Lost 3
SETTING THE SCENE BETWEEN THE TIGERS AND SEMINOLES
- The Clemson Tigers will look even its league record in the ACC and win its fourth game in the last five contests.
- The contest will be televised on RSN with Evan Lepler and Brian Oliver calling the action courtside, while Don Munson and Tim Bourret will call the action on the radio waves. The radio call will be available on the Clemson Tigers Network
CLEMSON BASKETBALL ON FEB. 29
- Saturday’s game against Florida State will be just the seventh time Clemson has played a basketball game on Feb. 29.
- It is just the second time in the last 36 years the Tigers have had a game on this date that takes place just once every four years.
- This will be Clemson’s first game on this date since 1992 when Virginia defeated the Tigers in Charlottesville, 69-49.
- Clemson’s last win on a Feb. 29 is one of the greatest wins in Clemson history. The Tigers have just four wins at Duke in its history and one of them took place on a Feb. 29. The Tigers defeated Duke 77-76 in what would be Bill Foster’s final ACC road game.
- Duke was ranked 15th in the nation entering the contest and would be Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s first NCAA Tournament team.
- Clemson entered the game without second leading scorer Murray Jarman, who was back at Tigertown with a sore knee after knocking knees with Sam Perkins of North Carolina in the previous game. But a freshman named Horace Grant, scored 16 points on 6-6 shooting from the field and 4-4 from the foul line, with four assists and no turnovers.
- Clemson had a 76-61 lead before Duke made a furious comeback in the last five minutes thanks in part to the Tigers making just 2-9 free throws in the last five minutes. The Blue Devils had a shot to win the game in the last five seconds, but Tommy Amaker’s shot missed a jumper from the right wing and Mark Alarie missed a tip and Clemson had the victory.
- Even after missing its first eight shots of the game, Clemson finished shooting 60 percent from the field, the Tigers best ever in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Anthony Jenkins led the Tigers with 20 points.
- Ten days later Duke beat number-one ranked North Carolina to win the ACC Tournament.