Clemson faces its stiffest test so far this season tonight when it hosts the defending ACC champions at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson.
The Tigers bounced back from a loss at Virginia Tech when they knocked of Morehead State 66-51 on Dec. 21. But No. 18 Florida State poses a unique test with its size and athleticism.
Clemson head coach Brad Brownell acknowledged his opponent’s unique style of play which has made the Seminoles a challenge in conference play for many years under head coach Leonard Hamilton.
“They have the same style of play that has really served them well over the last several years and we see it again with this team,” Brownell said. “They can really get to the basket, get fouled a lot, and force turnovers with their defense.”
The Seminoles (5-1, 1-0 ACC) are led by freshman sensation Scottie Barnes, who has averaged 10.7 points and 4.2 assists per game. Barnes poses a challenge with his exceptionally long frame at 6-foot-7 as a point guard.
“Obviously, with Scottie Barnes you have a unique player that is 6’ 7” and plays the point so that’s certainly different and you won’t find that anywhere else in college basketball,” Brownell said.
The Tigers (6-1, 0-1 ACC) have struggled at times to matchup with size at the glass and Florida State’s shortest starter is 6-foot-5 with M.J. Walker, while the rest of the lineup at 6-foot-5 and taller.
Brownell has emphasized fighting for rebounds despite Clemson’s impressive numbers in virtually every statistical category.
“Our numbers are really good field goal percentage, defense, creating turnovers and being difficult to play against,” he said. “We have to continue to do a good job rebounding, I think that is an area of concern at times. We are not a really big team so rebounding is challenging for us and we have to put bodies on people.”
Clemson hopes to utilize its depth and defensive prowess to matchup against the Seminoles, tipoff is set for 7:04 p.m. on Fox Sports South.