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21 March 2008

Meet the Clemson Tigers

posted by NovaFan09
3/21/2008 12:00:00 AM
#22 Clemson Tigers
Atlantic Coast Conference
24-9 Overall Record (10-6 ACC)
Head Coach: Oliver Purnell (94-67 at Clemson)
Clemson, South Carolina

Villanova faces the #5-seeded Clemson Tigers in Tampa, Fla. on Friday night. The tipoff is set for 9:50 p.m. Villanova fans may be relatively unfamiliar with out-of-conference opponents, so an informal introduction of Clemson is below.

In 2007-2008, Clemson was 10-6 in ACC play. Despite three losses to UNC, Clemson twice extended the games into overtime, in addition to almost upsetting the top-ranked Tar Heels in the ACC championship game one week ago.

Clemson has built quite an impressive resume that boasts key wins over several NCAA tournament teams. The Tigers started the season off strong, going 12-1 in out-of-conference play. Wins included an 84-82 victory over tournament-bound Mississippi State, and a 61-58 win over Purdue. Within the ACC, Clemson split the home-and-away series with 2-seeded Duke and 7-seeded Miami, in addition to defeating NIT 1-seed Virginia Tech.

Key Players

K.C. Rivers
#1 G-F, 6-6 Junior
14.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.8 apg, 41.0% 3-point

Rivers leads the team in points per game, and averages nearly 2 steals per game. An athletic guard/forward, Rivers plays an essential role in Coach Purnell's press defense, and has the ability to light it up beyond the arc.

Cliff Hammonds
#25 G, 6-3 Senior
11.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.0 apg

Hammonds is a hard-working player who has averaged double figures in scoring in each of his four seasons at Clemson. Like Rivers, Hammonds also averages 1.9 steals per game. His in-you-face style of defense wears on opposing guards to the point of exhaustion. He has shown leadership by playing with a hand fracture that will require surgery at season's end.

Trevor Booker
#35 C/F, 6-7 Sophomore
11.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.9 bpg

One of the "bookends" of Clemson's imposing front line, the 240 lb. Booker is a force down low. Only 6-7 as a center, he plays much bigger than his height suggests. Has an improving mid-range game that complements his post play. He rebounds extremely well on the offensive end, but has trouble with free throws.

James Mays
#40 F, 6-9 Senior
10.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg

The team's vocal leader along with Hammonds, Mays is the point man in the Tigers' press who defends the inbounding pass. For 13 games, Mays wore a hand brace that tied his last three fingers together for a broken bone in his left hand. Since then, Mays has regularly scored in double figures, but has a tendency to miss easy layups, as seen in the UNC game.

Terrence Oglesby
#22 G, 6-2 Freshman
10.5 ppg, 41.4% 3-point

A sharpshooter from beyond the arc, the "Tennessee Rifleman" is a prototypical guard in the mold of Drew Neitzel and Mike Nardi. He is something of a liability on defense, as he was substituted possession-by-possession in the closing minutes of Clemson's ACC tournament games.

As a team, Clemson averages just under 80 points and 10 steals per game. This is a talented team with a lot of experience and should present a formidable matchup for Villanova.

Check back Friday afternoon for Villanova Keys to the Game and X-factors. Let's go 'Nova!

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At 7:51 AM, March 21, 2008, Anonymous Bouncy Bob said...

This is going to be some battle. Everyone has been waiting for this time to come because nova's going to take it all!!!! LetsGoClemson!!!!

Villanova 74
Clemson 79

At 11:37 AM, March 21, 2008, Anonymous NovaSpan said...

Nice breakdown.

Better put holding the Tigers under 70 points in your keys to the game... Nova's something like 2-8 when their opponent scores more than that in their last 10.


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