Dec. 2, 2009
Complete Game Notes
GAME SETUP Site: Littlejohn Coliseum (10,000) Date: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009 City: Clemson, SC Time: 7:15 PM TV: ESPN (Brad Nessler – play-by-play, Jimmy Dykes – color) Web: ESPN360.com Radio: Clemson Tiger Sports Properties (Pete Yanity – play-by-play, Tim Bourret – color) Rankings: Clemson: #18 AP, #19 ESPN/USA Today
SERIES NOTES Overall: Illinois leads 2-1 at Clemson: None played at Littlejohn: None played at Illinois: Tied 1-1 at Neutral: Illinois leads 1-0 First Meeting: Illinois, 71-61, in 1997-98 Last Meeting: Clemson, 76-74, in 2008-09 Streak: Clemson won the last meeting
QUICK FACTS Clemson and Illinois will meet for only the fourth time in series history on the hardwood. The Illini hold a 2-1 advantage in the three games, but Clemson won the most recent meeting, 76-74 last season.
The Tigers enter the game with a 6-1 record, and actually moved up one spot in the AP poll Monday following a 2-1 record in the 76 Classic over the weekend. Clemson lost to Texas A&M, but rebounded with wins over Long Beach State and Butler.
Clemson knocked off a top-10 non-conference team for the first time since 1997 with the Butler victory. Demontez Stitt calmly sank a pair of free throws with 3.3 seconds left in the game, and then Trevor Booker blocked a three-point attempt with 0.5 seconds on the clock to preserve the 70-69 victory.
The Fighting Illini enter Wednesday’s game with a 4-2 record. Illinois is coming off a pair of close losses to Utah and Bradley in the Las Vegas Invitational. Mike Davis, who had a career-high 28 against Clemson last season, averages a double-double for Bruce Weber’s squad.
Wednesday’s game will be one of five nationally-televised home games for Clemson this season. Four of the games will be broadcast by the ESPN family of networks, while the Maryland game (Jan. 31) is a Fox Sports Net event. The game against Illinois was previously announced as a sellout.
Clemson has an impressive 8-2 record all-time in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Tigers’ mark ranks third-best among all schools. Only Duke (10-0) and Wake Forest (8-1) have a better winning percentage than Clemson in the history of the event.
The Tigers won last year’s game 76-74, as they mounted a second-half comeback following an eight-point deficit at the half. Stitt scored a team-best 18 points, while Booker added 16 points and eight rebounds.
Clemson Head Coach Oliver Purnell is now 23rd on the all-time victory list among ACC coaches. He has 123 total wins and is in his seventh year with the program. He needs just three wins to tie the late Skip Prosser (Wake Forest) for 22nd on the list.
David Potter, a senior who had never started a game prior to this season, leads the ACC in three-point field goal percentage (.600) and is third in the league in three-point goals per game (2.6).
Three Clemson players rank among the top 10 in the ACC in steals per game. Andre Young is fifth in the league at 2.1 per game, while Potter and Tanner Smith are tied for 10th at 1.7 per contest.
Booker moved ahead of former Clemson star Dale Davis for fourth on the school’s all-time list of blocked shot leaders. He had two against Butler and now has 212 for his career.
Potter needs just 12 points to reach 500 for his career. The Severn, MD product is averaging 10.7 points per game this season and has started all seven contests.
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