Jan. 30, 2004
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Clemson’s strength of schedule is ranked first in the nation bySagarin heading into this weekend’s play. The North Carolina gameis the second of what should be four straight games against top 20teams for the Tigers. Clemson has won three of the last five gamesat Littlejohn Coliseum against the Tar Heels. It is the first timesince the 1977-80 era that Clemson has beaten North Carolina threetimes in a five-year period. That said, North Carolina holds a23-11 advantage in the series in games played in LittlejohnColiseum. North Carolina has more wins than any other opponent inthe 36-year-old facility. Both Clemson coach Oliver Purnell andNorth Carolina coach Roy Williams are assistant coaches under LarryBrown on the 2004 United States Olympic team. Clemson seniorforward Chris Hobbs is a native of Chapel Hill. He is one of twoTigers from the Tar Heel state. The other is starting point guardShawan Robinson. Clemson starting center Sharrod Ford is 13 for 17from the field in his career against North Carolina. He had 11points and nine rebounds on 5-6 shooting in Clemson’s 80-77 victoryover the Tar Heels last season. Clemson has not allowed an opponentto shoot 50 percent from the field against it this year, a streakof 18 straight games. Florida State, in the 2003 ACC Tournament, isthe last team to shoot at least 50 percent against the Tigers.Shawan Robinson made his first career start in the Maryland gamelast Sunday. He responded with 15 points on 6-10 shooting from thefield. He added a career high 21 points in the loss at GeorgiaTech, meaning he has averaged 18 points per game in his two gamesas a starter and has been Clemson’s leading scorer in each contest.Sharrod Ford had 19 points and 13 rebounds at Georgia Tech, hisfifth double-double of the season and 10th of his career. He made9-11 free throws in the game and has now made 45 of his last 57from the line over a 12-game period, a .789 figure. Clemson had a+13 rebound margin at Georgia Tech and ranks second in the ACC inrebounding in 2004. Clemson averages 19.7 turnovers per game, lastin the ACC. Clemson has committed more turnovers than it has forcedin 15 of its 18 games this year. Clemson has had at least 15turnovers in 14 straight games and in 17 of the 18 contest thisyear. Saturday’s noon game with North Carolina at LittlejohnColiseum is a sellout. Clemson also sold out the Duke game earlierthis year.
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