Dec. 20, 2004
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Clemson was ranked 18th in Collegerpi.com and 19th by Sagarinthrough games of December 19. Clemson has won five consecutivegames heading into the Rainbow Classic, the longest winning streaksince a nine-game streak to open 2002-03. Clemson led the nation insteals per game in the December 13 stats and now has a 13.1 figure.That is on pace for a Clemson single season record. The schoolrecord for steals in a season on a per game basis is 10.89 in1976-77, so this year’s squad is a head of the record pace. Clemsonhas had double figures in steals in five of the first eight games,including a school record 25 in the opener against Hampton. Clemsonhas forced 22.3 turnovers per game through the first eight gamesthis year. Clemson will be attempting to win its first regularseason tournament since the 1990-91 season when the Tigers won theFlorida International Tournament in Miami. Clemson has failed towin its last eight regular season tournaments. Clemson has won 22regular season tournaments in its history. Clemson’s onlyeight-team regular season tournament title took place at the 1980Rainbow Classic. The Tigers defeated Louisiana Tech, Indiana andHawaii to win the tournament that year. Clemson’s starting centeron that team was future NBA All-Star Clemson is 7-0 this year whenit out-rebounds the opposition and 0-1 when it is the loser in therebound margin stat. Clemson has met UAB just once over the years,a 65-64 loss at UAB in the 1993 NIT second round. Sharone Wrightled the Tigers in that game with 18 points and 16 rebounds.Freshman Cliff Hammonds is third on the Clemson team in scoringwith an 11.0 average. He is also shooting nearly 40 percent onthree-point shots and 54 percent overall. He is already a two-timeACC Rookie of the Week selection, the first Clemson freshman to behonored twice since Vincent Whitt in 1996-97. The last time OliverPurnell took a team to Hawaii he came back with wins over #12 UCONNand #6 Maryland. That took place at the 2000 Maui Invitational whenhe was the head coach at Dayton. Sharrod Ford has scored 38 pointsover the last two games and has made 13 of his last 21 field goals.Ford is ranked in the top 10 in the ACC in field goal percentage,rebounds and blocked shots. Clemson outscored The Citadel 25-9 interms of points off turnovers in its most recent game. Clemson haswon that stat in seven of the first eight games and has a 205-98advantage in 2004-05. Associate SID Anne Miller fills in for TimBourret and joins Pete Yanity to describe the action as thebasketball team travels to Hawaii for the Rainbow Classic (photocourtesy Mark Crammer).
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