Dec. 1, 2000
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Saturday’s game with Western Carolina is the eighth meeting between the schools. The Tigers are a perfect 7-0 in the previous contests, including six wins at Littlejohn Coliseum. Clemson claimed the last meeting 82-56 in 1999, the first season under current Tiger skipper Larry Shyatt. The closest game in the series is an 81-71 score in 1992.
About Western Carolina Western Carolina is 1-4 on the season under first-year head coach Steve Shurina (St. John’s ’88). The Catamounts have three players averaging in double figures and are led by junior forward Cory Largent, who is averaging 14.0 ppg. Casey Rogers is scoring 13.0 ppg while Willie Freeman is averaging 11.8 ppg. Freshman Rans Brempong is leading the team in rebounding, pulling down 7.0 boards a game. WCU opened the season with losses to St. Joseph’s, Vanderbilt, South Carolina State and Lee University, but rebounded the last time out to beat St. Mary’s (MD) 75-68 on Monday.
Allenspach Plays 100th Game Saturday Adam Allenspach will play his 100th career game as a Clemson Tiger Saturday afternoon when Western Carolina comes to Littlejohn Coliseum. Allenspach, who was born in Chicago, IL, made his first college start in that city back in 1997-98 against Illinois. That game was played in the United Center.
Allenspach ranked second on the team in scoring and first in rebounding last year. He is second in scoring (11.3) and continues to pace the club in rebounding (8.8) so far this season. He had 10 points and 12 rebounds for his seventh career double-double against Seton Hall on Nov. 21 and had 12 points and 12 rebounds vs. Northwestern on Tuesday. He continues to be one of the top free throw shooting big men in the country. Last year his 74 percent mark from the line ranked 10th best in the league. So far this year he is a team-best 13-16 (.813) from the charity stripe.
Allenspach has missed just two games in his Clemson career, the NCAA Tournament game against Western Michigan (ironically also at the United Center in Chicago) and last year’s Feb. 2 home game against Georgia Tech when he suffered from back spasms. He had played 55 in a row prior to missing that win over Tech. He had surgery in the summer to correct a bulging disk problem.
Double Double-Doubles The two double-doubles by Adam Allenspach on Tuesday vs. Northwestern were the first in the same game by Clemson since Harold Jamison and Tom Wideman posted double digits in points and rebounds against Butler in their final game (third round NIT) at Littlejohn Coliseum in 1999. Tuesday’s double-double by Hobbs was his second straight double-double. He had 11 points and 15 rebounds in the win over The Citadel last Saturday. He is the first freshman to post back-to-back double-doubles since 1991-92 when Sharone Wright did it in the last two games of the season.
Three Tigers Top Ten Rebounds In addition to Adam Allenspach’s 12 rebounds vs. Northwestern, one other Tiger got into double digits in rebounds. Dustin Braddick had 10 boards, including six on the offensive glass. That put three players in double-figure rebounds in the Northwestern game. The last time the Tigers had three players with at least 10 boards was nearly 15 years ago. Against Bethune-Cookman on Dec. 14, 1985, Horace Grant, Glen McCants and Jerry Pryor each had double figure totals off the glass. To go with his 15 points, Pryor had 11 rebounds. Grant had 10 board and 11 points and McCants had 10 rebounds with just eight points.
Solomon Has 34 Straight Double Figure Games Despite leaving the Northwestern game with ankle sprain, Will Solomon extended his streak of consecutive games of double-figure scoring. Solomon already had 10 points when he left the game in the second half so the streak was never in jeopardy. He ended the night with 12 points, well below his 21.5 points per game average this season and his 20.9 average from a year ago that ranked 16th in the nation. Solomon has now scored in double figures in 34 consecutive games. He scored at least 10 points in every game last year (30), the only ACC player to do that. The last time he failed to reach double figures was in the NIT championship game at the end of his freshman year against California. He scored just six points in that game.
If Solomon can extend his streak to 36 consecutive games he will tie the Clemson all-time record of 36 in a row by Vince Yockel, one of Clemson’s top players of the 1950s. Yockel scored in double figures in his last 24 games of 1955-56, then he extended the streak with12 more to open the 1956-57 season, reaching 36 games.
The Clemson record for consecutive double figure scoring games in ACC play is also 36. Elden Campbell had a streak of 36 straight double figure scoring games against ACC teams, his last 36 against league foes. Obviously, he had a couple of non-conference games in that stretch that ended his overall games streak. Solomon currently has a streak of 17 straight games against ACC competition with double figure scoring.
Solomon Probable for Western Carolina Game Clemson All-ACC guard Will Solomon has a sprained ankle, but should be able to play Saturday against Western Carolina. Solomon sprained the ankle in the second half in Clemson’s win over Northwestern on Tuesday night. Solomon had x-rays Wednesday morning, which were negative. He was on crutches on Wednesday for precautionary reasons and did not practice on Thursday.
Solomon Off to Great Start Will Solomon shot less than 50 percent from the field, but he had one of his top all-around games against Hartford in the season opener. He scored 17 points, but had eight assists and just two turnovers in 39 minutes of play. His ability to drive and then pitch to Pasha Bains or Tony Stockman got the Tigers off on the right foot. His 8/2 assist-to-turnover ratio was the best ratio of his career and the assist total was his second best. He also did a solid job on the defensive end, holding Hartford guard Wayne McClinton to 10 points in 35 minutes.
Solomon continued his outstanding play against Seton Hall and Pirate wing guard Darius Lane. It was quite a head to head battle, as Solomon finished with 31 points and Lane had 29. Solomon had 24 points in the second half of the contest and finished the night shooting 11-19 from the field, including 5-7 on three-point shots. He played just 30 minutes, so he had more points than minutes played. Solomon led the Tigers with 26 points against The Citadel and then 12 against Northwestern. He now has 86 points in four games. He is shooting 43.9 percent from the field, 48.3 percent on 3-point shots, and 70 percent from the foul line. The stat line that Coach Shyatt will follow all year is his assist/turnover ratio. Last year Solomon had more turnovers than assists, but so far this year he has 17 assists and just 11 miscues (1.55).
Hobbs Records Double-Doubles in Back to Back Games Freshman Chris Hobbs didn’t take long to record his first career double-double as a Clemson Tiger. The native of Chapel Hill had 11 points and 15 rebounds in Clemson’s 84-76 win over The Citadel. He also had a pair of blocked shots for his 28 minutes of work. He followed it up with another double-double against Northwestern on Tuesday night. He led the Tigers in scoring with 13 points and added 10 rebounds.
His first double-double came in just the third game of Hobbs career, the shortest time it has taken a Clemson freshman to record a double-double since Devin Gray had 26 points and 10 rebounds in his second career game in 1991-92. Tree Rollins and Elden Campbell actually had double-doubles in their first game at Clemson. In fact, Rollins, one of two Tigers to have his number retired, had 22 points, 20 rebounds and nine blocked shots against St. John’s in his first game, nearly a triple double. Rollins holds the school record for career double-doubles with 62. Dale Davis had 52.
Hobbs has been a pleasant surprise to the Clemson coaches this year. He sat out all but two games in his senior year of high school due to a torn ACL injury that he suffered in the summer of 1999. He has worked hard on the knee and is a strong 6-7 and 265 pound forward.
Stockman, Braddick Lead Bench Larry Shyatt has gotten some strong play off the bench this season. In addition to the aforementioned Chris Hobbs, Tony Stockman and Dustin Braddick have also been solid contributors in a reserve role. Stockman, a freshman from Medina, OH, is the team’s third leading scorer with a 10.8 average, high figure off the bench this year. He had a season-high 15 points in the win over The Citadel, second in scoring to Will Solomon. He scored 11 against Northwestern.
Stockman had a strong game against Seton Hall with six points and for steals with no turnovers in 28 minutes against the nation’s 10th ranked team at the time. Stockman has just five turnovers in 105 minutes so far this year and he is tied for the team lead with Braddick in steals with six.
Braddick has been as productive as any Clemson player on a per minute basis. He has made 10-17 field goals for 58.8 percent, has made 6-9 free throws and has 23 rebounds and just four turnovers in 82 minutes of play. Braddick has served Clemson as a point guard, wing guard, shooting guard and strong forward, four of the five positions, since he first came to Clemson three years ago.
Bains Establishes Career High Pasha Bains scored a career-high 20 points in Clemson’s victory over Hartford. The sophomore small forward from Canada made 6-9 three-point shots, his top three-point shooting effort as a Tiger. He had four in a game last year against George Washington for his previous high, a game in which he scored a season high19 points. Bains also had two assists and no turnovers for his 28 minutes of play.
Bains has demonstrated considerable improvement early this season. He averaged 5.7 points a game and shot just 26 percent on three-point shots a year ago. But, he had 29 points, including 7-10 three-point shooting, in the win over the California All-Stars in the preseason. Part of the reason for Bains improvement could be his experience with the Canadian Junior National Team this past summer. He was one of the top scorers for that team and the confidence seems to have carried over to Clemson.
For the year, Bains is fourth on the Clemson team in scoring with an 8.8 average. He is shooting 44.8 percent from the field.
Clemson Offensive Numbers Up Clemson is a much more uptempo team this year. The Tigers are averaging 76.2 points a game this year, up from the 64.4 scoring average of last year. Clemson was averaging 82.7 points a game before it ran into the slow-down Princeton-type style offense of Northwestern. Entering their game with Clemson, the Wildcats had been holding opponents to only 42.7 points per game. The Tigers scored 57 in the win.
So far this year Clemson has three players averaging in double figures. Clemson had just two games all of last year in which they had four players score in double figures. Will Solomon and Adam Allenspach were Clemson’s only two players to average in double figures last year.
Clemson has already had three games in which four players have scored in double figures. Clemson’s shooting percentage is 43.3 percent, up from 40.4 last year, and the three-point percentage is 36.4, up from 33.2 percent last year. What is most impressive is the team’s free throw shooting. The Tigers have made 69.1 percent so far this year, up from 67.1 last year. No Clemson team has shot better than 70 percent from the foul line over the course of a season since the 1986-87, Horace Grant’s senior year.
Entering the Northwestern game, one area Clemson needs improvement is rebounding. Clemson was getting out-rebounded by a margin of 6.3, but against the Wildcats, the Tigers claimed a 43-28 advantage on the boards. Clemson is now only getting out-rebounded 41.0 to 40.0 for the season.
In each of Larry Shyatt’s first two years Clemson ranked first or second in the ACC in rebounding. Clemson ranked eighth in the country in that area his first year and the +4.4 margin last season was eighth best in school history.
Clemson Wins Season Opener over Hartford Clemson defeated Hartford 86-67 in the season opener, Clemson’s 16th consecutive season opening victory. The Tigers had a balanced attack as four players scored in double figures. In fact Clemson had four players in double figures by halftime. The Tigers had just two games all of last year in which they had four double figure scorers.
Pasha Bains led the Tigers with a career high 20 points, while Will Solomon added 17 and senior center Adam Allenspach had 16. Clemson did not have a game all of last year in which it had three players with at least 15 points.
Clemson exploded in the first half for 54 points on 20-32 shooting from the field, 8-14 from the three-point line. Clemson talled 54 points in the first half, most points in an opening half under third-year coach Larry Shyatt. The Tigers led 54-32 at intermission. Clemson improved the lead to 62-38 at the 17:13 mark in the first half on a three-pointer by Bains.
But, Hartford started hitting some three-point shots. The Tigers went cold, making just 2-11 during an 8:20 time period. Hartford hit 11 of their first 17 shots of the second half and cut the Clemson lead to 71-63 with 5:42 left. But, Clemson found its offensive groove again, outscoring Hartford 15-4 down the stretch. Bains and Solomon each hit three-point goals, while Allenspach made a pair of field goals inside the last four minutes of the game.
In addition to the three players listed above, freshman Tony Stockman scored 11 points in just 20 minutes of play off the bench. He made 3-6 three-point shots to contribute to the offensive attack. Edward Scott, playing with a patch over an eye due to an injury he had sustained in practice the day before, had six assists and just one turnover in 26 minutes. He was a key reason Clemson had a 22/11 assist/turnover ratio.
Shyatt to Coach in Maccabiah Games Clemson Head Coach Larry Shyatt has been selected to coach the United States team in the 2001 Maccabia Games in Israel. The games will be held next July 7-27. Shyatt has already started his preparation for the Games and had an August camp in New York for prospective players, who will mainly be players of Jewish heritage from college programs at all NCAA levels. The team will hold a pretournament camp at Clemson this summer prior to going to Israel. For more information on the team and the tournament, contact Andy Solomon at The Citadel. He will be the press officer for the team for the event.
Shyatt is in his third year as Clemson’s head coach, his fourth as a Division I head coach overall. He led Wyoming to a 19-9 record and the NIT in 1997-98. In his first year at Clemson he took the Tigers to the NIT Championship game, a first in Clemson history. The Tigers won 20 games that year and Shyatt became just the fourth coach in ACC history to win 20 games in his first year at a league school. Last year Clemson had a 10-20 record. Six players missed a combined 26 games due to injury during last year.
Shyatt has coached the ACC scoring champion each of his two years at Clemson. Terrell McIntyre led the league with a 17.9 average in 1998-99, then Will Solomon paced the conference with a 20.9 mark last year.
Shyatt is in his second tour of duty at Clemson. He was Rick Barnes top assistant from 1994-95 through the 1996-97 season. His last year he helped the Tigers to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and a #8 final national ranking in the USA Today poll, the highest final ranking in Clemson history.
Solomon Among Top 10 Shooting Guard by Two Publications Clemson guard Will Solomon is ranked among the top 10 shooting guards in the nation according to Dick Vitale’s Preseason Magazine and by Lindy’s Basketball. Lindy’s ranks Solomon third in the nation, behind two ACC players, Juan Dixon of Maryland and Joseph Forte of North Carolina. Dick Vitale lists Solomon as the eighth best shooting guard in the nation. Solomon has also been chosen first-team All-ACC by many preseason publications, including USA Today. He was a second-team selection by media attending ACC Operation Basketball. Clemson as a team was ranked seventh in the preseason poll by that group.
Gilmore Has Torn ACL, Will Miss Season Starting Clemson forward Chucky Gilmore sustained a torn ACL on his right knee during a workout on Aug. 28. Examination by Clemson physicians revealed that Gilmore must have surgery to repair the injury.
It is the second injury sustained by Gilmore since the end of last season. He sprained his medial collateral ligament on his left knee in May while playing in a pickup game in his hometown of Fayetteville, NC.
Gilmore, a 6-8 forward, started 23 games and played in 27 of Clemson’s 30 contests a year ago. He averaged 3.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game last year. The rebound average was second best on the Clemson team.
“First of all we are most concerned for Chucky’s health and well being,” said Shyatt. “We are confident he will make a full recovery and come back stronger than ever. We plan to make sure he uses this time to his benefit in all aspects, as a basketball player and in the classroom.
“It is certainly a loss to our team, especially in terms of rebounding. He was second on our team last year. But, we have some strong inside players who will make up for his loss.”
Clemson Announces Four Men’s Basketball Signees Clemson Head Coach Larry Shyatt has announced the signing of four players to national letters of intent during the early signing period. The Clemson newcomers for the 2001-02 season include Sharrod Ford, a 6-9, 210-pound forward from Accokeek, MD, Olu Babalola, a 6-6, 245-pound forward from London England, Chey Christie, a 6-4, 170-pound wing player from Biloxi, MS, and 6-10 Steve Allen, a center from Fort Lauderdale, FL.
“We are excited to add these quality players to our program,” said Shyatt, who is in his third year as Clemson’s Head Coach. “We covered some important needs. It is a balanced class with one player at each area of the team. This gives us back-to back top 20 recruiting classes and gives us some depth as we look to the future.” Hoop Scoop currently ranks Clemson’s class as #11 in the country. Christie is the brother of former Clemson starting forward Tony Christie. One of the top scorers in the state of South Carolina, he is currently at Biloxi High School in Biloxi, MS. He opened his senior season with a 30-point game on Wednesday night. Last year as a junior, Christie averaged 25.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He shot 55 percent from the field and 78 percent from the foul line. He is ranked as the 37th best player in the nation according to Hoop Scoop.
“Christie is an athletic perimeter player who has outstanding scoring potential,” said Shyatt. “We are obviously familiar with his family and we feel he will be a terrific addition to our program. He gives us versatility on the perimeter.”
Babalola is a native of London, England, but is playing at St. Augustine Prep in Richland, NJ this year. Last year he averaged 18.8 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. He shot 58 percent from the field and averaged 2.8 rebounds a game. He was a third-team All-State selection in New Jersey last year.
“Olu was not as well known as some because he did not attend some of the bigger summer camps,” said Shyatt. We are glad he didn’t. He has the size and power of a football player, but he has more grace and shooting ability than people realize.”
Ford is an inside player at Hargrave Military academy in Chatham, VA. He played his previous four years at Gwynn Park High in Brandywine, MD. Last year he shot 58 percent from the field, averaged 15.8 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. He also blocked 6.6 shots per game, including a season high of 11 in one game. He was named a first-team All-Metro selection by the Washington Post.
“Ford brings size and athleticism to our frontline,” said Shyatt. “He is a shot blocker who can really run the floor. He is ranked among the top five inside players at the prep school level.” Allen averaged 12.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots a game at Dillard High School. He was a first-team all-county and all-conference player. He shot 59 percent from the field and 72 percent from the foul line as a junior. “Steve Allen is a player we’ve been recruiting for a long time and I have always felt he could be a tremendous interior player in our league. I was most impressed with him at summer camps.”
Clemson Men’s Basketball Schedule Clemson will play non-conference games against teams from the SEC, the Big Ten and the Big East, all within the first three weeks of the season, according to the school’s 2000-01 schedule. The Tigers will play host to Seton Hall of the Big East on Nov. 21, and Northwestern of the Big Ten on Nov. 28. Clemson will travel to SEC foe South Carolina on Saturday, Dec. 9.
This will be just the second time in history that Clemson has played teams from the Big East, Big Ten and SEC in the same regular season. The only other time was in 1995-96 when Clemson swept three games from Minnesota, Miami (FL) and South Carolina. Clemson Head Coach Larry Shyatt was an assistant coach on that staff.
“We have tried to bring more Big East, Big Ten and SEC teams to our schedule and we are certainly doing that this year,” said Shyatt, in his third year as Clemson’s Head Coach. “This is an outstanding schedule, especially with one of the top Big East programs in Seton Hall, a Sweet 16 team last year, and a Big Ten team in Northwestern both coming to our facility.”
This will be just the third time in history that a Big Ten team has played in Littlejohn Coliseum. Purdue played at Clemson in December of 1973 and Minnesota played at Clemson in 1995-96. Clemson won both games.
“We will have a challenging schedule in November and December. The game with South Carolina is always a stern test and the three games in Puerto Rico just before Christmas should go a long way in preparing us for the ACC schedule, which gets underway when Maryland comes to Clemson on January 2.” Clemson has won six straight games against the Gamecocks.
Clemson could face Cincinnati in the second round of the Puerto Rico Shootout if the Tigers defeat Florida Atlantic and the Bearcats down Youngstown State in the opening round. Cincinnati was ranked number-one in the nation much of last season. That tournament will run Dec. 20-22.
Clemson began the season against the University of Hartford, a school close to the hometown of Clemson All-ACC guard Will Solomon, on Nov. 17 at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Clemson’s schedule is a 29-game regular season slate with 16 contests played at home, 10 on the road and three on neutral site. Clemson will play its13th and final non-conference game on Dec. 30 at Coastal Carolina, a game that will be played in the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Each of the last 16 games of the season will be against ACC foes.
Clemson will have 18 games on some type of television, including three on ESPN networks. Clemson will play eight games on Saturdays, seven on Wednesday, five on Tuesdays and five on Sundays. As usual, there is a wide variance of starting times due to television. There are 10 different starting times on the schedule, ranging from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
Five former Tigers in the NBA Five former Clemson players are currently on NBA rosters. Three of the five would be considered starters for their respective teams. The list of former Tigers in the pros is led by Horace Grant, who is in his 14th year in the league. He is a starting forward with the Los Angeles Lakers and is the only former Tiger to win an NBA Championship ring. He did that with the Chicago Bulls 1991-92-93.
Dale Davis and Elden Campbell led Clemson to the ACC regular season championship in 1990 and they are both still starters in the NBA. Davis, who was inducted into the Clemson Ring of Honor in September, is averaging 7.5 points and 9.3 rebounds a game with the Portland Trailbazers this year. He played his first nine years in the league with the Indiana Pacers. He was named to the NBA All-Star team last year.
Campbell, who was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame last year, is the starting center with the Charlotte Hornets. He is averaging 12.8 points and 7.9 rebounds a game this year for the Hornets. Chris Whitney and Greg Buckner, who both came to Clemson from Hopkinsville, KY, are both in the NBA. Whitney comes off the bench for the Washington Wizards and shoots 85 percent from the line, while Buckner is an off and on starter for the Dallas Mavericks. He was averaging seven points and seven rebounds a game through seven games this season when he was injured. He has not played due to a sprained ankle since Nov. 17.
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