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Basketball Head to Puerto Rico for San Juan Shootout

Basketball Head to Puerto Rico for San Juan Shootout

Dec. 16, 2005

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Clemson is off to an 8-0 start for the first time since the2002-03 season and just the second time since 1995-96. If Clemsondefeats UPR-Mayaguez it would make the Tigers 9-0 for just the 9thtime in school history. Clemson and Duke are the only remaining ACCteams undefeated. Clemson was one of 17 undefeated teams inDivision I entering play of December 17. This will be Clemson’sfourth trip to the San Juan Shootout. Clemson is 5-4 in those threeprevious trips combined, but the Tigers have been to the finalstwice, in 1989 and 1996. Both times Clemson lost in the finals, theTigers were defeated by a team that advanced to at least the Sweet16 of the NCAA Tournament (Alabama in 1989 and Minnesota in 1996).Clemson has played just four of the other seven teams in the SanJuan Shootout field. Clemson is a combined 5-2 against the fieldwith both losses coming to UT Chattanooga. Clemson last played anyof the teams in the field in 2002-03 when the Tigers defeatedLiberty. Clemson has won 22 regular season tournaments in itshistory, 11 at Clemson (IPTAY Tournament) and 10 outside ofClemson. Clemson has won an eight-team three-game tournament justonce before. That took place in 1980 when the Tigers defeatedLouisiana Tech, Indiana and Hawaii on consecutive days to win theRainbow Classic. That is the only time since 1939 that Clemson haswon a basketball game on three consecutive days. Clemson will havea chance to duplicate that feat in this event. Clemson ranks in thetop 20 in the nation in steals and blocked shots through games ofDecember 12. Clemson averages 13 steals per game to rank fourth inthe nation, and ranks 18th in blocked shots with six per game.Clemson and Alabama A&M were the only two teams in the nationto rank in the top 20 in both defensive categories. Vernon Hamiltonleads the ACC in steals and ranks 16th nationally. Shawan Robinson,Clemson’s top scorer, has made 22-23 free throws to start theseason. He was seventh in the nation with a .957 figure throughgames of December 12. He has moved to ninth place in Clemsonhistory in career free throw percentage. Clemson ranked 17th in theSagarin computer ranking through games of December 16. VernonHamilton has scored in double figures a career best fourconsecutive games. The junior guard from Richmond, VA has averaged14.7 points per game and made 21-40 shots from the field during thefour game streak. He has made at least 50 percent of his field goalattempts a career best four consecutive games.