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Clemson vs. UTEP Postgame Notes – Diamond Head Classic (First Round)

Dec. 22, 2011

Recap |  Box Score

Team Notes • Clemson lost to UTEP, 61-48, in the opening round of the Diamond Head Classic on Thursday. The Tigers fall into the losers bracket to take on either Kansas State or Southern Illinois, the game that followed Clemson-UTEP on Thursday. • The Tigers are 1-1 all-time against Kansas State. The last meeting between the two schools was in Hawaii in the 1998 Maui Invitational. Clemson won that game 79-45 over K-State in Larry Shyatt’s first season with the Tiger program. • Clemson has never faced Southern Illinois in men’s basketball action. • Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell and SIU Head Coach Chris Lowery were teammates at Harrison High School in Evansville, IN. The two also played with Calbert Cheaney, later an All-American at Indiana under Bob Knight. • With the loss, the Tigers have yet to win three consecutive games in the 2011-12 season. UTEP’s win gave the Miners their first three-game streak of the season. • Clemson did not score its first points in today’s game until K.J. McDaniels hit a free throw with 14:09 remaining in the opening half. • The Tigers made just one of their first 11 field goal attempts Thursday, but finished the opening half by hitting eight of their final 17 shots. • Clemson put together an 11-0 run from the final 3:09 of the first half to the 18:30 mark of the second half. • After a Milton Jennings basket with 13:19 remaining in the second half, the Tigers went nearly 12 minutes without scoring a field goal. Rod Hall broke the streak with his only basket in nine attempts. • The Tigers had a season-high 16 offensive rebounds Thursday. Point guard Rod Hall was responsible for four of the offensive caroms. • Clemson’s 28.6 percent shooting in the second half (8-for-28) was its lowest percentage in the second half all season. The previous low was 29 percent against South Carolina on Dec. 4. • UTEP’s 51.2 percent field goal shooting was the second-best percentage against Clemson’s defense this season. College of Charleston shot 53 percent in a Nov. 19 win at Clemson.

Individual Notes • K.J. McDaniels scored the first five points in Thursday’s game for Clemson. He also posted 10 of the first 12 points for the Tigers. • McDaniels eclipsed his career-high with 10 points just 12 minutes into the game. His previous best was seven points at Arizona on Dec. 10. • McDaniels made multiple three-pointers for the first time in his young career. He finished the game 2-of-5 behind the arc. • McDaniels led Clemson in scoring for the first time in his career. He is the first freshman to lead the Tigers in scoring this season. • McDaniels has now made a three-pointer in four consecutive games, a season-long streak for the Birmingham, AL native. • Milton Jennings scored double figures for the second straight game, and for the sixth time this season. He finished Thursday’s game with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting. • Jennings has now connected on nine of his last 11 field goal attempts after going scoreless in the Dec. 17 game against Winthrop. • Tanner Smith had three steals in the game, his high mark since grabbing five against Gardner-Webb in the season opener. Smith needs 16 steals to take over 15th on Clemson’s all-time list. • Catalin Baciu made his second career start for the Tigers on Thursday against UTEP. The 7-foot-2 center also started last Saturday against Winthrop. • Andre Young failed to make a three-pointer for the second straight game after safely making at least one in 43 out of 44 games entering the Alabama State contest on Monday. • Young made 4-of-4 from the free throw line and is now shooting 90 percent on the season (27-for-30). • Young had one steal against UTEP and needs two thefts to move to 10th place in the Clemson record books. He has an even 150 career steals and is the ACC’s active leader in that category. • Tanner Smith and Bryan Narcisse both graduated Thursday, but obviously missed the ceremony due to the Hawaii trip. Smith earned his degree in marketing, while Narcisse did so in communication studies. Both are the first Tigers to play with degree in hand since Bruce Martin in the 1994-95 season.