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Men’s Basketball to Open Season Friday Night Against Bethune Cookman

Men’s Basketball to Open Season Friday Night Against Bethune Cookman

Nov. 17, 2005

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Clemson vs. Bethune Cookman Series This will be Clemson’s second game against Bethune Cookman. The Tigers won the previous meeting by an 87-60 score on December 14, 1985 at Littlejohn Coliseum. The Tigers placed four players in double figures that night, led by starting guards Larry Middleton and Grayson Marshall with 16 points apiece. Marshall, Clemson’s career assist leader, also had 12 assists to record a double-double.

Marshall was one of three Tigers to record a double-double in that game. Jerry Pryor, then a first-year freshman, had 15 points and 11 rebounds off the bench, while starting power forward Horace Grant had 11 points and 10 rebounds in just 20 minutes. Glen McCants had 10 rebounds, giving Clemson three double digit rebounders in the contest.

Bethune Cookman was led by Don Hill,, who had 28 points in just 38 minutes. Delvin Everett added 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Bethune Cookman Upate Bethune Cookman enters this game with a 1-1 record. They opened the season with two games in Syracuse, NY. They opened the season with a 68-37 loss to the 16th ranked Orangemen, then defeated St. Francis, PA by a 63-52 score.

Antonio Webb has been the top player for the Wildcats so far this year. He has scored 17.0 points per game and has 3.5 steals per contest. The senior guard from Fairfax, VA has shot 40 percent from three-point range. Michael Williams II has averaged 12 points and seven rebounds from his center position. The native of College Park, GA also has contributed three steals per game.

Clemson in Season Openers Clemson has won each of its last 20 season openers dating back to a one-point loss to Tennessee Tech in overtime in the first game of 1984-85, the first game of the Cliff Ellis era. All but three of those previous 20 seasons Clemson was playing at home. Clemson actually opened the 1987-88 season in Taiwan with a 69-54 win over Oregon State. Clemson opened 1989-90 in Puerto Rico with a victory over American University of Puerto Rico. The Tigers had a home game in Anderson to start 2002-03 when it defeated Wofford. The NCAA considered those games as home games even though they were not played in Littlejohn Coliseum.

Clemson’s most shocking season opening victory over the last 20 years, and in history for that matter, was a 79-71 overtime win over Kentucky in the Hoosier Dome. Kentucky was the defending NCAA champion, ranked third in the nation, and advanced to the 1997 NCAA Championship game. Clemson advanced to the Sweet 16 that year and was ranked eighth in the nation in the final USA Today poll.

Clemson got the Oliver Purnell era off to a great start last year with an 86-55 win over Gardner-Webb in his first year. The Tigers then defeated Hampton last year to open the season, 98-54 so Purnell is 2-0 in season openers at Clemson.

Purnell won his last five season openers at Dayton, so he has won seven openers in a row. That streak includes a victory over 12th ranked UCONN in Maui to open the 2000-01 season. Purnell’s last season opening loss was to Murray State in 1997-98 by a 76-69 score.

Clemson 71-15 in November Clemson has been very successful in the month of November over the years. Clemson has an all-time record of 71-15 in November games, a .826 winning percentage. Clemson is 5-1 under Oliver Purnell in the month of November with the only loss at Boston College on November 26, 2004. The Eagles downed the Tigers 79-70 in that contest.

Clemson plays five games in November this year, all within a 12-day period. This is the most November games Clemson has had since the 2001-02 season when Clemson had six games in November. Friday’s night’s game on November 18 will be the first game Clemson has ever played on that date.

Clemson vs. The MEAC Clemson has an 18-1 lifetime record against teams from the MEAC. That is the conference of season opening opponent Bethune Cookman. Clemson has played 10 of the 11 schools currently in the conference. North Carolina A&T is the only school in the league who has not faced the Tigers yet.

Clemson’s only loss to a MEAC team came against South Carolina State in on December 11, 1999, a 71-68 defeat. Clemson is 16-1 against MEAC schools in Littlejohn Coliseum. The Tigers opened the 2004-05 against Hampton, another MEAC school and came away with a 98-54 victory. Clemson will also play Coppin State and South Carolina State from MEAC this year. In fact those are Clemson’s second and third games of the season.Robinson Three-Time Academic All-ACC Selection Clemson guard Shawan Robinson has been named to the ACC All-Academic team each of his first three seasons. The junior from Raleigh has had over a 3.0 GPA each year in his elementary education major. Robinson and Andrew Wilson of Florida State are the only current ACC players who have been named to the Academic All-ACC team each of the last three years.

Robinson can become the first four-time selection to the Academic All-ACC team from Clemson. He is already one of just six three-time selections. The others are tom Wideman (1995-99), Bobby Conrad (1978-80), Randy Mahaffey (1965-67) Marc Campbell (1982-84) and Mike Eppley (1982-84). Clemson had two members of the Academic All-ACC team for the third consecutive year in 2005. Current sophomore Cliff Hammonds, an architecture major, also made the team.

Tigers in the NBA Clemson currently has three former players on active NBA rosters. The list includes Dale Davis, who is in his 15th year in the NBA. He is now with the Detroit Pistons, a team that has advanced to the NBA Finals each of the last two years. Davis was a first-team All-ACC forward on Clemson’s 1989-90 team that won the ACC regular season championship.

Greg Buckner and Sharrod Ford are the other two Tigers on NBA rosters this year. Buckner is in his seventh year in the NBA, his second with the Denver Nuggets. Buckner played in 122 straight games, all as a starter, for the Tigers from 1994-98. Ford is a rookie with the Phoenix Suns. A third-team All-ACC player last year, Ford signed a free agent contract with San Antonio, was then released just prior to the season, then signed by the Suns.

The ACC had 49 former players on NBA opening day rosters this year. Nine of the 12 ACC schools had at least two representatives.Robinson on Career Lists Clemson’s top scorer this season could come off the bench. Senior guard Shawan Robinson has been effective over his career as the sixth man and he might continue that role this year. A year ago he averaged 11.5 points a game as a reserve (15 games) and 10.1 points per game as a starter (17 games). For the season he averaged 10.8 points per game, best among returning Tigers.

Robinson enters his senior year ranked in the top 15 in Clemson history in four categories. Three of the four deal with three-point shooting. He has 140 career three-point goals, fifth highest figure in history. He needs just seven to move ahead of Andrius Jurkunas into fourth place and just 16 to go ahead of former teammate Tony Stockman. Terrell McIntyre is the all-time Clemson leader in that area with 259.

The percentage .406 is a famous figure in sports history. That was Ted Williams batting average in 1941 when he was the last Major Leaguer to hit .400 for a season. That is also Robinson’s career three-point field goal percentage entering this year, the sixth best percentage in Clemson history given a minimum of 50 attempts. Robinson, a native of Raleigh, is also eighth in school history in three-point goals per game with 1.59 and is 14th in career free throw percentage with a .780 mark.

Hamilton Career Steal Leader Clemson guard Vernon Hamilton is also on the Clemson career record list when it comes to steals. The junior guard from Virginia has 118 steals in 60 games, a 1.97 average. That computes to 1.967 steals per game, just ahead of the 1.965 mark by Chris Whitney when he played for the Tigers from 1991-93.

Hamilton’s 118 career steals already rank 12th in school history, quite an accomplishment because he has played just 60 games over two years. If he matches that performance over the next two years he will become Clemson’s career leader. No Tiger in history has 200 steals for a career. Terrell McIntyre is the all-time leader with 194, a total he achieved between 1995-99.

Clemson 2006-07 Signees The Clemson basketball team announced the signing of four prospects to national letters of intent on Wednesday, the first day of the fall signing period. Clemson’s 2006-07 freshman class will include Trevor Booker, a 6-7 forward from Union, SC, Karolis Petrukonis (pronounced KAHR-uh-lihs), a 6-11 center from Norfolk, VA, David Potter, a 6-5 wing from Bradenton, FL, and A.J. Tyler, a 6-9 forward from Palm Harbor, FL.

Head Coach Oliver Purnell and his staff have put together the #28 recruiting class in the nation according to Hoop Scoop. Now in his third year at Clemson, Purnell has brought in four recruits that have ranked among the top 150 in the nation according to and several more ranked among the top 100 by various recruiting services. James Mays (103), from the class of 2004, and K.C. Rivers (117), the class of 2005, both ranked in the top 150 according to that site. This year, Potter ranks 101st on the list and Booker is ranked #121. Cliff Hammonds, Troy Mathis, Sam Perry, and Julius Powell were also top 100 recruits according to various services.

“I really like this class overall,” Purnell said. “Each year we try to address needs. This year, we obviously have a need for size due to the loss of Sharrod Ford and then with Steve Allen and Akin Akingbala after this season. We also have a need for a shooter with Shawan Robinson leaving after this year. I think this class has addressed those needs.”

Booker is listed by as the 26th-best power forward prospect in the nation. The Union High School product averaged 14.7 points and 12.9 rebounds per game as a junior. An All-Region selection, Booker was named one of the top 5 players in the state heading into his senior year by the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association. The 215-pound Booker was named all-tournament at the Pepsi Tip-Off and Red Hound Classic in Corbin, KY as a junior.

Petrukonis, a 6-11, 270-pound center who is ranked the #73 national prospect by Hoop Scoop, originally hails from Trakai, Lithuania. He gained notoriety over the summer of 2005 after being named to the all-tournament team at the 19 & under Nike World Juniors in France. Among those selected to that team was Connecticut sophomore Rudy Gay. Petrukonis also competed in the 18 & under European Championship summer league for Lithuania. As a junior All-State selection at the Norfolk Collegiate School, he averaged 14 points, 15.6 rebounds, 4.8 blocks, and 3.2 assists per game. Petrukonis was also MVP of the prestigious Bethel-Hampton Christmas Tournament in Virginia.

Potter is ranked as the #22 small forward in the nation by and #24 shooting guard by Potter is a product of IMG Academies.Tyler, a power forward at 225 pounds, was a second-team All-State selection at the 5A level for Palm Harbor University High School as a junior. He averaged 22.7 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game. He also shot 78 percent from the free throw line as a junior. Tyler holds several school records, including single-game marks for points scored (38) and rebounds (29). Tyler is the first basketball player in the 10-year history of Palm Harbor University to sign a Division I scholarship.

Clemson Downs Johnson C. Smith in Exhibition Game Senior Shawn Robinson scored 20 points and freshman K.C. Rivers added 19 to lead Clemson to a 101-59 exhibition basketball victory over Johnson C. Smith on November 5. It was the only public exhibition game for the Tigers during the preseason.

Rivers was impressive in his debut as the freshman from Charlotte made 7-10 shots from the field, including a team best 4-7 on three-point shots. He was Clemson’s leading scorer in the first half when he had 11 points. Robinson scored 20 points, including 8-8 from the foul line. He also added five assists and just one turnover in 21 minutes of play.

The Tigers had five players in double figures and played all 13 players on their roster. Twelve of the 13 scored and 10 of the 13 pulled down at least on rebound. Cliff Hammonds, an ACC All-Freshman player last year, had 14 points, four assists and six steals in his 26 minutes of play. Sam Perry added 10 on 5-7 shooting in a starting role in just 13 minutes. James Mays added 10 and seven rebounds in 22 minutes.

Akin Akingbala, who has been troubled by injury in the preseason, had seven points and five rebounds in 21 minutes. Freshman Julius Powell scored just three points, but had seven rebounds in 15 active minutes.

Clemson shot 52 percent from the field, including 57 percent in the second half when the Tigers scored 58 points. Clemson forced 32 Johnson C. Smith turnovers with 17 steals. Johnson C. Smith was led in scoring by Jerome Givens, who had 16 points, while Charles Clark added 12 points and seven rebounds.

Clemson jumped out to a 25-8 lad in the first nine minutes of the game as Rivers scored eight points, including six on a pair of three-point goals. Johnson C. Smith cut the margin to seven at 34-27 behind balanced scoring. But Clemson went on a 9-2 run to end the half, then started the second half with a 12-5 run to take a 55-34 lead with 14:44 left. Clemson scored 35 points in the last 10 minutes of the game and reached the 100 point mark on a layup by Raymond Sykes with 54 seconds left in the game.