Jan. 11, 2005
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Clemson Head Coach Oliver Purnell and Florida State Head CoachLeonard Hamilton are both in their 17th seasons as a Divison I headcoach. Purnell has coached 489 games and Hamilton has coached 487.The two coaches have faced each other just twice (last year) andhave split the two games. It has not quite been Chapel Hill, butClemson has struggled in the Donald Tucker Center (formerly LeonCountry Coliseum). Clemson is 2-11 against the Seminoles in thefacility since Florida State joined the ACC for the 1991-92academic year. The two wins came in 1996-97 and 1997-98, both whenRick Barnes was the head coach at Clemson. Clemson has a 2-11record at the Tucker Center, but many of the games have been close.In fact, seven of the 11 losses have been by six points or less,including a 60-59 loss in 2002-03. Sharrod Ford played his 100thcareer game when the Tigers lost to Wake Forest last Saturday. Henow has 879 points and 610 rebounds for his 100 games as a ClemsonTiger, including a 14.4 scoring average and 7.8 rebound averagethis season. Ford has led Clemson in rebounding in each of the lastsix games and 10 of the 14 games so far. Shawan Robinson went overthe 100-mark in terms of made three-point goals against WakeForest. He made two three-point goals in the game and now has 101for his career. He has a .414 career threepoint goal percentage.Robinson has made 13-24 three-point goals in his career againstFSU, including 9-11 in three games his freshman year. Clemsonranked fifth in the nation in steals and 24th in blocked shotsthrough games of January 1. Clemson was one of just six schoolsnationally to rank in the top 25 in both categories. VernonHamilton has 35 steals and just 29 fouls so far this year. Only oneClemson player in the last 17 years has finished a season with moresteals than fouls. Sharrod Ford is attempting to become just thesecond player in Clemson history to improve his scoring average byat least 3.0 per game in three consecutive years. Ford, whoaverages 14.4 per game so far this year, needs to average 14.9 forthe season to join Horace Grant in that exclusive club. Juniorcenter Akin Akingbala has improved his scoring average this year to9.0 points per game, up from 4.8 last season. He is 7-10 from thefield in two ACC games so far this season, including the WakeForest game when he made 5-6 field goals and led the Tigers inscoring with a career high tying 16 points. He is shooting .646from the field for the year.
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