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Men’s Hoops Look To Continue Superiority Over Winthrop

Dec. 17, 1999

Clemson vs. Winthrop Saturday, December 18, 1999 Clemson, S.C.

CLEMSON, S.C. —This will be the fifth meeting between Clemson and Winthrop. The Tigers have a 4-0 lead in the series that dates to a 100-55 Clemson victory in 1984-85, Cliff Ellis’s first season as Clemson coach. Ellis also defeated Winthrop in 1986-87, Horace Grant’s senior year.

Larry Shyatt has been on the sidelines for two Clemson wins over the Eagles. In 1994-95, his first year as Rick Barnes’s associated head coach, Clemson defeated Winthrop 98-71. That was the most points scored by a Rick Barnes coached Clemson team. The following year, Clemson traveled to Winthrop and defeated the Eagles, 79-63. Bill Harder had a career high 24 points in leading Clemson to that victory.

Clemson is 4-0 all-time against Winthrop and 29-0 lifetime against the Big South Conference. The ACC is 119-3 against the Big South all-time. The Eagles came close to gaining number-four earlier this year, losing at Maryland in overtime. Maryland never led in that game during regulation.

Clemson 61, South Carolina 58

Clemson gained its biggest victory of the young season in a 61-58 win over South Carolina on December 16. Will Solomon led the Tigers with 26 points and a career high 11 rebounds and a season high three steals.

Solomon scored 17 points in the second half, including four three-point goals. He missed his first five three-point goals of the game, then made his last four. He received support from Adam Allenspach, who had 13 points and nine rebounds, including five off the offensive boards.

Andrius Jurkunas provided intangibles, playing 17 minutes in the second half with a broken right thumb. He scored just two points in the game, but had seven rebounds and a team best four assists. His lone two points came on a key tip-into give Clemson a 57-49 lead with 1:21 left.

There were other heroes also as Ray Henderson had four points, four rebounds and four blocked shots in just 12 minutes. Arturas Jovtokas had seven points on 3-3 shooting and Edward Scott made two free throws with 20 seconds left to give Clemson the important three-point lead.

Clemson trailed 27-26 at intermission, but took and 8-point lead on an 8-0 run at 51-43 with 4:45 left. It was still an eight-point lead at 57-49 with 1:21 remaining, but the Tigers began turning the ball over. South Carolina got the count to within one point at 57-56 and stole the ball with 54 seconds left. But, at the 45 second mark Damien Kinloch called timeout when he was trapped against the sidelines, a timeout South Carolina did not have. A technical foul was called, giving the Tigers two shots and the ball.

South Carolina still cut the lead to one point at 59-58 on a bank shot by Aaron Lucas. But, Scott made his two free throws and a pair of late three-point goal attempts missed and Clemson had the victory.

Clemson won the game despite shooting just 14-30 from the foul line and committing 25 turnovers. The Tigers did win the rebound battle 45-32, including a 17-5 margin over the last 10 minutes of the contest. South Carolina shot just 37 percent from the field and 23 percent from three-point land. South Carolina had shot 40 percent on three-point goal attempts entering the game.

Tigers Get Comeback Victory

Clemson’s win over South Carolina was important in many areas. First, the Tigers defeated their rival for the sixth straight year. Second, it was a much needed win for a team that had just lost to South Carolina State at home.

But, perhaps most importantly, Clemson won a close game after trailing at halftime. In fact, the 61-58 win over South Carolina was Clemson’s first win after trailing at the half since March 6, 1998 when Clemson overcame a 40-32 deficit at halftime against Wake Forest in the ACC Tournament, only to win 75-56.

It was the first time Clemson had won a game by three points or less and trailed at halftime since the landmark win over Kentucky at the start ofthe 1996-97 season. Clemson trailed the Wildcats 37-31 in the first half, then came back to force overtime. The Tigers eventually won 79-71. We realize the margin is bigger than three points, but any overtime game should count as a close game.

Solomon Records First Double-Double

Clemson guard Will Solomon had 26 points and 11 rebounds to lead Clemson in both categories in the win over South Carolina on December 16. It was a career high in rebounds for the 6-1 guard and the first time since the 1997-98 season that a guard had recorded at least 11 rebounds in a game. You have to go back to Greg Buckner’s senior year when he had 12 rebounds in a five-point loss at Maryland to find the last guard to collect at least 11 rebounds in a game.

Clemson has been getting strong rebounding from the guards so far this year. Dustin Braddick, who started the year as a guard and is now playing small forward, has averaged 7.0 rebounds per game and is among the top 10 rebounders in the ACC.

Javtokas Over 60 Percent Shooting

Junior college transfer Arturas Javtokas continued his fine shooting in the win over South Carolina. The native of Lithuania made 3-3 shots from the field and is now shooting 61.3 percent for the year. With his improved shooting touch around the basket, you can see how he scored in double figures in each of his last 18 games as a junior college player at West Nebraska JC. He played for former Clemson assistant Soupy Campbell.

Javtokas has now made 10 of his last 11 shots from the field. He has scored 25 points in his last 55 minutes of play and has had at least four rebounds in each of his last seven games.

Turnover Margin Must Improve

An area Clemson must improve is turnover margin, especially committing turnovers on offense. Last year Clemson averaged just 15 turnovers per game, but this year the figure has risen to 17 per game. That includes 25 turnovers in two of the last three games. The irony is, Clemson has won both of those games. Clemson had 25 turnovers in the win over Charleston Southern and 25 in the win over South Carolina.

Clemson has had fewer turnovers than the opposition just once this year, the three-point loss to South Carolina State. Clemson had just nine turnovers in that game, the team’s low mark for the year, and lost. The next game the Tigers tied for their season high with 25 against South Carolina, and won. Go figure!

Allenspach Records Career High

Clemson center Adam Allenspach scored a career high 18 points in Clemson’s loss to South Carolina State last Saturday. The native of Parkland, FL made 6-11 shots from the field and also connected on 6-9 from the foul line. After going without a rebound for the first half, Allenspach came alive and pulled in six in the second half. Clemson had a +10 rebound margin in the second half against South Carolina State.

He played well for a second straight game, scoring 13 in the win over South Carolina. He also had nine rebounds, including five off the offensive boards.

For the season, Allenspach is second on the team in scoring with a 11.1 average and is second on the squad (8th in the ACC) in rebounding with 7.7 average. He is shooting 50 percent from the field and a solid 70.6 percent from the foul line so far this year. He has six double figure scoring games and two double figure rebounding games. He recorded double-doubles against East Tennessee State and Wisconsin-GB.

Allenspach was named to the all-tournament team at the SoCon Holiday Hoops at the BiLo Center in Greenville over Thanksgiving weekend. He was Clemson’s only selection to the team. For the three games, Allenspach had 28 points and 28 rebounds.

He was the third leading rebounder in the event. He averaged 33 minutes per game and also did a fine job on defense, holding opposing starting centers to 5-21 shooting and just 19 total points. He held Oregon State’s 6-10 Jason Heide, the team’s top scorer, to 2-9 shooting and just eight points in 30 minutes.

Pasha Bains Joins Active Roster

While Clemson has been losing players to injury in recent weeks, Head Coach Larry Shyatt got a boost on Thursday, December 16 when Pasha Bains joined the team for participation in games for the first time. Bains has been with the program since last January when he transfered to Clemson from Wyoming.

Bains responded with four points in 25 minutes. He made just one three-point goal, but it was a big one, a three that gave Clemson a 55-47 lead with 2:33 left.

Bains was signed by Larry Shyatt at Wyoming out of Richmond, Canada. Then, Shyatt left for Clemson. After one semester at Wyoming, Bains requested to transfer to Clemson to play for Shyatt.

The 6-3 guard, who wears number-33, hopes to help Clemson in the three-point shooting department, an area Clemson needs assistance. Bains averaged 38.4 points a game as a senior in high school at Vancouver’s Richmond High. He scored a state record 311 points in 10 career tournament games, and once scored 63 points in a regular season high school contest.

Clemson Walking Wounded Update

Clemson has been hit with many injuries so far this year. Here is the rundown:

*Andrius Jurkunas– Only senior on team, suffered broken right (shooting) thumb while trying to draw a charge against Central Florida on November 26. Missed four games and returned for South Carolina State game, but shooting was limited (one shot). Made just one field goal against South Carolina, but contributed seven rebounds.

*Edward Scott–Starting point guard who suffered broken bone in left foot during practice on October 27. Missed all practice and first three games of the season. Returned to team for the Wisconsin-GB game on November 27th. Had surgery to remove toe nails in both big toes on December 7. Practicing for the first time this week. Made two free throws with 20 seconds left to give Clemson three-point lead.

*Chucky Gilmore–Suffered concussion during December 9 practice and missed the South Carolina State and South Carolina games. Status is unknown at this time for winthrop.

*Dustin Braddick–Has played through sprained ankle the last three games. Resprained the ankle at evening practice of December 13 and played just 10 minutes against South Carolina. He might need surgery at some point this year.

Six Former Tigers in NBA

Clemson has six former players on NBA rosters this year. That ties for the most former Clemson players in the NBA in any one season.

The year began with four former players in the league, Elden Campbell with the Charlotte Hornetts, Dale Davis with the Indiana Pacers, Horace Grant with the Seattle Supersonics and Chris Whitney with the Washington Wizard.

Since the beginning of the season, Harold Jamison has joined the active roster of the Miami Heat and Devin Gray has joined the Houston Rockets. Jamison began the year on the injury list, but was activated on December 1 and played against the Boston Celtics on December 3. He had two points in six minutes in his first NBA game.

Gray will be the answer to a great trivia question someday. Who replaced Charles Barkley when the future Hall of Famer suffered his career ending injury? Well, it was Gray, the former Tiger who led the ACC in field goal percentage in 1993-94. As of this writing, Gray had not appeared in a game for the Rockets, but was on the active roster and was dressing for games.

As far as the other veterans are concerned, Davis was having the best season. A starter for the Pacers in his ninth year with the franchise, Davis averages 10 points and nine rebounds per game. He recently had an 18-point, 20-rebound game in a victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Tigers Lead ACC in Rebounding, Defense

Two areas Clemson has been successful in the first nine games of the season are rebounding and defense. With the exception of the first half of the South Carolina State game, Clemson has been solid in these areas and Head Coach Larry Shyatt would confirm that.

A look to the recent ACC stats also confirms that feeling. The Tigers lead the ACC in field goal percentage defense (.371) and in rebounding (+9.4) per game. Clemson has a .002 lead in the ACC stats over Florida State, who has allowed .373 shooting, and Wake Forest is third at .376. In rebounding, Clemson has a commanding lead. Second to Clemson’s +9.4 figure is Wake Forest at +6.0 per game. The Tigers are 15th in the nation in rebounding this week, ahead of their finish last year when the Tigers were 18th.

Clemson has two of the league’s top 10 rebounders at the moment. Dustin Braddick, a 6-5 wing, is ninth in the league with a 7.0 average, while 7-1 center Adam Allenspach is fifth in the conference at 7.7 per game. Braddick is also among the team’s defensive leaders, as he usually is charged with defending the opposition’s top wing player.

Clemson was outstanding in rebounding and defense last year. As a team Clemson was 18th in the country in rebound margin and led the league in scoring defense, allowing 64.7 points per game. Clemson is third in the ACC in scoring defense this year.

Solomon ACC Player of the Week

Clemson guard Will Solomon was named ACC Player of the week for the November 30-December 5 period. Solomon scored 37 against Penn State, 28 against Wofford in two games for the week. Solomon’s 64 points over consecutive games last week were the most by a Clemson player since the 1969-70 season when Butch Zatezalo scored 43 against NC State, then tallied 26 against Wake Forest in consecutive games. Solomon’s current 21.5 scoring average would be the highest by a Tiger since 1969-70 when Butch Zatezalo averaged 21.7 over the course of the season.

Henderson Shooting .889

A player sho showed vast improvement in the Charleston Southern game was freshman Ray Henderson. Henderson scored eight points in just 12 minutes, was 2-2 from the field, 4-5 from the line and added three rebounds in his finest outing of the year. The 6-8 forward got off to a slow start this year because he had to have knee surgery to correct some cartilege damage. He missed about four weeks of preseason conditioning and practice.

He continued his outstanding play against South Carolina, hitting 2-3 shots from the field. He also had four blocks, most by a Tiger in a game this year, and four rebounds in just 12 minutes. Henderson made his first eight shots as a Clemson player, believed to be the longest run at the beginning of a player’s career in school history.

For the year, Henderson is now 8-9 from the field and also has 12 rebounds and 21 total points in his 61 minutes of play. The native of Charlotte has shown an ability to take and hit the baseline jumpshot.

Braddick Pulling in the Rebounds

Clemson’s top rebounder this year is guard/forward Dustin Braddick. The 6-5 player from North Charleston, SC has 63 rebounds and 51 points in his first nine games this year, an unusual stat line for a wing or guard. He has 19 offensive rebounds, second best on the team behind Chucky Gilmore.

Braddick is ninth in the ACC in rebounding with his 7.0 average, first among guards or small forwards.

Braddick had a career high 11 rebounds in the win over Charleston Southern, the Division I school close to his hometown. He also had nine rebounds against Central Florida and eight against Wisconsin-GB and Penn State. In fact, Braddick now had seven consecutive games with at least seven rebounds, a streak that was ended against South Carolina when he was physically able to play just 10 minutes. Only a 5.7 points per game scorer, Braddick also leads the team in assists with 27 and usually guards to opposition’s top scoring wing player. He is a big reason Clemson opponents have averaged just 61.8 points and shot just 37.1 percent from the field.

Solomon-Scott Combine for 55 Points

Starting guards Will Solomon and Edward Scott combined for 55 points in the 85-75 loss to Penn State on December 1 in the ACC vs. Big Ten Challenge. Solomon scored a career high 37 points, most by a Tiger in 25 years, while Scott had 18 points, also his career high.

That was the most points scored by two Tigers in the same game since Rayfield Ragland (32) and Devin Gray (30) combined for 62 against Charleston Southern in the 1993-94 season at Charleston. You have to go back nearly 30 years to find the last time Clemson’s starting backcourt combined for 55 points in a single game. On January 10, 1970, Butch Zatezalo (30) and Dave Thomas (25), (not the Wendy’s owner), combined for 55 in a game against Virginia.

The record for points scored in a game by a Clemson starting backcourt is 64 by the same duo. Zatezalo had 46, and Thomas posted 18 in a 100-84 loss to Wake Forest on 2-18-69.

The 55 points by Clemson’s starting backcourt at Penn State was just the third time in the last 30 years that the starting guards had reached even 50 points. Vincent Hamilton (27) and Glenn Corbett (23) combined for 50 against Appalachian State in 1984-85, and Skip Wise (38) and Van Gregg (16) combined for 54 against Pennsylvania in 1974-75.

Scott Connects for 18 in First Career Start

Clemson freshman guard Edward Scott scored 18 points in 38 minutes of play in Clemson’s 10-point loss at Penn State. His performance was remarkable considering he had not practiced between October 27 and the Wisconsin-Green Bay game of November 25th. He shot 6-11 from the field, including 4-8 on three-point shots and also had six rebounds at Penn State.

When was the last time a Clemson player had 18 points in his first start? You don’t have to go back very far. Last year, current sophomore Will Solomon had 19 points against #1 ranked Duke in his first college start. It was the start of something big for Solomon, who now leads the ACC in scoring.

Scott made his first appearance of the season in the Wisconsin-Green Bay game at the BiLo Center on November 27. The 4A Player of the Year in South Carolina suffered a toe injury in the Wisconsin-Green Bay game on his right foot, and that injury limited his effectiveness in terms of speed and agility against Oregon State. It certainly affected his jump shooting ability. His broken foot came through the tournament without swelling or further injury.

Clemson Defense Still Strong

Clemson has struggled on offense, but the defense has been outstanding in all eight games so far this season. e have played well enough defensively and in terms of rebounding to be victorious in each game so far this season, said Larry Shyatt at the conclusion of the SoCon Holiday Hoops.

So far this year, Clemson opponents are shooting just 37.1 percent from the field overall and are averaging just 61.8 points per game. No Clemson opponent has shot over 45 percent against the Tigers and just one has broken 42 percent (Penn State) In the three games at the SoCon Holiday Hoops, Clemson actually outshot the opposition, 36.7 percent to 35.4 percent, yet lost two of three games. Clemson scored just 45 points a game on offense in that tournament. Clemson has outshot the opposition for the season, 42 percent to 38 percent.

Defense has been a hallmark of Larry Shyatt coached teams. Clemson opponents scored just 64.7 points a game last year and shot just 41.1 percent from the field. The Tigers led the ACC and ranked in the top 20 in the nation in scoring defense last year. Shyatt’s Wyoming team was in the top five in the nation in field goal percentage defense and scoring defense in 1997-98.

As you can see by the charts below, Clemson is near a record pace in terms of field goal percentage defense and scoring defense this year, but it has not resulted in a winning record at this juncture of the season.

Clemson Top Scoring Defense Seasons (Last 50 years)

Years   GP  PPG1948-49 21  54.21949-50 20  59.41996-97 33  61.51999-00 9   61.81950-51 18  62.41994-95 28  62.51995-96 29  63.01958-59 24  64.2

Clemson top Field Goal% Defense Seasons (Last 40 Years)

Year    GP  FG-FGA      FG%1958-59 24  565-1521    .37141957-58 24  644-1618    .3981962-63 25  637-1675    .4041989-90 35  889-2170    .4101998-99 35  769-1872    .4111999-00 9   185-498     .3715