Jan. 24, 2000
Clemson vs. NC State Littlejohn Coliseum Thursday, January 27 (7 p.m.)
Clemson vs. NC State Series
Clemson and NC State have split their season series each of the last four years. It has not been a series dominated by the home team either. In fact, in four of the last eightgames the visiting team has had the upper hand.
In 1995-96 and 1997-98 the road team won each game, a “road win split”. Clemson has had just three road win split season series with ACC teams in the 1990s and two of the three are against NC State. That was not the case last year as each team won at home. The Tigers won at Clemson behind two players with at least 20 points, while NC State won in Raleigh thanks to two different players with at least 20 points. Harold Hamison had 25 and Terrell McIntyre added 22. Justin Gainey had 28 on a perfect shooting night (7-7 field goals and 10-10 free throws), while Kenny Inge added 23 in the Wolfpack win in Raleigh.
NC State has an 86-37 record against the Tigers overall, but Clemson has won 10 of the last 14 dating to the second game of the 1992-93 season. Clemson has scored exactly 80 points against NC State in three of the last seven meetings. That will be a tough task in this game as the Pack gives up just 61.2 points per game, the best scoring defense in the ACC.
Last Year at Clemson
Clemson 80, NC State 72
Harold Jamison scored a career high 25 points and Terrell McIntyre added 22 points leading Clemson to a 80-72 victory over NC State at Littlejohn Coliseum. The victory ended a two-game losing streak and it was the first ACC victory for Larry Shyatt. Clemson shot 56.6 percent from the field for the game, including 70 percent in the second half. Kenny Inge led NC State with 17 points and 11 rebounds. The sophomore hit 7-7 shots from the field.
Clemson picked apart NC State’s man-to-man defense in the first 10 minutes of the contest. The Tigers led 23-7 at the 11-minut mark, as Harold Jamison had three consecutive dunks to key the spurt. Adam Allenspach also had an outstanding first half with seven points in 10 minutes.
NC State cut the lead to nine with 1:31 left in the half. Terrell McIntyre then went on a scoring spree, hitting eight points in the last minute before intermission, giving Clemson a 43-28 lead. Clemson led by 18 eaerly in the second half and kept a double digit margin throughout. The Tigers hit 10 of their first 11 shots of the second half, yet saw the margin shrink to nine points behind the play of NC State’s Justin Gainey, who had 16 points in the second half.
The Pack closed the lead to seven in the final minute, but McIntyre scored seven points in the final three minutes and captured an eight-point win. The two teams were even on the boards 29-29 and both teams had 12 offensive rebounds.
Johnny Miller and Tom Wideman were also big in Clemson’s win. Miller had a career high 10 assists and scored six points, while Wideman had his first double-double of the season, 11 points and a game high 12 rebounds. McIntyre hit 4-7 three-point shots, the only Tiger to make a three-point goal in the contest.
Maryland 74, Clemson 62
All five Maryland starters scored in double figures, as the Terps defeated an undermanned Clemson five by a 74-62 score in College Park on January 22. The Tigers had three players out with injury and dressed just six scholarship players. Still, the 12 point margin was closer than the 17-point defeat Clemson suffered at Maryland last year.
Will Solomon had 12 points and fourassists. Pasha Bains and Dustin Braddick added nine apiece.
Maryland was led by Juan Dixon with 18 points, including 4-7 on three-point shots, while Danny Miller scored 15. Freshman Tahj Holden, making his first college start, had 12 points and 10 rebounds, his first double-double of the season.
Clemson played without Ray Henderson (pulled groin), Tomas Nagys (tendintis). Maryland was without second leading scorer Terrence Morris.
Maryland shot just 38 percent in the first half, but held a 38-22 lead at intermission. A three-point goal by Bains at the buzzer of the half brought Clemson to that close.
Clemson employed a box-and-one defense most of the game and forced the Terps to take 31 three-point goal attempts, their highest figure ever. Maryland defeated Clemson on the boards 41-38, just the third time all year Clemson had been out-rebounded. Clemson’s three-guard attack had something to do with that.
Clemson cut the margin to 52-41 with 8:02 left, then the Tigers got six good looks at the basket over the next two possessions and could not score. Maryland ran the advantage to 22 at 67-45 with 4:04 left. But, Clemson did not die and cut the margin to 12 by the end of the game. Jurkunas scored eight points in the last 2:44 of the game.
The two teams were ranked first and second in the ACC in field goal percentage defense entering the game. Neither team shot over 40 percent for the game. Clemson made 43 percent of its three-point shots, but the Terps had six less turnovers (11-17) than Clemson.
Holt Makes First Start
Walker Holt made his first career start at Maryland. The original walk-on who is now on scholarship for this season was the first original walk-on to start a game for the Tigers since the 1985-86 season when Jeff Holstein started at Georgia Tech.
Holt, a freshman from Greensboro, NC did not score in the game in 25 minutes (he took just two shots), but did have a season high five rebounds and three assists with just one turnover. He had a career high 12 points on 5-7 shooting against Appalachian State on January 19. He had those 12 points in 20 minutes. He had not scored over three points in a game all year prior to that contest.
Holt’s performance against Appalachian State included a midcourt shot at the end of the half that swished through the nets, the longest shot made by a Clemson player in the history of Littlejohn Coliseum. That fact is according to longtime Clemson SID Bob Bradley and 32-year play-play man Jim Phillips, who have seen almost every game in the history of the Coliseum. Wake Forest’s Rod Griffin made a shot just inside midcourt against the Tigers in 1978, but that is the closest long bomb anyone can remember.
Holt’s improvement could be traced to the “buzz cut” his teammates gave him on the road trip to North Carolina on January 5. Holt had long curly locks prior to that and the trim has had the opposite affect it had on Sampson (not Ralph, but mythology).
Since he had the locks cut, Holt has played 76 minutes, has shot 6 of 11 from the field, including 3-5 on three-point shots. He is 2- 2 from the line, has 12 rebounds and seven assists to go with 17 points. Prior to the haircut, Holt had played 88 minutes in 10 games, scored just four points, had eight assists and nine rebounds. He was 2-9 from the field.
Clemson vs. NC State Battle of Rebounders
When Clemson meets NC State on Wednesday night two of the top rebounding teams in the ACC will be on display. Clemson leads the ACC in rebound margin with a +7.3 figure, while NC State is third at +4.5. Clemson has been out-rebounded just three times all year, and one of those was at Maryland on Saturday when Clemson started three guards.
Four of the top 10 rebounders in the ACC will be in action. Clemson’s Adam Allenspach is sixth in the league with a 7.8 average, while teammate Chucky Gilmore is ninth. Damon Thornton of NC State is seventh at 7.6, while freshman Damien Wilkins is eighth at 6.8 per game.
Clemson Faces Another Wilkins
One of the top freshmen in the ACC this year has been NC State’s Damien Wilkins. It will be the second time a Wilkins has faced the Tigers. Damien’s father, Gerald Wilkins, longtime NBA player who started this year with the Orlando Magic, played against Clemson with distinction in 1985.
Gerald Wilkins was the star player for UT Chattanooga that year and Clemson traveled to Tennessee to face his team in the first round of the NIT. Wilkins responded with a game high 26 points on 12-18 shooting to lead the Mocs to a 67-65 victory. He also had five rebounds and two blocks for his 38 minutes of play. Clemson was led by Vincent Hamilton and sophomore forward Horace Grant, who had 16 points apiece. Grant is still playing in the NBA for the Seattle Supersonics. The game was the final contest of the 1984-85 season for the Tigers, the first year of the Cliff Ellis era.
Jurkunas Has Best Game at Maryland
Clemson senior Andrius Jurkunas had one of his most productive games as a Clemson Tiger in the 74-62 loss to Maryland on January 22. The native of Lithuania whose Clemson career dates to November 26, 1995, scored 16 points on 4-6 shooting. He also had 3-4 three-point goal successes and pulled in seven rebounds. he led the Tigers in scoring and rebounding, the first time he has done that in the same game.
Jurkunas point total tied for his second highest ever in an ACC game. His ACC his is 18 against Maryland at Clemson on January 24, 1999. He also scored 16 as a freshman against Virginia and Duke in consecutive games in 1996. Jurkunas career high regardless of competition is 19, against Miami (FL) and Georgia during the 1995-96 season. The Georgia performance came in the NCAA Tournament in New Mexico and all 19 points were scored in the second half, the most points scored by a Clemson player in one half of an NCAA Tournament game.
What Clemson has Done Well
Where Clemson has Struggled
Solomon Stats better in ACC Play
Clemson guard Will Solomon leads the ACC in scoring with a 21.1 average. The sophomore has not built his stats against non-ACC teams. In fact, his stats are better against ACC teams than the non-ACC so far this season. And, he has done that in less minutes played per game. The following chart tells the story in some key areas:
Solomon Leads Clemson in Scoring and Assists
Will Solomon leads the Tigers in scoring and assists per game, a rarity in college basketball. In fact, only two players in the last 30 years have done that over the course of a season for Clemson. Chris Whitney led the Tigers in both areas in 1992-93 and Terrell McIntyre did it last year. Prior to that you have to go back to Butch Zatezalo in 1968-69 to find the last time a Tiger led the Team in scoring and assists in the same season.
Solomon Three-point Goal Streak at 22
Clemson guard Will Solomon has made at least one three-point goal in each game this year and has a streak of 22 straight with at least one three-point goal over two years. This is the third longest streak of its kind in Clemson history. His streak started with the last four games of 1998-99, all NIT games, and has continued through the first 16 games this year.
Terrell McIntyre holds the record with 26 games in a row set over the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons. Chris Whitney, now with the Washington Wizzards, had a 25-game streak, the last 25 games of his career.
In fact, Whitney and McIntyre have the top four streaks in Clemson history. So, Solomon is just the third different Tiger in history to have a streak of at least 20 in a row. Solomon has 81 three-point goals for his career, tied for 11th in Clemson history. Solomon tied the Clemson single game record for three-point goals with eight against Virginia. He had at least three three-point goals in each of the seven games in the month of December has had multiple three-point goals in 15 of the first 18 games this season.
Clemson Consecutive Game Streak with a Three-Point Goal
Solomon Leads ACC in Scoring, Minutes, 3-Pt Goals
Will Solomon leads the ACC in three categories. His 21.1 scoring average is best in the league and 8th in the nation (through games of Jan. 17) , while his 3.1 three-point goals per game also is first in the league and in the top 25 in the nation. Solomon also leads the ACC in playing time, averaging 35.9 minutes per game.
Solomon is attempting to become just the fourth Tiger in history to lead the ACC in scoring. Butch Zatezalo paced the league twice, with a 23.0 average in 1967-68 and with a 25.8 average in 1968-69. He did not lead the league as a senior. Horace Grant led the league as a senior in 1986-87 with a 21.0 scoring mark, while Terrell McIntyre led the conference last year with a 17.9 figure.
Solomon’s 21.1 scoring average is the highest by a Clemson player since Zatezalo’s figure in 1968-69. The Clemson record for a season is a 28.3 figure by Bill Yarborough in 1954-55. Yarborough did not lead the league that year because of Virginia’s Buzz Willinson’s 32.1 average, a figure that is still the ACC record.
Five Tigers Have Missed 23 Games due to Injury
Clemson has not had a full compliment of scholarship players for a single practice, never mind a game this year. That certainly has hindered Clemson’s preparation for games, as walk-ons, managers and even graduate student manager Bruce Martin have helped out in practice. Six different players have missed action this year for a total of 23 games due to injury. That does not include the seven games Pasha Bains missed at the start of the season due to the NCAA transfer rule.
Here is the injury rundown so far this year:
Clemson Recent Wins over Ranked Teams
Clemson is in the middle of three straight games against ranked teams, the first time since the 1995-96 season that Clemson has played three straight top 25 teams. Clemson does not have a win over a top 25 team this year, but has recorded 14 in the last five years.
Clemson’s last ranked win took place against North Carolina last year on Feb. 4. The Tar Heels were ranked 9th by USA Today and 12th by AP heading into the game.
The win over North Carolina was the 13th win over a top 25 team by the 1999 group of seniors. The school record for wins over top 25 teams by a class is 15, set by the seniors of 1980. The only common denominator for those four years was point guard Bobby Conrad. All of those wins were top 20 wins because the polls only went 20 deep in those days.
Recent Clemson top 25 Wins
Allenspach Records Career High
Clemson center Adam Allenspach scored 24 points in Clemson’s loss to Appalachian State on January 19. That was his career high scoring effort and it was in fact the highest scoring game for a Clemson center since Sharone Wright scored 25 points at Wake Forest on Feb. 22, 1994. Allenspach connected on 7-11 field goals and 10-12 free throws.
His free throw shooting stats were also a career high. He made his last nine free throws of the game and is now shooting 71 percent from the line for the year. The native of Parkland, FL is trying to become the first Clemson center to lead the Tigers in free throw shooting since Ed Brinkley shot 77.8 percent in 1956-57. That is the only free throw shooting percentage over 75 percent for a season by a Clemson center in history.
Allenspach has had four straight double figure scoring games and is averaging 16.3 points per contest over the last four games. He also had eight rebounds against Appalachian State.
Solomon’s Outburst vs. Virginia 4th Best Scoring Game in NCAA
Will Solomon 43 point scoring game against Virginia on January 15 ranks in a tie for the fourth highest scoring game in the nation this year. The top figure is the 61-point outing by Eddie House for Arizona State against California on January 8th. Solomon’s point total against the Cavs is the highest by a college player in the South or east. House actually has the top two scoring games htis year. Solomon’s point total tied Courtney Alexander (ironically a former Virginia player) who scored 43 for Fresno State against UAB on December 11.
Highest Scoring Games in Division I 1999-2000
Scott Absence Affects Turnovers
Clemson has struggled in terms of turnovers the last three games, committing 60 in losses to Virginia, Appalachian State and Maryland. Starting point guard Edward Scott has been out of the lineup due to a cartilage injury in his chest, an injury he suffered at Florida State. Prior to Scott’s injury, Clemson had gone six straight games committing 15 turnovers or less. The Tigers averaged 12.2 turnovers a game during that stretch with Scott in the lineup.
In the six games Scott has missed this year due to injury, Clemson has committed 107 turnovers, 18 per game. In the games he has been in the lineup, Clemson has averaged 14.8 turnovers a game.
Scott’s presence affects Will Solomon turnover total. In the six games Scott has not played, Solomon has 33 turnovers, 5.6 per game, including 19 in the last three games when Solomon has to double up as shooting guard and point guard. In the 12 games Scott has played, Solomon has 41 turnovers, 3.4 per game.
Free Throw Shooting Improved
One area Clemson has improved in of late and for the season overall is free throw shooting. Clemson is shooting 67.1 percent from the line for the year. If the season ended today that would be the best by a Clemson team since the 1997-98 team shot 68 percent, but the third best in the last 13 years. Clemson has not shot 70 percent from the line for the course of a season since 1986-87 when Horace Grant’s 25-6 Tigers shot 71.6 percent.
Clemson has shot at least 70 percent from the foul line in five consecutive games, including 80 percent against Appalachian State on 24-30 attempts. Over the last five games Clemson is 76-100, a .76 figure. Clemson is shooting 72 percent in ACC games.
Both of these free throw shooting areas are drastically improved from last year. The Tigers shot 62 percent from the line overall and 62.5 in ACC play a year ago. Terrell McIntyre was the only Tiger to shoot over 70 percent from the linelast year. Four Tigers are over 70 percent. Will Solomon has made a Clemson season high 11 free throws in a row.
Jurkunas Three-Point Record Holder
Clemson senior Andrius Jurkunas became Clemson’s career three-point goal leader among forwards when he made a pair of three-point goals against Wofford on November 21. He has 122 for his career, breaking the mark of 106 set by former teammate and roommate Tony Christie, who is now playing professionally in England.
Jurkunas had 51 three-point goals as a freshman and as a junior. Injury problems on 1996-97 gave him shooting problems all year and he made just 3-38 from long range.
Overall, Jurkunas is sixth in Clemson history in career three-point goals and needs just four more to move into the top five in Clemson history ahead of former teammate Merl Code. If he makes 50 his senior year, he will rank third in Clemson history trailing only Terrell McIntyre and Chris Whitney, both point guards. He has made 17 so far this season.
Clemson Career Three-Point Goal Leaders
Jurkunas stands 6-9 and is an unusual player in that he is capable of defending on the inside, but he is also a capable scorer on the outside. Jurkunas is one of just four players in ACC history standing 6-9 or taller to make over 100 three-point goals in a career. The others to do it are Tom Gugliotta of NC St, Michael Maddox of Georgia Tech, and Danny Ferry of Duke.
Jurkunas has 70 blocked shots to go with his 122 career three-point goals. He entered 1999-2000 as one of just 10 players in ACC history with at least 100 three-point goals and at least 50 blocked shots. No player in ACC history has had at least 100 three-point goals and 100 blocked shots. Jurkunas would need 44 blocked shots his senior year to do it (he has 14 so far) Maddox of Georgia Tech came the closest with 133 three-point goals and 93 blocked shots.
ACC Players with 100 Career 3s and 50 Blocked Shots
Head Coach Larry Shyatt
Clemson Head Coach Larry Shyatt had a 20-15 record in his first year as Clemson Head Coach. He guided Clemson to the Championship of the NIT, a 61-60 loss to California. The 20 victories were a record for a Clemson coach in his first year and he was just the fourth coach in ACC history to win at least 20 in his rookie year with an ACC program.
Shyatt was the head coach at Wyoming in 1997-98 and posted a 19-9 ledger and berth in the NIT. Thus, he had a 39-24 record as a head coach entering this year. This is his 25th year in college coaching, his third as a head coach. In 15 of his last 16 years the team he has coached (head or assistant) has gone to the NIT of the NCAA.
Shyatt has also had assistant coaching stints at Utah, Cleveland State, New Mexico and Providence in addition to his three years as associate head coach at Clemson under Rick Barnes. Shyatt enters this game with a record of 26-27 at Clemson and he is 45-36 overall.
Clemson Has Young Roster
Clemson has one of the youngest teams in the nation with only one senior and one junior with previous Division I experience listed on its roster. This is the youngest Clemson team since the 1987-88 season when Grayson Marshall was the only senior and Jerry Pryor was the only junior among scholarship players. That Clemson team finished 14-15, but did qualify for the NIT.
This year’s Clemson team has one senior, Adam Allenspach among scholarship players. Walk-on Michael Crocker is a junior, but is in his first year with the program.
The young veteran Clemson players have been asked to step up their play considerably from last year. The five players returning from last year have made large jumps in terms of playing time and scoring. Will Solomon scoring average is triple what it was last year, from 6.3 points to 21.1 and is the largest increase in the ACC.
Ninety-one percent of Clemson’s scoring and 88 percent of its rebounds have come from underclassmen this year.
Three Walk-ons Join Team
Three walk-ons have joined the Clemson roster for this year. The three players joined the program in mid-October and are members of the roster. The group is led by Larry Shyatt. Jeremy will become just the second ACC player to play at an ACC school for his father. Chucky Driesell played for his father Lefty at Maryland from 1981-85.
Two other walk-ons are Michael Crocker. Powell is in his second year as a walk-on. The 6-2 guard from Westminster, SC, connected on a three-point goal in the closing moments of the Georgia Tech game last year in the final home contest of the season. Crocker is a 6-6 forward from Newberry, SC. Both his parents are Clemson graduates. He was more noted for his abilities in soccer in high school. He set the Newberry High scoring record in soccer with 70 career goals.
Clemson 3-Pt Streak at 296 Consecutive Games
Clemson has a streak of 296 consecutive games with at least a three-point goal. The streak dates to the 1990-91 season when the Tigers were 0-7 from long range in an 81-55 loss at Wake Forest. Clemson was also 0-17 that year in a home loss to UNC Charlotte.
Clemson has made at least two three-point goals this year in every game. Clemson had its best three-point shooting game of the year against Virginia, hitting 11-20, for 55 percent. Will Solomon made 8-12 from long range in that game. The Tigers were also 8-19 at Penn State from long range.
Clemson made 43 percent of its three-point shots at Maryland recently. Clemson has four players with at least 10 three-point goals this year. Will Solomon leads the team with 55 and is on a record pace in terms of three-point goals per game (3.1).
1999 Seniors All Playing Basketball
Where have the seniors of 1998-99 gone? They are all doing well and are all still in the game of basketball. Tony Christie is playing professionally in England, while Terrell McIntyre is playing for a team in France. Tom Wideman and Harold Jamison are both playing in the United States. Wideman has landed a spot on the roster of the Fort Wayne Fury of the CBA, while Jamison started the year on the injured list of the Miami Heat of the NBA. He played in his first NBA game on December 3 in the Fleet Center and scored two points in six minutes.
Wideman has his degree from Clemson and concluded his career as one of the most decorated student-athletes in Clemson history. A year ago he was the recipient of the Weaver-James-Corrigan Scholarship from the ACC. He was also an Academic All-District Choice and a recipient of an NCAA Scholarship. Through 24 games with the Fort Wayne Fury, Wideman was averaging 8 points and 6 rebounds a game. He was named to play in the CBA All-Star Rookie Game in South Dakota and had eight points and nine rebounds in the contest.
The four players led Clemson to 79 wins the last four years, the second highest victory total for one Clemson class in Clemson history. They were major reasons Clemson has been to three NCAAs and one NIT championship game the last four seasons.
Signees for Class of 2000
Clemson head men’s basketball coach Larry Shyatt announced on Wednesday that four players, including three from the state of North Carolina, signed with the Tiger program on the first day of the NCAA’s early signing period.
Dwon Clifton, De’on Dixon, Chris Hobbs, and Tony Stockman all made their commitments to the Clemson program official on Wednesday.
“These players come from four wonderful families,” stated Shyatt. “These are four young men who are very focused about working towards gaining degrees, as well as improving their basketball skills during their four years here at Clemson.
“I thought we really needed to get some experience and talent in the backcourt in particular where we had some key openings due to both graduation and losses of late,” added Shyatt.
“Tony Stockman could well be one of the most creative and exciting point guards in the country and Dwon Clifton gives us size in the backcourt which we haven’t had in years. What’s also exciting is the fact that De’on Dixon could someday make the switch from a 6-8 athletic wing to a backcourt player. Chris Hobbs gives us an impressive strength presence inside and he comes in as probably the strongest high school prospect to ever sign at Clemson at 6-7, 250 pounds.”
“Stockman is capable of playing both guard spots, but is a tremendous lead guard candidate,” Shyatt said. “Clifton has tremendous athleticism and scoring guard skills, but could also someday be a lead guard. So that potential is out there for both Stockman and Clifton.”
Clifton is a 6-4, 195 pound guard from High Point, NC. He has the ability to play both guard positions and is described as an excellent shooter. Clifton averaged 24 points per game as a junior at Westchester Academy and also pulled down 8.5 rebounds per game and dished out 5.0 assists per game for coach Pat Kahny. He is listed among the nation’s top-100 in several publications, including PrepStars Magazine which has him 40th and Bob Gibbons who tabbed him 52nd.
Dixon is a senior at 71st High School in Fayetteville, NC, the same high school that current Tiger forward Chucky Gilmore attended. Dixon is coached by Bernie Poole and averaged 12 points per game and seven rebounds per game as a junior. The 6-8, 185-pound forward also had 3.5 assists per game and 3.5 blocks per game last season.
Hobbs is a 6-7, 250-pound senior at East Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, NC. As a junior, the power forward averaged 19.4 points per game and 10.9 rebounds per game for coach Ray Hartsfield’s club. Those numbers helped Hobbs earn the Triad 3-A Player of the Year award. He was also a first-team all-state pick by the Associated Press. Bob Gibbons rated Hobbs as the number-eight junior in the country and he has been tabbed among the top-40 in several recruiting publications.
Stockman plays at Medina High School in Medina, OH for coach Jody Peters. Stockman is a 6-1, 165 pound guard who is described as a good shooter and ball handler. As a junior at Medina, he averaged 19 points, four assists, and two steals per game. This past summer, Stockman played at the Five Star Camp in Pittsburgh, PA.
“I am proud of our coaching staff, Scott Duncan, Darren Tillis, Matt Driscoll and Anthony Solomon. They worked hard on this class and recruited these young men with class and dignity,” said Shyatt.
Note – Stats are from junior seasons @ – Denotes assists per game
13 of 18 Clemson Games Up For Grabs
While Clemson has a 6-12 record so far this year, Clemson has been in all but five contests with five minutes left. Clemson’s largest margin of defeat is 20 points to North Carolina. George Washington made 15 three-point goals and defeated Clemson by 19 (0-71) back in December.
The Tigers are 0-3 on the road in the ACC this year, a 20-point loss at North Carolina, a three-point loss at Florida State and the 12-point loss at 24th ranked Maryland. Clemson has actually come closer to victory at Florida State and Maryland than it did last year when Clemson started four seniors. The Tigers lost by six last year at FSU, but by just three this year. The Tigers lost by 17 at Maryland a year ago compared to the 12-point loss this year.
In Clemson’s 17-point loss to Wisconsin-GB, the Tigers were tied with the Phenix at 40-40 with 5:42 left. In a 10-point loss to Penn State, Clemson trailed by just four with two minutes left. Clemson lost by 14 to Wake Forest, but it was a six-point game with 2:30 left. Clemson trailed by just four points, 89-85 against Virginia with 50 seconds left.
Clemson has shown an ability to win close games this year, something that was not the case last season. Clemson is 4-3 in games decided by six points or less this year.
Solomon Has Record Setting Performance
Clemson guard Will Solomon put on a scoring show against Virginia on Saturday, January 15. The sophomore from East Hartford, CT scored 43 points in Clemson’s 98-91 loss, the most points by a Tiger in almost 30 years. Solomon connected on 14-21 shots from the floor, including 8-12 on three-point shots. He made 10 of his last 12 shots from the field, including 5 of his last 7 three-point shots. He also made 7-10 free throws and found time to collect nine rebounds, three assists, a blocked shot and a steal. He did that in 37 minutes.
Here are some notes on Solomon’s game:
“We couldn’t stop Will Solomon. We recruited him, so we know how he plays. He is a great player. We should not have allowed him to score that many points, but he did.” – Virginia Head Coach Pete Gillen.
“Will’s performance was one of the best individual performances I have ever seen. And, he did it against a Virginia team that has outstanding defenders in the backcourt.” – Clemson Head Coach Larry Shyatt.
Solomon Point total Most in 30 Years
Clemson guard Will Solomon has recorded two of the top 12 scoring games in Clemson history this year. He had quite a night at Penn State on December 1. The sophomore scored 37 points against the Nittany Lions, on 13-27 shooting from the field and 7-10 from the line. He was 4-9 from three-point land.
Solomon trumped that performance with 43 against Virginia on January 15, 2000. It was the most points by a Tiger in 30 years, dating to Butch Zatezalo’s 43 point game against NC State in 1970. That performance tied for the fourth highest scoring game in Clemson history. He had eight three-point goals in the game, which also tied a Clemson record. It also tied for the second highest point total by a Tiger against an ACC opponent and was the most points by a Clemson player in Littlejohn Coliseum.
Solomon’s performance at Penn State was also the second highest point total in Clemson history on an opponent’s home court. The 37 points by Solomon exceeded Clemson’s entire team total of 35 in its previous game, a 53-35 loss to Oregon State.
Over the last nine minutes of the Penn State game, Solomon scored 24 points. He had 26 over the last 12:35 of the Virginia game.
Clemson’s Individual Highest Scoring Games
Clemson Defense Still Strong
Clemson has struggled on offense, but the defense has been outstanding in all 18 games so far this season. So far this year, Clemson opponents are shooting just 38.6 percent from the field overall and are averaging just 67.3 points per game. The 38.6 percent is second best in the ACC and would be the second best by a Clemson team in the last 40 years if the season ended today. Clemson held North Carolina to 43.4 percent shooting and 65 points.
No Clemson opponent has shot over 46 percent against the Tigers, as Appalachian State has the best opposing field goal percentage at .455 on January 19th.
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.
Clemson top Field Goal % Defense Seasons(Last 40 Years)
Conrad Appointed by Reno
Bobby Conrad, the starting point guard on Bill Foster’s 1979-80 team that advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, has been appointed Director of the Campaign Finance Task Force by Attorney General Janet Reno. The announcement was made December 27th in Washington DC.
Conrad, now a resident of Charlotte, NC, has been an Assistant United States Attorney for Western North Carolina. He will take an 18-month sabatical from that job to serve his appointment under Reno. His primary activity will be to look into allegations of illegal campaign contributions during the 1996 election cycle.
Conrad graduated from Clemson in 1980. He was a member of the Tiger basketball team for four years, a starter his last two seasons. In 1979-80 he led the Tigers in assists with 157 and averaged 7.8 poins per game. He shot 81 percent from the foul line, including an 8-8 performance in Clemson’s 87-82 overtime victory against #1 ranked Duke.
For his career, Conrad scored 542 points and dealt out 402 assists in 116 games. He also had 172 rebounds and shot 71.6 percent from the foul line. A three-time Academic All-ACC performer, Conrad was the recipient of Clemson’s 1980 Norris Medal, which is given to the top all-around student on the Clemson campus. From Clemson, he went on to earn his law degree at the University of Virginia.
Clemson Successful in Classroom
Clemson had a record setting first semester in the classroom for the period completed this past December. Five of the 13 Clemson players on the roster earned a 3.0 or better, the highest number of academic honor roll selections for a semester in Clemson history. The team had a 2.39 GPA, its best in the fall since 1995 and the fourth best overall.
Starting center Pasha Bains. Larry Shyatt, both made the dean’s list. Walk-on J.D. Powell also made the honor roll.
It was an outstanding semester overall for Clemson athletic teams. A record 229 student athletes made the academic honor roll and the overall GPA for all 15 programs was 2.74, highest on record and just .04 from the average for the overall student body.
Seven Tigers in the NBA
For the first time in history, Clemson has seven former players in the NBA in the same season. The list includes four former Clemson centers, a point guard, a two guard and a small forward. The previous high for former Tigers in the NBA was six.
Leading the way has been Dale Davis, who is in his ninth year with the Indiana Pacers, his seventh year as a starter. Through 40 games, Davis was averaging 11.7 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. He was fifth in the NBA in field goal percentage through games of January 22 with a .518 figure. He was also eighth in the league in rebounding and 17th in double-doubles with 14. What is most impressive is his much improved free throw percentage (.707).
Elden Campbell is the highest scorer among former Clemson players in the NBA. Campbell was averaging 12.5 points a game in 31 minutes a game for the Charlotte Hornets. He was also pulling in 6.7 rebounds a game and was 17th in the league in blocked shots.
The veteran of Clemson’s group in the NBA is Horace Grant. A rookie with the Chicago Bulls in 1987-88, he played on three World Championship teams with that franchise. After a four-year stint with the Orlando Magic, he is now with the Seattle Supersonics. He has started all 38 games this year and averaged 36 minutes per game. He is averaging 8.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.
Chris Whitney is in his sixth year with the Washington Wizzards as a backup point guard. He had 17 points in his third game of the season and also had a double-double this year against Seattle. Whitney is a carerer 80 percent free throw shooter.
Devin Gray replaced Charles Barkley on the Houston Rockets when the future Hall of Famer was injured in December. He has played in four games for the team. Greg Buckner joined the Dallas Mavericks after the first of the year and has played 18 minutes a game over the last four outings. Harold Jamison has played in one game for the Miami Heat. The 1998-99 Clemson senior is currently on injured reserve.
Clemson Players in the NBA(Through Games of Jan. 22, 2000)
Clemson Shooting Must Improve
One area Clemson must improve on if it is to gain victory is shooting the basketball. Clemson has shot just 37.2 percent in the five ACC games so far this year. The Tigers are just 31 percent on three-point shots. Opponents also have a large advantage at the foul line. Opponents have taken 131 shots from the line the five ACC games, while Clemson has taken 78. Opponents have made nine more free throws than Clemson has attempted, and the Tigers have made six percent more of their attempts.
Clemson did make great strides in these areas against Virginia. The Tigers shot 49 percent from the field, including 55 percent (11-20) on three-point shots. Clemson was also 75 percent from the foul line. Clemson made 43 percent of its three-point shots at Maryland
Allenspach, Gilmore Strong Defender in Middle
Clemson 7-1 center Adam Allenspach and 265-pound forward Chucky Gilmore have proven to be large obstacles for opposing centers so far this season. A look to the stats shows us that opposing starting centers have averaged just 6.0 points and 5.7 rebounds a game against the Tigers this year. They have shot just under 40 percent from the field and have just 33 offensive rebounds.
Allenspach has averaged 12.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game for the first 18 games, all as a starter, so he is obviously winning the war at his position. Gilmore has contributed 6.7 rebounds per game. Allenspach has 12 double figure scoring games and four double-doubles. No opposing starting center has a double-double against the Tigers, in fact, only four opposing centers have scored in double figures, led by Travis Watson’s 14 points. Rafael Vidaurreta of Wake Forest is the only opponent center to have at least 10 rebounds in a game against the Tigers.
Opposing Centers vs. Clemson
Clemson Near Record Pace in Rebound Margin
If the season ended today, this would be the second highest rebound margin by a Clemson team in school history. The Tigers are +7.83 in overall games so far this year. Clemson has been out-rebounded just three times all year, a sign of the hustle and drive of Larry Shyatt team. Wisconsin-GB is the only non-conference team this year to hold a rebounding edge against the Tigers and that was by a 35-31 margin. North Carolina won the rebound battle 43-34 in the ACC opener and Maryland defeated the Tigers 41-38 when Clemson started a three-guard lineup.
Clemson has won the battle of theboards in 15 of its 18 games this year and has had a double figure advantage in nine of the 18 games. Clemson was +18 on the boards against Virginia on Jan. 15. Clemson had a positive rebound margin in its last seven games last year, so the Tigers have outrebounded the opposition in 22 of their last 25 games. Larry Shyatt has been Clemson’s head coach for 53 games and the Tigers have been beaten on the glass just nine times.
The Clemson record for rebound margin in a season is +7.4 rebounds per game set by last year’s team. That team broke the record of +5.8 set by the 1975-76 Clemson team that was led by Tree Rollins. Three other Clemson teams have been at +4.9 rebounds per game for a season. The Clemson team of 1989-90 led by Dale Davis and Elden Campbell had a +4.5 rebound margin per game.
Clemson’s Top Rebound Margin Teams
Nagys Getting to the Foul Line
One of the freshmen who has made an impact this year is Tomas Nagys. The native of Lithuania had six points in 10 minutes against Furman, including 4-6 from the foul line and three rebounds. He also had an assist and drew a charge. He leads the Tigers in charges taken this year with nine. He has a knack for getting to the foul line, as his six free throws in 10 minutes against Furman will show. He continued that against Virginia with 5-5 free throw shooting in eight minutes of play.
Nagys has attempted at least one free throw in 14 of his 16 games this year, including a high of 7-8 shooting in just 10 minutes in the season opener. For the season, Nagys has attempted 49 free throws in just 147 minutes, or one every 3.2 minutes of play. That is by far the best on the team.
Jurkunas Veteran of Over 100 Games
A 29 percent field goal percentage, including 27 percent from three-point land is not exactly what Andrius Jurkunas had in mind for his final season at Clemson. But, Larry Shyatt would be the first to tell you he is more than pleased with his leadership and all-around play.
Jurkunas suffered a broken thumb on his shooting (right) hand while attempting to draw a charge against Central Florida in the season’s third game. He missed the rest of that game and the next four games. Clemson was 1-3 in those games.
He wore a soft cast for six games due to the injury. The injury obviously affects his shooting. It has forced Jurkunas to contribute on other ways…and he has. In the win over South Carolina he had played almost the entire second half and scored just two points, but had seven rebounds and four assists. He contributed six assists and eight points in the win over Winthrop, then had a career high seven assists and a career high 11 rebounds in a loss to George Washington. In the win over Furman he had four points, five rebounds and a blocked shot in 19 minutes.
He had his best game of the season against Maryland with 16 points on 4-6 shooting, including 3-4 on three-point shots. He led Clemson in scoring and rebounding, the first time he has done that in the same game in his career.
Jurkunas is Clemson’s most experienced player. He has played in 103 games, 66 as a starter and has played over 2276 career minutes, nearly 1000 more than any other Tiger. He has 122 career three-point goals, more than any other forward in Clemson history, and has 668 points, also high among active Tigers. His 401 rebounds are also best among active Tigers.
July 11, 2019
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