Feb. 7, 2000
Clemson vs. Wake ForestLawrence Joel Coliseum
North Carolina 73, Clemson 60
North Carolina ostscored Clemson 11-2 over the last three minutes of the game and went on to a 73-60 victory over Clemson and a sweep of the season series between the two longtime rivals. Clemson had trailed just 62-58 after two Edward Scott free throws at the 3:09 mark, but Clemson made just one of its last 12 shots from the field.
Will Solomon was outstanding for the Tigers, as the sophomore scored 26 of Clemson’s 60 points. He made 10-18 shots overall, including 6-7 three-point shots. It was the best three-point shooting percentage game of his career. The only three-point shot he missed was a forced attempt in the last minute of play.
Edward Scott had nine points, three assists and no turnovers. It was the second straight game without a turnover for Clemson’s freshman point guard. The Tigers had just six turnovers in the entire game, fewest by a Larry Shyatt coached Clemson team.
North Carolina placed all five starters in double figures. Ed Cota led the way with 17 points, six rebounds and seven assists. Jason Capel added 14 points, thanks in part to a career best 4-5 three-point shots. The Tar Heels made52.2 percent of their shots from the field, just the second opponent to hit the 50 percent mark against Clemson all year.
Clemson connected on 40 percent from the field, but the Tigers were 22 of their first 46 through 35 minutes of the contest. North Carolina won the battle of the boards 34-25, just the fourth time all year, the second by North Carolina, that Clemson had been beaten in rebounding.
North Carolina and Clemson were tied at 13-13 seven minutes into the game. The Tar Heels went on a 11-2 run over the next six minutes and led 24-15 with seven minutes left in the half. Clemson then cut the margin to 32-30 on a three-point goal by Will Solomon with 24 seconds left. But, Cota gave North Carolina momentum going into the locker room, hitting a three-pointer at the buzzer.
The Tar Heels took a 56-43 lead at the 10:26 mark in the second half before Clemson got back into the game. Clemson scored nine straight points and three three-point goals in four possessions to cut the margin to four at 56-52. Clemson cut it to two on a rebound goal by Andrius Jurkunas, but that was as close as Clemson got.
Tigers Have 10 Healthy Scholarship Players for First Time
College basketball teams begin practice on October 15, but it took until February 4 for Clemson to have its full roster of scholarship players available for a practice. On that Friday, Adam Allenspach returned to practice after missing the Georgia Tech game with a bulging disk.
Clemson had played 21 games with at least one scholarship player injured and unable to play. The North Carolina game on Feb. 6 was the first time Clemson had all 10 scholarship players healthy. The Tigers looked like it also, taking the Tar Heels to the wire before losing.
The absence of healthy scholarship players has hurt Clemson’s preparation in games this year. Many practices prior to games Clemson has had just six healthy scholarship players. Clemson played at Maryland with just six scholarship players.
Jurkunas Needs One Three for 4th Place
Clemson senior Andrius Jurkunas needs just one three-point goal to move past Bruce Martin into fourth place on Clemson’s all-time three-point goal list. He and Martin both have 129 to their credit.
Jurkunas had been playing his best basketball of the year prior to the North Carolina game, a contest in which he made just 2-10 from the field. In the four games previous to the UNC contest, Jurkunas made 19 of 34 shots from the field, including 9-17 three-point shots. He scored 55 points in those four games. He had a career high 21 points in the win over Georgia Tech. He also led the team in rebounds with seven. That is the second time in the last four games that he has led Clemson in both categories.
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 continued his fine play against NC State with 10 points on 4-8 shooting. He had three assists and just one turnover in his 38 minutes and also had a pair of steals. He is among the top 10 assist leaders in the ACC and leads the Clemson team on a per game basis.
Solomon Chasing 3Pt Goal Record
Clemson guard Will Solomon, the ACC’s top scorer with a 20.8 average, had his finest game in two weeks when he had 26 points against North Carolina on February 6. He made 6-7 three-point shots, his best accuracy game as a Tiger from long distance.
Solomon ranks in the top 20 in the nation and first in the ACC in three-point goals per game. He is averaging 3.0 per game, ahead of the Clemson record pace for a season. The record on a per game basis over a season is 2.9 by Chris Whitney (now with the Washington Wizards of the NBA). Whitney did that in 1992-93, his senior year.
Solomon has 66 of Clemson’s 126 three-point goals this yesar,over 50 percent of Clemson’s three-point goals. The 66 three-point goals made already rank fifth best in a season. And, Solomon still has at least eight games left. The single season record is 99 by Terrell McIntyre set last year when Clemson played 35 games.
Three Tigers Reach Career Highs in One Week
Last week was a record setting week personally for three Clemson Tigers. Chucky Gilmore, all players in at least their second season, all had career scoring highs. Jurkunas scored 21 in Clemson’s win over Georgia Tech, his high scoring total and only 20-point game of his 107-game Clemson career. Braddick scored 14 in that game for his career high, while Gilmore had 10 points against North Carolina, his first career double digit scoring game.
Only 6 Turnovers vs. North Carolina
Clemson committed just six turnovers against North Carolina on February 6. It was no only the low total for the year, but the low figure by Clemson since Larry Shyatt became Clemson head coach. He has been Clemson’s coach for 57 games. It was the fewest turnovers by any Clemson team since March 6, 1998 when Clemson had just six in an ACC Tournament win over Wake Forest.
What was very impressive was the fact that no Clemson guard had a turnover in the game. All six turnovers were by frontcourt players. Edward Scott and Will Solomon each played 36 minutes without a turnover and reserve guards Dustin Braddick and Pasha Bains were also flawless. In two games last week, Scott played 70 minutes at the starting point guard without a turnover.
Gilmore in ACC Top 10 in Rebounding, Blocks
One of the unsung heroes of Clemson’s strong field goal percentage defense and rebounding figures this year is sophomore forward Chucky Gilmore. The native of Fayetteville, NC is now ranked 10th in rebounding and blocked shots in the ACC this year. He is pulling in 6.6 rebounds and has 21 blocked shots in his 19 games. He is also sixth in the league in offensive rebounds. Gilmore is one reason opposing starting centers are shooting under 40 percent from the field and averaging less than six points and six rebounds per game.
Clemson vs. Wake Forest Series
Tuesday, February 8, 2000 (7:00 PM)
Series Record: Wake Forest leads 84-49at Wake Forest: Wake Forest leads 44-12at Joel: Wake Forest leads 9-1at Clemson: Clemson leads 32-30Last Meeting: Wake Forest 67-53 at Clemson, 1-9-00Television: Fox Sports Net
Earlier Meeting this YearWake Forest 67, Clemson 53 Jan. 9, 2000 at Clemson
Wake Forest outscored Clemson 12-4 over the last 2:30 of the game and went on to a 67-53 win over the Tigers in Littlejohn Coliseum on January 9. Clemson had cut the margin to 55-49 with 2:52 left on a three-point goal by Pasha Bains. But Darius Songaila scored six points in the final 2:30 to help the Deacons to the victory.
Clemson was led by Will Solomon with 26 points, five assists and just two turnovers. He also held Robert O’Kelley to 4-13 shooting on the defensive end of the court. It was another outstanding performance for the Clemson sophomore. He had 49 percent of the points against the Demon Deacons, the second time this year he has had that high a percentage.
Solomon was the only Tiger in double figures. Andrius Jurkunas had eight rebounds, including five offensive.
Clemson struggled from the field, especially early. The Tigers scored just six points in the game’s first 13 minutes and were 3-21 from the field. The Tigers ended the first half 8-32 and trailed 26-18. The poor shooting was evident for both teams. In fact, at one point in the second half, Clemson was 12-41 and Wake Forest 13-41 from the field. Wake Forest held leads from 11 to 14 most of the second half. Will Solomon kept Clemson in the game, he scored 14 of Clemson’s first 18 of the second half and scored 11 points in a row for Clemson at one juncture.
It was 51-38 with seven minutes left when Clemson made a run. The Tigers cut the margin to six, then later had a three-point shot that could have cut the margin to four, but Pasha Bains shot went off the rim.
Clemson made just 20-60 from the field, and that included just 4-23 from three-point land. The Tigers made 81.8 percent of their free throws, but the Deacons attempted 36 to just 11 for the Tigers. Clemson won the rebound battle 44-38.
Clemson vs. Wake Forest
Tigers Face Quick Turnaround Weekend
Clemson will be playing an ACC road game at Wake Forest on Tuesday with just one day to prepare. This will be the second time this year Clemson has played an ACC road game with just one day to prepare. The Tigers had to play at Duke just 40 hours after defeating NC State at Clemson. Duke defeated Clemosn 93-59.
Playing an ACC game away from home with just one day to prepare has been a difficult challenge for Clemson over the years, especially in the last 27 years. In fact, Clemson has lost 22 consecutive games against ACC teams on their home floor when the Tigers have just one day to prepare. You have to go back to Feb. 19, 1973 to find the last time Clemson won an ACC road game with one day to prepare after playing an ACC game. That day Clemson defeated Virginia in Charlottesville, 56-54 in overtime. Clemson had played at Maryland on Feb. 17, a 69-66 loss.
Clemson is 4-39 lifetime on an ACC opponent’s homecourt with one day to prepare. The one win in the 1970s took place in that 1973 game at Virginia. The other three victories on the road with one day to prepare took place in the 1960s when teams regularly played teams on consecutive nights. Teams traveled in pairs in those days and the teams never had a rest advantage.
How hard is this to do? Clemson had to play an ACC road game on one day’s rest was in 1996-97. Clemson defeated Georgia Tech on January 30, 70-57, to improve its record to 17-2 and was ranked #7 in the nation. The Tigers traveled to NC State, to play a Wolfpack team in Raleigh just 40 hours later. The Pack had an 0-7 conference record and defeated Clemson 58-54.
Tigers Looking for Road Win Split
Clemson will be looking for an unusual season split with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Not that it is unusual for Clemson to have a 1-1 regular season record with the Deacs, but achieving it with a road victory is unusual. Only 11 times in history has Clemson had a split with an ACC team in which both teams won on the road. It has happened twice in the last five years however, both times with NC State.
A win at Wake Forest would be even more unusual in that it would be achieved with Clemson gaining the road win split with a victory at the opponent’s arena. Only five times in history has Clemson achieved a season split with a road win in the second meeting. Clemson has a 5-75 record in history when it is attempting to gain a season split with a road victory.
Clemson Road Win Splits (ACC Series in Which Road Team won Both Games)
*Denotes Clemson won second meeting of the season on the road.
Henderson Has Finest Game
One of the bright spots of Clemson’s 20-point loss at North Carolina in January was the play of freshman forward Ray Henderson. A native of Charlotte, NC, Henderson had a productive 22 minutes of play. Troubled by injury most of this year, Henderson had a season best and team high nine rebounds in those 22 minutes, including four off the offensive boards. He also made 3-5 shots from the field and did not have a turnover in 22 minutes. He also had an effect on the production of Brendan Haywood. The 7-1 North Carolina center had just 10 points and got just four field goal attempts in the game.
Henderson has been injured much of the time since that game. But, he did play 16 minutes in the win over Georgia Tech and scored six points in 3-4 shooting. He also played strong defense against Alvin Jones of Georgia Tech. He was Clemson’s leading rebounder against North Carolina on Feb. 6 even though he played just six minutes. He had five boards in that short time. He also scored two points. For the year, Henderson is 18-31 from the field, a team best .581 shooting percentage.
Healthy Braddick Helping Clemson
Tigers Have Three Tar Heels on Roster, More on the Way
Clemson has three natives of North Carolina on its roster this year. Chucky Gilmore is a native of Fayetteville, NC and is Clemson’s second leading rebounder. Ray Henderson, a 6-8 forward, is a native of Charlotte and leads Clemson in field goal percentage. Walker Holt is a top reserve who had eight points in 14 minutes at Duke last weekend.
Clemson could have six natives of North Carolina on its roster next year. Three of Clemson’s four signees for 2000-01 are from North Carolina. Dwon Clifton (High Point), De’on Dixon (Fayetteville) and Chris Hobbs (Chapel Hill) are slated to join Clemson’s program next year.
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 had five straight double figure scoring games and was averaging 16 points a contest prior to the Duke game in Durham when he went down with a bulging disk in his back. He had 12 points and seven rebounds in the win over NC State. He did not play against Georgia Tech due to a bulging disk in his back, then started against North Carolina and had four points and four rebounds.
Walkon Holt Makes Contribution
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 98 minutes, has shot 8 of 15 from the field, including 4-7 on three-point shots. He is 5-6 from the line, has 13 rebounds and nine assists to go with 25 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.
What Clemson has Done Well
Where Clemson has Struggled
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.
Clemson Recent Wins over Ranked Teams
Clemson just finished a stretch 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 defeated #21 NC State in the middle game of the stretch, its first ranked win of the season. Clemson has now defeated at least one ranked opponent each of the last 14 years.
Recent Clemson top 25 Wins
Jurkunas Three-Point Record Holder
Clemson senior Andrius Jurkunas needs one three-point goal to move ahead of Bruce Martin into fourth place on Clemson’s all-time three-point goal list. He has 129 entering the Wake Forest game, the same total Martin had from 1990-95.
He became Clemson’s career three-point goal leader among forwards when he made a pair of three-point goals against Wofford on November 21. Tony Christie had the previous record at 106.
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. He has made 10 of his last 25 three-point goals. He made just 14 of his first 60 (.233) to start the season when he had the broken thumb on his shooting hand.
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 73 blocked shots to go with his 128 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 17 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 28-29 at Clemson and he is 47-38 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, Andrius Jurkunas, and one junior, 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 20.8 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 300 Consecutive Games
Clemson has a streak of 300 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. Will Solomon leads the team with 66 and is on a record pace in terms of three-point goals per game (3.0).
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 27 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. Last week, however, he sustained a knee injury that will require surgery. It will be the first time since the seventh grade that he has missed a game.
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 signing day in November. Three of the players are ranked among the top 100 players in the nation by Hoop Scoop. Clemson is tied for second behind St. John’s (5) for the most top 100 players. Missouri and Seton Hall (who will play at Clemson next year) also have three.
“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
16 of 22 Clemson Games Up For Grabs
While Clemson has a 8-14 record so far this year, Clemson has been in all but six contests with five minutes left. Clemson has lost by more than 20 points just once this year and had one other loss by 20, at North Carolina (65-45).
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 lost by 13 to North Carolina, but it was a four-point game with three minutes 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.
Clemson has won two of its last four games by double digits, a 17-point win against NC State and a 12-point victory over Georgia Tech.
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 22 games so far this season. So far this year, Clemson opponents are shooting just 39.3 percent from the field overall and are averaging just 67.1 points per game. The 39.3 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.
Duke and North Carolina are the only Clemson opponent to shoot over 47 percent against Clemson. Duke hit 52.4 against the Tigers on January 29 in Durham and North Carolina shot 52.2 against Clemson in Littlejohn Coliseum. NC State shot just 30 percent against Clemson in the Tigers victory in January.
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.
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.
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. He was chosen to the NBA All-Star team for the first time.
Through 48 games, Davis was averaging 11.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. He was sixth in the NBA in field goal percentage through games of Feb. 6 with a .514 figure. He was also seventh in the league in rebounding and 18th in double-doubles with 14. What is most impressive is his much improved free throw percentage (.705).
Elden Campbell is the highest scorer among former Clemson players in the NBA. Campbell was averaging 12.4 points a game in 31 minutes a game for the Charlotte Hornets. He was also pulling in 7.1 rebounds a game and was 16th in the league in blocked shots. He had a season high 27 points against Washington Wizards on Feb. 5, including 15-18 free throws.
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 44 games this year and averaged 36 minutes per game. He is averaging 8 points and 8 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 career 80 percent free throw shooter. He had 13 vs. Charlotte on Feb. 5.
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 they are 11-5 since he joined the team. He is averaging 20 minutes a game. 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 Feb. 6, 2000)
*Denotes Assist Average
Allenspach, Gilmore Strong Defender in Middle
Clemson 7-1 center 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 5.7 points and 5.4 rebounds a game against the Tigers this year. They have shot just under 40 percent from the field and have just 39 offensive rebounds.
Allenspach has averaged 11.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game for the first 22 games, all as a starter, so he is obviously winning the war at his position. Gilmore has contributed 6.6 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, and only one has had double figures in rebounds.
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 +6.3 in overall games so far this year. Clemson has been out-rebounded just four 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 by nine in both meetings against Clemson this year, while Maryland had a +3 rebound edge when the Tigers used a thre-guard attack.
Clemson has won the battle of theboards in 18 of its 22 games this year and has had a double figure advantage in 10 of the 21 games, including at Duke on January 29 by +12. 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 25 of their last 29 games. Larry Shyatt has been Clemson’s head coach for 56 games and the Tigers have been beaten on the glass just 10 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 was 12th in the nation in rebounding last week.
Clemson’s Top Rebound Margin Teams
Solomon Leads ACC in Scoring, Minutes, 3-Pt Goals
Will Solomon leads the ACC in three categories. His 20.8 scoring average is best in the league and 13th in the nation (through games of Feb. 7) , while his 30 three-point goals per game Solomon also leads the ACC in playing time, averaging 35.6 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 20.8 scoring average is the highest by a Clemson player Horace Grant averaged 21.0 in 1986-87. 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.
Six Tigers Have Missed 26 Games due to Injury
Clemson had not had a full compliment of scholarship players for a single practice, never mind a game until Friday February 4th. 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. When Adam Allenspach missed the Georgia Tech game he was the sixth different player to miss action this year due to injury. Clemson players have missed a combined 26 games this year and at least one player missed each of the first 21 games this year. 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:
Solomon Three-point Goal Streak Ends at 24
Clemson guard Will Solomon made at least one three-point goal in the first 20 games this year. His streak actually reached 24 games dating to last year, the third longest streak in Clemson history. Georgia Tech snapped the streak on Feb. 2, but he still scored 17 points in Clemson’s victory. Solomon ranks first in the ACC in 20th in the nation in three-point goals per game.
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.
Clemson Consecutive Game Streak with a Three-Point Goal
Clemson Downs #21 NC State
Four Tigers scored in double figures and the Clemson defense held NC State to 30 percent shooting, as Clemson broke a six-game losing streak with a 59-42 win over NC State in Littlejohn Coliseum on January 27th. Clemson had been 0-5 in the ACC prior to the game.
Edward Scott that provided the spark for Clemson. Coming off the bench and seeing his first playing time in four games, Scott scored 10 points, had three rebounds and five assists. He also had two steals for his 34 minutes of play. Most importantly, he held Justin Gainey to no points and no assists in 27 minutes of play. Gainey had lit up Clemson for 28 points on 7-7 shooting the last time the two teams met.
Chucky Gilmore added 10 rebounds for the Tigers, who are ranked 14th in the country in rebounding.
Clemson’s defense held NC State to just 42 points, its starters to just 15 points. Anthony Grundy scored nine, but Damien Wilkens, Damon Thornton and Kenny Inge all scored just two points apiece. Gainey was shut out. Only the three-point shooting of Archie Miller kept the Pack in the game. He was 5-9 on three-point goals.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half. The Tigers jumped out to an 8-0 lead to open the game in the first three minutes. Clemson held the Pack to five points in the first 12 and a half minutes, as NC State made just two of its first 15 shots. Clemson did not take advantage as Clemson went 8:34 without scoring at one point. Clemson held a 23-17 lead at halftime.
Clemson brought the lead to 34-21 at 13:31 left on a layup by Adam Allenspach. But, Miller started hitting three-point goals and brought the Pack back to 42-38 with 7:36 left on the fourth three of the half by Miller. But, that was the last field goal he would make. Clemson then went on a 17-4 run to end the game. Solomon scored seven points down the stretch.
Clemson won the rebounding battle 40-36 and had 15 assists and 15 turnovers. It was the first time in eight games that Clemson had at least the same amount of assists as turnovers. NC State had a 5/19 assist/turnover ratio. The Tigers were 14-27 from the field in the second half.
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 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.
Solomon’s Outburst 5th Best Scoring Game in NCAA
Will Solomon 43 point scoring game against Virginia on January 15 ranks in a tie for the fifth 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. Solomon’s point total tied Courtney Alexander (ironically a former Virginia player) who scored 43 for Fresno State against UAB on December 11.
Solomon was ranked 13th in the nation in scoring entering games of January 31. No Clemson player has finished the season in the top 10 in scoring since Bill Yarborough was fourth in 1954-55 with a 28-point average. Solomon is 20th in the nation in three-point goals per game (2.9).
Highest Scoring Games in Division I 1999-2000
Clemson 70, Georgia Tech 58
Andrius Jurkunas and Dustin Braddick both scored career highs in leading Clemson to a 70-58 victory over Georgia Tech on February 2. It was the 24th time in 28 meetings in Littlejohn Coliseum that Clemson had gained victory over the Yellow Jackets. Clemson led by as many as 20 points in the second half.
Jurkunas scored 21 points, the first 20-point game of his career, and hit 7-12 shots from the field. He also made 4-7 three-point goals and tied for the lead in rebounding with seven. It was the second time in four games that Jurkunas has led Clemson in both categories in the same game. He made just 3-9 shots from the line or he would have had a 25-point game.
Braddick scored 14 on 4-5 shooting and also had seven rebounds, three assists and three steals in another fine all-around game for the 6-5 forward who did not play against North Carolina the last time the two teams met. Will Solomon had 15 points in the second half and 17 for the game. He also had a team best five assists. Ray Henderson led the bench with six points on 3-4 shooting.
Clemson held Georgia Tech in check, allowing just 34.5 percent shooting, including just 7-29 three-point shots. The Tigers were playing without Adam Allenspach for the first time in 55 games. The 7-1 center was out with a bulging disk, forcing Clemson to go with a small lineup. But, Clemson won the rebound battle 40-38.
Tech jumped out to a 7-2 lead early. Jones scored the first two baskets for the Yellow Jackets, then never scored another field goal. Clemson held Jason Collier, the second leading scorer in the league entering the contest, to 10 points and just three field goals. He took six shots in the first six minutes, then got just four shots the last 34 minutes.
Clemson went on 13-4 run to end the half and held a 23-18 lead at intermission. It was just 27-23 with 17 minutes left when Clemson went on a 13-3 run over four minutes to take a 14-point lead. It was 54-34 in favor of Clemson with 7:53 left. Tech never got the deficit under double figures the rest of the game.
December 1, 2020
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