Syracuse will try to stay undefeated on the season when it hosts Clemson at the Carrier Dome. Here is a quick look at the game:
SURPRISE TEAM: The preseason prognosticators got it wrong with Clemson. The Tigers were picked on ACC media day to finish second to last in the realigned ACC, just ahead of Virginia Tech. Well, the Hokies have held true to predictions, and are a dismal 1-8 in conference play, but the Tigers have been one of the most pleasant surprises in the ACC. Clemson is currently fifth in the ACC standings and is the conference’s top unranked team. After topping Georgia Tech on Tuesday, Clemson is 15-6 overall and 6-3 in conference play. They’ve done it with a staunch defense that statistically is the second-ranked scoring defense in the NCAA at 55.8 points per game (Virginia is tops at 55.5). That was on display in the win over the Yellow Jackets, who shot just 34 percent from the field and could only muster four points in the final 6:40 of the game.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS: On the other hand, Clemson isn’t exactly an offensive dynamo, as the Tigers are 331st in the NCAA at 63.0 points per game and only have one player averaging in double figures. That player is KJ McDaniels, who has done virtually everything for his team, leading the Tigers in points (16.3), rebounds (7.0), steals (1.1) and blocks (2.6). He’s also shooting 86 percent from the free throw line and 45 percent from the field. Guard Rod Hall is second on the team in scoring (9.0) and leads the team with 80 assists.
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: Syracuse and Clemson have only met twice before, with Clemson winning both teams. The last time these two teams met, the Tigers eliminated the Orange in the 2007 NIT quarterfinals on March 21, 2007. Demetris Nichols led the Orange with 20 points in the loss.
GAME INFORMATION: Sunday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. at the Carrier Dome. TV: ESPNU.
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