Davidson (1-3) vs. Clemson (4-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 22, 9:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: TD Arena (5,100) -- Charleston, South Carolina. Television: ESPN U. Home Record: Davidson 0-1, Clemson 3-0. Away Record: Davidson 0-1, Clemson 0-0. Neutral Record: Davidson 1-1, Clemson 1-0. Conference Record: Davidson 0-0, Clemson 0-0. Series Record: Clemson leads, 23-18.
GAME NOTES: The Charleston Classic continues on Friday night with semifinal- round action, as the Davidson Wildcats tangle with the Clemson Tigers at TD Arena.
The winner will advance to Sunday's championship bout against the survivor of the Massachusetts/New Mexico matchup. The losers will also play on Sunday in the third-place game.
Clemson holds a 23-18 advantage in the all-time series versus Davidson, although the two squads have not met since 1993.
After suffering losses in each of its first three games, including two versus nationally-ranked foes Duke (111-77) and Virginia (70-57), Davidson finally put a tally in the win column in Thursday's opening round with a 94-82 triumph over Georgia. With the game tied at 30-30 late in the first half, the Wildcats finished off the frame on a 16-6 run to take a 10-point lead into intermission, and their advantage never dipped below eight points for the rest of the tilt. Despite getting outshot from the field, 55.8 percent to 44.8 percent, the Wildcats cruised to the easy victory thanks in large part to their low number of turnovers (five) and a busy, efficient showing from the free-throw line (34-of-41). De'Mon Brooks led the way with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Brian Sullivan was hot on his heels with 20 points. Jordan Barham drilled 7-of-8 from the field for 18 points coming off the bench, while Jack Gibbs (13 points) was also impressive in a reserve role.
Clemson won each of its first three contests at home to start the campaign, and its unbeaten season continued in the opening round on Thursday night with a 72-58 win over Temple. The Owls played the Tigers tight for much of the contest, and the game was even tied, 51-51, with under nine minutes to play, but the Tigers took control down the stretch by finishing on a 21-7 run. Although they were off the mark from 3-point range (3-of-11), the Tigers made up for its with a solid showing from the floor overall (26-of-58), as well as from the foul line (17-of-21). The team also won the rebounding battle, 45-36. Pacing four players in double figures was K.J. McDaniels with 20 points, and he added eight rebounds and seven blocks as well. Rod Hall contributed 13 points and five assists, Jordan Roper chipped in 14 points off the bench, and Landry Nnoko was impressive in the paint with 10 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks.
Although the Wildcats have been strong at the offensive end of the court, scoring 76.2 points per game, they have not defended well, as they allow opponents to score 86.0 points per outing on a lofty 55.6 percent from the field. Brooks is the catalyst both in terms of filling the basket (18.0 ppg) and in the paint (7.0 rpg). Sullivan scores 15.5 points per game and has been active from beyond the arc (11-of-33). Tom Droney (14.0 ppg) rounds out the unit's double-digit scorers.
Clemson has been solid shooting the ball this season, making good on nearly 44 percent of its field goal attempts for 68.0 points per game. The biggest reason it is 4-0, however, is due to its outstanding effort at the defensive end, as it holds opposing teams to a lowly 32 percent efficiency from the field and a mere 50.8 points per game. McDaniels (18.0 ppg) is one of the most well-rounded frontcourt performers in the nation, making as big an impact on the game in the paint (7.5 rpg, 5.0 bpg) as he does from the outside (6-of-19 from 3-point range). Roper (11.3 ppg) and Hall (11.0 ppg) patrol the perimeter and have combined for 31 assists and only six turnovers.
Davidson seemed to have found its stroke in the opening round, but it'll have a difficult time cracking Clemson's lock-down defense, and at the rate the Wildcats allow points, expect the Tigers to earn a berth to the championship game.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Clemson 77, Davidson 67
11/22 10:41:03 ET