Furman (4-5) at Clemson (7-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 14, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Littlejohn Coliseum (10,000) -- Clemson, South Carolina. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Furman 3-2, Clemson 5-0. Away Record: Furman 1-3, Clemson 0-1. Neutral Record: Furman 0-0, Clemson 2-1. Conference Record: Furman 0-0, Clemson 0-0. Series Record: Clemson leads, 98-51.
GAME NOTES: A rivalry resumes Saturday in the Palmetto State, as the Furman Paladins visit the Clemson Tigers at Littlejohn Coliseum.
The non-conference foes have met 149 times, and Clemson holds a healthy 98-51 lead thanks to 29 straight victories dating back to the 1978-79 campaign.
Clemson comes into the game sporting the best defense in the nation, topping all programs in both scoring defense (53.6 ppg) and field-goal percentage defense (.350).
Despite those accolades, Clemson fell to Arkansas last Saturday, 74-68, even though K.J. McDaniels posted a career-high 27 points. McDaniels also pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds, but the Tigers were done in by a 32.8 percent shooting effort. Demarcus Harrison was second on the team in scoring at 13 points, but needed 14 shots to do so.
A deep bench has been necessary for Clemson this season, since McDaniels has proven to be the only consistent threat on both ends of the floor. The junior forward leads the team in scoring (18.2 ppg), rebounding (6.9 rpg), 3-pointers (14), blocks (26) and steals (10). Rod Hall follows McDaniels on the scoring list at 10.6 ppg while also adding four assists each time out. Eleven players on the roster average double-digit minutes, so figuring out who is playing crunch-time minutes is something coach Brad Brownell is still figuring out.
Furman is also coming off a loss, but the Paladins' setback came in a humbling 97-93 defeat to Division II Mars Hill on Tuesday. The Paladins had won 36 straight games against D-II opponents but allowed Mars Hill to make 52.9 percent of its shots to pull out the upset on Furman's home floor.
It was a big blow for a team trying to build off last Saturday's road win at Presbyterian. Now it's back to the drawing board for the Paladins, who have been led offensively by Stephen Croone through the first nine games.
Croone is at the top of scoring list at 20.4 ppg, while making an efficient 53.1 percent of his shots. He also has a team-best 30 assists. Still, Furman comes in with an undesirable 0.8 assists-to-turnover ratio. Larry Wideman, who scored 20 points on Tuesday, is second on the team in scoring (14.1 ppg).
Clemson is 5-0 at home and is chomping at the bit to get back in the win column. Furman coming to town couldn't have come at a better time for the Tigers.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Clemson 78, Furman 55
12/14 10:37:41 ET