CLEMSON – Clemson coach Brad Brownell said one of the characteristics of his young team has been its inability to remain consistent. When he thinks one “problem” is solved, he said, it sometimes reappears.
But the Tigers have played great defense and solid offense for two consecutive games, and the players seem to be finding a groove.
“These last two games have really given us a lot of confidence,” said K.J. McDaniels, who led all scorers with 14 points in the Tigers’ 60-44 victory over Wake Forest on Tuesday. “We know what we need to do and we feel like we’ll be able to get some good wins in the league the rest of the way.”
Brownell hopes the recent results are the start of a trend.
“When you win the way you want to win, you gain an identity and gain confidence,” Brownell said. “These last two games have been good for us and when your players get some confidence, that can only help.”
LONG TIME COMING
The Tigers registered their fourth consecutive victory over Wake Forest on Tuesday, getting their first “four-peat” against the Demon Deacons since the Cliff Ellis era at Clemson.
Ellis’ teams won five in a row over Wake from 1988-90.
Freshman Tyler Cavanaugh has done a lot of good things in his first college season and has earned some quality playing time for the Demon Deacons. He came into Tuesday’s game averaging 5.8 points per game and three blocks in 17.2 minutes on the court.
But the 6-9, 230-pounder had all kinds of trouble finding the range against Clemson.
Inside, outside, it didn’t matter –absolutely nothing fell for the Dewitt, N.Y., native.
Finally – after going 0-for-11, Cavanaugh powered his way inside and made a layup while being fouled.
He converted the free throw to finish the game with 3 points, going 1-for-12.
Clemson resumes ACC road action on Sunday when it travels to Raleigh to tangle with North Carolina State.
The Wolfpack is 14-2 overall, 3-0 in league play and unbeaten at home so far in the 2012-13 season.
Mark Gottfried’s team plays at Maryland Wednesday - its first game since toppling previously unbeaten and top-ranked Duke on Saturday.
N.C. State boasts five players averaging double figures, led by C.J. Leslie, who scores 16.2 points per outing.
Richard Howell gets 12.9 ppg on average and is a major force on the boards, finishing with 10.4 rebounds per game.
“We’re going up against a team that has maybe five or six really good shooters,” Brownell said. “That’s going to be a huge challenge for our team. But it’s good that we go up against a great team after playing two good games ourselves.”
The showdown between the Tigers and Wolfpack tips off at 6 p.m. and can be seen on ESPNU.