Just 52 hours after knocking off Virginia Tech at Littlejohn Coliseum, the Clemson men’s basketball team must get back in action on its home floor Tuesday against Georgia Tech.
Obviously there was little time to enjoy Sunday’s victory over the Hokies; every Atlantic Coast Conference game is key, and this one could get the Tigers back to .500 in league play.
The Yellow Jackets are 11-7 overall and 1-5 in conference, but their first ACC conquest of 2013 came on Saturday in an impressive 82-62 victory over Wake Forest.
"I think Georgia Tech is a lot better than their record," said Clemson coach Brad Brownell, whose team now sits at 11-8 overall and 3-4 in the ACC. "I think they’re big and strong physically. It won’t be easy to pound the ball inside on every possession.
"We’ll have to be ready to play and play well."
Tiger sophomore guard Damarcus Harrison, who netted 19 points against the Hokies, expects a grinder against Georgia Tech.
"It’s a quick turnaround and we know it’s going to be a hard defensive game," Harrison said. "We have to get right back at it and play a good game."
Senior center Devin Booker, who battled flu-like symptoms on Sunday, leads Clemson in scoring with a 12.6 points per game average. Sophomore forward K.J. McDaniels is second at 11.2 ppg and senior forward Milton Jennings — boosted by a 28-point performance versus the Hokies — now averages 10.8 points per game.
"Milton can be very good in this league and he certainly was for us on Sunday," Brownell said.
Coach Brian Gregory’s team has shown slight improvements in the last several games and they are starting to add up.
"I felt over the last few weeks with a very difficult start of the schedule that it was going to be very important for our guys to stay strong and keep working and plugging along, and that’s exactly what they’ve done," Gregory said. "All credit goes to the players. By no means are we that much of a different team than we were 48 hours ago, but we’re a little bit better. It doesn’t always show in results, and that’s difficult, but that’s the process."
The Yellow Jackets have two players averaging double figures and two more on the cusp.
Marcus Georges-Hunt pops for 10.5 points per game, followed by Robert Carter Jr. (10.4), Mfon Udofia (9.5) and Kammeon Holsey (9.2).
Against Wake Carter, a freshman, scored a career-high 20 points.
The game also helped Georgia Tech match its win total from last season, a year that saw the club finish 4-12 in the ACC
"In this league, until you get that first one, you never know when it’s going to come, because it’s so difficult," Gregory said. "Now we just need to continue getting better. All the accolades go to the players. There the ones that have to keep grinding it out, that’s what you have to do in this league."
Tuesday's game is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen locally on FSCR.