Place: Colonial Center, Columbia, SC
Watch: Fox Sports Net- South
Sleepytime is over Tigers. Tonight it is time to get back to work against the Gamecocks. This game will be the first of three non-conference games before the ACC gets fully underway.
The Gamecocks would like validation for their 9-1 season, as their nine wins are against sub-par competition: Jacksonville State, Winthrop, USC-Upstate, Gardner-Webb, Princeton, Furman, NC Central, The Citadel, and Presbyterian-the only common opponent between the two teams, with SC winning 75-56, and Clemson winning 79-58- and their one loss coming against College of Charleston 82-80 in OT.
Though the Gamecocks have had a weak opening schedule, and the SEC is generally having a down year thus far, they have several strong returning players: PG Devan Downey, jr., 19 ppg, G Zam Fredrick, sr., 15.1 ppg, F/C Mike Holmes, so., 13 ppg, F Dominique Archie, jr., 11.1 ppg, and F Evaldas Baniulis, jr., 9.6 ppg.
Tonight's game should come down to defense and our ability to hit easy, open shots when they come available. The Gamecocks probably won't be running five guards, full-speed, ala Liberty, so that shouldn't be an issue. As a matter of fact, the Gamecocks would like to play a pressure defense like we play. Thus, whichever team can effectively work the press and the 1/4 and 1/2 traps should have the upper hand. This is the first year Gamecocks will be using new headcoach Darrin Horn's defensive system, so it should be interesting to see how the Gamecocks react when they are faced with a successful, fully implemented OP defensive system.
And while every game is important, some, at least according to the official websites of each team, consider the relative importance of the game, or at least of the opponent, much differently:
Tiger Men's Basketball Team to Face South Carolina on the Road Tuesday Night
Gamecocks Host Archrival No. 20/16 Clemson In Tuesday Night Matchup:
For further reading about tonight's game and even a little video from Darrin Horn, click away!
The State, 2
Mike Decourcy of The Sporting News has this to say of tonight's game:
The most exciting game of the year?
Seriously? Either way, the game should be interesting.
Clemson often presses for 40 minutes. South Carolina, under new coach Darrin Horn, wants to play that way, as well. Clemson still is unbeaten and looking to stay that way given the challenges that persist in the ACC. South Carolina is 9-1 and looking to validate that start with a huge non-conference home win.
No one's making any promises here, but Tuesday's 7 p.m. game could provide some of the most entertaining action of the season. Or certainly the week.