Wednesday, December 16

Clemson Basketball travels to ECU to battle the Pirates

In a few bits of Tiger-related news, Karolis Petrokunis is graduating today after 3.5 years with the program. He will be returning to his native Lithuania to pursue a professional career. Good Luck, KP!

Also, yesterday the Clemson Men’s Basketball team hosted the first annual Tiger Wonderland. This event looked to help underprivileged children have a happy Christmas. This is what it is all about. Here is a link to the pictures. Check them out; they are awesome! The team and the kids look so happy and thankful. I hope the new tradition continues, as it helps spread the positives of the university throughout the community.

Per tonight’s game:

When: 7:00pm
Where: Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum, Greenville, NC
Follow: SCACCHoops, Gametracker
Watch: Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (supposedly)

You know how NCSU fans play the red-headed-stepchild role when it comes to NC sports? They feel they are often slighted in favor of UNC, Duke, or even Wake Forest.

While this might be true, it’s a tactic that gets old. Nonetheless this also-ran mentality is what drives the Pirates of ECU. If NCSU thinks they are afterthoughts, then ECU barely registers as a synapse. Despite the fact the school has nearly 27,000 students and a winning (off-and-on) football program, they are not even in the discussion many times when it comes to NC sports. Appalachian State with its National Championship Caliber football teams garners more ink than ECU.

So, ECU brought in ex-UVA athletic director Terry Holland to try to get ECU into the NC, then national, sports conversation. Tonight’s game in Greenville is one way in which Holland is attempting to accomplish this feat. Bringing in an ACC team and beating them would only add fuel to the fire of those East Carolina fans who think, and some would argue rightfully so, that they would be a better fit for the ACC than the outlier Boston College. What Boston College brings to the conference in terms of academics would be lost in exchange for a rabid fan base hungry to prove itself. Economically it makes sense.

This having been said, I doubt ECU will be invited to join the ACC, unless those hot Big Ten rumors are true and they bypass Notre Dame and invite Boston College, Syracuse, or Cincinnati. That might create a ripple effect similar to what we saw a few years ago when the ACC became a twelve member conference.

Even still, it will be difficult for the Pirates to beat the Tigers tonight. The Pirates are 4-5, coming off a slim victory against D-II Coker College 69-63. Their coach, the strangely alliterative Mack McCarthy obviously respects the Tigers and had this to say about them,

“Oliver Purnell has turned Clemson into a ‘type.’ They're mentally and physically tough. They press all the time. ... They're going to play up-tempo and they literally have a style now. When you say ‘Clemson basketball,' this pops into your mind.”

He is right. Clemson Basketball is a type and he knows how to coach against it. Tonight the Tigers will continue to right the ship that seemed to have sprung a leak during the second half of the Illinois game.

They need to hit some outside shots and some free throws this time, however. Should the Tigers continue to miss those shots, it could be rough the rest of the season. Time to get it together.

Go Tigers!

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