Terps hope to rebound against Clemson
The ACC includes three coaches who are new to the league this season. So far, Boston College’s Steve Donahue has surpassed expectations, his team 14-5, 4-1. Wake Forest’s Jeff Bzdelik has fallen short, if possible, of league-low expectations (7-12, 0-4). And Clemson’s Brad Brownell is faring fairly well, his Tigers 13-5, 2-2.
Having lost to Boston College on Dec. 12 and trounced Wake on Jan. 12, Maryland (11-7, 1-3) takes on Clemson Saturday at Comcast Center, hoping to start to process of clawing its way out of its current tie for ninth in the ACC standings.
Both teams are coming off tough losses in league play. Maryland fell to Virginia Tech, 74-57, at home on Thursday; Clemson lost at North Carolina, 75-65, on Tuesday.
That gives the Tigers two extra days’ rest when they roll into Comcast Center. But they’ll be without starter Tanner Smith, who sprained a knee in the loss to the Tar Heels. Junior forward Bryan Narcisse (3.3 points per game, 1.2 rebounds per game) is expected to start in his place.
Clemson had won eight consecutive games before visiting the Tar Heels. The Tigers nearly pulled off the upset, trailing by one, 66-65, with three minutes remaining. But like Maryland against Virginia Tech, the Tigers’ offense sputtered when it mattered most, with just one of their 14 shots falling in the waning minutes.
Brownell has faced Maryland Coach Gary Williams once before, when his UNC Wilmington squad suffered a buzzer-beater loss to the Terps in the 2003 NCAA tournament. Brownell, who succeeds Oliver Purnell, has coached in Division 1 for eight seasons (four each at Wilmington and Wright State).
His Tigers are led by 6-2 senior guard Demontez Stitt (13.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg). Senior Jerai Grant, Clemson’s 6-8 center, is a native of Bowie and played at Dematha. Grant had 18 points and 12 rebounds in the Tigers’ 62-53 victory over Maryland at Clemson last season. Maryland won the rematch at College Park, 88-79.
| January 22, 2011; 9:25 AM ET
Categories: Gary Williams, Men's basketball | Tags: Clemson basketball, Gary Williams, Jerai Grant, Maryland basketball
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