Clemson will look to win its first three games in Atlantic Coast Conference play for the first time in five years when the Tigers host North Carolina State on Friday.
Clemson (10-3, 2-0) recorded its second straight victory and sixth in the past seven contests with a 79-66 win over Georgia Tech on Dec. 21.
PJ Hall paved the way by collecting a season-high 25 points to go with 10 rebounds vs. the Yellow Jackets. Hall has at least 20 points in four of his past six games overall, and he hit that total exactly in Clemson’s 70-65 win over the Wolfpack last season.
Chase Hunter boasts team-best averages in points (14.8) and assists (4.8), while Hunter Tyson leads the team in rebounds (9.3) and steals (1.2).
The Tigers could receive a boost with the potential return of junior guard Alex Hemenway (plantar fasciitis), who started the team’s first 12 games before sitting out against Georgia Tech.
“Obviously being off of it is going to be good, but I think this is going to be one of these lingering injuries all year that’s going to be a little bit of a challenge for us,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said.
The Wolfpack (11-3, 1-2) will look to tie a season high by winning their fourth game in a row on Friday.
D.J. Burns Jr. scored a team-leading 18 and 17 points, respectively, to propel North Carolina State to its last two victories, against Vanderbilt and Louisville. Burns, however, said his team got the message in its most recent game following a spirited halftime talk by coach Kevin Keatts.
That spark turned a three-point lead at intermission into a 76-64 win over Louisville on Dec. 22.
“Coach came in at halftime, and he let us have it,” Burns said, per the Charlotte Observer. “When we come in lacking energy or not doing the things we’re supposed to, he’s going to call it out. He’s going to look you in the eyes and say, ‘Play better for me.’ That man always lays it out for us, and we wanted to give it back for him.”
Terquavion Smith owns team-leading averages in points (17.9) and assists (5.4), while Jack Clark contributes 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals.
–Field Level Media