Preview: UNC vs. Clemson

I apologize if the above photo offends anybody, but seeing as it is one of the first photos to pop up when you google Clemson, I couldn’t help myself.

Clemson brings its 13-12 record into Chapel Hill Saturday where it was never won. We hate bringing that winless record up sometimes because we’re afraid that the next game will be the one that ends the streak. But man, is it awful.

  • If Clemson hopes to break the streak tomorrow, they’ll rely heavily on the senior backcourt of Tanner Smith (above) and Andre Young. The duo are the one and two scorers on the team while Smith adds 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Both shoot over 35 percent from behind the arc and each take almost half their PG attempts from long range. Smith has hit timely 3s in the past and we’d rather the game not get that close so that we have to worry about that.
  • The Tigers have a serviceable front court but nothing like the Trevor Booker headed group that used to disrupt UNC. Devin Booker is still on the roster but doesn’t produce quite like his older brother, although 11 points and 7 rebounds per is nothing to scoff at. Center 7’2″ Catalin Baciu averages 4 points and 2 rebounds in only 10 minutes a game. Weak.
  • Milton Jennings could be a problem. The 6’9″ forward was suspended but returned three gams ago. Since his return, he’s scored above his season average, but he’s much better than that 10 per suggests. He’ll probably be seeing a lot of Harrison Barnes or John Henson. We’ll see how that goes for him.
  • Clemson is coming off a win over ranked Virginia and beat Florida State earlier this year by 20. As Roy Williams said in his press conference today, “They’re 53 points better than us. They beat FSU by 20 and FSU beat us by 33.” Still, if a 5-6 ACC squad that sits barely above .500 breaks the fabled Chapel Hill streak, it would be a shame.
  • This is how Clemson ranks nationally: Scoring, 237th; Rebounds per Game,247th; Assists per Game, 178th; Field Goal Percentage, 185th.
  • This is how UNC ranks nationally: Scoring, 1st; Rebounds per Game, 1st; Assists per Game, 4th; Field Goal Percentage, 66th. That FG percentage just keeps going down.

Prediction: UNC 84, Clemson 70