Just got back from Tech and Clemson practices at the Georgia Dome (10 teams are practicing there today, everyone but UNC and Duke).
On the injury front:
Moe Miller, who was 3-for-3 last Saturday until an abdominal strain knocked him out, said he’s fine after four days of treatment. Iman Shumpert said his right hip is still a bit sore, but nothing he can’t play through. Alade Aminu said the time off helped his wrist, which he banged on a dunk vs. Miami. He said it’s 100 percent.
The Jackets and Tigers, who play at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, said the shooting background at the Dome would not be a big factor.
The Jackets seemed refreshed by the fact that, as they put it, they’re 0-0 like everyone else.
“All we’ve got is this tournament,” Miller said. “Everything that happened in the past, it means nothing anymore. Everybody is fighting for their lives, pretty much.”
Gani Lawal called it “a new season,” Aminu called it “a clean slate.”
“We’ve had close games and it’s time to eliminate the mistakes that we’ve had and really make a run for this thing,” Aminu said.
While the No. 12 seed upset the No. 5 seed in 2006 and 2007, no ACC team that’s played in the opening round has gone on to win the tournament.
The Tigers, who made it to the final last year against UNC, talked about that experience but also their 2007 tourney. Then, they lost to Florida State 67-66 in the first round after beating the Seminoles twice in the regular season.
“When you beat a team twice, they have that salty taste in their mouth so they’re going to want some revenge,” forward Trevor Booker said. “I know [Tech] is going to want some. So we’ve just got to take it to ‘em from the get-go.”
Coach Paul Hewitt said Tech’s ability to break the Tigers’ press, and make them pay, will be critical.
“We’ve got to take care of the ball, that’s the big thing for us. They pressure you pretty much every possession, 94 feet. We’ve handled their pressure pretty well, but at the end of that, can we score?
“In the last game we played ‘em, we got a 17-point lead and continued to break their pressure, but didn’t convert some easy baskets, and they came down, they can shoot the ball really well, they’ve got great balance,” he said. “Booker is strong on the inside and they’ve got those guys on the perimeter — [David] Potter, [Terrence] Oglesby, [K.C.] Rivers — who can shoot the three. And when you have that kind of balance, you have a really good basketball team.”
So what’s your prediction for Tech-Clemson?
Here’s an update from the state high school tournament on Tech signees: