After a 7-5 non-conference slate and yet another loss on the road in Chapel Hill to open conference play, the Clemson Tigers (7-6) will host the Florida State Seminoles (10-2) in their ACC home opener at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville.
The ACC home opener with Florida State is becoming somewhat of a tradition between the two teams as Clemson has hosted the Seminoles in their ACC home opener four of the past five years. However, the recent history between the two teams seems to suggest that home court advantage means very little in this series as the visiting team has won each of the past four match-ups.
The Tiger's are in the danger zone of having this season and any post season tournament hopes slip away. After the Florida State game, four of the next five opponents the tigers face are ranked opponents, making this game a crucial turning point to the Tiger season.
Florida State has been known for its size and athleticism in the past couple of season. The athleticism is certainly still there, but the size is a bit of a different story. Florida State will more than likely send out a four guard lineup with the source of height coming from 7'3" Boris Bojanovsky. Clemson will also have to keep a close eye on guards Dwayne Bacon and Malik Beasley. Bacon, a 6'7" freshman wing leads the Seminoles in ppg averaging over 17 points while Malik Beasley, another freshman, averages over 16ppg.
The storyline for Clemson appears to remain the same as consistency has continued to be an issue as of late. Fans should keep an eye on the continued emergence of Sidy Djitte as it appears that he is slowly usurping Landry Nnoko as the go-to center for the Tigers. We will also be looking for sophomore Donte Grantham to begin to utilize his talent inside the arc as an alarming number of his field goal attempts this season have come from three-point range.
While the Tiger fans focus is, deservedly so, focused on the upcoming National Championship football game, be sure to keep in mind just how important this game is for the Tiger basketball team. A loss here could potentially send the Tigers further into their recent tailspin (losers of 4 of their last 5) and will have Clemson teetering on the edge of a lost cause.
Be sure to tune in at 12:00 noon. The game will be televised by CTSN and the WatchESPN app.