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Preview: Brownell, Clemson face tough road test against Wolfpack

Micahlyn Grist // Contributor

Clemson foward/center PJ Hall (24), forward Ian Schieffelin (4), guard Chase Hunter (1) and forward Hunter Tyson (5) will travel to Raleigh, North Carolina this weekend to take on the N.C. State Wolfpack. 

The Clemson men’s basketball team (20-8, 12-5 ACC) will travel to Raleigh, North Carolina, on Saturday to face off against the NC State Wolfpack (22-7, 12-6 ACC) in a pivotal ACC matchup. 

It’s another must-win game for head coach Brad Brownell and his team, who are looking to boost their resume for the NCAA Tournament. With only three regular-season games remaining, coming away with wins has become more crucial for the team, which is currently on the bubble.

The Tigers have a few things going for them. First, they are looking to build off of a dominant 91-73 win over Syracuse on Wednesday night. With a great offensive showing against the Orange, especially on shots from beyond the arc, the Tigers will look to replicate the same level of production against the Wolfpack. 

Clemson and NC State first met in late December, where the Tigers came away with a 78-64 win. Clemson forward Hunter Tyson was the star of that game, scoring a career-high 31 points and adding another career-high 15 rebounds in the win.

Tyson was the star once again recently, as he scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in Clemson’s win over the Orange a few days ago. 

“He’s our leader,” Brownell said after the fifth-year’s performance this week. “We didn’t have any doubt that he would play well tonight.”

In addition to Tyson, junior guard Chase Hunter is coming off a hot performance against the Orange. The Atlanta native scored 13 points and dished a career-high 11 assists, which is tied for the most assists by a Tiger under Brad Brownell.

On the other side of the ball is the NC State Wolfpack, who was recently knocked out of the Associated Press’s Top 25 Rankings this week after falling to Syracuse on Feb. 14. Since then, they’ve been able to string two big wins together, defeating rival North Carolina and Wake Forest in the past few days.

Leading the Wolfpack in scoring is sophomore guard Terquavion Smith, who is averaging 17.9 points per game. Joining him in the backcourt is graduate Jarkel Joiner, who scores 17.0 points and brings in 4.7 rebounds per game. Joiner is coming off an impressive game after pouring in 29 points in their win against Wake Forest earlier this week.

In the post is D.J. Burns Jr., who leads the team in rebounds with 5.0 boards per game.

“NC State is playing great right now, as well as almost anybody in our league,” Brownell said. “It’s a heck of an environment. We have to handle the crowd, and we have to do the best we can to make it difficult for those three players (Smith, Joiner and Burns).”

Tipoff between the Tigers and the Wolfpack is set for noon EST, and the game will be broadcasted on ACCNX.

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Griffin Barfield, Asst. Sports Editor
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