WHAT: Clemson vs. No. 8 Arizona
WHERE: Littlejohn Coliseum (10,000) - Clemson, S.C.
WHEN: Saturday, December 8 (8:05 p.m.)
TV: ESPN2 (Rich Hollenberg, Jimmy Dykes)
In Tucson last year, the Wildcats rolled with a 63-47 win.
“I remember it was a blur. They were so fast," said K.J. McDaniels, who leads Clemson with 11.9 points per game this season
"I believe our defensive intensity will slow them down more."
Not many of Arizona’s opponents have had much success doing that this season. The Wildcats have scored over 80 points in four of their six games.
“They’re fast,” Brownell said. “They’re fast at a lot of positions. There aren’t many weaknesses. That’s why they’re a top 10 team. They shoot it well, they guard you.”
But, at times, turnovers have been an issue. In their 63-55 win over Southern Miss on Tuesday, the Arizona committed 27 turnovers.
“Southern Miss plays zone all the time,” Brownell said. “They got them confused with a couple of things. You always have games like that during seasons where, sometimes, you’re just a little confused or you don’t make a couple of plays. It just seems like it’s one of those nights when you kind of get into it.
“I think, what’s impressive about all that, as poorly as they played, they still won the game kind of going away. I think that speaks to how well they defend.”
Arizona is led by Nick Johnson and Solomon Hill, who average 13.7 and 13.2 points per game, respectively.
“Solomon Hill, with his ability to dribble and pass for a 3-man is unique…there’s a lot of teams that don’t have guys that can do that,” Brownell said. “He actually played some 4 last year for them, so it was like a 4-man, at times.
“This year, they’re playing bigger. They still go small every once in a while, if you call Solomon Hill small.”
Clemson will welcome back its starting 4-man, Milton Jennings, who was suspended for two games because of an arrest for possession of marijuana.
Damarcus Harrison is also expected to be in the Tigers’ starting five. He’s slated to take over the 2-spot for T.J. Sapp, who, earlier this week, announced his plans to transfer.
Jennings, Harrison and the rest of their teammates have a big challenge ahead of them on Saturday night. Arizona is 6-0 and ranked No. 8 in both polls.
“It’s certainly an exciting game for all of us at Clemson, to have a top 10 team coming to Clemson in December…I’m very appreciative to Sean [Miller] to agreeing to play the game, at least today, because they’re very talented,” Brownell said.
G #2 Mark Lyons - 12.3 PPG, 1.2 RPG (6-1, 188)
G #13 Nick Johnson - 13.7 PPG, 2.8 RPG (6-2, 198)
F #44 Solomon Hill - 13.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG (6-6, 226)
F #21 Brandon Ashley - 9.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG (6-8, 235)
F #35 Kaleb Tarczewski - 6.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG (7-0, 230)
G #12 Rod Hall - 7.6 PPG, 3.8 APG (6-1, 210)
G #21 Damarcus Harrison - 6.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG (6-4, 200)
F #32 K.J. McDaniels - 11.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG (6-6, 200)
F #24 Milton Jennings - 10.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG (6-9, 225)
C #31 Devin Booker - 11.9, 7.6 (6-8, 250)