Clemson (7-1) at Arkansas (5-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 7, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Bud Walton Arena (19,200) -- Fayetteville, Arkansas. Television: CSS. Home Record: Clemson 5-0, Arkansas 4-0. Away Record: Clemson 0-0, Arkansas 0-0. Neutral Record: Clemson 2-1, Arkansas 1-2. Conference Record: Clemson 0-0, Arkansas 0-0. Series Record: Arkansas leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Clemson Tigers will play their first true road game of the season on Saturday as they travel to Bud Walton Arena for a non-conference matchup against the Arkansas Razorbacks.
The Tigers improved to 7-1 on Tuesday with a 65-49 rout of South Carolina State. Clemson has defeated South Carolina, Temple and Davidson with its only setback coming by six points to Massachusetts. The Tigers have the lowest scoring defense average in the nation at 51.4 points per game. They are averaging 71.4 ppg and connecting on 39.3 percent of their attempts from behind the 3-point line.
The Razorbacks have the 14th ranked scoring offense among Division I teams at 88.6 ppg. Their high-octane attack powered them to a 111-65 victory over Southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday. Arkansas is 5-2, with its two setbacks coming courtesy of California and Gonzaga in the Maui Invitational. It has not lost at Bud Walton Arena this season and has defeated all four visitors by double-digit margins.
This will be the second meeting in history and first between these schools since the 1961-62 campaign. Arkansas won the inaugural bout, 62-60, in Greenville.
Clemson's offense tends to revolve around its star forward, K.J. McDaniels, who is netting 18.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. McDaniels struggled against SC State his last time out, shooting 3-of-10 from the floor to score only seven points. In his first career start, sophomore guard Devin Coleman paced the Tigers with 16 points and Landry Nnoko registered his second double- double of the season with a career-high 13 points and 13 rebounds. Junior point guard Rod Hall is a steady floor general and ranks fourth in the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.6-to-1) along with second on the team in scoring at 10.6 ppg.
The Razorbacks have won 18 games in a row at home dating back to last season thanks to Kikko Haydar and Fred Gulley III, who combined to score 14 of the team's first 16 points to spark a 29-3 game-opening run versus the Lions. Arkansas forced 24 turnovers which it converted into 41 points. Bobby Portis and Michael Qualls netted 16 points apiece, while Coty Clark went 10-of-11 at the charity stripe en route to 15 points. Qualls is pacing the Razorbacks in the scoring column on the campaign with 15.6 ppg. The 6-foot-6, 237-pound Alandise Harris contributes on both ends for Arkansas and will most likely be the team's best option to defend McDaniels.
The Tigers have a slight edge over the Razorbacks talent wise, but Arkansas' homecourt advantage will be tough for Clemson to overcome. McDaniels will need to knock down shots from the outside to avoid the Razorbacks' tough interior defense. Due to the varying styles of play, whichever side controls the tempo will have a huge upperhand.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas 68, Clemson 67
12/07 10:32:52 ET