2008–09 Clemson Tigers men's basketball team
|2008–09 Clemson Tigers men's basketball|
Charleston Classic Champions
NCAA Tournament, At-Large Bid
|Conference||Atlantic Coast Conference|
|2008–09 record||23–9 (9–7 ACC)|
|Head coach||Oliver Purnell|
|Assistant coach||Ron Bradley|
|Assistant coach||Frank Smith|
|Assistant coach||Josh Postorino|
|Home arena||Littlejohn Coliseum|
|2008–09 ACC men's basketball standings|
|#2 North Carolina||13||–||3||.813||34||–||4||.895|
|#12 Wake Forest||11||–||5||.688||24||–||7||.774|
|#16 Florida State||10||–||6||.625||25||–||10||.714|
|North Carolina State||6||–||10||.375||16||–||14||.533|
|† ACC Tournament winner
Rankings from AP Poll
The 2008–09 Clemson Tigers men's basketball team represented Clemson University. The Head Coach is Oliver Purnell. The team played its home games in Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, South Carolina. All games were produced and broadcast locally by the Clemson Tigers Sports Network.
- 1 Pre-season
- 2 Regular season
- 3 Postseason
- 4 Roster
- 5 Schedule and results
- 6 Player statistics
- 7 Awards and honors
- 8 Rankings
- 9 Final season notes
- 10 See also
- 11 References
On Tuesday, October 21, 2008 the NCAA suspended Freshman Catalin Baciu for the first five games of the season for his participation with a Romanian professional basketball team. The term of the suspension equals the number of games Baciu played as a 15-year-old for U Mobitelco Cluj, a club team that plays in Romania’s top pro division, Divizia A. Although Baciu was not paid for his participation, NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes from playing on a professional team, regardless of whether they are employed. He played for a total of four minutes in his five games with U Mobitelco Cluj.
On Sunday, November 16, 2008, The Tigers won the inaugural Charleston Classic 8-team tournament in Charleston, SC. This marks the 25th time in school history Clemson has won a regular season tournament.
On Saturday, November 22, 2008, Clemson beat Charlotte 71–70 at Halton Arena, marking the first time ever a current member of the Atlantic Coast Conference has played at Charlotte. (Miami played during there during their time as a member of the Big East).
On Wednesday, January 21, 2009, Clemson lost to North Carolina 94–70. This extended the NCAA record for the longest road losing streak against one opponent to 54 games. This also ended Clemson's streak of not losing back-to-back ACC games that dated back to the 2006–07 season.
On Sunday, January 25, 2009, with a 73–59 victory over Georgia Tech, Senior guard K. C. Rivers broke the team record for most career wins as a player with 85. The previous record of 84 was co-held Cliff Hammonds and Elden Campbell.
On Monday, February 2, 2009, EA Sports announced that Littlejohn Coliseum was one of the Top-15 toughest places to play in College Basketball. Through an online poll, Fans determined 15 finalists, whose home courts were judged to be the most difficult for opposing teams to play in. These results will form an integral part of a new game mode in the EA SPORTS NCAA Basketball videogame franchise for 2009–10.
On Wednesday, February 4, 2009, Clemson defeated No. 3 Duke in Littlejohn Coliseum by a score of 74–47. With the win, Clemson snapped a 22-game regular season losing streak to the Blue Devils dating back to January 7, 1997. The win was also Clemson's first win over a top-5 team since a victory over No. 5 Virginia in 2002.
The 27-point victory was Clemson's largest margin of victory against a top 25 team in history. The previous best was a 22-point victory margin on two occasions. Clemson defeated a fourth-ranked NC State team led by David Thompson at Clemson 92–70 on Feb 22, 1975 at Clemson, and defeated a 13th ranked Maryland team by 22 points, 93–71 on January 19, 1977 at Clemson.
The defeat was also the worst suffered by Duke since the NCAA Championship game of 1990, a 103–73 victory by UNLV on April 2, 1990. The 27-point margin was the largest for Duke in an ACC regular season game since January 18, 1984 when Wake Forest defeated Duke at Winston-Salem, 97–66.
Clemson's 10-point win over Boston College in Boston on Feb 10 was just the third ACC road win over an ACC team that finished the year with a winning record in the last 22 years. Boston College finished the ACC regular season with a 9–7 record and went to the NCAA tournament.
On Tuesday, February 17, the EA Sports Tour visited Littlejohn Coliseum as Clemson hosted Maryland. Along with judging the game day atmosphere, the tour handed out video games, t-shirts and hosted an NCAA Basketball 09 tournament leading up to the game. After their visit, Novell Thomas, the producer of the NCAA Basketball game, wrote that "Hands down, Clemson just set the bar for all hosts of the EA SPORTS Toughest Places to Play, tour." The 29-point victory was the largest margin of victory in Clemson history over Maryland, and tied for the largest margin of victory for a Clemson team against an ACC team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Clemson defeated Florida State in 1997–98 by 29 points.
The Tigers finished the season at 9–7, which gave them back-to-back winning seasons in the conference for the first time since the 1965–66 and 1966–67 teams did it. It is also Clemson's eleventh winning season in the conference since 1953.
Clemson defeated five NCAA tournament teams during the regular season in Duke, Maryland, Boston College, Temple and Illinois. It is the most wins over NCAA Tournament teams in the regular season for the Clemson program since 1997–98.
Clemson finished the regular season with a 14–0 record against non-conference teams, one of just eight Division I teams with a perfect non-conference record. The others were Pittsburgh, UConn, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Minnesota, Illinois State and Stanford.
The Tigers won seven regular season ACC games by double digits, the most regular season league wins by 10 points or more in Clemson history. Statistically, Clemson finished the year with a +10.3 average margin of victory, third best in school history. Clemson's .688 free throw percentage was the third best for the program in the last 22 years. Clemson's .374 three-point percentage was the fourth best in school history.
Clemson entered the ACC Tournament as the No. 5 seed with a 9–7 record in the ACC Regular Season. The Tigers lost their opening game to No. 12 seed Georgia Tech 86–81 dropping their record to 3–8 all-time in the opening round of the tournament.
Clemson was selected for the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year, joining Duke and North Carolina as the only ACC schools to make the tournament each of the last two years. It was just the third time in Clemson history that Clemson has gone to the NCAAs in consecutive years. The Tigers opened the tournament in Kansas City, Missouri as the No. 7 seed in the South Region. Down by double-digits against #10-seed Michigan in the first round, the Tigers went on a 14–0 run to make it 58–57 with just over a minute left. Clemson had a chance to tie the game with 13 seconds left, but K. C. Rivers' contested 3-pointer at the buzzer fell short. The 59–62 loss dropped Oliver Purnell to 0–5 all-time in NCAA Tournament games as a head coach.
Coaches & staff
|Position||Name||Year at CU||Experience||Alma Mater||Hometown|
|Head Coach||Oliver Purnell||
||Old Dominion ('75)||Berlin, Maryland, United States|
|Associate Head Coach||Ron Bradley||
||Eastern Nazarene ('74)||Springfield, Massachusetts, United States|
|Assistant Head Coach||Frank Smith||
||Old Dominion ('88)||Alexandria, Virginia, United States|
|Assistant Coach||Josh Postorino||
||Dayton ('99)||Clearwater, Florida, United States|
|Director of Operations||Michael Morrell||
||Milligan College ('05)|
|Video Services||Andy Farrell||
||Dayton ('07)||Richmond, Virginia, United States|
|Graduate Assistant||Adam Gordon||
||Tampa ('06)||Ocala, Florida, United States|
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Union, SC||Union (SC)||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)||220 lb (100 kg)||Mar 25, 2007|
|Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A ESPN grade: 89|
|Virginia Beach, VA||Norfolk Collegiate School (VA)||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)||200 lb (91 kg)||Aug 9, 2008|
|Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A ESPN grade: 85|
|Summerville, SC||Pinewood Prep (SC)||6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)||200 lb (91 kg)||Apr 9, 2008|
|Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A ESPN grade: 95|
|Fayetteville, GA||Fayette County High School (GA)||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)||180 lb (82 kg)||Jun 19, 2009|
|Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A ESPN grade: 95|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 22|
Schedule and results
|Nov 6*||7:30 pm||USC Aiken||Littlejohn Coliseum • Clemson, SC
|Nov 14*||9:30 pm||vs. Hofstra||Carolina First Arena • Charleston, SC
(Charleston Classic • Game 4)
|Nov 15*||8:19 pm||vs. TCU||Carolina First Arena • Charleston, SC
(Charleston Classic • Game 8)
|Nov 16*||4:00 pm||vs. Temple||Carolina First Arena • Charleston, SC
(Charleston Classic • Game 11)
|Nov 19*||7:30 pm||Wofford||Littlejohn Coliseum • Clemson, SC||ACC Select||W 93–40||7,509||4–0|
|Nov 22*||7:00 pm||at Charlotte||Halton Arena • Charlotte, NC||CBS All-Access||W 71–70||9,105||5–0|
|Nov 25*||8:00 pm||Savannah State||Littlejohn Coliseum • Clemson, SC||W 81–49||6,595||6–0|
|Nov 28*||7:30 pm||Presbyterian||Littlejohn Coliseum • Clemson, SC||ACC Select||W 79–58||9,238||7–0|
|Dec 2*||7:30 pm||at Illinois||Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL
(ACC–Big Ten Challenge)
|Dec 7*||3:00 pm||Liberty||Littlejohn Coliseum • Clemson, SC||ACC Select||W 80–75||6,657||9–0|
|Dec 13*||2:00 pm||SC State||Littlejohn Coliseum • Clemson, SC||ACC Select||W 90–63||5,927||10–0|
|Dec 16*||7:00 pm||North Florida||#25||Littlejohn Coliseum • Clemson, SC||ACC Select||W 76–36||5,892||11–0|
|Dec 21||7:45 pm||at Miami (FL)||#25||BankUnited Center • Coral Gables, FL||FSN||W 91–72||4,755||12–0 (1–0)|
|Dec 30*||7:00 pm||at South Carolina||#20||Colonial Life Arena • Columbia, SC
|Jan 3*||4:00 pm||East Carolina||#20||Littlejohn Coliseum • Clemson, SC||ACC Select||W 79–66||8,223||14–0|
|Jan 6*||9:00 pm||Alabama||#12||Littlejohn Coliseum • Clemson, SC||FSN||W 66–59||10,000||15–0|
|Jan 10||Noon||NC State||#12||Littlejohn Coliseum • Clemson, SC||Raycom||W 63–51||10,000||16–0 (2–0)|
|Jan 17||3:30 pm||#2 Wake Forest||#10||Littlejohn Coliseum • Clemson, SC||ABC||L 68–78||10,000||16–1 (2–1)|
|Jan 21||9:00 pm||at #5 North Carolina||#10||Dean Smith Center • Chapel Hill, NC||ESPN||L 70–94||21,750||16–2 (2–2)|
|Jan 25||7:45 pm||Georgia Tech||#10||Littlejohn Coliseum • Clemson, SC||FSN||W 73–59||8,000||17–2 (3–2)|
|Jan 29||7:00 pm||at Virginia Tech||#12||Cassell Coliseum • Blacksburg, VA||ESPN2||W 86–82||9,847||18–2 (4–2)|
|Feb 4||9:00 pm||#4 Duke||#10||Littlejohn Coliseum • Clemson, SC||ESPN||W 74–47||10,000||19–2 (5–2)|
|Feb 7||7:00 pm||Florida State||#10||Littlejohn Coliseum • Clemson, SC||Raycom||L 61–64||10,000||19–3 (5–3)|
|Feb 10||9:00 pm||at Boston College||#12||Conte Forum • Chestnut Hill, MA||FSN||W 87–77||6,126||20–3 (6–3)|
|Feb 15||1:00 pm||at Virginia||#12||John Paul Jones Arena • Charlottesville, VA||Raycom||L 81–85 OT||10,971||20–4 (6–4)|
|Feb 17||7:30 pm||Maryland||#13||Littlejohn Coliseum • Clemson, SC||ESPN2||W 93–64||9,700||21–4 (7–4)|
|Feb 22||1:00 pm||at Georgia Tech||#13||Alexander Memorial Coliseum • Atlanta, GA||Raycom||W 81–73||8,339||22–4 (8–4)|
|Feb 25||7:30 pm||Virginia Tech||#12||Littlejohn Coliseum • Clemson, SC||ESPN2||L 77–80||9,728||22–5 (8–5)|
|Feb 28||2:00 pm||at #23 Florida State||#12||Donald L. Tucker Center • Tallahassee, FL||Raycom||L 66–73||12,100||22–6 (8–6)|
|Mar 3||7:00 pm||Virginia||#18||Littlejohn Coliseum • Clemson, SC
|Raycom||W 75–57||8,150||23–6 (9–6)|
|Mar 8||6:00 pm||at #10 Wake Forest||#18||LJVM Coliseum • Winston-Salem, NC||FSN||L 88–96||14,665||23–7 (9–7)|
|Mar 12||2:00 pm||vs. Georgia Tech||#17||Georgia Dome • Atlanta, GA
(ACC Tournament • First Round)
|Mar 19*||7:10 pm||vs. Michigan||#24||Sprint Center • Kansas City, MO
(NCAA Tournament • First Round)
|*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Eastern Time.|
|01||Rivers, K. C.||32||32||31.0||.449||.392||.667||6.0||1.6||55||14||14.2|
Awards and honors
- Charleston Classic Most Valuable Player.
- ACC Player of the Week, November 17, 2008
- Naismith College Player of the Year Mid-Season Candidate
- Second Team, All District, District 2, National Association of Basketball Coaches
- First Team, All-District, District III, United States Basketball Writers Association
- Second Team, All-ACC Team
- All-ACC Defensive Team
- ACC All-Academic Team (To be eligible for consideration, a student-athlete must have earned a 3.00 grade point average for the previous semester and maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during his academic career.)
Oliver Purnell, Head Coach
- Henry Iba Award Finalist
- Coach of the Year, District III, United States Basketball Writers Association
Ron Bradley, Associate Head Coach
- Assistant Coach-of-the-Year Semi-Finalist, BasketballScoop.com
|USA Today/ESPN Coaches||RV||RV||RV||RV||RV||25||20||16||11||9||9||11||10||11||13||13||19||18||21||26|
Final season notes
Clemson finished the season with a 23–9 record for a .719 winning percentage. This marks the fifth consecutive year that Clemson has improved its winning percentage from the previous year. Head Coach Oliver Purnell joins former Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins as the only coaches in ACC history to take a program to a better winning percentage in five consecutive years. Cremins did it from 1980–81 through the 1986–87 season. The team finished the year with 23 wins, tied for the fifth highest total in school history. The .719 winning percentage ranks in a tie for fourth best in school history and the best since the 1989–90 team was 24–8 for a .750 winning percentage. The 23 victories gave Clemson at least 20 wins for the third straight year, a first in Clemson history. Clemson has 72 wins over the last three years, third among ACC teams behind North Carolina and Duke.
Clemson finished the year ranked 24th in the final Associated Press poll. It marks the second consecutive year Clemson has been ranked in the final AP poll, the first time in history Clemson has finished in the top 25 in any poll in consecutive years. Clemson was ranked in the AP poll for 14 consecutive weeks and in the USA Today poll for 13 consecutive weeks, the second longest streak of weeks in the top 25 in the same season in Clemson history and most since 1996–97 team was ranked in all 19 polls. Clemson reached a high ranking of No. 9 in the USA Today poll on Feb 9, the highest ranking for the program since the 1997–98 season.
Clemson won 10 games away from home, including seven on the opponent's home court. The 10 wins away from home were the most since the 1996–97 team won a record 11. The seven road wins were the most since the 1986–87 team won eight on the opponent's home court. The Tigers posted a 4–4 ACC road record this year, the most ACC road wins in a season for the Clemson program since 1996–97.
Clemson's senior class of K.C. Rivers, Raymond Sykes and Jesse Yanutola finished their careers with 91 victories, a Clemson record for a four-year class. The previous record was 84. The class also had a record 33 ACC regular season wins and 12 ACC road wins. The .679 winning percentage is second best in Clemson history behind the seniors of 1979–80.
- Junior Trevor Booker led the ACC in field goal percentage and rebounding, the first ACC player to do that since Tim Duncan in 1996–97. He is the first ACC underclassman to do it since Dale Davis of Clemson in 1989–90. Booker finished his junior year with 1,239 points, the fifth highest total in Clemson history for a junior. He finished the year seventh in school history in career rebounds with 792 and will need just 208 rebounds his senior year to become the third player in Clemson history with at least 1000 rebounds, joining Tree Rollins and Dale Davis. Booker is already first in Clemson history in rebounds among players 6–7 or shorter. Booker will enter his senior year with a .576 field goal percentage for his career, fifth best in school history. He also stands fifth in career blocked shots with 204.
- Senior K.C. Rivers leaves Clemson as the school's career leader in victories (91), ACC wins (35), three-point goals (281) and tied for first in games played (134). He is third in steals (210), fourth in double figure scoring games (90), fourth in field goals (625), sixth in career scoring (1684), and 11th in rebounding (721). He is first among Clemson players 6–5 and under in rebounding. Rivers finished his career with 210 steals and 174 turnovers, just the second player in Clemson history to complete a career with more steals than turnovers (Sean Tyson 1987–91).
- Freshman guard Andre Young finished the year with a 2.87/1 assist/turnover ratio (66/23), the second best assist/turnover ratio in Clemson history.
- Senior Raymond Sykes finished his career with 102 career blocked shots, ninth best in Clemson history. He played in 85 victories, second on the Clemson all-time list.
- Sophomore Terrence Oglesby made 92 three-point goals in 2008–09, fourth highest single season total in school history. Oglesby enters his junior year sixth in school history in three-point goals with 177.
- Sophomore Demontez Stitt took 18 charges this year, tied for sixth best in Clemson history and most by any Clemson player since Jerry Pryor had 21 in 1987–88.
- 2008–09 Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball season
- ACC Men's Basketball Tournament
- 2008–09 NCAA Division I men's basketball season
- 2009 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
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