Clemson Basketball tries to be as hot in the new year as it is at the end of the year.
The Tigers (11-3, 3-0 ACC) will play Wednesday (9 p.m., ESPNU) in three games against Virginia Tech (11-3, 1-2) at the Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Virginia. Start your post-holiday schedule. Gain a streak. The last two were league debacles. Clemson beat North Carolina State by a margin of 14 on Friday before he won at Georgia Tech by a margin of 13.
Virginia Tech has two straight losses both away and closed. The Hokies lost to Boston College in overtime, and on Saturday to Wake Forest he lost 77-75.
Ken Pomeroy’s national ranking puts Clemson at #60 and Virginia Tech at #30.
Virginia Tech has beaten Clemson eight times in its last 10 games. The Hokies’ only losses were at Littlejohn Coliseum in the 2018-29 season and his season-ending regular last season. In the ACC Tournament, Virginia Tech defeated Clemson in overtime to advance to the championship.
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Hunter Tyson of Clemson had one for his record books
Against North Carolina State, Hunter Tyson had 31 points and 15 rebounds in one of the greatest games in Clemson basketball history.
It was the first time a Clemson player had 30 points and 15 boards since Horace Grant scored 31 and 20 against Wake Forest on February 18, 1987. Tyson became his third player at Clemson to reach those numbers. Grant did it twice, and Randy Mahaffey did it during his 1966-67 season.
Tyson scored 17 straight points in the second half for a total of 26 points. He made all nine free throws and his last seven shots from the field.
Virginia Tech’s Hunter Cattour is on the verge of a comeback
Virginia Tech didn’t have one of their top players, Hunter Catoa, against Wake Forest. He was out with a contused elbow, but is expected to play with Clemson.
Cattoor is averaging 9.6 points per game, leading Virginia Tech with 27 (40.3%) and is the Hokies’ best defender on the perimeter. He was the ACC Tournament MVP last season. In the final victory over No. 1 seed Duke, he scored 31 points and made seven 3-pointers.
Cattoor was coach Mike Young’s Wofford commit, but switched to Virginia Tech after Young took over the job.
Clemson Basketball vs. Virginia Tech’s Three Bigs
Clemson leads the ACC with 38.8%, but Virginia Tech is fourth in 3P defense (30.6%) and has been mostly shut down on the perimeter lately.
Clemson’s Alex Hemenway has a 50% 3-pointer success rate (27 of 54) and would lead the ACC given enough attempts. Chase Hunter is 59-27 (45.8%) and Tyson is 66-29 (43.9%). Post player PJ Hall has a 27-11 record (40.7%).
Wake Forest went 28-11 (39.3%) on 3-pointers against Virgina Tech, while the Hokies held off their previous six opponents 116-27 (23.3%).
Virginia Tech 70, Clemson 62: The Tigers are playing great, but it’s hard to see them making enough threes to beat the Hawkeyes at their gym, especially with Cattoor back on the floor.
Todd Shanesy covers Clemson Athletics for the USA TODAY Network.