No. 20 Clemson bids to rebound vs. Georgia Tech


Things didn’t go so well when Clemson came off its recent extended pause due to a positive COVID-19 test and subsequent contact tracing.

The Tigers, who didn’t play for 11 days, were blown out at home by Virginia, 85-50, on Saturday.

Georgia Tech (6-3, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) will find out how it handles an extended break Wednesday night when it hosts No. 20 Clemson (9-2, 3-2) in Atlanta.

The Yellow Jackets have had four consecutive games postponed and haven’t played since Jan. 3. They aren’t likely to be at full strength against the Tigers.

“You’ve got to be able to change as each day goes by, and that’s just the way it is,” Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner said. “No time for complaining. We’ll be shorthanded in some areas, and that’s just based on COVID-19 protocols.”

Pastner did not identify which of his players he expects to miss Wednesday night’s game.

Georgia Tech had won four straight games before the interruption, as had Clemson prior to facing Virginia.

The Tigers, who missed five days of practice, turned in their worst performance of the season against the Cavaliers. They allowed a season-high 85 points and a season-high 15 3-pointers.

“That was a hard team to play coming out of the break,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “We panicked.

“But I love my team. It was the first game all year we haven’t been able to bounce back from adversity. We need to flush that game and try to learn from it and get ready for the next one.”

That opportunity will come against the Yellow Jackets, who swept Clemson last season.

Georgia Tech is led by Jose Alvarado, who is averaging 18.1 points per game and ranks second in the league in both free throw percentage (86.8) and steals (2.1).

Moses Wright is averaging 17.0 points and 7.1 rebounds for the Yellow Jackets.

In returning to action following the longest in-season break in program history, Pastner hopes his team has enough firepower on hand to do its best Florida State impression.

“Florida State came off of pause and was incredible,” Pastner said. “Some other teams have come off pause and it has taken them some time.”

The Seminoles have won three consecutive games by a combined 52 points since their three-game break.

Brownell, meanwhile, hopes his team has short-term memory after Virginia posted the highest point total against the Tigers in 61 games, dating back to the 2018-19 season. That came as an issue to a Clemson team that entered the game ranked second nationally in scoring defense.

“I’d love to say we’re going to flush it and it’s all going to snap back on Wednesday,” Brownell said. “I have a lot of confidence in our guys, the character of our players and haven’t seen anything different for 10 of the 11 games. I’m confident this team is going to battle back and be fine.”

–Field Level Media

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383