Clemson hasn’t played in more than two weeks due to final exams.
The break ends abruptly as the 15th-ranked Tigers now play three games in three days at the San Juan Shootout in Puerto Rico, starting with Thursday’s game against host Puerto Rico-Mayaguez.
After playing the Bulldogs (1-9), Clemson will face DePaul on Friday and Mississippi the following day.
The Tigers (8-0) have been idle since winning 82-67 at East Carolina on Dec. 5, their 22nd straight non-conference win in the months of November and December after starting last season with a 17-game winning streak that extended into January.
Against the Pirates, Clemson was 14-of-25 from 3-point range and led 47-29 at halftime as five different players scored in double figures. Reserve freshman Terrence Oglesby went 6-for-7 from 3-point range and 7-for-9 overall while finishing with a season-high 22 points.
“College takes a little bit to get used to,” Oglesby said. “I finally got my rhythm a little bit and they just finally started to fall tonight. I’m a good shooter most of the time, but getting used to the speed of the game, I finally got going and it felt pretty good tonight.”
K.C. Rivers was held to a season-low 10 points against East Carolina, but he leads the Tigers with 15.9 points per game and has scored in double figures in 13 straight games dating back to last season.
Freshman guard Demontez Stitt has 13 points in each of Clemson’s last two games, while center Trevor Booker had 17 rebounds against East Carolina, and has at least 11 in five of the last six games. Senior Cliff Hammonds is shooting 47.7 percent from long range, and the Tigers are shooting 41.2 percent overall from beyond the arc.
Clemson could also get a boost from a pair of players who’ve missed time with injuries but could be available for the tournament.
Freshman forward Sam Perry (knee surgery) is likely to play after missing six games, while senior forward James Mays—a starter who averaged 14.8 points and 8.6 rebounds in five games before missing three with a hip sprain—is questionable. Mays leads the Tigers with 3.4 steals per game, while Clemson as a team is third in the nation with 11.9 per contest.
Clemson won the San Juan Shootout in 2005, beating Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Holy Cross and Akron. That season, the tournament had eight teams, but this year’s field features just five. Clemson will play all the others except for La Salle, which beat Puerto Rico-Mayaguez 117-86 Wednesday.
Luis Ramirez led the Bulldogs with 16 points, and was one of six players with at least nine points. But La Salle shot 51.2 percent from the field and had a 48-22 edge in rebounds.
Clemson routed Mayaguez—a Division II independent—101-60 on Dec. 19, 2005, shooting 61.7 percent from the field and outrebounding the Bulldogs 42-27.