Clemson basketball will again be shorthanded on Wednesday at Virginia Tech as the Tigers look to avoid dropping a third consecutive game.
Clemson coach Brad Brownell announced on Tuesday that starting point guard Shelton Mitchell will miss Wednesday’s game against the Hokies.
Mitchell was injured this past Wednesday at Florida State and missed Sunday’s 66-57 loss to Duke. The junior is not expected to travel with the team.
“Shelton is not going to play tomorrow night. He’s just not ready,” Brownell said. “We’re hopeful that he’ll be fine by the weekend but he needs to be able to do some more things.”
Mitchell is averaging 12 points and three rebounds per game and leads the Tigers with 96 assists. He has started all 25 games he has been healthy.
Forward David Skara started for Mitchell against Duke and scored six points with four rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes. Brownell is unsure if he will startagainst the Hokies.
“We’re going to leave (Mitchell) back here I think. We’ll just let him have a couple more days, which I think is a good decision, and we’ll push forward without him,” Brownell said.
Playing without Mitchell will be a tough challenge for the Tigers (20-6, 9-5) as they face a Virginia Tech team that has won three of four, including a victory at No. 1 Virginia.
The Hokies have rebounded from a 2-4 start in ACC play to enter Wednesday’s game 19-8, 8-6. Point guard Justin Robinson has been key during Virginia Tech’s turnaround, averaging a team-high 14 points and 5.6 assists per game.
“They’re playing very well. It’s a very difficult place to play,” Brownell said. “I’m a big fan of their point guard Justin Robinson. I think he’s an outstanding player and one of the best point guards in our league.”
Despite the 15th-ranked Tigers dropping back-to-back games, Brownell is not displeased with the way his team is playing.
Clemson suffered a close overtime loss at Florida State, a team that is 12-2 at home, before being tied with Duke late and being unable to close it out.
“I told our team yesterday, last week was one of those weeks where sometimes we work hard in life and it doesn't always pay off with wins,” Brownell said. “I thought we competed extremely hard in both games… I’m just really proud of the way our guys have been able to stay focused and compete… But we’ve got to try to clean things up and play better basketball to win these games against high level teams.”