Clemson was playing, perhaps, its best basketball of the year before getting a bye over the weekend.
The No. 11 Tigers (20-4, 9-3) have won four consecutive games entering Wednesday’s showdown at Florida State (17-8, 6-7).
The bye came at a good time for Clemson because leading scorer Marcquise Reed was battling a sickness, but with the way the Tigers were playing, Tigers coach Brad Brownell wouldn’t have minded playing through without rest.
Clemson will host Duke on Sunday in a top 15 matchup after traveling to FSU.
“It’s a weird situation right now with your team, where you’re playing well and would like to keep playing. But at the same time, Marcquise has been battling the flu, so it was probably really good for him to have a couple of days. It was probably good for everybody, in some ways, to get away for a couple of days and recharge,” Brownell told reporters this week. “Obviously, have another big week with Florida State and Duke, but that’s life in this league … Anxious to see how we perform.”
The Tigers are alone in second place in the ACC, a game ahead of Duke with six regular-season games remaining.
Clemson is 4-1 since losing star Donte Grantham for the year, struggling in a loss at Virginia before recording four consecutive victories.
But the Tigers now have, arguably, their toughest three-game stretch of the season coming up. After facing FSU and Duke this week, Clemson travels to Virginia Tech next Wednesday.
The Hokies are coming off a 61-60 road win at No. 1 Virginia.
But first the Tigers will try to take care of business against a Florida State team that is 10-2 at home with wins against North Carolina and Miami.
“Going down to Florida State, it’s always an extremely difficult place. We play those guys twice every year. So we know how they do things, they know how we do things, they’re unbelievably hard to beat down there. They just play extremely hard, defend very well,” Brownell said.
“Offensively, they share the ball. They’ve got a lot of guys who are capable scorers. They’re a little bit like us. Really almost five guys that are double-figure type scorers.”
Who: No. 11 Clemson (20-4, 9-3) at Florida State (17-8, 6-7)
When: 7:05 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Tucker Center (12,100), Tallahassee, Fla.
KenPom prediction: Florida State 76, Clemson 74
Radio: 93.1 FM