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Greenberg: Duke win just a win, really page 2
ACC Report:

 Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg was thrilled Saturday after his Hokies upset No. 5 Duke. Monday, he was far more subdued about the win.
GERRY BROOME/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Date published: 1/10/2007

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Clemson coach Oliver Purnell can credit plenty of things for his team's 17-0 start. The Tigers lead the ACC in offensive rebounding with 15.4 per game, and they're in the top five in the conference in 12 other statistical categories.

"We're not great at anything, but we're pretty good at most everything," Purnell said.

The Tigers start has been attributed to experience and cohesion, but James Mays (12.7 points per game, 7.4 rebounds) is the one individual who has been a key to most of Clemson's recent success.

The Tigers were off to an 11-0 start last season before Mays was declared academically ineligible. Clemson finished 19-13 and the campaign ended with a second-round NIT loss to Louisville.

Mays scored 16 points, including the game-winning lay-up in the Tigers' 75-74 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday. Purnell said if the 6-foot-9, 222-pound junior was available all of last season, Clemson would've reached the NCAA tournament.

"I don't think there's any question about it," Purnell said. "Defensively, he's one of the best defenders I've ever been around. And offensively, he just gets better all the time."

Jackets lose some sting

When Georgia Tech (11-4, 0-2) hosts Duke (13-2, 0-1) tonight at 7 p.m., the Yellow Jackets will be without two key players.

Lewis Clinch, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound sophomore guard, was suspended for the rest of the season for an honor code violation; and 6-foot-9, 235-pound freshman forward Zach Peacock (6.6 points, 3.1 rebounds per game) was suspended for one game for an elbow he delivered to a Clemson player in the Yellow Jackets' loss on Saturday.

Coach Paul Hewitt said on Monday he expected the ACC to suspend Peacock. He said Clinch has the opportunity to return next season.

Clinch started 12 games and was the team's third leading scorer at 13.2 points per game.

"What happened to Lewis was an unfortunate situation," Hewitt said. "He's a terrific young man who should regain his eligibility. He'll be back next year."

Battered Hurricanes

Miami (8-8, 1-1) suffered one season-ending loss when reserve freshman forward Adrian Thomas was put down for the rest of the year because of a sports hernia.

But that's no comparison to the Hurricanes' most recent setback to one of their stalwarts.

Starting center Anthony King, a 6-foot-9 senior from Durham, N.C., has been lost for the season with ligament damage to his right wrist.

King was leading the ACC in rebounding at 9.3 per game before his injury. He also scored 7.9 points per game, but hasn't played since a 90-82 upset of Georgia Tech on Dec. 3.

Hurricanes coach Frank Haith hoped King could return for a stretch run, but the injury has failed to get better.

King hopes to return for a fifth season next year. He'll apply for a medical redshirt, although the eight games he played was two more than what the NCAA normally allows for a medical redshirt to be granted.

To reach TAFT COGHILL JR.: 540/374-5526
Email: tcoghill@freelancestar.com


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