Final Clemson Basketball Notes: 2003 - 2004

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Team Notes

  • Clemson finished the year with two wins over teams ranked in the top 15 in the nation at the time of the games. Clemson defeated 12th ranked North Carolina on January 31 and 14th ranked NC State on Feb. 18. This marked the first time Clemson had beaten two top 15 teams in the same season since 1996-97 when Rick Barnes led the Tigers to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

  • Clemson shot 11-13 from the three-point line in the win over North Carolina. The .846 three-point percentage is the sixth best in NCAA history (min of 10 three-point goals made) and the best performance by any team in the nation this year.

  • Clemson's win over NC State on Feb. 18 was its 50th all-time win over a top 25 team in the history of Littlejohn Coliseum.

  • Clemson defeated four teams that were chosen to the NCAA Tournament. The victories came against East Tennessee State, Boston College, North Carolina and NC State. All four of those teams won at least 20 games in 2003-04.

  • Clemson played 10 teams a total of 16 games against teams that advanced to the NCAA tournament. This was the most different NCAA Tournament teams that Clemson has faced in one season. Clemson's 16 games against NCAA Tournament teams tied a Clemson single season record and was topped only by Duke's 18 during the 2003-04 season.

  • Clemson played its most difficult schedule in history. Twenty-three of Clemson's final 25 games were against teams that advanced to postseason play. Six of Clemson's non-conference foes advanced to postseason play. Every Clemson game from Christmas Day on was against a team that is playing in postseason.

  • Clemson had a strength of schedule ranked second by Sagarin and sixth by RPI.

  • Team had a +3.9 rebound margin, second in the ACC heading into the NCAA Tournament behind North Carolina. Clemson had a +28 rebound margin against ETSU and a +27 against Gardner-Webb, two of the top 10 single game rebound margins in Clemson history.

  • Only one team shot over 50 percent from the field against the Tigers all season.

Player Notes

  • Senior Chris Hobbs finished his career with 679 rebounds, 11th on the Clemson all-time list. He was also 17th in career field goal percentage (.528). Hobbs was the first Tiger to play in three wins over North Carolina in a career since Bobby Conrad, 1976-80. He took 16 charges in 2003-04, most by a Clemson player since Jerry Pryor took 21 in 1987-88.

  • Sharrod Ford led Clemson in scoring and rebounding, the first Clemson player to do that in the same season since 1994-95 when Greg Buckner did it. Ford ranked second in the ACC in blocked shots and sixth in rebounding. He is seventh in school history in blocked shots (109) and is fifth in field goal percentage (.561). He was an honorable mention All-ACC Defensive team selection.

  • Shawan Robinson made 37.4 percent of his three-point shots and now has a .408 percentage for his career, sixth best in Clemson history. He scored a career high 24 points on 5-6 three-point shooting in the victory over North Carolina.

  • Freshman Vernon Hamilton nearly became the first guard in Clemson history to record a triple-double when he had 13 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in the win over Boston College on December 30. Hamilton was an honorable mention ACC All-Freshman team selection. He was the first freshman to lead Clemson in steals and assists since Terrell McIntyre in 1995-96. He had 50 steals, second most in Clemson history by a freshman behind Greg Buckner's 63 in 1994-95. His assist total (91) was fourth best by a Clemson freshman and best since 1990-91.

Oliver Purnell

  • Became first Clemson coach since 1984-85 to defeat North Carolina in his first game against the Tar Heels.

  • First Clemson coach to defeat two top 15 teams in his first year since Cliff Ellis did it in his first year, 1984-85.

  • Won his first Clemson game by 31 points, the largest victory margin for a Clemson coach in his first game since 1917.

  • Named an assistant coach on the 2004 United States Olympic team.

  • Defeated three teams that finished the season ranked in the top 25 of the Associated Press Poll. Those teams were Boston College, NC State and North Carolina.

2003-04 Men's Basketball 10-18, 3-13 ACC, 0-1 ACC Tournament

Date Day Site W-L Score Opponent Attend
11/21 Fri H W 86-55 | P Gardner-Webb 6,700
11/24 Mon H W 88-81 High Point 6,700
11/29 Sat H W 84-77 Wofford 6,700
12/03 Wed A L 64-76 Purdue (20,21) 11,217
12/06 Sat H L 61-76 South Carolina 9,000
12/13 Sat N1 L 56-61 Georgia 11,018
12/15 Mon H W-OT 100-86 East Tennessee State 7,000
12/17 Wed A L 56-79 Cincinnati (16,16) 12,289
12/20 Sat H W 77-74 South Carolina State 6,000
12/22 Mon H W 74-58 Radford 6,000
12/30 Tues H W 72-62 Boston College 6,000
01/03 Sat H L 54-73 Duke (2,2) 10,000
01/10 Sat A L 63-78 Wake Forest (5,4) 14,014
01/13 Tues H W 53-48 Florida State 8,000
01/17 Sat A L 69-86 North Carolina State 15,789
01/20 Tues A L 50-61 Virginia 7,129
01/25 Sun H L 52-65 Maryland 8,000
01/27 Tues A L 69-76 Georgia Tech (14,16) 9,191
01/31 Sat H W 81-72 North Carolina (12,15) 10,000
02/08 Sun A L 55-81 Duke (1,1) 9,314
02/12 Thurs H L 67-82 Wake Forest (20,18) 7,000
02/14 Sat A L 52-65 Florida State 9,423
02/18 Wed H W 60-55 North Carolina State (13,18) 7,700
02/21 Sat H L 55-58 Virginia 8,900
02/24 Tues A L 49-70 Maryland 17,950
02/28 Sat H L 60-79 Georgia Tech (18,20) 9,200
03/03 Wed A L 53-69 North Carolina 20,818
ACC Tournament
03/11 Thurs N2 L-OT 79-83 Virginia 17,211
N1-Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Classic; Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA N2-ACC Tournament; Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC


#33 F Akin Akingbala 6-9 230
#4 C Steve Allen 6-10 230
#12 F Olu Babalola 6-6 242
#1 F Julian Betko 6-5 200
#14 G Chey Christie 6-4 183
#5 F Sharrod Ford 6-9 223
#3 G Vernon Hamilton 6-0 192
#43 F Chris Hobbs 6-7 250
#21 G Jimmy Hudson 6-4 190
#24 F Reed Long 6-5 210
#2 F Lamar Rice 6-7 215
#22 G Shawan Robinson 6-2 183
#11 G Beau Shay 5-11 175
#0 G Ovarus Williams 6-4 175

Coaching Staff

Oliver Purnell Old Dominion '75
Ron Bradley Eastern Nazarene '74
Frank Smith Old Dominion '88
Kevin Nickleberry Virginia Wesleyan '86
Ben D'Alessandro Providence '95
Tim Heskett Oklahoma '01

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