Clemson hopes to keep the Gildan Charleston Classic title in South Carolina on Sunday as it takes on Temple in a rematch of the tournament’s 2008 championship game. The Tigers are 7-1 all-time in the tournament, including a crown in 2008 and a runner-up finish in 2013.
The Owls are trying to win a regular-season tournament title for the second straight year – they claimed last year’s NIT Season Tip-Off – after previously not winning one since 1998. Temple has reached the championship game by beating Old Dominion (76-65) and Auburn (88-74). The Tigers are off to their best start since the 2013-14 season after defeating Ohio (81-76) and Hofstra (78-59) in the first two rounds of the tournament. Clemson defeated Temple in this event in both 2008 and 2013.
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
ABOUT TEMPLE (2-0): The Owls are leaning on the high-scoring trio of Shizz Alston Jr. (20.5 points, 5.5 rebounds), Quinton Rose (19.5, 5.5) and Obi Enechionyia (17, eight) at the offensive end. Alston (7-for-11) and Rose (6-for-12) have been lighting it up from 3-point range, and Enechionyia posted his fourth career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds against Auburn. The one concern for the Owls is their streakiness – they shot 51.5 percent in the first half and 28.6 percent in the second half versus Old Dominion before hitting 33.3 percent before the break and 67.9 percent after halftime against Auburn.
ABOUT CLEMSON (4-0): The Tigers’ frontcourt has been outstanding early in the season, with Donte Grantham (18.3 points, 5.8 rebounds) leading the way. Marcquise Reed (12.8 points, 5.5 rebounds) recorded his first career double-double in the win over Hofstra on the heels of Elijah Thomas (11.5, 8.3) posting one in the first-round triumph over Ohio. Guards Shelton Mitchell (11.3 points, 5.3 assists) and Gabe DeVoe (11.3 points) also are averaging double digits in points as the Tigers are shooting 50 percent.
1. Clemson has recorded assists on 67 of its 115 field goals.
2. Alston has made all eight of his free throws this campaign and 36 straight dating to last season.
3. Since the start of last season, Temple is 17-1 when scoring at least 70 points and 1-14 when failing to do so.
PREDICTION: Temple 73, Clemson 71