Familiar coaches square off when Clemson hosts Boston College

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Clemson coach Brad Brownell will go head-to-head against one of his former understudies Saturday when the Tigers play host to Boston College and first-year coach Earl Grant in an Atlantic Coast Conference game in Clemson, S.C.

Grant served as an assistant under Brownell for four seasons at Clemson from 2010 to 2014, then coached at in-state rival College of Charleston for seven seasons before being tabbed by Boston College last March.

The Eagles (6-8, 1-3 ACC) have struggled of late. Since a 16-point victory against Notre Dame on Dec. 3, the Eagles have lost five in a row, including three straight ACC games.

Boston College dropped a two-point decision at Pitt and suffered a five-point defeat against Georgia Tech in its last two outings.

“There has been some growth, but we’ve got to learn how to win and learn how to win on the road,” Grant said. “We have to keep trying to get better. We have to find ways to keep guys encouraged to move in the right direction.

“Obviously there are certain things you have to do to finish the game. We’ve had these situations in the last two games, but it was deja vu in both games. Guys want to do it, and we’re trying to do it, but things just haven’t bounced our way yet.”

Clemson (10-6, 2-3) is coming off a 16-point loss at Notre Dame — the Tigers’ most lopsided defeat of the season.

Clemson entered the game as the top 3-point shooting team in the ACC, but struggled mightily against the Fighting Irish, making only 6 of 32 (18.8 percent) shots from beyond the arc. The Tigers entered the game shooting better than 40 percent from 3-point range.

“When we don’t shoot the ball well, it’s problematic,” Brownell said.

It certainly was against Notre Dame. The Tigers’ starting backcourt of Nick Honor and Al-Amir Dawes combined to make just 2 of 17 shots from the floor for six points.

“Our perimeter players just didn’t make shots,” said Brownell, whose team is 6-1 at home this season. “And we’re not going to win when our backcourt struggles.

“Some of their shots may have been a little quick, maybe not quite in rhythm. They’ve got to trust in the process and keep working.”

–Field Level Media

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