Clemson basketball vs. Pitt scouting report, score prediction

·3 min read

Nobody saw this coming.

Clemson and Pitt, the last two ACC basketball unbeatens, have a Saturday showdown for sole possession of first place. In the preseason poll, they were predicted for 11th and 14th place, respectively.

Clemson, which hasn't started 5-0 in the ACC since 1996-97, is up to No. 48 in the RPI and No. 55 in the KenPom ratings. Pitt, meanwhile, is No. 30 in RPI and No. 63 in KenPom. The Tigers are second in the ACC in shooting percentage offense and first in defense. They also lead the league in 3-point shooting, while Pitt is third in 3-point defense.

How to watch Clemson basketball at Pitt

  • What: Clemson (12-4, 4-0) at Pitt (11-4, 4-0)

  • When: 4 p.m. Saturday

  • Where: Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh

  • TV: ESPN2

  • Radio: Clemson Athletic Network (WCCP), Sirius /XM 382/972 (Clemson broadcast)

  • Series history: Clemson has won nine straight after losing its first three

REACHING THE TOP: How Clemson basketball moved into first place in ACC

SURPRISE PARTY: Clemson basketball got something unexpected from freshman RJ Godfrey

HOT TAKES: Our boldest Clemson basketball predictions, including March Madness

Clemson basketball's biggest concern vs. Pitt

Clemson has to keep Pitt away from the offensive glass and that won't be easy. The Panthers rank third in the ACC with 11.5 offensive rebounds per game and have been even better in the last five games. That's when 6-foot-11 sophomore Federiko Federiko joined the starting lineup. Federiko, despite playing only 21 minutes per game, leads the team with 41 offensive rebounds, as many as he has on defensive side. In his five games a starter, Federiko has averaged 9 rebounds and 11.6 points. He was born in Egypt, grew up in Finland, went to prep school in Pennsylvania and played junior college at Northern Oklahoma. Clemson and Pitt are two of the best rebounding teams in the ACC, but the Tigers are 14th on their offensive end.

Key players for Clemson, Pitt in ACC game for first place

Clemson – Gr. F Hunter Tyson (15.5 points, 10 rebounds) is one of only 13 players in the country averaging a double-double. Two games ago against NC State, he had 31 points and 15 rebounds. ... Jr. G Chase Hunter (14.5 points, 69 assists) has scored in double figures every game but one this season and reached seven assists four times. ... Jr. C PJ Hall (12.6 points) has scored at least 20 points in four of the past eight games but single digits three times.

Pitt – Jr. F Blake Hinson (17 points, 7 rebounds) is a former Ole Miss player who transferred to Iowa State but didn't play for two years because of a medical condition. He had 25 points and 11 rebounds recently against Syracuse. ... Gr. G Jamarius Burton (15.7 points, 5 rebounds) is also with his third school after Wichita State and Texas Tech. Two games ago against UNC, he was 14-for-17 shooting and scored 31 points. ... Gr. G Nelly Cummings (10.7 points, 77 assists) is yet another on his third stop after Bowling Green and Colgate. He's made six 3-pointers twice in the past five games.


Clemson 74, Pitt 72 – The Tigers won't be intimidated on the road after handling the atmosphere at Virginia Tech. Seems like something special is happening for Clemson. This would be a signature win.

Todd Shanesy covers Clemson athletics for the USA TODAY Network.

This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Clemson basketball vs. Pitt scouting report, score prediction