ATLANTA — Milton Jennings is still earning his way back into the good graces of Clemson coach Brad Brownell.
“He’s played better since the suspension,” Brownell said. “I hope it’s something that can continue.”
Jennings scored 15 points and K.J. McDaniels added 10 to help Clemson take an easy 56-37 victory over Georgia Tech on Tuesday night.
The Tigers (14-13, 6-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) have won three of four overall.
Kammeon Holsey finished with 12 points and Brandon Reed had 11 for Georgia Tech (9-18, 2-11 ACC).
The Yellow Jackets, who became the first ACC team with 11 league defeats, have dropped 10 of 11 and 14 of 16. Not since losing 40-37 at Boston College on Jan. 19, 1980, had Georgia Tech scored so few points.
Jennings, in his fifth game back since returning from an academics-related suspension, proved to be an early mismatch for Georgia Tech’s defense, scoring 13 points in the first half and converting a three-point play in the final 2 minutes to give the Tigers their first double-digit lead.
Brownell did not allow Jennings, who has been suspended twice this season, to speak with reporters after the game.
“He knows he’s walking on thin ice with me in terms of the way some things have gone,” Brownell said. “There have been a couple of things that happened that I’m not pleased with. I’m not going to tolerate it, but at his core Milt is a good kid. He does a lot of positive things on our team and on our campus.”
Devin Booker opened the second half with a dunk to make it 29-18, and Clemson held a double-digit lead for the rest of the game.
Georgia Tech’s offensive output was its lowest in the series since Jan. 25, 1936. For Clemson, the 37 points allowed were the fewest in school history against an ACC regular-season opponent.
“I thought we played well defensively,” Tigers senior point guard Tanner Smith said. “We really strung some shots together, and that let us get a lead.”
Glen Rice Jr., Georgia Tech’s leading scorer and rebounder, missed his second consecutive game and did not accompany the team to Philips Arena. First-year coach Brian Gregory suspended the junior guard last week for the second time this season, but did not give a reason.
Gregory would not give a timetable for Rice’s potential return this season.