Originally created 01/25/03

Clemson hopes to rebound against No. 12 Maryland



CLEMSON, S.C. -- Clemson could've spent the past three days crying about how it was cheated, how all critical calls and situations went against the team in the final moments of a 60-59 loss at Florida State this week.

Tigers coach Larry Shyatt wouldn't let them, though.

Shyatt and the team discussed the mistakes that could've prevented the dramatic ending in Tallahassee, Fla., last Tuesday night. But, "we made certain that the page had turned when we came back to Clemson," Shyatt said Friday. "That's absolutely always been the case and will continue to be."

Looking back won't help Clemson (11-3, 1-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). Not with a freight train bearing down on the Tigers on Saturday in the form of No. 12 Maryland (11-4, 4-1).

The Terps have won nine in a row against Clemson and are among the hottest teams in the league right now. Just a week ago, they handily put away previously undefeated, top-ranked Duke.

"There's no way we can dwell on what's happened in the past," Clemson center Ray Henderson said. "We feel like we have to find a way to get the victory we lost back."

Still, no matter how many wins the Tigers get this season, they'll be shaking their heads over the loss to the Seminoles.

Forget that Clemson held a 13-point lead at one point, or that Chris Hobbs' putback with less than seven seconds left looked to seal it for the Tigers. Things quickly went downhill.

Nate Johnson's last shot for Florida State missed the mark, but Anthony Richardson grabbed the rebound and was hit by Clemson's Sharrod Ford for a foul right before the horn sounded. Or was it right after?

The officials huddled for several minutes, viewing replays with headphones to determine whether Richardson should get the chance at two game-winning foul shots.

The Seminoles won out, and Richardson made both free throws. Clemson's attempt to draw a foul on the inbounds play - Edward Scott was knocked over by Florida State center Trevor Harvey guarding the baseline - went uncalled with Shyatt arguing for a foul.

Shyatt called the ACC on Wednesday to express his concerns, but the only place he wants his team's focus is on Maryland.

A year ago, that might have been hard to do. The Tigers were a much more fragile group that had trouble overcoming bad calls or missed shots, sophomore guard Chey Christie said.

"That's the difference between this year and last," he said. "We're ready to get right back to work."

Christie knows that extends to him. He missed two free throws down the stretch that would've lengthened Clemson's lead then had the ball stolen from him during a late possession.

Shyatt talked with Christie afterward, reminding him that great players learn from such experiences and that his coaches and teammates still had confidence in him.

"I didn't really get too down on myself," Christie said. "But those guys made sure that I wouldn't."

Several people took a wait-and-see approach to Clemson's 10-0 start, built mostly against regional nonconference foes such as Wofford, Winthrop and Gardner-Webb. Henderson says there's more to the Tigers and they hope to show that starting Saturday.

"We don't spend a lot of time worrying about what other people think," he said. "We still feel real good about what we've done and what we can still do."