CLEMSON — On a day with a black cloud hovering over it, as former Clemson basketball player Jaron Blossomgame was named in an FBI probe involving the paying of players, the No. 15 Clemson Tigers (20-7, 9-6 ACC) found out they may get their star point guard back for Saturday’s game (3 p.m., RSN) against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (11-17).
While Clemson head coach Brad Brownell did not comment on the NCAA investigation into the alleged paying of players at numerous schools across the country, he did offer some encouraging words regarding Shelton Mitchell — who has missed the last two games, both losses, after suffering a concussion in the Tigers’ loss at Florida State.
“Regarding Shelton, I am hopeful he will be able to practice today (Friday) and be able to practice well and respond to practice and feel OK to play,” Brownell said. “He did a little (Thursday) and seemed fine, but there was not a lot of contact. Today will be his first full hard practice, and hopefully, that will be good news for tomorrow.”
Regardless of whether Mitchell can go for the Tigers, they are heavy favorites against a Yellow Jacket team that has struggled this season.
The Yellow Jackets saw their top two freshmen suffer season-ending injuries in the last three weeks, and have dropped 10 of their last 11 games and are winless in February.
The task of picking up their first win in the month and salvaging some bit of pride as the season comes to a close will be made even more difficult with the location and timing of the game. The Yellow Jackets have not won at Clemson since Feb. 8, 2005 — their last 11 games at Clemson — and the fact the Tigers will be celebrating Senior Day.
“There are so many memories and I’ve had so much fun with this team — not only because we’re winning, but they’re just good guys,” said senior Donte Grantham, who was lost to a season-ending ACL injury earlier this season. “It’s going to be sad, but great. … All the highs and lows and playing on the court with my teammates. It’s going to be sad, but happy moment as well.”
Joining Grantham are fellow Tigers Gabe Devoe and Mark Donnal — who will also be honored prior to the start of the game.
Events on campus begin at 10:30 a.m. with the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championship, the baseball team playing host to Dallas Baptist at 1 p.m. and the basketball team playing Georgia Tech at 3 p.m. Due to the increased activities in the Athletic District on Saturday, Clemson officials are recommending that fans arrive early and exercise patience while traveling to and from Clemson.