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ACC BASKETBALL REPORT: Tough Tigers earning stripes

Clemson is a football school, which is appropriate considering how the Tigers basketball team has played of late.

Clemson isn’t a flashy offensive team, but it relies on toughness inside the paint, particularly on the boards, to get the job done.

“We’re 3 yards and a cloud of dust. We’re ol’ Danny Ford,” said Tigers coach Brad Brownell, referring to the former Clemson football coach.

“I don’t understand why an old football guy wouldn’t love us.”

The Tigers pulled out a gritty 72–59 home win over Duke on Saturday. They out-rebounded the Blue Devils 48–30 and had a 38–20 edge in points in the paint.

The home-run ball was not part of Clemson’s plan, as it shot only 4 of 11 from 3-point range.

“Nothing against Dabo [Swinney] and Chad [Morris] and slingin’ it. That’s fun to watch,” Brownell said, referring to Clemson’s current head coach and offensive coordinator. “They’ve been very successful. Right now, we’re the other way.”

Poll problems

The ACC has only three teams ranked in this week’s Associated Press poll, two of which are new league members.

Undefeated Syracuse stayed at No. 2 behind Arizona, and Pittsburgh moved up to No. 22. Duke tumbled to 23rd after suffering its second loss in three games. Virginia was among the teams also receiving votes.

The Blue Devils haven’t been this low in the AP poll since March 15, 2007, when they were unranked entering the NCAA tournament. The last time Duke and UNC were outside the top 20 in the same AP poll was the final poll of the 1995–96 season.

Hairston to D–League

It appears former North Carolina swingman P.J. Hairston will play basketball this season after all.

According to multiple reports, Hairston is expected to be claimed off waivers this week by the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA Development League affiliate, the Texas Legends.

Hairston’s college career came to an end last month when the Tar Heels announced they would not seek the player’s reinstatement from the NCAA. He had been suspended for NCAA violations, including the use of rental cars tied to a convicted felon.

Hairston filed paperwork on Friday to play in the D–League. He will be eligible for the 2014 NBA draft.

Terps to play in CBE

According to The Baltimore Sun, Maryland will play in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic tournament next season.

The Terps, who are moving to the Big Ten next year, will be among the four teams in the tournament, along with Alabama, Arizona State and Iowa State. The event will be held Nov. 24–25 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

The tournament has been held since 2001. Wichita State won it this season and Kansas took the crown in 2012.

Players of the week

Pittsburgh senior guard Lamar Patterson was named ACC player of the week Monday for the second time this season, and Clemson freshman forward Jaron Blossomgame earned ACC rookie of the week honors.

Patterson averaged 23 points, five rebounds and four assists in conference wins over Maryland and Wake Forest. He had 19 points against the Terrapins and 27 points against the Demon Deacons.

Blossomgame recorded his first career double–double (14 points, 14 rebounds) in Clemson’s home win over Duke on Saturday. His 14 rebounds were the most by a Clemson freshman since Chris Hobbs grabbed 15 against The Citadel in 2000.

Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442