Iowa and Clemson will compete in the first semi-final of the Emerald Coast Classic on Friday, November 25 at 6:00 p.m. CT on the CBS Sports Network and can be heard on the Hawkeye Radio Network.

Iowa is 4-0 young season while Clemson is 4-1.

Here are three keys and one selection for Friday’s competition.

Planned starting positions:

Iowa

G Tony Perkins

f Payton Sandford

f Pat McCaffery

f Chris Murray

f Philip Rebraca

Clemson

G hunt huntersHunter is Clemson’s top scorer this season averaging 16.2 points per game while also handing out the team’s best effort at 4.8 assists per game. Hunter also shoots 53 percent from the field and 68 percent from three. Most of the offense has gone through him this year as he was the Tigers’ best offensive player.

G Brevin GallowayGalloway, a transfer from Boston College, has adjusted to his new team. Aside from his three-point shooting, Galloway was an effective offensive player for Clemson, averaging 11 points per game. He will try to attack the edge and draw fouls.

G Alex Hemenweg Hemenway will try to get his baskets from across the arch. Hemenway is shooting 12 of 25 from three this year and is primarily a three and D player for the Tigers.

f Hunter Tyson Tyson is nearly hitting a double-double for Clemson this year with 12 points and nine rebounds per game. He will play a key role with his scoring and also rebounds. He’s also not afraid to step out and shoot it out of three.

C Ben Middlebrooks With PJ Hall struggling with an injury, Middlebrooks has started for Clemson but only plays about nine minutes a game. He’s a tall body at 6-foot-10.

Three things I’m looking for

1. Determine pace: Iowa will try to speed up the pace of the game while Clemson will try to slow things down and play mostly half court. It will be interesting in this contest for the matchup on the guard positions. Suppose Iowa gets Tony Perkins, who missed the last game through injury, it will be an entertaining matchup against Clemsons Guards. Iowa’s guards in from the bank Ahron Ulis and Dasonte Bowen have shown promise in their minutes this year, but this is a game where there will be the biggest differences in style. Iowa needs to watch out on halfcourt as Clemson could try to screw it up a bit and not make this contest as pretty as Iowa wants to play with his fast pace and upbeat pace. Controlling the pace of the game will be important here, as the Hawkeyes can have a real advantage if they get out and run as they please.

2. Who guards the perimeter better?: Both Iowa and Clemson are happy to take and do the three. The Hawkeyes are 26th in the country on three-point percentage while the Tigers are 33rd. There will be a lot of three point attempts for sure in this matchup. On the other hand, three-point defense wasn’t fantastic for either team. Iowa is 147th nationally in three-point defense while Clemson is 278th and opponents are averaging 37.5 percent of the three against Brad Brownell’s team. Regardless of the speed at which this game is played, it’s trying to get three points and both teams need to guard the perimeter better than they have this year.

3. Can Clemson stop Chris Murray?: Clemson’s game plan will revolve around quitting Chris Murray. The junior is averaging 23.8 points and eight rebounds per game this season while shooting 63 percent from the field and 48 percent from three. Not only were his numbers efficient, but the way he can score makes him a matchup nightmare for opponents. Murray can finish on the edge, attack the dribble, play in transition and also knock it down from three. He’s a three-level goalscorer who can push back a smaller defender at the post or take a bigger player out of dribbling. Clemson might try throwing different types at Murray to limit him, but it might not have a defensive stopper that can take him out completely.

forecast

Iowa 70, Clemson 62

Clemson has the pieces to stay with Iowa, but I think the Hawkeyes have too much firepower offensively and are a bit deeper. The Hawkeyes can bench more when needed and I think that makes a difference. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Tigers keep it close, but the Hawkeyes find a way to pull it out in the end.

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