M College BB
Weekly lineup
 Tuesday, March 14
Clemson vs. Penn State
By Jay Bilas
Special to ESPN.com

 Clemson is coming off of a horrendous loss to Wofford, a team to whom they have not lost since the '40s. Penn State is coming off of a season in which it was close to being a very dangerous team, but the Nittany Lions lost Jarrett Stephens in the 1998 NIT, which forced him to miss all of last season.

Both teams enter this game with more questions than answers, and each team lost a ton of talent. Clemson lost Terrell McIntyre, Harold Jamison, Johnny Miller and Tom Wideman, and also lost Ronald Blackshear to Temple and Vincent Whitt to a disciplinary issue. That leaves Clemson a little thin everywhere on the roster.

Penn State lost Dan Earl and Calvin Booth, both of whom seemed to have been in Happy Valley longer than Joe Paterno. That means some new faces will have to carry big loads, or each team will have long seasons in truly tough conferences.

When Clemson has the ball
Larry Shyatt is an enthusiastic and positive coach who runs structured offense that values the ball and good shots. He teaches with an emphasis on attention to detail, and preaches to his team to take care of the basketball and make passes. Last season, Shyatt's idea of a good possession was an open shot taken within the structure of the offense, then have three guys go to the offensive glass. Clemson looked to run off a miss or a turnover, but if the quick hit were not there, it would grind it out and run its sets.

Players to watch
Clemson's Adam Allenspach and Penn State's Jarrett Stephens. Stephens has the chance to be really good. He is an efficient player that bangs down inside opportunities and works hard. Clemson may not have anyone with the combination of quickness and strength to deal with his game.

Allenspach has great potential, and he is skilled. The big kid has a great opportunity to step forward, it will be interesting to see how he reacts.

This season, nobody knows what to expect from the Tigers. Will Solomon, who did not see much time early last season behind McIntyre but came on late, will be asked to run the point and to score a lot. Solomon has scoring ability, but he needs to get others involved and make them threats in order for Clemson to have a chance.

Andruius Jurkunas returns, and is a very tough, physical performer. Jurkunas will be asked to score and to defend at a much higher level than he has in the past. Jurkunas can shoot it, but it will be different pulling the trigger as the No. 2 option rather than the No. 5 option. Adam Allenspach is a promising big man with quick feet and good skills. He originally committed to Boston College and Jim O'Brien, along with Jonathan DePina and Michael Bradley, and he has shown flashes of being a solid ACC player.

Chucky Gilmore is a big, bruising player who needs to become more efficient in the low post. Clemson has some size and bulk up front, but it is untested talent that will struggle to gain an identity in a league that punishes young players.

When Penn State has the ball
Penn State runs a lot of sets out of a box alignment, and the Nittany Lions have built in counters that will vary. Jerry Dunn will be looking for Jarrett Stephens in the low post. Stephens is a Charles Barkley-type load in the paint, and he has face up skills and can get off his feet. Stephens is a solid threat inside and has a thick, muscled build to his wide body. Watch for his spin move inside -- he can get around most post defenders with his quickness.

Joe Crispin is a very skilled shooter who can really handle the ball, and he understands the game and how it should be played. Crispin is a gym rat, and has a good feel for what is going on out on the floor. Jon Crispin, a heavily recruited player out of high school before hurting his back, is a top-flight shooter with a 40-plus inch vertical leap. The Nittany Lions have a litany of other performers who may or may not pan out, and only time will tell. This is a well-coached team, but it needs time to find itself. Clemson in November may be just the medicine this team needs to get started.

Shyatt is not afraid to change defenses liberally, and he will probably try to give Penn State a lot of different looks. Clemson can play man, 1-2-2 zone or throw some junk your way with a box-and-one or triangle-and-two (like it did against North Carolina).


Bilas' breakdown: Wisconsin vs. Wake Forest

Bilas' breakdown: Duke vs. Illinois

Bilas' breakdown: Iowa vs. Maryland

Bilas' breakdown: Virginia vs. Minnesota

Bilas' breakdown: Michigan State vs. North Carolina

Bilas' breakdown: N.C. State vs. Purdue

Bilas' breakdown: Michigan vs. Georgia Tech