CULLOWHEE, N.C. - The Western Carolina men's basketball team opens up 2017-18 season Friday night at Atlantic Coast Conference member Clemson. This will mark the 12th meeting between the Tigers and Catamounts with WCU seeking its first win in the series. The Catamounts are coming off a season in which they suffered many growing pains but the 2017-18 squad looks to build on those struggles with a group of six seniors who are striving to leave a lasting legacy in Cullowhee. WCU returns all five starters from a season ago, and if you take into account the early loss of Deriece Parks who started the first nine games of last season, WCU has a total of six starters vying for time on the court. A talented group of four newcomers will also push the veterans for playing time as all four look to be contributors to the 2017-18 team.
Western Carolina (0-0, 0-0 SoCon) at Clemson (0-0, 0-0 ACC)
Friday, Nov. 10 | 7 p.m. | Clemson, S.C. | Littlejohn Coliseum (9,000)
TV:ACC Network Extra
Talent: Pete Yanity (PxP) and Jim Davis (Analyst)
Radio:Catamount Sports Network
Talent: Gary Ayers (PxP) and Daniel Hooker (Analyst)
Twitter Updates: @Catamounts
Catamounts Versus Tigers
Friday night's game will be the 12th meeting all-time between the Catamounts and Tigers on the basketball court.
WCU is 0-10 all-time in Clemson and 0-1 in Cullowhee against the Tigers.
Clemson won the most recent meeting between the two squads 87-64 during the 2010-11 season.
The Tigers lone trip to Cullowhee came during the 1991-92 season as the Tigers squeaked out an 81-71 victory. The 10-point victory for Clemson is their smallest margin of victory in the all-time series.
WCU and the ACC
The Catamounts have faced 10 of the current 16 members of the Atlantic Coast Conference with an overall record of 3-31.
WCU has wins over current ACC members Louisville, Florida State and Georgia Tech.
The Catamounts most recent win over a current ACC member was Dec. 12, 2009 when the Catamounts defeated Louisville, who was playing in the BIG EAST at the time, 91-83. Mike Williams scored a career-high 24 points and Jake Robinson added 23 in the victory.
The Catamounts last win over an ACC team came in 2001 as Kevin Martin scored eight of his game-high 19 points in the final 4:19 to lead a 26-9 finish that carried Western Carolina to a 79-69 upset win at Florida State.
WCU's only other win against a current ACC member was an 88-77 victory over Georgia Tech in 1980.
During the 2015-16 season, the Catamounts came close to defeating ACC member Pittsburgh just two days before Christmas. WCU led for nearly 13 minutes of the game and held a lead with under three minutes left in regulation.
The Catamounts are 37-32 all-time in season openers but just 9-26 when opening the season on the road.
WCU's last win when opening the season on the road came back in 2006 at UNC Asheville.
Western Carolina is 1-14 in its last 15 season openers that occurred on the road.
Head coach Larry Hunter has led the Catamounts to a 5-7 record in season openers but all five wins were either at home or at a neutral site tournament.
Among the Best
Head coach Larry Hunter is eighth among active Division I coaches in career wins with 689.
He trails Mike Krzyzewski (1,071, Duke), Jim Boeheim (903, Syracuse), Bob Huggins (819, West Virginia), Roy Williams (816, North Carolina), Rick Byrd (754, Belmont), Cliff Ellis (733, Coastal Carolina) and John Beilein (691, Michigan).
Coach Hunter ranks just ahead of John Calipari (652, Kentucky) and Rick Barnes (635, Tennessee).
Coach Hunter also ranks 29th on the all-time Division I victories list ahead of greats like Denny Crum (31st), Gary Williams (32nd) and John Wooden (33rd).