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The Tiger

Men’s basketball impact players

Ashley Stout, Staff
Marcquise Reed

In recent seasons, college basketball has been heavily impacted by a constant influx of roster changes. From one-and-done’s to graduate transfers to early enrollees, nothing is clear-cut anymore with regard to college basketball rosters from year to year.
The Clemson Tigers have embraced that new reality by bolstering their cause via the transfer market. With three traditional transfers gracing the Tigers’ deep roster this season, the Tigers have been positively impacted in a major way by all three.
Point guard Shelton Mitchell is quite the talent. At 6’3,” Mitchell is tall for a collegiate point guard. Mitchell’s height, plus his excellent shot-making ability and speed in the transition make him serve as more of a combo guard with the passing acumen of a floor general. Earning a remarkable 103 assists as a true freshman for the Vanderbilt Commodores two years ago, Mitchell made a name for himself as a pass-first playmaker.
Despite having the look and playing style of a two-guard, Mitchell has been referred to as the “purest point guard” of Head Coach Brad Brownell’s tenure at Clemson. Currently averaging 3.5 assists per game, Mitchell is certainly Clemson’s purest passer.
Clemson’s purest shooter, on the other hand, is another newcomer, Marcquise Reed. A transfer from the Robert Morris Colonials, Reed has already made his mark in TigerTown by serving as the leading scorer in the Tigers’ season-opening win over the Georgia Bulldogs. This mark was solidified by hitting a clutch three-pointer late in regulation to tie against the North Carolina Tar Heels.
As a member of the Colonials two seasons ago, Reed dropped 21 points against the Tigers, foreshadowing what was to come when he donned orange and regalia. Now, Reed is one of the nation’s top-scoring sixth men and has helped take Clemson’s offense to a new level.
Down low, another incoming transfer has been a reliable mainstay on both sides of the ball for the Tigers recently. Power forward Elijah Thomas, formerly of the Texas A&M Aggies, has come on strong since suiting up for the Tigers, serving as their most effective and versatile big man.
He corralled seven rebounds in Clemson’s come-from-behind victory over the rival South Carolina Gamecocks last month and also added 12 crucial points. Thomas is an expert shot blocker, as well, making him a force to be reckoned with around the basket.
The Tigers are incredibly deep and versatile this season, boasting plenty of talent from top to bottom of the roster. The three aforementioned transfers have all contributed in their own unique ways to boost the Tigers to a solid showing in the first two months of the season.
It is also worth mentioning that Mitchell, who missed most of November action with a knee injury, and Thomas, who was forced to sit out for games occurring in the fall semester due to NCAA transfer rules, are only just now developing into a rhythm with their new team.
They, along with Reed, should continue to improve as the season progresses.
Fortunately for the Tigers, Mitchell, Reed and Thomas are all underclassmen, meaning that they will be able to serve as impact players on the team for quite some time.

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