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Behind the Ball with Andrew Carlin, Club Basketball President

Andrew Carlin is the president of Clemsons club basketball team.
Contributed by Andrew Carlin
Andrew Carlin is the president of Clemson’s club basketball team.

Tiger Sports:What motivated you to become the coach of the club basketball team? 

Andrew Carlin: My motivation was a combination of how much I love playing basketball and my desire to utilize my organizational experience at Clemson to enable other guys to be able to play at a competitive level for years to come.

TS: What are some of the benefits of being a part of the club basketball team? 

AC: The best part is that I’m gifted a great group of friends who care about a sport that I’ve spent my whole life playing. Obviously, competing at a national level is also a lot of fun.

TS: What is the most interesting tradition of the club basketball team? 

AC: This is only our third semester, so we’re still a little new to have interesting traditions. But we try to keep dues low by traveling economically, so Motel 6’s have become somewhat of a tradition.

TS: What is the time commitment of being a member of the club

basketball team? 

AC: We have about three two-hour long practices per week and travel for 3-4 weekend tournaments per semester.

TS: What is your favorite place to have a basketball tournament besides at Clemson and why? 

AC: So far, the university I’ve enjoyed playing at the most was at NC State for Nationals last spring. 

TS:What are club basketball competitions like, and how often are they held? 

AC: There are two different types of club events. One is when club tournaments are solely organized by university club teams, which are usually smaller tournaments of six to 20 teams. The other is when a national organization like NIRSA (National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association) or the NCBBA (National Club Basketball Association) sponsors a regional or national tournament, in which case there can be upwards of 40 teams. Both are usually structured as pool-play followed by single elimination bracket-play. At the national tournaments, there are usually side events like three-point and dunk competitions. The main club basketball season is the spring, in which there could be six to seven tournaments just in the southeast region. In the fall, there are typically three to four in our region.

TS:What goals has the team set for this year and years

to come?

AC: Our goal is to win a tournament this semester. Our first semester, we competed well but didn’t place in the top two at any tournaments. Last fall, our second semester, we came in second at both tournaments we competed in (out of about 30 unique teams total). We’re one of the top teams in the region and getting better every semester. A national championship should be within Clemson’s reach in semesters to come. Internally, I’d love to see all of Clemson’s top talent interested in joining the team and representing our university nationally.

TS:Describe the setup of the team, such as number of members, how they are selected, structure of

practices, etc. 

AC: Currently, every member tries out every semester. We take about 24 guys per semester, enough for two teams to travel to tournaments. Tryouts are run by coaches that we select through an interview process and one or two executive board members, who are elected each spring. The teams for tournaments are decided based on attendance and performance at practices, as evaluated by the coaches. All members are undergraduate or graduate students at Clemson. Practices are combination of fundamental skill drills, in-game situation drills and scrimmaging – our coaches keep us busy and in shape.

TS: What advice would you give to anybody considering joining the club basketball team?

AC: First off, I would encourage anyone even slightly interested in the team to try out every semester. The coaches and executive board members change over time, and so will the tryouts and expectations at evaluations. It’s also important to recognize that we’re looking for guys to help build a team that can win the 6-7 consecutive games required to take first place at a tournament — the one-on-one, solely offensively focused mentality that you see so often during pick-up games at Fike isn’t what we’re looking for.

TS:Where should people go for information if they are seeking to learn more about this great organization? 

AC: Anyone interested in trying out or interviewing for a coaching position should just be on the lookout at the beginning of each semester for information. We market through campus-wide email blasts, we hand out flyers on Library Bridge and we spread word about tryouts to guys playing basketball in Fike – we try to make it easy to hear how to get involved during our member recruitment at the beginning of each semester.

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