The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

Outlook for Clemson Men’s Basketball: Brownell, Team Look to turn things around this season

Allen Randall, staff

Junior Donte Grantham (15) is one of several veteran players returing to play for Coach Brownell. 

When small forward Jaron Blossomgame announced his decision to rescind his name from the NBA Draft and return for his senior season as a Clemson Tiger in May, the general expectation level surrounding this season’s Clemson men’s basketball squad immediately rose to heights not previously reached in the era with Brad Brownell as head coach. 

Brownell is entering his seventh season at the helm in Clemson and has combined his defensive genius with a knack for successfully recruiting players with versatile offensive skillsets, molding this upcoming season into one that should see the Tigers turn heads from start to finish.

Earlier this month, Clemson began practicing in the newly renovated Littlejohn Coliseum, finally back home after playing in Greenville all of last season. 

With a bevy of exciting transfers now eligible to participate in game action, including point guard Shelton Mitchell and shooting guard Marcquise Reed, and uber-talented veterans, such as the aforementioned Blossomgame and fellow small forward Donte Grantham, the Tigers boast a remarkable stable of weaponry. 

At the recent Clemson Basketball media outing at the Reserve at Lake Keowee golf course, Brownell was quoted as saying, “I think we have more offensive firepower than we’ve ever had. We have more guys that can score consistently.” 

That consistent scoring should help the Tigers develop into one of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s most formidable offensive teams this season and could very well enable Clemson to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011.

In recent seasons, the lockdown defense has been a constant factor for the Tigers, but the electrifying offense has been missing at times. With several spot-up shooters on the perimeter and a couple highly athletic big men down low, including transfer Elijah Thomas, who will be eligible to play following the conclusion of the fall semester, scoring should come at will with this season’s Tigers.

Mitchell accrued over 100 assists as a true freshman with the Vanderbilt Commodores two seasons ago, and along with his fearless shooting nature, that playmaking prowess should translate into on-court success for Clemson. Speedy point guard Avry Holmes is back in the fray as well, so the Tiger offense should certainly be fast-paced.

As for Blossomgame, he is coming off perhaps the most well rounded season that a Clemson men’s basketball player has ever produced, winning ACC Most Improved Player and being named All-ACC as a result. 

A freak athlete and excellent scorer, Blossomgame’s mid-range offensive game and perimeter defense are among the best in the conference. Expect him to team up with hotshot scorer Grantham to lead the charge for the Tigers this season.

Senior center Sidy Djitte is finally receiving his well-deserved place in the sun entering the 2016-17 slate, with the big man expected to man the rebounding front for the Tigers. Seven-footer Legend Robertin, now in his second season as a member of Clemson’s program, will bolster the cause down low and should use his imposing size to create plenty of buckets inside.

Versatile shooting guards Gabe DeVoe and Ty Hudson will be expected to shoulder some of the load on the offensive end, and based on their play in the latter portion of last season, they should do an excellent job.

The excitement surrounding this season’s team is understandable, as the abundance of scorers on the roster will allow the Tigers to valiantly compete in the stacked ACC. 

At the golf outing, Brownell also said, “Hopefully, the excitement with our home court will draw more people to Littlejohn in November and December and will make it a difficult place to play.” With the allure

surrounding this year’s team, home attendance should not be an issue. 

The Tigers feature plenty of firepower and ample promise, which should make for a riveting season in which the ‘John is frequently rocked.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *