Wednesday, 24 June 2009

More Quick Thoughts on Noel Johnson

  • Wooooooooooooooo!
  • Clemben is more of the recruiting guru 'round these parts, but I'm just going to say it: Best. recruiting. class. ever.
  • While I stand by my earlier statement that the team was actually slightly better without TOgglesby, before the news about Johnson I had been mulling over the loss of height resulting from his departure. As we talked about ad nauseum here during the season, Clemson really struggled against tall teams, particularly with delivering entry passes into the post. The thought of losing another 5 inches with the 5'9" Andre Young (relative to the 6'2" Oglesby) on the court had me concerned to say the least, although I would argue Young has the potential to be the better passer despite his height. But with the 6'7" Johnson on board as well as the 6'4" Donte Hill, we suddenly could be causing some match-up difficulties of our own next season.
  • Notice I didn't mention Tanner Smith. While I love his grit and he's got a great story, after watching him fade with the tougher competition last season I'm hoping we are now assured of a significant drop in his playing time. He just looked lost on the court after ACC play started. Now, if he finds that 3-point stroke we heard about as he was coming out of high school, that's a different story...
  • Its good to hear about Johnson's shooting abilities. While I think we would have been more or less fine with some combination of Young, Smith, Potter, and Jennings taking 3s (with the occasional contribution from Booker Sr.), Johnson has the potential to again make our 3-point game something the opposing team will have to specifically plan for.
  • Come to think of it, with the bulk of our talent arguably in the front court this season, why is everyone so worried about the 3-point game anyway? As long as it's around league average (a good bet in my estimation) and we can get the ball inside, I think we'll end up with a stronger offense than last year. And that's saying something for 16th best offense last year in Division I.
  • Obviously, I'm still on a high after hearing the news. But there will be growing pains for this squad with so much contribution expected from the rookies. In other words, I don't think we'll get through the non-conference schedule undefeated. We'll have stupid lapses (10:1 this is related to sloppy ball-handling) that cost us games. But for once, the upside of the squad is such that we can actually expect the team to get better as the season progresses.


  1. I agree with you. We were more of a perimeter oriented team last year, but next season I see us going inside a lot more, which I think will help us control the tempo of the game. Shorter shots = higher shooting percentage = it is easier for us to set up the half court defense = more easy baskets.

  2. Absolutely--when our offense struggled the most last season, i think it was when we had to rely too much on the 3 pointer (because we either couldn't get the ball inside or we just had spells of bad shot selection). With more height at the perimeter + the talent inside, hopefully we can see what you described...


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