Saturday, 11 December 2010

Recruiting Updates

So all the pro-Dabo people point to this great recruiting class coming in and say--you negative nancies, just support the team. Normally I am of this opinion. Last year we had some major coaching flaws (that continued right on into this season I might add) but when the season is over there is an argument for putting on the happy smile and focusing on recruiting.

This year I want to wait until after the 'recruiting' season is over before we shake anything up. But a good recruiting class doesn't make up for losing to South Carolina twice. Good recruiting doesn't solve poor coaching because we have been consistently out-recruiting the majority of the ACC. Shakin has done a fabulous job with the numbers. I have heard that all the Ball Sack needed was Lattimore and Jeffrey. Thats true but he also upgraded his assistant coaches, helped Garcia to mature, and had as consistent an offensive gameplan as I have seen out of Spurrier. USC has always had talent but could never get players that wanted to be coached or coaches that had a clue. The two must go hand in hand.

So in summary, a good coach can excel with good talent but an average coach will only be good. A poor coach will be average. We have poor/average offensive coaches. Dwayne Allen has first round talent. Ellington and even Harper have 2-3 round talent. KP has a canon arm, natural talents. Nuke and McNeal have talent. So do many of our offensive lineman. Talent needs to be coached and high school isn't college. Some kids can come in like Julio Jones or Alshon Jeffrey and make an impact. But you need a good coaching staff to make a championship team. We are so very close on defense but are still miles away on offense. (Its got to sting that your 'hotshot' OC isn't even a finalist for the Furman HC job)

*Napier rant (skip if you are sick of this): I feel bad for Billy. His stock has plummeted. If he had been QB's coach and the recruiting coordinator and not the offensive coordinator he would be in such a better position career-wise when you think about it. He even said at the time he would have gladly accepted it, a bump up from TE coach and a little pay. Then we pull in a big name OC, (Malzhan was available!!) who grooms Billy to replace him. This didn't happen because Dabo thinks he is an offensive mind. I smell an ego problem with this one. Maybe he wanted to have more control, or maybe he didn't want to be known solely as a figurehead. Anyway it was a decision that threw Billy to the wolves. Here is boy wonder in action.

But...I have to give the staff credit. Brooks continues to be my favorite coach on the staff. Rumph is working his rump off (sorry had to say it), Harbison is key in Georgia and even Steele has been working it.

We have confirmed visits with the top uncommitted prospects in the country. We even have Clowney coming in!! Steward, Hughes, Anthony, with the possibility of Grant and Lateek Townsend for LB's. Those are at least three top 50 players on any list. Then you have Pagan and now Drew!! This is big. If we pull in three of those names we will have an amazing defensive and offensive class.

With Florida's demise our main competition is Georgia and they are probably weaker than they have been in a long time. We have competition for every player but that is to be expected when you are gunning for such high recruits. So hats off to the staff for staying motivated and hitting the trail with some authority. Clemson loves Moms should be our newest recruiting theme.

If you can't coach, go recruit. It won't build a championship team but it'll keep your head above water and might win you an ACC Championship. (which still wouldnt mean you were a championship team...haha)

Friday, 3 December 2010

Noel Johnson's Dad Leaves Clemson

Well this bites. First I am a fan of Noel Johnson as a basketball player (well as a player on this particular Clemson team). He couldn't play a lick of D or penetrate that well but he wasn't named Tanner and he has the height and ability to shoot the ball.

He didn't start the season and looked awful on the court until the past couple of games when he went from that guy on your pick up team who takes all the shots and thinks he's the man (but you were probably better off without him) to lukewarm milk. Donte Hill and now Sing Noel are gone. 9 players remain. With Booker and Grant not being able to stay on the floor we are going to be seeing a lot more Tanner, Jennings, and the frosh Stanton as well as *gasp* Narcisse and Bobo. I would gladly have TO (Terrance, Terrance) back, my goodness.

My goodness. So exploring all of our options I have a solution. DMac...He plays his senior year for the bball team and he lights it up. Won't happen because he will be trying to get ready for the draft. But it would be awesome...

Nuke--not happening and we really need wings not point guards anyway. Vic Beasley is an interesting option that could be explored.

We should also look into one of those early enrollment things--didn't Dawkins do that for Duke?? Get a kid after January? It would at least help with practice, redshirt and learn the system. We will certainly be needing a ton of help next year.

I think 8-8 in the ACC is looking more and more like a mountain to climb than an achievable goal. Tanner, please learn to shoot a 3. Jennings, rebound like a man (and shoot 3's). Booker--relearn those post moves you showed last year then forgot because Purnell put regression juice in all his new players diets. Do you remember how as a Freshman Stitt was like an 80% FT shooter?? Oh and everyone learn the motion offense.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Quick Reminder: Brad Brownell Not Really Much of an X's/O's Guy on Offense

I'm not sure where the rumor started. I just remember reading it in the blogs somewhere, and then suddenly it everyone seemed to accept it as the gospel truth. Seriously, its almost like this idea was planted by the front office and bam! pretty soon everyone is a stenographer.

In an effort to inject some data into the assessment of Brownell's hiring, I took a quick look at the statistical profiles of his past squads (this was back when I had the time for this sort of thing...) No doubt he's led some great defenses, but on offense his team finished in the top 3 in his conference only once--last year (#3!!). Other than that, his offenses have hovered right around average in both the Colonial and Horizon Leagues. Not exactly the dominant mark of a young coaching wizard. In fact, Brownell's overall statistical team profiles eerily resemble the not-so-dearly departed Oliver Purnell, despite using starkly different strategies to construct stingy defenses and middling offenses.

The Michigan game is disheartening, but it reinforces my early views that we are on a rocky road this season with our best hopes likely lying in an 8-8 ACC season. I believe we have latent offensive talent on this team, but without a coaching staff capable of scheming to fit or develop the talent we are in for a long season of crappy offensive displays. Kind of like the last several years, but less frantic. Much, much less frantic. Glacial.

Clemben Addition: This is the perfect game to shut up Tanner Smith enthusiasts. 1-7 and 0-5 from 3 pt. land. 4 fouls and beat to the basket on multiple occasions (not that anyone was rotating on defense so its not all his fault). We really need Noel Johnson to step up and take half of Tanner's minutes or ACC play will get ugly. Lucky for us Wake and GT stink. Miami, Virginia Tech and FSU are underachieving. Roy Williams has Harrison Barnes and can't right the ship (I love that Barnes was picked as a preaseason All-American??, would have been a top draft pick in NBA but is struggling in college). Maryland and NC State I don't know enough about but are beatable and only Virginia seems to have improved much since last year. Yes, Duke is back to being unstoppable but our schedule is favorable.

This loss to Michigan at home on national TV really does sting though. We have to hope that Michigan continues to improve in the Big Ten. We really need to win our next two games to stay in the NCAA hunt if we go 8-8 in ACC play. Losing to South Carolina in the 3 major sports this year is unacceptable Barker. Don't let the door hit you on the way out Terry Don. How about we get an athletic director with a normal name for a change? That would mean Billy D'Andrea would be disqualified. Hooray!

One thing to remember is that expanded brackets (which I absolutely abhor--64 was a great number) might really benefit us this year. Still unless this team improves fundamentally, its going to be a long year. Glacial sounds about right.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Free the Wild Tigers

So this article says wild Tigers could be extinct in 12 years. That makes me sad. As wild Clemson Tigers we should really stop this somehow. Maybe then we could reverse our own loss of wins.

Tigers are cool and should be allowed to roam free. They should perform their natural born instincts to kill animals like coots and bulldogs and eagles. Devour rams with tar on their heels. Eat bird hurricane things?? Oh and other inferior breeds of Tiger. Just trying to distract myself. If I hear anything about a Dabo extension I will officially begin calling for Danny Ford to personally come and exercise the demons. If the Coot curse is cured we will have a 'Block C' Danny Curse on our hands.

Save our brand of Tiger. Fire Terry Don Phillips.

--Random thought: What does Woody McCorvey do that is so special? If he is an administrator that is the highest paid paper pusher ever. If he was supposed to keep Dabo grounded, thats a big fail. If he was supposed to keep Dabo humble and open to critique, we have another big fat fail. When we actually have money to spend--lets spend it in the right places...

Saturday, 27 November 2010

South Carolina Post Suckings

Never in our football history have we lost to South Carolina twice in a row. We lost on our home turf on senior night and it wasn't even close. Its time to take a look in the mirror and admit that we are broken. A season of 6-6 against a sucky ACC Atlantic and two easy wins is laughable. Not to mention that if we beat FSU that we would be in the ACC Champs game--you can go 5-3 and win the ACC, it is not that difficult.

USC has outrecruited Clemson the past three seasons because they got Alshon Jeffery, Lattimore and Gilmore. We couldn't cross midfield. My hat is off to Spurrier. He was all but done two years ago after Dabo beat him as the interim HC but has righted the ship and has the talent in place. Garcia has matured as a QB in the way that KP never could. I think he just hadn't invested enough time and energy into it--he was always relying on natural talent. Boyd was ok. Our offense sucks. Did we even throw to Allen all night?? Why the five passes to Ford?I could go on but this is depressing.

Daquan please stick around to right this ship and beat Carolina!!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

I Don't Have the Stomach For Patience

So Dabo has called for patience from the fans. This is the same guy who was demanding excellence and was going to change the culture--teach us how to get over the hump and win???

No sir, I will not have any patience. The defense is certainly not the problem. Special Teams is directly related to quality of coaching more than any other facet of the game and has less to do with talent (plus we have more scholarship special teamers than almost any other team in the country). The offense was recruited with Billy Napier as recruiting coordinator and Dabo as the main recruiter. One of the main reasons why Dabo was hired was to maintain the continuity and judging by the recruiting rankings--this was the year!! Please don't try to insult me by saying you don't have the players or the talent.

There is plenty of both, you have just mismanaged it. You aren't rebuilding--you are screwing up what was previously built. If you don't have the talent now that must mean you were a bad position coach beforehand and for some reason I am supposed to reward that with patience. I am supposed to somehow feel pity for you?? And please don't say Bowden or Spence had too iron clad a hand and you couldn't get the recruits you wanted.

We should have easily beaten FSU. I am sick of the Spence stalls in the red zone and being a .500 team. Just think if we hadn't played those two powderpuffs at the beginning of the year...

If Dabo can't get us to the ACC Championship game (notice I said we don't even have to win it, just be there) then he should be gone. If we lose to South Carolina three times in a row then he should be gone. Remember Dabo this is that word 'competition' at the highest level so quit your whining and quacking like a duck. If you can't deliver then get out of the way because Clemson deserves better.

At least we beat Wofford (I am relying on Basketball, thats how bad things have gotten), go Brownell...

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Western Carolina Review

Well its Basketball season already. Surprise, surprise I'm actually excited for this season. I want to see if this team will actually learn how to run some offense and pass the ball into the post. I thought the world of Purnell after Shyatt but thought we did less with more last season. I was personally looking for the Sweet 16 last year with the incoming recruits.

So this season I just want to make the tourney and go 8-8 in conference play. Kenpom currently has us at 9-7, which I think is possible for this team, and 28th overall, a little high for now but not entirely removed from the realm of possibility.

For all you stupid pundits Kenpom has the ACC dominating the BIG 10 and BIG 12. Just because sports people (I refuse to use the word journalists) come from the Big 10 doesn't mean they should let their bias show so obviously. Oh and putting the word BIG in front of your conference doesn't make it better--just silly(especially when the numbers don't add up anymore). Can't wait for the Big Ten versus ACC this year. At least in Basketball we have something like this that can shut down pundits for a little while.

Oh yeah so the game...

I keep hearing that Bobo won't/can't contribute. I don't agree and I love that the staff is committed to getting some production from him. Purnell was always clueless with big men--I think Devin Booker regressed last year. Bobo can get opposing teams big men into foul trouble, he can manufacture some points against smaller teams like VTech or Miami, and that is worth the investment. Think of Duke last year and Zoubek.

Jennings looked like he might be able to contribute and Booker looked great, lots of putbacks etc. Brownell looked to be mixing and matching and had his guys ready to play. He passes the initial smell test, unlike Wake Forest and their loss to STETSON!! hahaha.

On the not so positive side we lack depth in the backcourt. With Stitt in bad foul trouble (his play wasn't just bad, it was absent) and Young with an injured thigh bruise, we had to turn to Cory Stanton and even Anderson. That is fine in non-conf but scary for ACC play if Stitt or Young go down with an injury. Stitt seemed to be playing more of the 2 which he didn't seem to particularly care for but with a Brownell's offense it shouldn't matter. Noel Johnson has to be a big part of our offense if we are going to have success this year. He needs to be a consistent 3 pt. threat and really struggled last night. I am also worried about our ability to defend the three with such small guards on the floor.

Tanner Smith 1-6 from the FT line?? Tigers can't afford to shoot below 65% from the line this year. My same criticism of Smith remains--a great glue guy but his junk ball play won't stand up in ACC play, especially without the intentional chaos of Purnell's system. This scares me. Grant seems about the same as last year.

Now this is all after one game so feel free to laugh at these observations. Western Carolina was an above average team last year and Wofford will actual be a test next week. We will know more about the team after Wofford. Good start, hope Brownell and crew can help this offense.

Friday, 5 November 2010


"After each series they come over and sit us down and tell us, ‘This is how they run the ball out of this set, this is where they’re going to run the ball out of that set. They do some stuff to try to confuse you, but when it came down to it, it was just fundamental -- the stuff we’d harped on all week. They didn’t come out with anything special or anything different. We knew the plays that were coming and we played them well."
Luke Kuechly (BC MLB)

You're predictable. You're out of your depth. It's time for change we can believe in.

I don't think I have ever heard a more stinging critique of an Offense. When you line up the opposing teams defense knows from your very formation the plays you will run. I think when Defensive Coordinators prep for our team they step inside the sandbox and feel like its kids stuff. Napier and Dabo have not progressed as Offensive designers. You have to be able to make the right playcalls in-game but first you need to have an offensive philosophy/identity. I often feel like I am watching a Madden offense and I'm sick of it. We have the talent, certainly enough to be doing better than 4-4, and I don't think we have the offensive coaching chops sans CJ Spiller to compete in an average ACC. I was willing to go through the growing pains but if your not going to grow past 5 foot 8 and you fired a guy for being 5 foot 10 then whats the point in holding out for 6 foot 3?? If you find a miracle cure, and find it fast I am all for it but until then I'm thinking--Ch-ch-ch-changes...

Oh and Dabo--calling out the 5% versus the 95% of fans is childish and stupid when you're 4-4.

Monday, 1 November 2010


Alternate title: Long, slow end of the Swinney era, week 4 update

I'm a little confused about the reaction in the Clemson blogosphere. Sure, I was upset after the loss, but after the normal recovery time I can't say I was shocked. I don't really view this as a debacle, at least not on the order of Maryland 2009 when we were beat soundly by a bad, banged up team with no talent that was going through one of Friedgen's inexplicable phases where he doesn't really seem to care much about coaching. No, this was your standard BC team that doesn't feature an NFL-caliber quarterback: sound, fundamental line play highlighted by a stout front 7 on defense and an O-line that can open up holes for the running game. Yeah, they've struggled this year (rotating in potted plants at QB will do that for ya), but they've also improved as the year went along--particularly on defense.

In hindsight, its not surprising Clemson struggled; we rely on the run game to set up whatever pass yards we can scrounge up and BC's defense excels at stopping the run. I'm not sure why everyone was suddenly so confident in the pass game. Sure, Nuke Hopkins is hustling all over the field and generally showing up the entire WR corps, but he's still dropping passes and struggling to get separation (he's bound for good things in this league, but he's still a freshman). By the way, I'm also guilty of buying the "Kyle Parker is going to break out of his rut any game now" line, by now it's clear that Parker's 2009 success was largely the function of the NFL-caliber talent around him (Ford, Spiller, Palmer). He has potential, no doubt, but expecting him to spurn the MLB to save the season Spiller-style was pretty naive in retrospect.

But what of our superior talent, you ask? Its a good question, by all accounts we certainly have the advantage on paper. Here's my reply: remember how we aren't capable of developing talent? As an aside, on some level it must be a good feeling to be a BC fan; you get to watch your players develop into a team that is better than the sum of its parts. They aren't going to win any national championships anytime soon, but hey, you grow to love each and every team with each and every passing game. Not a bad life for a fan. Not a great life, but hey, better than rooting for a team that perpetually underperforms.

After the Miami game, I wrote that we were entering the long, slow end of the Swinney era. Nothing has happened to change my mind. The GT game was a blip, a game against a decent team that we actually matched up well with (our D-line was strong enough to disrupt the option all game long and our O-line was matched up against a small defensive front). We might even beat NCSU (50-50, I'd say) or FSU (bit of a longshot), since our defense should be able to limit the damage from their offenses and we will be able to run the ball at least on occasion. But even wins in these games aren't going to change the fact our talent doesn't develop and we've been consistently outcoached (or coached ourselves into the ground) this season.

I also stand by my previous assessment that Swinney lives to see next year (with fall-guy Napier getting the axe, of course). I just don't sense the anger on the blogs seeping into the mainstream fan's conscious, at least not yet. The real standard for Swinney's departure should probably be this: a currently modest draft class losing commitments and plummeting in value. The football program will then officially be without a single functioning strength. In that case, you can't give Swinney another year to wreck the program for the next five, it's time to cut your losses and move on.

Friday, 29 October 2010

KP and Passing

I read an excellent post on Shakin that you should all check out and read. So we know that the playcalling is unproductively skewed towards passing, or at least the need for balance trumps all. So Ellington will disappear at times from the game plan and in key situations our offense will suck.

If our defense wasn't so dominant against GT then I really believe that the third quarter playcalling would have put the game in serious jeopardy. Note* that would be a good time for a sustained drive that drains the clock and establishes the run, thus giving your defense a chance to rest. You don't have to wait for the 4th Q. Runs for Harper and the predictable passing attack make me shutter as I feel the ghost of Spence lurking. It's just a matter of time before Napier is called the 'mad scientist'.

So why this insistence on balance? I have three possibilities. First the coaching staff is just plain dumb and stupid, either ignorant or prideful and won't philosophically shift their positions to either play to their strengths or attack weaknesses in the opposition. So BC is #4 in rush defense--logically you want to pass a bit more and run a lot of zone read and getting players in space (good to see some effective draw plays this past week). Maryland was stacking the box and had good LB play so I can see the argument for parity in scheme but GT had a horrible rush defense and we could have ran it down their throats all game. So are they stupid and incapable of making adjustments?

The second possibility is stemming from this and involves Dabo inserting himself into the identity of the offense. This is very likely and scary. Dabo was never an OC and saw a lot of Spence. He also wants to be a gadget man/river boat gambler type coach. So whenever I see a drive ending super reverse, flea flicking play it reinforces my perception that Dabo wants the pass and is injecting himself into the decisions. Perhaps a call for balance is the best Napier can do. Too many times this season we've seen a perfectly scripted opening drive that has a run first, mix in some play action second attitude that inexplicably turns into an empty backfield pass happy disaster. Dabo the motivator is also Dabo the play-calling meddler. Slow developing reverses near the red zone--not a good idea...

The third reason is a commitment to player development and recruiting. So even if its in our best interest right now to run the ball to win games, perhaps the staff is trying to stay with the big picture. I don't agree at all but just trying to think like the staff. We have a ton of big time WR talent that is knocking on the door with Bryant, Peake and potentially Sammy Watkins(#1 receiver in the state of Florida) which could be the most pure receiving talent to ever be at Clemson with Hopkins and McNeal, not to mention Dwayne Allen at TE (or possibly Jay Rome with the demise of Georgia!!). So to keep attracting the talent and to build for the future they want to continue passing.

Here is your bonus thought and probably the most intriguing. The staff is committed to balance because of Kyle Parker. KP comes back to play football with the assurance that the staff will do everything they can to make him a legit NFL prospect. That includes passing stats and a certain commitment to the passing game despite the inexperienced receivers. Out of respect and a kind of obligation to Kyle they keep passing the ball more than one normally would.

Now I'm not saying any formal agreement went down but there has to be some unspoken understanding. CJ comes back--he gets the carries, KP comes back and he needs the opportunities. I would do the same thing if I was the coach to reward the player and the loyalty, just in the form of more play-action out of the I or screens and dump offs--not four wide, empty back sets.

Here is another fun nugget I was thinking about. Lets say KP doesn't return and goes to the Rockies. Now you have Tajh Boyd and really bad WR's. The coaching staff would be forced to at least be a 60/40 run to pass offense. With the emphasis on the run would our record be different? I'm thinking it would be the exact same record with more of a chance to beat NC. I guess thats the sorry state of our first half of the season. Anyway, I'm still ecstatic we have KP back(of course-any chatter about a Tajh controversy is silly) and I trust him to be the difference against NC State and hopefully Fla St.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Where We Stand

So what constitutes a winning football program? I'm going to take a quick stab at it and say its like this:
  • 1/3 Recruiting
  • 1/3 Player Development
  • 1/3 Gameday Planning/Schemes
I'm sure we could add more or flesh out these categories but I think this gives us three frames of reference to measure our team.
Right now we have done a good job in recruiting. Well let me re-phrase that, we currently have more star power and talent than at perhaps any other time in our recent history. This was supposed to be the year when you think about it. Our stellar Junior class is finally of age to compliment a strong senior class of talent. The cracks come from a weak sophomore class and the desire to give too many walk-ons scholarships. We don't over-recruit like most top programs who factor in kids transferring and not panning out. Every year I think we should be taking 3-5 more decent players than we are. If you want to see why we are suffering at WR--look at NC who snatched up players like Boyd, Little, and Jones.
Anyway, the point is that we have the talent to be successful. LB is the only place where we have consistently been out-recruited. This year we are in the running for about 4-5 top LBs and one by one they have put us down further on their lists. Now we have two 2*recruits committed. Steele and the staff need to make it a priority. This years class can still be good but we need to right the ship and have a respectable record to remain competitive. If Bowers and others stick around we will have the talent still but after next year the program will be depleted in this area.

Player Development
When I first heard Jamie Harper say that he and Ellington just decided between each other who should be out there I cringed. I was going to write about it but stupidly rationalized to myself that they could act like interchangeable parts and it would work out. But I also thought--isn't that the whole reason for a position coach?? Sure players can pull themselves out of games but isn't leaving it completely up to players a lack of coaching? No--its the absence of coaching...

Our players have not developed over 4 years like they should. No LB's have stepped up (although we are seeing some baby steps), WR's spend 4 years learning new ways to drop balls, we don't bother to develop enough TE's, and our CB's and secondary take a step back despite a second year in the program. We can't find a decent kicker and we have no return game. This area is a total drag on the program. Unfortunately, I think this is where Dabo is lost on how to manage an entire team. Powell should never have been allowed to 'coach' like that and the buck ultimately stops with Dabo to oversee his coaching staff.

Schemes and Things
Our schemes currently just aren't working out. On offense we have no identity. We can run the ball this year but chose to go away from it. We do throw, we have a QB with a canon but lacks some accuracy and WR's who can't catch. On a fourth down everyone in the stadium knows the play call--its not really a bad one but its to the short side of the field and comes up just short despite a good effort. Thats our offense right now. Napier isn't bad he just is young and often slow to react, predictable, and can't stay ahead. Plus Dabo undoubtedly makes boneheaded 'adjustments' and playcalls.

Defense keeps missing assignments. Those cost you points and its frustrating. I think Steele isn't a bad gameday coach and makes some needed adjustments but getting beat by Yates?? Its just not acceptable.

Right now we are at like 60/40 and propped up by our talent. That equates to a 7-5 season and a wasted season in my opinion. If we have a losing season I would like to see Napier become the QB/RB coach and take back recruiting duties (or play a heavy role there) and hire an experienced OC. Powell gone and both Scott's on the thinnest of ice depending on their units play down the stretch. Defense I'm not ready to make any changes yet but its coming...

Schedule notes: FSU looked real good and we need them to trip up against BC but its looking like we need NC State or NC to beat them and we need to win out. I think a loss to Maryland and we effectively end our ACC season. Can you believe this team was one pass through the fingers away from beating Auburn??

Lets move from All In to All Win...(see I'm qualified to be a coach Terry Don!)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Rationales for the Swinney Hiring, Revisited

I think the blogosphere eventually reached consensus on two central reasons for the Dabo Swinney hire:

1) Dabo Swinney could continue the quality recruiting established in the late years of his predecessor.
2) Swinney was the consummate motivator, the "intangibles man" that could bring fire back to the program.

Its difficult to argue that Swinney hasn't lived up to expectations in #1, at least on paper. 2010 was strong, 2011 is looking decent, and he managed to reasonably salvage a possible catastrophe in 2009. However, I think SportingGnomes raised an interesting point last week: can Swinney translate strong recruiting classes into strong teams built around a pre-defined, central strategy? I think it's really too early to judge, but I couldn't help notice how well UNC played on Saturday in spite of the suspensions. UNC has more or less caught Clemson in strength of recruiting classes the last couple of years, and it sure looked like they had talent to spare in key positions of strategic need.

What about #2? It's now two straight games the team has come out playing flat. Even during the Bowden era I can't remember seeing body language that poor with players openly upset at each other on the field, throwing their arms up in the direction of the coaching staff. Sure, they managed to pull together for stretches at a time in each game, but where's the discipline inspired by the coach as team leader? Where's the attitude of winning that Swinney supposedly brings? Where's the rest of the infectious intangibles Swinney shares with his players?

I'll tell you why you're not seeing it: intangibles are not magical predictors of future success. In contrast, a competent, intelligent gameplan instills confidence in players. Good gameplans, effectively communicated, result in winning games. Winning results in a positive feedback loop which strengthens confidence. There are no slogan-based shortcuts to creating a winning culture for a program.

Ultimately, the inability of Swinney to perform better than Bowden at motivating his troops isn't an indictment of Swinney himself, it's an indictment of the people who hired him based on a perceived ability to do something no one is capable of doing: winning games with words.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Defending Billy Napier

I'm going to swim against the current a bit here and try to explain why I don't think Billy Napier should be thrown to the wolves. That's not a particularly bold defense, I know, but this also isn't a contrarian post for the sake of being contrarian. (As an aside, I can't stand those kinds of posts, don't make a case unless you're being sincere.)

Let me start with the irrational stuff that I can't defend with numbers but more with the experience bought with each soul-crushing Clemson loss I endure. I like having the youngest offensive coordinator in the ACC. I like walking up to a fan from another team and saying, "Our offensive attack just torched your team and, oh by the way, our offensive coordinator is 30 years old." I like that Clemson and Swinney have the guts to hire a 30 year old in a league dominated by experience-laden coordinators. There's something brash and brassy about that, and it contributes just a hint to the swagger in my Clemson fandom. I largely like how Napier carries himself with the media, there's less of the Bowden-esque tendency (too often shared by Swinney) to frame disappointments as resulting from events beyond his control, there's a measure of accountability in his words.

But it doesn't stop here, there are actual areas of his job performance that I like, too. He has demonstrated, not always but reasonably often, the ability to identify weaknesses in an opposing team and develop a concerted plan of attack at the start of the game to exploit those weaknesses. It isn't always spectacularly successful, but it can put points on the board. He also seems capable of stockpiling a pool of plays often consisting of slight tweaks to existing designs that he judiciously and sometimes appropriately sprinkles into his play calling. On occasion, he strings together series of plays in-game that in retrospect seem inspired.

There are of course counter-arguments, good counter-arguments, to the above (for example, given a playbook and an infinite number of offensive series a moderately trained monkey will seem inspired over the course of 6-7 plays at least once or twice) and then there are counters to the counter-arguments (for example, there is still some question over how often Dabo overrides Napier during the course of a game). But these belabor the real point: Napier has shortcomings. In my mind, they are as follows: 1) while he has designed some reasonably effective plays, it doesn't balance the shit variants he also develops and employs in a game. He needs an playcall editor to blow up his more ridiculous notions, preferably this would involve a cannon of some kind. 2) He falls in love with the passing game far too often. 3) Finally, and this is the most problematic, he cannot identify quickly enough, and thus cannot counter the adjustments made by opposing defenses.

The third point above can be overcome with years of experience, but forgiveness for this defect is not granted in BCS-caliber conferences. Therein lies the conundrum, while I think Billy Napier has a future coordinating offenses in the NCAA, he is not a boy-genius that can think circles around men twice his age. He requires what 99% of all coordinators require: experience forged in the leagues at the fringes of the BCS or during dedicated study at the feet of a master playcaller. Laugh at the imagery, but this is still very much a "trade" in the classical sense.

Billy Napier is not a fool and I am not a fool. If this season goes south quickly, and with a looming loss at UNC on Saturday this could happen much sooner than I'd like to entertain, someone will take a fall. Maybe its Swinney, but more probably Swinney is forced into deciding who takes the fall. And Napier is the fall guy Swinney built into his agreement to take the reins, the guy who was set up the second the university "busted the budget" (note the quotations, they didn't really bust the budget) to sign Kevin Steele. Napier will in all likelihood be vanquished to the fringes. In that event I sincerely hope is he finds his experience, and he takes Jeff Scott with him.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Beginning of the Long, Slow End

I've been too busy to even visit the blog lately, much less post but I can't let the Miami game go. Maybe I'll comment on this another time, but suffice it to say through a series of happenstances I now find myself living in Japan and working like the Japanese.

So I stayed up from 1:00am to nearly 5:00am Sunday morning (hey NCAA--here's an idea for shortening college football games: how about strictly limiting the number of media timeouts for noon start times??) hoping to see Death Valley work its magic. Instead, I think I saw the beginning of the end of Dabo era. Given our conservative leanings in matters of personnel change, I don't doubt that Dabo is here for at least three full years, but when the axe comes down I think we'll look back at the Auburn-Miami games as when he passed the point of no return, so to speak. If you're an individual whose job description requires you to objectively make decisions about the future of the program, you just saw two very winnable games that we essentially coached ourselves out of.

In the Auburn game, it was the sporadic poor play call and the inability to recognize the other team's adjustments and counter (quite possibly the most important task for a coach in this modern football world of 3-D replays and Jon Madden-fueled layman football knowledge). Against Miami, it was just about every facet of the game directly affected by the coaches: the play calling, the lack of a concerted attack plan out of the gate, generally poor recognition and adjustment-making skills, the inability to motivate players, the inability to keep players focused, and even decisions about personnel on the field. The only thing keeping us in the game: Miami coaches who weren't a whole lot better.

Let's be clear: I am not hoping Dabo Swinney fails. I hope he turns this around and hey, he did a reasonable job of bouncing back after a rocky start last year. But at the same time, Clemson fans would be wise to wake up out of their Swinney slogan-induced stupor: hearkening back to a post I made last year, the list of coaches of current ACC programs with a mediocre second-year record that went on to illustrious careers is extremely short. And I don't think anyone mistakes Dabo for a Frank Beamer or Mack Brown.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Dennis Dodd's 2009 Fail, Miami a Must Win??

This video was from last year when Miami was the best 1 loss team in the nation and on their way to a BCS bowl game according to a ton of pundits. No one gave Clemson a chance, especially an ill informed Dennis Dodd, and we won. No one gave us a chance against Auburn last week either and we should have won that game, now we are underdogs again--at home. A lot of people have really good previews up, so I won't waste your time with that. All I am going to say right now is that this is the game that will frame our season.

Last year we ended Miami's season with out win. We kept them out of the ACC championship game. A win tomorrow puts us in the drivers seat for a return to the Championship game. Miami is our toughest Coastal game and hopefully most of the suspensions hold up against UNC when we play them. A depleted GT team we get at home. I am convinced that winning the ACC Atlantic will come down to how teams fare against Coastal division foes. So lets take a look.

Florida State is still our main competition. But they are looking weaker after BYU just got spanked by Utah State! FSU beat up on Wake and Samford so have they really been tested yet? Oklahoma is a good team but struggled with Air Force so its hard to get a good read on FSU. They play at Virginia this week and at Miami next week. If we can beat Miami, it will be even harder to beat Miami when they finally return home. Lastly they have UNC in early November which might mean UNC has more players returning. They won't run away with it but might go 6-2 or 5-3.

Wake has been awful and if Maryland is competing for the title then everyone will be 4-4 so I am not afraid of them. NC State is now the darkhorse (I've always thought it was a 2 team race with us and FSU) and an interesting team we need to watch out for. I'm still not convinced but they beat GT at GT and tomorrow play VTech. If they beat Tech and we lose to Miami then I would have to put them as the frontrunner's. Could it be that all O'Brien needed was a healthy Nate Irving(who has looked pretty darn good) and a few healthy players to make a run. They also play at UNC late in the year and we get them at home, although they have a Thursday night game against FSU and the long weekend to prepare for us. Wilson is a good QB but I am not sold yet.

I laughed when I saw some ESPN peeps putting BC as a possible Atlantic division winner. I will cheer for them against Notre Dame but its been obvious to anyone paying attention that the overall talent level has diminished at BC every year since Spaz took over. Great guy I'm sure and not a bad defensive coach but without a QB and any dangerous skill players its a tall order. The defense is still stout but they already lost to VTech. What BC has going for them is the easiest Coastal schedule with Duke and Virginia but I don't see them above .500 in conference play.

The other reason we need to beat Miami is for recruiting. Sammy Watkins is the number one receiver in the state of Florida and is down to us and Miami. That is reason enough. Even Jeff Scott couldn't inadequately develop his talent (sorry, low blow). To jump into that upper echelon of recruiting where we pull in Rome, Shell, one stud LB, even Clowney (who will be there for the game), we need a marquee win like this every year. Going into the Plains was respectable but you need to beat Florida teams to steal the CJ Spiller's and hopefully Mike Bellamy's of the world on a consistent enough basis to win championship's plural.

Also with all the big matchups this week a win against Miami places us firmly in the top 25, if not top 20. Without it, it will be a long road to being ranked this season. Lastly it would be a nice self esteem boost to all Clemson fans who think we can still win the national championship this year to be able to say that we have beat the Canes two times in a row and no one likes to get beat on your Homecoming date.

Come on Tigers--help keep the families and fathers of the upstate functional this weekend.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Absolute Carnage

Hey Auburn--quit biting from Dabo's arsenal of motivation slogans. Dabo pretty much coined the phrase "ALL IN" and adding the word 'Family' doesn't make it yours. Also since I'm ticked, since when has the SEC become the receptacle for QB's with criminal records?? Everyone gets a second and third chance in the SEC and its about time somebody placed greater value on not having players arrested every other week (Florida, Georgia, USuCk).
For all you idiots who want to play nationally ranked opponents for every OOC game, here is another reason your stupid. If you play multiple Auburn-like games half your team will be injured or 'concussed' for the conference schedule. My goodness....

That was the toughest game we have played in many years. I mean that in multiple ways--we finally had some toughness and I thought when it was 2nd and 5 inside the 15 we were going to win. This is a tough loss. Guys finally were showing their stuff--Bowers was dominant at times, Jamie Harper made the entire nation's jaws collectively drop, and McDaniel and Maxwell were laying people out.

The game turned when Auburn (who was hitting with helmets first all night, even ripping off Ellington's helmet) hit KP in the back. He may never be the same...he gutted it out but looked in serious agony. I was really sad to see David Smith go down as well. You might even argue that the game turned when Brewer made a great interception and we ended up on the half inch line, resulting in great field position for Auburn and momentum swinging their way. Its hard to lose on what feels like a stolen game.

I want to take heart in a moral victory but right now I just feel bad for this team. Auburn was lucky to walk away with this one. Can you believe that hit on McCalebb by Maxwell??

Special teams cost us the game. Zimmerman was back to his 39 yard self and Cat man blew it(but its hard to blame the rookie kicker), only after our highly recruited long snapper blew it. I thought the return game was average and it showed how special Spiller and Ford were. Where was the flag on the hit of Gilchrist. I really felt like Auburn got away with a lot of uncalled personal fouls.

I liked Napier's play-calling for the most part. The drive before overtime with the slow developing end around was the only play I really scratched my head on. KP lost some of his mobility after the hit and we couldn't get it in the flat to the tight end and on some screens like we were before.

Our offensive line was pushing around an SEC defense!! I wish we would have just stuck to pounding the rock all game but still liked the gameplan. We faltered on the last drive of the first half on a bogus pass interference call against Gilchrist but were finally dominant for an entire half. The defense got a little tired but we hung in there and now I am going to go lie in bed staring blankly and thinking about why this always happens to Clemson. This feels even worse than that BC overtime loss, where we missed the XP after scoring a TD and lost the game bc of it.

It was really smart for Dabo to talk about adversity. I think in 2008 we were pretty much all hype getting spanked by Alabama but now I think we are starting to belong and I feel we can win the ACC now. This team showed a lot of guts and we should rally around them and support them no matter what...if you get a chance, go ahead and be that creepy guy who leaves a facebook post thanking and encouraging our guys...they deserve it.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Auburn Predictions and Ramblings

So we are finally beginning the season. Gameday. First I love Brent Musburger--he loves Clemson and the Esso Club and coined the now infamous phrase the 25 most exciting seconds in ALL of college football. A bold statement by any announcer but Musburger exudes class. He also does his homework and is very competent.

I guess I should really start over--if we win, we are beginning the season(and should pass South Caroline). If we lose the season starts with ACC play. Ha.

Another thing--South Carolina has beaten Southern Miss and then a substandard Georgia team and we are crowning them Natl Champs. Its pathetic. Sure, give credit where it is due--you beat Georgia, pat yourself on the back but the ESPN/SEC bias gets nauseating when its talked about incessantly and the Cocks shoot up to #13?? Its insane. Then I start seeing pictures of Marcus Lattimore everywhere and even a blurb about him as a Heisman contender. Really media, are we that starved for content?? Georgia had a horrible run D last year--give me a break. Now they play Furman. Where is all the crying about the powderpuff schedule?? huh?

So lets talk Auburn before I throw up even more in my mouth. Auburn is one of the cooler programs in the SEC--good people, they hate Alabama and Georgia. They have unreal expectations (just like us!) and fired Tuberville and got Chizik who was hired over Gill Turner. Seems like its been working out pretty good so far. They got some limo's for recruiting. Challenged the UT Wildboys for the biggest recruiting stunts and hauled in a good class. Even got a top RB in Dyer.

First Auburn has Cam Newton who is just ginormous. It really is Daquan Bowers at QB. He has a rocket arm but hasn't been tested in terms of accuracy but led his Jr College to the Jr College Champs so its not his first rodeo. I guess I'm saying that this guy isn't just a hyped athlete who hasn't learned to play QB. Runs like a gazelle mixed with a freight train, if that helps.

Since we made Chris Turner of Maryland look like an athlete last year--pretty much any QB can run on us. We have also historically sucked against misdirection. We all like the same gap assignment--what can I say...

So for RB they have Dyer (protypical back) and McCalebb (explosive guy) who aren't proven as everydown backs yet but have the talent. Our LB's are beat up with Maye coming off injury and Tig hurting his elbow so I have no confidence there(I am actually really disappointed with the LB play thus far--thought Corico would take that proverbial 'next step') and our D-Line can sometimes disappear in big games. We need our safeties to step up and CB's not to blow coverage.

So Auburn will score points but we need to create turnovers on defense. We need to have a Miami game where we give up yards and points but we also make some big plays that give us a chance.

On Offense we know what we get out of KP and hopefully what we get out of our RB's. We need no turnovers and we need the Offensive Line to be able to get some push at the point of attack. They have a veteran defensive group with top notch LB's who are All-SEC, no glaring weaknesses. But they have given up a lot of points in the past and DC Ted Roof won't be doing all that much blitzing. We have a chance to put up points but if WR's don't catch balls it will be a long day. I am interested to see what Napier has in store--his progression as a play caller is perhaps the most important thing of all.

I keep hearing how Clemson has the advantage in special teams and I have to scratch my head. Auburn has a preseason Groza candidate and we have a freshman kicker. Sure he can make XP's and made a 47 yarder (all great things, don't get me wrong) but the Cat Man is going on the road to a hostile environment with plenty of pressure. It is just another animal altogether. Their punter averages 40 yards a kick, ours does too minus one 70 yarder. Gilchrist has been solid fielding kicks but hasn't proven that he has the top end speed to take it to the house.

If I take the orange colored glasses that are glued to my head off for a minute I say Auburn by 4. But since that won't happen I am going Clemson 28 Auburn 27.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Blue Hose at the Half

Thats what I like to see. WR's stepping up, Tajh Boyd looked good--no, great. I would like to see Kyle Parker get some more reps in and try to establish some timing. KP also took a scary shot--want to protect a little better. Some brief highlights--Barnes (a scout team player) was running hard. Clear made a spectacular grab. Dwayne Allen was a beast and Jaron Brown showed some more open field moves. Gilchrist was solid in the return game.

Goodman is superhuman on special teams causing that fumble...

I want to score at least 72. ACC getting embarrassed right now. FSU hype--they beat Samford and people want to crown them. Clemson is the defending Atlantic champs and don't forget it.

Friday, 10 September 2010

On Defense

I have been thinking a lot about the dynamics of our defense post-NT. I thought at the beginning of the season that LB wouldn't be the most glaring weakness on the team. I thought WR would be the problem and then questionable Special Teams play(I am still shocked from that 78 yrd punt). After the first couple of series for the offense the WR's looked somewhat better and if Cat is perfect from the 40 yrd line in, like Dabo says, and Zim punts beyond 39 yards then its the LB's that are the dead weight once again this year.

We need this Preb. game, we need the creampuff. We need the defense to learn the calls and be able to adjust to reading the offensive formations. Too often players were pointing and confused pre-snap, not getting adequately set and directing others. We need to build depth--its beyond me why Quandon Christian played 8 plays. Unless we are going to be playing Nickel (2 LB's) and Dime(1 LB) all stinking year, every play, this makes no sense. He looked better than most of the guys out there in his limited time, which included 3 tackles.

The main problems I was seeing included poor tackling (nothing new for Clemson, especially those weak arm tackles) but also bad angles being taken to ball carriers. The safeties McDaniel and Hall had some horrendous moments/whiffs as a result of taking poor lines to the ball. Corners played average and gave away too much to inferior WR's.

D-Line saw its two starters hobbled, Chavis with an ankle sprain and Jenkins hurt his knee--it was swelling after the game. I am actually worried about it and hope it's not serious. Bowers thought his knee was nothing but it limited him most of last year. I do like that the back-ups will see substantial playing time because we will be thin next year at D tackle. Shatley and Moore looked good during their playing time last week.

So I've been thinking that our problems stopping the run are less about talent and more about scheme. Playing Nickel and Dime means you have less beef in the box and fewer players close to the line. Steele doesnt want a LB matched up against a WR in a 4-Wide set--he just won't do it. I'm sure he also thinks that getting Brewer, Gilchrist, or Sensabaugh as the 5th DB puts more talent on the field and he is probably right. The problem I think we are having right now though, is that this defensive alignment puts too much pressure on Tig and Hawk. They have very little room for error and are often outnumbered at the point of attack by the offense.

Now when I saw Hawkins literally jump past the QB Tune and blow a QB sack I rolled my eyes and worried that I had judged too much from his impressive Kent. bowl performance. I like Tig and Hawk--they look the part and will take their lumps because of inexperience but the tackling, technique--everything was poor to average the last game. Maybe they just need some help and should stick to the 4-3. I really want to see Steele use Shuey(who I think can be another solid player for us) and Christian at least a third of the game. They deserve the chance to show us what they got.

This season literally hinges on our ability to shut down the zone read. Auburn will use it, Maryland, GT, USC to name a few...if we have to gameplan around taking away that single play then I think we should do it. Against running QB's play the 4-3 and take your chances with the LB on a WR--its the reason you trust your stellar Safeties!! Play Nickel and Dime to your heart's content against QB's that can really burn you.

Stop Cam Newton running and you win the game. At the very least I want to see some crazy blitzing come Auburn.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

At the Half: N. Texas

I have been reserving judgement on this team and refraining from pre-season babble because I wanted to see the team with my own eyes.
My fear after losing Spiller and Ford was three-fold. Field position, explosiveness(big plays), and speed especially as receivers. Gilchrist has done well thus far and we have had some big plays from Ellington and Clear on a blown coverage. Harper has played tough. So we looked better towards the half and hopefully some of KP's rust has come off. We have been pathetic on third down conversions and sustaining any kind of drive. The O-line has been decent but not dominant and the WR's aren't separating or running crisp routes. It was good to see Nuke though. Allen needs to be more involved.
Defense can kiss that rushing defense goal goodbye Hawkins if this half is indicative of how our defense will handle draw plays and running QB's. The D-line is still having trouble with contain, LB's out of position and bad tackling and angles from McDaniel and Hall on a couple of big plays. We are getting penetration and pressuring the QB but looked like we were in slow motion on some plays.
Special Teams
Zimmerman has the punt of his career! After averaging what seems like a constant 39 yrd punt he goes for 78!! I like it. Kickoff coverage has been a little shaky.

Overall I think North Texas was tough to gameplan for with the new OC, who is doing a good job of mixing it up. Dunbar is legit so I will be happy with a 2 touchdown win that doesn't ever feel close. For all of you who wanted to play a 'real' team I'm glad you aren't in charge of the schedule--Clemson would have gotten smoked with that first half performance against a top 15 team.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

A Word On Schedules

Every year a portion of the Clemson fan-base starts whining about playing a few cupcakes. For some reason they have it in their heads that playing 2 all-mighty SEC schools is not enough and that we should be playing like 4 top 25 teams(if not top 10 teams) with our Out Of Conference schedule.

For some reason Shamecocks like to get in on this conversation as well. So here you go--this year we play Auburn(top 25, no. 22), USuCk, North Texas, and Presbyterian. South Carolina will play Clemson, Southern Miss(7-6 last year), Furman!, and Troy. Clearly we have the tougher OOC. So the Cocks aren't a good barometer for anything so why don't we look at the Natl Champs Alabama--they should have an ideal OOC schedule. Alabama kicks off against San Jose St!! They play no. 19 Penn State, Duke!, and Georgia State (a team that just recently formed a Div 1 football team). Again, we have the tougher OOC.

How about Georgia? They start with Louisiana Lafayette, a Colorado team that was 3-9 last year, Idaho State!, and GT. We have the tougher schedule again. In fact, we could do this with the majority of the ACC and really the country. We have probably the 3rd or 4th toughest OOC in the ACC. Even VT who plays Boise St then plays James Madison, East Carolina, and Central Michigan. The 12th game added by the NCAA essentially scheduled a creampuff for the entire country.

12 games is a long season and you need those easy games for player development. We need Tajh Boyd to get meaningful minutes, the linebackers to get experience(especially with Cooper and Maye going down), the receivers to get a clue, and to build O-Line depth. You could easily argue that if we hadn't had the TCU game then we wouldn't have lost to Maryland. Take away those two losses and you have a shiny record and a top 15-10 finish, and a better bowl game at season's end. With the stupid Sun Bowl replacing the Gator Bowl that win will become even more important. I know everyone wants to pay to watch an amazing game and we want to play the best competition, it makes you better but every year its not always in the best interest of the team. If you want it for yourself then it becomes borderline selfish--and OOC games can impact your entire season (and your career) like Alabama did. So lets keep 2 SEC teams and then we'll have a schedule better than 80% of the teams in College Football. So quit whining...

Thursday, 26 August 2010

A New Recruiting Anthem for Jeff Scott

There is nothing better for recruiting than having 2 of our newest members, Martin Jenkins and Darius Robinson, create a rap song about how much they love their school. This should be sent to all possible recruits. 21,000 viewings isn't shabby either. The season is finally coming. I don't think I can stand another puffy spring piece. Yeah we 'all in', ballin' or something to that effect...Go Tigers! (Oh and Haha!(Nelson voice) to UNC--thats what you get)(Oh and 11 walk-ons, I know Dabo you love the underdog and all but come on...)(Oh and we suck as bloggers but if anyone still reads this we will be posting again regularly now that the season is here)

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Dabo Does It Again: Kyle Parker is Staying

Last year the addition of CJ Spiller added at least 2-3 wins for us and put us in the ACC Champs game. This year I think Kyle Parker does the same. We go from a mid tier ACC team to challenging for the BCS birth. I'm really excited about this so I am in trouble of going overboard here but I think the QB is the most important single player on the field offensively. Tajh will be good but would have struggled early and we were one hit away from Wade being our starter. Not that encouraging.

KP has been there and has already played very well. Spiller coming back was huge but we had RB depth and some young guys step up. I really think we can win 10 games this season and take the ACC champs. If we can get some of these WR's to step up and we don't have any injuries along the offensive line then we are solid offensively. Put that together with a stout defense and you have a recipe for championships. Granted we need Kyle to learn to put a bit more touch on some balls and go deeper in his progressions and reads but as a freshman qb he was an asset and not many freshman qb's can say that.

I tip my hat to Dabo. This was, of course, the decision of the Parker family (I think they handled it brilliantly by the way) but something tells me that Dabo was in somebodies ear and lobbying hard for the Tigers. He is certainly a great recruiter. I'm finally excited about this season. Spot the ball!!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Martavis Bryant

I have got to say that I really don't understand this ruling by the NCAA and I think that kids in this situation need someone to stand up for them. Obviously I am not that person but I wish someone in the Clemson media or family had more clout to change this situation.

So Bryant wasn't going to qualify but he hunkered down and studied and got all the grades and scores he needed to just barely cross the finish line and qualify. But as this article points out he ends up a half credit short because they can't find the grades for an online math class he took during summer school. Its not TL Hanna's fault because Bryant came from the failed school Calhoun Falls and apparently the records of that class were destroyed by mistake.

First off that is extremely negligent, almost criminally. I was once a high school teacher and I know that the teacher and school are required to keep records for a certain amount of years--usually 5-10 before they can be destroyed. What I want to know is who was the teacher of the class. Even if it was an online class someone is assigned to oversee the section. Why can't the teacher vouch for the completion?? He must have a report card somewhere saying that he took the class and the grade received, right?

This is another example of how little priority South Carolina gives to educating its students. Clemson is getting even less from the state in financial support this year and the entire education system is a joke. From a football perspective a strong public school system is in Clemson's best interest so that more recruits are eligible (especially with our stupid 'standards'--who wouldn't want Dwight Jones to beef up our receivers this year).

In the end he is going to Hargrave and will hopefully be fine but he put in the effort so I don't think a school's (and a state's) negligence should keep him out of Clemson. It also would have been nice to know this before the summer so he could have taken the online class then. I guess this was hard to foresee but it could have been flagged and ultimately remedied. See you midseason Martavis!

Friday, 25 June 2010

Well That Sucked

I blame this game on Jack Leggett. He started the wrong pitcher with Leone--you start your best pitcher Harmon and you knew Leone wasn't going to have it after the first game. Leggett looked rattled and showed it--Hinson bunting, are you kidding me?? The hottest hitter in all of college baseball? Why is he batting so low in the line-up anyway?

So Roth took it to us...we struggle against lefties, exposed by the Oklahoma lefty who owned us in the second day of that game. What has helped our team the most is getting ahead early and stying loose. When we get tense we press and suck, not taking pitches--horrible approach etc.

The formula is strong starting pitching--staying away from our awful bullpen(which performed ok tonight all things considered) and piling on runs with Leggett desire for small ball. That gets destroyed if we are tense and get behind early.

Good thing we have another game. 2002 can't be repeated. BENCH EPPS!! He should never be at the plate against a lefty, ever...Lamb should DH, he can pitch and DH--he has done it all year. At least DH someone who doesnt whiff at a LH pitcher--the guy was going to go three innings max and we make him look like Strasburg. Nothing out of the infield...

Pathetic...hope Leggett can right the ship. I wouldn't have minded losing to Oklahoma twice and calling it a good season but losing to South Carolina twice and repeating 2002 is unbearable...

Go Tigers!! Win the big one for once...

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Clemson/Oklahoma Weather Delay: Game Suspended

So we are delayed right now but Clemson really came out and took it to Oklahoma. This weather delay is bad news because Weissman was doing well and could have gone at least another inning if not two innings. Frederick pitched last night and he is the best in our weak bullpen.

So the game so far was showing the weakness of our defense--Miller dropped a ball that would have gotten the runner trying to steal second. That fatboy for Oklahoma can run--a bunt and chopped infield single, plus a nice run into the gap to take away a double.

The game turned because Oklahoma pitcher Shore lost his control and threw 14 straight balls. Oklahoma scored a run off of Weissman who has been giving up a lot of fly balls, not keeping the ball down enough but getting some strikeouts and swinging strikes to put together a solid start.

I also had no problem with taking that error by the Oklahoma outfielder because the Kyle Paker bomb was clearly a home run--give me a break...Do we not have someone else to play SS--31 errors, give me a break. I'm not thrilled with Epps as the DH, I guess they are protecting Lamb to use in the bullpen or starting but I don't know.

Worst moment of the game--a double steal?? Boyd wasnt even close at home and you take the bat out of Freeman's hands. A Busch League managing move, you have momentum-with 2 outs, risking Keiboom getting caught stealing with a man on third makes little sense and statistically doesn't improve your chances unless you are close to 80% sure he will be able to steal the base.

Anyway, I would imagine Lamb goes tomorrow but its hard to tell and really a tough break when you have that kind of momentum. We are up 6-1 but that can quickly disappear with our bullpen, although perhaps Frederick can now be used. Winning this game means we get two chances to try to get one win to be in the finals with probably UCLA but need to make 12 outs before we can think of that...(oh wait Im already thinking ahead...)

But I should really leave this on a positive note--we are up 6-1 and poised to put ourselves in the drivers seat for the Championship game...KP hit a blast, we chased another starting pitcher, and KieBOOM is more awesome than Bushytail....

Monday, 21 June 2010

ASU Goes Down, Clemson 6-3!

Tigers win 6-3!! My computer melted down so I havent been posting but had to post. Frederick comes in with the bases loaded in the 7th and no outs--gives up one run and saves the game. He handled the eighth and ninth very well. So we avoid the losers bracket--haha South Carolina, in the losers bracket again!! Harmon was solid until the seventh when he lost his command.

The defense was pretty good on our side, ASU had a costly couple of errors especially the throwing error by shortstop Marrero. Very surprising since ASU was known coming in for good defense. Our offense scored six runs but it was mostly from singles here and there. Hopefully our power will return against Oklahoma. I got to say that ol Jack Leggett impressed me today. His team had this rain delay and he had them ready to go and we took down the #1 team in the nation. Weismann will probably go against Oklahoma and if the Tigers can win that we will get Harmon again with a chance to go to the Finals. I think this format favors us, if we can avoid going to that third or fourth starter.

Couldn't have asked for a better start, Go Tigers!!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Auburn Commentators, Kyle Parker

These are two of the worst commentators I have ever heard. Unabashedly bias--even declaring so themselves. Every borderline call is met with an exclamation of "Goodness" or "Good Night", openly criticizing the entire umpire crew. (favoring SEC crews??) Whining about the umps being tough for Auburn all weekend long...

I love the snap judgements too--they can't even see the corner themselves, plus the replay is just as bad. My two cents says the strike zone was equally bad for both teams--Schaus and Freeman got rung up on awful calls. The best was how the tag on the strike out, throw out to end the fifth or sixth inning went from the worst call ever to a quiet admission that the call was obviously the right call. Lets even criticize the guy warming up for Clemson, how many times do we need to hear that Auburn is outhitting Clemson??...unprofessional Auburn...

In other news KP got drafted 26th by the Rockies--good thing they weren't drafting him for his corner outfield defense. He totally blew a couple of plays. Kyle--just sign deal that allows you to play one more season. Without Kyle we are going to struggle this year, thats all there is to it...Boyd is nowhere near being college ready. 1st round money is tough to pass up though, so unless Kyle is the next CJ Spiller, putting Clemson above instant fame and fortune, he is gone--along with our ACC title hopes. Can't blame Parker though, its millions of dollars to play a game he loves. Do you risk injury, can you wait another year for it? Go Tiger baseball!! Lets win that Super Regional...

Friday, 4 June 2010

Jamie Cumbie Post-Mortem

So by now you have probably heard that Jamie Cumbie got kicked off the team and possibly out of school for a case of aggravated assault. Basically kicked the crap out of some kid with connections. Dabo swiftly dismissed him. What I wanted to do was talk about how this impacts the team.

Cumbie was a 4* Defensive end recruit who came into Clemson after playing his senior year of baseball (he was a pretty good prospect) so he lacked some upper body strength for his 6'7" frame. He would have really benefited from a redshirt year but ended up playing his freshman year. He was moved inside his Sophomore year to shore up depth and as a kind of third down, pass rushing interior lineman. He broke his hand and ended up redshirting then played really well last year for us. As a senior this year, he was expected to provide quality minutes as the 2nd string starter because Coach Brooks likes to rotate a lot of bodies, to keep players as fresh as possible. Cumbie really did a good job of rushing the passer, so that will be missed.

Jenkins and Thompson start but now you have Chavis and Rennie Moore playing as the second string and our top rated DL recruit Josh Watson from Hargrave probably playing and avoiding a redshirt. This is one of our deeper positions but it still hurts to lose a guy was going to have played for four years. What will be interesting to see is if Tyler Shatley gets a legit shot at playing time now. Reviews have been positive but Shatley was seen primarily as a really good fullback coming out of high school in the chad diehl mold. If he can play some good minutes, then I doubt we miss Cumbie much and we give more minutes to our future DL--next year we will be severely hurt by graduation, especially if Thompson declares for the NFL Draft (highly unlikely at this point, but not completely outside the realm of possibility).

I'm going to miss seeing Cumbie in a Tiger Uniform, I wish he could apologize and get back on the team because he had a lot of potential he had yet to fulfill on the field. Take care of yourself Jamie. Thanks for the memories.

Quick Edit: So after looking at the police report--he absolutely pummeled the other kid. Brain bleeding, broken teeth, teeth in the gums, multiple nose fractures. This was not a fight it was a beating and that can't be tolerated. One punch and you got my sympathy but this is inexcusable. I also failed to write that Jamie also had some run-ins with the staff before and was left home from the bowl game last year, for what its worth...

Friday, 28 May 2010

Stanley Hunter Interview

This will hopefully be a more consistent feature here on Clembentigermax. We are very pleased to have Stanley Hunter on the blog. He is certainly one of the most inspirational players to play on the team and we hope to continue to get updates from him throughout the years. We asked a few basic questions that we hope readers will enjoy...

1) What is your favorite all time football moment, so far as a Clemson Tiger? My favorite moment as a Tiger on the football field I would have to say would be my first tackle against Alabama...After all that I had been through at that time, it just felt so good to finally make a play as a Tiger!

2) What is your favorite locker room memory that you have, something fun the readers may not have heard before?? A funny locker room moment: Haha there are so many but one that stands out is after fall camp '08, the upper classmen throw all the freshmen in the cold pool lol...its always fun to watch but definitely not fun to endure!

3) What is your spot to eat in Clemson? The best place to eat in Clemson...hmmm I'm going with Mac's! It's awesome and I can never get enough of it!

Again we want to thank Stanley for all his work as a Tiger (player and now as a coach) and wish him the best in the future. God Bless Stanley!!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Keith Law Lays Down The Proverbial 'Law' On Kyle Parker

Dinich talks Kyle Parker with someone who knows his stuff, Keith Law. He says what we have been saying on the blog (scroll down for TigerMax's recent blurb) that KP is a second to fourth round draft pick and not a first round grade. KP would play first base and some LF in the MLB--those are positions usually reserved for non-athletes. I think KP is a better football athlete than he is a baseball one, which sounds strange but as Law says he isn't "the typical two-sport guy who's fast and flexible." Statistically 1st base and LF aren't your high value positions in baseball, but wait--he can hit you say...

For you, Law finishes with this gem, "He's also more of a mistake hitter whose power is more evident in BP than in games." Ouch. Still he is putting up good numbers, so the hope is that once the scouts start spreading this around and do some deeper analysis his stock will drop. Not that I want him to fail, I just want him to play football in the spring and have the team succeed over the individual--yeah I am that selfish...

(photo courtesy of the Anderson Independent Mail--yeah, this isn't a myspace picture, its from a newspaper...haha)

The real question Kyle and his family will ask is what is best for his future...will he be able to be drafted as a QB? Then you have to ask, will his baseball draft stock ever get higher than it currently is?? And then finally--do you risk it all to play another year of Clemson football???(yes, three question marks) They actually are tough questions when it all boils down...

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Emerson says Holloway Denied Clemson Transfer

I hate to send people to his twitter feed but Seth Emerson had it first. Holloway has been denied a transfer to the Coots and Clemson. A kid from Alabama, who is a senior just went to UNC--give me a break Ole Miss. Holloway, get a lawyer and appeal it to the NCAA and they will fold. Its not right and it won't stand up in court.

This was really the reason why we couldn't hold Marcus Thornton to his LOI because if kids take it to court they win hands down. Any lawyers out there want to volunteer? Its a slam dunk case (awful pun intended)...

So yeah...Kyle Parker

I've been too busy with work to write much lately. But I've been following baseball and yeah, Kyle Parker currently sports a slash line of .391/.519/.751. 169 at bats is still a small sample size for projecting future performance in baseball, but that's still a mighty impressive line for a third-year player in the ACC. His batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is .412 which seems a bit high and could imply that some regression is coming. For reference sake, average BABIP in the big leagues is around .290. On the other hand, the average ACC BABIP is undoubtedly higher and this stat can mislead at the college level if players consistently square up on pitchers from weak out-of-conference competition.

It's not just the numbers, most of the scouting sites I've read are now pretty much sold on his power and approach at the plate. No one is willing to go out on a limb and say he'll hit for good average in the pros, but now everyone seems to acknowledge it as a distinct possibility. He is still rated as raw on the defensive skills side. The stupid errors are down this season, but that's something that's not really that important and can be improved through repetition. What scouts are looking for is range, jump as the ball comes off the bat, and route-running (in roughly that order). Arm strength then comes in as a pretty distant fourth, although Parker has plenty of arm. To me he still seems to get poor jumps and take pretty lousy routes, but his range might have improved a bit from years past. The routes can be fixed with experience, but jump is more instinctive. Good range will make up for below-average jump, though.

I have always felt that Parker's defense would keep him from getting drafted high enough to tempt him away from another season of football. My reasoning: there isn't a lot of demand right now for all bat, no glove players--even at a corner outfield position. If your ceiling includes the DH position, that automatically cuts the number of interested teams in half and recently even the DH slot has been used by American League teams for purposes other than stashing away a slugger. Ultimately, however, I think Parker's overall athleticism (bolstered in part by a strong showing on the football field last season?) is causing concerns about his defense to fade, at least somewhat. Coupled with an improved plate approach, his stock has really been rising. There was always the danger that a team with a lot of money to burn on the draft (Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Tigers, etc.) would select him trying to snag higher-level talent later in the draft. At this point, he seems likely to get a good offer from whatever team drafts him.

I'm curious what others think about his defensive play this season. My eye doesn't have the best training in the world, but if we can get a few opinions we'll have a better idea--a wisdom of crowds kind of thing. At any rate, it's going to be a tenser summer for Clemson football fans than I previously anticipated.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Let Murphy Holloway Come To Clemson

This is seriously outrageous. Ole Miss has decided to deny Murphy Holloway from transferring to Clemson. Of course they have every right to not allow him to transfer to another in conference, SEC school but there is no merit in denying him his ability to transfer to be closer to home. Did Duke reject the transfer to Memphis? Will Roy deny the transfer of the Wear brothers(which makes NC's frontline look even thinner next year) to a non-ACC school?

This is just some petty, weak sauce from Ole Miss but they aren't entirely to blame. I think we should send some serious disgruntled letters to the State to perhaps rein in Korncoot a little. His poor journalism is partly the reason we are in this predicament. He said the transfer was "a done deal", so much so that it was even picked up by ESPN. The fact that ESPN took Korncoot's story is laughable and a poor reflection on their own level of journalistic integrity. It's like quoting me for crying out loud.

In summary, Holloway better be released to Clemson after his appeal. Its juvenile and I am sick of Clemson always getting the short end of these sticks. Did we man up and release Marcus Thornton?? Yes, and this isn't even in that same league--Ole Miss, do the right thing.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Murphy Holloway Come On Home

So the report is out that Ole Miss player Murphy Holloway is transferring to be closer to his daughter and family. He could either go to Clemson or USC but because Ole Miss let some player go to LSU last year, the 2008 South Carolina Gatorade player of the year is most likely coming to Clemson. He had us in his final four with Tenn, USC, and Ole Miss and to sweeten the deal was recruited by Earl Grant at the time for Wichita State so we already have a good relationship with him.

The kid is 6'7" and is still somewhat raw with his offensive game. He averaged 10 points and 7 boards this past season but he is a pretty good rebounder, especially on the offensive end of the court. He is a pretty tough kid, good athleticism and would instantly help our front line--lessening the blow of missing out on Marcus Thornton. He would have been excellent in Purnell's system, averages 1.5 steals a game, pretty good defensively overall. He already has a lot of game experience and his rebounding would really be a bonus in Brownell's system. This is definitely some good news for our basketball team. Take a look below...

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Some Final CJ Spiller Lovin'

Here is some Pre-Draft CJ loving. Make us proud!! He better be a top 15 pick!

I am also hoping that Sapp goes higher than the third was he even practicing last year?? Shouldn't have started until the third game of the season...

Conner should go in the 5-6th round and hopefully Austin, Butler and Palmer sneak in as well as Chancellor...Go Tigers!!

Oh and if you want to go to South Carolina, you don't get drafted higher...its just not true...

EDIT: Are you ready to be a Buffalo Bills fan??? Wow, did not expect that one, Seattle, you blew it...

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Brownell: Purnell Hiring Redux?

Haven't dropped in on the blog much lately and in the process largely missed the hoopla surrounding Terry Don Phillips' 7-day rejection tour. In the end, however, out of all the names giving TDP's overtures serious consideration, Brad Brownell is probably the best we could have gotten. My sense is this reasonably good pick had more to do with luck than due diligence on TDP's part given the other names that were being floated around. On the other hand, the similarities between the Brownell hiring and the Purnell hiring can't be readily dismissed.

What did TDP see in Brownell? My general feeling for a program on Clemson's level is the hungry mid-major coach makes a better pick than the a relatively big name coach with a history of fringey success looking for another venue (think Tubby Smith, Al Skinner, Herb Sendak). The reasoning is simple--for a program that's still trying to build a basketball reputation in an elite conference, its better to get someone who will give you an immediate strategic advantage over the other coaches. This gives the program a chance for immediate expanded media exposure and gives the coach at least a couple of years of being automatically competitive in conference games as teams are forced to adjust. All of this increases recruiting capabilities and fan interest. A name coach might result in an automatic increase in the recruiting profile of a school, but impact is short-lived if the coach offers nothing new to the conference strategy-wise and is fighting to consistently reach .500. The big drawback, of course, is if the coach sees lots of success, he will likely jump to a bigger program in around five years or so. Its not necessarily a way to build a permanent reputation for basketball excellence, but on the other hand I think it can be argued that the days of building a powerhouse from the ground up, except in exceedingly rare circumstances, are all but over.

At any rate, my sense is this probably aligns somewhat with TDP's reasoning as it is consistent with both men's basketball coach hirings. Purnell was cut from the same mold, a coach with an atypical strategy bringing Clemson that helped us be competitive immediately in the ACC (well, at least relative to what Clemson is largely accustomed to...), energized the fanbase, increased media exposure, and ultimately raised our recruiting profile in the area.

So what does Brownell bring to the table strategy-wise? I only have time right now to look at some general properties from Kenpom:

All the rankings are positions within the Brownell's previous conferences. When looking at Clemson I have just used Division I rankings since Clemson should perform on a level similar to the other top 80 or so teams in "elite" conferences, but I think this approach is a bit more fair for looking at midmajor type teams as it puts coaches and teams on relatively the same footing as far as talent goes. The chart plots both offensive and defensive efficiencies and we can definitely see Brownell is a defensive-minded coach. But what I want to draw attention to is the tempo line in yellow. In the seven years for which data is available, Brownell's teams have rated dead last in adjusted tempo (meaning his teams play at a snail's pace) in five of the years. In 2006, he was 10 out of 12 in the newly-expanded Colonial League and in the 2007 he was coaching a bunch of players for the first time at Wright State. This style will undoubtedly contrast starkly with other styles in the ACC, although the Virginia Cavs notably slowed down a lot in Tony Bennett's first season.

Butler showed this year in the NCAA tournament that possession-centric basketball can be successful employed as a disruptive strategy against top programs, even if you need to keep the Maalox close at hand 'cause of all the nailbiting games. My initial impression is that the first year transitioning over to Brownell's system could be difficult for the Tigers: one key element absolutely required by this style of attack is discipline on offense. Brownell will have fits implementing this style of basketball with guards turning the ball over every third to fourth possession.

From briefly looking at the parallels in the Brownell/Purnell hirings, I think the hiring of Brownell likely signals a continuation of recent history. We're looking at a guy who can bring a disruptive strategy to the ACC and win some games, but disciplined and well-coached teams capable of exploiting weaknesses in the scheme will beat us regularly. To be sure, Brownell has the advantage of inheriting a much more skilled group of players than Purnell did, but he is still tasked with making them fit into his system and I'm not convinced our players are particularly well-suited for this transition. I'll delve deeper into the statistics to try and address this last point in some coming blogposts, but right now I'd say best case scenario we continue in the coming years as a slightly above average team in the ACC. Could be worse, but I think everyone was hoping for something better.

And yeah, looking at that chart, if you liked Purnell's middling offensive squads, you've got a lot to look forward to with Brownell! I'm not exactly sure where the reputation for being a good X/O coach comes from, but it ain't showing up in the statistical offensive profiles...

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Tigers Pick Up Solid TE Commit

Eric MacLain, a Rivals 250, committed to Clemson today. Here is some limited video of his work at the Under Armor camp but it was really after that camp as he slimmed down and was really impressive at the VTO camp did he start to turn heads. He has a surprising quick burst and pretty good footwork considering he is 6'5" 245 lbs. He is a smart kid and a worker--he plays basketball and I think will just continue to improve his hands and routes. He had been committed to Tennessee but had been looking at Virginia Tech, Duke, and Penn State. He said in his recruitment that a family atmosphere was important and a program on the rise. Good job coaching staff, I think we got not only a great player but a really good kid too. Welcome Eric!!

If we can land Jay Rome you can rename us TE U for the present cause I think we will have three potential NFL players on the roster. Eric and Jay would be a sick two tight end set.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Don't Beat Those Who Like To See Duke Beaten

I hope nothing like this ever comes to Clemson. No fan deserves or (human being for that matter) deserves to be beaten while in the defenseless fetal position. Cops deserve the respect they are owed but these bad apples reflect poorly on the entire law enforcement profession. This makes my blood boil because if Clemson had beaten Duke I would have been skipping in the street. Shoot if I was there I would have too...who wouldn't be happy seeing Singler lose(even to Greivis)??

Monday, 12 April 2010

Looks like Brad Brownell

I was going to do a multi-part series on TDP's train wreck of a search committee but I ended up in the ER over the weekend, complete with Desmondesque cat scan (Lost reference), but as I came to today it seems that Jeff Capel and Scott Drew turned down offers to be the next coach as well as Mississippi State coach Stansbury. Not getting a sniff from Capel and Drew really sucks--I don't think Capel is that great an X's and O's coach but would have been a high profile coach to salvage the wreckage and Drew would have been a great hire to me. I think a lot of the negativity surrounding him is sour grapes and his hiring of some AAU summer league people to staff positions but whatever--he turned us down.

I think hiring Stansbury would have been a step backwards. He can recruit pretty well but has had above average teams in the SEC and not been able to deliver down the stretch. The teams he has coached have been loaded with talent at times but I just don't see him doing much better in the ACC and taking us to the next level.

Other coaches interviewed were Jacksonville's Cliff Warren who is a Paul Hewitt protege. I think I'll pass, he has built a respectable program there after five years but sorry maybe after the jump to a mid-major or more sustained winning. Same goes for the Wofford coach Mike Young who I have great respect for but don't think has shown enough to merit a jump to the ACC just yet. His teams play hard and are well coached (Wofford also doesn't support the bball program nearly as much as it should) but it has taken awhile for him to build to this level. I would not feel confident with him taking the reigns.

Blaine Taylor is an interesting candidate to me. I like the way his ODU teams play, good enough to make it to the second round of the tournament this year, and this is the second program he has achieved success with--doing it first at Montana where he took two teams to the NCAA's. He has had some post-season success--taking his 2006 squad to the NIT semifinals and was an assistant coach for Stew Morrill in the early 90's and then Mike Montgomery from 98'-01'. Am I convinced he could lead this team to the promised land? My main question is his ability to recruit in the south and land top prospects. I think that this hire is the biggest wildcard on the table.

Herb Sendek shut us down. I would have liked to have seen us interview the Xavier coach and probably the Western Kentucky coach but other than Drew from Baylor I really don't see a coach I am thrilled about.

All that said it shouldn't matter because by all accounts and people I have talked to Terry Don is going to land Brad Brownell as his big fish. So lets take a bit closer look. He has posted twenty plus win seasons all four of his years at Wright State but only made the dance in the first year. He coaches in the Horizon league, a highly competitive mid-major that has as its main competition Butler. Most people say apart from Brad Stevens he is the best coaching talent in the league. He has done a good job with two smaller programs, first UNC-Wilmington and then with Wright State. Interesting bit of trivia, Brownell was an assistant under Jerry Wainwright who left UNC-W to go to Richmond and then to DePaul where he was fired this year. You know the rest of the story.

Oh just saw Shakin has a much better write up of this whole thing than me so check it out here. Knowing that Brad Stevens was a pipe dream I think that Brownell is the best name we have so far. I want to see him lock down Marcus Thornton and keep Booker and Johnson on the team. Johnson would flourish in Brownell's offense and hopefully he can teach the team to set some screens and shoot the ball. No more of this needing to recruit better shooters--at the very least I want a guy who can teach. I will miss the pressure D and the full court approach but this year the system looked worn out so maybe we won't miss it much. I do, however, want to win next year--so whatever it takes TDP. If you make a bad hire I want your resignation...
A blog about all Clemson Tiger University sports--football, basketball, baseball, along with the occasional South Carolina coot bashing.