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.
A blog about all Clemson Tiger University sports--football, basketball, baseball, along with the occasional South Carolina coot bashing.