The Next Step


  by - Radio Host - Tuesday, March 17, 2015 9:36 AM
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The Next Step
Now that we know the men's basketball team is finished for the 2014-15 season, its time to look ahead to the 2015-16 squad.

The Tigers lose Rod HallRod Hall
Sr. Guard
#12 6-1, 205
Augusta, GA

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and Damarcus HarrisonDamarcus Harrison
Sr. Guard
#21 6-4, 205
Greenwood, SC

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in the backcourt but return everyone else. Clemson returns 10 players who have experience heading into next season. Each player brings a strength to the table, but the key will be player development for each.

Jaron BlossomgameJaron Blossomgame
RS So. Forward
#5 6-7, 215
Alpharetta, GA

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needs to take the next jump and become an All-ACC type of player. He needs to continue to improve in several areas including finishing at the rim. Blossomgame has a shot to become a great player in this league.

Donte GranthamDonte Grantham
Fr. Forward
#15 6-8, 205
Martinsburg, WV

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showed promise as a freshman but at times looked overmatched. His sophomore jump is vital to this team. Clemson needs Grantham to become more of a consistent force.

Landry NnokoLandry Nnoko
Jr. Center
#35 6-10, 255
Montverde, FL

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was a major disappointment in 2014-15. He was always in foul trouble and was either invisible or a turnover machine. His senior season is once again a key. If Nnoko can get back on track, this team could benefit from his presence in the paint.

Sidy DjitteSidy Djitte
So. Center
#50 6-10, 240
Fayetteville, NC

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took some steps forward but consistency was also an issue here. Post defense and rebounding could be a strength if Djitte takes the next step.

The staff gets about the most it can out of Josh SmithJosh Smith
Jr. Forward
#33 6-8, 245
Charlotte, NC

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. However, if he can take his game to one more level as a senior it would give the staff one more option for solid fundamental efforts.

Austin AjukwaAustin Ajukwa
So. Guard
#1 6-6, 205
Columbia, SC

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spent much of the year invisible but showed flashes of very good things on the offensive end of the court. With Harrison's departure, Ajukwa becomes a major contributor with more roles.

Gabe DeVoeGabe DeVoe
Fr. Guard
#10 6-3, 200
Shelby, NC

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did nothing for the first 26 games of the season, then he turned into a scoring threat. This program needs more from the two-guard spot and DeVoe appears to have some offensive potential.

Patrick RooksPatrick Rooks
RS Fr. Guard
#0 6-2, 190
Charlotte, NC

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never really recovered from his missed freshman campaign and his strength and defense held him back. It seems like his offensive shooting could land him more minutes if he improves on his weaknesses.

Jordan RoperJordan Roper
Jr. Guard
#20 6-0, 165
Columbia, SC

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was a vital player last season. When he was on offensively the Tigers rolled. Unfortunately, that happened only a handful of times. Roper needs to become a consistent option for this offense to improve in the half court.

Avry HolmesAvry Holmes
Jr. Guard
#3 6-2, 205
Salem, OR

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red-shirted due to transferring into the program. Reports have him as a quicker point guard with more offensive skills than Hall. How will he handle the jump in competition? Can he limit turnovers and run the offense? These will be huge keys to next season.

Clemson brings in two newcomers next year. Ty Hudson is a point guard that could get an early look and Legend Robertin is a post player with raw skills. Both players will have a chance to come in and grab minutes for a program looking for a spark.

There are other key factors to this program taking the next step. This program needs an identity. They need depth and need to stay out of foul trouble. Mental toughness is needed.

Clemson will play its home games in Greenville next year. This could be a team that grabs the attention of the Greenville market or it could be one that plays in a half-empty building. Player development will tell that story.

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