|by Mickey Plyler - Radio Host - Monday, January 7, 2013 10:24 AM||
I am Clemson basketball fan.
My story is sad. I have years of frustration pinned up inside of me. My guess is that this is what Duke football fans feel like. I guess Auburn and Alabama basketball fans can feel the same way. Kansas football fan shares our pain.
I have been a Clemson basketball fan since the mid-1970s and there have been some good times. I barely remember Skip Wise's year at Clemson but I remember fondly the Tree Rollins, Stan Rome, Colin Abraham and Greg Coles teams.
The 1980 team led by Billy Williams made it to the Elite Eight but I got my heart ripped out by Larry Brown and UCLA.
Eldon Campbell, Dale Davis and Grayson Marshall gave us a regular season ACC championship.
The Slab Five gave us some marquee wins and set the program up for future success and the Sweet Sixteen.
Oliver Purnell's teams gave some great memories including the only ACC Tournament Finals in my lifetime.
But for every isolated win or great memory there are many more nightmares.
For those of us that love Clemson basketball, Saturday was a game we have seen a thousand times. Its kind of like going to see a Kevin Spacey movie because you know he is going to play a strange guy. You know what is going to happen before you walk in the door.
Saturday's loss to Florida State was the typical Clemson basketball game we all have seen the last forty years. Clemson gets behind and we lose hope. The Tigers fight back and we get a little hope. In the end the Tigers find a way to lose.
Clemson basketball fans are used to what we saw Saturday. In fact, many of us have come to expect it. If the day before the game I told you Clemson would get down by 15 in the first half and fight back to get within three in the final minutes and then I asked you what do you think will happen next, what would you say?
Many would say they could not find a way to finish the comeback. Clemson football? Yes. Clemson baseball? Yes? Clemson golf or women's track? Yes. Clemson basketball? Rarely.
Hopeless is no way to go through life but many Clemson fans have felt this way for many of the teams through the years. Occasionally we can build a team but we have failed to build a program.
Unfortunately when many of us think of Clemson basketball we think of what happened Saturday.
If we gave a summary of Clemson basketball, too often it would include some terrible attributes. When you think of Clemson basketball do you think of missed free throws? When think of Clemson basketball do you think of bad decision making? When you think of Clemson basketball do you think of poor fundamentals?
I don't want to overreact to one loss but Saturday was another in a long line of frustrating losses. Florida State is a bad basketball team that was coming off of a pathetic performance at Auburn. The Seminoles have lost to Mercer and South Alabama this season. There is no reason to lose to this Florida State team at home but the final three minutes were a song we have heard before. Turnovers. Missed free throws. Failure to get the ball inbounds. Mental mistakes. Missed opportunities. This is Clemson basketball.
Another thing happened Saturday that frequently happens against Clemson. The opponent played better than they have recently. Is it just me or do teams and individuals have career nights too often against Clemson?
I love Brad BrownellBrad Brownell
View Full Profile and think he is the best X and O coach we have had but this is bigger than Brownell. I continue to criticize Brownell for allowing Milton JenningsMilton Jennings
#24 6-9, 225
View Full Profile to come back. To me three strikes and you are out but Brownell's faults are few and far between.
Clemson basketball fans have come to feel that no matter who coaches or who is on the floor, this program finds ways to take one step forward and two steps back.
Maybe one day we can do what Kansas State football did. Maybe we can do what South Carolina football has done. Maybe we can find a way to do what we have never done before. However, I don't blame anyone for doubting it at this point.
It is my hope that this feeling will go away. I want to believe. I want to have faith. I want to feel the best is yet to come but I also know that I am usually disappointed.
Tuesday night Clemson gets a chance to take a step forward when the Tigers play at Duke. Anyone confident we will see anything we haven't seen before?
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