Changing the Culture
|Monday, February 11, 2013, 1:28 PM- -|
Changing the Culture
Milton JenningsMilton Jennings
#24 6-9, 225
View Full Profile walked up the line to ice the game against NC State and there was a strange feeling in Littlejohn. The coliseum had that "Uh Oh!" feeling.
If you polled the announced 9,477 fans in the stands and the thousands watching on television, I wonder what percentage were thinking that Jennings would hit both free throws and put the game away? I wish I was wrong but I had little confidence.
As we now know, he missed the front end of the one and one with a weak shot that barely made it to the front of the rim. We also know by now that NC State's Scott Wood hit a three-pointer with one second remaining to give the Wolfpack a one point win on the road.
I am a big picture guy and while I wanted the Tigers to get a great ACC win yesterday, the result of the game is not the biggest issue. I am much more concerned about the program as a whole and the culture that surrounds the program.
According to the Internet (and we all know if it's on the Internet its true), Michael Jordan missed 26 shots at the buzzer that would have tied or won the game. However, every time he took the last shot didn't you think it was going in? He thought it was and most of the fans did too.
So how do you change the culture surrounding Clemson basketball?
First, I think it takes about two years to do so. One big season can be written off as a fluke but two big seasons can change the perceptions around your program.
Second, the change has to come from within. It may be a new head coach, an assistant coach, a strength coach, new players, new scheme or a combination of several of those factors.
The easiest way to change the culture is with better players. I still believe that the team with the best players wins a large majority of the time. But how does Clemson get better players in basketball? If I knew that answer I would be rich. That is a question that has haunted Clemson basketball for most of the sports existence.
Execution is the key. Better execution leads to better results. Better players lead to better execution. Maybe better players come in the form of initially recruiting better players. Maybe it comes in the form of player development.
I use Clemson football as an example here. After watching South Florida beat Clemson in bowl game in 2010, many fans were disgruntled. The culture was one where many expected the worse. Closer games were expected to fall the other way. That was what we had been watching. We expected to play bad on the road. We expected to struggle against Wake Forest and Boston College. We had that mindset as a program.
Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
View Full Profile and his staff have changed the culture the past two seasons. He did it by signing better players like Sammy Watkins. He also did it with a new scheme on offense with Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
View Full Profile .
Three years ago many Clemson fans were wondering how the Tigers could find another way to lose a close game. Think back to three years ago when Clemson outplayed Auburn on the road yet a penalty after a made field goal in overtime resulted the next miss and a loss.
Three years ago it seemed like an injury would derail any chance at winning a big game. Fast forward three years later and few things seem to deter the feeling around the program.
In the LSU bowl game the Tigers fumbled on the opening possession and lost perhaps their best player in Sammy Watkins. A starting offensive lineman went down and a true freshman was inserted in the lineup. Yet, when the same kicker that missed at Auburn three years ago lined up for the game winner against LSU most fans I know thought it would end like it did.
I find that amazing. Chandler Catanzaro earned that feeling because he had set the school record for consecutive field goals. The last one he missed before the streak was against Wake Forest in 2011, but he later made up for that one with a walk-off winner that same game.
I am not trying to convince you that most Clemson fans thought the Tigers would upset LSU. But most I talked to after the game just felt Catanzaro would make his kick when it got to that point.
Clemson basketball is a much more difficult situation than Clemson football. Support is not as good. The facilities are not as good. The history and tradition are not as good. But it can be done.
In summary, I think it takes about two years to change the culture of a program. Also the only way to change a program is to change it within the program itself. I trust
Brad BrownellBrad Brownell
View Full Profile is the right guy for the job and hope that change can happen with player development.
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