|Wednesday, January 7, 2015, 10:16 AM- -|
I was excited entering this basketball season. I saw Clemson Nation embrace this program at the end of last season with the NIT run. They had four returning starters and had added some nice pieces to the puzzle. But so far this season has been a huge disappointment. I am hopeful that this team can find its identity as soon as tonight in Louisville.
My major disappointment has been the loss of identity. I thought this program was about three things:
1-Mental and Physical Toughness
Mental and Physical Toughness
Brad BrownellBrad Brownell
View Full Profile said last year that Clemson fans ought to love his program because it was a lot like the old Danny FordDanny Ford
Former Head Coach
View Full Profile Football teams of three yards and a cloud of dust. He said we grind out possessions on offense and play hard on defense. I think Clemson fans embraced that identity but have seen little of that this season. I have not see this team play with the energy and enthusiasm it did a year ago. Maybe that can change tonight.
I loved what this staff did in developing players in the first few years of the program but this year it seems like several players have gone the other way. Other than
Jaron BlossomgameJaron Blossomgame
RS So. Forward
#5 6-7, 215
View Full Profile , I can't point to any player making a big improvement from last season.
Jordan RoperJordan Roper
#20 6-0, 165
View Full Profile has gone backwards this season. As a freshman Roper averaged 7.9 points per game. As a sophomore he scored 7.4 points per contest. This season he has dipped to 3.9 points per game.
His field goal percentage went from 38% as a freshman to 40% as a sophomore. This season Roper is shooting 25% from the field.
In his freshman season, Roper hit 41% of his three pointers. Last year he was 32% from behind the arc. This year Roper has dipped to just 13% from three.
Austin AjukwaAustin Ajukwa
#1 6-6, 205
View Full Profile has also failed to progress. As a freshman he hit 40% of his field goals. This year he is down to 31%. A season ago, Ajukwa made 42% of his three point attempts. This year he is down to 23%.
I thought a big piece of the puzzle this season would have been
Landry NnokoLandry Nnoko
#35 6-10, 255
View Full Profile but the center has stayed in foul trouble and has doubled his turnovers per game this season.
The freshmen guards have been abysmal from the field.
Patrick RooksPatrick Rooks
RS Fr. Guard
#0 6-2, 190
View Full Profile and Gabe DeVoeGabe DeVoe
#10 6-3, 200
View Full Profile were high scoring guards in high school. This year Rooks is shooting 26% and Devoe is 0-11 from the field. His next point will be his first in college. Maybe tonight we will see more from these players.
Clemson doesn't sign McDonald's All-Americans and thus doesn't lose guys to the NBA after one season. I thought this program lacked superstars but could build some depth and wear teams down.
This has not been the case this season. The Tigers have gotten very little off of the bench this season. Roper, Djitte, Ajukwa, Smith, Rooks and Devoe have added very little to this point. Maybe we will see more from the bench tonight.
In summary, the reasons I fell in love with Clemson basketball are not seen in this team. I want to like this team again. I want the program I fell in love with back again. Let's hope this team can find a spark tonight and make us like the identity again.
The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency
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