One Year Early

by - Radio Host -

One Year Early

The next 11 games on Clemson's basketball schedule represent a tremendous opportunity for this team and this program.

I always thought this was going to be a tough season for Clemson basketball. They were playing in Greenville while Littlejohn gets its facelift. The roster had depth issues, and the league would be extremely difficult. Therefore, I had lowered my expectations for this team this year.

On the other hand, I have huge expectations for next season. There should be excitement about the new facility. The roster gets better when Jaron Blossomgame, Donte Grantham, Avry Holmes, Siddy Djitte, Gabe DeVoe and Ty Hudson have another year of experience. The great news is the addition of transfers like Marcquise Reed, who averaged 15 points per game as a freshman at Robert Morris. The wing had 22 points against Duke in the NCAA tournament that season. Shelton Mitchell transferred in from Vanderbilt, and he should be an upgrade in the backcourt as well. Finally, Elijah Thomas transferred in from Texas A&M, and he is a former top 50 player who could change the post for the Tigers.

So my original thoughts were that Brad Brownell might be under a little pressure entering next season. Next year will be his best team, and it would be time to break the NCAA tournament doubt.

But a funny thing happened. This year's team turned around a dreadful start. They went on a five-game winning streak. For the first time in school history, the Tigers beat three straight ranked teams. This team put itself in the NCAA tournament picture.

Now the entire outlook of the program can change. If the Tigers can find a way to make it to the NCAA tournament this season, instead of heading into next season with some pressure on the program, the Tigers could be building momentum. They could enter next season on a high note. They could have developed all of these Greenville fans and could bring them over to Clemson next season for the most talented team in Clemson basketball in several years.

But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. This is only an opportunity. These next 11 games are winnable. But they are also losable. Clemson is talented enough to beat every team left on the schedule. However, the Tigers are not talented enough to play bad and beat anyone on the schedule.

At 5-2, Clemson has home games left with Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, Boston College and Virginia. Road games will be at Florida State, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, NC State, Georgia Tech and Boston College.

Clemson needs help in the RPI where it currently stands at 97. But has chances to improve with Pitt (33), Notre Dame (34), Virginia (12), FSU (52), and GT (68).

I have a couple of friends who always complain about how Clemson basketball gets no respect and always takes a backseat to football in the media. My response is that if they win, the perception changes. Dabo talks about changing from within first and once you win games you get respect. Clemson basketball has a great opportunity to change its image and advance the program in the next 11 games.

The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency

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Those who need our prayers include: Jo Ann Bachman, Kenneth Bryant, Pruitt Martin, Got Igers and his family, David Rowland, Leonard, Gillespie and his family, Jim S., Daniel Rosborough, the Huffman family, Nancy Winkler, John Reeve, Vinnie Brock, Kaitlyn L., Susan Miller, Joyce Harley, Steve Proveaux, Jeffrey Greene, the Hutto family, Sherl Drawdy, Caleb Kennedy, Teresa O'Connor, Matt Jacobs, Perrin Seigler, Candee Massee, Lindsey Jordan, Sam Catoe, Tyler Felch, the Nicolopulos family, "the Jacksonville, FL guys," Kim Sims, the Coyle family, Ryleigh Tedder, Steve Lee, Kelly Trakas, Jimmy Moore, the Thomas V. family, Emary Claire Young, Kitty Bowers, Julie Locke, the Scheider family, Lauren Kittles' family, Frank Gentry, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr., Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon Thompson, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders, Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Amanda Peake, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Jonathan and Jacki Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack Cunningham, Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon Kirkland and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, B.T., Bill Hilbig, Rita Elrod Hammond and family, Jim McKeller, Tony Alewine, Sharon Storck, Dick Baird, Richard Bagnal, Dustin and Brittany Peurifoy, Jan Allan, Josh Cox, Gregg and Sylvia Lewis, Travis Hamrick, Kaki Harmon, Jammie McKellar and babies, Karen Edwards, Jackson Lindsey, Cathy Hutson Gregg, Kristin Heckman, Jennifer Johnson, Jay Johnson, Lyndsie Johnson, Emily Davis, Hayes Davis, Judy Towe, Johnny Towe, Ken Brown, Elaine Brown, Rhonda Thompson, Tim Davis, Jacob Greinke, Jack Finley, Richard and Clara Crawford, Zach and Griffin Johnson, Israel, Frankie Allen, Bobby Allen, the Wessinger family, the Parsons family, Todd Price and family, Rosemary A Flynn, Dr. Mickey Shealy family, Mr. Gillespie, Bobbi Nicholson, Dr. Matt Stower, Tyler Kemmerlin, Parks Hutto, Patrick Destefano, Robert Summerville, Michelle Richey, Julie Moore, Ashley Fitch, Drew Moyer, Kevin Anderson, Lyn Price, John Robert Smith, Allison Williams, Nicholas Wickiser, Lena Wright, Elizabeth Bruner, Bobbi Simpson, Hammond Family, Elaine G. Duvall, Addison Grace, Bennie Cunningham, Kevin Orcutt, Alan Finley, Keith Wells, Steve Byrd, Jessica Hernandez, Wayne Mullins, Rita Alexander, Tony Osterman, family and friends of Gary Cooper, Tonya Gibson, Mary Carmen Harman, Derk Denton, Tim Vacek, Mike Vacek, Jerry Brown, Phil Compton, Alma Jean Sullivan, Lindsey Motley, and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.

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