The Future of Clemson Basketball
|Tuesday, March 25, 2014 9:52 AM- -|
The Future of Clemson Basketball
The athletic administration at Clemson has some difficult questions facing it concerning Clemson basketball. They are good questions to have but they are still questions. You can't judge an entire program based upon the results of one game, but Sunday's atmosphere changed my perception of the potential of Clemson basketball’s future. I don't have to be reminded that this is only the NIT, but Sunday was more about the bigger picture to me. I have witnessed Clemson basketball in its finest hours over the past 40 years. Unfortunately those hours have been few and far between. The lack of sustained success in basketball at Clemson led me to wonder if Clemson fans even really care about basketball. I have often questioned the fan base as to where basketball stood among its priorities. Often I have doubted that many Clemson people really even care about the sport and would ever consistently support it.
The athletic administration at Clemson has some difficult questions facing it concerning Clemson basketball. They are good questions to have but they are still questions.
You can't judge an entire program based upon the results of one game, but Sunday's atmosphere changed my perception of the potential of Clemson basketball’s future.
I don't have to be reminded that this is only the NIT, but Sunday was more about the bigger picture to me. I have witnessed Clemson basketball in its finest hours over the past 40 years. Unfortunately those hours have been few and far between.
The lack of sustained success in basketball at Clemson led me to wonder if Clemson fans even really care about basketball. I have often questioned the fan base as to where basketball stood among its priorities. Often I have doubted that many Clemson people really even care about the sport and would ever consistently support it.
Sunday gave me hope once again.
Sunday's game was a glimpse of what basketball inside the new coliseum could look like. It looked much different than what most games inside Littlejohn. I love it when the place is rocking and Sunday showed me it can be done. The question remains how to accomplish this on a more consistent basis.
Winning can cure all ills in sports and I think the future of Clemson basketball looks pretty promising. But outside of that, what can the administration do to help ensure Sunday become the norm not the exception?
Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich is committed to a new building. They will gut Littlejohn and rebuild inside its current walls. Radakovich says that the new building will look nothing like the current one and he hopes the new coliseum will help propel the program to new heights.
The tentative plans for the new building will decrease seating down to around 8,500 from 10,000. Is that a good idea? I understand the idea of creating demand but Sunday we proved that 10,000 is obtainable.
Would the athletic department be willing to change its ticket policy? The general admission is not perfect but it has given many fans a chance to get a much closer look the game. Would they be willing to reserve certain lower sections for general admission seating? Is it possible to reward 1,000 supporting fans who want to get there early with great seats?
In the new building what will be the student ticket policy? Over the past couple of seasons many close to the program have been discouraged by the student attendance. How can the program help to engage the student body again?
Ticket prices certainly helped Sunday morning's capacity crowd. Would the administration consider more games where lower ticket prices were available?
How will the athletic department continue to promote the sport? Will we see even more social media? More billboards? More advertising?
How will the sport be funded at Clemson? Is the administration ready to give Clemson basketball a budget that is on par with the nation's top programs?
Will JUCO recruiting become more prevalent in the future? Can this program start to recruit more on that level?
How committed is Clemson to
Brad BrownellBrad Brownell
View Full Profile ? Some schools have already inquired. Is Clemson willing to do whatever is necessary to keep Brownell around when bigger "basketball schools” come calling?
These are tough questions and ones that I may have had a different answer to before Sunday. What I saw Sunday was a fan base that is hungry to win in this sport and one that is willing to give its support.
This is not the first time we have seen this, though. Again the problem is these occurrences don't happen often enough and have proven to be difficult to sustain.
A few years ago the board of directors and the athletic administration got together and gave full support to
Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
View Full Profile and the football program. They built a state of the art indoor facility. They gave him a big budget for assistant coaches. They gave him a bigger support staff. They gave him a training table. In summary, the commitment was increased by the administration and the results have been obvious on the field.
Clemson is a football school and I doubt I will see the day that changes. However, basketball here can be successful. Is the administration willing to go "All In" with Clemson basketball?
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