I don’t know about y’all but I think this was an extremely professional way of handling the current state of Clemson basketball. He addressed many issues and set forth his vision clearly.
My analysis of his letter was this…
To Brad Brownell: My expectations are set, make the tournament next year or your out. To the boosters: I hear you. You and I both expect more from CU basketball, but I need at least a full year as AD before I go chopping heads. To the fans: I am focused on winning and creating a better fan experience in Little John and will take action to make this happen.
Brad be like Dang, he put the squeeze on. No AD here has ever done that before. Still think he is really searching for that perfect job to land. Rumors are that Frank Martin is candidate at Xavier. Since Brad is accomplished more at Clemson than Martin at SC, think he could be a candidate there as well...
I think Brad has been feeling the heat. I think he really cares and wants to get us there. I'm not sure he's actively looking. He's made a ton of money here. He could also decide to take a few years off doing something else.
I don't think he can get us where we have been recently or where we want to go. I'm not going to project any ill will on him. He's a good guy just not performing to the expectations.
I think Frank Martin's final 4 and elite 8shows he has a top end potential that Brownell hasn't showed. That is a big thing in certain situations.
Are we sure Neff won’t just give Butler the heave ho and call it good? ??
On the serious side, this letter was a better position than his first public statement a few weeks back. I’m sure he got an earful about leaving winning off the table with the academics and clean program focused comments. Now the big question. Who’s pockets will finance the aggressive investment?
He addressed sveltely most of the angst I've seen among the fan base, in a 1000 words or less even, and it didn't come across in any way as lip service.
My biggest takeaway is that Neff wants to win in basketball, maybe even bigly. He laid down a clear expectation for the season ahead and how it may bode for the future, though I didn't read that as a red line necessarily for NCAAT or bust, but close. I was most encouraged by his sense of commitment, and specifically providing additional resources that he expects to impact this next season, and beyond. I took that as an understanding that should things go south with the bottom-line in 22-23, that we will be positioned well enough to attract the right person to take over following. And if not, we'll be that much better resourced still.
When it comes down to it, who wouldn't want to be that AD that finally brought basketball glory to Clemson? I got a sense that Neff feels like he can do it, at least according to today's statement.
On the fan experience comment though, that ultimately comes with the teams play and consistent performance year upon year. We just don't have much a tradition, if any, in basketball and the team is program is pretty blah. You just don't get excited about BB and his teams now bc he's been here long enough with a consistent track record of mediocrity.
We as fans put so much emotion into football that it's just not worth doing so for basketball without something there
At least that's my take on it and I'd think I'm not the only one
If the brand is there, so is the little John experience.
I think there are other ways to get fans a better experience outside the team’s performance. Better food. Fun promotional nights. Marketing stuff like that can make a difference. I know going to Stingrays game down here in Charleston is fun whether they win or lose. It’s definitely better when they win, but knowing I’ll have a good time one way or the other keeps me interested in coming back.
Recruiting is 99 percent of basketball coaching. I’m reminded of former South Carolina coach Frank McGuire who had them ranked number one in the 60s for a while. He had also coached UNC to a national championship and coached in the NBA for a while. He was a fiery, us against the world, hard drinking, expensive suit wearing New York City recruiter. Former players said his strategy for last minute plays and such went something like, “Give the ball to John.”