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Plyler's Blog: Hoops Struggles
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Plyler's Blog: Hoops Struggles

Dec 23, 2014, 9:19 AM

Hoops Struggles

Hoops Struggles
Clemson basketball is a frustrating animal.  I have been a Clemson basketball fan for over 40 years, but sometimes it feels more like 80.

The second half of the Clemson-South Carolina game Friday night in Columbia looked like something we have seen before.  A grand total o

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Re: Plyler's Blog: Hoops Struggles

Dec 23, 2014, 9:39 AM

I have gone to Clemson basketball games for over 43 years . I was here when Tates Locke bought all the talent to compete with UNC and Duke . That got us probation. We are a football school period! I would like to compete with the big boys in basketball, but reality sucks. We are who we are. Being a basketball coach at Clemson is harder then being football coach at USC. They can always talk about the rest of the conference. Last year was one of our better years and we were in the NIT.We will have flashes of being good, but that will be like the flashes of USC being good in football. I like Brad, but he is in the mold of Bill Foster or Cliff Ellis taking in juco's or diamonds in the rough. Our good coaches, Rick Barnes and Oliver Purnell used as stepping stones. I hate being a downer during the Holiday's, but we'll never be a basketball school. Just hope to be competitive.

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CBB simply isnt the right fit for Clemson

Dec 23, 2014, 9:45 AM

his style of play is too boring. the types of players that he needs to make his system work dont want to come to Clemson. They want to go to Indiana, Dook, UNC(heat), NCST, etc.

So he ends up recruiting against the Big South for players, and then we end up playing like a Big South team.

To get guys to come here, we need an offensive basketball system that allows them to run and gun and is fun to play, provide an alternative to the other big programs. Not the same stuff but at a much lower program.

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There is Nothing Boring About Clemson Basketball

Dec 23, 2014, 1:11 PM

under Brad Brownell. Clemson University just has to do the things necessary to recruit more talented players.

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Re: There is Nothing Boring About Clemson Basketball

Dec 23, 2014, 1:42 PM

I think he is referring to the difference in now and OP...I can say from the OP days when I was there it was night and day to going to a game I would agree the excitement is no where near what is was. This is a boring brand of basketball and KJ saved that last year with some amazing dunks we just don't have that anymore. Almost every home basketball game we went to we took turns camping for tickets. It was rowdy in there and was a place visiting teams didn't like to come to. Now is boring at best and the place has not even been half full all year.

I think the post above hit it right on the head about Brownell and his style here not being able to recruit those same players. OP offered a different style and kids bought into it. And yes they may have been worn down come tourney time but that's def not the reason we didn't win a tourney game, we had a few bad breaks. But it beats finishing in the bottom half of the league just hoping we get just an NIT bid which we wont this year.

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in basketball nowadays, even the equipment mgr. can dunk

Dec 23, 2014, 3:55 PM

. i still haven't figured out why sportscenter wants to highlight every dunk made by the winning team in just about every top-20 win. ok, i am exaggerating just a tad, but with the body sizes of today's players, every team's worst player can dunk the ball. it is no longer as exciting or as spectacular as it once was. a good passing offense utilizing screens and cut's,however, is fun to watch. as far as i am concerned team ball, not one on one, is what is fun to watch.

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So it's more exciting getting beat 98-97 than winning 70-60?***

Dec 23, 2014, 5:11 PM

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Re: CBB simply isnt the right fit for Clemson

Dec 23, 2014, 1:52 PM

No one cares what you think #### boy.

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Re: Plyler's Blog: Hoops Struggles

Dec 23, 2014, 9:55 AM

I just don't' see us getting anywhere in basketball at the moment. The offense is not dynamic at all. We have had long stretches where we can't score for the entire time Brownell has been in charge. That second half against USC was the perfect example. While I do appreciate his defensive mind I just don't see where Clemson will have any chance in #### to compete with even the top 25 teams for recruits if that is the offense they see week in and week out. Not to be rude but the top recruits don't want to come in and bust their butts only on defense. They want to score and make highlights and win games.

For me we need a talented head coach that can recruit and show some passion and run an offense that is fun to watch. It doesn't have to be a big name, look at all the mid major programs that are kicking butt over the last 5 years. VCU, Wichita St.

Even Purnell and his relative success was not based on running a decent offense, just pressue and having guys who are athletic. Get the right coach and we could easily be a team to be proud of. Right now it is more waiting for the next screw up or stupid streak to continue.

Saying all that I don't hate Brownell or want him to suffer I just want Clemson to be better than they are right now. I remember the Rick Barnes era when we were going toe to toe with Tim Duncan and UNC and Duke. It can be done here, just need to find the right coach and let him work and then pay him a good salary once he has success.

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Re: Plyler's Blog: Hoops Struggles

Dec 23, 2014, 11:49 AM

You can build around the 2 guys you mentioned but what are you gonna build with? We are overmatched in the conference and I don't see more than a couple of wins....if Brownell would give us a product we like to watch, win or lose, the fans will come, maybe bring a little enthusiasm which might be attractive to prospects....I think at the moment the players we are able to get are not ACC caliber as far as this system goes....we are really in bad shape and it took USuC to bring it to my attention.

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Re: Plyler's Blog: Hoops Struggles

Dec 23, 2014, 2:11 PM

Not only is the current brand of basketball not exciting it is EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL to watch-being a lifelong Tiger fan of 50 years i dont ask a whole lot-just try not to be an embarassment! Having to try and eek out wins over mediocre teams is DEPRESSING! I can only hope that by the time this season ends our players have developed and improved immensely!
Even in the past when our record wasn't the greatest,we had exciting players to watch such as Larry Nance,Dale Davis,Terrell Mcintyre,etc.

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Re: Plyler's Blog: Hoops Struggles

Dec 23, 2014, 2:38 PM

You just saw and had KJ for three years. One of the TOP 3 most exciting players ever at Clemson. Trevor Booker was before him. So what does the exciting player pool look like for Clemson.

Skip Wise 1974
Tree Rollins 73 - 77
Larry Nance 77- 81
Dale Davis 87 -91
Terrell Mcintyre 99-01
Trevor Booker 2006-2010
KJ McDaniels 2011 - 2014

So it looks like the exciting Clemson player rolls through occasionally... once every 5 to 6 years. A little like Haley's Comet in terms of basketball years.

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Horace Grant and Elden Campbell are pretty ticked at you****

Dec 24, 2014, 11:17 AM

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Barnes played a defensive style and was 1-9 vs. Tar Holes***

Dec 23, 2014, 5:13 PM

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Re: Plyler's Blog: Hoops Struggles

Dec 23, 2014, 2:27 PM

Mickey Plyler is a Clemson fan for 40+ years, but he is not a basketball fan. The man rarely speaks or mentions basketball.

How often does Mickey talk about Basketball recruiting?
How thorough was Mickey's basketball preview for this season?
How often did Mickey talk about the Clemson vs USC streak of wins and record in basketball?

...... shhhhh........ listen...... crickets...........

So many people treat Clemson basketball like football when it comes to the Clemson name and losing players or thinking the team lost just one guy. They need to start looking with realistic eyes and perception. KJ's loss is bigger than even KJ was to the program. He led the team in how many categories last year?

Losing KJ for Clemson Basketball would be like like losing Vic, Grady, Stephon, Mac Alecander, and DW, Sammy, Sam Cooper and Gallman for Clemson Football... except football is loaded with TALENT.

Losing KJ... losing 10% of your team in basketball (1 of 10 main players) was losing much more than that. He was ONE that contributed to 40% of the production for offense and defense...which means there was a big A$$ hole to be filled.

KJ made Rod and others better because last year KJ drew defenders to him, cleaned up misses with dunks, grabbed needed rebounds and swatted shots away from players who beat a Clemson defender.

We do not have that this year. The guys are looking for the hole to be filled but are not grabbing shovels yet. Or they do not know that they are supposed to fill it. So that means we struggle. Rod and Demarcus are not the leaders we need or want them to be. They cannot take over a game or get the energy flowing with a big dunk or defensive play.

Brownell may not be the guy for Clemson. But he is the guy now. Yes, he needs players and talent. But he also needs to continue to develop and motivate. He needs to make adjustments and take what he has and make "lemonade." The next two years will be his biggest test and challenge while at Clemson.

I just do not think that the typical Clemson fan will give the patience needed. Clemson basketball still has a long ways to go before fans should equate even half of the expectations of Clemson football with the expectations of Clemson basketball.

Most probably get their "knowledge" and listen to the expert, Mickey, the self-proclaimed fan of Clemson basketball for the last 40+ years.

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Make the financial commitment to basketball

emoji_events [5]
Dec 23, 2014, 5:08 PM

that has been made to football and watch the results. Basketball has been ignored at Clemson. After Clemson fans booed the Tiger Pause one night, Bill Foster said, "I guess we need to wear helmets and they will cheer." That's the mentality of a Clemson basketball fan. LJ is the second-oldest facility in the ACC and is a dump. The practice gym isn't even a regulation-sized court. That's Clemson commitment to basketball in a nutshell. How many programs have a practice gym in a box. It's ridiculous. You people ##### about style of play, but you packed the place for two NIT games last spring. The key -- winning. That's it. And to win, you have to spend. Quit bitching and give Brownell new offices, a new practice facilities, a state-of-the-art locker room, a fan-friendly modern arena and watch what happens. A few brilliant people recognize it -- Brownell is one of the best X and O coaches in the history of Clemson. Period. He makes adjustments. He coaches his ### off. He can't shoot the ball for them. There was a lot of bitching about the South Carolina game. The difference came down to what it always boils down to at Clemson -- shooting and scoring. Brownell knows he needs shooters/scorers. He's from Indiana. He knows what those guys look like. It's no secret. This team is still looking for KJ. It is a work in progress. Brownell's teams have a defensive mentality. And people #####. I haven't heard them ##### about Clemson's defensive mentality in football. During the Ford years, it was play defense, punt, and don't turn the ball over. You people act like Brownell can go out and start signing top-25 players all over the place. News flash -- it doesn't work that way. We all want Clemson to get that one program changer, the one player who would bring others with him. But until that happens, we have to understand Clemson basketball is under construction. And people also have to understand that until the facilities are worthy of a top-notch Division I program, an ACC program, every season is going to be an adventure and consistency is going to be difficult to obtain.

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This says it well***

Dec 23, 2014, 6:16 PM

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Great post. However, I'm curious as to why

Dec 23, 2014, 11:49 PM

we can't bring in better talent to Clemson to play basketball. Is it because the facilities are really THAT bad?? Go up to the Northeast or Midwest and bring a couple of those kids down here to see our glorious campus on the shores of Lake Hartwell and the coeds we have here in THE BEST basketball conference in the nation and let them experience how we Clemson fans can and will support our student athletes.... Let them make a name for themself! Just look at KJ as an example. I just don't get it.

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Preach on brother!

Dec 24, 2014, 8:13 AM

I've been saying this for years. We have TWO money-making sports and seem to only support one??

BB has a very difficult job but seems to truly be a Clemson guy through and through. He will not go the AAU, ie cheating, route so his challenge is even greater. That can't be said of the #### down the road in Cootville. HS basketball in SC is pathetic (unlike football) which adds difficulty. Facilities, support, tradition all impact his recruiting success (or any other coach) but I think he will have us consistently in the 6-10 spot in the league. Frankly, if he can get us there, that is an outstanding job and only the clueless think otherwise.

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I agree 100% with absolutely everything you say, but

Dec 25, 2014, 1:29 PM

... but, I would add, that anything we do on the commitment front is about 50 years behind the rest of the ACC and the turnaround will not be instantaneous no matter how much money and other resources we throw at hoops.

Even if we begin pouring massive amounts of money and other backing into the program tonight, it will be several years before the fruits of the investment come to pass.

And in this day of instant gratification, a lot of the money and the good intentions will be wasted on a fan base that will not be patient enough to let it happen gradually.

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Flame away...

Dec 23, 2014, 3:45 PM

It all started with the hire of Brownell.
When the University hired Purnell, it was easy to see it was a step in the right
direction by all accounts. But when Oliver decided to bolt, it was like the school
said, "oh well, it's basketball, who cares."
Now, I didn't expect to bring in a big name from NC, UConn or such...
But they should had brought in someone who had a similar style as OP since we knew that
was working. Someone who could develop players, modivate, recruit, and just flat out coach.
Someone we knew would get the very best out of his players, sort of like RICK BARNES did.
But, what did we do?
We pulled a "CLEMSON" by hiring BB. If I am wrong, I will be the 1st to admit that- you can
bank on that- but so far, that hasn't been the case.
I will watch the games, go when I can...and yes, pull as hard as I can for our Tigers. But
deep down inside, I will know. We took the easy road out with Brad, just like we did with
Maybe every other hire...leads to another good one.


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Re: Flame away...

Dec 24, 2014, 7:24 AM

> It all started with the hire of Brownell.
> When the University hired Purnell, it was easy to see
> it was a step in the right
> direction by all accounts. But when Oliver decided to
> bolt, it was like the school
> said, "oh well, it's basketball, who cares."
> Now, I didn't expect to bring in a big name from NC,
> UConn or such...
> But they should had brought in someone who had a
> similar style as OP since we knew that
> was working. Someone who could develop players,
> modivate, recruit, and just flat out coach.
> Someone we knew would get the very best out of his
> players, sort of like RICK BARNES did.
> But, what did we do?
> We pulled a "CLEMSON" by hiring BB.

First off, you're basically asking us to hire Coach K. Secondly, how exactly was OP's style working? I realize we were ranked a little bit and had a few winning records in ACC play, but we got ousted 3 years in a row from the tournament in the first round. And it was hardly even close. Same with ACC Tournament, except for 07-08.

You lose all credibility when you compare this hire to hiring Shyatt. Brownell won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time in almost 20 years at Clemson.

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Re: Flame away...

Dec 24, 2014, 10:10 AM

I think I have seen players progress during the year under BB something that never seemed to happen under Purnell, Purnell started seasons great but they did not get better during the year, we had a great record going into ACC play then we would win a few games. Purnell had a great style of play until players with more talent prepared to play us and then they won.

Last year we lost the best player we have had in a decade or more early to the NBA. This year we have to adjust to playing without the ACC defensive player of the year, our leading scorer and I think our leader in steals and top 2 or 3 in rebounds and for sure our leading shot blocker. Maybe KJ was also the leader in minutes played. That is a lot of production to replace, and I think Brownell will by the end of the season. With KJ we were not competitive with Duke, Syracuse, Pitt, or UNC I do not espect us this year to be a top 25 team or in the top 5 of the ACC, but Brownell has us playing consistenly in the middle of the ACC and that is a step in the right direction, I never had gotten used to being one of the bottom 2 in the conference. I hope with Brownell not to be there ever again.

I like Brownell I like the way he coaches and I think he is recruiting solid players that plan on graduating from Clemson.

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Fire Dabo!!!!***

Dec 23, 2014, 6:09 PM

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Re: Plyler's Blog: Hoops Struggles

Dec 23, 2014, 7:05 PM

It's pretty simple really- Clemson is in a basketball poor area with low basketball IQ people going to the games and reporting on the sport.

Anyone who understands the game appreciates what BB brings to the table. He isn't here to "entertain fans" he is here to win games. And this far, he has done that at a greater clip than ANYONE has ever done at CU.

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Re: Plyler's Blog: Hoops Struggles

Dec 24, 2014, 10:15 AM

Friday night, South Carolina played one of its 2 best games of the season. We did not and we were on the road. We played well enough to be ahead and the half and then lost in the second half... typical road game in college basketball, our best big man got in foul trouble and then we could not hit shots from the perimeter and lost badly....
If we faced them again at home or on a neutral court the results may be different.

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Re: Plyler's Blog: Hoops Struggles

Dec 24, 2014, 6:57 AM

Harrison has been pretty darn consistent for the most part. Rod Hall has struggled with turnovers. Maybe they are depending too much on his scoring.

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