Basketball's Matt Driscoll-A Perfect Fit for Clemson
xxxI recently sat down with Matthew Driscoll, assistant men's basketball coach, to ask him a few questions. Coach Driscoll comes to Clemson via Wyoming with Coach Shyatt. Before his brief stay at Wyoming, Coach Driscoll
was the head coach at La Roche College in Pittsburgh for four years. He also had stints as a high school coach as well as being a an assistant coach at Butler Community College and Slippery Rock University (his alma-mater).
When you talk with Coach Driscoll, you sense that New York City has nothing on him. He moves at a million miles a minute. Driscoll is a driven, tireless worker who maintains a great family focus. At several times during the interview he talked about his beautiful wife, Carrie, and his sons,
Chase and Paxton. His on-court instruction is unparalleled, and I fully expect that he'll be a division one head coach some day.
CF: What do you like about Clemson?
MD: Clemson is great for the family. My wife and boys have the chance to explore new things in a family oriented environment. From a basketball standpoint I love how the fans live and die for the team. It makes for a great atmosphere.
CF: What are Clemson's strong points when it comes to recruiting?
MD: The athletic aura of Clemson helps. It's a positive when all your sports are winners - as the case is at Clemson. Success breeds success. The facilities and Vickery Hall are also big advantages. From a staff stand point, the stability of Coach Shyatt is number one. As a recruit, you know where he's coming from. He's honest and to the point. Also the league is a bonus. This league promotes itself well so kids want to play in the ACC.
CF: What type of player are you looking to recruit to Clemson?
MD: We recruit character needs. The young man needs to be a good person off the court and academics need to be important to him. We also want to get kids with the ability to compete in this league. The biggest difference I've noticed from the WAC is that the players are bigger, stronger, and faster in the ACC. It is truly the premier conference in the country.
CF: Will we run a more up-tempo offensive style next season?
MD: Next season we will run a completely different style from this year because we will be a completely different team. Next year's team is going to feature a lot more shooters. Big O and Tom gave us the ability to have
strong inside guys. Next year's team will have guys who play more away from the basket.
CF: There was a trend by teams this year to use more zone defense, will we play more zones next year?
MD: When we played zones this year, it was more to change it up. Every now and again it's good to try to throw the other team off. As a staff, we would much rather change a match-up (in our man-to-man) instead of going zone. We may press a little more, both full and half-court, but nothing
like Arkansas or Kentucky. As a team you always need something to work on.
CF: What are you hearing about the draft status of our seniors?
MD: Big O and Boogie got great exposure all year long and it really will be determined in the next eight weeks. Boogie goes to Phoenix and hopefully on to Chicago pre-draft camps. Big O, Tom, and Tony will be playing in an
All-Star game at Pfiefer College. Right now nobody is really sure where the guys stand.
CF: Are the returning players going to play anywhere in the summer?
MD: All of the returners will be in Summer Session 1 and working-out here with each other. After that, most of them will work Five-Star, Nike, Addidas, or some other camps. At these camps the get to play against other great college players in organized games which will help them improve. Adam Allenspach has expressed interest in and probably will go to Pete Newell's Big Man Camp.
As soon as the recruiting period is over, check in with us - there will be a review of the signees. Recruiting is still a work in progress for the staff.
Colin Flahery can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org