Brad Brownell "comfortable" he will be retained at season's end
|Monday, March 13, 2017, 2:51 PM- -|
CLEMSON – Clemson’s 17-15 season earned the Tigers a No. 2 in the National Invitational Tournament brackets that were announced Sunday afternoon. It wasn’t what head coach Brad Brownell wanted, it wasn’t what the players wanted, and it wasn’t what the fans wanted.
However, Brownell told TigerNet Monday afternoon that he thinks his program is in a “good place” and that he expects to be the head coach at Clemson next season, saying that he has received positive support from administrators.
Brownell started by saying there is disappointment in not making the NCAA Tournament for a sixth consecutive season.
“There is. Absolutely. It's what we wanted to play in and we were close, but it's (being close) not what we needed,” he said. “There's some disappointment from that, but having said that, we can't worry about it. We have to get on to the next thing and the next thing is trying to get ready for Oakland and understanding that we're still in a very prestigious tournament and we want to play well and do well in that.”
It’s the second bid to the National Invitation Tournament under Brad Brownell. In 2014, K.J. McDaniels led Clemson to the NIT semifinals in Madison Square Garden, where the Tigers fell to SMU 65-59.
Clemson last made the NCAA Tournament in 2011 – Brownell’s first season at Clemson – winning a First Four game against University of Alabama-Birmingham before losing to West Virginia in the second round.
Prior to 2011, Clemson made the NCAA Tournament the previous three years under former head coach Oliver Purnell, however, all three years the Tigers failed to make it past the first round. The last time Clemson won a game was in 1997, when a Rick Barnes led team made it all the way to the Sweet Sixteen.
Brownell was asked what he would tell the fans if he had the chance, and he said that he thinks his program is on solid footing.
“The program is very healthy and is in a good place. It's very difficult because college basketball has become about March Madness, so when you don't do that it doesn't feel like you've had a good year,” he said. “We didn't achieve what we wanted to achieve by getting to the NCAA Tournament, but I think the quality of our play was pretty good this year. We did have some mistakes at the end of games that cost us. We missed some free throws, we missed a couple of defensive assignments, we had a couple of bad offensive possessions, but the quality of play was very good most of the year. I feel like our recruiting is good. I feel like we're bringing in good players and that keeps getting better.
“The facility and the changes we have here have brought a lot of excitement. There's not only a strong fan base in terms of people coming to games, but there's been a really strong donor group that was not in place six years ago that has really helped make this building what it is and as special as it is. I think those people really see what we're doing. Our players graduate. They do the right things and they're very involved in community service. It's unfortunate that the last two years we've been probably two games away from it (NCAA Tournament) and we need to get over that hump and certainly we're working extremely hard to do that.”
He then said he feels like he will retain his job.
“It's really not my decision, but yes, I do,” Brownell said. “Dan (Radakovich) and the administration handle all of those things. We're not at the end of the season so we haven't had our end of the year meeting, but he's been very supportive. I think he recognizes a lot of the positive things happening in our program. So, yes, I feel comfortable.
“I can't control those things, so I'm not going to worry about everything that's going on around me. I think our program is in really good place, minus winning a couple of more games in the last two seasons. We're certainly working really hard to do that and on the track to doing it. Positive comments from our administrators support that. There are a lot of things going on within our program that people should be proud of and I think people recognize that. We do need to win a couple of more games and that's what we're going to work to do.”