Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney


by - Senior Writer -
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Brownell meets with the media before the spring game

CLEMSON – Brad Brownell sat down with members of the media a little over a week ago, and spent time defending his program while also pointing to what he hopes is a bright future.

Brownell's status with the program was in question following a 17-16 campaign in which the Tigers lost 12 games by six points or fewer. Clemson was 6-12 in the ACC and lost at home in the NIT to Oakland to end the season. However, Athletic Director Dan Radakovich announced a few weeks ago that Brownell would return for his eighth season at the helm of the Tigers.

Brownell, 48, took over the program in 2010 and took the Tigers to the NCAA tournament in his first season. Clemson has not returned to the NCAA tournament since. The Tigers went to the NIT in 2014 and this year, and he has a 124-103 overall record as Clemson’s head coach.

Brownell said he didn’t pay attention to the complaints coming from outside of the program, saying that the media and fans are too focused on wins and losses.

“I don't worry a lot about the outside pressures. There has been a little more visibility and what has been made of it,” Brownell said. “But sometimes that is because we only focus on wins and losses, and while wins and losses are the most important thing in a lot of ways, we were two wins away. We have been there. We've been on the surface a couple of times. But our foundation is strong. I think that is what Dan saw, and what people close to our program see.”

He then said he was proud of the way his team played this past season.

“On the court, I thought we made very good strides in a lot of ways this season. We played the 27th toughest schedule in the country,” Brownell said. “Our RPI finished at 68. We had four top-50 wins and eight top-100 wins, which when you compare that to the folks that were in the last eight teams in the tournament we're right at the top and right in the middle of those categories. I think it shows that from a competitive standpoint we were extremely close. We averaged 75 points a game, which was a high point for us. I thought we played a style that people enjoyed watching this year and showcased some of our good young talent that we have on our roster. I think the class that we're bringing in is as good as it's been. A lot of that is because of this facility and some of the things we've been able to do and show in terms of more of a commitment to basketball. I'm proud of that.”

However, Clemson showed an inability to win close games, and it was that “razor-thin” margin that kept the Tigers out of the NCAA Tournament.

“I think our guys showed a lot of heart and character this year. There is no question. We lost five games by three points or less. There were a lot of teams that would have buckled under or given in, and our guys kept coming out every week and competing at a very high level,” Brownell said. “We played some excellent basketball. Unfortunately, we weren't able to close out some games. To be honest, with you, when you look at all of those things, we were two wins short. I have analyzed the last ten teams in the tournament and the first four out, and there is just a razor-thin margin between where we are and where we want to be. We had chances, but we couldn't close out enough games. But our numbers show we were a good basketball team this year, but we fell short of our goal of making the NCAA Tournament. We have to find a way to get there and get over the hump.”

Other notes

On his return and the future

“I have a great affinity for Clemson. I think it's a tremendous academic institution and it's a place that I really appreciate the values of the folks here and what this place stands for. My family loves living here. I have a lot of respect for our leadership of our university and what they're trying to do and the vision. This has always been a place where I think is a great fit. I'm obviously extremely excited about being back as the coach. I think we're in a time where it's an exciting time for the future in basketball. I think we have a lot of positive things going on in our program and in my meeting with Dan (Radakovich) and Graham (Neff). We had a great discussion for the better part of two hours one Saturday and really went through all aspects of the program. I think a lot of things came out from both sides that showed we're doing a lot of really good things off the court - our guys graduate, they are tremendous ambassadors for our university in terms of how they carry themselves on campus and the kinds of things they get involved with in the community and give back. I think our staff is well liked and respected by other coaches and other people in departments we deal with on a regular basis. We pride ourselves on doing things first class and treating people with respect and being good representatives of our university.”

Adjustments for 2017

*Some of it involves me making more adjustments defensively. I have to understand my personnel better this year. Defensively we had some liabilities and some youth. I have to commit to a zone defense or find a defense that can consistently help these guys.

*More consistent use of a sports psychologist.

*Spoke with Dan and Dabo about making a coaching change. No fault of Mike Winiecki, but there are times when you need a new perspective.

*Have to be better late in games.

*Hopes to have a replacement for assistant coach Mike Winiecki in place soon, but wants to sit down and think it through. Not sure if will be someone with recruiting ties, or someone who was once a head coach or has a unique defense.

Challenges

“We have had our fair share of challenges. I don't want to sound like we are making excuses, but we have had our challenges.”

*Had three assistant coaches become head coaches. Had Rick Ray leave after year two, Earl Grant after year four and Richie Riley after year six.

*The whole Greenville ordeal. We ran out of gas late.

*Having to share facilities with other programs while Littlejohn was being renovated.

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Subject (Replies: 107) Author
New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
TigerNet News
One basket away***
T_I_P
Re: One basket away***
deroberts
So that was meant to bury it so we ignore it?***
T_I_P
Tommy, is that you?
Topher
Sure as heck sounds like it. Except he didn't use the
tigerrh
That was the first thing that came across my mind***
Neal in NC®
Careful, you'll make the Brownlee pumpers mad....***
1portroyalty
Some of these reasons rub me the wrong way
ChemETiger97
Some of these reasons rub me the wrong way
ChemETiger97
Re: Brownell defends his program- I noticed
74TIGER
Re: Brownell defends his program- I noticed
Tiger99and00
I can't, I just can't***
GWPTiger®
They made medicine for that***
cutigerbob®
Things Mrs. GWP says to herself before getting into bed with
RenegadeTiger®
What do you mean exactly?***
GWPTiger®
She was not looking forward to your dic
RenegadeTiger®
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
fjones
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
fjones
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
Eagle03®
He was addressing this year's goal, making the NCAAs.
Judge Keller
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
jeancooper®
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney***
qtiger®
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
Streaking Tiger
Please stop trying to justify mediocre results***
BigCUFan®
What do you want him to say?!?
Judge Keller
Re: What do you want him to say?!?
jeancooper®
oh boy***
theclash®
Oh...then we should dominate the NIT....
Memphis Tiger®
Winner for best response***
Clemson81to85
Re: Only one win short of a NIT win*******
AirTiger
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
RenegadeTiger®
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
allorangeallthetime52®
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
tiger james
Nothing he said was wrong.
Judge Keller
Re: Nothing he said was wrong.
supertiger
Where do I start?
Judge Keller
Re: Where do I start?
supertiger
lol, which 2 wins?
Tharealdonjuan
Va Tech ... two 1-point losses.
DueWest
oh judas! I was 5 numbers away from
ClemsonSCTiger
Consult with Dabo about making a coaching change?
cutigerbob®
Assistant?
GWPTiger®
Re: Consult with Dabo about making a coaching change?
allorangeallthetime52®
Re: Consult with Dabo about making a coaching change?
GotGRR
Re: Consult with Dabo about making a coaching change?
jeancooper®
"Fans are too focused on the wins and losses..." ###***
WALLACE
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
reynolds357
It's a mentality thing
flyslyw
Re: It's a mentality thing
allorangeallthetime52®
Lord have mercy. Brownell is a fighter, I'll give him that,
Smiling Tiger®
You are kidding, he is very passive, like Bowden!***
tigeron®
Seems very comfortable.***
colberttiger
Re: Seems very comfortable.***
RRFTigerFan
"Give me one more year, and if it bears no fruit....
silvavocati
Sorry but when you start 11-2
TigerAidan
Brad, Brad, Brad
twentytwofifteen
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
Tiger Michael
Pretty much resigned to the fact that we will continue to
wildblulou®
Out of touch with reality.***
Clemson81to85
Re: Out of touch with reality.***
Tiger Michael
I find it interesting on T-Net
sbrooks®
Re: I find it interesting on T-Net
twentytwofifteen
Re: I find it interesting on T-Net
Tiger Michael
Brownell hasn't gotten 1/10th of the support Dabo has.
Judge Keller
He doesn't get the support because he is not inspiring like
tigeron®
That is ridiculous.
Judge Keller
Re: Brownell hasn't gotten 1/10th of the support Dabo has.
jeancooper®
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
Tiger_tK
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
MtnMan
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
catfan®
Re: New Story: Brownell is a CLOWN
Tiger99and00
Re: New Story: Brownell is a CLOWN
Tiger Michael
Re: New Story: Brownell is a CLOWN
Litefoot®
Good grief. Sigh...***
surroundedtiger
After losing to Oakland in the NIT
ClemsonRT®
IMHO Brownell is deluded
SocMan2®
Re: IMHO Brownell is deluded
twentytwofifteen
Brownell arrogant?!?
Judge Keller
Re: Brownell arrogant?!?
twentytwofifteen
I'm not trolling, just trying to help people get perspective
Judge Keller
i think he'll have a tough time
ClemfanWV
I agree, it's going to be tough.
Judge Keller
Re: I agree, it's going to be tough.
supertiger
Bring in the violins .....
catfan®
Go Tigers!! Get R Done in 2018!!***
Tiger5
Sign him up for a lifetime contract
sgraupn
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
Tiger Contractor
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
Tiger Contractor
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
Litefoot®
Your lips move, but I can't hear what you're saying....
dark side of the moo®
We have become***
hphallman
he should be proud of their play.Coaching was the problem
hphallman
I can't remember the last time I read so many people saying
2k®
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
leftie
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
jeancooper®
BB is really good at making excuses, now he needs to learn
tigeron®
They aren't excuses, they are reality.
Judge Keller
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
jeancooper®
Re: New Story: Brownell defends his program, says team was two wins short of NCAA Tourney
Tiger Michael
"Fans to concerned with wins and losses"-Then why even keep score
Brady
This kind of nonsense is not going to help his
CURAISED
Re: This kind of nonsense is not going to help his
Tiger Michael
SC was two wins from a NC, but we should be satisfied..
saluda tiger
Re: SC was two wins from a NC, but we should be satisfied..
Tiger Michael
our football team has done all of that plus win***
saluda tiger
Re: our football team has done all of that plus win***
Tiger Michael
And he is 2 sandwiches short of a picnic.***
FootballFan36

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