Tigers ready to start new era in basketball

by - Senior Writer -

Milton Jennings (WMA Format)

Tanner Smith (WMA Format)

Andre Young (WMA Format)

Devin Booker (WMA Format)

CLEMSON – The Clemson men’s basketball team has its first official practice under new head coach

Brad Brownell on Friday at 5 p.m., but the players already have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Sophomore swing man Milton Jennings looks like he has gotten bigger and stronger since the end

of last season, and he said on Tuesday that Brownell’s workouts have already set the tone for what the

head coach expects from his players.

“Right off the bat, he made a good impression,” Jennings said. “He told us he was going to work us

hard, but we had also heard that his kids [former players] loved him and didn’t want to see him go. I had

also heard some good things from my dad, who knew him a little bit, and he told me about some of his


“I figured we had a good coach. And then he came in, and we had three really good workouts. And

I knew then that we had a coach. After the first workout, I walked out – no I crawled out basically – and

I knew things were different. That is how it has been since he has been here. We work hard at getting

better. There is no play time.”

Jennings said that the individual workouts are different than what he has experienced in the past,

with the players getting instruction on even the smallest of details, such as the ball angle on a pump fake

and arm angle on a shot.

“Attention to details, that is what he focuses on,” Jennings said. “Everything that we work on has

to be quick and precise. Obviously the workouts last year were more focused on defense. We had four-

man groups that worked on the press. This year, we have two-man groups and we work on our skills as

an offensive player. I work on the outside shot, and then I work on the different moves in the post. This

is a big turnaround. Before, it was mainly defense, as everybody knows.”

Guard Andre Young agreed with Jennings and said the emphasis has been on hard work.

“He [Brownell] is really passionate about what he does,” Young said. “He is really passionate about

his players and his coaching staff, and he is a guy who really works hard. There are not many who are

going to outwork him and outwork us as a team.

“We have just been working hard in the offseason, and I am excited to get started. There hasn’t

been a lot of team stuff, but we have been emphasizing our skill set, and working hard in the preseason

workouts. It’s all about to come together, and I’m pretty excited about it.”

Tanner Smith said that the Thursday morning workout sessions have been the toughest –

including an epic session of “suicides” last week – but he believes the team is closer because of it.

“Every Thursday is tough, but the guys have really embraced it and we all are in better shape

than when we got here,” Smith said. “Being in better shape will help us when we have those first few

practices; we will be a more physically-tough team and more mentally-tough. And we will be closer.

Coming out at 6:30 in the morning for workouts – you can’t get much closer than that and we’ve

definitely grown closer as a team.”

Smith that Clemson fans will definitely see a difference on the court this season.

“It has been a big change, but it wasn’t something that any of us couldn’t handle,” he said. “They

have changed some things, obviously, but it will be good for us in the long run. They are really into skill

development and I can already tell that we are going to be a hard-nosed defensive team.

“We will be much more half-court oriented [defensively], but at the same time we will be just as

aggressive as we were in the past. This staff is encouraging us, and they are really into us getting better

shots and being better shooters. We are going to be a shooting offense, but at the same time we will be

cutting and setting screens and using motions. Just playing as a unit.”

Rate this Story:
19 votes

Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment

Clowney on teammates from Clemson: "We got too many"

Former Clemson OT picks new school

Computer predicts score for Clemson-Kent State

Chiefs coach on Spiller: "Unbelievable surprise"

Clemson holds situational scrimmage

Dabo Swinney: "God created us all equal. Period."

Four Clemson players named to SI's Preseason All-America team

"Inside Clemson Football with Dabo Swinney" will air on Mondays

Scrimmage update: Bryant excels but Cooper and Johnson "are coming"
Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Daily Digest