|Wednesday, June 1, 2016, 9:40 AM- -|
I would imagine some Clemson fans won't like it when I say Monte Lee reminds me a lot of Ray Tanner.
I know some of you don't like the former NC State and South Carolina baseball coach and current athletic director of the arch rival, but Tanner had the Midas touch in leading the Gamecocks to two national titles, and Lee did spend a few seasons under Tanner.
Tanner seemed to always push the right buttons. Whenever he would call time out to talk to the hitter, it seemed the next pitch was lined into center field for a hit. His pinch hitters seemed always to get a hit. His bullpen moves seemed to work. His hunches looked Hollywood scripted.
This year Lee has shown the same instincts. Look no further than this past weekend when Mike Triller became the MVP of the ACC tournament. Lee had a hunch but who knew it would lead to this kind of success in Durham?
In Saturday's pool-clinching come from behind win over Wake Forest, Lee pinch ran K.J. Bryant for Seth Beer. He took out his best player. And it worked. Bryant's speed barely beat a return throw on a wild pitch and Clemson beat the Demon Deacons to advance to the ACC title game.
Lee is a little like Tanner regarding recruiting too. Tanner knew the importance of winning the recruiting battles in the state of South Carolina and built relationships in this state. Lee has made it a point to speak specifically about how he will win the state in recruiting.Inevitable Comparison
Tanner's teams seemed to play loose and have fun, even at the most crucial times. Lee's first Clemson team played great down the stretch in key series against Florida State, NC State and Notre Dame even though there was so much on the line. Lee's first Clemson team beat four NCAA tournament teams to win its third ACC title in 20 years.
I guess if you have to be compared to a Gamecock, comparing one to a coach that won two titles isn't all that bad.
The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency
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