Clemson Basketball Predictions
Overall: 22-12 (15-2 H, 3-7 A, 4-3 N)
ACC: 9-7 (7-1 H, 2-6 A)
Conference Tournament: 1-1, lost in semifinals
Postseason: 1-1, lost in 2nd round of NCAA Tournament
Brad Brownell had an impressive coaching resume when he took over at Clemson last year, and backed up that effort by posting the most wins by a first-year head coach at Clemson and leading the Tigers to the NCAA tournament for the fourth straight year. Known as a defensive-minded coach, he instilled that personality into his team immediately. The Tigers led the ACC in scoring defense at just 61.4 points per game and second with just 40 percent shooting from the floor. Those numbers also ranked the Tigers 24th and 29th nationally, respectively.
Other Returning Players
Brad Brownell, 2nd year
The Tigers lost two key starters. Jerai Grant averaged 12.4 points and nearly seven rebounds per game and shot 57 percent from the floor while averaging 2.3 blocks per contest and earning a spot on the ACC All-Defensive Team. He finished in the career top-10 at Clemson history in blocks and field-goal percentage. The other key starter lost was Demontez Stitt, a third-team All-ACC selection at guard. He led the team in scoring (14.5 points per game) and was named to the Lefty Driesell All-America Defenisve Team his senior year.
|Date||Opponent / Event|
|10/21/2011||Rock the John|
|11/5/2011||vs. Queens (N.C.) (Exhibition)|
|11/16/2011||@ The Citadel|
|11/19/2011||vs. College of Charleston|
|11/22/2011||vs. Coastal Carolina|
|Big Ten/ACC Challenge|
|12/4/2011||vs. South Carolina|
|12/19/2011||vs. Alabama State|
|Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic|
|12/23/2011||Kansas State/Southern Illinois|
|1/7/2012||vs. Florida State|
|1/12/2012||@ Boston College|
|1/21/2012||vs. Georgia Tech|
|1/28/2012||vs. Wake Forest|
|2/4/2012||@ Virginia Tech|
|2/11/2012||@ Wake Forest|
|2/18/2012||@ North Carolina|
|2/21/2012||@ Georgia Tech|
|2/25/2012||vs. NC State|
|3/1/2012||vs. Virginia Tech|
|3/4/2012||@ Florida State|
|2012 ACC Tournament|
|3/8/2012||2012 ACC Tournament|
|3/9/2012||2012 ACC Tournament|
|3/10/2012||2012 ACC Tournament|
|3/11/2012||2012 ACC Tournament|
The Tigers will bring back three talented starters and three other letterwinners from last year, but will have the challenge of incorporating six freshmen into the rotation. It is expected that two of three will have to play significant minutes in their first year. While the identity will take time to develop after the Tigers lost their top two scorers from a year ago, one can expect coach Brad Brownell to continue to emphasize defense to keep the Tigers in a lot of games during the first part of the season.
Seniors Andre Young and Tanner Smith will lead this group. Young is the top 3-point shooter from a year ago (40 percent) and a national leader in assist-to-turnover ratio.
Smith, a 6-foot-5 wing player, was third on the team in assists, steals and 3-pointers made and fourth in rebounding while serving as the team’s top free-throw shooter.
Five of the six freshmen on the roster are in the backcourt. So it’s expected that two to three of them will likely see time in the regular rotation.
Devin Booker is the returning starter up front for the Tigers. He finished second on the team in rebounds (5.5 pg) and was fifth in scoring (8.1 ppg) while leading the team by making 86 percent of his free throws during conference play.
Milton Jennings was the first reserve off the bench last season, and finished third on the squad in rebounding (5.2 pg) and fourth in scoring (8.3 ppg). He also shot a team-best 78 percent from the foul line last year.
Senior Bryan Narcisse played about 13 minutes per game and averaged about 3 points and 1.6 rebounds per contest.
Senior Catalin Baciu, a 7-foot-2 center, has only played 163 minutes in 44 games but is expected to impact the Tigers in the post after a productive summer.
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