NORTHWESTERN COMMAND – If you thought this season was difficult for Clemson basketball wait until next year.
Whatever you think of Devin Booker and Milton Jennings, the senior forward due accounted for much of Clemson’s scoring and rebounding this season. Not only are they out the door next year — replaced by question marks in Landry Nnoko, Josh Smith and Bernard Sullivan — but look who is entering the ACC: Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. Basketball powers. In 2015, Louisville will also call the ACC home.
Brad Brownell’s job is not going to get any easier after this his first losing season in a 10-year head coaching career. The good news?
Continue reading “Does Brownell’s open-mindedness offer solutions? … and why the Sammy ratio will lead to a record year” »
CLEMSON – When Tony Steward signed with Clemson in 2011, Dabo Swinney, Jeff Scott and Clemson Nation celebrated. He was a five-star talent, a franchise-type linebacker, who was expected to provide an immediate impact and perhaps return Clemson to Linebacker U status.
Instead he has been plagued with injury issues, and was curiously not redshirted in either 2011 or 2012. As a result he has played just 109 career snaps from scrimmage while having only two years of eligibility remaining.
It’s hard to believe Steward has only two seasons left and has not started a game at Clemson.
Continue reading “Should Tony Steward redshirt this season?” »
NORTHWESTERN COMMAND – I know Chad Morris does find some time to relax in the offseason. How do I know this? Jeff Scott showed me a picture from his iPhone of Morris reeling in a large mouth bass on a fishing trip to Florida. There is evidence.
But perhaps Morris’ defining characteristic is that he’s restless.
Remember last year when Morris visited Nevada and brought back the pistol? The formation allowed Clemson to improve its power-run game, immediately (288 rush yards in the season opener vs. Auburn).
Remember when Morris visited Oklahoma State last offseason to learn how the Cowboys got Justin Blackmon the ball despite everyone in Stillwater knowing he was going to get the ball? All DeAndre Hopkins did was go 82-1,405-18 in 2012. Not a bad career.
Continue reading “Day two from spring practice: great isn’t good enough (and the craziest things Clemson has done the last four years)” »
CLEMSON – We can’t read too much into spring practice periods, after all we’re nearly sixth months away from the opener against Georgia. But here’s what I do know: Clemson is way ahead of where it was a year ago, and is entering March with its best team under Dabo Swinney.
Consider that there’s no new schemes or coordinators, there’s a senior star quarterback in camp along with a potential first-round pick in Sammy Watkins. Moreover, there’s dozens of young players who have gained experience during an 11-win season last fall. Clemson’s never had more pieces in place in March under Dabo.
All you need to know is that one of the most intriguing camp battles is for the backup QB spot. That’s a good thing.
Continue reading “Spring postcard: thoughts and Captionating from practice No. 1” »
CLEMSON – No one appears to be enjoying this Clemson basketball season. Not by the look of the empty seats last night, not by the look of the worn countenance of Brad Brownell in the post-game press room. Brownell said after last night’s 68-61 loss to Boston College that this is the toughest season “without question” of his 10-year career.
Brownell has never had a losing season. Clemson hasn’t had one since 2003-04. But unless the Tigers can reel off four straight wins, which is highly unlikely, Clemson will have a losing season.
Even though Clemson has lost five in a row and eight of nine, I don’t think Brownell has lost this team; it competes, it’s just simply not a very good team.
“We have holes,” Brownell said.
And that Clemson has holes should surprise no one after losing Jerai Grant, Demontez Stitt, Andre Young, Tanner Smith and several transfers in back-to-back offseasons. The staff knew this year would be tough, and knows next year will be difficult, too. Still, Clemson has still been competitive in many games. The team hasn’t quit but is Clemson in in jeopardy of losing some of its ticket buyers? Continue reading “Are you not entertained?” »