#65 Clemson Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Clemson Tigers
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #65
Conference Rank: #9 ACC
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Clemson failed to make it back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament, but it wouldn’t be hard to make an argument that they had a team worthy of going. The Tigers lost games by two points or fewer to N.C. State, Miami, Louisville, North Carolina and again to N.C. State in the ACC Tournament. Clemson spent most of last year on the bubble, and just one of those wins could have shifted them into the NCAA Tournament. Now this year, Clemson is down four starters from last season and enters a bit of a transition year. With help from transfers and returning juniors and sophomores, Clemson should still find themselves in the middle of the ACC standings.
2018-19 Record: 20-14, 9-9
2018-19 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Brad Brownell
Coach Record: 169-127 at Clemson, 336-212 overall
Key Departed Players:
Marcquise Reed, Guard, 19.4 ppg
Elijah Thomas, Center, 13.0 ppg
Shelton Mitchell, Guard, 11.5 ppg
David Skara, Forward, 7.6 ppg
Javan White, Center, 2.0 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Aamir Simms, Junior, Forward, 8.1 ppg
Clyde Trapp, Junior, Guard, 6.0 ppg

John Newman, Sophomore, Guard, 2.1 ppg
Hunter Tyson, Sophomore, Forward, 1.6 ppg
Trey Jemison, Sophomore, Center, 0.4 ppg
Key New Players:
Jonathan Baehre, Junior, Forward, Transfer from UNC Asheville

Al-Amir Dawes, Freshman, Guard
Alex Hemenway, Freshman, Guard
Chase Hunter, Freshman, Guard
Tevin Mack, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Alabama
Curran Scott, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Tulsa
Four senior starters from last season are gone, but the Tigers aren’t without promising talent on the roster. The lone returning starter is junior Aamir Simms who started all 34 games, averaging 8.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game. Simms improved greatly from his freshman season, and Clemson needs him to make another leap as an upperclassman. Junior Clyde Trapp made seven starts last season and ended the year as the Tigers’ starting point guard after Shelton Mitchell’s injury. Trapp averaged 6.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists and will also be relied on to improve this year as a likely starter. John Newman, Hunter Tyson and Trey Jemison all played limited roles as freshmen and should see bigger responsibilities this season. Newman especially could see an expanded role after playing 12.0 minutes per game and making one start last year. Jemison is a seven-footer who missed time with a knee injury, so his sophomore campaign should be more impactful. Where Clemson could most rely on production is with the addition of several experienced transfers. Tevin Mack and Curran Scott are both graduate transfers. Mack started his career at Texas before playing last season at Alabama. Last year he started 24 games and averaged 9.0 points and 3.3 rebounds. As a sophomore at Texas, Mack averaged 14.8 points and 4.8 rebounds in 15 games, which is the level of play Clemson will need from him this year. Scott started his career at Charlotte and spent the last two seasons at Tulsa. Scott started 26 games last year and averaged 8.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists while shooting 39.4% from three. Jonathan Baehre is a transfer from UNC Asheville who has two years of eligibility remaining. Baehre started 21 games in 2017-18 and averaged 7.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.8 blocks. As a 6-10 big man with experience, Baehre will likely have to try to fill the huge shoes of Elijah Thomas down low for the Tigers. Clemson welcomes three freshmen as well, highlighted by top-150 players Al-Amir Dawes and Chase Hunter. Dawes is a four-star prospect ranked 107th in the class while Hunter is a three-star recruit ranked 126th according to 247sports. Both players are guards which is an area of need after Mitchell and Marcquise Reed’s departures. Clemson has a lot of production to replace from a year ago, but Brad Brownell has put together a roster that appears capable of staying competitive in the ACC.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.8 (274th in nation, 12th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.9 (24, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.9 (151, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.7 (28, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.4 (299, 13)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.8 (256, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.2 (90, 8)
Rebound Margin: 3.4 (70, 7)
Assists Per Game: 12.1 (274, 12)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.3 (209, 11)

Madness 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#108 Al-Amir Dawes
#114 Chase Hunter