#35 Clemson Women's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Clemson Tigers
Overall Rank: #35
Conference Rank: #8 ACC
 Clemson Logo
Clemson was one of the more underrated stories in all of women’s college basketball last season. Head Coach Amanda Butler and her staff did an excellent job of changing the culture right away and getting the players to buy in quickly. The Tigers won 20 games, including nine in conference play, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Now, the key for Clemson will be how do they respond this season when they won’t be able to sneak up on as many teams.
2018-19 Record: 20-13, 9-7
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Amanda Butler
Coach Record: 20-13 at Clemson, 250-172 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Simone Westbrook, Forward, 13.9 ppg
Danielle Edwards, Guard, 13.3 ppg
Aliyah Collier, Guard, 12.6 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Kobi Thornton, Senior, Forward, 14.1 ppg
Tylar Bennett, Junior, Center, 4.7 ppg
Destiny Thomas, Junior, Guard, 2.3 ppg
Key New Players
Kaylee Sticker, Freshman, Guard
Amari Robinson, Freshman, Forward
Isis Lopes, Freshman, Guard
Hannah Hank, Freshman, Forward
Danae McNeal, Freshman, Guard
Delicia Washington, Senior, Guard
Kendall Spray, Redshirt Junior, Guard
Kobi Thornton is the leading returning scorer for Clemson as she averaged 14.1 points per game last season. Rebounding is another strength for Thornton as she averaged just over seven rebounds per game last year and will need to boost that number even higher with the loss of Aliyah Collier.  In addition, Thornton will need to take on an even bigger role as the senior leader for the Tigers as there will be several new players in the rotation for Coach Butler. Tylar Bennett is the other returning starter this season. Bennett is a bit more of a defensive minded post player as she averaged 6.2 rebounds per game and blocked 63 shots in 2018-19. The schedule is pretty balanced with tough non-conference tests against South Carolina, Maryland, and Iowa. Conference play starts on December 8th at home in Littlejohn Coliseum against Florida State in what will be a huge tone setter for the Tigers. The rest of the conference schedule is relatively balanced with single games against Louisville and Notre Dame with the Cardinals visiting Clemson and the Tigers traveling to South Bend.  Overall, it will take some time for this team to evolve chemistry wise, but in the end, Clemson should be in the NCAA Tournament conversation by March.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.1 (93rd in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.0 (232, 11)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.3 (81, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.9 (175, 10)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 3.9 (327, 15)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.1 (49, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.3 (271, 13)
Rebound Margin: 0.6 (166, 11)
Assists Per Game: 12.9 (176, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 19.7 (330, 15)
Madness 2019 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#104 Danae McNeal