#49 Clemson Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Clemson Tigers
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #49
Conference Rank: #8 ACC
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Clemson suffered through a bit of a rebuilding season in 2019-2020. There were a lot of new faces on the team and the Tigers were inconsistent throughout most of the season. There were some huge wins against the likes of Duke, Louisville and Florida State, but there were some bad losses too. With four starters returning though, Clemson should be much more consistent in 2020-2021. Will that result in more victories over the top teams in the ACC? It could. And, if Coach Brad Brownell and company can take care of business against the middle of the ACC, this is a team that will be right on the cusp of the NCAA Tournament.
2019-20 Record: 16-15, 9-11
Coach: Brad Brownell
Coach Record: 185-142 at Clemson, 352-227 overall
Key Departed Players:
Tevin Mack, Guard/Forward, 12.2 ppg
Curran Scott, Guard, 5.7 ppg
Khavon Moore, Guard/Forward, 1.8 ppg
Trey Jemison, Center, 1.7 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Aamir Simms, Senior, Forward, 13.0 ppg
John Newman III, Junior, Guard, 9.5 ppg
Al-Amir Dawes, Sophomore, Guard, 9.0 ppg
Clyde Trapp, Senior, Guard, 6.0 ppg
Hunter Tyson, Junior, Forward, 5.5 ppg
Chase Hunter, Sophomore, Guard. 5.3 ppg
Alex Hemenway, Sophomore, Guard, 4.8 ppg
Key New Players:
PJ Hall, Freshman, Forward
Nick Honor, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Fordham
Lynn Kidd, Freshman, Center
Oliver-Maxence Prosper, Freshman, Guard/Forward
Aamir Simms was the team’s only returning starter last season and he really stepped up his game, averaging a team high 13.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists. Simms was a leader on the team in 2019-2020 and he will fill that role again. He will also fill up the stat sheet. The backcourt returns plenty of talent. John Newman III had a breakout junior campaign, averaging 9.5 points per game. If he can hit the long ball more consistently, Newman easily could be a double-digit scorer. Clyde Trapp returned from an ACL injury in December and stepped into the starting lineup. Al-Amir Dawes averaged 9.0 points and 2.5 assists as a freshman. In a backcourt that struggled from beyond the arc, Dawes knocked down a team high 48 three-pointers. He can still be more consistent, but that will come with experience. Fellow sophomores Chase Hunter and Alex Hemenway were limited by injuries last season, but both had quality outings and Hemenway should immediately be the most prolific and efficient outside shooter on the team. The backcourt also adds Fordham transfer Nick Honor. The 5-10 point guard spent his freshman campaign at Fordham where he averaged 15.3 points and 3.0 assists. Depth in the frontcourt is where Clemson could run into trouble. Hunter Tyson is the most experienced option after averaging 5.5 points and 3.0 rebounds as a sophomore last season. Incoming freshmen PJ Hall and Olivier-Maxence Prosper are talented prospects. If they can live up to their potential right away, the Tigers will be a very dangerous and interesting team to watch by March.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 66.5 (296th in nation, 12th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.1 (37, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.8 (225, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.1 (76, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.1 (85, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.5 (274, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.6 (257, 12)
Rebound Margin: -1.0 (227, 9)
Assists Per Game: 12.9 (190, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.5 (109, 9)

Madness 2020 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#48 P.J. Hall
#120 Oliver-Maxence Prosper