Clemson’s Lack of Respect

Clemson Tigers Men's College Basketball Andre Young

Clemson’s Lack of Respect

After last season Clemson coach Brad Brownell noted that his team did not get enough credit for having a pretty good season. He was right. He did have a new system and not very many players on the roster to run it. His team buckled down and played Coach Brownell’s usual style of tough defense. The squad rarely gave anybody an easy look at the basket. The opposition had to earn every basket and that led to an impressive 9-7 conference mark and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

However, this is the ACC. Clemson is expected to do more than just make the NCAA Tournament. Clemson has made four consecutive appearances on college basketball’s biggest stage, but they have never made it past the first round, what we now call the second round…they’ve never made it to the Round of 32. Coach Brownell’s squad did beat UAB in the “First Four” last season, but then continued their losing streak in the “real” tournament at the hands of West Virginia.

It is impressive that Clemson has made the last four straight trips to the big dance. Duke is the only ACC team to match that streak. However, the Tigers need to win once they get there before they will garner that much respect. At the moment many just pencil Clemson in as a loss in the first round. It is all we have seen lately from the Tigers.

Will this year be any different? It very well could. The Tigers lose their top two scorers, but the frontcourt is solid and Andre Young is a fine point guard. This team needs to find some guards who can beat opposing defenders off the dribble and that will likely come from a large group of freshmen. But besides those freshmen, everybody else has had a year to learn the system and get familiar with the new style. The defense should be even better and that will keep the Tigers in just about every game. Whether or not that is enough to win when it matters most remains to be seen, but that is the only way Clemson will get respect in a conference that counts excellence by the number of national championships, not tournament appearances.



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