#119 Clemson Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Clemson Tigers

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #119
Conference Rank: #12 ACC

Clemson Team Page#119 Clemson Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Clemson Basketball Tickets

Clemson was one of the more pleasant surprises in the ACC. The expectations were extremely low, but they recorded a winning record in ACC play and earned a berth in the NIT. But just getting to the NIT was not enough for the Tigers. They beat Georgia State, Illinois and Belmont to reach the semifinals at Madison Square Garden. They fell to SMU in New York, but that experience should prove helpful for Clemson’s younger players. Meanwhile, Rod Hall is the experienced senior on the roster. He will be asked to do even more this season after averaging 9.7 points and 4.0 assists. If Hall can start knocking down jumpers on a consistent basis, he could boost his scoring average to 15 points.

2013-14 Record: 23-13, 10-8
2013-14 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Brad Brownell
Coach Record: 74-58 at Clemson, 241-143 overall

Who’s Out:
Unfortunately for the Tigers, K.J. McDaniels is gone and he was a huge reason why Clemson had so much success in 2013-2014. McDaniels easily led the team with 17.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 1.1 assists per contest. The 6-6 forward even knocked down 42 three-pointers and shot 84.2 percent from the charity stripe. McDaniels did everything for the Tigers and it is hard to imagine what the Tigers can do without him. Adonis Filer and Ibrahim Djambo are the only other departures. Filer, a 6-2 guard, averaged 14.7 minutes per game, but was never able to find his shot during his two years with the Tigers. Djambo provided interior depth for about ten minutes per game.

Who’s In:
Clemson hopes to get some production on the wings from their three freshmen. For a team that ranked 12th in the ACC in three-point field-goal shooting, Gabe DeVoe, Patrick Rooks and Donte Grantham can certainly find some minutes if their shots are falling. Grantham is not the best shooter of the bunch, but he is the most talented. The lanky 6-8 small forward can play the four spot with a little more strength, but in the ACC he should be able to play the three spot on a regular basis. He has the ball handling skills and the athleticism to emerge as very good player sooner or later.

Who to Watch:
Besides Hall, Coach Brad Brownell returns four other players who started at least 13 games. Jordan Roper and Demarcus Harrison were the next highest scorers behind Hall. As a freshman two years ago, Roper hit 41.4 percent of his three-point shots. Last year that number dipped to 32.0 percent. This is a team that desperately needs shooters and Roper is the best pure shooter among the returning players. Harrison’s shooting numbers are on the way up. As an underclassman he was mostly a defender, but now he is a capable scorer as well as a premier defender. Jaron Bossomgame and Landry Nnoko are the returning starters in the paint. This is Clemson, so the focus is going to be on defense, but finding an interior scorer would be very helpful. Blossomgame had a very good season despite averaging just 4.9 points per game. He was basically on the sidelines for nearly two years prior to the 2013-2014 campaign and his potential is through the roof. Nnoko keeps adding strength and that will greatly help him get closer to double digit scoring.  

Final Projection:
With Austin Ajukwa and Carson Fields on the perimeter and Sidy Djitte and Josh Smith in the frontcourt, Clemson will have enough depth to run their stifling defense. Coach Brownell has turned this into one of the best defensive teams in the country. Last year they allowed just 58.4 points per game, ranking fifth in the nation. The defense may not be quite that good this time around, but it will be solid. The bigger question is whether or not anybody can step up offensively. There is plenty of potential, but it will be a lot different without McDaniels garnering all of the attention. Nnoko could be a good scorer, yet he will need a shooter to take off some of the pressure. And those shooters will not get much space to operate if the opposition does not feel threatened by Nnoko’s interior scoring. There will many, many times when this offense looks bad, but they will win quite a few games as long the turnovers remain under control. That may not be enough to compete in the ACC though.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Rod Hall, Senior, Guard, 9.7 points per game
Jordan Roper, Junior, Guard, 7.4 points per game
Damarcus Harrison, Senior, Guard, 7.8 points per game
Jaron Blossomgame, Sophomore, Forward, 4.9 points per game
Larry Nnoko, Junior, Center, 6.5 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 63.5 (316th in nation, 13th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 58.4 (5, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.4 (266, 13)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.5 (17, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.3 (271, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.0 (281, 12)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.4 (28, 1)
Rebound Margin: 1.9 (123, 10)
Assists Per Game: 10.6 (310, 14)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.1 (64, 8)

Madness 2014 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#85 Donte Grantham


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