Amid rumors and rumblings about his future at Clemson, Brad Brownell emerged from a lengthy sit down with Dan Radakovich Saturday with his job intact. The Tigers had NCAA Tournament aspirations this season but ended up in the NIT where they suffered a loss in the first round. They let a 20 point lead get away from them in that loss which further added to the speculation Brownell might have coached his last game.
Monday morning Radkovich issued a statement that he was sticking with Brownell.
“As part of a comprehensive season-ending review and evaluation, I met for several hours with Brad Brownell to review the recently completed season and to look ahead to 2017-2018. Both of us believe strongly that we should have achieved more this season and Brad is candid with his own critique and assessment. As we move forward, I expect Brad to make changes in the program to better position us for success. He continues to represent Clemson University with integrity and class, and we will continue to do all that we can to help him as we expect to achieve consistent success with our men’s basketball program.”
There were reports circulating over the weekend that the Tigers were taking a hard look at VCU’s Will Wade to take over the basketball program. Whether that was the case and Wade opted to stay put or the reports were premature is unknown. There was certainly a lot of smoke though.
Bronwell had not been bad in his seven years at Clemson. Over that span he’s won 124 games. That includes 56 wins in the tough ACC, more than any Tigers coach in school history. The issue has been the NCAA Tournament. Brownell has not been to The Dance since his first season with a group of players in inherited from Oliver Purnell.
The pressure will be on next season for Brownell for sure. It is as close to do or die as you can get with an NCAA Tournament appearance probably necessary to get him back another year. Despite the fact the Tigers are losing some key players, like Jaron Blossomgame, Brownell still has a solid group of talent returning. He’ll have to take that group and play deep into March or there almost certainly will be a new coach coming in in 2018.