Clemson head coach Brad Brownell addressed the upcoming game with South Carolina in his press conference, Friday. Clemson comes into the game at 5-4, having lost both of its ACC games, so Brownell and the Tigers could use a boost. The same can be said for the 6-4 Gamecocks, who are coming off a 20-point loss to Houston.
Brownell has enjoyed a measure of success against the in-state rival, going 5-4 as Clemson head coach and winning the last three, including a 78-68 victory in Columbia last season.
Unlike the football rivalry, the basketball result doesn’t often alter the fortunes of either team or shift a media narrative. Most basketball fans in the state remember the Gamecocks run to the 2017 Final Four behind Sindarius Thornwell, P.J. Dozier and Chris Silva. But how many fans recall Jaron Blossomgame and the Tigers knocking off South Carolina 62-60 in the Colonial Life Arena that same season? Brownell says it’s a topic he’s discussed with the Gamecocks head coach, “It’s a game both Frank (Martin) and I wish sometimes got a little more media coverage. Wish it generated a little more interest.”
If Clemson is to make it four wins in a row, the Tigers guards will have to contend with the versatile A.J. Lawson. Brownell expressed great respect for the Gamecocks sophomore, “He (Lawson) is a great player. NBA level talent guy …. He can really score, he can shoot it, he can handle the ball. He can play the 1 or the 2. He’s a problem.”
The Tigers play host to the Gamecocks at Littlejohn Coliseum, 5 p.m., Sunday.
Brad Brownell press conference