The Clemson basketball team is coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance, and Brad Brownell is optimistic his team can make it back to the Big Dance in 2022 despite the losses of key players from last year’s team like Aamir Simms, Clyde Trapp and John Newmann III who combined to average 24 points and 13 rebounds per game. Brownell brought in seven new players including two senior transfers to blend in with returnees Hunter Tyson, PJ Hall, Al-Amir Dawes, Nick Honor, Alex Hemenway and Chase Hunter.
Wednesday Brownell met with the media to preview the season which begins Monday with an exhibition game against Georgia Southwestern State at Littlejohn Coliseum. The regular season begins November 9th at home against Presbyterian.
Some key comments from Brownell:
- Hopes to have a team where he can play 10 guys per game; felt last year’s team had good depth and he hopes to have the same this season. Working in the new players will be critical to their success.
- Trying to get Dawes and Honor to take more of a leadership role, which doesn’t come naturally to them, hoping leadership will come from the two older transfers who have been thru things.
- Needs Dawes and Honor to set the tone defensively and play with great energy.
- Thinks they have a lot of different ways they can go with their lineups; some are better offensively, some are better defensively.
- Newcomers have blended in well with the returnees, transfers have found their niche, everybody is trying to coach up the freshmen.
- Very pleased with PJ Hall, his time to take a big step, had a little knee issue that cost him a couple of weeks, in a better place than he was a year ago, mentally better prepared.
- Hall is a guy who has to step up if they are going to have a good season, he’s going to get a lot of touches, same for Hunter Tyson, expects him to do a lot of good things for them, needs Dawes and Hunter to step up their games as well.
- Hall is wearing a brace on his knee, something he’s had to deal with thru his career. Otherwise, they are fine from a health standpoint.
- Can’t play too fast because that would take Hall out of the game, fast tempo is not his game, but they will be quick to shoot and be aggressive on offense.