It's obvious that Brad Brownell isn't satisfied with his team's play so far this season. Brownell has been tinkering with the starting lineup throughout the early part of the season He's tried both TJ Sapp and Rod Hall at the point. He's tried Brian Narcisse at the 4. His latest move was giving Catalin Baicu the nod over Milton Jennings at the 5. Whether this was a ploy to send a message to Jennings or simply a move to play the (relatively) hotter hand, I'm not sure. But it seemed to work on one of the two levels.
Clemson was able to snap a 2 game skid by knocking off Winthrop 60-40. And Brownell's move to insert Bobo into the starting lineup seems like a good one. I thought Bobo played a very solid game. He gave Clemson an inside presence on the defensive end that gave Winthrop problems. He altered many shots, hedged well on ball screens, and effectively shut down an opportunity for Winthrop to establish an inside game. His length will give almost any big man a problem. If he is able to get himself in the right positions defensively, which he did in this game, he can become a major asset.
The flip side to the move is that it failed to light a fire under Jennings ass. If anything, I think it made him more timid when he did get into the game. He finished the game with and 0-fer from field and the line, while committing 2 turnovers. At this point, you've gotta continue to play Bobo at the 5 until Jennings proves he can help this team.
Tanner Smith played his best game of the year. Offensively, he did a little bit of everything. He drove the ball well, especially to his left, and finished at the rim. He also hit from the mid-range, from deep (2-3), and from the foul line (5-6). Defensively, he shut down Winthrop's best offensive player Andre Jones. Jones came into the game averaging over 19 PPG and was help to just 12 points by Clemson. A majority of his points were scored when Smith went to the bench in the second half. When Smith was in he harassed Jones into tough shots and forced him into the teeth of the defense. This was one of the better overall games that Smith has played in a long time.
Andre Young and Devin Booker chipped in to help out Tanner in the scoring department. Young was very efficient, scoring 15 points on just 8 shots. He was 5-8 from the field and 2-3 from downtown. Booker, fueled by an early follow dunk, seemed to play with an energy that's usually lacking. He scored in the post a couple of times, dropping soft lefty jump hooks over his defender. He finished with 9 points (4-7 from the field) and could've really helped himself if he were able to shoot better from the line, where he was 1-5.
Next up for Clemson is Alabama State. After that they'll head out to Hawaii for the Diamond Head Classic, with a 1st Round matchup against UTEP on December 22nd.