TAMPA, FL - MARCH 17: Demontez Stitt #2 of the Clemson Tigers attempts a shot against John Flowers #41 of the West Virginia Mountaineers during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at St. Pete Times Forum on March 17, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. West Virginia won 84-76. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
I will admit, I had a lot of questions when TDP hired Coach Brownell last year and was not entirely confident in the decision. We've got to give credit where credit is due and, so far, Coach Brownell has been an asset to our athletics program. Our basketball team now plays actual basketball as opposed to the street ball style that Oliver Purnell employed in his time at CU. Clemson's offense executes out of half-court sets and does not totally rely on transition points to create offense. The Clemson team lost its best player from a year ago (Booker) and had a December transfer in Noel Johnson. Despite those losses, the Tigers were able to make it to the Big Dance after a respectable regular season and ACC Tourney.
While all of the above are positives, we continue to expect continuous improvement. We won't be unrealistic (it will be difficult with the losses of Stitt and Grant next season) but will be watching to see better fundamentals and decision making in '11-'12. Brownell will also have to prove to us that he can recruit well enough to start competing and defeating the Duke's/North Carolina's of the ACC and eventually get deeper in the NCAA Tourney. As of today, Brad gets our vote of confidence and we hope that the administration will reward him and his staff for a good effort over the past year.
On the Tournament: You can argue all you want on whether or not we got hosed and were better than some teams that did not play a play-in game. The fact is that we could have taken care of business and not put ourselves in such a situation. We lost to South Carolina. Virginia, NC State, Michigan and ODU. The ACC losses are inexcusable. On top of that, we blew a game to UNC in the ACC tourney. Win a couple of those and you are golden. A win over UM and/or a win over UNC gets you more credibility. The other losses are just bad losses, period. We got what we deserved for the entire season of work.