2014 NSD is officially in the books. There were few surprises for our Tigers as this class was pretty much buttoned up a while back. It is nice to fill out your spots and leave your fanbase/staff relatively happy headed into NSD with some optimism that your team will get an excellent player late as the "icing on the cake."
We reviewed this class and how it fits in with the program's needs earlier this week so I won't regurgitate that whole discussion. Clemson still fails to bring in offensive linemen on an annual basis. This places a tremendous amount of pressure on the '15 class at this spot. I am not a big fan of "cyclical recruiting" and classes of one position. We've done it with receivers and now are doing this with linemen. We would like to see more linemen signed every year because of the difficulty in getting 5-7 guys up front who can give you quality snaps.
Clemson has become consistent on the recruiting trail and this year's class is no different. Could it have been better? The answer there is always Yes. However, this is another solid class and one that ensures victories in the ACC. We are still way behind Florida State in pulling talent but are ahead of the conference here (sans Miami's '14 class). This consistency is appreciated though we all need to be reminded that there is still room for improvement.
Yes, the Olympics are back at it. For the most part, I could care less about the Winter Olympics and admittedly don't plan to focus on any event--sans Curling. The Americans are again led by John Shuster. We all remember Shuster's struggles as skip of the 2010 American Olympic team and his eventual benching during that tournament. Hopefully Shuster can pull it together this year and the American contingency can come through with crucial rocks specifically in the latter ends of the matches.
Marcus Smart has been all over Sportscenter for going into the crowd and shoving a Texas Tech fan. I have no clue what spurred this behavior but we likely will learn more as ESPN and the Big 12 look into this matter. Smart has to be suspended for going into the crowd and Texas Tech will have to evaluate fan behavior in light of this incident. This bodes very poorly for Smart as he could have been an early pick had he left school one year ago. While this certainly is not the brawl that Ron Artest and the Pacers saw back in the day, anytime a player goes into the crowd visions of that melee immediately come to mind. Regardless, Smart will be taunted in the NBA and simply cannot lose his cool when he gets to the next level.
The PGA Tour is at Pebble Beach for the AT&T Pro-Am. Yesterday's televised action was limited due to poor weather conditions. Jimmy Walker heads into today's final round sporting a six stroke lead over Hunter Mahan and Tim Wilkinson. I didn't realize this (and know it is early) but Jimmy Walker is playing very well and is leading the Ryder Cup standings right now so it is unsurprising to see his name at the top of the leaderboard. In case you are wondering, Phil is tied for 5th eight shots back at 5 under par. Interestingly, Clint Eastwood saved a man who was choking at this golf tournament. I won't even attempt a cheesy Dirty Harry joke but will point this out as it is not very often an 80+ year old badass icon saves a man's life at a golf tournament. In an extremely boneheaded move, D.A. Points was disqualified from the professional portion of this tournament because he used a training device during his round on Friday. Everyone--especially a Tour Pro--knows this is a big rules violation. I am befuddled at a professional attempting something of this nature.
Clemson gets Syracuse tonight on national television. Clemson may have one of the ugliest offenses in the country. When you have these struggles, Clemson has to shorten the game and hope to win a game with fewer than 90 total points are scored. Next week the Tigers travel to South Bend to play Notre Dame then host Virginia. Counting tonight, Clemson has nine games remaining. The most difficult of these include at Syracuse tonight and, arguably, the Tiger's regular season finale hosting Pitt. Fortunately for Clemson, these two games and the UVa contest are the only games against ranked opponents. Clemson is fifth in the ACC standings now and should be able to maintain a spot in the top half of the conference standings when you consider the schedule remaining.
Clemson baseball hosts Eastern Michigan this weekend then will play a series against Maine next. The Tigers get into a more typical routine at the end of this month when they play a mid-week game against PC then engage in the annual series against South Carolina. I still am not certain why Leggett wanted to shorten Tiger Field (particularly when you evaluate the makeup of this baseball team) but BTF has been modified heading into this season. I've discussed this before here...I really like the move by the NCAA to adjust the bats and put more of an emphasis on small ball instead of the home run derby the game was turning into. College baseball is a great sport to watch and extremely enjoyable to catch live. I highly encourage anyone near a Clemson baseball game (or any college baseball game for that matter) to check out these games.
Everyone enjoy the week and hopefully next Sunday we'll be discussing relative success for the basketball team.