It's been a while since basketball season has ended. We've had a two players transfer out, one transfer in, and one get selected in the NBA draft. So now let's step back and assess the situation.
Let's start at point guard. Backup PG Adonis Filer chose to transfer out of the program to join Florida Atlantic in sunny Boca Raton. He was looking at another year of backup duty behind team leader Rod Hall before getting an opportunity to compete with Jordan Roper, Gabe DeVoe, and whichever point guard Brownell lands in the upcoming class (Juwan Evans?). Instead he'll sit out a year and then have a chance to be a feature player at a smaller program for two seasons, at least that's what one would expect and what we're hoping for him.
As for Clemson, I don't think it's a major loss. Rod Hall played 33.2 minute per game last season and even that high number is depressed by the blowouts (going both ways) in which he sat for long stretches in the second half. In discussing with fellow Shakin' the Southland writer Coach Craft, he had the following to say:
From a coaching perspective, you like the growth Hall showed this season. Brownell consistently turned to Hall in tight games late, which is a sign of confidence that he can produce in those situations. He came up big against Illinois and was close against Duke had the refs called the foul he seemingly drew in the ACC tournament.
I was not high on Filer while he was here because of his inefficient play. He shot just 29.7% over 64 three-point attempts, had an eFG% (effective field goal percentage) of 40.4, and had the highest TO Rate on the team at 26.5. This resulted in an Ortg (offensive rating) of 85.7. So while he may be very successful playing in Conference USA, I don't view this as a huge blow for Clemson. We wish him nothing but the best at his new school.
Shortly after the news on Filer, we learned that University of San Francisco point guard Avry Holmes would transfer to Clemson University. He's already on campus getting to know his teammates and presumably taking summer courses. Holmes brings exactly what Clemson needs. He is a sharpshooter with out-of-this-world efficiency ratings. He shot 43.3% from three last season and posted a respectable 18.9 TO Rate to go with a 113.4 Ortg. For reference, Rod Hall had a 106.9 Ortg last season.
He'll sit out next season, as Rod Hall finishes his Clemson career, but then will give Clemson a great option at point guard. I'm confident in Hall and Roper at the point this season, and then I hope to see Holmes earn the starting roster spot the in 2015-16 when they're playing in Greenville.
The transfer I found most surprising was Ibrahim Djambo, because he only has one year of eligibility remaining. Djambo struggled at Clemson as he often looked like a big man playing shooting guard (he shot 42 three-points to just 24 two-pointers) and provided less rebounding and shot blocking prowess than what you'd really like to see. Still, he will missed on the front line where the roster is a little thin.
Landry Nnoko is developing into one of the better bigs in the ACC, but losing Djambo means Sidy Djitte absolutely needs to take the next step in his development and be ready for major contributions next season. He showed some signs, but clearly isn't comfortable with the ball just yet. Jaron Blossomgame and possibly Donte Grantham will log minutes at PF while Josh Smith serves as the next back-up at both positions.
Not too long ago, we watched K.J. McDaniels get taken 32nd overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA draft. They have a handful of players that the casual NBA fan has never heard of manning their shooting guard and small forward positions so McDaniels will likely see an early opportunity for meaningful playing time. Still, second round picks don't get the guaranteed money first round picks receive which is why we said many times that he needed to stay, improve his shooting, passing, and dribbling and enter with a weaker draft class next year. Obviously we want to see him do well, because he is part of the Clemson family and more pragmatically because having Tigers in the NBA is good for recruiting so we'll keep an eye on the 76ers and root for him.
Finally, we'll end with an update on a Clemson alumnus. Trevor Booker exceeded expectations last season and started 45 games. Because he started 41+ games, he met "starter criteria" and was due a qualifying offer $4.7 million. Instead the Washington Wizards elected to make him an unrestricted free agent. Miami, Brooklyn, New York, Minnesota, Utah, and Orlando are reportedly interested.
You can look forward to more of our basketball coverage as the season rolls around.