I got a chance to sit down and talk with Clemson's Director of Basketball Operations, Lucas McKay, back in August. Here is what I learned about when it comes to the overall makeup of the program, the progress of current players in the program, and the potential impact of the newly renovated Littlejohn Coliseum.
ClemsonFlinn - How can this new Littlejohn create new revenue streams and what could those revenue streams be?
LM - IPTAY and administration have done a good job of providing premium seats. 400 seat club area. Courtside seats have helped. Overall fan experience will help. There will not be a bad seat in this place.
ClemsonFlinn - How will the facilities help in recruiting?
LM - People are going to take notice. It’s going to help our current players too. They’ve been giving tours to recruits and it’ll be really neat for them to see the finished project. It’ll be a big part of the campus visit.
ClemsonFlinn - I’d like to hear a little more about the recruiting lounge… What are your plans for what’s inside it to make it stand out to recruits? What will recruits like about it?
LM - It’ll have pictures cultivating Clemson basketball history (NBA players, Clemson greats, etc.), and other things showcasing current team. It’ll also have basic amenities like TVs, video game consoles, etc.
ClemsonFlinn - What are the overall goals and expectations for the program this season and for the years to come?
LM - We want to strive to get better daily in everything. "Win the day"- win the day everyday…
ClemsonFlinn - What is the plan for the center position this coming season before and after Elijah Thomas is eligible to play?
LM - Sidy has certainly earned the right to be in the position as a starter. Playing with Shelton Mitchell will help. Shelton is a good distributor and ball handler.
ClemsonFlinn - How has Legend Robertin progressed and what are reasonable expectations for him this coming season?
LM - Legend has definitely progressed. He got sent on a European tour this summer to play basketball in Poland which has benefited him immensely.
ClemsonFlinn - Do you think we could see more extended man defense this coming season like we did during Brad’s first year in charge of the program?
LM - Potentially. Something we have to figure out. With the ways games were called last year there was a bit more zone with the rule changes.
ClemsonFlinn - Could you tell me a little bit about the members of the basketball support staff and how their contributions are valuable to the basketball program?
LM - Sure...
Director of Recruiting - Nick Bowman. He’s done a really good job of bringing ideas of program promotion, social media, enhancing on-campus visit experience.
Stewart Brown - Former four year manager. Doing a good job of helping players and making sure players are on top of what they need to be on and off the court.
Lucas McKay - In charge of nuts and bolts of the program. Serves as liason between admin and program.
Mike Bewley - Known of him for a long time. Was at Dayton and Georgia Tech. He’s done a great job bringing energy and personality.
Brad Crowe - New trainer. Done a good job of taking care of knick-knack injuries.
Note: After this interview took place, Amit Tailor was hired as the program's new video coordinator. Tailor was previously the video coordinator for the Ole Miss Women's basketball program during the summer of 2016. Previous employers include the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Florida Gators men's basketball program under Billy Donovan, and Santa Clara.
ClemsonFlinn - Can you tell me a little bit about the responsibilities for each of the assistant coaches as well as their recruiting territories/assignments?
LM - All our coaches recruit as a team(rather than having one coach recruit a certain players)
Mike Winiecki coaches posts, Dick Bender coaches point guards, Steve Smith coaches the wings.