Channel: ACC Network Extra / ESPN+
Location: Littlejohn Coliseum - Clemson, SC
The Clemson basketball season begins Monday night when they host The Citadel Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are coming off a 13-18 season and enter the year with a new coach — Ed Conroy. From 2006-07 to 2010-11, Coach Conroy was the head coach at The Citadel. After four seasons he left for Tulane where he was the head coach for six seasons. From 2016-17 through last year he was an assistant at Minnesota and then Vanderbilt. Now he has come full circle and is returning to The Citadel.
It may take a while to turn things around though. The pre-season coaches and media poll place The Citadel at ninth in the Southern Conference. KenPom projects them to go 12-19, ranks them as the 267th best team in the country, and gives them a 5% chance to upset Clemson.
Rather than digging into The Citadel’s roster and laying out keys to a game that should be won by 15+ points, I’ll instead share a few things we will hope to see from Clemson.
- Hunter Tyson has steadily gotten better every season. Now that he is using his COVID-waiver to play a fifth season at Clemson, he has a chance to be one of the better big men in the conference. With PJ Hall out for about a month, that has to start now. A dominant performance in the opener would be encouraging.
- Alex Hemenway is another veteran who the Tigers need to take that next step. He played 14.6 minutes per game and scored 5.2 points per game last season. It’ll be interesting to see how much more Clemson leans on him this season.
- The Tigers landed one transfer this offseason — Brevin Galloway. He had a somewhat sub-par season with Boston College as he shot just 30.8% from the field while scoring 8.3 points per game. Coach Brownell is betting on him bouncing back. He seems to have quickly ingratiated himself to teammates and at nearly 25 years old with almost 100 collegiate games played, could emerge as a team leader.
- Regardless of how well Hemenway and Galloway perform this season, Clemson needs some of their young guards to be ready. We’ll get to see Josh Beadle in live action for the first time after he redshirted last season. Dillon Hunter, a true freshman who is likely to serve as the backup point guard, will also get his first action.