After posting a 13-18 (5-12) record in 2013, it seems Coach Brownell has Clemson’s program trending in the right direction; they finished 23-13 (10-8) last season while making a deep playoff push in the NIT tournament. Aside from star forward K.J. McDaniels, stingy defense was the team’s staple. The Tigers’ frontcourt led the team to a top ranked defense, finishing the season 5th in the nation in PPG allowed, and 16th in BPG. Next year, look for center Landry Nnoko to log productive minutes; already grabbing 6.0 RPG last season, that rate is sure to increase with McDaniels’ absence in the paint and more minutes. Aditionally, PG Rod Hall must continue to accelerate his game in order for the Tigers to make the big dance. Hall’s done a good job thus far in his career getting better each season, but improving during his senior year will be critical to a Clemson tournament bid.
-K.J. McDaniels, F (17.1 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 3.9 S/BPG)
Not only did McDaniels lead Clemson in scoring, but he also led the team in rebounds and the ACC in blocked shots on his way to earning the Conference Defensive Player of the Year award. His departure to the NBA leaves room for other players on the team to step up, but given Clemson’s inability to score the ball last season (just 63.3 PPG on 41.8% shooting), huge questions remain regarding the offensive potential of the team.
Donte Grantham, F
Grantham is an intriguing prospect. At 6’7, he will likely be a tweener forward until he continues to develop; he prefers to play facing the basket, but is most effective using his athleticism around the rim to finish shots and grab rebounds. Although Grantham has big shoes to fill replacing McDaniels, he certainly has the potential to develop into an effective two way player in the ACC.
Gabe DeVoe, G
Gabe DeVoe knows how to score. A combo guard hailing from North Carolina, DeVoe is excellent at getting the first step on defenders and finishing in traffic. He will be expected to alleviate some of the pressure resulting in McDaniels’ departure, but his experience on a winning high school program program should ease his transition from high school to the NCAA.