Clemson basketball preview!

 #89 R.P.I. Clemson #149 R.P.I. Virginia Tech: 

Virginia Tech men’s basketball and Coach Mike Young play their first final home game of the year ever on a mid-week date vs. the team they (surprisingly) began the year against.

The Hokies now field 15 up and 13 down and (same as us) struggling to manufacture post-season assuring wins Clemons on at 7 PM on the ACCNetwork (check: local listings). The Tigers attend at a useful looking .5oo (9-9) in All Coaching Conference terms; good for an unexpected 5th place in interleague terms at the moment. On top of that, Clemson has been better of late— some might have me opine much better of late. What with having caught two Top-6 ranked Tigers by the tail in clawing their way to four W’s in their last five. Nonetheless, what you wanna know is… who is gonna win this one and by how much, right? So read on… to find, out!

Clemson Head CoachBradley Robert Brownell: age=51, 351–225 (.609) overall,
184–140 (.568) at Clemson.

Baller Brownell played high school basketball at William Henry Harrison High School (Evansville Indiana) with current Saint Louis University assistant coach and Indiana University legend Calbert Cheaney. Backcourt baller Brownell balled and graduated from DePauw University in 1991, he earned three letters at DePauw University, a Division III school in Greencastle, Ind. He ranks seventh in school history with 332 career assists. He led the Tigers in dimes three straight seasons, while also leading DePauw in steals as a junior in 1989-90. Then completed his degree at the University of Indianapolis in 1994. Thereafter Brownell immediately went into apprenticeship (i.e. assistant) coaching after graduation.

Coach Brownell was named the U.N.C. Wilmington head coach in 2002, after having won a master’s degree and having been a U.N.C.-W. an assistant coach from 1991 to 2002. Brownell’s U.n.c.-Wil’ teams made the big dance 50% of the time.

After that, he went to Wright State and amassed nothing less than a 21-win season before eventually snagging the Clemson job -in something of a surprising hire- in 2010.

Holding up half-a-century, well!

At Clemson Brownell went dancing his very first season though he has only made the N.I.T. twice in the other seven years down in South Carolina. Coach Brownell teams have won six conference championships and he has won two conference coach of the year award’s himself. All of which were mid-major caliber and therefore all of which were prior to his power conference admission at Clemson. Ergo, therefore, to wit, some would say that Brad is sitting on something of at least a warm seat at the sporting moment. Coach Brownell has already spawned four D-1 coaching tree mid-major disciples, and his teams come with a defensive first reputation.

Daddy Brownell and his wife, Paula, have two daughters,
Abby (18), a student at Clemson; and Kate (16).

Clemson at a glance:

  • 18th fewest fouls “whistled” against!
  • 37th in scoring D!
  • 68th in defensive FG percentage allowed.
  • 83rd most 3-point makes per contest.
  • 300th in o-Rebounding!
  • 317th in FTA’s! (i.e. not a penetrating/racking kinda team)
  • This is an extraordinary symmetrical or bell-curve mean, median, mode kinda team. Not bad. Not great. Right in the middle.
  • (2 casualties listed, Coach God bless!)

Returning Starters=1

(READERS note: there is NO basis for or of in-season comparison, as we did not have any 2019-2020 regular season stats to baseline (pardon the pun), to begin with!)
(tho’ Eye did re-scout and update, and then made notes accordingly)

Clemson Strengths:

  • Honestly? I found Clemson a bit thin -if not waning- here. This is not the typically downright solid, enemy of fun and hard to beat Clemson squad of yore. At least not yet, as they have seen seven starters and nearly as many benchers depart in the last two seasons combined. And this has been one of the more reliably hard to beat A.c.c. teams for several seasons running— to Brad/Clemson’s credit. Bradley does a lot with mediums or less, it’s just that now he has fewer mediums if you will.
  • One #25, and the sophomoric Aamir Simms is a 6′7″, 248 lb. former string-bean P/F or S/F ‘tweener who somehow gave back an inch and found a staggering 45 pounds. since inking with Clemson! The tag here reads that Simms is a springy internal baller who can defense and rebound and finish close on the ring (rulebook for: rim). That being said, in spite of his seeming lack of offensive polish (9.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg with 34% deep last year | this year: 13.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg with 39.5% deep); Lindy’s did rate Simms the alpha recruit in Clemson’s recruiting class two years ago and that does not suck. However, Simms is yet another Commonwealth (Palmyra, Va.) escapee; who sure (now) looks the physical part on film. Aamir was the no.89 baller outta high school per Rivals; and penultimate Va. H.S. baller two seasons ago; who won two Va. state titles in three years. And did I mention the sinew gain yet? As this kid (now) looks like a mini-me LeBron; or at least a Baltic Avenue one. As you’d have to think that A.Simms continues his upward mobility off of respectable and actually improving numbers last year.
    (UPDATE: Aamir is noticeably improved since last year, as he also nearly leads CU in apg 2.6, and he does lead CU in swipes 1.1 spg; way  with way up props, here! Ditto being the only Clemson HR hitter from outside the park at a team-leading by nearly ~7% or 39.6% from long for Simms thus far!)

    Gotta walk the: “talk” this year!
  • Al-Amir Dawes was supposed to be your Lead-G via design and is now your One or Pt.Guard per Trapp-door backcourt madness. A.A.D. was an A.A.U. star and the book reads entry-level well enough here.  For a scoring-G at 6′ 2″, and 180 nugget or rookie year voting lbs. Al-Amir is a Newark, Nj. northerner with a tag for being a pick-n-roll Ace while picking up a **** (or 4-star) national ranking good for #95th in America per Dawes had a good although not over the top all-around high school stat line and he is really gonna have to come up offensively quick and provide more A.c.c. help A.S.A.P. than most had hoped here. Although 43% last season would seem to suggest that he has range and can shoot.
    (UPDATE: Dawes 2019-2020 numbers of: 9.0 ppg, with 2.9 rpg on 2.6 apg are about 72-golf or par for the course. With just a modest uptick or basically a very reasonable Swiss or  neutral type grade here; that said Dawes has been streaky hawt recently!)
  • 6′5″, 197 lb. sophomoric John Newman III is a Wing with a rep’ for soaring type of dunking. J.New’ is said to be a throwback mid-range guy who can get stops as a defensive ace goes to boot. Now mix in 2.1 ppg on 33% long and enjoy the open-court show when #15 breaks windmill dunk from the hipster, free (i.e. he young Kobe dunks from the hip)! And oh “yes”, the no.42 ESPN peg and a threepeat in state titles do, not, suck. As Newman III had so many individual accolades/awards that I got tired of adding them up. (20-something additively when I stopped, counting; literally). BONUS points for a really big-ass A.b.a. Virginia Squires era looking ‘fro are hereby awarded here.
    (UPDATE: 9.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, with 2.2 apg and alpha-tied with 1.1 spg is not all that shabby. ALL the more so when you bother to plot that Newman III’s scoring is up a whopping 467% this season!  grade here fo’ shizzle!)
    (UPDATE2: Newman -for whatever reason(s)- seems to really spark-up for VeeTee, his nubbers vs. us are all-conference 3rd-string; or better)
  • Tulsa grad’-transfer Curren Scott is a legit 3-point ringer from deep. Gotta get a hand in his face from deep. 6′4″, 2o5 lbs. worth of highly experienced 10.4 ppg on 44% downtown does not hurt. Neither does 84% on 15′ set-shots with 10 unguarded seconds to shoot as Curren could very well lead Clemson in Free-Throwing this year. Although he is gonna be asked to flat out score as opposed to just spot-up and shoot with this much attrition down in South Carolina.
    (UPDATE: 5.6 ppg with 1.6 rpg on 1.5 apg is maybe just a scosche undercooked. Not real botulism bad, tho’ a slightly downward or ⇓ grade for Scott)
  • As rare off-season ½-full or good Tiger tales went… Clemson did surprise and wound up being crowned as the visiting World University Games this summer over in Naples Italy. Where they did gain that bouns 10 days worth of pre-season highly credible prep’. Additionally, Khavon Moore (6′8″, 217 lb., second-season) springy Swing (apparently) was declared eligible recently and this will not injure anything as this kid was ESPN’s no.44 ranked prospect two years ago. As Moore has more or less been dinged and/or dented his entire colligate career thus far. Having logged precisely 120 more P.T. (playing time) minutes than you and I combined. As the Tx.Tech transferring Moore plays both ends of the court and he plays them with a high degree of versatility. What with a pretty fully packed scholastic stat line as ppg, rpg, apg and swipes/swats all go.
    (UPDATE: Moore is less now as Moore is more and more a bench player and prolly should be in the section down below… as his 1.9 ppg with 1.8 rpg on 0.5 apg have underwhelmed based on being 44th in America, to be frank, )

Clemson Weaknesses:

  • Individually speaking… the Tigers have caught nobody by the tail in the A.c.c. returning Top-10 of ballers for: scoring, rebounding, passing, 3-pointing, and defending. Not, one.
  • Clyde Trapp 6′4″, 196 lb. Jr. and rather animated sideline showman extraordinaire. As “all the world’s a stage” and Trapp plays many roles here. As an athletic combo-G who nets you 6.8 ppg with 3.3 caroms and a couple of dimes (1.7 apg) dropped. This with 33% when dialing long-distance and adding more and more distance to the same (length on his J). Trapp does enjoy an AAAA So.Carolina state championship bling though he had more of a distributing scholastic rep’ and a tag for stepping it up in his bigger H.S. games. (UPDATE: blown off-season A.c.l.; may St.Nikhon bless!)
  • Sprechen sie dunk, or Wiesbaden, Jerry native, and 6′10″, 2o9 lb. r-Sr. year P/F and UNC-Ashville transfer baller Jonathan Baehre was done in last season for the duration due to “eligibility” concerns. Likewise done were his shot-blocking (1.9 bpg) his 7.4 ppg and his 5.6 rpg in low-post relief. Which were at least possible to start this season. Sans a stunning 35 lb. off-season weight-cut; which I am gonna have to presume to be a typo— or, and St.Nikhon bless here to: UPDATE: poor Jon’ also blew out his A.c.l. at the five-spot!
  • Your honor your Honor” need not apply here as Nick Honor has not called: (clearinghouse) “next”. Or anything else, as the half-pint (5′10″, 2o5 lb., Soph.) Pt.Guard lit it A-10 for Fordham last season at virtually 16 ppg on 38% beyond the arc and this is no small sit for an already hurting Tiger team, let me tell you.
  • So, there are/were a lotta penciled in production/relief that just got 100% erased for Bradball to start the season.
  • ^that^ plus 52 ppg and virtually 20 boards just left the 2019 expiring eligibility building.
  • (UPDATE: additionally, in updating and recalculating all of this… there are not a ton of individual outside snipers that shoot well from long-range here. Not heinous overall mind you, just not that many that you could not afford to cheat off of or sag-off-of outside; well not named Simms)

Tiger Bench: (depth=??? maybe 1-3 once A.c.c. play really begins; maybe…)

Trey Jemison is a legit Five or true-C, at: 7′, and 256 lbs. of sophomore-season paint-sized bulk. Though Trey currently fields a rep’ as a rim-protector and glass-swiper and not a whole lot else. As 33% shooting on a square-foot basis modestly good for .4 ppg thus far that needs some tradecraft love. That plus a year dropped to a knee-surgery (St.Nikon bless some more) and you have a kid who is off-schedule in terms of his hoopology development. Tho’ you also have a kid who was: a four-star prospect coming up scholastically, as TeeJay was ranked No. 1 in the state of Alabama and No. 12 in the country at Center, according to As the body looks most wiling, strong, fit/trim looking real-deal Five with an 82″ wingspan. Plus Mr. Jemison knocked down a shiny 3.75 GPA as a member of the National Honor Society. props on dat! Tho’ the athlete in “student-athlete” really does need to take the proverbial: “next step(s)” here.
(UPDATE: Jemison’s 1.7 ppg with 1.8 rpg and 50% shooting are actually up from last year, tho’ you have to think CU wanted more to drink from this Jemison, )

Paul Grinde is a whopping 6′10″, 300 lb. (listed weight) roster member who is not listed on every single roster I visited. This makes one wonder if he is really (still) listed @Clemson, Sc. or not?
(UPDATE: “survery says:” Paul is there!)

Paul is a Va.Beach escapee who -in addition to being one of the few human-beings even pastier than me; as the only place Paul, Yeti’s and I can hide is in the… snow- Paul is an extremely rarified D-III (Vassar) transfer big-man who put up 14.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, on 56% overall and a nifty to the point of surprising 49% 3-ball vs. lowercase competitive teams. How well this all translates for the pretty dang round looking though obviously skillful Grinde in All Competitive Conference terms remains to be seen/proven.
(UPDATE: 1.5 ppg with 0.3 rpg, with not one swat on 62.5% is middling at most, )

Though either way, he and Tery conspire to give Clemson a considerable big-man edge downstairs in the paint.

Adding in:
Hunter Tyson is a second-year, 6′8″, 211 lb. frontcourt combo’ who looks longer than his listed height to me. Even if he prolly plays more of an S/F type of game as more of a stretch-3. Hunter leads the pine-squad now with 5.5 ppg and 3.0 rpg in relief. And when you back-calculate that he only gets 13 minutes per game and change? Those digits are all the more impressive. This from a kid who was only ranked 34th in the nation at the Three spot while dropping nearly 30 ppg in high school. While being whispered to be a versatile Swing though not a good-shooting one.

6′3″, 180 lb., rookie year, combo-G Alex Hemenway is a real-live substitute 3-point shooting threat at a team-leading 48.6% from behind the arc. 5.1 ppg with 0.9 rpg and 0.4 apg tells you precisely what Alex checks into the game to do, shoot! As Alex may have been a bit overlooked coming outta the basketball bonkers Hoosier State at a relatively mere 21 ppg per se. (only rap I found was the need to hit the weight room this off-season, tho’ you can’t coach pure shooters… interesting 2023 prospect in my book).


In order to win as an actual 2-point betting fave @home v. Clemson, we must do what(s)?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Tigers who could snarl @Tech=5 maybe 6.

the takeaway:

The takeaway here is… well, for two teams that seemed quite similar when we saw them hardwood scrum against each other last?

Clemson has taken more of a forward-facing step than Virginia Tech has. As the Tigers have (somehow) managed to progress.

Whereas our beloved Hokies peaked early on in A.c.c. play and have either regressed or hit the proverbial freshman wall ever since.

As these two seemingly lowercase Atlantic Coast teams have actually conspired for 4 huge wins vs. four different Top-6 nationally-ranked opponents when taken together.

It is just that Clemson has conspired for 75% of those lofty upsetting wins;
when you take things, apart.


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for a… something new… this time and this late in the season? I only compared oranges to oranges instead of oranges to… tangerines. Only accepting like home and home common opponents or like away and away opponents. (i.e. Clemson and VeeTee both played whomever @home, or they both played whomever @away). Right? And the Forum Guide still came out in a whacko looking 111 point hole! When taken per capita it counts down to a less drastic looking 12.33 point Hokie-hole; though a hole is a hole is hole… and “a donut without a hole, is a Danish.”

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… Clemson is up +2% in shooting percentage margin (evenly O & D split at 1% alike), with V.Tech up +4% in 3-point percentage margin (¾’ers from our superior O), and with Clemson up +3 boards in rebounding margin year to date, (although this was a |absolute value| deal as Clemson is just barely submerged on the glass and us/V.Tech are 4 rpg)

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the Tigers are getting a lotta tail what with a B.J.Holmes sizey +15% advantage in shooting percentage margin (sans 2% all on peaking O), the Tigers are up +5% in 3-point percentage margin (virtually entirely on O) and then the Tigers are up a downright useful looking +10 caroms in rebounding margin (with CU now positive and VeeTee negative by 9 rpg in the last fortnight).

V.Tech is up +4% at the charity stripe for the year.
Clemson is up +7 in R&R in the last few weeks.
VT is a .647 host; whereas CU is .3 as a guest.

  1. Hokies freshman G Jalen Cone hit 5-of-10 from 3-point range in the loss at Louisville and leads the A.c.c. in 3-point percentage (at 50.4%).
  2. Nolley is shooting 20.6% over his last five games.
  3. Dawes is averaging 16.7 points over his last three games to raise his season mark to 9.0 for Clemson.
  4. Virginia Tech has won five of the last six meetings.

The Call

No.73 Net Ranking Clemson @ no. Net Ranking Virginia Tech:

So, a.c.c.ording to what Eye can find?

The bubblelicious peeps seem to think that Clemson is indeed an NC2A so-called: “bubble-team” right about now. I’m not so sure I agree, although I would embrace and endorse that Clemson is indeed fighting for their post-season lives. Be that N.I.T., C.B.I./CIT, or -maybe with a stellar A.c.c. noise-making Tourney run- maybe they do have an outside shot at being seeded 64th to 68th here? Maybe… although I do wanna hear Clemson call: “GLASS” on this outside shot if they R.A.T.T. do.

7 PM kick-off!

Beyond that?

There is no doubt that no matter how your rate 299-mile visiting Clemson’s theoretical bracketology for this one… the Tigers must claw their way to VicTory here if they wannabe sure to post-season bang-with anyone.

Considering that, our Hokies prolly need at least 3-wins in a row right now, and a second Atlantic Coast Championship Tourney dub-a-ewe to get to 19 wins would be most O&M welcome indeed.


Though there Eye go again… putting the Hokiebird’s cart before the, horse!

As it will take a near purfect performance on Wednesday night in the warming New River Valley to tame these puddy-cats here. It will take a 2nd-half of uva and a 1st-half @Lousiville complete 40-minute effort just to be sure.

Now, how Clemson is this much better I am honestly, unsure?

Although I am sure that we are gonna take their A-game post-season needy punch
and that we really do need to land the same.

As we have precisely 1 VicTory in the last 44-days.
Tho’ Clemson has 4-wins in the last 3 weeks.

You do the maths…


(67% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=63, Clemson=73