The Clemson basketball team has reached a crucial point in not only the current season, but also Brad Brownell’s entire tenure.
The Tigers have dropped four of their last five games and while on the surface that doesn’t sound overly concerning, when you look at how Clemson lost those games, the red flags start popping up all over the place. Especially when you consider this team started 10-1, built quite the impressive resume, and rose to No. 12 in the polls.
Those four losses have come by an average of more than 24 points per game and in a season in which Clemson returned a ton of experience that included six of their top-eight scorers.
This is arguably Brownell’s best team to date. It is no doubt his deepest. Plus, he just signed his best recruiting class that included PJ Hall, the Gatorade Player of the Year in South Carolina. Add in the fact that the ACC is down compared to past seasons and this is a year in which this Clemson team should be making a run at the NCAA tournament.
Make no mistake, all is not lost. Despite having lost four of five, the Tigers did just knock off No. 25 Louisville last week. A 54-50 win in which the team looked to have found their defensive mojo again. Then came a blowout loss to Duke on the road.
However, it is up to Brownell to push the right buttons. He needs to show that he is capable of motivating this team at a time when they need it the most.
He needs that team that showed up against Louisville to show up Tuesday night in Littlejohn when North Carolina comes to town. Not the team that has had its doors blown off by Virginia, Georgia Tech, Florida State, and Duke over the past two weeks. It is his responsibility to make sure that happens.
Clemson is currently sitting at 10-5 overall and 4-5 in ACC play. There is still time to right the ship, but it needs to start Tuesday night against the Tarheels.
Is this team different? Or is this current skid a sign of things to come. Things the Clemson basketball fan has become all to familiar with during Brownell’s tenure.