Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Evansville Native Brownell Has Tigers on the Prowl

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Evansville Native Brownell Has Tigers on the Prowl

Article excerpt

Except for Brad Brownell, his players, and all those who declare allegiance to the Tiger Paw, not much was expected of Clemson basketball this season So when it finally came to a halt Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden in a 65-59 loss to SMU in the NIT semifinals, Brownell made sure he took a moment to reflect on what had been a remarkable season - even if it did end two wins shy of the Tigers' revised postseason goals.

"We certainly feel good about where our program is and what we are doing," said Brownell, an Evansville native who just finished his fourth season coaching in the Atlantic Coast Conference. "But we're in a monster league. We've got IBM and Coca Cola and all those people in our league and they are not going away. They reload with McDonald's All-Americans every year, and we have got to continue to take the guys we recruit and build them up and get them to play hard and to get stronger.

"But we have made a lot of positive steps. We have some young men in our program - Rod Hall, (Landry) Nnoko, K. J. Mc-Daniels - who made some huge strides and have become good players. Now, if you are going to take the next step, you need more guys to become great players.. We just need a little more consistency from a few more guys."

Clemson, coming off a 13-18 season in 2012-13, was picked to finish 14th of 15 teams in the expanded ACC. But the Tigers exceeded those expectations by winning five of their first six conference games, including an impressive 72-59 upset of ACC favorite Duke on Jan. 11. That got everyone's attention.

They wrapped up the season with a 23-13 record - Brownell's eighth season of 20 or more wins as a head coach at three schools - and claimed the sixth spot in the final ACC standings with 10 league wins.

SMU coach Larry Brown, a hall of famer who won an NCAA title in 1988 at Kansas and an NBA title with Detroit in 2004, even gave Brownell his thumbs-up approval for an outstanding job of coaching.

"That's a young team. …

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