The Clemson Men’s Basketball team’s season came to an end last Tuesday when they fell to SMU in the semifinals of the NIT. The Tigers finished the season with a record of 23-13 (10-8 ACC). This is a huge improvement over last year’s record of 13-18 (5-13). The Tigers also participated in a post-season tournament for the first time since the 2010-2011 season. The team finished the season with the fifth ranked defense in the country and only allowed 58.4 points per game.
K.J. McDaniels was the leader for the Tigers in points per game, rebounds per game, steals per game, and free throw percentage. Rod Hall led the team in assists per game while Austin Ajukwa and Damarcus Harrison were the leaders in three point shooting percentage. All eyes are now on McDaniels as he will either leave for the NBA draft or stay for his senior season. According to Tigernet.com, K.J. has made his decision and will announce whether he plans to stay or go later this week. Clemson fans everywhere are hoping he stays.
This season went a lot better than most Tiger fans expected it would and the team definitely overachieved. Before the season the team was projected by the ACC Media to be the 14th worst team in the ACC, out of 15 teams. That projection was made based off how badly last season went and the fact that the Tigers had no real impact recruits on the way in. At the same time it isn’t that surprising that the Tigers made such a drastic turnaround when you look at how many close games they lost in the 2012-2013 season. The Tigers did in fact prove all of their doubters in the media wrong as they finished 6th in the final ACC standings, 8 spots above where they were projected to finish. Overall the season was a roaring success for head coach Brad Brownell and company. The Tigers improved their record by 10 games, won 10 ACC games for the first time since the 2007-2008 season, had the fifth best scoring defense in the country, beat 16th ranked Duke at home, beat South Carolina for the second straight year, and made the Final Four of the NIT. There is a lot of positive momentum behind this team and next year could be a great year for the Clemson Tigers. This is an exciting time to be a fan of this team and if K.J. decides to come back and the two recruits can bring in some scoring, the Clemson Tigers will make the NCAA Tournament next year. And they might even win a game or two.