The Clemson basketball program has been irrelevant for majority of it’s existence. There have been a handful of NCAA tournament appearances, and one conference championship, but, that is far from dominant, let alone good.
It doesn’t help that Clemson is in the toughest basketball conference in the country in the ACC. The ACC is home to the likes of North Carolina, Duke, Louisville, and Syracuse to name a few. Without legitimate NBA talent, the chances of competing in the ACC are slim to none.
The problem with recruiting NBA talent is the one-and-done rule in which players are only required to spend one year post-high school to be considered eligible for the NBA draft. If college coaches recruit the elite high school players it is very likely that they will only have that player for one season. There is little to no roster carry over for each of college basketball’s blue blood programs.
Maybe Brad Brownell and his staff are opposed to recruiting players who fit the one-and-done profile, but, the truth is, in order to have any success as a program you must recruit these kids.
Look at Florida State’s sudden resurgence in the ACC. The Seminoles success should come as no surprise due to their efforts on the recruiting trail. Leonard Hamilton and his staff have signed a combined five ESPN 300 recruits over the past two recruiting cycles, two of which (Dwayne Bacon and Jonathan Isaac) were five-star prospects.
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Clemson does not need to go after every elite high school basketball player in the country, rather they should start in their own backyard and work out from there. Over the past five recruiting classes, there have been seven players from the state of South Carolina ranked in the ESPN 300, none of which signed with Clemson.
For Clemson to get any footing on the recruiting trail, they must keep their elite in-state recruits home. Brownell and his staff have the best sell of them all, playing time. Brownell can sell these recruits on their opportunity to make an impact from day one and possibly reach the NBA.
If Brad Brownell is serious about making Clemson basketball competitive, he may need to begin looking for elite recruiters to strengthen his coaching staff.