Clemson basketball deserves better than it has gotten for most of the last decade under Brad Brownell and the last 10 days epitomizes exactly the type of head coach that Brownell is.
Clemson basketball had issues playing in Chapel Hill long before Brad Brownell ever arrived on campus. He and every basketball recruit to ever sign with Clemson knew the record and the fact that Clemson was winless against the Heels in Chapel Hill.
UNC fans will excuse this loss because this is the worst Carolina team ever, allegedly. When you are blue blood and recruit on the national level, you should never be this bad. However, that is all beside the point. What really matters is Brad Brownell had his guys locked in and engaged for 40 minutes and will go down in Clemson lore as the team that put the one in 1-59.
That can never be taken away.
Clemson basketball had to put that win behind them quickly as they had number three Duke coming to Littlejohn just four days later. To everyone’s surprise, Clemson played their second straight 40 minute game against a program that they have never had much success against and beat Duke 79-72.
It looked like the patience that Brad Brownell had been asking for was finally paying off. For the first time since the 1967-1968 season, Clemson had beaten NC State, UNC, and Duke in three consecutive games. Clemson was finding its stride halfway through the season and was playing great basketball.
Then Clemson basketball under Brad Brownell resurfaced again this weekend against NC State.
Brownell is a great person and leader and has been a great ambassador for Clemson as a person. He is not a great basketball coach. The success of Clemson football is the only reason that he is still employed at Clemson. Fans and alumni are willing to overlook the fact that he has underachieved during the decade he has been here because football is the standard nationally.
However, the two programs should be independent of each other and Brownell should be accountable for only making one NCAA tournament with his own players and two overall.
The effort we saw this past weekend against NC State is a microcosm of the Clemson basketball program under Brad Brownell.
After playing three straight really good halves of basketball against UNC and Duke, they came out flat and disinterested in being on a floor against a team that they had beaten just 10 days prior. The only consistency we have seen from Brad Brownell coached teams over the last 10 years is inconsistency combined with periods of no scoring or defense.
Brownell loves to chide the fans and students for not coming out to support them every single and until he gets his team to play great basketball night in and night out on a consistent basis, Littlejohn will continue to be empty.
Clemson basketball deserves more than what Brad Brownell has provided and its time that Dan Radakovich hires a coach capable of providing such to the Clemson fan base.