Clemson Basketball: Auburn proves elite basketball can exist at a football school


For all those that claim Clemson basketball can be nothing more than it currently is should take a look at what Bruce Pearl has turned Auburn into.

Unlike Clemson football, there is a clear divide among Clemson basketball fans. One group believes that Clemson basketball can be better than it should be and wants to move on from Brad Brownell and the other believes that because Brownell is a great guy, that he should get a lifetime contract and continue to insult fans who want more.

Auburn basketball and Bruce Pearl are proof that the right coach can turn a program into a contender and deliver exciting basketball and full arenas.

Clemson and Auburn squared off in the NCAA tournament back in 2018 with Clemson winning by 31 an advancing. Since then the two programs have gone in opposite directions. Auburn went on to play in the Final Four in 2019 and is currently ranked in the Top 5 of college basketball playing in front of rabid fans every night excited to be there.

Clemson, on the other hand, missed the 2019 NCAA tournament despite returning nearly every player from 2018 and Littlejohn Coliseum is a ghost town most nights while the coaching staff and local media complain that fans do not support a crap product.

Prior to Bruce Pearl’s arrival in 2014, Auburn had just one NCAA appearance since the 1999 season and they will make their third straight appearance in 2020. Pearl has gone into recruiting hotbed areas such as Georgia and plucked the state’s best players right out from under UGA and Georgia Tech.

Meanwhile, Brownell’s recruiting simply makes a Clemson laugh out loud. Sure, in 2021 he has the state’s Top 2 players, but what has he done with any of the talent other than underachieve?

Brad Brownell took over a program that had been to three straight NCAA tournaments and he took former head coach Oliver Purnell’s players back to a fourth straight bid in his first year. Since then? He had guided Clemson to just one NCAA appearance and that was two years ago.

Related Story. It’s time to stop making excuses for program. light

Auburn has proven that with the right coaching and development that college basketball at a “football school” can be exciting and nationally recognized. Until Clemson basketball fans demand the same, nothing is going to change.