Clemson Men's Basketball is set up well for the future

College athletics has changed a lot since Terry Don Phillips hired Brad Brownell, and the Tigers are in a great position to thrive moving forward.
Feb 27, 2024; Clemson, South Carolina, USA
Feb 27, 2024; Clemson, South Carolina, USA / Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

This incredible run for Clemson Men’s Basketball came to an end last night against Alabama in the West Region Championship. Congratulations to the Crimson Tide for reaching their first Final Four ever.

Clemson played a decent game, but Alabama played exceptionally well. The Tide answered every attempt by the Tigers to close the gap in the second half.

It might take a few days for the disappointment to wear off for the team and many in the fanbase. Not me. I thought the Tigers played a good game last night and I am proud of their effort.

I’ve been blunt about the performance in the ACC Tournament against Boston College. That was the kind of effort that I wouldn’t approve of. Last night was a different beast entirely. Were they perfect? No, but I don’t expect perfect.

This morning I woke up bummed that Clemson wasn’t going to the first Final Four in program history, but excited about what the future could bring for this team and head coach Brad Brownell. Nobody can predict the future, but I think this season (and tournament performance in particular) has set the program up for success.

Lots of credit needs to go to Terry Don Phillips, Dan Radakovich, and Graham Neff for having the patience that I would not have had with Brownell. Now Clemson has a coach with a long tenure who is coming off a great tournament.

The world of college athletics has changed quite a bit since Brownell took the helm of the program. Brownell doesn’t just recruit young players that he hopes he can develop. He also recruits players from the portal who can make a huge impact.

This is what Joe Girard had to say when he was asked what he would say to a transfer thinking about committing to Clemson:

"Do it. For me, this place has been unbelievable. And it all goes back to the culture, really, and that's what was attractive to me. The people at Clemson are great. I think I said that, like, the first week I got there. There were cookies at my apartment that day from some random person that I still don't know who it was to this day.
So Clemson is just an unbelievable place. There's unbelievable people. They obviously developed their players and they win a lot of basketball games. Anyone looking forward to living in a great place, playing with great people, playing for great people, and doing great things should go to Clemson."

Joe Girard

I think a public endorsement like that from a high-profile transfer could go a long way in promoting Clemson’s program. This will be an annual cycle. Brownell will be looking to augment his roster each offseason. This could be a huge advantage for the program that didn’t exist ten years ago.

The positive opinions expressed about Brownell will help his profile as well. He received a lot of praise from other coaches and broadcasters.

Thriving doesn't mean making the Elite 8 every season. My concept of thriving is being competitive and challenging to earn a bid to the Big Dance every season and achieving that goal as often as not.

Brownell will have a challenge replenishing the roster with the losses of Girard, PJ Hall, and possibly Chase Hunter. This year, he is probably in the best position he has ever been in to attract the kind of talent he will need to compete in the ACC next season and make the Big Dance again.