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Next season's roster
#1
Right now it looks like this:

PG: Mitchell (Sr), Trapp (So)
SG: Reed (Sr), Newman (Fr)
SF: Oliver (So), Spencer (Jr), Tyson (Fr)
PF: Simms (So), Skara (Sr), William (So)
C: Thomas (Sr), Jemison (Fr)

12 players with room for one more. There are only two players who I think could consider transferring, which are Spencer and William. Keep in mind that we decided not to apply for a medical redshirt for Spencer, so he can still sit a year without losing eligibility. I can't say I would blame him at this point. I really don't know what's we've got with William, since he barely played this season, but hopefully he doesn't mind being a rotation player because Simms and Skara will take the lion's share of minutes next season at PF.

So we can finish it off with one more high schooler or, more likely, a transfer. Hopefully the strong showing in the postseason will help us get in the door with a talented player or two. I would be pretty shocked if we don't try to land at least one transfer, and if we think someone might leave, another transfer or a prospect.

As for how the team looks, well, it's strong. Simms and Skara have already shown that they can handle the bright lights without Grantham. DeVoe will be harder to replace, but Oliver looks like a guy with plenty of potential. His development this offseason will be crucial. I think we can also trust Trapp at PG, so we can go small by moving Mitchell and Reed over a spot, at times. Donnal was a terrific bench player and an invaluable pickup last year. He may not have started but he'll be hard to replace as well. We need Jemison to come in ready to play, because we know about Thomas' foul troubles. Otherwise we'll see Simms playing the 5 at times.

Hard to say whether or not we'll take a step back next year. We won a lot of close games so if those toss-ups go the other way then it won't look as good. But getting Mitchell and Reed back should mean we've got the leadership to continue to win them.

Big questions: Can Thomas stay out of foul trouble? Can Oliver replace some of DeVoe's 3 point shooting? After a promising freshman campaign, will Simms emerge as a major threat for us? Of the 3+ new additions, who will make the biggest impact?
#2
I think Thomas can stay out of foul trouble. Seems the longer a player stays in the league the better they do avoiding foul trouble especially against underclassmen.
Biggest question is who replaces DeVoe's shooting.
#3
I think we need to step back and ask ourselves what the team looks like next year if neither Mitchell nor Reed are on the team. I hope we don't end up having to worry about it but supposedly both are on schedule to graduate in May. It wouldn't be much of a stretch to imagine either or both deciding it's the right time to pursue a professional career (and I'm not talking about the NBA).
#4
(03-29-2018, 09:50 PM)ccolon Wrote: I think we need to step back and ask ourselves what the team looks like next year if neither Mitchell nor Reed are on the team.  I hope we don't end up having to worry about it but supposedly both are on schedule to graduate in May.  It wouldn't be much of a stretch to imagine either or both deciding it's the right time to pursue a professional career (and I'm not talking about the NBA).

I simply can't see them moving on just yet, but basketball players are wired differently.  Reed could be a NBA player, but needs another year of ball handling and improving his ability to 'get his shot'.  I don't know about Mitchell...perhaps somewhat the same.  But, to your point, they could have very lucrative opportunities overseas.

So...I'll answer this way...if they leave...you can scratch dancing off the list for next year.
Uncle Salty     "...while beggars can't be choosers, choosers rarely have to be beggars."
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#5
I don't think it's productive to play that particular what-if game. Let's just wait and see.
#6
(03-30-2018, 05:37 PM)Nevermore Wrote: I don't think it's productive to play that particular what-if game. Let's just wait and see.

We are all posting on a sports message board.... I think you can throw 'productivity' out the window.  ha ha
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#7
I saw something stating both were leaving. The dude claimed it was more than a guess . I hope he is wrong
#8
(03-31-2018, 05:59 AM)Ken Wrote: I saw something stating both were leaving.  The dude claimed it was more than a guess .  I hope he is wrong

I don't believe anyone really knows at this point, even the players themselves.  There are compelling reasons why one or both might leave but there are also reasons they might stay.  I did see where apparently Eli Thomas is planning to come back.  If that turns out true, you have to think it helps with the other guys.  The chance of having a really good team next year would be a big motivation for them to stay so it helps to have the first guy say he is returning rather than leaving.  
#9
Updated roster now looks like this:

PG: Mitchell (Sr), Trapp (So)
SG: Reed (Sr), Newman (Fr)
SF: Oliver (So), Tyson (Fr)
PF: Simms (So), Skara (Sr), William (So)
C: Thomas (Sr), Jemison (Fr)

And room to add 2 more to this class. The only non-seniors who have shown anything so far are Trapp, Oliver, and Simms. So we could stand to add depth pretty much anywhere we can get it.
#10
(04-05-2018, 05:03 PM)Nevermore Wrote: Updated roster now looks like this:

PG: Mitchell (Sr), Trapp (So)
SG: Reed (Sr), Newman (Fr)
SF: Oliver (So), Tyson (Fr)
PF: Simms (So), Skara (Sr), William (So)
C: Thomas (Sr), Jemison (Fr)

And room to add 2 more to this class. The only non-seniors who have shown anything so far are Trapp, Oliver, and Simms. So we could stand to add depth pretty much anywhere we can get it.

I don't mean this personally at all and I get what we're trying to accomplish here, but this is such a pigeon-holed way to look at a roster. There's so much more flexibility than this to a roster...guys playing multiple positions, who is better in a 6th man role, etc.

Based off interviews with Brownell and everything I know from insiders with the program, here's a few debunkers:

1. Malik William will play center and only center next year. He does not have the quickness to play as the type of power forward Brownell wants at that position. So our depth at center will come from whoever is more physically ready to play next year between William and Jemison.

2. Skara has always been a small forward. He is not a natural power forward, and even Brownell when looking at roster shakeups this year after Grantham's injury, acknowledged that they never wanted to look at Skara for that spot. Sure, he'll catch minutes here and there at the position when we need to go small, but when we're doing what WE want to do, Skara will be a small forward...and likely off the bench (the staff likes Skara in a 6th man energy role, unless there's a dominant wing guy that we need a versatile defender with length to guard him).

3. The staff does not want to commit, long-term to the smaller 3-guard lineup. I'm still not convinced Oliver is guaranteed a starting spot next year. Sure, the staff is going to put the best chance to win games on the floor, but I get the feeling they see him as the quality depth piece behind Mitchell and Reed, rather than the third piece alongside them.

4. The second-most point guard minutes next year will go to Marcquise Reed...not Clyde Trapp. Oliver will move to shooting guard, or Newman will play off the bench. But again, we're not cut to one position here.

Which means, to me, if the staff is taking additional players, the priorities are:

1. A small forward / power forward versatile (think Donte Grantham) grad transfer with length who can come in and start right away. This puts Oliver behind Mitchell and Reed, allows the freshmen wings and Trapp to continue to develop in their roles, and allows Skara to come off the bench, where he can provide the versatility he's valuable for.

2. A point guard grad transfer. If Mitchell stays out of school, this becomes priority number one. Reed needs to play most of his minutes (not all, but more often than not) off the ball to be as effective of a scorer as he can be.

3. A low post transfer (non-grad). With Skara and Thomas leaving after next year, we're left with one backup at the center position (either Jemison or William) with nobody behind Simms. Trust me...Hunter Tyson is not, and will never be, that guy. A guy with at least two years of eligibility following a redshirt year would be valuable here.

4. A combo guard transfer (non-grad). I don't think the chances we lose BOTH Mitchell and Reed are very high. That said, if push comes to shove, ready-to-go depth to push Trapp, Newman, Oliver, etc. to continue to develop in practice will be a good thing. It will also be a way to show the coaching staff, prior to 2019-20, what our backcourt depth looks like behind Mitchell and Reed's departure. Who belongs? Who doesn't? With the frequency of transfers nowadays, I firmly believe that group does not stay fully in tact.
#11
Well, TTR, I don't know how reliable your sources are but I certainly appreciate the fact that you have given us some good fodder for discussion. Here are some general thoughts I have, after reading your post:

1) First in terms of what the staff is now looking for, you make it seem that they are entirely involved in the transfer market and not even looking at additional high school prospects at this point. Do you consider that to be an accurate impression?

2) Under the scenario you laid out, I don't see why a grad transfer PG would be a priority- in fact it's down-right odd. If, as you suggest, Mitchell would be PG#1 and Reed PG#2, then you would have a scenario where all three 'PGs' (including the grad transfer) leave after next season. The only way I see a grad transfer PG is if Mitchell and/or Reed are leaving. I also don't see a non-grad transfer at that position b/c of the fact that Clemson is in good shape with the 2019 prospect from the lower part of the state (name escapes me at the moment).

3) If Oliver isn't playing a role similar to DeVoe, then I have trouble seeing him being an important contributor at all. If you look at his playing time at the end of the year closely, here is what you see... over the last six games of the season, when he actually got into the rotation, he took 14 shots and 13 of them were 3-pointers. Now he did hit 5 of those but the main point is, this guy is exclusively a 3-point shooter. If you've got Mitchell and Reed slicing up the defense, then there is a big role for a spot-up shooter. But strictly as a 2-guard where you hope to see dribble penetration, he doesn't seem to have good skills in that area yet. There is still time for him but it's hard for me to see him beating out Trapp in that role (and that's where Trapp will likely play if Reed is getting backup PG minutes).

4) I do agree that it would be good to find a grad transfer at the 3, if Oliver/Newman would be playing that spot very much. That might well be need #1 if the coaches want to get away from the 3-guard lineups as you suggest.

5) Lastly, I don't know what to think if Clemson cannot hold onto all of Trapp, Oliver and Newman. That's 3 guards spread over 2 classes with potential playing time at the 1, 2 and 3 spots. If Clemson is going to be consistently competitive, we have to get to the point that we evaluate these guys well and then develop them so that they are winning players by their junior/senior seasons. To me the big black eye of the Brownell era has been weak acquisition/retention at the guard positions. This has to change- these guys look like they could develop into good players. We need to keep them.

Thanks, again, for the perspective and info.
#12
(04-06-2018, 09:07 PM)ccolon Wrote: Well, TTR, I don't know how reliable your sources are but I certainly appreciate the fact that you have given us some good fodder for discussion. Here are some general thoughts I have, after reading your post:

1) First in terms of what the staff is now looking for, you make it seem that they are entirely involved in the transfer market and not even looking at additional high school prospects at this point. Do you consider that to be an accurate impression?

2) Under the scenario you laid out, I don't see why a grad transfer PG would be a priority- in fact it's down-right odd. If, as you suggest, Mitchell would be PG#1 and Reed PG#2, then you would have a scenario where all three 'PGs' (including the grad transfer) leave after next season. The only way I see a grad transfer PG is if Mitchell and/or Reed are leaving. I also don't see a non-grad transfer at that position b/c of the fact that Clemson is in good shape with the 2019 prospect from the lower part of the state (name escapes me at the moment).

3) If Oliver isn't playing a role similar to DeVoe, then I have trouble seeing him being an important contributor at all. If you look at his playing time at the end of the year closely, here is what you see... over the last six games of the season, when he actually got into the rotation, he took 14 shots and 13 of them were 3-pointers. Now he did hit 5 of those but the main point is, this guy is exclusively a 3-point shooter. If you've got Mitchell and Reed slicing up the defense, then there is a big role for a spot-up shooter. But strictly as a 2-guard where you hope to see dribble penetration, he doesn't seem to have good skills in that area yet. There is still time for him but it's hard for me to see him beating out Trapp in that role (and that's where Trapp will likely play if Reed is getting backup PG minutes).

4) I do agree that it would be good to find a grad transfer at the 3, if Oliver/Newman would be playing that spot very much. That might well be need #1 if the coaches want to get away from the 3-guard lineups as you suggest.

5) Lastly, I don't know what to think if Clemson cannot hold onto all of Trapp, Oliver and Newman. That's 3 guards spread over 2 classes with potential playing time at the 1, 2 and 3 spots. If Clemson is going to be consistently competitive, we have to get to the point that we evaluate these guys well and then develop them so that they are winning players by their junior/senior seasons. To me the big black eye of the Brownell era has been weak acquisition/retention at the guard positions. This has to change- these guys look like they could develop into good players. We need to keep them.

Thanks, again, for the perspective and info.

1. Yes. They are out of the high school market for the 2018 class at this point.

2. I think the PG grad transfer is pretty clear...go two-deep there so that you can keep Reed off the ball (as I said). That's the preference...that he never HAS to be the point guard, but if Trapp is the only other option, Reed will play minutes there. I'm not talking a guy that will take minutes away from Mitchell, but I am talking a guy who plays a role behind Mitchell, similar to how Donnal played a distinct role behind Thomas. And I think Mitchell leaving is a possibility.

3. It's simple...I see Oliver playing perhaps SOME minutes at small forward, but in a perfect world, he's backing up 2 and 3 and getting 15 or so minutes per game doing so. There is no Trapp at the 2-guard if he's in the game, unless he's in the game with Mitchell. If Trapp and Reed are on the floor at the same time (without Mitchell), Trapp is the point guard. I'm just saying I don't think Trapp gets those minutes. Instead, I think you'll see Oliver in for Mitchell (or Skara in for Mitchell, sliding Oliver from 3 to 2), and then as a result, Reed slides to the point (if they go with the Oliver at small forward starting five or get a grad transfer at that position).

4. I agree...and said so. A small forward type with length is the grad transfer I type I would think they're after.

5. In my scenario, I think it's pretty simple...if you bring in the grad transfer at the small forward spot and others develop how we think, I think Trapp transfers after next season...not due to lack of development, but simply due to lack of minutes. In today's environment of college basketball, where transfers are like candy on Halloween, it's just something you have to expect to happen. Guys leaving are more a product of the "I want to play now" than it is a reflection upon the development done by the players/coaches. The average number of transfers per Division I team per offseason is now up to nearly three per team...you can't look at transfers in the same lens now as you did 5-7 years ago. It's just a whole different animal now...a truly viable market/alternative. And with that being so prevalent, I think teams and coaches are now saying "screw it" to everything that isn't "win now...worry about transfers later."
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#13
Regarding point #5, time will tell, of course, but I expect Trapp to be our #3 guard next season, if everyone stays. Even if we bring in another guard as a transfer, I still expect Trapp to get 15-20 mpg. Just don't see him transferring under those circumstances.

It's a lot easier for me to envision Oliver eventually leaving. I have heard that Brownell is actually quite high on Trapp's potential.
#14
(04-07-2018, 08:28 AM)ccolon Wrote: I still expect Trapp to get 15-20 mpg.

If this is true, he won't be leaving. But I'm not sure it's true. Where are those minutes going to come from (assuming Mitchell and Reed return)?

Mitchell and Reed will play 35 MPG apiece. Based off what we saw at the end of the year, Oliver plays more minutes than Trapp in the remaining time.
#15
(04-07-2018, 08:36 AM)TouchTheRock Wrote:
(04-07-2018, 08:28 AM)ccolon Wrote: I still expect Trapp to get 15-20 mpg.

If this is true, he won't be leaving.  But I'm not sure it's true.  Where are those minutes going to come from (assuming Mitchell and Reed return)?

Mitchell and Reed will play 35 MPG apiece.  Based off what we saw at the end of the year, Oliver plays more minutes than Trapp in the remaining time.

Well, a couple of things... part of Brownell's pitch to the veterans (especially Mitchell with his knees) has got to be, "Look, you guys and Gabe didn't get much rest this year b/c we had freshmen behind you.  Next year, with a year in the program, Trapp and Oliver will be able to take some of the load off."  

Reed, especially, looked somewhat worn down to me at the end of the season and didn't play quite as well.  Maybe I will prove to be wrong but I just don't think you will see Clemson playing its starting guards 35+ min per game.  

Regarding Oliver, one thing to recall is that he was actually a redshirt frosh this year- it was his second year in the program.  I think Trapp might have hit the freshman wall where teams figured out his weaknesses and were able to render him more ineffective as the season went on.  At the same time, Oliver apparently came on a bit (according to Brownell's remarks) and as I said in a prior post, it's a lot easier to get a spot-up shooter on the floor at the 3 when you have two guys in Reed and Mitchell who dribble penetrate so well that the defense is constantly being broken down.  In fact, that was my entire premise for speculating a good bit of PT for Oliver next year... at least until you mentioned that the staff wanted to get away from the 3-guard look (which makes sense based on comments I've heard from Brownell before).

Bottom line is that I think Trapp has more potential as a 2-guard than Oliver.  If Clemson signs a legit SF to play the 3, I think Trapp plays over Oliver at the 2 and still gets some spot minutes at PG (Clemson has to develop some capability there for the following season... we simply can't go into 2019-20 hoping that whatever freshman we sign or transfer, I guess, is good enough to carry that load alone).  
#16
(04-07-2018, 08:50 AM)ccolon Wrote:
(04-07-2018, 08:36 AM)TouchTheRock Wrote:
(04-07-2018, 08:28 AM)ccolon Wrote: I still expect Trapp to get 15-20 mpg.

If this is true, he won't be leaving.  But I'm not sure it's true.  Where are those minutes going to come from (assuming Mitchell and Reed return)?

Mitchell and Reed will play 35 MPG apiece.  Based off what we saw at the end of the year, Oliver plays more minutes than Trapp in the remaining time.

Well, a couple of things... part of Brownell's pitch to the veterans (especially Mitchell with his knees) has got to be, "Look, you guys and Gabe didn't get much rest this year b/c we had freshmen behind you.  Next year, with a year in the program, Trapp and Oliver will be able to take some of the load off."  

Reed, especially, looked somewhat worn down to me at the end of the season and didn't play quite as well.  Maybe I will prove to be wrong but I just don't think you will see Clemson playing its starting guards 35+ min per game.  

Regarding Oliver, one thing to recall is that he was actually a redshirt frosh this year- it was his second year in the program.  I think Trapp might have hit the freshman wall where teams figured out his weaknesses and were able to render him more ineffective as the season went on.  At the same time, Oliver apparently came on a bit (according to Brownell's remarks) and as I said in a prior post, it's a lot easier to get a spot-up shooter on the floor at the 3 when you have two guys in Reed and Mitchell who dribble penetrate so well that the defense is constantly being broken down.  In fact, that was my entire premise for speculating a good bit of PT for Oliver next year... at least until you mentioned that the staff wanted to get away from the 3-guard look (which makes sense based on comments I've heard from Brownell before).

Bottom line is that I think Trapp has more potential as a 2-guard than Oliver.  If Clemson signs a legit SF to play the 3, I think Trapp plays over Oliver at the 2 and still gets some spot minutes at PG (Clemson has to develop some capability there for the following season... we simply can't go into 2019-20 hoping that whatever freshman we sign or transfer, I guess, is good enough to carry that load alone).  

And that's where we evaluate Trapp differently. I don't see him as a shooting guard at all. So we'll have to see on that.

Maybe I'm spoiled a bit by what we've had in Reed and DeVoe (a shooting guard who was playing small forward), but if we're thinking Trapp is our shooting guard of the future, I think we're really looking at some huge regression on the offensive end of the floor. I said it all year...Trapp is a point guard...a big point guard, in terms of height, but a point guard nonetheless. 90% of his minutes this year came at that position. I just don't see him being enough of a weapon yet to be someone that you have to get on the floor in a variety of positions because he's so good you HAVE to give him minutes. Hopefully that's where he'll prove me wrong in the offseason.
#17
The thing with Clemson's guards under Brownell (and I hate to keep pounding him on it) is that we really never know what we're gonna have until we see it.

When Clemson signs a guard anymore (i'm talking high school prospect, mind you), I don't even develop any expectations until we see them after about two years. IMO, that's all one can do when you are 8 years into a program and your best three high school-signed guards to date are Rod Hall, Jordan Roper and Gabe DeVoe.

We can speculate about whether TJ Sapp or Coleman or Filer or Ajukwa would have ever turned into anything had they stayed here but there is just no way to know.

In a similar vein, I can't tell you what Trapp or Oliver will look like in two years but they do look longer, more athletic and more physically developed than what we have had before, imo.

I will say this, TTR... if you are comparing to Reed, I'm not sure I can see a better argument for Oliver than Trapp. Oliver has shown no skills whatsoever dribble penetration/attacking the basket that I have seen. If Trapp does indeed have some PG capabilities, then at least theoretically he will eventually be able to do some of that.

One thing is certain- it's going to be a very important off-season for Trapp and Oliver. Both of them need to make a jump and will have the opportunity to do so.
#18
I can scarcely touch what you two have articulated so well, so I'll comment on the transfer market in today's game. If you want potential candidates for the coming season and, especially, in the following years, look at those players who came down to Clemson and their ultimate and, now, departing from choice. That's where Mitchell came from...he chose Vandy, but he wasn't an unknown when he decided to leave Nashville. I suspect Brownell and staff have, or will be doing just that going forward. The way the transfer issue is these days, almost all schools are having to manage their rosters like BYU...someone's always 'ineligible' to play, except unlike BYU, they're not on a mission. In some respects, finishing second can pay dividends...the staff may find out a player wasn't 'all that', or, they simply chose a program that couldn't fully utilize their strengths.
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#19
You probably already heard, but it sounds like a Maryland guard is a serious possibility. Hope that doesn't mean they already know Reed or Mitchell are leaving.
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/mar/29/justin-jackson-maryland-forward-declares-for-nba-d/
#20
(04-07-2018, 01:45 PM)tony33 Wrote: You probably already heard, but it sounds like a Maryland guard is a serious possibility.  Hope that doesn't mean they already know Reed or Mitchell are leaving.  
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/mar/29/justin-jackson-maryland-forward-declares-for-nba-d/

I haven't heard of Wiley till now.  Not sure he looks like a replacement for either Reed or Mitchell.  I would like to think Clemson can aim higher than this young man to be honest.  A 4th year junior who scores 5.8 per game and has more turnovers than assists is not really what we should be looking for, imo.  

As a side note, has anyone found a comprehensive transfer list for this year?  I have failed in my attempts to find one.  


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