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Cardiac Hill ACC Preview: #11 Clemson Tigers

Clemson comes in at number 11 on the Cardiac Hill ACC Basketball preview.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Coach - Brad Brownell (4 seasons at Clemson, 74-58 record, 1 NCAA Tournament appearance)

Arena - Littlejohn Coliseum (10,325 capacity)

2013-14 Record - 23-13 (10-8 ACC) Lost to SMU 65-59 in NIT Final Four

Game with Pitt - @ Pitt Saturday January 10  12:00

Top Returning Players (Italics= projected starter)

-- Rod Hall 6'1" SR PG  9.7 PPG  4.0 APG

-- DeMarcus Harrison 6'4" SR SG   7.8 PPG

-- Jordan Roper 6'0" JR SG    7.4 PPG

-- Landry Nnoko 6'10"  JR C   6.5 PPG  6.2 RPG

-- Jaron Blossomgame 6'7" SO PF    4.9 PPG  5.0 RPG

Impact Newcomers

-- Donte Grantham 6'8" FR SF #75 Overall Recruit on Rivals

-- Gabe DeVoe  6'3" FR SG #121 Overall Recruit on Rivals

The Scoop - Clemson returns plenty of faces from their NIT team, but they are missing the one key piece that held it altogether.  K.J. McDaniels was one of the best players in the ACC last season, and really covered a lot of the holes in what would have been a bad Clemson team without him. So they certainly have a lot of players back from that team, but ones that have a lot to prove themselves.

Rod Hall will be the go to guy to start the year. The senior guard posted nine points a game last year, but may need to up his scoring some more this season. DeMarcus Harrison and Jordan Roper are also experienced guards that will need to make some big improvements this season. A very talented freshman may get his chance to take McDaniels' starting spot. Donte Grantham is a 6'8" wing that was ranked among the top 100 high school prospects in the country last season. The Tigers have both starting post players back, but neither were big time players last season.

Final Outlook - Clemson has a lot coming back, but when you look at it, they still are plagued with the same problems as last season and they are without McDaniels to make up for them. Clemson will struggle without McDaniels and it will take some time to get over that departure. The Tigers could make some noise if the newcomers make immediate impacts and the upperclassmen make significant jumps in their games, but otherwise a trip to the NIT seems to be the ceiling.

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