Clemson opens basketball practice

Mar 5, 2016; Chestnut Hill, MA, USA; Clemson Tigers head coach Brad Brownell reacts during the first half against the Boston College Eagles at Silvio O. Conte Forum. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Amidst a busy day on Clemson’s campus, the men’s basketball team took to the court Saturday for its first official practice in preparation for the 2016-17 season. Clemson worked for two hours inside the newly renovated Littlejohn Coliseum.

“It’s exciting to be playing in a new facility,” said head coach Brad Brownell. “Littlejohn is terrific, and our practice court in Swann Pavilion is great. We have all the things we need to continue putting us in position to be successful.

“We had great energy and enthusiasm as you would expect. We worked on a good bit of defense for the first time. We typically focus our fall on skill development and offensive execution, but today we started to introduce some of our defensive concepts.”

The Tigers return three starters and nine lettermen from a team that went 17-14 overall last season, including 10-8 in the ACC. Jaron Blossomgame was a first-team All-ACC selection a year ago, and returns alongside veteran starters Donte Grantham and Avry Holmes to form a solid nucleus for Brownell, who is entering his seventh season as Clemson’s head coach.

“I’m excited about the season,” Brownell said. “We have good depth, and we have good players. Jaron has great experience and is a really good leader. Avry and Sidy will provide good leadership and are competitive people. To have older guys like that is a great place to start.”

The Tigers open the regular season at home on Nov. 11 against the University of Georgia.

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