Clemson head coach Brad Brownell knows the newly renovated Littlejohn Coliseum won’t help his team win now.
“The building does not win you any games,” Brownell said on Wednesday during his annual media golf outing at The Reserve at Lake Keowee in Sunset, S.C. “The better office and nicer TVs and couches does not win you any games.”
With that said, Brownell and his staff believe it can help Clemson win in the future.
Brownell expects the $63.5 million renovation of Littlejohn to have a big impact in recruiting.
“It’s going to impact it certainly a great deal,” Brownell said.
The renovation project — which began in late May 2015 and is nearly completed — not only refurbished the playing arena and seating bowl (approximately 8,500 seats), but also the coaches’ offices, weight rooms, locker rooms and video editing and theater areas housed in a separate practice facility addition. In addition, the public exterior face of the building underwent a significant upgrade.
In the end, the building has been almost entirely transformed, and Brownell is excited to continue showing the new digs to recruits and exhibiting the renewed dedication to Clemson basketball.
“It used to be Littlejohn was pretty good on game nights, but you didn’t like to show it as much, or all of it, in the offseason. We have a lot of kids visit in the offseason, and now you certainly are proud of it,” Brownell said. “You want to show if off. You want to get as many people in there because you want to show the commitment level this university has made and the belief people have in Clemson basketball.”
Clemson has already taken several recruits through the remodeled facility during the past two football-game weekends, and so far, the reaction has been good.
“We’ve had a couple football weekends where we’ve had eight to 10 recruits, and when we take them through, you can see their eyes light up, like ‘Wow, this is even nicer than I thought,’” Brownell said.
“They see this commitment level,” assistant coach Dick Bender added. “What everything looks like now has made it different for them. They can see where we could elevate this program and have a chance to raise ourselves within this league.”
Clemson’s coaching staff is working hard on the recruiting trail, and the Tigers have seen their efforts pay off recently. Orlando (Fla.) First Academy four-star forward Malik William committed to Clemson in July, and Dyke (Va.) Blue Ridge four-star forward Aamir Simms committed in September.
The new Littlejohn isn’t the only factor for recruits considering Clemson, of course, but Clemson anticipates it will play a big part in recruiting and help elevate the program to another level in the future.
“I think we’re going after some higher profile (prospects), and now we’re getting some guys,” Winiecki said. “I think that’s helped. I think a myriad of factors — doing well in the ACC, sending guys to the pros and seeing the commitment to basketball with the new $64-million dollar renovations — I think it’s all a great recipe for building this program and getting to that next level in the ACC.”