Clemson’s cornerstone player and arguably its best since K.J. McDaniels played his last game in a Tiger uniform on Tuesday night.
Jaron Blossomgame played his heart out, with 24 points and eight rebounds, but still fell to Oakland 74-69.
Clemson was up by 20 at one point in the second half, but blew its lead when Oakland went on a 25-5 run. Again, the Tigers could not find a way to finish…the story of their season, which just adds salt to the wound.
Needless to say, Blossomgame was disappointed afterwards, especially after a long season with a great season just minutes away from the Tigers.
“Yeah…just a little embarrassed, a little disappointed…embarrassing loss, it just hurts right now,” he said after the game.
With the way the Tigers lost so many games this year, 12 losses by six points or less, a 20-point blown lead was just the cherry on top of a bad sundae for players and fans.
“It’s a long season…didn’t quite go the way we planned,” said Blossomgame.
Clemson looked like they had the game in the bag going into halftime as they finished off a 12-0 run with a deep Gabe Devoe buzzer-beater three-pointer. Blossomgame said the team just got too comfortable after that.
“I guess we got comfortable,” he said. “We thought we had the game and it was a lot closer than we realized and we didn’t make shots.”
His career with the Tigers might be over, but Blossomgame still supports head coach Brad Brownell after a rough last season in which he decided to forgo the draft to come back and play.
“First of all, I think he’s done a really good job to be honest with you,” said Blossomgame. “Very unlucky situation since he’s had here, but as far as X’s and O’s, and off the court he’s unbelievable.”
Blossomgame believes Clemson has a lot of potential for success next season, even though it loses his 17.5 points per game 6.2 rebounds.
“You have a good core group of guys,” he said. “You just have to believe in each other, have a good offseason and work really hard.”
After the game, Brownell said he wish his seniors careers had ended on a better note, but thought that their individual performances were fitting for their last game in the orange and regalia.
“A disappointing end to our season,” said Brownell. “I feel bad for our seniors…it’s fitting for Jaron to finish his career with 24 and eight and it’s fitting for Sidy to get 11 rebounds.”