By Staff Report.
Clemson head coach Brad Brownell and his Tigers are in the Virgin Islands as they prepare for play on Friday. Coach Brownell talks about the trip and the upcoming tournament.
How have you enjoyed the island so far?
“I love it. How could you not? We’re staying at a great place over at the Marriott. The people have been unbelievably friendly. Our guys have had a good time. We look forward to a great weekend.”
What attracted Clemson to play in the Paradise Jam?
“A couple of things. Number one was the opportunity to come to the Virgin Islands and allow your guys to experience something they don’t get to see very often. They get to enjoy the weather and the beach. Then, they get the opportunity to play in a tournament that is known throughout college basketball for attracting good teams. The other thing is that this tournament is known for is the hospitality that the teams are provided. Teams are treated unbelievably well here, and people know that. It’s a great experience for everyone that comes.”
What have you brought to the Clemson program in year one?
“We’re really trying to establish our defensive style, which is aggressive man-to-man. We want to pick up full court and pressure the ball initially in possessions. Then, we want to run a motion offense where a lot of guys touch the ball. We try to have a lot of movement off the ball, especially in terms of screening and cutting. It’s early in the season and we’re not exactly where we want to be, but our guys are working hard and improving every day.”
What teams are you watching this week in the tournament?
“The only team we’re concerned with right now is Long Beach State, since we play them tomorrow. They’re an athletic team with good guard play and a good post player. They are a team that really scores it and gets up and down in transition. We know we’ll have our hands full with them, and that’s who we’re focused on right now.”
What are some things the fans can look forward to from your team?
“We have a very athletic team. Our frontcourt players – Jerai Grant, Devin Booker, Milton Jennings and Bryan Narcisse – are all athletic and can rebound the ball above the rim. They finish pretty well around the basket. Our guards can shoot the ball pretty well. We play an exciting style of basketball. We try to get up and down the court a little bit. Fans might see a dunk or two. We’re really excited to be here, and we think the fans will enjoy watching our team play.”