By Ashley Denny.
CLEMSON, SC- 6-8 Forward Bernard Sullivan of Charlotte, NC came to Clemson University knowing that he would have a chance to play early for the Tigers. With the graduation of Jerai Grant, Sullivan who was rated as the No. 70 overall prospect in the nation, knew that with hard work and persistence he would be able to see the court early and do what he could to help Clemson win basketball games.
“Right now I’m feeling everything out, college classes, practice, conditioning,” Sullivan said. “This is a new different thing for me, not being with my parents I miss them a lot. I’m just enjoying it as much as I can.”
When asked how he would describe himself as a player to Clemson fans who haven’t seen him in action, Sullivan said his style of playing was very versatile.
“My style of playing is very versatile,” Sullivan said. “I am able to post up and step out, I’m an athletic player, and I can get up and grab rebounds and block shots. All in all I play hard. If something’s not going well, my shots aren’t going in or am not getting rebounds, my ability to play hard will get me over the hump.”
Sullivan was drawn to Clemson by Head Coach Brad Brownell’s style of playing more than anything.
“Clemson uses their big men well,” Sullivan said. “They sometimes use their big men outside and then they’re inside sometimes. I also was drawn to Clemson because right after Coach Oliver Purnell left, Brownell was after me right away it showed me that they were very interested.”
What’s at the top of Sullivan’s To Do List on what to improve?
“I need to improve on the speed of the game,” Sullivan said. “It’s a whole new speed from high school to college, just getting up the court and moving fast every single play.”
Sullivan who watched the Tigers play in 2011 with more of an interest than most was very impressed with the Tigers and how well they adapted to a new head coach and system.
“I think more than anything the most amazing thing I got out of watching them play last season was the new coaching change and how well they adapted to it. “ Sullivan said. “They were still successful with a brand new coach. They did well in both the ACC and NCAA tournament, played defense well and played hard.”
Although it hasn’t hit him yet, Sullivan knows that as soon as he puts on his Clemson jersey the first time that it will sink in that he will be going up against Duke, North Carolina, and other basketball powerhouses.
“It definitely exciting, coming in as a freshman is just a whole other level.” Sullivan said. “Playing in one of the best conferences in the country, having that opportunity is just very exciting.”
Even though the season hasn’t started yet, Sullivan has already placed expectations for himself for this coming season and his career at Clemson.
“My expectations are to work as hard as I can and be the best player that I can be,” Sullivan said. “I want to push my teammates to learn from the older guys, become like brothers with my teammates and just have fun and enjoy the opportunity that I have to play for a prestigious school like this.”