By Will Vandervort.
By Will Vandervort.
By Will Vandervort
Devin Colman says watching his teammates lose one close game after another has been really tough for him to watch this year.
Recovering from an Achilles heel injury he suffered last July during a conditioning drill, the sophomore says he has felt helpless at times. He often wonders what would have occurred in those close losses to Miami, Florida State and NC State had he been on the court.
He wonders sometimes how much of a difference he could have made. Instead of sitting at 13-17 heading into tomorrow night’s matchup with Florida State in the ACC Tournament, maybe he could have been a difference maker and the Tigers might be talking about dancing next week instead of wondering if their season will come to a close tomorrow night.
“It is definitely tough seeing those guys out there and losing close games and not being able to do anything to help,” Coleman said Wednesday. “I’m just trying to keep their spirits high. I’m just working hard so I can get back out there next year and help my team.”
In Wednesday’s shoot around at the Greensboro Coliseum, Coleman made 10 of 14 three-pointers at one point, including eight in a row. This year, the Tigers made only 31 percent of their shots from behind the arc.
Prior to the season, Coleman was expected to be one of Clemson’s better players. He finished his freshman year in a flurry. He converted on 21 of his last 43 shots and scored at least nine points in four of the last seven games, including 15 against Virginia in the first round of last year’s ACC Tournament.
“Devin Coleman was a guy that was becoming a better shooter,” Brownell said. “He did not have great numbers last year, but his numbers at the end of the season were much better and he was a guy we felt had a great summer and was ready to help us.”
Jaron Blossomgame was another Brownell thought was going to help his basketball team this year. The 6-foot-7 shooter was his highest rated signee in the 2013 class after making a name for himself on the AAU circuit.
But, the Alpharetta, GA native broke his leg during a workout on April 16 and was not cleared to play until after the season had already begun.
“Our team would have been a whole lot different team had we had Devin and Jaron,” Jennings said. “Having those two would have made the games better, would have made practice better. We would probably have more defense and be more aggressive because we would have guys like that coming off the bench.
“DC would have really made a difference. He was another guard that could get to the hole and is a really good three-point shooter.”
Without Coleman and Blossomgame Clemson finished the regular season 11th in the ACC in field goal percentage, free throw percentage and last in scoring.
“You never really know how a season is going to go and what your role is going to be or anything,” Coleman said. “Just anything I could have done could have helped. You want to go out there and do whatever you can do whether it is playing great defense or going out there and knocking down some threes.”
And boy, Clemson really could have used some of those.