It’s been a different spring for Clemson men’s basketball coach Brad Brownell during IPTAY’s Prowl & Growl Tour.
Thanks to the Tigers’ Sweet 16 run in the NCAA Tournament this past March, fans are excited about and want to talk more about college basketball and the Tigers. That was not always the case during Clemson’s seven-year hiatus from the tournament.
“Certainly coming to these things there is a lot of enthusiasm and excitement for what happened this year with our team,” Brownell said earlier this week when the Prowl & Growl tour was in Greenville, S.C.
Clemson just completed a 25-10 season, including a record 11 wins in ACC play. The Tigers finished tied for third in the conference standings and then advanced to the semifinal round of the ACC Tournament.
They also took advantage of being in the NCAA Tournament again with wins over New Mexico State and Auburn in the first and second rounds. The Tigers came within four points of knocking off Final Four participant Kanas in the Sweet 16 after being down by 20 points in the second half.
“I have been really proud of our guys because of the consistency they have showed,” Brownell said. “You get excited in college basketball about the NCAA Tournament and certainly going to the Sweet 16 was special. But what was equally as special was winning eleven ACC games, going 11-1 in the non-conference games with some big wins over Ohio State and Florida on the road.”
The Tigers also had some big wins in the ACC, beating North Carolina for the first time 10 tries, while also beating Notre Dame for the first time. Clemson got wins against NCAA Tournament teams Florida State, Miami and NC State as well.
“I was proud of this team because we were consistently good,” Brownell said. “We played well for the full season, which is hard to do in college basketball and obviously when you lose a player of Donte (Grantham’s) value, that is even more challenging.
“That is one of the things I’m excited about with the past team and something I’m really proud of.”