Clemson head coach Brad Brownell knows it is tough for his basketball program to compete on the recruiting trail against blue bloods in the ACC like Duke and North Carolina, schools with tradition the Tigers can’t match and places where recruits just generally want to go play.
So, Clemson has to find a way to make up for the inherent disadvantages it is up against in recruiting, and the biggest way Brownell and his staff try to do that is by getting prospects on campus and showing off what makes the school different – its authentic family atmosphere.
“Clemson offers a unique situation,” Brownell said to The Clemson Insider. “I talk all the time about how everybody talks about family in recruiting, but I think at Clemson we really live it.”
Brownell pointed to Clemson President Jim Clements and his engagement in the university’s athletic programs, including basketball, as an example of what makes Clemson special and truly one big family – starting at the top.
“You can have close personal relationships with a lot of different kinds of people here, and you’re going to if you want to, whether it’s certainly professors on campus … Obviously the president of our university is involved in our recruiting and sits behind the bench at all of our games,” Brownell said. “So, that in and of itself is a unique sell and something very powerful that I think speaks to what Clemson’s all about. It’s one of the things that I love about being the coach here is I believe in it.”
While the Tigers don’t have as rich of a basketball history as some other programs in their conference to help them in recruiting, what they do have are genuine people who are dedicated to helping student-athletes not only become better players, but also better people in every aspect of their lives.
And that is what Brownell believes sets Clemson apart from other schools and is its best selling point in recruiting.
“We really try to offer our kids a tremendous amount of individual attention in all areas of their life, whether it’s basketball, whether it’s academic, social, spiritual,” he said. “We’ve got folks at every walk of life here that want to help you and serve you, and that’s what we sell, that’s what we talk about, and I think it separates us from some other places. I think the more we can get people to campus to feel that, that’s when we have a great chance, and obviously that’s our challenge is to continue to fight to get people to come visit consistently to where they get to feel that same experience, because I think that’s our best sell. That’s what makes us a little bit different.”
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