December 2, 2020

Independent analysis and commentary on UVA athletics

ACC Offseason Refresh – #9 Clemson

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Clemson spent another year as a tough ACC middleweight last year, NIT quality but unable to get over the hump and their 2018 breakthrough feeling far in the rearview mirror. Once again, the Tigers will play tough defense but will they have the size and the shooting to get north of .500 in the deep league?

Coach: Brad Brownell; 352-227 in 18 Seasons Overall; 185-142 (85-93) in 10 seasons at Clemson

2019-20 Record: 16-15 (9-11); 9th in ACC

2019-20 KenPom Efficiency:

National: AdjO: 103.9 (155th of 353)
AdjD: 93.5 (33rd of 353)
ACC: AdjO: 97.3 (11th of 15)
AdjD: 99.0 (6 qth of 15)

 

Roster Roundup

Departures:

SG Curran Scott (Graduated)
31 G, 20.1 mpg, 5.7 ppg, 1.4 apg, 26% 3P%
F Tevin Mack (Graduated)
31 G, 28.4 mpg, 12.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 28% 3P%
C Trey Jemison (Transferred to UAB)
30 G, 8.4 mpg, 1.7 ppg, 2 rpg, 49% FG%

Returners:

G Al-Amir Dawes (SO)
31 G, 29.8 mpg, 9 ppg, 2.5 apg, 32% 3P%
G Alex Hemenway (SO)
15 G, 12.2 mpg, 4.8 ppg, 0.4 apg, 48% 3P%
G Chase Hunter (SO)
9 G, 19.3 mpg, 5.3 ppg, 1.6 apg, 30% 3P%
G/F Clyde Trapp (SR)
21 G, 25.6 mpg, 6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 26% 3P%
G/F John Newman III (JR)
31 G, 31.6 mpg, 9.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 30% 3P%
F Hunter Tyson (JR)
31 G, 13.6 mpg, 5.5 ppg, 3 rpg, 32% 3P%
F Khavon Moore (RS JR)
28 G, 9.1 mpg, 1.8 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 27% 3P%
PF Aamir Simms (SR)
30 G, 31.6 mpg, 13 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 47% FG%

Additions:

PG Nick Honor (RS SO Transfer, Fordham)
32 G, 36.1 mpg, 15.3 ppg, 3 apg, 33% 3P%
F Olivier-Maxence Prosper (3-star FR)
F/C Lynn Kidd (4-star FR)
F/C PJ Hall (4-star FR)
C Jonathan Baehre (RS JR Transfer, UNC-Asheville)
34 G, 21.8 mpg, 7.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 54% FG%

*Projected starters in bold

Outlook

Clemson is an intriguing upstart. They lose two grad transfers in Tevin Mack (who scored a lot but I was never super impressed by) and Curran Scott (never made a big impact). But other than low-impact big man Trey Jemison, they bring back basically everyone else. The big question is how they deploy Simms, who’s best at the 4 if they can assemble a good rotation at the 5, but it’s doubtful they can. Jemison’s departure was one blow, but UNC-Asheville transfer Jonathan Baehre is coming off his second torn ACL, and Lynn Kidd and PJ Hall, while 4-stars, are just freshmen.

But what’s going to be fun to watch at Clemson is the guard rotation. They return all-year starters Al-Amir Dawes and John Newman, and hopefully will see youngsters Alex Hemenway, Chase Hunter, and Clyde Trapp come back after each lost a lot of last season to injuries. But the new name to know is Nick Honor, who was on the A-10 all-freshman team two years ago at Fordham, and may be the immediate starter at PG. That adds up to six young guards to make a high-potential guard rotation at the 1-3, and if they can gel, stay healthy, and defend like Brad Brownell’s better teams have managed to do, they can make some noise. Shooting will need to improve, though. That 5-spot is a giant liability, but even if Simms has to play a lot of 5, I think they can still crack the top half of the league if things go well. The NCAA Tournament is definitely the goal, probably with like a 9/10 seed target.