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tarheelsben1
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Post: #1
 
From Inside Carolina
Quote:GETTING INSIDE

Arriving late on the job last summer at Clemson, Oliver Purnell hesitated to hand out too many scholarships to potential late signees. Instead, he played with the hand he was dealt. Although the Tigers never folded, a 10-18 season and a last-place finish wasn't wholly unexpected.

Purnell felt he'd have more quality recruits to pick from by waiting, and he was able to go out and sign five for this coming season and build what he's calling the "foundation" of his program.

He'll need some immediate contributions from the guard-heavy class, especially in the wake of junior guard Chey Christie's decision to transfer. The Tigers must also get upgrade in play at the point, whether it comes from junior Shawan Robinson and sophomore Vincent Hamilton or one of the newcomers. Clemson averaged a league-high 19 turnovers per game last year.

NOTES, QUOTES

PROGRAM OVERVIEW: A year in Oliver Purnell's system and some more options on the perimeter could make the Tigers a lot better this season, but it's going to be hard to move past any of the conference's old guard despite the return of senior center Sharrod Ford and junior Akin Akingbala up front and senior Olu Babalola on the wing.

Purnell put a plan into action last season -- relying on tough defense -- and that could help rebuild the psyche of the program. Add in a bevy of new players, and he is definitely building the program in his own image.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We're going to be more athletic and we're going to have a lot of competition on the perimeter, and we need that to keep improving and moving forward." -- Coach Oliver Purnell.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

KEY RECRUITS AND TRANSFERS: Guard Cliff Hammonds -- Rated the 21st-best point guard prospect in the country by TheInsiders.com, the 6-3 Hammonds was 4A state Player of the Year in Georgia.

Forward Sam Perry -- The 6-5 swingman was one of the most highly recruited players out of South Carolina, and adds some athleticism on the wing.

Guard Troy Mathis -- Rated the No. 24 point guard in the nation by TheInsiders.com, the 6-0 Mathis is a true point with a penchant for defense, traits that play well in Oliver Purnell's system.

Forward James Mays -- At 6-9, Mays is the only real big man in the class but he's raw, albeit talented. He was consistently rated a national top 100 recruit. He and Mathis are considered steals for Clemson out of talent-rich North Carolina.

Guard Cheyenne Moore -- The 6-6 Connecticut native can play small forward or big guard and he consistently rated among the nation's top 100 prospects overall and the top 20 wing players.

INJURY IMPACT: Two Tigers went under the knife this summer, with starting forward Olu Babalola and reserve center Steve Allen both getting 'scoped. Babalola had surgery on his ankle in late March, and Allen, who played sparingly last year, had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder in April.
07-13-2004 06:08 PM
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