Brownell wants offensive patience

Clemson must exhibit more patience on offense if the Tigers hope to make a late-season run for a fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament berth.

"We need to understand the full 35 seconds of the offense," Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. "We have to realize that maybe we can get something better in the last 10 seconds (of the shot clock). That's the difference between a high-level offensive team and being one that's just decent. The really good teams do that."

The Tigers have shown flashes of good decision-making on offense, including several instances during a late-game rally for a much-needed 63-59 victory at Miami on Feb. 20, but Brownell continues to seek "maturity" when it comes to shot selection.

"That's when our bad shots occur -- when a guy gets impatient with too much time on the shot clock," Brownell said. "If it says 10 (seconds) on the shot clock, there's still plenty of time for good passes, plenty of time to make plays. Our team has had a tough time understanding all of that.

"At 10 seconds on the shot clock, the crowd starts counting down and everybody wants to freak out, including our team."

* Clemson simply has to defend its home court, where it is 13-2 this season, to finish 9-7 or better in Atlantic Coast Conference play for a school-record fourth consecutive season. Two of the Tigers' final three games are at Littlejohn Coliseum -- a Feb. 26 game against Wake Forest and a March 5 finale against Virginia Tech.

* Clemson continues to lead the ACC in scoring defense at 60.5 points per game through Feb. 20. Clemson has a chance to become the first league team since N.C. State in 1996-97 to hold opponents to 60 points per game or less.

* Clemson is 17-0 this season through Feb. 20 when it shoots a higher field goal percentage than the opposition, and 10-0 when the Tigers shoot at least 50 percent from the field.

BY THE NUMBERS: 18 -- Victories for Clemson first-year coach Brad Brownell this season through Feb. 20. That's tied for the second-most wins ever for a first-year coach at Clemson. With three games remaining he could tie or break the record of 20 wins by Larry Shyatt in 1998-99.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We have to take every team in the ACC as a serious team. You've got to be careful of every team in the ACC, especially at their house." -- Clemson's Demontez Stitt following his team's 69-61 loss at N.C. State on Feb. 17.

LOOKING AHEAD TO WAKE FOREST: Wake Forest may have just one ACC victory and be this season's league doormat, but Clemson should be fired up for this sold-out game for many reasons. A win over Wake Forest would guarantee the Tigers of at least a .500 finish in league play for a school-record fourth consecutive season and also enhance the Tigers' postseason prospects.

Clemson is also bidding for a fourth straight ticket to the NCAA Tournament and a loss against the Demon Deacons would severely hinder that quest. Seniors Jerai Grant and Demontez Stitt are playing the best ball of their careers and should flourish against Wake's youthful lineup, particularly with the emotion surrounding their next-to-last home game.

FUTURES MARKET: Clemson coach Brad Brownell recently secured his first commitment from the class of 2012 when Jaron Blossomgame of Alpharetta, Ga., announced he'd join the program. Blossomgame could be used on this year's team -- he's a 6-foot-6 forward, which is a size and position of much need.

A standout at Chattahoochee High School, Blossomgame had helped his team to a 22-3 record this season while averaging 23 points and nine rebounds per game. Top Stories