Finding his way

CLEMSON - The highest-rated signee in Brad Brownell's 2011 class has struggled to find his way off the bench this season.

Freshman forward Bernard Sullivan continues to fight an ongoing battle with asthma. That's played a big part in why he's been limited to just 26 minutes in five games this season.

"[Sullivan] really was tired the first three weeks of the season. He's been tired all the time and really hasn't had the energy necessary to practice really well so he hasn't really played," Brownell said.

Brownell noted that Sullivan is "a little more healthy" and is "breathing better."

And that, obviously, is a good thing for the Tigers' second-year head coach, who's searching for depth in the frontcourt.

"The last couple of weeks, they've done some things to really get his asthma under control and to make it better," Brownell said. "He has more energy. He practices longer, practices harder, practices better. I'm hoping that he'll continue to make strides forward as well."

THE HOOPS STATE TITLE GAME: Brownell wouldn't be opposed to moving the Clemson/South Carolina game to a different date.

"The timing of the game is still kind of an awkward time," he said. "Last year, they're in the middle of the SEC Championship game. This year, we're in the ACC. There's a lot of people that have their eyes on other things.

"The game might be better, at times, if it was at a time when all eyes could be on the game."

On Saturday night, the Clemson football team will play for the ACC Championship in Charlotte.

A year ago, the focus of the South Carolina faithful was on Atlanta, where the Gamecocks were playing for the SEC title. A day later, the in-state rivals squared off on the hardwood.

It was the same story two years ago when Clemson was in Tampa playing for the ACC title.

"Right now, as you would want, all of the Clemson faithful are worried about Saturday night," Brownell said. "I'm worried about Saturday night. I want us to win Saturday night. It kind of makes it a little awkward time for the game, I think. Hopefully, our fans will be so excited after Saturday night's win, they'll want to hustle back to Littlejohn and fill this place up."

His suggestion? "If our football teams are always going to compete for conference championships, then we might need to move the date a little bit. That's not easy to do either," he said. "You've got finals weeks for both don't necessarily, in the first week of the season, play your rival. I think you'd rather get into your season and understand your team a little bit, then kind of build some momentum for basketball. Then, it becomes hard. You're going to do it with no students around.

"There's not a great answer. I do think if it were a little bit later, maybe that would help a little bit."

Clemson and South Carolina tipoff Sunday at 3:30. The game will be televised on ESPNU. Top Stories