Working back into the mix

CLEMSON - A number of folks already had expectations of Jaron Blossomgame making an impact the moment he stepped foot onto Clemson's campus.

But there was a significant bump in the road that put a hitch in that plan.

While working out with a trainer in late April, Blossomgame broke the fibula and tibia in his left leg.

"I'm about 60-70 percent," he said, earlier this week. "My expectations -- when I get healthy -- I want to come in and become one the main scorers, rebounders. I want to be able to produce on offense."

Practice starts next Friday. The season opens on Nov. 12.

"If I'm 100 percent, yes, or close to 100 percent, yes, I'll be able to contribute," Blossomgame said.

He added, "It's up in the air right now. We're going to take it week by week, to see how it goes. As of right now, I feel fine. It's just being able to compete at a high level with everyone else, going full speed. I haven't done that yet."

Blossomgame said he's remained strong throughout the rehab process.

"I am mentally strong. I don't let it affect me. I don't down myself on it. I try to find joy in every situation. I'm just going to have to work harder, to get where I was, and [get] better," he said.

Recently, Blossomgame was able to get back on the court for individual work. He's also getting back above the rim, a place where Clemson fans hope to see him over the next four years.

"I'm dunking easily now," he said. "I had a workout [Monday] and I was dunking everything like I used to do…with no pain."

Blossomgame has no apprehension about re-injuring the leg.

"I know it's not going to break again," he said. The rod is in there, so I know it's not going to break again."

In the meantime, Blossomgame said there is one part of his game that needs to improve if he's going to be an impact player at this level.

"If I'm going to be a definite wing, a three, possibly two, I've got to work on my ball handling a lot, just to get out there and be a college wing," he said. "In high school, I played a lot of three, four and five, because I was the tallest one on the team. AAU, I played a lot of three, but coming into college I'll be a two or a three, so I've got to work on my ball handling a lot." Top Stories