What a long, strange trip it's been

CLEMSON - It's been an up and down four-year run for former McDonald's All-American Milton Jennings.

His career at Littlejohn Coliseum will come to a close on Tuesday night when Clemson hosts Boston College.

On Monday, Jennings reflected on his basketball career in Tigertown and looks ahead to the future.

The following is an edited transcript from Monday's interview.

How does it feel that you're about to play your last home game?
Jennings: You know what? It hasn't settled in yet. Maybe I'm kind of used to it. I feel comfortable. I've been here for four years. It's been a long time. I've put a bunch of blood and sweat on this court. It'll just be another game. I think, afterwards, I'll be like I'm not going to play another game there. Hopefully, I'll come back and visit. I'm happy about it. I'm happy that I'm graduating. I'm the first in my family. So, this May, I get to share that with them. I'm just happy to finally be at my pinnacle here at Clemson.

Is it pretty important for you to go out with a win?
Jennings: Super, super, super, super important. It's senior night. We almost won against VT. Going against them, you want to take their senior night away. I've put that in everybody's mind on our team. Tomorrow, B.C. is going to come in and play really hard, try to take our senior night away. It's just something that you want to do. I want everybody to be on board. This is probably going to be one of our best games of the year.

What do you look at as the high point of your career and what's your lowest point of your career?
Jennings: Good question. I guess, talking about the lowest point, obviously, the five games I missed due to suspension. It's probably my lowest thing here at Clemson for me. It's something that will haunt me forever. I could have been a 1,000-point scorer with Devin [Booker] this year, if I had those five games. It's just something that's going to lag on me forever. My highest point, I would say, is just being a college player. Had the opportunity to play at Clemson for four years, I enjoyed it. I'm glad it's not over. I can still do a little bit of damage here at the end.

Are you worried about being too emotional tomorrow night?
Jennings: No, I'm not going to be emotional at all. I'm trying to approach it -- like I said, I haven't felt any different. School and what not, that's not even close to being over. So, in my mind, basketball's not even close to being over. Emotion-wise, I hope to play 40 minutes, well over 35. I hope I get to play the whole time, until the end.

It has to be a special bond, you two being the last two at Clemson from the [previous staff]?
Jennings: Yeah, it's funny. We laugh about it all the time. You look around and everybody's different. There's a few of the same people around…different trainer, different strength coach, whole different coaching staff, different teammates -- it's been a real great experience, helped me as a person, meeting a bunch of new people, getting to know them, getting to accept people quicker…it's been fun. I hope I get to come back like Tanner [Smith] did and laugh with the guys, to see how their doing next year in their games, and just continue my career.

What advice would you give to a five-star player, now that you've had your career? What would you say to someone that was entering Clemson or another program?
Jennings: You've just got to play. I'm the biggest thinker. I think all the time. I laugh with coach all the time. He'll catch me on the sideline drifting up into the ceiling, thinking. I'm always thinking about game-time stuff -- what this player can do, what that guard can do, what we're going to do. I just got lost in a trance. I do that in a game, sometimes. Most people say, ‘He didn't fill out to what he was supposed to be, or we see glimpses of it here and there.' It's just because I second-guess myself most of the time, and I think too much.

Has it been difficult hearing fans, media, whoever criticize you?
Jennings: No. It's been kind of fun. I love it. I didn't really hear it until this year. That's just part of being a senior, part of life. I see it all the time. Other sports fans, like NFL teams, baseball team, it doesn't matter. That's what a fan is. That's what they're going to do. I complain when the Patriots lose, when the Spurs lose. I complain. I'm like, ‘What is coach doing? What is Tim [Duncan] doing?' These are some of the greatest players of all time. I just laugh at it. I keep playing. Plus, the fans don't see the other stats. They don't see that I had three or four steals that game, that I came across the lane and walled up, stopped six to eight points just from walling up, or that you got that extra rebound, or you tipped it here. They don't see the hustle plays. I felt, this whole season, I had hustle plays. I missed a few shots every now and again. That's because I'm learning, myself, to still become a jump shooter. I elevate, sometimes, way too high, so I push the ball. Then I try to make it up in a game. I don't want to try to jump as high as the next time and goes short. So I'm still trying to figure out stuff as a player. Every year, I kind of evolve a little bit more. I'm still on a learning curve. I'm not disappointed at all. I kind of use it as fuel. When this season is over, I plan to get back in the gym and get at it. Driving the ball a little bit this year made me realize that I can drive the ball.

What has being at Clemson meant to you?
Jennings: Everything. Like I said, I'm the first to go to college in my family…that alone beats everything. And I got to play basketball. Most kids don't get to do it. There's very few that do…I find myself lucky that I got to go play for four years. I got better in each of the four years. I made new friends. I've got new teammates. I've got endless amount of people that I met and can relate with and talk to in the future. It's just terrific. I'm kind of sad that it's gone. I kind of laugh -- we get five years. I won't play football. I can't play baseball…I'm very proud to be a Clemson Tiger, I know that much.

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