It was just a few months ago the Clemson head coach was answering questions about how he planned on juggling the scholarship number with Gabe DeVoe and Donte Grantham set to jump aboard for the 2014-15 season.
And, since there were no seniors, two players from the 2013-14 squad needed to leave early.
Devin Coleman transferred to Temple in January. Adonis Filer announced shortly after the season ended that he was going to head elsewhere.
Now, with an extra scholarship at his disposal, Brownell could go in a number of different directions.
The first and probably most unlikely scenario is to sign someone else to the 2014 class. Since adding DeVoe and Grantham, most of Clemson's recruiting efforts have been focused on the 2015, 16 and 17 classes. Plus, as is the case with every other recruiting cycle, there aren't many unsigned high school prospects worth taking at this stage of the game. The late signing period began last Wednesday and will continue through late May.
A year ago, Clemson entertained the idea of signing a fifth-year graduate senior transfer who would have been immediately available to play his final season of eligibility. Brownell ultimately passed on that option. That, once again, could be an option
When looking for a fifth-year senior, the ideal candidate will help fill a role/position that's in need of immediate help.
Rod Hall heads into his senior season with a firm grasp on the starting point guard job. Depth behind him is a bit of a question-mark. Jordan Roper is a natural shooting guard still learning how to play the point. DeVoe was recruited as a combo guard, but it remains to be seen how ready he'll be to contribute.
Damarcus Harrison will be counted on to pick up some of the slack left behind by McDaniels on the wing. Austin Ajukwa emerged as contributor late last season. Roper and DeVoe will be in the mix, as will Patrick Rooks, who's coming off a hip injury.
In the front-court, Jaron Blossomgame and Landry Nnoko were regulars in the starting lineup. Josh Smith, Sidy Djitte and Ibrahim Djambo were the reserves. Grantham will join, but probably as a more perimeter-minded player.
Because of the open scholarship spot, Clemson might also entertain adding a more traditional transfer, someone who would be eligible to play after sitting out a season. ESPN's Jeff Goodman maintains a list of all transfers, including the fifth-year graduates.
And, of course, Brownell could also stand pat and save the scholarship for the 2015 class. Clemson plans to sign at add at least two prospects in that haul. One will be a point guard. Another, more than likely, will be a wing player.
One would have to believe that Brownell hopes four-stars Jawun Evans and Marcus Sheffield occupy two of those spots in 2015.
Decision on the horizon
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