Late January Musings

As we wind down in the recruiting process with signing day less than 2 weeks away, I offer up my opinions on several different topics ranging from this site, recruiting, the 2004 football season, and the Clemson basketball team.

* The recent announcement of CUTigers acquiring Tiger Insider is bigger than it may seem at first. The biggest difference you will notice is the addition of several quality writers.

Tommy Hood has an excellent track record of providing solid writing and photography for Tiger Insider and his addition to our magazine will be noticed immediately. In addition, several more writers will be added (yes, it's still a secret) that will offer a completely fresh approach to analyzing Clemson.

These new writers fall under the category of following Clemson on a daily basis but not necessarily being "Clemson fans." One thing about myself, Roy, Robert and even Tommy Hood is that we all bleed Clemson football. Having someone that follows it as closely as we do without having that emotional attachment will add even more objectivity to the magazine.

In addition, putting together a quality magazine with relevant information is a tough job. Not really tough in terms of meeting deadlines, but tough in meeting deadlines with quality, relevant information. In adding to the staff and resources, it will ensure that CUTigers The Magazine will take another step forward in quality and substance.

* The Clemson basketball team continues to frustrate. We all knew that Oliver Purnell's job this year at Clemson would be a tough one, but I did not think this team would play as poorly as they have for this extended amount of time. The turnovers and mental mistakes make it almost unbearable to watch at times. While the defense has played well in most games, offensively the Tigers resemble recent Clemson teams (without a go-to guy to make up for the others). I guess I'm just hoping to see improvement as the season goes on…and it just isn't happening yet.

On a positive note, Vernon Hamilton appears to be an ACC quality point guard. He has been very dependable most nights (8 points per game), and his play as a true freshman could be paralleled to that of Ed Scott several years ago. His three point shooting percentage (23%) and his assist to turnover ratio needs to improve. And I think it will as he matures. Sharrod Ford is another pleasant surprise averaging 11 points a game. If only he could appear to be interested in what he is doing on the court. He has that lackadaisical look to him….

* Recruiting seems to be going pretty well, minus the normal fluctuations that inevitably surround this time of year. It appears that this class will have plenty of big bodies to shore up both lines of scrimmage. South Carolina, despite their pitiful finish and coaching turmoil, has put together a respectable class. Regardless of what South Carolina fans may tell you, it is not as good of a class as Clemson is assembling. But then again, they must find their silver lining somewhere. 63-17 should humble the Gamecocks, but it does not seem to for some reason or another.

* We should get the official ACC 2004 football schedule soon. The Clemson Athletic Department was inquiring to the ACC about changing the current plans that have Clemson playing Florida State and Miami on the road. Clemson was requesting that to be broken up to a home and away situation with Miami coming to Clemson in 2004. We'll find out how much pull Clemson has when the official announcement comes. Don't hold your breath.

* Here is one vote for Pete Yanity and Will Merritt to once again be hired by Clemson Sports Properties to call the Clemson games in 2004. Nothing has officially been signed, as both Yanity and Merritt wait in a holding pattern.

* There have been talks of privatizing the West Endzone Project to allow for a speedier construction of the addition. By selling the naming rights and allowing a company to use the facility as a profit generator, Terry Don Phillips could most likely break ground after the 2004 season and compete the entire project at one time instead of piecing it together over several phases. This may mean restaurants, shopping venues, and even condominiums could be a part of the plan. I have no problem with any of that, so I say sign them up and let's break ground on that thing ASAP.

* Anybody else notice N.C. State is struggling with commitments in football this year? Has Chucky begun to wear out his welcome? It seems, just like Lou Holtz, you can only tell jokes for so long before people quit laughing.

* I was sad to see the old Fighting Gamecock Forum vanish into the network. Brian Shoemaker did a nice job of creating a site that was informative and very entertaining. That's not to say the folks that were regulars there were brilliant by any means, but the site was a daily stop on my Internet browser. While brandishing their fair share of hate towards Clemson, FGF was generally a good place to get a Gamecock's prospective on what was going on at Clemson. However, since joining, FGF has started dying a slow death. Here is one guy that will miss it.

* And a final note to those that are a part of this web site. A special thank you is due to all of you for continuing the incredible growth here and we don't take the time to thank you enough. All of us at thank you for your support, and we'll continue to work hard for you in 2004! Top Stories