Purnell Talks About New Signees

<img src=http://media.TheInsiders.com/Media/Other/31_ah-1.GIF> Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell discusses the latest additions to the basketball team- Troy Mathis and Cliff Hammonds. "Obviously, to bring in two more players to give us 5 coming in next year kind of fits into our plan," said Purnell.

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Opening Comments
Purnell: Obviously, to bring in two more players to give us 5 coming in next year kind of fits into our plan. We chose not mortgage our future last April because we got in here so late, we didn't feel like we could get the kind of players we needed to move up in the ACC at that point. I really do think we are much more athletic, as a result of that I think we'll have to tweak the way we want to play on the offensive side of the floor. Maybe, maybe we'll run a little more. I really like this group together as a class. This is a group of players that increase our talent and a group of players that come from winning programs and backgrounds.

Troy Mathis Comments
Purnell: He's a kid who's a natural point guard who's been called upon to score the last two years at his high school. He's a young man that understands, and also likes to play defense, and obviously that's music to my ears. As we look at taking care of the basketball at the end of games, and scoring at the end of games, he's a guy that we think can come and do that for us as early as next year. We look at Troy Mathis as more of a true point right now. He played exclusively at the point last year but was depended on more to score in high school.

Cliff Hammonds Comments
Purnell: He's a guy that I believe has his best basketball ahead of him. He was a terrific player in high school but he also played two other sports. So he was jungling a lot of things all at one time so he brings us some much needed toughness. He's physically tough right now and has the ability to be mentally tough. We are looking at Hammonds as more of a combo (guard). It's going to be a competitive situation which is good for all of our team.

More Competition on the Perimeter?
Purnell: Well we are going to have competition on the permieter period. Last year one of our huge weakenesses was ball handling. These young players are going to have the opportunity to come in and play. Our older players have to get better, and if they do that, then they'll have the opportunity to play. It needs to be open and competitive for us to move forward. We finished 10-18 last year, not 18-10.

Hammonds Playing Football Too?
Purnell: Well we certainly talked about that during the recruiting progress and that's something that weighed heavily in his thinking. If at that point in time, things are going well for us at that time and we wants to try and play Clemson football then I'm fine with that. That's going to be something that we sit and evaluate at that point in time. To sit here and say what will happen in the future is hard, but we've talked about that. I'm fine with his thinking on that, and I would not be opposed to that considering it's the right circumstances.

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