The NCAA rules allow teams to take international trips every four years as long as no class time is missed. Teams are allowed to practice 10 days prior to the event, thus Clemson will hit the court Tuesday in preparation for the event.
"We are eagerly anticipating the start of the season and its preparation," said Head Coach Oliver Purnell, now in his fifth year at Clemson. "We have planned for this trip over the last few years because we knew we would be a veteran team, but one that would be looking for a point guard in light of Vernon Hamilton's graduation."
Indeed, Clemson will be a veteran squad in 2007-08 after returning four starters as well as part-time starter K.C. Rivers. Starting point guard Vernon Hamilton was the only scholarship senior in 2006-07 when the Tigers tied a school record with 25 wins and advanced to the finals of the NIT. Four double figure scorers return, including multi-year starters Cliff Hammonds and James Mays. Also returning after a standout freshman season will be starting center Trevor Booker. In total, the Tigers return 11 lettermen and welcome three scholarship newcomers.
Two of the newcomers will have the chance to compete for the vacancy at point guard. Demontez Stitt enters the program after earning Mr. Basketball honors in the state of North Carolina last year. Terrence Oglesby, known for his shooting prowess, joins the squad as a combo guard from Cleveland, TN. The third scholarship newcomer bears a name familiar to Tiger basketball fans. Jerai Grant, a 6'8" power forward from Bowie, MD, is the son of former letterman Harvey Grant and nephew of Clemson's lone ACC Player-of-the-Year, Horace Grant.
Following the trip to the Bahamas, the team will conduct individual workouts prior to the beginning of regular season practices in October.
Basketball to Take Preseason Trip
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