Who will replace T.O.?

CLEMSON - The question was asked in a joking kind of way, but in reality there was a lot to be said when a reporter asked Clemson basketball coach Oliver Purnell Wednesday, who will take that 42-foot fade away jumper?

"It is clear that we don't have anybody with Terrence Oglesby's shooting range, but not many people in college basketball do," Purnell said. "You will probably not see a jump shot like you have seen the previous two years."

And so begins the post-Oglesby era at Clemson. Though the Tigers, who reached the NCAA Tournament in each of the two seasons Oglesby was raining in shots from half court, have enough talent to move on and continue its recent streak of success, it's obvious they don't have a player who can consistently knocked down three-pointers as well as anyone in the country.

During his Clemson career, Oglesby, who will forgo his final two seasons and play pro basketball in Europe, averaged double figures both seasons and ranked in the top 10 in school history in three-point goals (177), three-point goals per game (2.68), and three-point accuracy (.395). This past season, he was third-best on the team in scoring at 13.2 points per game and ranked second in the ACC in three-pointers per game and three-point accuracy.

His 92 three-point goals rank as the fourth-most in Clemson history for a single season.

"We obviously will lose a lot in shooting," Purnell said.

But what the Tigers lose in Oglesby shooting, they gain in defense and length.

"We can be longer and maybe a better defensive team," the Clemson coach said. "I always look at situations like this as an opportunity to get better. We may have to do things a little bit differently, but when you are forced to do things that are different you may end up being better."

Clemson will try to get better with guys like Tanner Smith, one of the team's best defensive players, and incoming freshman Donte Hill. Purnell has described Hill, a 6-foot-5 guard from Virginia Beach, Va., as a Cliff Hammonds like player on the defensive end of the court.

Fellow incoming freshman Milton Jennings, who was one of the top 50 prospects nationally, could also be an answer for Oglesby's absence, especially with his ability to shoot from the wing and score from anywhere on the floor.

"I don't feel like there is pressure that is going to fall on somebody, I feel like there is opportunity," Purnell said. "We will evaluate players and the way they play like we always do, but if you look at our guards, we have Tanner Smith and Donte Hill, who have kind of played at that position in a way, and also look at David Potter, who has played the two.

"Andre Young obviously had an outstanding freshman year and Demontez Stitt is an experienced guard who has shown the ability to put up significant numbers. You start there. We talked about playing Trevor some on the wings and we talked about Milton Jennings. He is a guy that has wing skills."

But none of them likely have Oglesby's shooting skills, which in the end; the Tigers will have a hard time replacing. At least this year anyway.

"Terrence talked about how it was a tough decision and how much he enjoyed his experience at Clemson and how much he really liked the coaching staff and liked his teammates," Purnell said. "He felt like he had learned an awful lot in the last two years. It was a tough decision and he weighed it and weighed it and this was the best decision.

"My reaction was this seemed a bit odd and I would have liked to have had a chance to weigh in and give good information and so on and so forth. But if he had made up his mind to that degree, then so be it."

And so begins the new era in Clemson basketball without Oglesby taking a 42-foot fade away jump shot.


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