Brad Brownell

Clemson, head coach Brad Brownell agree to new six-year contract

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In four seasons as the head coach at Clemson, Brad Brownell’s put together a record of 72 wins and 58 losses and his 32 ACC wins during that stretch is a record at the school. Friday morning the school announced that it has come to an agreement with Brownell on a new six-year contract. Larry Williams of Tiger Illustrated reported the how much the buyout would be in the new contract.

“I am thrilled to be the head basketball coach at Clemson and take great pride in the many accomplishments of our players on and off the court,” Brownell said in the release. “I look forward to building on the success of this past season and believe there is a great deal of positive momentum within the program. I would like to thank Dan Radakovich, President Jim Clements and the Board of Trustees for their confidence in my leadership for the future of our basketball program.

“I would also like to thank my coaching staff, as well as our current and former players for their hard work and contributions.”

Last year the Tigers won 23 games, reaching the semifinals of the Postseason NIT after winning just 13 games the season prior. Clemson suffered just one personnel loss from that team but it’s a big one, with wing K.J. McDaniels being the departure. McDaniels, who decided to forego his final season of eligibility, averaged 17.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game in 2013-14.

McDaniels was a second-team All-ACC selection by the coaches and a first-team selection by the media.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.

LSU looking into starting lineup options

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - MARCH 7:  Head Coach Johnny Jones of the LSU Tigers watches his team play during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on March 7, 2015 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Tigers defeated the Razorbacks 81-78.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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LSU football and Leonard Fournette are off to a strong start this fall, but the beginning of October also means that college hoops is right around the corner. If you’re a Tigers basketball fan, you also have plenty to be excited about on the hardwood this season with the arrival of a loaded freshman class headlined by forward Ben Simmons.

While the versatile Simmons has solidified a spot in the starting lineup for next season, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Johnny Jones uses the rest of his talented freshmen. In a story from Sheldon Mickles of the New Orleans Advocate, he looks into some potential LSU starting lineups.

Freshman guard Antonio Blakeney, a McDonald’s All-American with Simmons, is also expected to start, but does another talented freshman guard, Brandon Sampson get a shot to start? And what of Arizona transfer Craig Victor when he’s eligible to play in December?

Mickles believes the early favorite for starting lineup is guards Tim Quarterman, Keith Hornsby, Blakeney, Simmons and center Darcy Malone. When Victor returns, Mickles said Victor could push Simmons into the “center” position, which would be a matchup nightmare on the opposition because Simmons would be very tough for many college centers to defend.

Sampson also gets a mention from Mickles of having the potential to start down the line. Overall, a good problem to have for Jones and he’ll have to experiment to see which lineups are giving him the most. Having a productive starting five is nice, but I’m sure Jones would love to find the five players he wants to close with.