"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Friday, October 29, 2021

Clemson/Temple Capsules, 2021-22

Clemson Tigers

November 21, Charleston, SC

Head Coach: Brad Brownell (368-233 overall, 201-149 at Clemson)

Three-Year NET Average: 53.7

Three-Year Kenpom Average: 51.0

Projected 2021-22 T-Rank: 50

Al-Amir Dawes will lead Clemson's attack
 Photo from Wikipedia.com

Projected Starters: PG Nick Honor (5''10" Jr), SG Al-Amir Dawes (6'2" Jr), SF David Collins (6'4" Sr), PF Hunter Tyson (6'8" Sr), C PJ Hall (6'10" So)

The Tigers under Brad Brownell have become pretty reliable. They'll be within a game or two of .500 in the ACC, generally in the 45-75 range on the advanced metrics, and at the end of the year be good but not great. Brownell's teams play at a slow pace and are better on the defensive end than the offensive one, but they have a big piece to replace in Aamir Simms. They will hope for Hunter Tyson, PJ Hall, or transfer Naz Bohannon to step into that role, but those are massive shoes to fill, as the chart below from Three-Man-Weave indicates.

Chart courtesy of Three-Man-Weave.com

Clemson is likely going to take a dip this year. Losing Simms and having no proven players to fill that gap is going to be tough to overcome. That said, Brownell has managed top-75 finishes per kenpom each of the past seven seasons, so they will likely figure it out and be competitive by the season's end. On offense, Brownell does a good job letting good talent dictate the style, and with this group it will likely be heavy on threes. On defense, they grind every possession and seek to take away everything at the rim. Early in the season, expect them to get into a number of rock fight games and if they meet Marquette, it likely won't be pretty at all. It will likely come down to which team can get their offense rolling.




Temple Owls

November 21, Charleston, SC

Head Coach: Aaron McKie (19-28)

Three-Year NET Average: 110.7

Three-Year Kenpom Average: 109.0

Projected 2021-22 T-Rank: 122

Khalif Battle & Damian Dunn lead a long Owl back court
Photo by Colleen Claggett | The Temple News

Projected Starters: PG Jeremiah Williams (6'5" So), SG Khalif Battle (6'5" Jr), SF Damian Dunn (6'5" So), PF Nick Jourdain (6'8" So), C Jake Forrester (6'9" Sr)

It's hard to hold Temple's dismal 2020-21 against them as they didn't get a game in until December 19 and had two long lay-offs during the COVID year. The 5-11 record certainly wasn't flattering for Aaron McKie, who's still trying to find his footing, but it's starting to become clear how they want to play. Expect a lot of four-out sets and a roster of 6'5" and taller athletes that can switch defensively. McKie was an NBA point guard, so the offensive plan of relying on sharing the ball, taking threes, and going downhill to get to the line makes sense.

I expect Temple to be improved over last year, but there are still some question marks. None of their seniors from last year elected to stick around, so another question will be where their depth comes from as they lost two starters and a key reserve that provided experience and a solid 80 minutes per game. With no true ballhandler, they can be turnover-prone. With both Battle and Dunn being high-usage, low-efficiency scoring options, they likely won't see significant offensive improvement unless those two can develop into more reliable shot makers. It will take time for McKie to build this team back up to what they were under Fran Dunphy and this year will likely be a bridge between the COVID train-wreck of last year and any future success once McKie is able to get his system working.

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