A bit of Clemson’s basketball future was on display Saturday when high school stars from South Carolina and North Carolina met for the annual Carolinas All-Star Classic at Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach.
For Tigers coach Brad Brownell it was a win-win situation, as a pair of Clemson signees brought home MVP honors.
Jordan Roper, who is expected to compete with sophomore Rod Hall and fellow freshman Adonis Filer for the Tigers’ starting point guard spot next fall, scored 26 points and sparked a late-game rally that carried South Carolina to a 100-96 victory.
Roper, from Irmo High, was just 7-of-23 from the floor, but was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line, including several in the closing minutes.
Roper also had six assists and seven rebounds.
University of North Carolina-bound Brice Johnson of Edisto, SC chipped in with 12 points and 13 rebounds for the South Carolina team as he battled inside against a North Carolina from line that included 6-8, 250-pound Josh Smith, a Clemson signee from Olympic High in Charlotte.
Smith finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds and was honored as the North Carolina team’s MVP.
Brownell considers Smith an essential ‘dirty-work’ big man who should contribute immediately with his defense, rebounding and physical post-up ability inside.