New NCAA rules allow incoming basketball freshmen to hit the court running once they’re enrolled for summer school.
Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson’s highest-rated 2012 signee, may have to take things a bit more slowly.
In the aftermath of his record-breaking career at Chattahoochee High in Alpharetta, Ga., Blossomgame suffered a broken leg last month while working with a trainer – a ‘freak accident,’ he told TigerNet.
While his rehab is going well, he’s likely to still be under the supervision of doctors and trainers when he arrives at Clemson for the second session of summer school in July.
At that time, new NCAA rules will allow members of Clemson’s coaching staff to work individually with players for up to eight hours a week.
Blossomgame’s likely slow start isn’t good news for coach Brad Brownell, who’ll be trying to blend this year’s five freshmen – 6-11 Landry Nnoko, 6-8 Josh Smith, point guards Jordan Roper and Adonis Filer, and Blossomgame – into an already-young roster that includes five sophomores, no juniors and two seniors.
Blossomgame’s size and versatility – 6-7, with still-developing inside and outside skills – makes him a potentially valuable contributor in his first college season.
He was rated as the nation’s No. 94 player by ESPN, and is ranked 75th in the nation by ACC Sports Journal recruiting analyst Brick Oettinger.
Oettinger notes that while some have billed Blossomgame as a big forward, his optimal position because of size and skill set is the wing forward.
According to the ACC Sports Journal:
“I would say he’s a pretty good 3-point shooter,” Oettinger said. “That’s not the best thing he does, but you can’t just let him shoot it. He’s a good mid-range shooter. Athletically, he’s a fine run-and-jump athlete. I especially like the way he attacks the basket and he is an impressive finisher…
“Defensively, I think potentially he’s a very good wing forward defender. He has the size and the quickness and he plays hard and he has the attitude to be a good defender. That’s one of the areas that particularly impressed me last year, and that fits him well with a Clemson team that emphasizes defense and also plays up-tempo basketball.”
The sooner that Blossomgame can get on the practice floor, the better for the Tigers in 2012-13.