No one recruited Landry Nnoko harder than Brad Brownell and his staff.
Brownell, who came to Clemson with a reputation for evaluating and developing under-the-radar talent, looks to have found another diamond-in-the-rough in the young, 6-10 center from Cameroon.
Elevated to a place in the starting lineup while senior Devin Booker served a one-game suspension during the Tigers' exhibition game against Lander Monday night, Nnoko turned some heads with his play on both ends of the floor during Clemson's 72-42 victory.
"Landry did a good job," said Brownell. "He played better tonight (than in the Tigers' closed scrimmage against Georgia) and he had a size advantage that he won't have against some other teams. But we're very pleased with where he is right now.
"He competes and he tries to do what we tell him to do. He's a very coachable kid. He's still got miles and miles to go, but he's really gotten better over the past couple of months. He's finishing some plays around the basket, which is something we've been working with him on, and he's very active defensively, especially on ball-screens."
Nnoko played a team-high 35 minutes, scored 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting and pulled down six rebounds. He blocked three shots, had a steal, turned the ball over twice and committed just one foul. He was 0-for-2 from the free throw line
Brownell was also impressed with the play of freshman point guard Adonis Filer, who has 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, made 1-of-2 three-pointers and had four rebounds, two steals and two assists.
"Adonis is a very aggressive defender," Brownell said. "He and Rod (Hall) applied tremendous ball-pressure, and you could see them begin to wear down the other team's point guard, and he's a pretty good player.
"That's something we'll need to do well for us to be good."
Both Filer and Nnoko are projected play substantial roles as Brownell attempts to use depth to Clemson's advantage.
Brownell said the exhibition was beneficial in that he was able to get playing minutes for a lot players, while mixing and matching lineups.
"You're trying to look at different lineups," he said. "You want guys to be unselfish and play hard. We tried to do a few things offensively, things we'd been working on, and then just see how guys go. It was good to be able to sub pretty liberally.
"I was pleased with the freshmen - they did some good things for us. Jordan (Roper) is the only one who didn't shoot it well, but he played really well in our game against Georgia."