Young and younger: Tigers begin practice with 5 sophomores, 4 freshmen, 2 injured

Jaron Blossomgame hopes to play, but injury redshirt years possible for freshmn wing, sophomore guard Devin Coleman

2012-13 Clemson men's basketball freshmen Adonis Filer (from left), Jaron Blossomgame, Landry Nnoko, Josh Smith & Jordan Roper

Photo by Mark Crammer

2012-13 Clemson men's basketball freshmen Adonis Filer (from left), Jaron Blossomgame, Landry Nnoko, Josh Smith & Jordan Roper

Clemson unofficially kicked off the run-up to the 2012-13 men's basketball season on Tuesday with picture day and player interviews at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Tigers' head coach Brad Brownell will preview the Tigers' team on Wednesday prior to his annual media golf outing at The Reserve in Sunset, S.C.

There is both anticipation and uncertainty as the Tigers begin full-scale practice for the ACC's final season as a 12-team conference.

Clemson will play with a lineup comprised of two senior big men - Devin Booker and Milton Jennings; six sophomores and five first-year freshmen.

Last year's freshmen - Rod Hall, T.J. Sapp, Bernard Sullivan, K.T. McDaniels and Devin Coleman - all contributed last season in varying rolls, while Demarcus Harrison joins the group after transferring from Brigham Young.

Coleman is likely to miss the 2012-13 season while rehabbing a torn Achilles tendon, however, while Harrison will play one season, will then leave school for a two-year Mormon mission, and will return for his final two seasons of eligibility.

Sullivan, who struggled with asthma last year, said on Tuesday that new medications and a conditioning regimen have him optimistic that his condition will be less of a problem this year.

Blossomgame recovering from leg injury

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Meanwhile, the Tigers' freshman class won't realize its full impact until Jaron Blossomgame fully recovers from a compound fracture of his left leg that he suffered after basketball season last spring.

Blossomgame, an athletic 6-7 wing who can score both inside and outside, had been counted on to provide an immediate boost this season. Blossomgame expressed optimism on Tuesday that he'll soon be back at 100 percent. The coaches and training staff will monitor his recovery closely, and with redshirting being one of the possibilities.

Fellow first-year freshmen Jordan Roper and Adonis Filer are expected to compete for time in the backcourt, while Landy Nnoko and Josh Smith will provide depth behind Booker, Jennings and Sullivan inside.

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