Jaron Blossomgame in wait-and-see mode as Tigers kick off hoops practice

Brad Brownell: 'He's a very competitive guy, and his competitiveness is something our team will need'

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

When Jaron Blossomgame signed with the Tigers last November, Brad Brownell and his coaches had every reason to expect immediate Top-100 impact.

Blossomgame, who was considered a 'sleeper' when he first came to Clemson's attention, dazzled coaches on the summer AAU circuit, and then followed up with a record-breaking senior season at Alpharetta, Ga.'s Chattahoochee High School.

And then came an unfortunate misstep.

Last April, Blossomgame suffered a broken leg during a workout.

For now, his freshman season has become a wait-and-see affair.

Optimistically, Blossomgame is working toward getting back on the court sooner rather than later.

Realistically, Brownell and Clemson's training and medical staffs are still in evaluation mode.

"We're still evaluating him, week to week," said Brownell. "He's made good progress recently. But he's still...I'm not good with the percentages, but I'm guessing he's about 60, maybe 65, percent. He's starting to jump around a little bit, and he's running a little bit, and he's starting to do a little individual stuff. But there are times he can't move as well as he needs to move, and he doesn't have the strength and endurance."

Brownell said that once Blossomgame is physically able to perform, other factors will come into play regarding a decision to play or redshirt.

"How far he falls behind will be an issue," Brownell said. "I'd hate to burn a year. But at the same time, we've also got to look at how he's catching up. He's a very competitive guy, and his competitiveness is something our team will need. He likes to fight and scratch, and we'll need for him to do that.

"If you had asked me a couple of months ago, I would definitely have thought for sure that he'd redshirt. I wouldn't have told you guys, but I would have thought that he wasn't going to make it. He's made a lot of progress since then, but I think it's tough. He still has a long way to go with it.

"And now we've got to manage how fast his rehab is coming, as well as how well he understands what we're trying to do. "

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