As expected the 2012-13 Clemson men’s basketball campaign ended noisily but quickly in Greensboro, N.C., with the Tigers falling to Florida State for the third time in just over two months.
The stat sheet reads 13-18 overall, and you can add one more Atlantic Coast Conference loss to the 5-13 mark the team registered during the regular season.
This will not be a year that will inspire books to be written and tributes to be paid.
It was the first losing season at Clemson since the 2003-04 team went 10-18 and marked yet another step backward, record-wise, for Brad Brownell.
In his first year at the helm the Tigers finished 22-12 and made it to the First Four in Dayton, while last season the club dropped to 16-15 and exited in the first round of the ACC Tournament.
The decline has been more of a slip than a landslide and no one is questioning Brownell’s coaching acumen. He has, after all, taken three different teams to the NCAA Tournament.
But there is cause for concern — not just for fans of Tiger basketball but for Brownell himself.
There’s a relatively new sheriff in town, and he is demonstrating a willingness to make changes when he thinks changes need to be made.
Dan Radakovich has been the director of athletics at Clemson since Oct. 29, 2012, meaning he is still fresh enough in the job to sit back and observe things for a while.
Sitting back and observing is obviously not his style.
When Radakovich found out back in January the Clemson track and field program was guilty of NCAA violations,director of track and field Lawrence Johnson resigned.
And earlier this month he fired women’s basketball coach Itoro Coleman after three years of futility.
Although a former star at her alma mater and well-liked, Coleman’s teams were 25-63 overall and 10-38 in the ACC. Throw in the fact that the team couldn’t draw flies to Littlejohn Coliseum, and Radakovich decided he had to go in another direction.
Which brings us back to Brownell, who could certainly be forgiven for looking over his shoulder once the 2013-14 season gets under way.
Four years are about as long as a coach can hope to get to make it "his" team, and Brownell’s youngsters will have to do some serious growing up between now and the start of practice in October.
"Obviously the fact that our guys are competing helps because we’re going to practice every day and working at it and really trying," Brownell said. "We just have some deficiencies that we have to improve. Until we do that this is going to be the outcome."
With the loss the in the ACC Tournament Clemson lost their only two seniors, who accounted for 2,004 points, 1,247 rebounds and 5,722 minutes played.
Also expected to be gone for the immediate future is Damarcus Harrison, who is scheduled to embark on a two-year Mormon mission.
Back are some good ones — guys like K.J. McDaniels, Jordan Roper and Rod Hall, just to name three. And there will be some new faces in the lineup that are expected to provide a quick boost.
But they’ll enter a new-look ACC, one that will now include the likes of Syracuse, Pitt and Notre Dame — and soon add Louisville.
The schedule will only get harder and the obstacles more pronounced.
No doubt next season will be one ion which Brownell’s wiggle room will have shrunk dramatically.
"We have a scholarship left, we’re going to get out on the road as quick as possible and try and fill that and the guys we have coming back we’ve got to work to get ‘em better, simple as that," Brownell said. "We need to get in the gym and improve our offensive skills so we can make more plays, finish plays, become a better offensive team."