Brownell, Tigers shooting for specifics with off-season improvement program

'We can't continue to be one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the ACC and expect to finish in the top 6 or 7 in the league'

Clemson's Jaron Blossomgame holds up three fingers after hitting a three-pointer in the second half.

Photo by Nathan Gray

Clemson's Jaron Blossomgame holds up three fingers after hitting a three-pointer in the second half.

Brad Brownell has assembled a collection of improved better shooters, as testified by Clemson's ACC-leading free throw percentage last season.

Now, as Clemson turns the page to a new season, Brownell says it's time for the Tigers to take their shooting ability and better utilize it in open-court situations.

"We have to improve our shooting," said Brownell recently. "At the end of the day, we can't continue to be one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the ACC and expect to finish in the top six or seven in the league."

Shooting was a major emphasis in preparation for last season, as was three-point defense. The Tigers improved dramatically defensively, but they struggled to maintain offensive consistency, especially from long range.

For the season, they shot just 31 percent from three-point and made just 18 more three-pointers than the opposition.

"We didn't shoot the ball as well as I thought we would, to be honest with you," Brownell said. "Because we worked a lot on our shooting.

"I probably made a mistake at one point because I got concerned about our guys being tired and worn down. We shot all spring and summer, and then in the fall we'd bring in guys for extra shooting, usually in the morning, and I started worrying about them being tired for class.

"So as the season wore on, we stopped doing that. It all comes back to the fact that it's hard to do it all."

For that reason, Brownell believes it's important for the Tigers to be smart, specific and intentional in target areas for improvement, both individually and as a team.

"There's only so much time you can practice," he said. "It's hard to be good at a lot of things - it really us.

"One of the things you have to decide in coaching is whether you're going to be multiple, playing a lot of different defenses and going a lot of multiple things on offense, or is simplicity and execution? There are the things we do, you know it's come, we know you know it's coming, but you can't stop it.

"There are teams that are successful both ways, and that's one of the great things about basketball. But it's hard being good at a lot of things.

"I lean more toward simplicity and execution, even though I mix in some things at time to help us, realizing that when you're not as talented, you have to mix things up once in a while to try to throw teams off. But if you're not practicing that and doing a good job with it, then it's not going to work.

"That's why I think it's important to be very specific on where you want to see improvement, and put a lot of time into that."

Follow Kerry Capps on Twitter @oandwkc

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SoCalTiger writes:

Brownell's expectations are to finish "in the top 6 or 7 in the league"? That's it?

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