Contrary to his own intentions when he finally stepped on the court for the Tigers after an 18-month layoff, Jaron Blossomgame hasn't exactly set the world on fire this season.
But that doesn't mean he isn't getting there.
"I think the effect of the injury is probably a little more than he lets on,” said Clemson coach Brad Brownell earlier this week. “I don't think he's back to 100 percent in the way he runs.
“He's still pretty explosive at certain times jumping, but I don't know that he's got everything in that leg he had pre-injury.”
So far this season, the 6-7 Alpharetta, Ga., native has started 12 of the Tigers' first 14 games and is averaging 3.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per contest.
In addition to whatever lingering effects remain from the broken leg he suffered after his senior high school season, Blossomgame is also getting back into basketball form after his long layoff while adjusting to the increased speed and physicality of the college game.
Brownell said the injury, which was similar to the one suffered last season by Louisville guard Kevin Ware, takes time to mend completely.
"He had the Kevin Ware injury, and Kevin tried to come back this year and now is maybe redshirting,” Brownell said. “It's difficult. The kid is still adjusting, No. 1, to life at this level, and No. 2, he's not played in a year, and No. 3, he's playing with a leg where he's uncertain if everything's going to be OK all the time.
“The leg is just not quite as strong and good as it once was. He's playing through all that, and that's more difficult than anyone understands except for the guy going through it. But Jaron never talks about it.”
Brownell said for now Blossomgame is contributing to the team, even though he's still work in progress.
"He's played up and down for us,” said Brownell. “He brings really good energy, he's a guy who can guard multiple positions, and he's a decent rebounder. We're still working with him on his offensive game, and he'll continue to develop as he gets more confident in his leg."