Why Brownell? Many reasons he's the right man in the right place at the right time

The Clemson Sports Blog

Baseball -  The Tiger mascot has fun with head basketball coach Brad Brownell during the game

Baseball - The Tiger mascot has fun with head basketball coach Brad Brownell during the game

In response to Clemson's announcement this morning that it has reached a deal with Brad Brownell for an six-year contract extension, USA Today writer Dan Wolken immediately tweeted, 'Why?'

Perhaps you'd have to be from around here to get it.

Why?

Because Brownell has given the Tigers here-and-now credibility.

Because he's recruiting at the highest the program has seen in decades.

Because there are strong signs that he's putting together the pieces of a sustainable program.

Because he's a good fit for Clemson, personality-wise, and vice-versa.

And because nobody in forever has been able to do all those things with any consistency without ending up as somebody else's head coach.

Clemson men's basketball is not an easy gig. There are challenges aplenty, on a variety of fronts - some spelled 'Duke, UNC, Louisville, Syracuse' etc.; others that include finding a consistent recruiting niche in a state that doesn't produce nearly as many elite basketball players as it does football players.

Brownell is making headway, and the move to lock him into Clemson long-term, before someone else comes knocking, looks to be the best decision yet for Dan Radakovich.

That's why.

Follow Kerry Capps on Twitter @oandwkc

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Comments » 4

YabbaDaboDooDoo writes:

Respectfully, I disagree.

"Because Brownell has given the Tigers here-and-now credibility."

No he hasn't. Oliver Purnell did. 3 straight NCAA tournaments for only the 2nd time in school history and an ACC finals appearance is what Purnell built with steady improvement year-over-year. He built that from the dismal ruins that Larry Shyatt left behind.

"Because he's recruiting at the highest the program has seen in decades."

Again, not true. He's not even recruiting at the same level of his predecessor. If you look at Scout.com, Brownell has only had 2 4-star recruits in his tenure. Purnell recruited a McDonalds all-american and 2 4-star recruits in the same class. And I've got news for you. Brownell's recruiting won't get any better. His slow tempo style of play isn't attractive to players with aspirations of playing in the NBA.

Oliver Purnell built something at Clemson. Under Purnell, Clemson made the NCAA tournament 3 straight seasons for only the 2nd time. And he took Clemson to the ACC tournament final.

"Because there are strong signs that he's putting together the pieces of a sustainable program."

Define "sustainable". Sustaining NIT runs?

"Because he's a good fit for Clemson, personality-wise, and vice-versa."

What does that mean exactly? Why does that matter so much? When was the last time Clemson had a basketball coach where the personality didn't work?

"And because nobody in forever has been able to do all those things with any consistency without ending up as somebody else's head coach."

College basketball is different today. Coaches don't always leave for the bigger job. 10 years ago a SC native coaching at Wichita State would've accepted the Clemson job on the spot. Today you couldn't get Gregg Marshall to return your call. I think Oliver Purnell left because he felt unappreciated. He worked miracles to get Clemson to 3 straight NCAA tournaments considering what the state of the program was when he got it. And instead he heard grumblings about him not winning an NCAA tournament game. You have to wonder why Purnell goes to a Depaul program with inferior resources in a town he's not recruited in instead of staying at a program where he's built momentum. Brownell's only tournament win was a play-in game and he hasn't been back since. And Clemson rewards him with a new contract? You hired Brownell to build off the momentum of what Purnell did. Has he done that? Not even close.

Dan Wolken was right when asking..... WHY?

SoCalTiger writes:

I am a huge fan of OP. Brownell went to the NCAA tournament his first season with OP's players. Then the program started losing. Recruiting has been weak. Players have transferred out. BC VT GT and Wake's programs had a down year last season, so the Tigers bubble up towards the top of the conference. The Tigers made it to the NIT on KJ's back and Brownell gets reward with a 6-year extension. Brownell has beaten Duke only once. He has never beaten UNC. Those other programs will be back. Louisville is coming. The Tigers are set for a six-year NIT run. That's as good as it's going to get and that seems to be okay. Could they get Gregg Marshall or Shaka Smart? I guess we'll have to wait 6 years.

SoCalTiger writes:

This from an ESPN article titled, "Which are college hoops' bad jobs":

"Clemson is a football school. Basketball is not the priority. Never will be. Littlejohn Coliseum is a 10,000-seat arena, but the school's average attendance was 7,743, 61st nationally in 2012-13. Plus, Frank Martin's move to South Carolina has made recruiting within the region more competitive. The university just signed Brad Brownell to a six-year extension after the Tigers reached the NIT semifinals in March. He's 74-58 overall in four seasons at Clemson. The team hasn't earned an invite to the Big Dance since 2011, yet the program will reportedly owe Brownell between $3 million and $5 million if it fires him before his contract expires. That doesn't sound like a school that's committed to basketball as much as a university that just doesn't want to deal with any major changes in basketball anytime soon."

YabbaDaboDooDoo writes:

in response to SoCalTiger:

This from an ESPN article titled, "Which are college hoops' bad jobs":

"Clemson is a football school. Basketball is not the priority. Never will be. Littlejohn Coliseum is a 10,000-seat arena, but the school's average attendance was 7,743, 61st nationally in 2012-13. Plus, Frank Martin's move to South Carolina has made recruiting within the region more competitive. The university just signed Brad Brownell to a six-year extension after the Tigers reached the NIT semifinals in March. He's 74-58 overall in four seasons at Clemson. The team hasn't earned an invite to the Big Dance since 2011, yet the program will reportedly owe Brownell between $3 million and $5 million if it fires him before his contract expires. That doesn't sound like a school that's committed to basketball as much as a university that just doesn't want to deal with any major changes in basketball anytime soon."

That last sentence says it all.

I didn't know about the buyout though. He could've signed his new deal in a wedding dress b/c this essentially marries them. No one else wants him and Clemson can't afford to divorce him.

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