Clemson Basketball: New Coach Brownell Aims to Change The Team Dynamic

Clint BryantCorrespondent IIDecember 17, 2010

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 16:  Head coach Brad Brownell of the UNC Wilmington Seahawks is seen on the sideline in the second half against the George Washington Colonials during the First Round of the 2006 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on March 16, 2006 at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina. George Washington came back from 18-points down in regulation to beat UNC Wilmington 88-85 in overtime. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

When Oliver Purnell left Clemson at the end of the 2009-2010 season, he had taken a troubled program and brought it to the NCAA Tournament three years in a row.

While making the tournament was a success for Clemson in some ways, losing in the first round each time was a disappointment.

Coach Purnell is gone and Brad Brownell from Wright State was hired to take his place.

The change, so far, has been a tough one.

The Tigers have started their first season under Brownell at 5-4, including losses to ACC foe Florida State and arch-rival South Carolina.  Was the new hire a mistake?

No.

Brad Brownell is changing Clemson basketball.

While Purnell did make the NCAA Tournament, he never challenged for the ACC title.  His full-court press often led to exciting games, but once broken left Clemson unable to win enough big games to make it to the next level.

Brownell's system is completely different.  Not only does it require a different type of play, it also needs different types of players.

While the 2010-2011 season may leave some Clemson fans clamoring for the Purnell years, the future is brighter with Brad Brownell as head coach.  With time and some good recruiting, he should be able to take Clemson to a level where they can contend in the ACC.

Will Clemson be defeating Duke and North Carolina on a regular basis in five years?  No one knows, but the possibility is much greater with Brad Brownell than it ever would have been with Oliver Purnell.