Football season is rounding the corner, and that means that basketball will soon be in full swing.
The Clemson Tigers got their first game out of the way in defensive fashion, as they took down Gardner-Webb 65-44 at home. Clemson has entered this season way under the radar but has several reasons to believe that they can cause some trouble in the ACC. This team won their first tournament game in years, last season, and has been looking steadily better ever since Brad Brownell took over two years ago.
Under Oliver Purnell, Clemson sometimes looked apathetic, relying on talent to win games. That doesn't fly in the ACC; everybody has talent. Brownell demands that his guys play hard and smart, and in the past two seasons the Tigers have picked up that banner and run with it.
Here are a few observations from the season opener and a few reasons why Clemson fans should be optimistic for 2011-2012.