Things Have Changed at Clemson Since Oliver Purnell Left

By Horran Cameron
Anthony Gruppuso USA TODAY SPORTS

Currently, Oliver Purnell is the head coach of the DePaul Blue Demons men’s basketball team. Prior to this position, Purnell was the head of the Clemson Tigers. During his tenure at Clemson, Purnell’s record was 138-90 overall, and 50-62 in the conference. Purnell’s best season was in 2008. During this season, Purnell’s Tigers finished third in the ACC conference with a 10-6 record. His overall record in 2008 was 24-10.

Based on wins and losses, Purnell’s best season was the 2009 one. However, during the 2008 season, Clemson had the opportunity to beat North Carolina three times; two regular season games and one game during the 2008 ACC Tournament. One of these games took place in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where Clemson’s record is 0-56. In his last three seasons at Clemson, Purnell took his Tigers to the NCAA Tournament.

However, they were knocked out of the tournament in the round of 64 each year.

Purnell was an excellent recruiter. During his tenure at Clemson, Purnell had several stellar recruits which included Trevor Booker (Washington Wizards), K.C. Rivers, Sharrod Ford, Cliff Hammonds, James Mays, Demontez Stitt, Tanner Smith and Andre Young.  Booker, Ford, Hammonds and Rivers were all-conference performers. Trevor’s younger brother, Devin, is Clemson’s leading scorer and rebounder this season.

Since Purnell left for DePaul, things have changed at Clemson.

During the 2011 season, Clemson’s record was 22-12. Despite this record, their season ended during the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Clemson’s record in the 2012 season was 16-15. Currently, Clemson’s record is 12-9 overall, with a 4-5 conference record. In addition, I do not foresee any of Clemson’s current basketball players being selected to any of the all-conference teams.

If Clemson wants to re-visit their winning ways with Purnell, I suggest that current head coach, Brad Brownell, recruit more players from North Carolina. Several of the players mentioned above, came from North Carolina.

During this time, Clemson maintained several good teams. They were a force to be reckoned with.

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