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ACC Roundup - Miami Visits Virginia & Clemson Twitter Turns On Brownell

This game could be very interesting

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Syracuse v Virginia
 CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA - DECEMBER 2: Judah Mintz #3 of the Syracuse Orange shoots past Reece Beekman #2 of the Virginia Cavaliers in the first half during a game at John Paul Jones Arena on December 2, 2023 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

There’s only one game on Monday but it’s a good one as Miami visits Virginia.

Virginia has been improving rapidly and while Miami is up and down, the ‘Canes are brilliantly coached and quite dangerous.

However, the game is at Virginia and the Cavs seem to be improving rapidly so betting against them now would probably be foolish.

On a different note, Twitter idiots - can’t call them X idiots because the condition is current - are out for Brad Brownell’s head.

This is unbelievably stupid. It’s like Duke firing a football coach for not winning more than seven games.

The reality is simple and brutal: Clemson has ALWAYS struggled in basketball, at least compared to its ACC brethren.

The Tigers have made four Sweet Sixteens, basically one a decade since 1980, and one Elite Eight. The all-time record, according to Wikipedia, is 1,403–1,353–2 (the ties must be very early in hoops history) and the all-time win percentage is just .509. Compare that to Duke’s, which is .712, UNC’s, which is .735. NC State? .616. Virginia? .588. Wake Forest? .550.

We’re not saying Clemson can’t be successful in basketball. Duke is winning in football which is the rough equivalent of the Tigers doing well on the hardwood - but it’s not like the Blue Devils are in the playoff conversation every year.

What we are saying is this: Brownell is a tremendous basketball coach and we’re not sure anyone could do much better there. His record there is 255-184, well above historical levels, and he’s shown a true brilliance for finding and developing underappreciated talent.

The bigger question is this: who could they get to replace him? Will Wade nearly did a few years ago, but as we learned, he was not exactly dedicated to NCAA rules which cost himself and LSU plenty.

They're not going to get the elite names. Bill Self is not coming through that door, folks. Neither is Brad Stevens, Scott Drew, Dan Hurley, Bruce Pearl or even Shaka Smart, who used to be a Tiger assistant.

It’s laughable to even think anyone like that would take this job.

They won’t get an elite riser like Dusty May either, so it’s basically a gamble on either a high-level assistant or another gamble on a mid-major (what an awful phrase).

But here’s the other problem. Let’s say they go after UConn assistant Luke Murray who is probably about ready for his own program. What happens if he gets Clemson into the tournament and makes a deep run? Think he’ll stay long? If, say, Texas or Florida or UCLA called...would he stay?

Most likely he’d do exactly what Mike Elko did at Duke and take the first train out of town.

Aside from Brownell’s well-above average (for Clemson) performance, aside from his basic talent and aside from his brilliant player development, there is another reason we’d retain him if it was up to us: he’s been loyal.

In fact, we’re not sure that Clemson deserves him. He’s been much more loyal to the school than Clemson has been to him.

All that said, if the braintrust at Clemson is that foolish, we’d like to make our standard recommendation and Clemson might be the ideal place for this guy.

We’d do everything possible to hire Ben McCollum from Northwest Missouri State. He’s won five D-II national championships and over the last 10 years, he’s averaged 30 wins a year. He’s had one undefeated season and in that stretch, he’s only averaged 3.8 losses.

We’re not saying that he would do that at Clemson, but as we said, that job is at best a gamble for both parties. Why not gamble on a guy who has a record of success?

Here are some links about what McCollum has accomplished at Northwest Missouri State and what people think of him. He’s done a brilliant job. It just blows our mind that his name never comes up in D-I searches.

Monday’s Action

  • Miami @ Virginia || 7:00 || ESPN