2006 Clemson Tigers Basketball Preview
2006 Clemson Tigers Basketball Predictions
It’s been eight years since the Clemson Tigers have made it to March Madness. Coach Oliver Purnell, now entering his fourth season with the Tigers, guided his team to a 19- 13 record and a 7- 9 ACC mark last season. That improvement should continue this year.
Guard Vernon Hamilton (12.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 3.0 APG, 44.7 FG%, 55.1 FT%) returns having stolen the ball 83 times last season, a school record. Along with bringing great “D” to the court, he also improved his shooting. Cliff Hammonds (10.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 3.3 APG, 40.2 FG%, 56.5 FT%) and K.C. Rivers (7.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.8 APG, 37.7 FG%, 84 FT%) will share the shooting guard position. Both can be on again, off again shooters. Rivers is the only returning player whose foul shots hit more than 62% of the time last year.
The frontcourt looks good, with the athletic swingman C. James Mays (9.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.4 APG, 54.1 FG%, 52.5 FT%) ready to provide his especially stingy defense. Joining him will be another fine defensive player-- junior Sam Perry (6.3 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 48.5 FG%, 64.5 FT%). He’s got a load of energy and is dynamite on the boards. Freshman Trevor Booker, the 2006 South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year, measures 6’ 7” and will see time at forward, while frosh Kaolis Petrukonis, at 6’ 11” and 270 pounds, is the team’s future center.
Purnell knows how to develop frontcourt talent and is a master at defense. But the Tigers have suffered greatly at the other end of the court, ranking 315th in free throw percentage. That must improve. Additionally, Purnell must get this team to create and convert more offensive opportunities.
Last season, the Tigers were on a roll, going 11- 0 when Mays played. But part way through the season, Mays was off the team due to academic problems. The team lost 11 of its final 15 games and saw its NCAA Tournament hopes disappear. Mays will hopefully remain throughout the season, greatly improving Clemson’s chance at getting back to the tournament.
If you want more info on the 2006 Clemson Tigers College basketball team check out the NCAA's official basketball team page of the program or check out some rival previews from Maddux Sports of schools like the NC State Wolfpack and Wake Forest Demon Deacons.