It will be a year of new names for the Clemson Tigers this year, as they lost four of their top five scorers from a team last year that finished 20-14 overall and 9-9 in ACC play. Now, Coach Brownell will be looking for some of the young prospects to step up as well as a few key transfers to fill in the needs.
Let’s dive in and look at the Tigers’ roster for the upcoming season and who will be taking the next step in their game.
Leaders Stepping Up:
Aamir Simms (Junior, Forward): Simms showcased some flashes as a freshman but in his sophomore season, he displayed just exactly what he can do. Simms started all 34 games and averaged 8.1 points, shooting 44 percent from the floor. His ability to stretch the floor, along with being a force down low is very intriguing. But heading into his junior campaign, Simms should be a bigger focal point in the offense and he certainly has the talent to be one in the ACC. With the amount of talent that Clemson lost, Simms will be looked at as one of the go-to guys.
Tevin Mack (Graduate Senior, Guard): A transfer from Alabama, Mack finished fourth in scoring last year (9.0ppg) and brings experience along with his skillset. He played 48 games at Texas and led the team in scoring (14.8ppg) in 2016-17. With the loss at the guard position along with the scoring power, Mack has the ability to be the go-to threat for the Tigers this season and he has already shown that this summer.
Players Looking to Take That Next Step:
John Newman III (Sophomore, Guard): Newman is an interesting prospect to really watch and should have a ton of opportunities to showcase his talent. With his do-it-all mentality on the court, Newman really has a chance to flourish for the Tigers. He is bringing solid athleticism to the floor, the ability to play multiple positions, and is only scratching the surface of what he can do. He played in 34 games last year, averaging 12.0 minutes and 2.1 points per game. But he showed what he could do in Italy, averaging over 13 points per game in six games. Newman has the chance to make the biggest jump out of all these players.
Clyde Trapp (Junior, Guard): Trapp is another guard that has a chance to shine more for the Tigers. It has taken him some time but he was able to improve in several areas last year as a sophomore. Averaged 24.0 minutes per game and appearing in 34 games, Trapp averaged 6.0 points and shot nearly 40 percent from the floor. He also was solid on the boards as well. It will be interesting to see what steps Trapp takes and what his overall role will be but he has a chance to fill in in an area of need for the Tigers. Be on a watch for him to possibly play some point but he will need to bounce back from his recent injury.
Jonathan Baehre (Junior, Forward): We are going to throw Baehre in here, even though he sat out last season due to transfer rules. But Baehre is a 6’10 prospect that can play inside and out. At UNC-Asheville, he averaged 7.4 points and 4.6 rebounds, while also averaging 1.8 blocks per game. He has a chance to be a critical piece as well as depth down low for Clemson. Much like Trapp though, we shall see if he bounces back nicely from his injury this offseason.
Hunter Tyson (Sophomore, Forward): Tyson saw a small bit of action as a freshman, playing in 31 games and averaged 8 minutes a game. But with Tyson’s ability to stretch the floor, knock down the outside shot, and his size, he has a real chance to shine more in his sophomore season. He displayed that in Italy a few times, especially his ability to knock down the 3-pointer. His minutes and productivity should increase this season.
Others to Watch:
Curran Scott (Graduate Senior, Guard): He appeared in 32 games at Tulsa in 2018-19, averaging 8.9 points and 2.5 rebounds. He shot 39.4 percent from three, knocking down 41 3-pointers last season.
Al-Amir Dawes (Freshman, Guard): He was one of the top guards in his class and brings a skill set that Clemson could certainly use. Phenom watched Dawes last season and we had this to say: “He is tough, smart, and plays with a great pace to his game. We also love his ability to play in the half-court or put the ball on the floor in transition, looking to finish. Dawes is incredibly quick, especially with his first twitch instincts. The way he changes direction on the court is tough, helping get opponents on his side. He also displayed the ability to knock down the three-ball. Dawes’ ability to attack, pick his spots, find his teammates, and finish past his defenders was highly intriguing and he should be able to carry that on to the next level.”
Trey Jemison (Sophomore, Center): Replacing Elijah Thomas will be interesting but if you are looking for size, 7’0 Jamison could be that guy. He didn’t produce much as a freshman but did play in 20 games last season. Jamison has a chance to carve out minutes and man the paint for the Tigers. In his senior season at Hoover high school, Jamison averaged 19 points and 15 rebounds.
Also keep an eye on sophomore Nick Honor, who played at Fordham and averaged 15.3 points in 2018-2019. Also, watch out for sophomore Khavon Moore as well. However, Honor and Moore are still waiting to see if they will be able to play this season.