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Brownell Credits Building of Clemson Brand for Ability to Land Impact Transfers

Clemson men's basketball coach Brad Brownell talked about some of the success he has had tapping into the transfer portal at the ACC Tipoff in Charlotte.

Brad Brownell has been very proactive when it comes to using the transfer portal to plug holes on his roster.

Former players Shelton Mitchell, Marquise Reed and Elijah Thomas are all examples of guys Brownell brought in as transfers and were all three key contributors for the head coach, which included a run to the Sweet 16 during the 2017-18 season.

This offseason has been no different as the Clemson head coach once again turned to the portal, signing David Collins, a grad transfer from USF and Naz Bohannon, another graduate transfer out of Youngstown State.

Collins is a 6-foot-4, 220-pound guard who led the Bulls in scoring last season, with 12.5 points per game and averaged over 30 minutes per contest. Bohannon is a 6-foot-6, 228-pound forward who led the Penguins in scoring last season (16.5 ppg) and rebounding (8.2 rpg), while also logging 32.9 minutes per contest and a team-best 52.6 percent shooting clip. He is one of just 22 players dating back to the 1992-93 season to post at least 1,200 points, 975 rebounds and 275 assists in a career.

Brownell credits some of the improvements in the facilities that have helped the Tigers build the type of brand that attracts players like Collins and Bohannon, guys who are looking to finish their careers on a high note.  

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"Yeah, I think we've done a good job over the last decade of building our brand and improving our program in all areas," Brownell said at the ACC Tipoff in Charlotte. "The facility improvements that we did five years ago have really started to pay off."

Brownell said that the school has shown that it wants to be successful in basketball, noting that the upgrades to the facilities at Littlejohn are now starting to pay dividends.

"I think it shows that Clemson wants to be good in basketball," Brownell said. "The first five years I was on the job it was hard. Two of those years we didn't have an arena. That's never easy for players in your program. We played a year up in Greenville. There was a lot that went into it, and I think we've worked really hard to build our program, build our brand, develop a culture where kids are having good experiences."

Brownell is entering his 12th season as the Tigers' head coach and the program has made it into the NCAA Tournament in two of the past four seasons. However, expectations are not quite as high this season, with the media picking Clemson to finish 11th in the ACC and with FanDuel listing their odds of winning the national title at +15000.

With the team now starting to have some success, though, and graduating its players, along with the stability Brownell has provided the program with, the school is now in a  much better position to land some of the transfers capable of coming in and making an immediate impact.

"We're being productive, we're winning games, we're graduating players. And when you bring in guys like Naz or David Collins on a visit and they get to see what Clemson has to offer, I think it's impressive. They've seen success on the court, Sweet 16 and NCAA Tournament teams, they see guys graduating, they see a good place to go to school and get a grad degree like Naz is going to get. Then I think they come around and meet your players and they see you have good guys in the program. So there's stability, there's a culture of success and work, and hopefully guys like Naz and David, that was a big part of why they chose Clemson.