Taylor Swift Had It Right: Clemson Fans Need to 'Calm Down'

Zach Lentz

The basketball season is nearing a conclusion, and with the conclusion of another season without an NCAA Tournament appearance, the vultures are circling the offices of Clemson head coach Brad Brownell.

However, it is not only the rabid, basketball crazed fans that are wanting more from the Tiger coach. 11 days ago, Jeff Goodman of the The Stadium stated that Brownell is a "coin flip" to retain his job 

"In 10 seasons with Clemson, Brownell has two NCAA tourney appearances — one in his first year and a Sweet 16 berth two seasons ago," Goodman wrote. "He was 9-9 in league play last season and made the NIT despite NCAA Tournament expectations. This could be a flip of the coin depending on how the Tigers finish. The four years and $4 million left on Brownell’s deal also impacts his future."

It is not only Goodman who believes that the seat that Brownell currently holds is increasing in temperature with every game.

"We have been up and down with Brownell, which is pretty much how his tenure at Clemson has gone since he was hired in 2010," the Hot Seat Report by CoachesDatabase.com wrote. "Two NCAA Tournaments and three NITs balanced by four seasons below or just barely above .500. They came into this season riding back-to-back 20+ win seasons for the first time under Brownell, but returned to the bottom half of the conference standings at 9-11 (15-15 overall). Brownell is perpetually on the hot seat but has gotten a few votes of confidence from administration, the latest being a contract extension through 2024."

The bigger question for Tiger fans, or for those that are calling for a new head coach every year, is simply: who can you get that is better? Who will come to a school where you will be playing second, or third fiddle, to football and baseball?

Brownell knew this season would be tough having to replace last year’s leading scorers Marquise Reed and Shelton Mitchell.

He knew this year’s team would look different.

He knew that the Tigers would suffer through some growing pains. He understood that this season would be a difficult one.

But all the Tigers did was accomplish something that has never been done in school history: win at North Carolina, Clemson defeated Florida State, 70-69 for its third top-six win (time of the game) over teams in the AP poll on Feb. 29, and now leads the nation in top six wins.  

The Tigers have defeated a third-ranked Duke, fifth-ranked Louisville and sixth-ranked Florida State this season. It is the first time since 1979-80 that Clemson has beaten three top-6 teams (top six by one of the two polls) in the same year. It is the first time in program history that Clemson has recorded three Top-6 AP ranked wins in the same season. Thirty-two different teams have recorded 36 top-6 wins this year. Louisville and Kentucky are the only other teams with two wins over top-6 teams. There have been 11 top-6 wins by ACC teams this year and Clemson has three of them.

Brownell holds the school-record for ACC regular season wins, ACC season wins, ACC home wins, overall wins against ACC teams, overall winning percentage and home winning percentage.

"For all those people that hot seat this and hot seat that, Brad Brownell can really coach. Brad Brownell is going to do it the right way and Brad Brownell's teams are going to play really hard," Seth Greenberg said. "Brad Brownell is going to develop players. And you know what, you might not be in the final four every year. You might not be winning the ACC Championship but I tell you one thing you are going to be competitive every single year and you are going to be in the NCAA tournament a bunch." 

The fact that Brownell has made the NCAA Tournament only twice in 10 seasons should not deter Tiger fans. More appearances are coming, sooner rather than later—meaning, Tiger fans may want to take a lesson from Taylor Swift and, "...calm down. You're being too loud."


Men's Basketball