CLEMSON, SC (WIS) - Since head coach Brad Brownell arrived at Clemson, the Tigers haven't been able to make their way into the AP Top 25.
This year, the Tigers have changed that. Brownell and the Tigers now sit at No. 19 this week as owners of a 10-game win streak and a 14-1 overall record.
"I think there's a hunger there and a leadership there that our older guys have that's important," Brownell said. "Really good teams, as I've said, are driven by the team and, so far, this team has been driven by the older players."
All five Clemson starters are seniors or juniors who average double figures in scoring. Being able to watch his players thrive after all the hard work they've put in has been especially rewarding for Brownell.
"Maybe the best thing about coaching is watching guys grow up, get better, watching the smiles on their faces when good things are happening for them," Brownell said, "because there have been some guys on our team that have had to work at this. It hasn't always been that way."
Those smiles are mainly a product of having fun and having success along the way.
"Everyone's just enjoying playing with each other," said Clemson senior guard Gabe DeVoe, "and we feel like we have a good team. Everybody's genuinely happy for each other. It shows on the court, the chemistry on and off the court."
The schedule will get a little tougher for Clemson this week. The Tigers have three games in five days starting with a trip to N.C. State, who recently upset second-ranked Duke at home. The Tigers return home two days later to host Miami before traveling to Chapel Hill to take on UNC.