CLEMSON, S.C. (WIS) - Days after a thrilling finish against Georgia Tech, Clemson dealt a gut-wrenching blow.
“Now you’re trying to figure it out and make sure it does not go through your program,” said Clemson men’s head basketball coach Brad Brownell.
For the second time in five weeks, Clemson suspends basketball activities due to a positive COVID-19 test result within the program.
“Needless to say, after the last two weeks, where we’ve won four out of five, your team is in a really good place, and you want to play,” added Brownell.
Clemson will be on a break for at least a couple more days. Brownell emphasizing player safety is the top priority.
Brownell calls the timing of the pause less than ideal. He is frustrated to be back in a familiar spot, playing well, and forced to sit.
The first COVID-related pause happened in early January. The Tigers were 9-1 at the time. Upon return, Clemson struggled to find its footing, losing three straight.
“It’s hard,” said Brownell. “A lot of this, in these long seasons, the morale of your team, the spirit of your team, where your team is at that time is often as important as anything you do as a coach.”
Experience can often be your greatest teacher. Brownell has a better grasp on how a pause affects team conditioning and individual player psyche.
“It’s going to affect them,” added Brownell. “You’re not going to come back with the same juice, energy, and legs. You’re going to be tired. Not every kid is the same. There are certain kids on your team it affects a great deal.”
So, Brownell prioritizes finding out the extent of spread in the program. Then he will create a plan on how to keep the 13-5 Tigers in a prime position to earn a bid in the NCAA Tournament.