As the Clemson Tigers move forward to preparing for next season they will find they have much to build on from their success this past year. They will have new faces contributing on the court as redshirt freshman Patrick Rooks will see his college career begin after sitting out with injury, as well as two new recruits in Gabe DeVoe and Donte Grantham.
The Tigers will be looking for another player to help rebound the ball down low while adding someone who can spread the floor and create off the dribble. Clemson will have to look no further than incoming freshman Donte Grantham.
Grantham is a small forward from Martinsburg, West Virginia who chose Clemson over the likes of Cincinnati and Michigan along with several others. His size, athleticism, and ball-handling ability are the main areas of his game that have Clemson fans excited to get him on campus.
Grantham will be able to immediately provide an impact on the glass by using his superior athleticism and 6’7 frame. He will provide much needed help to a Clemson team that ranked 146th in the nation in defensive rebounds per game and 159th in offensive rebounds per game.
Offensive rebounds and second-chance points were the difference between wins and losses on numerous occasions for the Tigers last season. Having another athletic body to compete with big man Landry Nnoko and fellow forward K.J. McDaniels (should McDaniels turn down the NBA to return for his senior season) on the glass could prove to be a nice luxury the Tigers did not have a season ago.
Grantham appears to be someone who can create his own shot to provide Clemson with another option offensively. This will take pressure off of McDaniels who was the only offensive option many times when the offense would fall stagnant. He will also give the Tigers more depth and overall talent as another big that Brownell can insert into the offense and expect to see production. Clemson did not see much offensive production at all from their big men as no one, other than Landry Nnoko, averaged more than two points a game a season ago.
His skillset will force opposing teams to show him attention which could open up lanes for other key players to take advantage. Point guard Rod Hall could be a major benefactor of a combo guard who can stretch the floor, which is why Donte could be Clemson’s biggest impact newcomer next season.
No matter how much better Grantham can make the Tigers offensively, it will be his ability to play defense and play it at a high level that will dictate his playing time. In Brownell’s defense first system it will be essential for Grantham to learn defensive sets and schemes in order for him to showcase his athleticism and talent.
There is no doubt that as Clemson brings in Grantham, DeVoe, and Rooks they are adding three players who are all capable of generating offensive production for a squad who at times struggled to score. As Grantham leads the way he will have the opportunity to provide the biggest impact for the Tigers this upcoming season.