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Jack Leggett Answers Your ‘Ask The Tigers’ Questions

Jack Leggett Answers Your ‘Ask The Tigers’ Questions

Feb. 22, 2002

Below are Jack Leggett’s answers to the selected questions that you submitted this past week to “Ask The Tigers”. would like to thank you for all of your questions submitted. We would also like to thank Jack for his time and sincere effort with “Ask The Tigers”.


Coach, Talk about your pitching rotation for the weekend and who will work out of the pen. Good luck.Bill Easterling Spartanburg, SC

We’ll start Steve Reba today, Matt Henrie on Saturday, and Steven Jackson on Sunday. Out of the pen, we’ll have a number of different options. B.J. LaMura and Ryan Childs have been throwing well, and they’ll get some action. Jarrod Schmidt will get some action. Hopefully Jeff Hahn will get in there too. In the closing role, Paul Harrelson, Patrick Hogan, and Thomas Boozer could all be used. We’ll also try and get Tyler Lumsden out there on the mound this weekend, he’s a freshman and we’d like to get his feet wet. We have a number of guys to use, so we’ll just have to see how that comes along. Jack Leggett

Coach, With so many starters returning, what do you see as the difference between last year’s team and this year’s team?Marshall Smith Barnwell, SC

It is hard to tell this early, but one thing to look at is that we have four guys who can pound it out of the ballpark. With Steve Reba come back to school, because if you toss him the ball on Friday, you know you’ll be in the ball game. Jack Leggett

Coach, The Tigers seem to have a lot of power in the line-up with Baker, Greene, Schmidt, Johnson, etc. Is there a different philosophy/strategy involved in coaching a team with this many power hitters? Good luck against Auburn.Jack Schell Dothan, AL

Well, offensive philosophy is always to be aggressive. You always change what you do according to what you have, and those four guys need to be cut loose to swing the bat. The other guys have got set the table and get on base in front of them. I think their power will change a little bit of the ways we do things, but we’re still going to be aggressive, they all need to know how to bunt, how to hit and run, execute on offense, and not just sit there swinging for the fences. First things first is to move runners around and move runner up. If they hit the ball out of the ball park, that’s great. Jack Leggett

Coach Leggett, On paper, are the 2002 Tigers the best team you have had at Clemson since you became head coach? Could this be the most talented team Clemson has ever fielded?James Chick Charlotte, NC

I don’t know. Coach Wilhelm had some really talented teams. This team has got a chance to be maybe as good as some. It depends how are pitching staff comes along among other things. Any time you have pitches like you had in ’96 with Benson, Vinings, and Koch, it is tough to match. But we might have a little more depth from top to bottom. It is just too soon to tell if this is one of the best Clemson teams. We’ve got some proving to do, and we’ve got some responsibilities to take care of. Jack Leggett

Coach Leggett, Why are we starting the season about 2weeks later then some of the other schools. My dad and I will be there this Friday for the first game we have been waiting since last June for the season to get started. GO TIGERS!!!! Have a great year.Brandon Roberts Boiling Springs, SC

We are starting a little later, because once we get started, I like to play more consistently, and play more Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Even starting this weekend, we don’t play a mid-week game. But after that, we can play more mid-week games than others can. That stretches our pitching and challenges our pitching, and it keeps our hitters in a better rhythm. Players like to get in rhythm. I think in the long run, it will help this baseball team. Also, we’ve created a little enthusiasm by starting a little later. The weather is getting warmer, and people are anxious to get going. Jack Leggett

Coach Leggett, Will we ever see another 1-2-3 punch like Benson, Koch and Vining again in the Orange and White? Good luck this year on your way to Omaha.John Herczogh Washington DC

It will probably be very difficult to duplicate. All three of them have played in the big leagues already. They all were very successful here, they all did their jobs, they helped get the team to Omaha. I would say that it would be very tough to duplicate three guys in the same starting rotation like that again. Not to say that it won’t happen, but that was a pretty good threesome. Jack Leggett

Hi Jack. “Who among the younger players has been the best surprise?”Jim Addison Cullowhee, NC

I’d say the people that are most ready to help us are Jarrod Schmidt. He can play corner outfield, he can play 1B, he can DH, and he can pitch. We’ll try to keep him busy. Also, Tyler Lumsden, the left-handed pitcher has a chance to get out there and help us out. Those three are probably the most ready of the freshman. Of course, the addition of David Slevin and L.J. DeMaino from junior college can help us out too. Jack Leggett

Coach, Could you talk about Steven Jackson and his progress? He sounds like he has all the tools necessary to be a star.Robert Page Statesville, NC

Steven Jackson has really come along strong. He works extremely hard. His breaking ball is now much more consistent and sharp. He’s got a good feel of a change-up, and his ball really moves. He is a good athlete for such a big young man. I really expect him to have a great year for us. I think he is going to be a really good pitching prospect as time goes on. He is very coachable. He is very loyal to Clemson. He loves Clemson. His parents went to Clemson. He has all the makings of a kid who is just ready to come out and pitch as hard as he can for Clemson University. Jack Leggett

Go Tigers! Jack Leggett