Matt Driscoll Answers Your ‘Ask The Tigers’ Questions

Matt Driscoll Answers Your ‘Ask The Tigers’ Questions

Nov. 29, 2001

Below are Matt Driscoll’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 Coach Driscoll for his time and sincere effort with “Ask The Tigers”.


Mad Man, Great game last night at Penn State. The defense looked very good, especially in the second half, which is something I know you emphasize. I notice that we haven’t seen Steve Allen yet. Are there just not enough minutes in the games or is he still hurt. Good luck this season, I look forward to seeing you. Robert Key Easley, SC

Robert, thanks for asking…Steve’s eye is much better and he doesn’t have to wear the protective goggles any longer…you are right on the button…at the 4 Man and 5 Man position there is only 80 minutes to be had per game…with Chris Hobbs, Ray Henderson, Tomas Nagys, and Sharrod Ford playing so well it has been difficult…but Steve has been improving everyday in practice which is a credit to him…he will have a bright future at Clemson and like Olu [no Jamar / no Stockman] he will never know when his chance might appear…remember that Lincoln once said, “I will be prepared and perhaps my chance will come.” – Matt Driscoll

Coach Driscoll, The team looks to have a very solid recruiting class this year. Chey, Sharrod, Jemere, Steve, Olu, all look like they will make contributions to this team not only this year but for years to come. My question is can you see some of these guys being able to give Clemson contributions right away (like we saw Chey score 24 against Ea Sports) and if not can this team survive the season without these freshman making significant contributions? Congratulations on the second place finish in the Paradise Jam. I am looking forward to seeing the Tigers this year at Littlejohn.William Botts Clifton, VA

William, at one time or another many or all of these young man will contribute…remember that Jemere came off the bench and hit a big jumper vs. LaSalle in the Virgin Islands…Chey and Sharrod are getting the most minutes right now, but that could change overnight like we say with Olu…he goes from 0 minutes to 14 quality minutes vs. Penn State and makes a huge difference with energy and athleticism…Steve is the only one right now that really hasn’t gotten minutes, but our 5 other posts are playing well…he is really doing well learning and growing as a player in practice – that is what will get guys on the floor not “Let me show you in the game” stuff – it has to be done every day in practice. – Matt Driscoll

Hi Coach: Greetings from your hometown! After using the experimental rules in the Paradise Jam, I would like to know what you thought of them, particularly the no alternate possession that played a big part in the final seconds of the Miami game. Do any have a good chance of being adopted next year? Best of luck to the Tigers this year. Meet me at Primanti’s next time you are in town! Joe Redlinger Pittsburgh, PA

Joe, first of all Primanti’s is my favorite…I was able to come back this summer and went to see the Pirates beat the Cubs and ate a “Cap-Egg-n-Cheese” prior to the game…for you people who don’t know what a Primanti’s is like, you will have to try it some day…as for the rules, this is the second year they messed with widening the lane, but I don’t feel they should adopt that…also, I liked the jump ball because not only did it come into strategy type situations in our game, but if you remember it was a big part of Arizona’s win over Maryland when they had a jump ball with 10 seconds to play…the jump ball is good because it allows the defense an opportunity to be rewarded for tying up a player late in the game instead of the referees saying who has the arrow…also, if neither official can make a call late because they didn’t see who tipped the ball would that be a shame to say go to the arrow…the other rule I also felt was good because you are rewarding the defensive team by giving them the ball, but not hurting the offensive team be giving free throws like we do now…we shall see. – Matt Driscoll

Coach, How do you know how “deep” to go for a position player, since you’re never really sure if any certain recruit will sign with Clemson? I you go 5 centers deep, what if all 5 sign?Art Pettigrew Boiling Springs, SC

Art, I’m not really sure what the question is, but there is always a pecking order to recruiting…Coach Shyatt is very up front with the kids and will tell them who we are looking at for their position and how they stack up in our order…recruiting is tricky for many reasons, but if you are honest and truthful it makes it a lot easier…remember just like kids tell us NO we have to call some kids and tell them we are out of scholarships too. – Matt Driscoll

Coach D, I just wanted to say that anybody who knows basketball understands that you and the staff have done a great job. Can you comment on the effect of signing good talent that will probably be at Clemson all four years over the top 25 All Americans that just stay a year or two then bolt for the NBA?Calvin Craft Athens, GA

Calvin, that is an interesting point that has many twists…we are committed to our signees and look for the total experience and growth that they will have with our program…this leads to consistency and stability within the program, but sometimes you are put in a situation where you get close to signing a Donell Harvey who you new was leaving after a year or two…if that player is a true difference maker and fits within your structure as far as academics, off the court, etc. you would be foolish not to take a chance…but sometimes a Will Solomon comes along that wasn’t a Top 100 and makes himself into an NBA early entry player…my point being sometimes you get a chance to grab a DIFFERENCE maker and sometimes kids develop and leave… there are really two sides to the situation. – Matt Driscoll

If the Tigers were invited back to St. Thomas’s Paradise Jam, would you go back?Brittany Thompson St. Thomas, V.I.

Brittany, we had a wonderful experience in VI…the people there go out of their way express friendship, kindness, and love…I made a joke with a Sky-Cap at the airport when we first arrived…he made a comment to me that it seemed we had met before…I told him I wasn’t sure, but then I remembered he owed me $20 [joking]…he reaches in his pocket and gives me a $20 [I gave it back of course]…that just shows you how trustworthy and honest the people of the Island really are…THANK YOU MON! – Matt Driscoll

Coach, It is apparent to those who pay attention that y’all came into Clemson at a very difficult time as far as a talent/age standpoint. It almost seems like y’all are really able to get started just now, and the Tigers are still young. Do y’all feel any pressure from the administration, or do they understand how difficult of a position the staff came into? Keep up the great work and I (along with several other Tiger fans) see great things for the future of Clemson basketball.Jim Reynolds Greenville, SC

Jim, that is really good observation and question…we have come to Clemson for the simple purpose of producing quality people with degrees in one hand and Championship rings on the other…we feel like it can and will get done…as for the administration and pressure it would be unfair for me to comment…remember one thing – Coaches are there own enemy…no one is harder on us than us…we want to win every game and compete everyday for Championships, so the pressure is naturally placed on us by US…let me tell you something – we come to work everyday with ideas, thoughts, desires, and attitudes of winners – we try to do everything possible to prepare our players for every game – we will always be this way and worker harder than any staff in America…we are proud to be associated with ONE CLEMSON. – Matt Driscoll

Coach, Maryland, Duke, UVA, and Wake all seem to be loaded this season and we can’t count on UNC to struggle all year long. How important is it to jump GT and NCSU this season to get into the mix with the aforementioned and possibly get an invite to the NCAAs? …or is that a bit lofty of a goal for such a young team in such a deep, talented league. Keep up the good work.Jay Scott Spartanburg, SC

Jay, goals are important…we want to play in March – PERIOD…as far as jumping ahead of certain teams it is a little early to assess…don’t forget that FSU is talented like the other 8 [including Clemson] teams in our league. – Matt Driscoll

Coach, What is your favorite venue you have ever coached? Dennis Remlinger Macon, GA

Dennis, first of all there is no better place in America [ask Vitale] than Littlejohn when the place is packed and the students are crazy and wild…TRUST ME ON THAT ONE…but I assume you mean on the road so I would have to say that Cole Fieldhouse [Maryland] and The Pit [New Mexico] have been my favorite because they have the same type of crazy fans like the ‘John. – Matt Driscoll

Go Tigers! Matt Driscoll

Next week’s guest on “Ask The Tigers” is women’s basketball star Chrissy Floyd.