Clemson’s Purnell Bolts for DePaul

Posted: April 6, 2010 by El Swann in Basketball, Clemson, Predictions

It’s being reported this morning that Oliver Purnell will take the DePaul job later this afternoon. A press conference has been set up for 2:30 EST. It’s reported that DePaul is going to pay Purnell $15 million over 7 years and pay is buyout at Clemson.

This one is a tough one to swallow. I am a little surprised at Coach Purnell leaving. I know it’s difficult to be successful at Clemson, but Purnell was doing it the right way. Purnell took Clemson to three straight NCAA tournaments and was establishing Clemson as a mid to upper level ACC basketball team.

You could argue that Clemson has been more dedicated to basketball during the Purnell era than any other time in history. It doesn’t sound right saying that, “Purnell is leaving to go to DePaul.” For a moment I thought it was a late April Fool’s joke. The only thing I can figure is that Purnell felt he had reached the limit of what he could do at Clemson.

I guess those Clemson fans who but so much heat on Purnell for not winning an NCAA game got what they wanted. I wonder how those people really feel today given our basketball history and Purnell’s overall success. I for one, am not excited about having to look for a new coach. The best news is that the cupboard isn’t bare, but you never know. Players could decide to leave and this program could crash to the bottom of the ACC.

In my opinion, it’s time for Clemson to open up the checkbook and make an offer to a big name coach. The popular choice will be Brad Stevens, who just led Butler to the National Championship game. You can’t really argue with his history and as a game day coach he appeared excellent. I doubt that happens, but he will be on everyone’s radar after this year’s NCAA run.

My instant short list of coaches:

Brad Stevens (Butler) – Born in Greenville, SC Greenville Stands Behind Stevens

Johnny Dawkins (Stanford) – Ties to the ACC, Duke lineage

Ben Jacobson (Northern Iowa) – An unreal run in the NCAAs, looks the part, great game day coach

Shaka Smart (VCU) – Former Clemson assistant, great recruiter, fits recent hiring trend

  1. Clay Olson says:

    This one hasn’t sunk in yet, but we better get used to it. I don’t know the details, but I can’t believe we let OP go. We didn’t fire him, but whatever we did or didn’t do, from the administration down to the fans, caused him to leave abruptly. I wish him well and I am sorry to say that Clemson has possibly lost its only hope for ever being relevant in basketball.

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