Clemson starting Power Forward Jaron Blossomgame took huge strides last year, becoming dramatically more offensively efficient while also scoring 8.2 more points per game per season. His improvement was crucial to the Tigers’ successes a year ago. Now a junior, the Atlanta native returns as Clemson’s leader and star player. I was fortunate to get to speak with him about what we can expect this season from he and his teammates. Take a look:
RK: Rod Hall was a huge part of last year’s team and will surely be missed, but there’s also some excitement about Avry Holmes coming in and playing a big role right away. Can you tell us a little bit about his game?
JB: Avry Holmes is a completely different player from Rod Hall. Rod was known for his ability to guard the ball at a high level, take care of the ball, and run his team on offense. Avry plays at a faster pace than Rod and is a better three-point shooter. We will surely miss what Rod did for us the past four years, but I’m excited to see what Avry will do for us this season.
RK: You took huge strides from two years ago to last season and really endeared yourself to many Tiger fans. If you could only pick one area of your game, where do you think you’ll grow the most this season and why?
JB: I think the biggest area of my game than I feel like I’ve improved on is seeing the floor and being able to pass the ball better. I am able to drive and make the right pass whether that’s to Nnoko down low or a guy out on the perimeter. With this being my third year playing in the offense I feel very comfortable making plays scoring the ball, passing, and know when to do either.
RK: I don’t know about you, but I’m excited about the depth in Clemson’s front court, with you, Grantham, and Landry starting and Josh Smith, Sidy Djitte, and Legend Robertin in reserve roles. Can you tell us a little about some of these guys, especially the newcoming, Legend.
JB: I am very excited about our depth in our front court also. I always tell the guys I believe we have potential to be the best starting front court in the ACC (Nnoko, Grantham, JB).
If I had to pick one player that has made significant strides in their game it would have to be Sidy Djitte. He has a better feel for how to play and is a relentless rebounder. He can also score around the basket and 17 feet which is something he couldn’t do last season. Josh Smith is also a guy that had a big offseason. He will be able to come in at the 4 or 5 spot and play. He has extended his shooting range to three-point and he’s an excellent rebounder also.
Legend Robertin is a phenomenal athlete. He’s the most athletic big we have on the roster as far as blocking shots and dunking around the rim. With that being said, he is a little raw and needs some work and time to adjust to this level. He’s a great kid that wants to learn and be good so I have full confidence that he can help us at times this year.