Clemson men’s basketball brought in three high-level recruits this off-season. Their respective team roles were unclear heading into the season, but as non-conference play has subsided, their roles have become more defined.
Ian Schieffelin (6’7”, 225lbs) is a versatile stretch-big from Loganville, Georgia. He splits time with Naz Bohannon, backing up star center PJ Hall. His best performance thus far came with a win over Virginia in December. where he scored six points on 75% shooting.
Meanwhile, coach Brownell has been gushing about Schieffelin.
“Ian has great poise, he has a very good feel, he has some things that you don’t coach,” he said after the win over Virginia. “You see that when he plays in terms of him skipping the ball across the court to an open shooter. He just sees it.”
Hall has also taken note of Schieffelin’s playmaking abilities.
“Ian’s probably the best passer on the team,” he said earlier this season. “He sees the entire floor. Ian’s a great player.”
In addition to Schieffelin, the Tigers brought in Ben Middlebrooks, a 6’10” forward/center from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Although he plays the same position as Schieffelin, he takes a different approach to the game. Schieffelin is a modern small-ball forward, trading size and strength for deep shooting range and passing abilities. Middlebrooks is a more traditional forward, offering rebounding, shot-blocking and an ability to finish at the rim.
Middlebrooks averages 3.2 minutes of play per game, but that does not mean his hard work has gone unnoticed.
“Ian and Ben are both practicing much better,” Brownell said after defeating Virginia. “They are finally to the point where I think they understand what we’re trying to do…we’ve seen this over the last two weeks, that Ian and Ben are getting better.”
Aside from Schieffelin and Middlebrooks, the Tigers also added a freshman backcourt player. Joshua Beadle (6’3”, 180lbs) is an uber-athletic combo guard from Columbia, South Carolina. Beadle is expected to be a redshirt this season, so barring a catastrophic number of injuries, he will not see playing time until next year.
Coach Brownell believes that Beadle “just needs the experience of handling the ball against high-level guards and decision-making in pickand-rolls that are challenging.”
But Brownell is opptimistic about Beadle, saying in a preseason ACC tip-off “he’s shown some flashes of really good play.”
Schieffelin and Middlebrooks will likely continue to work their way up in Clemson’s rotation, offering help in Clemson’s frontcourt. Beadle will progress through practice this season, likely sliding into the rotation next year.