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Q/A with Shakin' the Southland.

I e-mailed some questions to Will Brown of Shakin' the Southland. He answered. Here are his responses in build up to our annual road trip to Littlejohn:

FTRS: To put it kindly, Paul Hewitt is on the outs with a lot of Tech fans. As one of three active ACC coaches with a sub-0.500 record against Paul Hewitt, what is the sentiment around the upstate about OP's future at Clemson?
Willie B @ STS: OP brought Clemson a long way and has done a remarkable job considering the mess he inherited. That being said, the Clemson crowd is becoming a little restless with the Tigers. This team is extremely up and down and has had trouble all season in half-court sets. Clemson has looked lazy throughout. We have seen the team play with little urgency down the stretch as this group has been on the cusp of missing the tournament. However, with another NCAA appearance on the horizon coupled with Clemson’s less than stellar basketball history, OP will be around for a while. We all just hope that he can evolve into a better in-game coach, inspire this team to play harder all game, and find a pure shooter for future squads. I cannot impress how much better his squad is as opposed to the Shyatt fiasco almost a decade earlier.

FTRS: What are Clemson's postseason goals (ACCT and NCAATY)?
Willie B. @ STS: I expect Clemson to win one game in the ACC Tourney. Clemson will hopefully finish in the Top 4 of the conference and should open with a win. After that, all bets are off.

We pegged this team as a Sweet Sixteen team. We feel as though the Tigers MUST finally get out of the first round to gain some program traction. Most Tiger fans feel this is a reasonable goal and should finally be achieved this season.

FTRS: Let's look in to the crystal ball. Who is the Tiger leader next season when T-Book leaves?
Willie B. @ STS: Demontez Stitt will be the leader next year. Stitt already emerged this season as a credible leader who is critical to the Tigers’ success (as shown during Stitt‘s injury). In Stitt’s absence, Andre Young began to step up as a leader and helped fill a much needed void while gaining the respect of his teammates.

FTRS: FTRS blogger, BirdGT, is a current resident of the PeeDee. Help him make conversation at the water cooler. Who are some former high school stars from the PeeDee that made their collegiate home at Clemson (hoops/fball/etc.)?
Willie B. @ STS: BirdGT will have no problems talking about my main man Keith (Yusef) Kelly. Kelly was a star running back at Walterboro. He may be best known for cruising around Death Valley with a USC player’s lid. Recently, Thomas Hunter (a Marion native) started at TE for the Tigers. Phillip Morris (winner of best name award) was a Timmonsville, SC recruit. Current Clemson kicker Spencer Benton is a Myrtle Beach native. Other players who are either current Tigers or very recent Tigers include: Cheraw receiver Jaron Brown, Marlboro County native Rendrick Taylor, and up-and-coming star end Malliciah Goodman from West Florence.

FTRS: What makes the trip to Littlejohn a unique experience for visiting ACC fans?
Willie B. @ STS: The location of the fans to the players really puts attendees into the action. During big games, Littlejohn gets pretty loud and the students on the floor can make things sticky for the opposition. The overall intimacy and school spirit reminds you that you are at a college game in a place that can become hostile when necessary.

FTRS: How is Kyle Parker starting out this Tiger baseball season? What are the odds Tech fans see him in a minor league jersey next football season instead of the orange and purple?
Willie B. @ STS: Kyle has gotten off to a pretty good start. Over the past weekend’s series, Parker went 5-11, scoring 7 runs, and hit 2 home runs to increase his total to 3 on the year. Parker currently has 7 RBI on the young season. Obviously, it is a long season with much tougher opposition, but things look good for the two sport star. My gut feeling has KP coming back for at least one more season. Coach Swinney and Coach Napier have both expressed similar sentiments about the incumbent QB also.

Thanks to Will at Shakin' the Southland for spending time with us. We hope our Northern neighbors choke at home unlike their Canadian brethren this past Sunday. Here are our responses to STS' questions.