Atlantic Coast Conference Operation Basketball

Wednesday October 28, 2015

Jaron Blossomgame

Clemson Tigers

Q. Jaron, how did the off-season go?
JARON BLOSSOMGAME: As a team or individually?

Q. As a team.
JARON BLOSSOMGAME: I think it went pretty well. We don't have Littlejohn this year, but we were practicing over in the volleyball arena and I think it's been really good for us. Guys have took the off-season really serious and guys have really improved on their bodies and their skills in the game.

Q. What are your thoughts on The Well?
JARON BLOSSOMGAME: I think it'll be good for us. We had two scrimmages there, and it gives you a Clemson feel. They have the Clemson logos everywhere you see, and outside the arena in downtown they have billboards of players and everything, so it gives us a sense of home court. It'll be really good. I think a lot of people will come out and they're really excited to see us play.

Q. Jaron, the fact that last year you started to draw a lot of attention, I would think this off-season you've really focused on the things you can do to make yourself open and work against double teams. I would think you're expecting quite a bit of that. Talk about that.
JARON BLOSSOMGAME: I say always, I think the next part of my game is being able to get my teammates shots and seeing the next guy. Last year, I did prove that I could score the ball, but in order for us to be successful I have to be able to get my teammates shots, see my teammates better. So I think passing the ball and being a better leader will help us be able to win more games.

Q. And if I can get you to talk about with the new point guard now how you see things different not only for you but maybe for someone like Jordan in his role and just what Avry will do to kind of change the look of how you guys play on the offensive end?
JARON BLOSSOMGAME: Avry is completely different from Rod. He's a real speed point guard. He really wants to push the pace of the game. He's a very talkative person. He's not afraid to call anybody out, and I think he'll be really a good adjustment for us. He can shoot the ball really well and can really store.

For me personally, he's always on me. Me and him talk about our goals one-on-one, and he's really pushing me to be a better person. I think him being on the court will be able to spread the court for guys like Landry and his ability to shoot the ball will help other guys, like Jordan, that can score the ball, and Donte.

Q. How far do you think this team can go this season?
JARON BLOSSOMGAME: Well, we have the potential to go as far as it goes. But I feel like last year we had a chance to make the NCAA Tournament, but we lost focus late in the season. So I think the biggest thing for the guys this year is just staying focused in the season. We've got to take each game at a time. We can't overlook anybody. Last year we did have some bad non-conference losses, but we have to focus and take every game serious. Treat it like we're playing the biggest game of the year every game.

Q. Do you feel like this team is deeper than last season?
JARON BLOSSOMGAME: We have a lot of depth. The bench guys have really worked hard in the off-season, and I feel like they'll be able to produce more than they did last year. And guys are just older and confident, and guys will be able to help us off the bench a lot this year.

Q. What will be the biggest challenge of the home game situation this year that you anticipate?
JARON BLOSSOMGAME: Honestly I'm not sure. It will be a hassle having to travel 35 to 40 minutes every home game and guys being able to rest. I feel like we should get adjusted to that pretty soon. We do play a lot of games, non-conference, in Greenville. So we should get adjusted to that before we start conference play.

Q. Free throws have never been the shining star, at least in recent years, at Clemson. You went to the line 144 times. For those returning, the next closest is your teammate here Landry, went to the line 70 times. Team shoots 68 percent. What is it about free throws? What is it about the practicing, the game day situation? How can you guys get better? How can you get to the line more?
JARON BLOSSOMGAME: Well, this off-season and preseason we've been doing a lot of morning shooting. Coach will bring in two groups of players and we'll shoot in the morning for about 45 minutes, and I think it's paid off. A lot of guys are making free throws and making shots in practice, and then our two scrimmage guys are making free throw shots consistently.

I think it's good for us. We do need to shoot the ball a lot better to be successful, and we've just got to keep pushing. It's going to be a long season, as we hope, and we've just got to win these close games.

Free throws mean so much. I feel like as a younger player you don't really understand that, but the older you get each possession, each play, each free throw means so much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #174 at 2015-10-28 14:15:00 GMT

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