Blossomgame’s return makes Clemson a force within the ACC


Clemson forward Jaron Blossomgame announced Wednesday that he is returning to school for his senior year. As a junior, he averaged 18.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game on the way to first-team All-ACC honors.

“I appreciate everything Coach (Brad) Brownell and his staff have done for me throughout this process, and I feel that the best decision for me at this time is to come back for my senior year at Clemson,” Blossomgame said. “We’ve got a strong team coming back, and I’m excited to open a new Littlejohn Coliseum. This was a very difficult decision, but I’m at peace with it.”

While testing the waters, Blossomgame worked out for seven teams. He was one of the top underclass performers at this year’s NBA Draft Combine, and he was projected by to be taken in the second round of this year’s draft with the No. 51 overall pick.

“Jaron wants to be a first-round draft pick, and in some ways that’s why he’s coming back,” Brownell said. “But at the same time he loves it here, he knows the type of team we can have next season, and feels there are bright things in our program for our team and for himself. We supported Jaron with whatever he decided to do, but obviously we’re excited he’s coming back for his senior year.”

The rising senior is one of three starters returning to a Clemson team that finished 10-8 in the ACC, posting back-to-back-to-back wins over Louisville, Duke and Miami in January. The 2016-17 season will mark just the second time in the Brownell era that the Tigers return their leading scorer. The first time was last year, when Blossomgame came back for his junior year.

Last season, Blossomgame became the first player in school history to shoot at least 50 percent overall, 40 percent from three and 75 percent from the free-throw line over the course of a season.