Team preview: Clemson

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 19, 2004, 5:43 PM ET
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Clemson coach Oliver Purnell spent August in Athens, Greece with the U.S. Olympic basketball team. The veteran coach served, along with North Carolina's Roy Williams, as an assistant to head coach Larry Brown. And while Purnell wasn't happy that the favored Americans finished a disappointing third, the experience could be seen as a promising object lesson for the Clemson coach.

What Purnell saw in Athens was that the most talented team doesn't always win. He saw that teamwork and superior effort can trump superior physical gifts. Can he put that knowledge to use this season as he returns to coach a Clemson team that will have to find other ways to compete with the more talented teams it will face in the ACC? "If you're really together as a team, you can accomplish great things," Purnell said.