Clemson University

Freshman Oglesby a pure shooter for Tigers

Clemson's Terrence Oglesby drives to the basket as East Carolina's John Fields defends.
Clemson's Terrence Oglesby drives to the basket as East Carolina's John Fields defends.

CLEMSON -- Even by his standards, Terrence Oglesby was shocked when he peeked at his feet.

A long distance jumpshooter by trade, Oglesby had nailed another lengthy jumper with seconds left in a fall league scrimmage before his senior season at Bradley Central High School in Cleveland, Tenn.

When he glanced down, Oglesby realized he stood in the corner ... behind the halfcourt line.

"They say shooters are born, but that's not a bit true," Oglesby said. "Shooters are made."

As are legends and fan-favorites, both of which Oglesby will classify as in Clemson lore if his disregard for conventional shooting range continues.

For better and for worse, the 6-foot-2 freshman has fired away from just about everywhere on the offensive side of the floor and is riding his best performance into the San Juan Shootout, which Clemson begins with its first of three games in consecutive days today against Puerto Rico-Mayaguez.

Two weeks ago, Oglesby hit 6-of-7 3-pointers at East Carolina, including the last one from a step inside the Pirates' midcourt emblem.

To Oglesby's admitted surprise, coach Oliver Purnell has yet to place restrictions on his range, instead limiting criticism strictly to the times Oglesby forces a 3-pointer when off-balance or a defender is in his face.

"We look at it like Terrence is going through a learning process, what is a good shot on our team as opposed to in high school," Purnell said. "If he has a clean look at it, stepping into a shot and he's not covered, that's a good shot for him."

Oglesby was born in Norway as his dad, Tony, a former Carson-Newman standout, spent seven years as a 6-foot-8 forward in various European leagues.

By the age of 3, Oglesby was dribbling up and down the court as halftime entertainment.

Tony drew a 6-foot semi-circle around the family's home goal and would not allow Oglesby to shoot from outside the circle, prodding his son to concentrate on form instead of slinging the ball toward the rim.

Oglesby was not allowed to shoot 3-pointers until middle school.

"And now everybody else is still shooting 3-pointers," Oglesby said with a grin. "But I'm shooting it farther out than they are."

Michigan sought his services first and made Oglesby's final two, but he turned down scholarship offers from Virginia Tech, Oklahoma and Vanderbilt after making his initial visit to Clemson's campus.

Oglesby's family has since moved to Walhalla, and although Tony works daily in Atlanta, father, son and Oglesby's brother, Paxton, a high school freshman, can frequently be found burning the midnight oil in Littlejohn Coliseum fine-tuning Oglesby's jumper.

Oglesby claims he has yet to have a game in which he truly felt the hot hand, and with ACC play around the corner, he figures to play an instrumental role in preventing opponents from doubling down on post players James Mays and Trevor Booker.

"The major reason we recruited him is his ability to shoot the outside shot, so we want to get more good shots out of him," Purnell said.

"For him, a recommended range would be two feet behind the three," he said, then paused. "Or anywhere inside of the Tiger Paw."