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Clemson Basketball

After perplexing NIT loss, Clemson shifts focus to roster vacancies and transfer portal

March 20, 2023
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Clemson athletic director Graham Neff decided last Monday the basketball program would move forward with Brad Brownell, who has three years left on his contract, as the head coach. 

“I'm pleased with what was accomplished with the team and the leadership of the team and excited to move forward with Brad, " Neff said on Monday as he discussed the Tigers' season.

Neff used the words "disappointment" and "frustration" to describe the Tigers not receiving an NCAA Tournament bid, which he felt the team "earned'’ with a 23-10 record and third-place ACC finish (14-6). 

There's likely additional disappointment and frustration as March Madness is underway and Clemson is out of the NIT after falling 68-64 in Littlejohn Coliseum to Morehead State. 

The Tigers now turn their focus to next season, and it all starts with recruiting. 

First-team All-ACC forward Hunter Tyson (the team leader in scoring and rebounding) and Brevin Galloway have exhausted their eligibility. Freshman guard Chauncey Gibson, who sat out this season to redshirt, entered the transfer portal on Thursday, and second-leading scorer P.J. Hall is set to test the NBA waters, so filling the roster vacancies with quality players is essential to building on what was, regardless of the NIT loss, a successful year. 

Moreover, senior Alex Hemenway (Covid year) and redshirt junior Chase Hunter said they will return next season, and six-foot-eight wing shooter Asa Thomas, the North Suburban Conference Player of the Year, is the lone 2023 signee. 

Will Brownell use the portal for the remaining scholarships? 

"Yeah, we're going to be involved in the portal," replied Brownell after the season-ending loss to Morehead. "There’s 13 scholarships. I don't know if we will use all 13. We didn't this year. Just based on numbers, we're going to add another player or two."

What positions could be on the radar? A post player with shot-blocking and rebounding skills, a small forward with length, scoring ability, and defensive prowess, and a combo guard capable of creating his own shot. 

Here's a list of transfers who have notified outlets of direct contact or interests from the Clemson staff: 

Bradley Dean SR (6'2, 165), UVA-Wise: Dean averaged 20.7 points, 3.9 assists and was named Division II South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year. He had a season-high 40 points against Limestone and is a career 39 percent three-point shooter. The Gate City native is a former teammate of NBA Slam Dunk Champion Mac McClung and assisted McClung on one dunk during the contest.

Javon Small JR (6'2, 180), East Carolina: Small (South Bend, IN) averaged 15.8 points, 5.5 assists, and 4.8 rebounds in 18 games. He suffered a season-ending knee injury in January. Small highlights

Mike Mitchell JR (6'2, 185), Pepperdine: Mitchell, a San Jose, CA native, averaged 11.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and five assists, per game. He is an excellent three-point shooter, making 42 percent of his 306 career shots. 

Justin Wright SR (6'2, 195), North Carolina Central University: Wright led Central with 16.1 points per game and shot over 40 percent from the three-point arc in 2022-23. The Greenville, NC native scored 20, 18, and 14 points, respectively, versus UVA, Marquette, and LSU this season. Wright highlights 

Jackson Paveletzke SO (6'3, 175), Wofford: Paveletzke averaged 15.1 points, 3.7 assists, and shot 39 percent on threes. The Southern Conference Freshman of the Year is from Kimberly, Wisconsin. Paveletzke highlights 

Xander Rice SR (6'3, 195), Bucknell: averaged 14.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game for the Bison this season. Scored 19 against Georgia in 2022-23. A career 38 percent three-point shooter and 84 percent from the free-throw line. 

Landon Moore SO (6'3, 200), St. Francis: Moore averaged 13.1 points, 3.6 assists, and 36 percent three-point shooting in 2022-23. Moore highlights 

Jaden Taylor JR (6'4, 195), Butler: Taylor led the Dawgs in points (12.9) and finished second on the team with 45 3-pointers.

Charles Pride GR (6'4, 200), Bryant University: Pride averaged 14.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, and shot over 37 percent on threes. Pride, from Syracuse, NY, averaged 17.7 points and 8.6 rebounds in 2021. Pride highlights

Jaden House SR (6'4, 201), High Point: House, High Point's leading scorer, averaged 17 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. Scored a career-high 33 points against Wofford in the third game of the season. 

Nicolas Timberlake GR (6'4, 205), Towson, Graduate student: Timberlake, from Braintree, MA, averaged 17.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. Timberlake is an excellent shooter with a 40 percent average in 413 three-point attempts from 2021-23. He also scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds against Clemson in December. 

Jace Carter JR (6'5, 210), University of Illinois at Chicago: Carter, from Titusville, FL, averaged 16.6 points, seven rebounds, and made 53 steals. Carter highlights

Tedrick Wilcox JR (6'6, 188), St. Francis: Wilcox averaged 11.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, and shot 37 percent from beyond the arc. The Pawtucket, RI native scored 18 points with 5 three-pointers against Miami. 

Kowacie Reeves JR (6'6, 192), Florida: Reeves (Macon, GA) averaged 8.5 points in 31 games. He originally committed to the Gators over Clemson, Texas, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Stanford, and others.

Andre Snoddy JR (6'6, 210), Central Connecticut State: Snoddy (Melville, NY) averaged 9.5 points and 8.4 rebounds. Snoddy highlights

Messiah Jones SR (6'6, 220), Wofford: Jones averaged 9.8 points and 5.4 rebounds. The Chicago, Illinois product has only attempted 15 three-pointers (1-15) in four years. Jones highlights

Zack Austin JR (6'7, 201), High Point: Austin averaged 14.1 points and 5.2 rebounds, had 31 steals, and a team-leading 64 blocks. 

Dame Adelekun GR (6'8, 220), Dartmouth: Gastonia (N.C.) Adelekun averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. The Gastonia, NC native blocked 53 shots and was 7 of 17 (41 percent) on threes last season. 

Others in the portal who received a Clemson offer as a prep prospect :

Tyler Nickel SO (6'7, 220), UNC: Nickel averaged 2.1 points in 25 games and had a career-high 16 points against The Citadel. The Harrisburg, VA native and 2022 Virginia Player of the Year averaged 35 points as a senior. Nickel highlights

Myles Stute SR (6'7, 216), Vanderbilt: Stute averaged 8.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and made 36 percent of his 205 three-point attempts. The Washington, DC product started 26 of 34 games in 2022. Stute highlights

Lucas Taylor JR (6'5, 195), Wake Forest: Taylor, a former Clemson signee, averaged 2.2 points and shot 7 of 17 on threes. The Raleigh, NC native started the first four games, disappeared from the lineup but averaged over 14 minutes in the final five contests due to the injury of starter Damari Monsanto. Taylor highlights

Dontrez Styles JR (6'6, 210), UNC: Styles (Kinston, NC) appeared in 15 games during the 2022-23 season, averaging 1.4 points and 0.9 rebounds. Styles highlights

Notable transfer:

Stephen Clark GR (6'8, 205), The Citadel: Clark averaged 16.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists and blocked 58 shots in 2022-23. Moreover, the Charlotte, NC native scored 16 points against Clemson and 15 against UNC in December. Clark highlights 

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After perplexing NIT loss, Clemson shifts focus to roster vacancies and transfer portal

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