2024 North Carolina Sports Network
Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Spotlight:

By Evan Rogers
North Carolina Sports Network

School: Clemson University

Location: Clemson, S.C.

Previous NCAA Conference Affiliations: Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1896-1921), Southern Conference (1921-53)

ACC Member Since: 1953-54

ACC Ranking Among 32 Leagues (KenPom): 5th (2024), 7th (2023), 5th (2022), 5th (2021), 4th (2020)

NCAA Tournament Bids: 13 (1980, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018, 2021)

Conference Titles: 1 (1939 in SoCon)

Conference 1st-Place Finishes: 1 (1990 in ACC)

Head Coach: Brad Brownell (55 years old, 14th season at Clemson)

As A Player: DePauw University (1988-91)

Record At Clemson (Through Feb. 26): 260-185 (.584) in 13+ seasons

Previous Head Coaching Experience: UNC Wilmington (2002-06), Wright State (2006-10)

College AC Experience: Evansville (1991-92), Indianapolis (1992-94), UNC Wilmington (1994-2002)

Assistant Under: Jim Crews, Royce Waltman, Jerry Wainwright

2022-23 Record: 23-11, 14-6 (3rd in 15-team ACC)

2023-23 Preseason Prediction (Media): 5th in 15-team ACC

2023-24 Record (Through Feb. 26): 19-8, 9-7 ACC

2023-24 Midseason Ranking (KenPom/NET): #24/#23 nationally (4th/3rd in ACC)

Remaining Regular-Season Games: Pitt (2/27), at Notre Dame (3/2), Syracuse (3/5), at Wake Forest (3/9)

Under the direction of 14th-year head coach Brad Brownell, Clemson got out to one of the hottest starts in the country this season.

The Tigers won their first nine games, featuring impressive road wins against Alabama (85-77) and Pittsburgh (79-70), a neutral-court triumph over TCU (74-66), and home victories over Boise State (85-68) and rival South Carolina (72-67), which is now 22-5 and ranked in the Top 25. Clemson’s first loss did not come until Dec. 16, when it fell by two points (79-77) to Memphis on the road.

Much of the strong start was due to the continued development of senior center PJ Hall, a first-team All-ACC candidate who has steadily increased his scoring prowess in each of his four seasons with the Tigers. Hall currently ranks third in the ACC in scoring, putting up 18.7 points per game, and he’s also grabbing a career-best 6.9 rebounds per game.

Alongside Hall, Syracuse transfer Joe Girard III has been a key cog for the Tigers. The sharpshooting fifth-year guard leads the Tigers with 82 3-pointers this year, with a career-best 42.5 percent accuracy from long range.

“Well, Joe (Girard) is a terrific player, and (I) certainly have experienced watching that and competing against him for four years,” Brownell said. “Joe is a guy that (stretches) defenses, but I also think he’s a tremendous leader, and he’s a guy that is extremely competitive, so it’s always good to add guys like that to your locker room.”

Clemson’s opening lineup also includes two additional players with significant experience as ACC starters, steady senior point guard Chase Hunter and physical junior forward Ian Schieffelin.

The Tigers’ 2023-24 campaign has been complicated by injuries since before the season started.

Air Force transfer Jake Heidbreder, a two-year starter for the Falcons who earned third-team All-Mountain West Conference honors and led his team in scoring (15.1 points per game) last season, opted for a redshirt season after offseason surgery.

Meanwhile, sixth-year forward Jack Clark (an NC State transfer) missed all of December and the first half of January with a groin injury, and fifth-year guard Alex Hemenway hasn’t played since Nov. 24 because of a leg injury.

“We have older new guys, but we have a lot of new guys, so there has been a lot of teaching still,” Brownell said. “Our system is probably a little more complicated than some, really on both sides of the ball, so we’ve spent a lot of time in the gym and watched a lot of film as a group so far this year.”

Entering its Feb. 27 matchup against Pittsburgh, Clemson has won five of its last six games, highlighted by a 80-76 victory over UNC, which marked just the second time the Tigers have ever won in Chapel Hill.

Although Brownell has made the NCAA Tournament only three times in his previous 13 seasons at Clemson, he did deliver one of the best campaigns in program history, and this year’s Tigers have produced a similar resume thus far.

In 2018, Clemson finished third in the ACC (the program’s second top-three league finish since 1990), earned a #5 seed in the NCAA Tournament (by far the best of Brownell’s tenure), advanced to the Sweet 16 (just the Tigers’ fourth visit ever) and finished 25-10 (second-most wins in program history).

This year’s Clemson team currently is projected as a #5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and it is easily the most offensively efficient team of Brownell’s tenure, which more frequently has been marked by stingy defense. In ACC play, only Duke and Wake Forest are playing more efficiently on offense than the Tigers,

2023-24 Clemson Tigers
(19-8, 9-7 ACC; through Feb. 26)


PG Chase Hunter*, Sr. — 32 mpg, 13 ppg, 3 rpg, 42% FG, 85% FT, 34% threes, 83/46 ATO, 8 blocks, 16 steals
(6-5/200); 32 mpg, 14 ppg, 5 apg in 2022-23; Westlake HS; Atlanta, Ga.

Joe Girard III, Gr. — 33 mpg, 16 ppg, 3 rpg, 43% FG, 95% FT, 43% threes, 81/44 ATO, 4 blocks, 16 steals
(6-2/189); 2023 Syracuse transfer (4-year starter); Glens Falls HS; Glens Falls, N.Y.

Chauncey Wiggins, So. — 19 mpg, 6 ppg, 3 rpg, 44% FG, 74% FT, 33% threes, 26/23 ATO, 9 blocks, 5 steals
(6-11/210); 9 mpg, 2 ppg, 1 rpg in 2022-23; Grayson HS; Grayson, Ga.

Ian Schieffelin*, Jr. — 26 mpg, 9 ppg, 9 rpg, 58% FG, 75% FT, 53% threes, 59/36 ATO, 15 blocks, 16 steals
(6-8/238); 20 mpg, 6 ppg, 4 rpg in 2022-23; Grayson HS; Loganville, Ga.

PJ Hall*, Sr. — 29 mpg, 19 ppg, 7 rpg, 50% FG, 80% FT, 33% threes, 42/44 ATO, 45 blocks, 23 steals
(6-11/238); 3-year starter; 2023 3rd-team All-ACC; Dorman HS; Spartanburg, S.C.

Key Reserves

PG Dillon Hunter, So. — 17 mpg, 3 ppg, 2 rpg, 41% FG, 44% FT, 30% threes, 42/12 ATO, 2 blocks, 14 steals
(6-4/187); 12 mpg, 1 ppg in 2022-23; brother of Chase; Westlake HS; Atlanta, Ga.

Josh Beadle, So. — 12 mpg, 3 ppg, 1 rpg, 47% FG, 64% FT, 17% threes, 22/15 ATO, 1 block, 6 steals
(6-4/180); 13 mpg, 2 ppg in 2022-23; Cardinal Newman HS; Columbia, S.C.

Jack Clark, Gr. — 20 mpg, 4 ppg, 5 rpg, 33% FG, 79% FT, 27% threes, 21/9 ATO, 10 blocks, 10 steals
(6-10/207); 2023 NC State transfer (starter); Cheltenham HS; Cheltenham, Pa.

RJ Godfrey, So. — 16 mpg, 6 ppg, 4 rpg, 60% FG, 56% FT, 33% threes, 22/29 ATO, 17 blocks, 13 steals
(6-8/228); 9 mpg, 3 ppg, 2 rpg, in 2022-23; North Gwinnett HS; Suwanee, Ga.

*—returning starter (started at least 50% of current team’s games last season)

Clemson Tigers
10-Year Snapshot

2022-23: 23-11, 14-6 ACC (3rd), NIT Round of 32 (Brad Brownell)
2021-22: 17-16, 8-12 ACC (10th), no postseason (Brad Brownell)
2020-21: 16-8, 10-6 ACC (5th), NCAA Round of 64 (Brad Brownell)
2019-20: 16-15, 9-11 ACC (9th), COVID (Brad Brownell)
2018-19: 20-14, 9-9 ACC (8th), NIT Round of 16 (Brad Brownell)
2017-18: 25-10, 11-7 ACC (3rd), NCAA Sweet 16 (Brad Brownell)
2016-17: 17-16, 6-12 ACC (12th), NIT Round of 32 (Brad Brownell)
2015-16: 17-14, 10-8 ACC (7th), no postseason (Brad Brownell)
2014-15: 16-15, 8-10 ACC (9th), no postseason (Brad Brownell)
2013-14: 23-13, 10-8 ACC (6th), NIT Final Four (Brad Brownell)

*—conference champion

NOTE: Please visit the North Carolina Sports Network’s 2023-24 profiles and 10-year snapshots for all 19 Division One men’s basketball programs in North Carolina and all 15 Atlantic Coast Conference programs.

Appalachian State Mountaineers, Sun Belt Conference

Boston College Eagles, Atlantic Coast Conference

Campbell Camels, Coastal Athletic Association

Charlotte 49ers, American Athletic Conference

Davidson Wildcats, Atlantic-10 Conference

Duke Blue Devils, Atlantic Coast Conference

East Carolina Pirates, American Athletic Conference

Elon Phoenix, Coastal Athletic Association

Florida State Seminoles, Atlantic Coast Conference

Gardner-Webb Runnin’Bulldogs, Big South Conference

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Atlantic Coast Conference

High Point Panthers, Big South Conference

Louisville Cardinals, Atlantic Coast Conference

Miami Hurricanes, Atlantic Coast Conference

NC Central Eagles, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

NC State Wolfpack, Atlantic Coast Conference

North Carolina Tar Heels, Atlantic Coast Conference

North Carolina A&T Aggies, Coastal Athletic Association

Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Atlantic Coast Conference

Pitt Panthers, Atlantic Coast Conference

Queens Royals, Atlantic Sun Conference

Syracuse Orange, Atlantic Coast Conference

UNC Asheville, Big South Conference

UNC Greensboro Spartans, Southern Conference

UNC Wilmington Seahawks, Coastal Athletic Association

Virginia Cavaliers, Atlantic Coast Conference

Virginia Tech Hokies, Atlantic Coast Conference

Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Atlantic Coast Conference

Western Carolina Catamounts, Southern Conference