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Don’t Sleep On Clemson This Year

Because Brad Brownell will probably have another tough team

Clemson v NC State
 RALEIGH, NC - FEBRUARY 25: Head coach Brad Brownell of the Clemson Tigers directs his team during the first half of their game against the NC State Wolfpack at PNC Arena on February 25, 2023 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

It’s way too early to start talking about this coming season. The portal has closed, but the dust hasn’t completely settled. It’s hard to get used to, but fortunes can rise or fall in a big hurry for a college basketball team. Take Clemson for instance.

With the portal pickups that Brad Brownell made - Joe Girard, Jack Clark, Jake Heidbreder and Bas Leyte - Brownell has a chance at making the Tigers a very tough out next year.

We don’t know anything about Leyte but realistically, he’s there for depth.

We’re most curious about how Girard does there. He’s too small to make it in the NBA and we never felt he really broke through at Syracuse like he might have.

Brownell knows how to use guards though and our guess is he’ll find a way to let Girard focus on his strengths.

Like Girard, Clark is moving to a different ACC school and we may see a different side of him too. At a minimum, he should shore up the defense.

And Heidbreder? He looks like a 12-year-old but he had a good run at Air Force. The guy is apparently a very good shooter.

And as we’ve pointed out from time to time, Brownell is at Clemson which means that he is not going to get top of the line players and has to develop talent. He’ll help all four of the portal players but should also do a really good job with freshman Asa Thomas over time.

We’ll say it again: when you add it all up - recruiting, player development and his X and O abilities, Brownell is the best coach Clemson has ever had and Clemson is going to be tough again.