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Clemson men’s basketball midseason review

Toby Corriston
Forward Ian Schieffelin dunks the ball against No. 8 North Carolina in Littlejohn Coliseum, on Jan. 6, 2023.

The Clemson Tigers men’s basketball team has officially entered the middle of the season, and it now sits at an 11-3 record (1-2 ACC) for eighth place in the conference. The Tigers began the season with an unblemished 9-0 record but have struggled recently, with three losses in the past five games.

Clemson saw its first loss of the season to the Memphis Tigers last month in a narrow 79-77 defeat. However, head coach Brad Brownell’s squad was able to get back on the right path with back-to-back blowout victories against Queens, when Clemson won 109-79, and Radford, when Clemson dominated and won 93-58.

The Tigers began their first stretch of ACC play slowly, falling 95-82 at Miami, followed by their first home loss of the season to the then-No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels. Clemson is now 1-2 in conference play on the season, with the only ACC win coming against Pittsburgh last month.

In the Tigers’ losses, the team made just 19 out of its 71 three-point attempts — 26.8% — with the worst shooting performance coming against North Carolina when Clemson went 1-for-18. Another struggle as of late has been rebounding, with the team being outrebounded 115 to 102 in their three losses combined.

Clemson has been headlined by center PJ Hall, who leads the Tigers in points, steals and blocks per game with 19.5, 1.1 and 2.1, respectively. Forward Ian Schieffelin and guard Joseph Girard have also been important to the success of the team, as Schieffelin leads the Tigers in rebounds with 9.9 per game, and Girard leads Clemson in assists with 3.6 per game.

Despite their struggles from far out, Clemson has been impressive shooting from the field this season with a 48.4% field goal percentage while averaging 80.3 points per game.

The Tigers’ upcoming schedule showcases all ACC opponents, including rematches with North Carolina, Miami and Pittsburgh. The only ranked games currently on the schedule are a matchup at No. 14 Duke and a rematch with No. 8 North Carolina.

Many of these are must-win situations for the Tigers if they hope to make the NCAA Tournament in March, as last season they finished just outside the bubble with a 23-11 record (14-6 ACC) and a No. 1 seed in the National Invitation Tournament.

Clemson will be back in action on Wednesday when it takes on Virginia Tech on the road at 7 p.m.

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About the Contributors
Luke Beard
Luke Beard, Asst. Sports Editor
Toby Corriston, Asst. Photo Editor
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