Brad Brownell and the Clemson men’s basketball program dipped into the NCAA transfer portal again on Tuesday, landing a commitment from Youngstown State graduate transfer Naz Bohannon.
The 6-foot-6, 228-pound forward entered the portal April 29 and chose the Tigers over the other schools in the top four he heavily considered – Vanderbilt, UNC Greensboro and Kent State.
“Ever since I had got into the portal, Coach (Antonio Reynolds) Dean was the first one to reach out, and he was real genuine in everything he said,” Bohannon told The Clemson Insider.
“And then I got to meet Coach Brownell and the rest of the staff, and they were the exact same way. So, I could respect that, and then the playing style, I feel like it fit my game perfectly. And just knowing what Coach Brownell expects out of his guys in playing hard and playing defense was something I was intrigued by. Also, the fact that they’ve made the (NCAA) tournament and it’s something I’ve never done but want to do.”
Bohannon, a four-year starter for the Penguins, averaged 16.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game as a senior in 2020-21 after posting 11.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest in 2019-20. In his final game with Youngstown State in the Horizon League tournament quarterfinal against Oakland on March 2, Bohannon notched the first triple-double in program history with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.
Clemson’s staff hopes Bohannon can help fill the big shoes left behind by star forward Aamir Simms following his graduation.
“A guy who can come in and just be versatile,” Bohannon said of how the coaches see him fitting in. “So, kind of fill the role a little bit that Simms left with him leaving, because that was a big void. But me being a little less in height than him, I’m able to play on the perimeter some, too.”
A native of Lorain, Ohio, Bohannon wanted to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA due to the pandemic and decided to leave Youngstown State in search of a greater opportunity elsewhere.
“When you do four years at a place, it was like that’s what we signed up for,” he said. “So, that extra year of eligibility, I just felt maybe it was time to explore new waters and try to see if I can do something that was bigger than myself. I was told one time in life to do something that scares you, and going bigger doesn’t necessarily scare me, but it brings hope to people who are from my city who’ve never seen somebody do it.”
What can Clemson fans expect to see from Bohannon on the court next season when he suits up for the Tigers in his final collegiate campaign?
“They can expect toughness, a kid that’s going to be versatile and wants to win before anything else,” he said. “So, unselfish and do anything for the win and for the program.”
Along with Bohannon, Clemson will welcome USF graduate transfer guard David Collins, as well as 2021 signees Josh Beadle (guard) and Ian Schieffelin (forward) into the fold next season.
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