Clemson’s men’s basketball team could make one more addition to next season’s roster. There’s also a possibility the Tigers go with they’ve already got in the fold.
Between a handful of high school signees and the addition of Boston College transfer Brevin Galloway, Clemson coach Brad Brownell has already added five newcomers to the seven scholarship players that are returning from last season’s team. That leaves the Tigers one shy of the 13-scholarship limit for the 2022-23 season, one they may or may not use at this point of the recruiting calendar.
It’s not the most pressing concern for Brownell, who feels like he has addressed most if not all of the needs the Tigers had after losing three significant contributors in the backcourt, including Nick Honor (Missouri) and Al-Amir Dawes (Seton Hall) to the transfer portal. Redshirt freshman Josh Beadle and four-star signee Dillon Hunter can each play the point while Galloway, a 6-foot-2 guard, could be the answer on the wing with David Collins having exhausted his eligibility.
“I think we’ll use (our last available scholarship) if we think it’s the right person and the right fit, so we’re still looking at it,” Brownell recently told The Clemson Insider.
With the majority of high school prospects having signed at this point, Clemson will almost certainly be relegated to the transfer portal if the Tigers use their final scholarship. With point guard taken care of and the frontcourt solidified with Hunter Tyson, PJ Hall, Ian Schieffelin and Ben Middlebrooks all returning, a wing with the size to defend multiple positions may be the last remaining need for the roster if the Tigers can find it in the portal this late.
They went after that type of profile in Wichita State transfer Dexter Dennis, who visited Clemson and Indiana before committing to Texas A&M last week. Clemson also recently lost out on Georgetown transfer guard Donald Carey, who chose Maryland.
Bringing on an immediate-impact transfer at this point, though, is a little more complicated for Clemson and the rest of college basketball. The May 1 deadline for basketball transfers to enter the portal and maintain immediate eligibility at their next school has passed, meaning any transfers that have put their name in the portal since then would have to sit out a year before being eligible again. That is, unless they receive a waiver from the NCAA, but with many programs wanting to finalize their rosters soon ahead of summer workouts, teams are going to be less likely to play the waiting game with those transfers.
Any players who entered the portal by May 1 and still haven’t made a decision on their next destination will still be immediately eligible provided they’re in good academic standing, though that pool of players is drying up. Many of the top-end transfers who know they’re walking into a situation where they will immediately be part of the rotation if not start are also off the board, making the search for a mutual interest between an available transfer and a potential new landing spot even more difficult.
“We didn’t use all 13 last year, and part of it last year is because it’s becoming more difficult to manage it all,” Brownell said. “That part has become much more challenging, and I think that’s going to be a byproduct because you’re going to see coaches not use all 13 sometimes because nobody is happy kind of being an understudy, learning your craft and earning your time. It’ll be interesting to see what our team will be like next year.”
Clemson needs an answer even sooner considering the Tigers have a trip overseas awaiting them later this summer. Clemson will travel to France for an international tour in early August but will be allowed 10 practices before then, presumably a time for which the Tigers would want their full roster together.
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