Clemson Men's Basketball might not have as much room for transfers as we thought

The Tigers took four transfers last season, but until we get some decisions about a few players this year, Clemson might not have as much room on the roster as we thought.

Mar 28, 2024; Los Angeles, CA, USA
Mar 28, 2024; Los Angeles, CA, USA / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

This run by Clemson Men’s Basketball in the NCAA Tournament has been a joy for fans who haven’t seen the Tigers advance to the Elite 8 in 44 years (if they are old enough to have remembered that experience at all).

While head coach Brad Brownell recruited stars like Chase Hunter, PJ Hall, and Ian Schieffelin as high school prospects, he has also done a sound job augmenting his roster with transfers from other programs. Joe Girard and Jack Clark were key contributors to the Tigers' success this season.

The transfer portal is a two-way street. While players come into the program, players have also exited. We have seen Ben Middlebrooks playing well for NC State during their dream run through the ACC Tournament and to the Final Four. It is a little surprising that the Tigers haven’t had a player publicly enter the transfer portal yet.

Girard and Bas Leyte have exhausted their eligibility. There is a general presumption that Hunter and Hall will likely be departing. Hall could play his COVID season if he wanted. It appears that Hunter could have another season since he played less than 30% of games when he was a freshman, but that hasn’t been 100% confirmed.

There also appears to be some confusion about Jack Clark. He missed the 2019-20 season due to injury and Clemson’s website says he was a medical redshirt that season, but there is a possibility that could count as a regular redshirt, and his medical redshirt could be applied to 2018-19. Like Hunter, Clark was limited as a freshman due to injury.

Then there is Alex Hemenway, who missed most of this past season and can return for 2024-25 as well.

What this means is that Clemson could be losing as many as six players, but also could be losing as few as two.

The Tigers have three players coming in this next recruiting class: Ace Buckner, Del Jones, and Dallas Thomas.

Purely for conversation’s sake, I think we should presume that Hall is going pro. That has been my assumption for most of this season. That would create three openings, just enough to add the next class.

We will have to wait a little longer to know how many roster spots will open for Clemson Men's Basketball

What this means is that Clemson would need someone else to exit the program to have space for incoming transfers. I would not be surprised if at least one of the three we’ve discussed – Hunter, Clark, or Hemenway – elected to move on, perhaps two, even if the NCAA confirmed they have a season of eligibility remaining.

There is also a chance someone else on the roster will enter the portal. I honestly thought that would have happened already.

The summation of all this, however, indicates Clemson might not be as active in the transfer portal as we might have expected. I think a lot of us, myself included, assumed Hunter, Clark, and at least one other underclassman would be exiting the roster. I’m not completely sure of that anymore.

Last season, Clemson brought in four transfers (Girard, Clark, Leyte, and Jake Heidbreder, who didn’t play). It doesn’t feel like the Tigers will have nearly as much room for transfers this season.