Clemson Tigers Expected To Regress In First March Madness Projections

The Clemson Tigers Men's Basketball team is not expected to replicate the success that they had a year ago.
Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell during the second half at Littlejohn Coliseum Friday, December 2, 2022. Clemson Basketball Vs Wake Forest University Acc
Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell during the second half at Littlejohn Coliseum Friday, December 2, 2022. Clemson Basketball Vs Wake Forest University Acc / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The Clemson Tigers Men's Basketball team found themselves knocking on the doorstep of a Final Four appearance last season, but may not be expected to make that same type of run in 2025.

As ESPN released an early edition of their 'NCAA Bracketology' for next year's March Madness tournament, Clemson debuted as a 10-seed. That would a big drop from their sixth-seed status from 2024. Why are they expected to regress, though?

Head coach Brad Brownwell is entering his 15th season with the Tigers. While he is the winningest coach in school history, that hasn't translated into success in the postseason.

The Elite Eight finish that they are coming off of is the best of his tenure and first since 1980. He's made it to the Sweet 16 one other time and made the tournament four times in total.

Clemson certainly doesn't have the benefit of history on their side when making early season projections.

The biggest losses that they will have are Joseph Girard III, PJ Hall and Jack Clark.

Hall declared for the NBA draft after putting up 18.3 points, 6.4 boards and 1.4 assists. He was a very effecient scorer that will be hard to imitate immediately.

After four seasons at Syracuse, Girard transferred to the Tigers for what would be his final collegiate campaign.

They'll have a tough time replicating his production. The guard averaged 15.1 points per game with 3.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists. The most impressive part was that he shot 41.3% from deep while attempting 7.1 three-pointers.

Clark played 23.5 minutes per night, averaging 4.7 points and 4.9 rebounds. The guard decided to search for a bigger role as he transferred to VCU for his final year of eligibility.

Brownwell added two transfers in guard Jeaden Zackery out of Boston College and forward Viktor Lakhin from Cincinnati.

Zackery will do his best to supplement the scoring lost with Girard. He averaged 11.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists this past season with the Eagles. An uptick in playmaking could make up from the decline in three-point volume.

He has shot 40.5% from behind-the-line during his career, but doesn't shoot nearly as many shots. It will be interesting to see Brownwell decides to increase his shot attempts this season.

Lakhin has been a pretty consistent player throughout the last two years of getting major playing time. He'll put up around 10 points and 6.5 boards. He did see a slight increase in both assists and three-point attempts during his last campaign, but still nothing major.

Ian Schieffelin and Chase Hunter are set return as they now lead the team with hopes of making it back to the Elite Eight.

Dylan Sanders