Clemson leading scorer Hall withdraws from NBA draft, returns to Tigers

clemson pj hall
Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson leading scorer PJ Hall is returning to college after withdrawing from the NBA draft on Thursday.

The 6-foot-10 forward took part in the NBA combine and posted his decision to put off the pros on social media.

Hall led the Tigers with 15.3 points per game this past season. He also led the Tigers with 37 blocks, along with 5.7 rebounds. Hall helped Clemson finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference while posting a program-record 14 league wins.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell said Hall gained experience from going through the NBA’s combine that will help the team next season. “I’m counting on him and others to help lead a very talented group,” he said.

Hall was named to the all-ACC third team last season as the Tigers went 23-10.

Clemson adds Syracuse’s Joseph Girard III, 3 others

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson added four transfers including high-scoring, ex-Syracuse player Joseph Girard III to its roster for next season.

The school announced that Girard, former North Carolina State forward Jack Clark, ex-Air Force guard Jake Heidbreder and former UNC Greensboro forward Bas Leyte all signed with the Tigers for next season.

Girard, a 6-foot-1 guard who played four seasons for the Orange, was sixth in overall scoring in the Atlantic Coast Conference at 16.4 points a game. His joining gives Clemson the two top returning scorers in league play in Girard and returning forward PJ Hall.

Clark, at 6-foot-8, made 17 starts for the Wolfpack last season, averaging nine points and 6.9 rebounds. Clark also played three seasons with La Salle.

Heidbreder is a 6-5 guard who was picked for the all-Mountain West third team last season after averaging 15.1 points a game.

Leyte is a 6-10 forward who started 49 games the past two seasons in his four years with the Spartans. He averaged 7.6 points and 4.3 rebounds last year.

The Tigers were 23-11 last year and finished third in the ACC, winning a school-record 14 league games.

Pack’s 20 lead No. 23 Miami to 78-74 win over No. 20 Clemson

Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

CLEMSON, S.C. – Miami coach Jim Larranaga has a message he routinely tells his players.

“Coach L always says, `Calm, cool, collected will win you games,”‘ Hurricanes reserve Bensley Joseph said with a smile.

No. 23 Miami needed every bit of that mantra to hold off No. 20 Clemson, 78-74, on Saturday. Nijel Pack scored 20 points, Isaiah Wong 15 and the Hurricanes held on after opening a 12-point lead in the second half.

“We were able to do that in the last five minutes,” Joseph said.

Wong and Pack each hit 3-pointers right after halftime for the Hurricanes (18-5, 9-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who used a 21-9 run to open a 56-44 lead with 11:10 to play.

The Tigers sliced the deficit to 76-74 on Alex Hemenway’s 3-pointer with 0.9 seconds to play. Pack was fouled on the inbounds and calmly – there’s that word, again – made two foul shots to finish off the victory.

Clemson (18-6, 10-3) lost its second straight game after opening ACC play 10-1.

The Hurricanes stepped up their offense after halftime. Pack had 14 of his points in the final half while Wong had 11 points over the final 20 minutes. Miami hit six of its nine 3-pointers in that period.

Larranaga felt the excitement of the sold-out Clemson crowd at Littlejohn Coliseum. The poise the Hurricanes showed was essential in the victory.

“To come out in the second half and be able take the lead under these circumstances says a lot about our team,” Larranaga said. “That we were very competitive, and didn’t let the crowd take us out of our gameplan.”

Wooga Poplar added 14 points for Miami while Jordan Miller had 12.

PJ Hall had 17 of his team-high 19 points in the second half for the Tigers. Hunter Tyson added 13 points and 10 rebounds, his ninth double-double in Clemson’s 13 league games.

Tyson thought his team’s defense needed to be tougher. “We couldn’t get the stops when we needed to,” he said. “They scored 78 in our gym. That should never happen.”

Miami came in with the ACC’s third highest scoring offense while Clemson was third in the league in defense.

The Hurricanes used a 16-8 run closed on Miller’s tip-in of his own miss to lead 30-25 with five minutes left in the half.

But Tyson hit a pair of threes, had a step back basket and took a charge on the other end as Clemson answered with a 10-1 burst to move in front 35-31.

Miami, though, answered last as Harlond Beverly’s jam in the final minute tied things at 35-all heading to the break.

The Hurricanes did a strong job early on Clemson’s main force down low in Hall, holding the 14-point a game scorer to 1-of-5 shooting and just one rebound the first 20 minutes.

Clemson did a similar job on Miami’s driving force, Wong, who also made one of his five first-half attempts.


Miami: The Hurricanes showed the scoring punch and defense that’s kept them among the Top 25 this season. They were six of 12 on 3-pointers in the second half and hit 13 of 15 foul shots to thwart a Clemson comeback.

Clemson: The Tigers have had a difficult week, the first-place ACC team losing at Boston College 62-54 before get run over early in the second half against Miami. The 0-2 stretch will likely mean Clemson will drop from the poll, although they’ll still be on top in the ACC standings.


Clemson doesn’t play until next Saturday. Tigers coach Brad Brownell said it’s probably a good time for time off. There’s been a mix of fatigue and handling player absences due to injury that have taken a toll on the Tigers, he said. “The good news is we’re whole,” with injured players Chase Hunter, Hemenway and Brevin Galloway back in the lineup. “Having said that, we need a break.”


Miami goes home to play Duke on Monday night.

Clemson heads to North Carolina on Feb. 11.

BC beats No. 20 Clemson 62-54; Tigers fall into ACC tie

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

BOSTON — Makai Ashton-Langford had two key driving baskets in the closing two minutes and finished with 15 points to help Boston College beat No. 20 Clemson 62-54 on Tuesday night.

Jaeden Zackery added 13 points for the Eagles (11-12, 5-7 Atlantic Coast Conference). BC held Clemson to one field goal — and that came with 18 seconds left — in the final 13:16.

Hunter Tyson led Clemson (18-5, 10-2) with 22 points and Chase Hunter had 12. The Tigers fell into a first-place tie atop the ACC with No. 6 Virginia.

The Eagles used a 5-0 spurt — with T.J. Bickerstaff hitting a free throw and getting a driving layup — to pull ahead 50-45 with just over five minutes to play.

Clemson sliced it to 50-47 before Aston-Langford made his two big baskets. He followed that by making two free throws with 32 seconds left.

Trailing by 10 midway into the second half, the Tigers went on a 10-0 spree, tying it at 45 when RJ Godfrey hit both ends of a 1-and-1.

The Eagles had opened a double-digit lead twice in the opening six minutes of the second half, the later 45-35 on Prince Aligbe’s foul-line jumper with 14:12 to play.


Clemson: Off to a solid start in conference play, the Tigers were tested on the road for the second straight game after edging Florida State by a point on Saturday. It hasn’t been easy for them away from home with a 4-3 record and with three away matchups against North Carolina, North Carolina State and Virginia to go, they’ll need to get it straightened out of they’re going to won the ACC regular-season title.

Boston College: The Eagles proved when they play defense that they’re a tough out in coach Earl Grant’s second season. A little more offense could make them very dangerous for top ACC teams to play.


In the first half, Clemson’s man-to-man defense smothered the Eagles’ offense for the opening 10 minutes, holding them in single digits in scoring until just about the same time the student section finished filling up late, bringing some energy to a very quiet building.

BC’s players then responded, closing the half with a 22-4 spree that turned an 11-point deficit to a 30-23 halftime edge.


Both teams were missing key players. Guard Brevin Galloway, Clemson’s fourth leading scorer at 10.6 points per game, was sidelined with an abdominal injury. For BC, guard DeMarr Langford Jr., who logs big minutes at the point, was out with a knee injury.


Clemson: Hosts No. 23 Miami on Saturday.

Boston College: Hosts Syracuse on Saturday.

Clemson starter Galloway will miss time after surgery

brevin galloway
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson starter Brevin Galloway is expected to miss games for the 24th-ranked Tigers after having surgery on his groin area Thursday.

The 6-foot-3 Galloway has started 20 of 21 games after transferring from Boston College this past offseason.

Galloway posted on social media that he’d had the surgery. Clemson coach Brad Brownell confirmed in a text to The Associated Press that Galloway had the operation.

Galloway said in his post he will be in uniform soon. He is not expected to play at Florida State on Saturday.

A fifth-year player, Galloway has averaged 10.6 points a game this season. He’s second on the Tigers with 55 assists and 18 steals.

The Tigers (17-4) lead the Atlantic Coast Conference at 9-1 in league play.

Clemson is already down two experienced players due to injury.

Point guard Chase Hunter, who started the team’s first 18 games, has missed the past three with a foot injury.

Guard Alex Hemenway, in his fourth season, has missed the past nine games with a foot injury. Hemenway was the team’s leading 3-point shooter (27 of 54) before getting hurt.

Surprising Clemson on top with best ACC start


COLUMBIA, S.C. — Clemson coach Brad Brownell’s had a landmark ACC start at exactly the right time.

The Tigers (14-3) lead the Atlantic Coast Conference at 6-0, the only undefeated team in league play. And it follows an underachieving 2021-22 season when athletic director Graham Neff put the program on notice that making the NCAA Tournament was a prime directive.

Message received: The Tigers are off to their best ACC mark since joining the league in 1953.

“Our kids have gotten better and their approach has been fantastic,” Brownell said. “There’s a belief in what we’re doing and we’re reaping that.”

Clemson faces its first ranked ACC team this season against No. 24 Duke.

Picked 11th in the ACC in the preseason, fifth-year forward Hunter Tyson has averaged a double-double with 16.2 points and 10.1 rebounds a game. The 6-foot-8 graduate student has gotten double-doubles in Clemson’s past five contests, including road wins at Virginia Tech and Pitt.

Clemson took a dip last season (17-16 and out of the postseason) when Tyson broke his collarbone in February and missed eight games.

Now, Tyson is healthy and confident in what he can accomplish.

“I do whatever it takes to help my team win,” Tyson said. “If that’s me really hitting the glass hard and getting a lot of rebounds, that’s what I’ll do. That’s happened a lot lately.”

Brownell is in his 13th season – only Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton and Virginia’s Tony Bennett have been in the ACC longer – with just three NCAA appearances, the last coming in 2021.

He readily acknowledges many think his Tigers should’ve won more than they have over the years. Yet, Brownell’s had four seasons of double-digit wins in ACC play after only three in Clemson’s first 57 league seasons.

Brownell is also the only Clemson coach with a win at North Carolina, breaking the Tigers’ embarrassing 0-59 mark at Chapel Hill in January 2020.

So Brownell won’t get ahead of himself with the Tigers hot start. “We’re not going to get too high or too low at this point,” he said.

The February schedule includes games against No. 16 Miami and No. 13 Virginia. And there’s a return to North Carolina, the expected ACC champion that’s had an up-and-down season so far.

Clemson point guard Chase Hunter won’t concede any let downs, the way his team is playing at the moment.

“We definitely had big goals, big dreams for the season,” he said.

Brownell has tapped the portal in the past to bolster his roster, but this year’s squad has only one transfer in the rotation in former College of Charleston and Boston College guard Brevin Galloway. The rest of the starters are experienced players who’ve stuck with the Tigers and developed their talent, such as Tyson, Hunter and forward PJ Hall.

Hall, a 6-10 junior, had surgery to repair a bone fracture in his left foot. As he recovered in July, Hall suffered a partial dislocation of a kneecap that also required an operation.

Yet, Hall has played in all but one of the games, averaging 12.4 points and leading the team with 16 blocks.

Brownell said there were plenty of days in the offseason when Hall wondered if it was all worth it. But Hall worked “because he wants to be with our team,” the coach said. “That’s why we have a good team, because of the character of our team.”

Win or lose to Duke, the season doesn’t stop, Brownell said. But he believes the team’s shared experience through the years can sustain them even during the grind of the ACC season.

“Our guys have been here,” he said. “We’re a rare group. We’re happy to watch kids get better and experience success.”