By Johnny Falduto
Clemson Women’s Basketball (3-0) and Clemson Men’s Basketball (3-0) take their undefeated records into the weekend, where both teams are set to be in action in non-conference play.
Women’s basketball and head coach Amanda Butler tip off their two-game weekend with what will likely be their toughest test of the entire season, traveling to Columbia to face off against Dawn Staley’s No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks (2-0) on Thursday night. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET on SEC Network. The matchup will be the 68th all-time meeting between the two programs, with South Carolina leading the all-time series 34-33. The Gamecocks ran away from the Tigers with an 85-31 victory in mid-November last season.
South Carolina opened its season with a 100-71 win over Notre Dame, who was ranked tenth at the time, in Paris. They followed that up with a 114-76 home-opening win over Maryland, who was ranked 14th at the time.
Clemson’s women’s team will have a quick turnaround after Thursday night’s game in Columbia, returning home for a 3:30 p.m. tipoff against Longwood (1-3) in Littlejohn Coliseum on Sunday.
Coach Butler’s group has opened their season with wins at home over Winthrop, Charleston Southern, and Mercer by an average of 28 points each. Graduate forward Amari Robinson has led the team in scoring in each game, and her 21.3 PPG ranks ninth in the ACC and 50th nationally. Her .720 FG% also ranks among the best in the conference and Top-30 nationally.
On the men’s side, head coach Brad Brownell and his team return to Littlejohn Coliseum after clinching the 2023 Asheville Championship last weekend to play Boise State (2-0) on Sunday, with tipoff set for 1 p.m. ET.
Clemson opened its season with a 90-39 win at home over Winthrop last Monday before traveling to Asheville for the weekend, where they would beat both the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Davidson, two teams that will be contending for their respective conference championships this season.
PJ Hall was named the Tournament’s MVP after averaging 22.0 PTS and 8.0 REB over the team’s two games, and Syracuse transfer Joe Girard hit five threes, including three in the second half, to finish with 17 points in his best game of his young Clemson career in the Tigers’ comeback victory over Davidson to clinch the title.
Boise State finished last season with a record of 24-10, good for a 10-seed in the NCAA Tournament. A win for Clemson would be a third non-conference win over a quality opponent, which will presumably pay dividends come Selection Sunday in March.
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