Last season, despite a third-place ACC finish and a program record 14 league victories, the Clemson basketball team missed out on the NCAA Tournament for a second consecutive year.
The primary culprit? A weak nonconference strength of schedule.
Coach Brad Brownell apparently is actively working toward addressing that issue, hinting at Tuesday night’s annual IPTAY Prowl and Growl gathering that Memphis and Boise State could appear on the Tigers’ 2023-24 slate.
“We’re really close,” Brownell said during the event at the Greenville Convention Center. “We’re in conversations with Memphis, we’re in conversations with Boise State – two teams that have been in the NCAA Tournament a good bit. We’re hoping to finalize contracts soon.”
Those two opponents would help. Memphis went 26-9 last season and finished second behind Houston in the American Athletic Conference. The Tigers had a NET ranking of 22.
Boise State finished tied for second in the Mountain West Conference behind San Diego State. The Broncos were 23-10 overall and had a NET ranking of 34.
Clemson has never played either team.
In its 13th season under Brownell, Clemson went 23-11 overall, including a 14-6 record in the ACC, establishing a school record for most ACC victories in a season. The Tigers had a NET ranking of 67.
“We were really close this year,” Brownell said. “I think we’ll have good expectations for ourselves.”
The Tigers will return their top two scorers – PJ Hall and Chase Hunter – as well as Ian Schieffelin, who started 22 games. Hall averaged 15.3 points last season while Hunter scored at a 13.8 clip.
Brownell has added three players via the transfer portal – guard Joseph Girard from Syracuse, guard Jake Heidbreder from Air Force and forwards Jack Clark from NC State and Bas Leyte from UNC Greensboro.
Scott Keepfer covers Clemson athletics for The Greenville News and the USA TODAY Network. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @ScottKeepfer
This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Memphis, Boise State could be on Clemson basketball schedule