Here's what Clemson basketball has to do to replicate this season's success

LOS ANGELES — Clemson basketball's 2023-24 season will be cherished among fans as arguably the best because of the team's historic run in the NCAA tournament.

The Tigers' goal this season was to make it back to March Madness. They exceeded those expectations by getting to the Elite Eight, their deepest advancement in 44 years after missing the tournament the past two seasons.

"Now with a couple of tournament appearances, a lot of wins in the ACC, an Elite Eight, (we've) stacked up a quiet résumé that has helped build the program up," Clemson forward PJ Hall said Saturday.

Still, the Tigers (24-11) likely will have to retool their roster to make it back to this stage next season. Guard Joseph Girard III, who is third all-time in 3-pointers made in the ACC, is out of eligibility. Guard Chase Hunter and forwards Jack Clark and Hall will have to decide if they will return to the Tigers or pursue pro basketball.

In a perfect world, Hall, Hunter and Clark return and pursue an NCAA championship for one final year. The nightmare scenario is that coach Brad Brownell has to replace his starting backcourt and three of the team's leading scorers next season.

The only starter who is guaranteed to return is Ian Schieffelin, who led the team in rebounding and won the ACC's Most Improved Player award. Rising juniors Chauncey Wiggins, RJ Godfrey, Dillon Hunter and Joshua Beadle also could take a leap in play like Schieffelin did.

Still, Brownell, who just completed his 14th season, likely will rely on the transfer portal to add pieces. Clemson has struggled to land elite high school talent, unlike other ACC teams. In the upcoming cycle, it signed three three-star recruits — forward Dallas Thomas (Little Rock, Arkansas) and guards Ace Buckner (La Porte, Indiana) and Del Jones (Castaic, California).

As a result, Brownell has leaned into the portal to land players who can have an immediate impact for the Power Five program.

'WE MADE HISTORY': How Clemson basketball raised the standard despite Elite Eight loss

The dominoes will fall when Hall, Chase and Clark decide if they are returning. These looming decisions come after Clemson's magical season ended Saturday in the Elite Eight at the hands of No. 4 seed Alabama, which made 16 3-pointers.

The Tigers entered the NCAA tournament as a No. 6 seed after being one of the first four teams left out of March Madness last season. This year, after their worst loss of the season to Boston College in the ACC tournament, they defeated No. 11 seed New Mexico in the first round of March Madness, upset No. 3 seed Baylor and then No. 2 Arizona in the Sweet 16.

"The ride we've been on these last two weeks, phenomenal. Something we'll always remember," Brownell said.

The Tigers opened the season 11-1, defeating Alabama, TCU and Boise State, all of which made the NCAA tournament. They finished conference play 11-9, tied for fifth place in the ACC standings.

Derrian Carter covers Clemson athletics for The Greenville News and the USA TODAY Network. Email him at and follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @DerrianCarter00

This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Clemson basketball: How does Brad Brownell replicate season's success