It was announced by several outlets that Clemson guard Scott Spencer will transfer from the Tigers basketball program.
The 6’6” sophomore G/F was a three-star recruit out of Virginia when he chose Clemson over offers from Kansas State and Washington. He suffered a back injury as a freshman and appeared in just seven games. This year, he appeared in 19 games, but found limited production.
Spencer posted an inefficient offensive rating of 70.7 on 7-17 (.412) two-point shooting and 3-23 (.130) three-point shooting. While he wasn’t a major source of blocks or rebounds wither, his size made his potential development interesting.
This may end up being positive for Clemson’s roster - assuming Marcquise Reed and Shelton Mitchell return. If the two star juniors - who are testing their NBA draft stock by entering Draft Combine, but not hiring agents - choose to come back, the Tigers will have eight returning scholarship players. Add to that three incoming freshmen: G John Newman, C Trey Jemison, and F Hunter Tyson. That’s 11/13 scholarships.
Having two open slots allows for two potential impact freshman this year. The transfer market in college basketball has become key and the Tigers have begun cashing major dividends from being part of it. Eli Thomas (Texas A&M), Shelton Mitchell (Vanderbilt), Marcquise Reed (Robert Morris), and Mark Donnal (Michigan) were all transfers who made major contributions this past season.
Coach Brownell and staff will surely be looking to supplement next year’s roster - which may be rather strong - with a grad transfer. They may also be willing to add a talented transfer that has to sit a year.
Some possibilities that our staff have discussed internally include:
Michael Finke from Illinois is eligible to play immediately as a graduate transfer. He is a big 6-10 All-Academic Big 10 selection that averaged 9.8 points and 4.6 rebounds playing in 25 MPG. His rebounding percentages compare favorable to Clemson’s departing Mark Donnal, though Donnal is the better three-point shooter. His hometown is Champaign, IL so I’m not sure if he has any interest in coming to Clemson, but he would be a great fit getting minutes behind Eli Thomas.
Dion Wiley, a shooting guard from Maryland, and Mike Cunningham, the star PG from USC Upstate, are other grad transfers that stand out as possibilities. A full list of eligible grad transfers can be found here.
Don Coleman, originally from Augusta, GA, is transferring. After going to JUCO for a year to improve his offer list out of high school (he initially committed to Florida Atlantic), he went to Cal-Berkeley. The 6’4” shooting guard averaged 14.2 points on an often overmatched Cal Bears squad (8-24). He would have to sit a year, but then could slot in the following season with Reed departing.
Note: Our discussion about them does not indicate that the players have indicated interest in Clemson or that the staff has expressed interest in having them join the team.
Expect Clemson to land at least one if not two transfers in the coming months. It’ll be interesting to see what the staff prioritizes and how Mitchell and Reed’s draft combine impacts priorities. Please jump into the comment section below to discuss.