Skara, a defense-first forward who averaged 22-minutes per game following the Donte Grantham injury, will return to Clemson. His surprise decision to leave with one year of eligibility remaining left a void that the Tigers would be forced to fill with young unproven players.
Nevertheless, after securing the return of C Elijah Thomas, PG Shelton Mitchell, and SG Marquise Reed, Clemson was already poised to make another run at and in the NCAA tournament. With Skara’s “change of heart” and decision to return (as reported by the State), they’ll have one of their best rosters years.
Here’s how it could look:
Elijah Thomas will start at center. Although Mark Donnal is gone, depth should be strong with newcomers Trey Jemison (freshman) and Javan White (grad transfer) behind him.
Aamir Simms has an opportunity to become a three-year starter at PF if he can cement himself into that role as a sophomore. He needs to be more consistent on defense. Malik William, another rising sophomore, is primed for a more significant reserve role and Javan White can play PF, as he is very athletic.
David Skara and Anthony Oliver each have an opportunity to start at the other forward position as incoming freshman Hunter Tyson provides additional depth.
Marquise Reed and Shelton Mitchell will start at the guard positions and fuel the offense. Freshman John Newman and sophomore Cycle Trapp will provide depth.
This could be the best Clemson basketball team since 1990. There’s reason for high expectations and massive fan enthusiasm for next season. Get ready!
Update: TigerNet is now reporting this story as well, however they note that the process “won’t be quick,” “the paperwork process could take a long time,” and it will ultimately be “up to the NCAA.”