Busting Brackets

ACC Basketball: Way-too-early power rankings for 2024-25 season

Michigan State v North Carolina
Michigan State v North Carolina / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages
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7. Clemson Tigers

2023-24 season record: 24-12 (11-9 ACC)

In what was viewed as a “must-win” year for Coach Brad Brownell, the Tigers nearly made history as a program, making it to the Elite 8 for the first time in 43 years and was close to its first-ever Final Four. Brownell certainly isn’t on the hot seat anymore but he’s going to have to replace a few key pieces, mainly guards Chase Hunter and Joe Girard.

The good news is that “for now” star big man PJ Hall (18.3 ppg and 6.4 rpg) is coming back for a 5th year. We’ll know more in over a week about his true intentions but as long as he’s around, Clemson will be viable in the ACC. Forward Ian Schieffelin (10.1 ppg and 9.4 rpg) is a very important returning piece to the puzzle as well.

Just in case Hall is gone, the Tigers have a capable big man arriving in Viktor Lakhin, who averaged 9.2 ppg and 6.0 rpg at Cincinnati. He’s a 6’11 forward and a physical presence. And as far as the backcourt goes, former Boston College guard Jaeden Zackery (11.3 and 4.2 apg) is set to be the lead guard for them. Jake Heidbreder, who didn’t play this past season, did average over 15 ppg at Air Force and could be a big piece next season.

Clemson still could use another guard or two and we’ll have to wait on Hall, arguably the most important decision to watch for in ACC Basketball. If he goes, the Tigers will take a step back.