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Syracuse Basketball: Guard Joe Girard III is heading to fellow ACC foe

Syracuse basketball, Joe Girard III (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball, Joe Girard III (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images) /

Former Syracuse basketball player Joe Girard III will don an Orange-clad uniform and suit up in the Atlantic Coast Conference next season.

But as a graduate student in the upcoming 2023-24 term, the 6-foot-1 shooting guard will compete for fellow ACC squad Clemson, he revealed via Twitter on Sunday.

First and foremost, I’m wishing all the best to Joe Girard III. I’ll be rooting for him, except of course when he and those Tigers play the ‘Cuse in 2023-24.

Not too long ago, Girard said he was down to a final two of Clemson and Southeastern Conference member LSU. He took visits to both programs and has selected Clemson, thereby remaining in the ACC and setting up an interesting situation in 2023-24.

I believe that, in the upcoming stanza, Syracuse basketball and Clemson will play a home-and-away series against one another, and I sincerely hope that when Joe Girard III comes to the JMA Wireless Dome as an opponent, Orange fans are respectful to him.

Syracuse basketball will square off versus Joe Girard III at least twice in the 2023-24 campaign.

The ‘Cuse and Clemson played once during the 2022-23 season, when Syracuse basketball finished at 17-15 overall. In 2022-23, the Orange traveled to the Tigers and got blown out, 91-73.

Girard, in that disappointing setback, tallied 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting from the field.

A native of Glens Falls, N.Y., Girard wrapped up his ‘Cuse career as a top 20 all-time scorer in the history of the Syracuse basketball program. That’s an impressive achievement.

However, Girard often caught a lot of criticism on social media and in chat rooms from some Orange fans, who were frustrated with his defensive performances and decision-making at times.

Plus, in his four years on the Hill, Syracuse basketball only made the Big Dance once, advancing to the Sweet 16 of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

I’ve always felt that some of the criticism directed at Girard was misplaced and unfair. He moved to his more natural position of shooting guard in 2022-23, and he had a solid senior term with the ‘Cuse.

In 2022-23, Joe Girard III led Syracuse basketball in scoring, at 16.4 points per contest. He also averaged 2.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, while connecting on 40.3 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from beyond the arc and 85.7 percent from the free-throw line.

For his four-year career on the Hill, Girard averaged 13.2 points, 3.6 assists and 2.9 rebounds a game, and he hit on 37.8 percent from the field, 36.3 percent from 3-point land and 86.3 percent from the charity stripe.

In late March, Girard said that he would enter the NCAA’s transfer portal, test the 2023 NBA Draft waters and maintain his collegiate eligibility. After hitting the portal, he reportedly heard from a bunch of schools.

As far as the Orange’s 2022-23 backcourt is concerned, Joe Girard III is moving to Clemson. Fellow senior guard Symir Torrence has transferred to Binghamton.

Freshman point guard Judah Mintz is testing the 2023 NBA Draft waters but also maintaining his college eligibility. Guards J.J. Starling, a Notre Dame freshman, and Chance Westry, an Auburn freshman, have transferred to Syracuse basketball.

I also am assuming that freshman wing Justin Taylor and freshman guard/wing Quadir Copeland will be back in 2023-24.

Syracuse basketball reaches out to 4-star, top-60 prospect, a top-10 center. dark. Next