Syracuse Basketball: How to watch ‘Cuse vs. Clemson as Joe Girard III returns to Dome

Syracuse basketball got by Louisville at home, and 'Cuse will host Clemson and former SU guard Joe Girard III on Saturday.
Syracuse basketball got by Louisville at home, and 'Cuse will host Clemson and former SU guard Joe Girard III on Saturday. / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse basketball continues its three-game home stand when the Orange hosts Clemson on Saturday afternoon, as former 'Cuse guard Joe Girard III returns to the JMA Wireless Dome for the first time since transferring to the Tigers as a graduate student following last season.

A lot of Orange fans had a lot of things to say about Girard when he played on the Hill, and I'm sure a lot of Syracuse basketball fans will have a lot of things to say about him when he returns to the Dome on Saturday.

Say what you want, but Girard is having a strong 2023-24 season for Clemson, and the Tigers are a good team with a relatively strong post-season resume. Case in point, earlier this week, Clemson (15-7, 5-6 in the ACC) knocked off No. 3 North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Syracuse basketball (15-8, 6-6 in the ACC), meanwhile, picked up a two-point victory at home against Louisville this past Wednesday evening, buoyed by a career night from sophomore forward Chris Bell, who tallied 30 points on 8-of-10 shooting from deep, to go along with six rebounds and a huge block in the game's final minutes.

How to watch Syracuse basketball against Clemson in Central New York.

The 'Cuse and the Tigers will do battle beginning at 12 pm on Saturday, Feb. 10, with television coverage on ESPN2. Coverage may also be available on fuboTV.

The Orange has a ton of work to do if it wants to reside anywhere close to the conversation for a potential invite to the 2024 NCAA Tournament, and beating Clemson would prove a good start. Entering this Atlantic Coast Conference collision, the Tigers had an NCAA NET ranking of No. 31 when I authored this article, and if that rating gets to No. 30 or higher, it would represent a quadrant-one opportunity for the 'Cuse.

At the time of this writing, the Orange's NET was No. 87, with a quad-one success at Pittsburgh. If Oregon can move up to No. 50 or better in the NET, then the neutral-site win by Syracuse basketball over the Ducks could also enter quad-one territory.

The Tigers, via the Bracket Matrix Web site, hover around a No. 7 seed for this spring's Big Dance, while the 'Cuse at present isn't appearing in any mock field of 68 projections there.

Clemson is an excellent offensive squad, averaging 79.0 points per game and checking in at No. 18 via KenPom in adjusted offensive efficiency. Syracuse basketball, on the flip side, had been in the top 35 or so in adjusted defensive efficiency not too long ago, per KenPom.

Yet over the Orange's last three games, the 'Cuse has allowed 80 points to Boston College on the road, 99 points to Wake Forest on the road, and then 92 points to Louisville at home. That's a problem.

What's more, the Orange's depth at power forward/center is limited these days. Junior center Naheem McLeod, a transfer from Florida State, is out for the rest of 2023-24 after having surgery on his foot, and junior forward Benny Williams was dismissed from the program a few days ago.

To that end, Louisville out-rebounded the 'Cuse, 40-21, earlier this week, and that enabled the Cardinals to feast on Syracuse basketball as it pertains to second-chance points.

Clemson, as a collective unit, corrals around 2.5 more rebounds per game than Syracuse basketball, so the glass could prove an issue for the Orange once again.

Girard, by the way, is having a terrific grad-student year for the Tigers. He's among the ACC leaders in 3-point shooting percentage and free-throw shooting percentage. Girard, per ESPN, is averaging 15.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per contest, while hitting on 42.3 percent from the field, 42.8 percent from beyond the arc and 93.1 percent from the free-throw line.

Clemson's senior big man, PJ Hall, is an absolute stud, averaging 20.1 points, 7.1 boards, 1.6 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.0 steals per affair.

At this juncture in 2023-24, the Tigers own some impressive victories, having defeated the aforementioned Tar Heels, Alabama, South Carolina, TCU and Florida State, among others. They also fell by two points or fewer to Duke, Virginia and Memphis.

In their all-time series together, Syracuse basketball is just 6-8 versus Clemson, according to

After the Orange duels the Tigers, the 'Cuse will get a rematch with UNC after North Carolina pasted Syracuse basketball at home in mid-January. The Tar Heels will come to the Dome on Tuesday, Feb. 13, beginning at 7 pm and with television coverage on ESPN.

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