Joe Girard III, Clemson Storm the Dome and Defeat Syracuse 77-68
It was a bittersweet day inside the JMA Wireless Dome today, as Joe Girard III – a former Syracuse Orange, made his return to Jim Boeheim Court. But, this time, not in Syracuse orange, but Clemson (16-7, 6-6 in ACC) orange. The same Clemson team that just took down the ‘Cuse (15-9, 6-7 in ACC) 77-68.
While it felt nice to escape with the win, the four-year SU starter also said that coming back to the Salt City was a very emotional moment.
“I mean, SU means everything to me. They gave me a chance right out of high school,” the grad-transfer said. “Playing for a hall of famer – you don’t get to do that every day, you don’t get to do that everywhere. He gave me a chance and especially being someone from New York, I would always follow Syracuse basketball.”
Maybe, it’s something about this court that gets Girard going. He led both teams in scoring with 18-points. That includes four made three-pointers and four clutch free to put the game on ice. He’s been nothing but an exceptional addition to this Tigers team, according to head coach Brad Brownell.
“We recruited pretty hard in the transfer portal, we got to know him through that process and knew that he had something about him,” said the bench boss. “He’s a winner, he’s a mature guy. Poise, is part of the reason I wanted another guard. I wanted another guy that environments like this…wasn’t going to flinch.”
While it may have been a successful homecoming for the Glens Falls native, it was anything but for his former team. The Orange shot under 40% from the field and, after the game, head coach Adrian Autry said “this one’s on us.”
Which means it’s also on them to make a quick change before #3 North Carolina (19-5, 11-2 ACC) visits the Dome on Tuesday. Tip-off is at 7 PM.