Clemson's Joe Girard hits 2,000 career points against Syracuse, his old team

On3 imageby:Thomas Goldkamp02/10/24

Clemson star Joe Girard III has scored his 2,000th career point. And he did it against a familiar foe: his old Syracuse team.

After transferring from Syracuse to Clemson this offseason, Girard has maintained his status as one of the ACC’s elite scorers. He scored 18 points in the team’s win over Syracuse on Saturday, burying his old team.

Girard hadn’t made much of facing his former squad before the game, but surely he will enjoy this one.

“I really haven’t thought about it, to be honest with you,” Girard said, according to the Post and Courier. “Being in the midst of a season, as the competitor I am, I kind of take it day by day. Like any other game.”

This one, though, was not like any other game.

On top of facing his old team, Girard had the chance to cross the 2,000-point mark in his career. He entered the day with 1982 points, so he needed every one of his 18 points against Syracuse to make it happen.

In addition to being a 2,000-point scorer, Girard is nearly alone atop the ACC’s career 3-point shooting list. Only Duke‘s JJ Redick and Virginia‘s Curtis Staples currently have more than Girard’s 366.

Staples hit 413 in his career, while Redick hit 457.

In any event, his trip back to Syracuse was a highly successful one. Coach Brad Brownell had hoped for as much.

“That kid would never say anything negative about Syracuse. He enjoyed his experience there, loves the fans,” Brownell said. “So I hope it will be good. It will be emotional for him, I’m sure. I’ll probably talk to him about it. … It’ll be an interesting trip, for sure.”

Clemson won after building a huge first-half lead. The Tigers opened up a 27-12 edge in the first half, then managed to keep the lead for almost the entirety of the contest.

Syracuse managed to briefly tie the game at 60-60 before Clemson pulled away for the win in the final minutes.

Along with Girard’s team-leading 18 points in the contest, Clemson also had three other double-figure scorers: PJ Hall (15), Ian Schieffelin (13) and Chase Hunter (10).