BUIES CREEK — After going through the NBA evaluation process, Chris Clemons will return for his senior season at Campbell.
Clemons filed paperwork with the NBA last month to enter the 2018 draft process. He did not hire professional representation which allowed him the opportunity to go through the evaluation process and either stay in the draft or return for another season of college basketball.
A junior from Raleigh, Clemons ranked fourth in the country — tops in the Big South Conference — with a 24.9 scoring average. He was named to the Lou Henson All-America team by CollegeInsider.com and to the Big South all-conference first team as well as all-district units from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).
“I would like to thank my family, friends, teammates, supporters and the Campbell University staff for the support and love that they have shown me during my NBA draft experience,” said Clemons. “After a lot of thought and consideration, I have decided to return to Campbell University to continue my collegiate career and the pursuit of my college degree. This experience has taught me so much and I am excited to use my knowledge to grow as a player and teammate to help the Campbell Men’s Basketball program achieve great things.”
Clemons owns the nation’s longest double-figure scoring streak (82 games) among active Division I players. He became Campbell’s all-time leading scorer March 14 during Campbell’s first round win over Miami (Ohio) in the College Basketball Invitational.
With 2,232 points in 97 career games, Clemons only trails Reggie Williams of VMI (2,557 from 2004-08) on the Big South Conference all-time scoring list.
“Chris Clemons will continue to learn and grow as a player as he has done each of his first three seasons at Campbell,” said CAmels coach Kevin McGeehan. “This opportunity to have exposure to the NBA and its vast amount of knowledge and information for the second straight season will be critical as Chris continues to evolve his game. He will now be able to again share his knowledge and experience with our growing team and apply his experience to help us win.
“Chris will now have the opportunity to go down as one of the all-time greats, in Campbell history, in Big South history and in NCAA history. I am excited for him and for our program and looking forward to helping Chris and Campbell continue to move forward and achieve his and our ultimate goals.
In addition to ranking fourth in the country in scoring, Clemons also rated seventh in the nation in total free throws made (211) and eighth in total points scored (772) despite missing three games due to injury.
Clemons scored a season-high 42 points (10-14 threes) on Jan. 23 in a 94-85 win at Liberty when he and Marcus Burk became the first teammates in NCAA Division I history to make 10 three-pointers each in the same game. Clemons hit game-winning buzzer beater threes vs. High Point (Jan. 12) and Radford (Jan. 21) and was named Big South player of the week three times during the regular season.
A three-time all-conference honoree out of Millbrook High School, Clemons has already set school career records for scoring average (23.0), as well as field goals made (720) and attempted (1,628). His 211 foul shots made in 2017-18 stand as a new school single-season record. Clemons’ 772 points in a season are second only to the school yearly mark of 904 he tallied in 2016-17.
He has scored at least 20 points in a game a school record 71 times, including a school standard of 16 games with at least 30 points.
Clemons and the Camels finished 18-16 overall and secured a second-straight postseason berth. Over the last two years, Campbell has won 37 games, the most in back-to-back seasons in the program’s Division I era (since 1977-78).
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report. Front photo by Bennett Scarborough/Scarborough Photography)