Syracuse will look to once again reach .500 basketball tonight on the home court opposing Clemson. SU could use a bounce-back win after losing yet another game within 5 points (make it 4 now in ACC play). Here’s what you need to know about the Tigers:
Far and away the best player Clemson has to offer, PJ Hall will surely be a key point of Syracuse’s strategy heading into tonight’s contest. Hall, out of Spartanburg, South Carolina was the number 1 ranked recruit in the state when he committed to Brad Brownell’s team back in 2019. At 6-10 235, Hall has the ability to dominate the paint up against just about anyone, including Jesse Edwards. Look for Clemson’s offense to be running through the big all night long, and for Edwards to struggle to defend or score on the Tigers’ prized possession. The sophomore has made a supreme jump in his scoring efforts from last year to now. As a freshman during the 2020-21 campaign, Hall didn’t see nearly as much playing time and in turn, scored around 3.5 ppg. This season, that number is up around 15. Hall has missed double-digit scoring just once this year, and it was in the first game of the season in which he shot just 4 times. PJ Hall will be a major problem for Syracuse tonight.
Clemson ranks 19th in the country in three-point percentage. Their 38.4% from behind the arc is largely due in part to their three core shooters, Al-Amir Dawes (40.2%), Hunter Tyson (39.6%), and Nick Honor (35.5%). These three guys launch threes all game long and when they can’t find a shot, toss it inside to Hall and let him go to work. With Syracuse’s bad defense and tendency to allow three-point shots (currently dead last at 31.6 per game), brace yourselves for some high-scoring basketball. SU’s defense will surely be put to the test once again and without some major tweaks from Coach Boeheim, seems like it will fail in a massive way. If Syracuse is to win, they’ll have to find a way to stop the three-ball, as well as the near 7-footer inside.
Clemson has lost 3 of its last 4 including a 16 point loss to Notre Dame. They’ll be looking to pick up a win against a struggling Syracuse team, while SU has a chance to kick them while they’re down. With both teams coming off losses, it’s sure to make for a high-intensity/gritty game. We’re at the point in the season where resumes are being formed and both these teams really need a win here. With a loss, Syracuse falls two games below .500 and continues to rampage through Jim Boeheim’s worst season quite literally ever. A Clemson loss pushes them further out of the tournament race, but unlike Syracuse, at least they still have a solid shot.
Both teams need a win inside the Carrier Dome tonight. Tip-off is at 9 pm, you can watch on ACC Network, and follow along on Twitter @OrangeFizz where I’ll have you covered live from the Dome throughout.