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Hall erupts for 25 points in senior night win over Syracuse

Katherine Shealy
PJ Hall lays down a hammer on a dunk on Tuesday night, dominating the Syracuse Orange on senior night at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Tuesday night saw the Clemson men’s basketball team compete in its senior night game, and star center PJ Hall made the most of it, leading his team to a 90-75 win over the Syracuse Orange.

Hall has been an instrumental part of the team during his tenure with the Tigers, and his performance on Tuesday showed precisely how impactful he is. While it was an emotional game, he performed at his highest level in his final regular-season home game at Littlejohn Coliseum.

“It was awesome,” Hall said. “It’s funny, like before the game, I was thinking like, oh gosh, whenever I go out for the first recognition, I need to make sure I’m calm and stuff. But once I stepped out there, really the nerves went away, and I was just ready to go play some ball.”

“Play some ball” was an understatement to describe Hall’s performance, as he was credited with 10 of Clemson’s first 12 points. The South Carolina native finished with 25 points, seven rebounds, one block and shot 11-19 from the field.

He went out with a bang as he swatted away a shot attempt from a Syracuse player and later laid down the hammer with a dunk to put the nail in the coffin and secure a victory against the Orange in the final minutes of the contest.

A top-50 recruit from Spartanburg, South Carolina, the senior stayed close to home when choosing Clemson. His family, girlfriend and friends were there to watch him perform, and he loved it.

“It’s been awesome… having support from my family that close to home… it was huge. It’s very special to have people right there in your corner.”

Hall even encouraged other local prospects to make the same choice as him.

“I hope that a lot of people can follow in my footsteps of staying home because there’s nothing really like it and being able to impact the program for the long-term… it’s special.”

He still has a decision to make about his future. Since he was a freshman during the 2020-2021 season, which was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, he still has a fifth year of eligibility from the NCAA to use if he chooses.

Hall is slotted as the 47th pick to the Miami Heat, according to a Feb. 28 Bleacher Report 2024 NBA Mock Draft by Jonathan Wasserman.

“PJ Hall has built a case around an improved fit with more shotmaking and defensive mobility,” Wasserman said. “He’s still at his best using his strength, footwork and skill in the post, but the 1.5 threes and 1.7 blocks per game suggest he’s now better suited for a stretch-4/5 role.”

When asked about his decision, Hall was noncommittal on either way.

“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s been a great year, but we have to see how the summer goes. I also do not want to overstay my welcome.”

As for now, Hall and his teammates are focused on their immediate future, as they are still holding the tiebreaker over Pittsburgh for the conference tournament. After defeating Syracuse, the Tigers are one step closer to securing a double bye.

Clemson will be back in action for its final game of the regular season in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for a battle against Wake Forest on Saturday at 6 p.m.

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Angelo Feliberty
Angelo Feliberty, Senior Reporter
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