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Analysis: Clemson men’s basketball vs. Georgia Tech

Matt Mynes, Contributor

Clemson men’s basketball forward Naz Bohannon (33) drives to the basket against North Carolina.

On Wednesday, March 3, Clemson men’s basketball will play its second to last game of the regular season against Georgia Tech at 7 p.m. With a victory, Clemson will reach the .500 mark for the first time this season since Feb. 10. 

It will be a tall task for the Tigers, as they could be without their star duo of Hunter Tyson and PJ Hall. Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said on Monday that he is unsure whether Hall will play, but that Tyson has a chance to play.  

The last time Clemson faced Georgia Tech was on Feb. 5, when the Yellow Jackets pulled off a five-point victory at home after guard Deivon Smith filled the stat sheet with 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists off the bench.  

To defeat the Yellow Jackets, Clemson will likely need to contain Georgia Tech’s backcourt of Michael Devoe and Jordan Usher. Devoe and Usher account for 47.5% of Georgia Tech’s points per game while being the primary playmakers on the team. 

In Clemson’s first game against Georgia Tech, Clemson did a good job of containing Devoe’s scoring, who scored three points. Still, he was effective with his playmaking ability while Usher scored 14 points. 

The two players that could get the first nod of guarding the two guards are graduate transfers, Naz Bohannon and David Collins, especially since they will be the most effective at stopping the pick and roll.  

Both Bohannon and Collins are quick on their feet and won’t be at much of a disadvantage switching off between Devoe and Usher. 

Next, Clemson needs to contain the rebound battle. Through 29 games, Clemson is averaging 34.9 rebounds per game, while Georgia Tech is averaging 34.4 rebounds per game.  

Although Clemson has been holding its own on the boards without Hall and Tyson, Clemson needs to continue to crash the boards and limit Georgia Tech’s second chance opportunities through offensive rebounds. 

Keep an eye on Bohannon, Ben Middlebrooks and Ian Schieffelin to do most of the grunt work down low against Georgia Tech center Rodney Howard and Usher. 

Finally, Clemson needs to continue to run its offense through Chase Hunter. The sophomore guard has blossomed into the Tigers’ offensive leader since Hall has been out with an injury. In the past three games, Hunter has averaged 18 points, 4.3 rebounds and one steal per game. 

Whether he is delivering a jaw-dropping dunk or manipulating his body through a pair of defenders at the rim, Hunter has helped keep Clemson’s offense afloat. His explosiveness and athleticism not only help him on offense but also on defense as he is a reliable defender. 

Make sure to keep an eye on these three things to help propel Clemson to a victory before its regular-season finale against Virginia Tech on Saturday. 

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