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What Hunter Tyson’s injury means for the Tigers

Matt Mynes, Contributor

Clemson men’s basketball forward Hunter Tyson wears a sling for his injured collarbone while his teammates come to the bench.

Clemson men’s basketball suffered a significant blow against Florida State. The team seemed to be gaining steam heading into the home stretch of its regular season, but the following day the program announced that senior forward Hunter Tyson had suffered a broken clavicle, casting a hazy cloud over the team’s outlook. 
On Monday, head coach Brad Brownell admitted that he is uncertain as to when Tyson will return.
“Maybe there’s an outside chance by the ACC Tournament or something he could play. I’m not optimistic,” Brownell said. “I don’t know how you sit out a month and then, all of a sudden, you’re going to be ready to go.
Tyson’s injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Tigers, who have been trying to escape the doldrums of the ACC. In Tyson’s last three games Clemson went 2-1, including a heartbreaking two-point loss at No. 9 Duke.
Now without his fourth-leading scorer, Brownell has to prepare his team to face an ACC gauntlet of Duke, Notre Dame and Florida State as they continue to fight through Febuary.
“I think the middle and bottom of the [ACC] is better than people think,” Brownell said following the loss to Georgia Tech. “It’s competitive every night, it’s hard every night, it’s hard to win.” 
Tyson served a vital role on this Clemson team outside of his leadership and experience. He was possibly the most efficient player on the team; he ranks in the top-five of every major statistical category for the Tigers, per 40 minutes.
Brownell knows that it is going to take a group effort to replace his production.
“He’s your voice. So you need some of your older guys to provide voice,” he said. “I feel awful for him, but the next man up’s got to go.” 
Clemson’s offensive floor spacing may take a hit as well, as Tyson has shot just under 39% from beyond the arc on high volume. Reserve forwards Naz Bohannon and Ian Schieffelin have combined for seven 3-point attempts this season.
Prior to Tyson’s injury, Bohannon served as the team’s backup power forward. He now has an opportunity to make a permanent slide into the starting lineup, as he did on Saturday versus Georgia Tech.
Bohannon feels that despite his size, he can make an impact as a starter.
“Rebounding is a want-to skill,” Bohannon said following the Florida State game. “At that point, at six-five or whatever it is I am, I feel like my heart makes me bigger than a lot of guys out there.”
After struggling through injuries to both ankles throughout the season, Hunter Tyson will be sidelined indefinitely with his shoulder injury. Despite being a fourth-year senior, Tyson will still have the option to return to Clemson next season thanks to the newly-implemented COVID-19 exemption rules.
Although Tyson has not officially been ruled out for the postseason, it is not expected that he’ll see regular season action again this year.

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