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ACC Basketball power rankings: Wake Forest rises, Virginia slides down

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - DECEMBER 22: Jayden Gardner #1 of the Virginia Cavaliers defends Hunter Tyson #5 of the Clemson Tigers in the first half during a game at John Paul Jones Arena on December 22, 2021 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - DECEMBER 22: Jayden Gardner #1 of the Virginia Cavaliers defends Hunter Tyson #5 of the Clemson Tigers in the first half during a game at John Paul Jones Arena on December 22, 2021 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images) /
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ACC Basketball PJ Hall Clemson Tigers (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)
ACC Basketball PJ Hall Clemson Tigers (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images) /

432. . 9-4 (1-1). . Tigers . 4. team

The Tigers had a brutal stretch at one point, losing four out of five games, even though none of them are at home. They’ve won four straight since, including impressive double-digit victories over South Carolina and Virginia.

The star of those two wins was Hunter Tyson, who averaged 16.5 ppg in those games. He and forward PJ Hall (14.4 ppg and 6.3 rpg) have been key in Clemson’s early-season successes, while guards Al-Amir Dawes and David Collins also are in double figures. And rounding out the starting lineup is Nick Honor, just right behind at 9.6 ppg.

The Tigers have a solid 8-man rotation, with Alex Hemenway, Chase Hunter, and Naz Bohannon playing well off the bench. This is a solid defensive unit that is also capable of scoring when needed. They’re also a very underrated shooting team, ranking in the top-10 nationally at 41% from three-point range. If that keeps up, they should be able to stay in the top-tier of the ACC.

What helps Clemson is that they don’t have a clear-cut weakness like most of the teams in this conference does. Whether or not PJ Hall can be the best player on an NCAA Tournament team remains to be seen but right now, they’re on the right track.