|Georgia Tech (9-5)||Wake Forest (8-8)|
|Total Power Rating||19.3||19.4|
|Offensive Power Rating||17.6||17.6|
|Defensive Power Rating||21.0||21.2|
|RPI||.595 (39)||.515 (140)|
|Effective FG% Defense||47.5%||49.5%|
|DeDefensive Rebound %||76.5%||77.5%|
|Offensive Rebound %||41.4%||33.9%|
|Opponent Turnover %||18.0%||17.9%|
|Foul Line %||22.1%||30.0%|
|Opponent Foul Line %||25.2%||23.8%|
Using these advanced stats, we get a clearer picture of just how this game will play out. The total power rating is a statistic designed by me that adds in the four factors (eFG%, OffReb%, TO%, FL%) for offense and the inverse (eFG%D, DefReb%, OppTO%, OppFL%) for defense; RPI- a true measure for strength of schedule and the rating differential. If any of the other categories seem confusing, I’ve attached a Basketball Stat Glossary here.
We're now 3-0 straight up on picks since we’ve been doing these previews and the confidence is starting to roll with the power ratings. While I could have never seen the eye-gouging worthy offensive performance happening on Wednesday from both teams, we at least knew Syracuse was going to pull it out in the end. However, this week we’ll have a real challenge in picking a winner.
As told by the power ratings, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech are almost the same team. Bad on offense, below average on defense and have yet to win a conference game. Something’s got to give in what looks to be another sad day for offensive basketball, so let’s dive into the analysis to see what we can find.
Wake Forest Overview
While the Demon Deacon’s are 0.1 points better than Tech in the overall power ratings, mathematically that’s saying nothing. These two sides are deadlocked on nearly every single metric. Neither side scores a lot of points while also playing just average defense. That is, if you want to call giving up a 49.5 percent effective shooting average (it’s actually quite terrible).
Wake Forest separates itself from Georgia Tech in their ability to get to the foul line. Nearly a third of Wake’s possessions end in a trip to the line, but the team only shoots 64.4 percent. The Demon Deacons have three freshmen in Dinos Mitoglou, Mitchell Wilbikin and Cornelius Hudson that shoot a combined 71 percent from the charity stripe and will look to attack inside on DeMarco Cox and Charles Mitchell. Keeping those two out of foul trouble will be key for Tech.
Despite their shortcomings, Wake has been a scrappy team for much better opponents this season. The Demon Deacons are fresh off playing Louisville and Duke back-to-back and kept both final scores within single digits. While by RPI standards they have no real "good" wins to speak of, Wake has shown they’re capable of hanging around with much better teams.
Georgia Tech Overview
I’ll have to give Georgia Tech some credit here: you really have to try hard to play as badly offensively as they did against Syracuse. In the first seven minutes if the second half, both teams combined for SEVEN points. I don’t think we’ll see a repeat of a performance that poor, but at this point I won’t put it past a Brian Gregory coached team.
Per usual, Georgia Tech holds an advantage on the offensive boards against Wake. However, Wake Forest is just as good as Tech on the defensive boards with a 77.5 percent defensive rebounding percentage. Cox and Mitchell’s success on the boards is what helped keep the Yellow Jackets alive against Syracuse and the same will have to hold true for this afternoon’s game.
During the halftime show of the Syracuse game, ESPN analyst and former Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio had some advice for Tech coach Gregory: "Lay off the three’s, go for the east two’s". Unfortunately, this is something you’ll hear me harp on all season long until the issue gets fixed. Tech shoots 44.9 percent in effective field goals, which isn’t even good for a regular field goal percentage.
Tech has one player who shoots over 30 percent from long range, yet Tech still shoots over 16 three’s per game. Until the Yellow Jackets can just lay off the three point shot, this season will continue to be frustrating on the offensive front.
The Starting Five PER
|Georgia Tech||Wake Forest|
|G: Travis Jorgenson - 5.4||G: Mitchell Wilbekin - 12.4|
|G: Chris Bolden - 8.2||G: Codi Miller-McIntyre - 12.9|
F: Marcus Georges-Hunt - 13.6
|F: Darius Leonard - 11.2|
|F: Charles Mitchell - 16.1||F: Greg McClinton - 10.6|
|C: DeMarco Cox - 14.5||F: Devin Thomas - 17.7|
|Team Average: 11.4||Team Average: 12.6|
As mentioned earlier, this is a near mathematical deadlock. There is little to no separation between these two teams and normally when this happens you go with the home team. However, Wake is just 6-5 at home so there isn’t even a home court advantage to speak of. When I cranked out the numbers, it actually had these teams at a tie score. If Georgia Tech still decides the three point shot is their best option for offense, my gut says the score will be:
Line: Wake Forest (-2.5) via sportsbook.ag
Final: Wake Forest 62, Georgia Tech 58