|Georgia Tech (9-3)||Notre Dame (13-1)|
|Defensive Rebound %||76.6%||73.1%|
|Offensive Rebound %||40.8%||30.6%|
|Field Goals Assisted %||13.0%||17.5%|
|Foul Line %||22.9%||25.4%|
Using these advanced stats, we get a clearer picture of just how this game will play out. The power rating is a statistic designed by me that adds in the four factors (True FG%, OffReb%, TO%, FL%), 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.
Now that football season is over, it’s time for basketball conference play! Georgia Tech’s non-conference performance was inconsistent at best, coming away with a power rating of only 18.4 (anything under 20 is bad). As of right now, Tech is shooting ineffectively and can’t take care of the ball. An average defense and a below average offense is not going to do a lot of damage in the ACC.
That same combination will certainly not be enough for Tech’s opponent today. Notre Dame is good and the 13-1 record is no smoke and mirrors. The Irish hold an efficiency differential of 40, which ranks up with the likes of Kentucky and Duke. Dayton beat the Jackets by 14 for Tech’s worst loss of the season, but that could be eclipsed at 2:30 this afternoon.
Notre Dame Overview
There’s nothing I can say about the Irish that the numbers can’t say for themselves. Notre Dame shoots an effective 63.4 percent (!!) and while I haven’t done the calculations for every team in the NCAA, I’d like to bet good money that it’s one of the best. Notre Dame is already the number one regular shooting team in the country at 55.4 percent, and Tech already struggles defending the three-point shot.
Additionally, Notre Dame is scoring 136.4 points per 100 possessions. So we’ve already established the Irish are really good at scoring, but how are they on the defensive end? They’re allowing 96.3 points per 100 possessions, which is above average at best. Notre Dame only pulls down 30 percent of their missed shots, which is one place where Tech will have to take advantage. Any team can go cold on the shooting front and Tech must be ready to protect the glass.
Notre Dame’s only other glaring weakness has been their schedule. To their credit, the Irish did beat two teams in the RPI top 50 (Michigan State 79-78 OT and UMass 81-68). Outside of that, it’s been a pretty weak slate for Notre Dame in the non-conference. Georgia Tech will be the best team in terms of RPI Notre Dame has played this season, but the power rating says that won’t make much of a difference.
Georgia Tech Overview
As mentioned earlier, Tech has a hard time scoring points. Whether it be the terrible team three-point shooting or the bad free throw shooting, either way the offensive struggle could lead to a long ACC slate. The team’s efficiency differential is slowly shrinking game-by-game as the defense becomes less effective. Since December 15th, Tech’s defensive efficiency has gone up 2.5 points.
Perhaps more cause for concern, since December 15th the Jackets offensive efficiency hasn’t changed at all. Simply put, the team has regressed over the past two and a half weeks. Regression going into conference play is bad news for the Yellow Jackets, especially when there will be seven games against ranked opponents over the next two months.
Georgia Tech’s only advantage in this game is on the boards. It’s a slim advantage on the defensive glass, but as mentioned earlier any team can have a bad-shooting day. If that were to occur, it’d be up to Tech to own the boards and create more possessions for the offense. Of course, that’s asking a lot from a team that is third in the country in scoring offense at 86.1 points per game.
The Starting Five PER
|Georgia Tech||Notre Dame|
|G: Travis Jorgenson - 5.7||G: Demetrius Jackson - 20.9|
|F: Marcus Georges-Hunt - 14.0||G: Jerian Grant - 24.5|
|F: Charles Mitchell - 14.9||G: Pat Connaughton - 19.1|
|F: Quinton Stephens - 8.9||G: Steve Vasturia - 12.7|
|C: Demarco Cox - 14.8||F: Zach Auguste - 26.2|
|Team Average - 11.5||Team Average - 19.1|
Things look bleak for the Yellow Jackets ACC opener. Notre Dame has the looks of a Final Four contender, while Georgia Tech… doesn’t. Notre Dame does too many things well that Georgia Tech simply can’t do, that being scoring points and playing consistent defense. It could be a long afternoon for the Jackets, with the final score looking like:
Line: Notre Dame (-12) via sportsbook.ag
Notre Dame 89, Georgia Tech 77