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Georgia Tech vs. Syracuse: The Advanced Preview

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We've got new and improved power ratings! We'll use them to break down Georgia Tech's ACC home opener against the Orange.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Georgia Tech (9-4) Syracuse (10-4)
Total Power Rating 19.5 22.1
Offense Power Rating 18.0 21.1
Defensive Power Rating 20.9 23.1
RPI .613 (29) .571 (65)
Effective FG% 46.1% 49.3%
Effective FG% Defense 48.2% 42.8%
Offensive Rating 106.0 109.9
Defensive Rating 101.1 91.4
Rating Differential +5.5 +18.4
Offensive Rebound% 77.2% 69.7%
Defensive Rebound % 41.0% 37.6%
Turnover Ratio 16.3% 16.4%
Opponent Turnover Ratio 16.9% 20.0%
Foul Line % 22.1% 23.0%
Opponent Foul Line % 26.2% 19.1%
Pace 74.5 76.2

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.

First thing’s first, we have new and improved power ratings! Our friends at Streaking the Lawn gave me a helpful suggestion that will hopefully improve on the power ratings we’ve come to know so far. The old rating was a good indicator of offense, but not so much defense. Now, I’ve separated them into offense power ratings and defensive power ratings.

Like the original power rating, the defensive power rating focuses on the inverse of the four factors used in the offensive power rating: (1) effective FG% defense, (2) defensive rebound%, (3) opponent foul line rate and (4) opponent turnover ratio. Now that we’ve established precedent for the new ratings, let’s waste no time diving into the analysis.

Syracuse Overview

The word on Syracuse early this season is they’re in for a down year. As mentioned in FTRS's Q&A with Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician, the Orange’s freshman haven’t come into form yet and there’s a lack of a consistent jump shooter. Despite all that, ‘Cuse is 10-4 with only one bad 65-68 loss coming to Michigan. The inverse? They only have two wins against the RPI top 100.

Syracuse’s eFG% backs up Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician’s claim of a lack of an effective jump shooter. Only 49.3 percent effective shooting for the Orange so far this season, which can attributed to their uncharacteristically low 29.0 percent three-point shooting. The offensive rating isn’t anything to be scared of either with only 109.9 points per 100 possessions.

However, Syracuse is playing good defense as usual. They’re holding opponents to a 42.8 eFG% and an insane 20 percent opponent turnover rate. Basically, one of every five opponent’s possessions ends in a turnover against that vaunted 2-3 zone. Tech already has trouble scoring as it is, so Syracuse is starting looking to be a bad matchup.

Georgia Tech Overview

If there’s one thing we learned about Tech in the 83-76 double overtime thriller against Notre Dame, it’s that you better make your shots count against the Yellow Jackets. Tech is a rebounding machine with a 77.2 percent defensive rebounding percentage and an even better 41.0 percent offensive rebounding percentage.

Per kenpom.com (advanced college basketball stats), Tech is the only team is the country that ranks in the top 10 in offensive rebound percentage and opponent’s offensive rebound percentage. This is great because the Yellow Jackets shoot a low percentage anyway and need to take away as many opponent’s possessions as possible.

For some reason, Tech continues to shoot over 16 three pointers per game. That normally isn’t a bad thing, but Tech only shoots 23.9 percent from long range. This is the main reason Tech has the worst eFG% in the ACC, so it’s hard for me to understand why Brian Gregory doesn’t abandon the three. It’s time to let DeMarco Cox and Charles Mitchell bang inside to score on higher percentage shots. The two combine to shoot 54.9 percent, all in the paint.

The Starting Five PER

Georgia Tech Syracuse
G: Travis Jorgenson - 5.2 G: Kaleb Joseph - 8.2
F: Marcus Georges-Hunt - 14.1 G: Trevor Cooney - 12.4
F: Charles Mitchell - 15.9 F: Michael Gbinije - 12.7
F: Quinton Stephens - 10.3 F: Rakeem Christmas - 25.7
C: Demarco Cox - 13.6 F: Chris McCullough - 16.3
Team Average - 11.4 Team Average - 14.2

The Prediction

These are two teams that have not been great on offense this season, but one has proven they can play good defense. However, that team isn’t Georgia Tech and even with this game being at home I still don’t like the Yellow Jackets inefficient offense against Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone. I’d expect a close game with the final score being:

Line: Syracuse (-4) via sportsbook.ag

Syracuse 69, Georgia Tech 64