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Georgia Tech at Duke: The Advanced Preview

The last time Georgia Tech played a top five team they scored 28 points. Just reminding y'all we ARE talking about basketball here...

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Georgia Tech (10-11) Duke (18-3)
Total Power Rating 18.2 25.1
Offensive Power Rating 16.7 25.3
Defensive Power Rating 19.7 24.9
RPI .5475 .6721
Offensive Efficiency 104.8 126.6
Defensive Efficiency 103.5 100.7
Efficiency Differential +1.3 +25.9
Effective FG% 44.8% 56.3%
Effective FG% Defense 48.5% 46.9%
Offensive Rebound% 39.8% 37.2%
Defensive Rebound% 74.9% 72.1%
Foul Line Rate 22.3% 30.1%
Opponent Foul Line Rate 24.3% 17.6%
Turnover Rate 16.1% 14.3%
Opponent Turnover Rate 15.9% 16.6%
Average Pace 72.5 77.2

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.

Time for some more good news, bad news, folks. The bad news is Georgia Tech probably isn't making a tournament of any kind this season, other than the ACC of course. The good news is Tech's schedule gets a little more manageable the rest of the way. Believe it or not the Yellow Jackets have a shot to be .500 this season, with Wake, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Clemson twice being five the last eight games on the schedule.

However that all holds true AFTER tonight, when Tech heads up to Durham to face the No. 4 Duke Blue Devils and their vast array of NBA talent, basketball tradition and arguably the greatest coach in college basketball history. The silver lining is Tech players will at least get to say they played in Cameron Indoor, and that's cool right? Plus, it's really fun to dive into the metrics and see just how good Duke is:

Duke Overview

The thing that comes first and foremost with Duke is their balance on offense. As a team Duke shoots 37.6 percent from the field, which isn't great by Duke standards but is still good enough to hurt you when it counts. More impressively, the Blue Devils shoots 56.7 percent from inside the arch. A majority of those shots come from the potential 2015 No. 1 pick Jahlil Okafor, whose 26.9 PER leads the team.

Duke is exceptional at getting to the free throw line, as nearly a third of their possessions end there and convert nearly 70 percent of their attempts. They can match Georgia Tech's ability to rebound with bigs like Okafor and Amile Jefferson down low and don't commit silly fouls. Duke finds themselves in trouble against teams who can shoot the three efficiently, as evidenced in their three losses this season (Miami, NC State and Notre Dame combined to shoot 28 of 54, or 51.8 percent from downtown).

If anyone has seen Tech play basketball this season, the three isn't exactly the Yellow Jackets biggest strength. Well, shooting in general has been a problem for Georgia Tech, which is just what Coach K wants in an opponent. Force the offense inside to deal with Okafor and Jefferson to take away what little of an outside shot Tech had to start with.

Georgia Tech Overview

Simpy put, you have to score a lot of points if you're going to beat Duke because their perimeter defense has been shaky at times this season. This puts Georgia Tech in a tough spot. As already mentioned, if you want to beat Duke you have to be able to shoot the ball well, especially from outside. As of today, the Yellow Jackets shoot an effective 44.8 percent and average only 104.8 points per 100 possessions.

Miami, NC State and Notre Dame all scored 75 plus points against the Blue Devils to win and Tech has topped 75 points in just four of their 21 games this season. Normally Tech's only advantage against other teams is in the rebounding department, but when you're trying to box out the apparent "savior of the New York Knicks" the advantage you once had suddenly doesn't hold much water.

Tech's only hope at this point would be for Duke to come into this game not taking anything seriously or just losing their shooting touch like Miami did last week. If this game gets way out of hand like the Virginia game just remember two things: 1) Tech will have a pretty nice signing day and 2) the basketball schedule isn't as brutal from here on out.

The Prediction

I'm not going to sugar coat this one: it will be ugly. This is simply a bad matchup for Georgia Tech and Duke is playing much better since Rasheed Sulaimon was given the boot. The line here is 17.5, which was about the same as the Virginia game and I thought Tech would cover that. Fool me once, but not twice Brian Gregory. I believe Duke takes this one easily by a score of:

Line (-17.5) Duke via

Final: Duke 86, Georgia Tech 65