clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Georgia Tech Basketball Game Preview: Techmo Bowl Basketball Edition

New, 12 comments

The Yellow Jackets take a 2-game winning streak into Blacksburg

NCAA Basketball: Georgia Tech at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Five games into the conference season, Georgia Tech sits tied for 4th in the ACC at 3-2 and already having exceeded almost all preseason predictions. With the top-10 gauntlet behind them, the Yellow Jackets would seem to be in good position but, alas, there are no easy stretches in the ACC. This week, Tech will take two trips to the Commonwealth of Virginia to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies and #16 Virginia Cavaliers. First up, is the Battle of the Techs.

Georgia Tech enters the game riding high on the strength of a two-game winning streak and playing really sound team basketball. Last time out, the Yellow Jackets went into Raleigh and came away with a win while freshman Josh Okogie went toe-to-toe with potential top-5 NBA draft pick Dennis Smith Jr. Meanwhile, the Hokies have been as hard to figure out as the rest of the ACC. They sit at 2-3 in conference play with a 14-point win against Duke and a 26-point loss at the same NC State the Yellow Jackets just beat. Last time out, they lost a close one against Notre Dame. If the Yellow Jackets can come away with another win, they’ll have to be taken seriously as a postseason contender. For the Hokies, falling to 2-4 doesn’t spell doom, but it certainly would not be a good look.

Team Comparison

Rankings Comparison

Team Record ACC Record AP Rank Bracketology RPI Rank KenPom Rank Record Against KenPom Top 50 Best Win Worst Loss
Team Record ACC Record AP Rank Bracketology RPI Rank KenPom Rank Record Against KenPom Top 50 Best Win Worst Loss
Georgia Tech 11-6 3-2 N/A N/A 85 115 2-3 North Carolina (6) Ohio (104)
Virginia Tech 13-4 2-3 N/A 9 seed 54 46 2-2 Duke (11) at NC State (75)
KenPom Top 50 record determined by teams in current Top 50. Best win/worst loss determined by KenPom Rank.

Stat Comparison

Team PPG Opponent PPG FG% Opponent FG% 3FG% Opponent 3FG% FT% RPG Opponent RPG APG SPG BPG
Team PPG Opponent PPG FG% Opponent FG% 3FG% Opponent 3FG% FT% RPG Opponent RPG APG SPG BPG
Georgia Tech 68.2 68.1 42.8% 39.7% 34.8% 34.4% 69.4% 37.4 36.7 14.9 6.1 6.6
Virginia Tech 82.6 72.5 48.8% 43.2% 39.4% 31.5% 69.8% 35.7 35.2 16.4 4.8 3.2

Projected Starters

Georgia Tech (11-6, 3-2)

Position Number Name Year MPG PPG Notable
Position Number Name Year MPG PPG Notable
G 0 Justin Moore Fr. 25.3 6.1 3.5 apg
G 11 Josh Heath Sr. 27.3 5.5 18 assists in last two games
G 5 Josh Okogie Fr. 28.5 14.8 18.4 ppg vs ACC
F 12 Quinton Stephens Sr. 33.2 10.6 7.6 rpg
C 44 Ben Lammers Jr. 34.4 15.1 3.3 bpg
6th Man 1 Tadric Jackson Jr. 20.9 10.9 42.6% 3FG%

Virginia Tech (13-4, 2-3)

Position Number Name Year MPG PPG Notable
Position Number Name Year MPG PPG Notable
G 5 Justin Robinson So. 30.0 11.0 4.4 apg
G 13 Ahmed Hill R-So. 31.1 14.4 44.2% 3FG%
G 10 Justin Bibbs Jr. 28.9 8.3 85.7% FT%
G 15 Chris Clarke So. 28.9 12.8 62.2% FG%
F 32 Zach LeDay R-Sr. 29.7 16.2 7.3 rpg
6th Man 4 Seth Allen R-Sr. 27.0 11.1 46.7% 3FG%

Player to Watch

G - Justin Bibbs

Zach LeDay and Chris Clarke are probably the Hokies’ best players, but so far in ACC play Junior guard Justin Bibbs has emerged as something of an X-factor. In Virginia Tech’s two conference wins, Bibbs was phenomenal, scoring 18 points in each game on 50% shooting. In their three losses, Bibbs averaged 3.7 points on 23% shooting. Head Coach Buzz Williams uses a fairly short rotation, so it is critically important that the Hokies get contributions from more than just LeDay and Clarke. Getting Bibbs going early would be a good sign for Virginia Tech.

What to Watch

The Hokies are an interesting team on paper. They only play one player over 6’ 7”, 6’ 10” freshman forward Khadlm Sy, and he averages only 8 minutes per game in conference play. Instead, Buzz Williams’s team plays three guards with good size (6’ 5” or 6’ 6”) and focus on attacking big men off the dribble. On defense, they aggressively pursue ball-handlers, looking to create turnovers before the ball can get into the post. This aggressive play has worked fairly well for the Hokies thus far.

The undersized Hokies could present an opportunity for Georgia Tech center Ben Lammers to have a huge game. Lammers will be one of the better two-way big men that Virginia Tech has played this season and his presence in the paint will test their small-ball strategy. Josh Heath’s ball handling will also be key. The past two games may have been the best two game stretch of Heath’s career (15 points, 18 assists, 6 turnovers) and that type of play will have to continue tonight for the Yellow Jackets to pick up a fourth conference win.

Where to Watch

The game will be broadcast on your RSN affiliate at 9:00 pm.