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Georgia Tech Basketball Game Preview: Yellow Jackets Finish Road Swing at Virginia

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Georgia Tech faces a tough test against #16 Virginia

NCAA Basketball: Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a heartbreaking loss at Virginia Tech the Yellow Jackets close their three game road trip with a game in Charlottesville against the Virginia Cavaliers. Virginia comes into the game ranked #16 in the AP poll and looking every bit as good as they have been the past few years. They enter on a three game winning streak, defeating Boston College 71-54 in Chestnut Hill in their last game. Last season, the Tech upset Virginia in McCamish Pavilion early in the ACC season before getting routed by the Cavaliers in the ACC tournament. The Yellow Jackets have been playing well so far this season but a road game in John Paul Jones Arena is tough task for any team.

Team Comparison

Ranking 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 11-7 3-3 N/A N/A 90 102 2-4 North Carolina (6) Ohio (104)
Virginia 14-3 4-2 16 4 seed 16 5 3-2 at Louisville (9) at Pitt (62)

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 67.8 67.7 42.9% 39.7% 35.3% 33.8% 69.0% 36.9 36.6 15.0 6.1 6.8
Virginia 70.0 53.5 50.0% 38.0% 41.3% 32.4% 68.9% 33.4 29.4 15.4 6.1 4.5

Projected Starters

Georgia Tech (11-7, 3-3)

Position Number Name Year MPG PPG Notable
Position Number Name Year MPG PPG Notable
G 0 Justin Moore Fr. 24.8 5.8 3.4 apg
G 11 Josh Heath Sr. 28.1 5.9 5.0 apg in ACC play
G 5 Josh Okogie Fr. 28.9 14.6 17.3 ppg in ACC play
F 12 Quinton Stephens Sr. 33.6 11.0 18.7 ppg over last 3 games
C 44 Ben Lammers Jr. 34.6 14.9 3.6 bpg
6th Man 1 Tadric Jackson Jr. 21.1 10.8 41.7% 3FG%

#16 Virginia (14-3, 4-2)

Position Number Name Year MPG PPG Notable
Position Number Name Year MPG PPG Notable
G 32 London Perrantes Sr. 30.4 11.8 2.3 Ast/TO ratio
G 0 Devon Hall R-Jr. 24.7 7.9 84.0% FT%
G 4 Marial Shayok Jr. 19.3 9.5 13.3 ppg over last 3 games (all wins)
F 21 Isaiah Wilkins Jr. 26.2 6.5 Leads team in rebounds, blocks, and steals
C 33 Jack Salt R-So. 18.4 4.3 60.8% FG%
6th Man 51 Darius Thompson R-Jr. 22.3 7.8 49.5% FG%

Player to Watch

G - London Perrantes

Perrantes’s per game numbers aren’t terribly impressive on the surface, but make no mistake; he’s one of the best players in the country. Last season he ranked among the national leaders in 3-point field goal percentage at 48.8%. He’s fallen off a bit in that area this season (to 40.5%) but his 2-point field percentage has increased and his scoring average has ticked up slightly. He’s the Cavaliers’ best player, but the scary thing is they don’t need him to go off to win. Earlier this week against Boston College, Perrantes only played 20 minutes, scoring 6 points and 2 assists, yet Virginia blew out the Eagles 71-54.

What to Watch

In writing these previews, I’ve erred on the side of traditional per game statistics because they’re a little bit easier to understand and, frankly, I don’t have as good of a grasp on basketball advanced statistics as I do baseball or even football. Virginia is the first team that has made me debate looking up per possession or other advanced statistics. The Cavaliers play with a slow, defensive style that runs counter to the direction most college basketball teams are going in and they have been extremely successful doing it. They only have one player averaging over 10 points per game (Perrantes) in large part due to the way they limit possessions, yet they are no doubt one of the best teams in college basketball.

There’s no way around it, this will be a very difficult game for Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets will need try and control the tempo of the game, hoping they can go fast enough to keep Virginia off balance. If the game is played at Virginia’s pace, Tech’s shooters (Tadric Jackson and Quinton Stephens) will really need to step up and knock in a few threes. One thing to keep an eye on in this game (and going forward) is the minutes of Ben Lammers and Quinton Stephens. Both members of the Yellow Jackets’ starting front court have been shouldering a heavy minutes load. Stephens has played all 40 minutes in each of the last two games, while Lammers has played 74 of 80 minutes. This will mark Tech’s third game in the last 7 days. In order to compete, the Yellow Jackets need Lammers and Stephens on the court but the minutes may be getting to be too much for them to handle.

Where to Watch

Tune in to your ACC Network Affiliate (Peachtree in Atlanta) at 2:00 PM.