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Georgia Tech Basketball Game Preview: #6 Florida State Comes to McCamish

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The Yellow Jackets return to the friendly confines for a game against the ACC leaders

NCAA Basketball: Georgia Tech at Virginia Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

After three straight road games, the Yellow Jackets return home to McCamish Pavilion for two games against AP Top 25 competition. First up is #6 Florida State. The Seminoles come in tied atop the ACC leader board with North Carolina at 6-1 (UNC has the head-to-head victory). Florida State is coming off of a streak of six straight games against teams in the Top 25, in which they went 5-1. The Yellow Jackets went 1-2 on their road trip, upsetting NC State before dropping two games against the Virginia schools. Tech has already pulled a major upset at home this season. Can they add a second?

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 11-8 3-4 N/A N/A 88 99 2-5 North Carolina (7) Ohio (98)
Florida State 18-2 6-1 6 2 seed 5 13 8-1 at Virginia (6) Temple (101)
Record against KenPom Top 50 is determined by the current Top 50. Best win/loss is determined per the KenPom Top 50.

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 66.8 67.4 43.0% 40.0% 35.7% 33.2% 68.7% 36.3 36.3 14.8 6.3 6.5
Florida State 85.7 70.8 49.8% 39.6% 36.7% 33.3% 69.3% 38.4 34.8 15.0 7.8 5.6

Projected Starting Lineups

Georgia Tech (11-8, 3-4)

Position Number Name Year MPG PPG Notable
Position Number Name Year MPG PPG Notable
G 0 Justin Moore Fr. 24.9 6.0 5-6 shooting, 10 pts at UVA
G 11 Josh Heath Sr. 27.9 6.0 56.3% FG% vs ACC
G 5 Josh Okogie Fr. 28.8 14.6 16.9 ppg vs ACC
F 12 Quinton Stephens Sr. 33.7 10.7 8.2 rpg
C 44 Ben Lammers Jr. 34.8 14.5 3.4 bpg
6th Man 1 Tadric Jackson Jr. 21.1 10.4 40.0% 3FG%

#6 Florida State (18-2, 6-1)

Position Number Name Year MPG PPG Notable
Position Number Name Year MPG PPG Notable
G 22 Xavier Rathan-Mayes Jr. 26.1 10.4 4.7 apg
G 14 Terance Mann So. 25.6 9.3 60.0% FG%
G 4 Dwayne Bacon So. 28.1 17.4 8th in ACC in scoring
F 1 Jonathan Isaac Fr. 25.1 13.3 7.8 rpg
C 50 Michael Ojo Gr. 13.2 5.3 58.6% FG%
6th Man 3 Jarquez Smith Sr. 13.4 4.6 8 ppg over last 5

Player to Watch

F - Jonathan Isaac

Dwayne Bacon is the Seminoles’ leader and best player but Isaac, the highly regarded freshman forward, is starting to come into his own. On Monday, Isaac was named the NCAA Player of the Week for his performances in Florida State’s wins against Notre Dame and Louisville. Against the Irish, Isaac scored 23 points while recording 10 rebounds and a season-high 7 blocks. He recorded his third consecutive double-double against the Cards with 16 points and 10 rebounds. After a slow start to league play, Isaac is rounding into form and showing why many scouts have him rated as a top-10 NBA draft pick.

What to Watch

It feels like every few years there’s a Florida State basketball team that starts to build a little buzz but ends up disappointing. This year’s team is not that - they’re legit. Led by superstar Sophomore Dwayne Bacon and future Lottery Pick Jonathan Isaac, the Seminoles have proved that they are a force to be reckoned with in the ACC. They are one of the deepest teams in the conference with twelve players averaging over 10 minutes per game and no player averaging more than 28.1. Their depth will test the Yellow Jackets to their limit. In recent games Tech’s rotation has shortened to six or seven men, with Lammers and Stephens playing essentially the whole game.

To pull the upset, Tech will have to rely on their defense (ranked 33rd nationally in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency) to muddy the game up and slow down Florida State. The Seminoles play at the second fastest pace in the ACC, behind only North Carolina. Slowing them down is imperative in order to keep Tech’s players from getting run off the court. In many ways, the Jackets will need to play a game very similar to their New Year’s Eve upset against the Tar Heels; slow the game down, force turnovers, and get strong play from one or two guards. Josh Okogie has been a bright spot on offense all season but the Jackets will need him to step up on defense to help limit Bacon’s effectiveness.

Where to Watch

If you can’t make it down to the Thrillerdome, the game will be broadcast on your local RSN affiliate or online through ACC Network Extra (blackouts apply). Tipoff is at 7:00 pm.