clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Georgia Tech Basketball Game Preview: #14 Notre Dame

New, comments

The Yellow Jackets look to get another big win against the Fighting Irish

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Tech and Notre Dame will take to the court this afternoon for the next installment in a series that has produced some remarkably even games in recent seasons. The last time these two teams met, former Yellow Jacket Marcus Georges-Hunt laid in the game winning basket with just seconds remaining. This year, both teams are coming off of blowouts in their midweek games. The Yellow Jackets notched their second win against an AP Top 10 opponent, routing Florida State 78-56. The Fighting Irish were on the receiving end of a route, falling to Virginia at home 71-54. Though the Irish come in highly ranked, Tech has proven to be no slouch, especially on their home court so this promises to be yet another exciting game.

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 12-8 4-4 N/A 8th team out 72 76 4-5 North Carolina (7) Ohio (111)
Notre Dame 17-4 6-2 14 5 seed 21 23 5-4 Louisville (6) at Florida State (20)
Bracketology from ESPN.com. Record against KenPom Top 50, Best Win, and Best Loss determined by current KenPom rankings.

Statistical 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 67.4 66.8 43.0% 39.3% 35.4% 32.6% 68.6% 37.1 36.5 15.1 6.2 6.5
Notre Dame 79.9 67.6 46.9% 40.9% 40.1% 33.6% 82.0% 35.5 34.7 17.2 7.3 4.0

Georgia Tech (12-8, 4-4)

Position Number Name Year MPG PPG Notable
Position Number Name Year MPG PPG Notable
G 30 Corey Heyward Sr. 16.7 2.5 5 pts, 6 rebs, 2 asts vs FSU
G 11 Josh Heath Sr. 28.1 5.6 2.24 Ast/TO ratio vs ACC
G 5 Josh Okogie Fr. 29.1 15.6 19.1 ppg vs ACC
F 12 Quinton Stephens Sr. 33.9 10.9 8.1 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.2 spg, 1.1 bpg
C 44 Ben Lammers Jr. 34.7 14.7 9.7 rpg, 3.35 rpg
6th Man 1 Tadric Jackson Jr. 21.2 10.1 38.5% 3FG%

#14 Notre Dame (17-4, 6-2)

Position Number Name Year MPG PPG Notable
Position Number Name Year MPG PPG Notable
G 5 Matt Farrell Jr. 33.2 14.0 5.7 apg, 2.2 Ast/TO ratio
G 32 Steve Vasturia Sr. 33.4 14.9 93.0% FT%
F 3 V.J. Beachem Sr. 33.2 14.1 30 pts vs Syracuse on 1/21
F 35 Bonzie Colson Jr. 30.9 15.6 10.5 rpg
F 23 Martinas Geben Jr. 16.0 4.1 65.4% FG%
6th Man 0 Rex Pflueger So. 19.8 4.9 3.8 ast/TO ratio

Player to Watch

F - Bonzie Colson

Notre Dame relies heavily on four players but none more so than junior forward Bonzie Colson. Colson is the most consistent player on the Irish, scoring in double-digits in all but two games this season and leading the ACC in rebounding. He currently ranks 10th in KenPom.com’s Player of the Year rankings. He is one of the best post players in the ACC and has done all this despite standing in at just 6’-5”. Despite his short size, Colson is long (6’-11” wingspan) and a really smart player; he knows how to play all the angles to get the best shot or find his way to a rebound.

What to Watch

Georgia Tech has exceeded all expectations so far this season. The biggest factor in the Yellow Jackets’ surprising success has been their stingy defense. Tech currently ranks 22nd in the country (4th in the ACC) in defensive efficiency despite facing some of the best offenses in the nation (9 opponents in the Top 50 of offensive efficiency). The Yellow Jacket defense will face another tough test in the Irish, who have the 13th most efficient offense in the nation, according to KenPom’s rankings. Notre Dame relies heavily on their top three wing players, all of whom are effective shooters from just about anywhere on the court. Tech’s guards will need to make sure they don’t leave a man open on defense by getting overly aggressive chasing the ball, something that hurt them early in the conference season. The Jackets will need to stay disciplined on defense and keep the Irish off the line, as they are the best free throw shooting team in the country.

Josh Okogie will look to follow up his magnificent performance against the Seminoles, where he recorded his first career double-double. The freshman has really stepped up his game in conference play and has to find himself near the top of the ACC Rookie of the Year race. Ben Lammers has an interesting matchup against the undersized Bonzie Colson. Lammers has already shown that he can dominate defensively against undersized post players (8 blocks against Virginia Tech), however Colson has been effective against just about everyone this year. If Lammers can limit Colson’s effectiveness, that would go a long way towards another upset victory.

Where to Watch

The Athletic Department is reporting that the game has sold out, so if you were able to get a ticket, I hope to see you in McCamish Pavilion!

If you can’t make it out, the game will be broadcast on ESPNU starting at noon.