The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (17-13, 8-9) take on the Syracuse Orange (17-13, 9-8) on Saturday at 4:00 pm EST. To get ready for the game, we sat down with James Szuba from Nunes Magician.
FTRS: Since the last time we spoke, the Orange have lost to the Jackets, taken down Duke, and lost to Louisville. At this point, how safe do Syracuse fans feel about getting into the tournament? Is Saturday's game a must win?
TNIAAM: Safe is too strong of a word. I wouldn't say Saturday is a must win as much as it is a "you better not lose" if you follow me. A loss certainly hurts but wouldn't put us out of contention, either. Net net Syracuse has 6 top 50 RPI wins and should feel decent about getting an at-large so long as it wins at least one more game. Two more and it's a lock.
FTRS: Freshman Taurean Thompson had a huge game the first time these teams played. Was that an outlier or will the Jackets need to key in on him this time around?
TNIAAM: It wasn't an outlier -- TT is a tremendously talented offensive player. He leaves much to be desired on the defensive end but nobody questions his ability to score. He might fly under the radar on the scout but make no mistake, TT is a bucket getter!
FTRS: Last time we spoke, you mentioned Tyler Roberson as the x-factor for Syracuse, however he only received 7 minutes in the first matchup. Will he make a bigger impact on Saturday?
TNIAAM: Syracuse fans are probably filing a missing person report at this point. Robie has been about as visible as oxygen lately. He's still a legit x-factor when he brings his A game but sadly (gladly from your disposition) his A game has been few and far between.
FTRS: The Orange went 8-30 on threes in the first matchup. Should Tech fans expect a better performance from behind the arc this time around?
TNIAAM: I'd say so. Syracuse has had a Jekyll and Hyde type season with the Carrier Dome representing the former and away games representing the latter. Syracuse plays better at home, expect shots to fall at a better clip.
FTRS: Syracuse has been dominant at the Carrier Dome this year. How have they looked different playing in front of the home crowd?
TNIAAM: You took the words right out of my mouth! Syracuse in fact has only lost one conference game at home which was to Louisville in overtime. The guys just seem to rise to the occasion at home and make plays. It sounds simple but the results are profound.
FTRS: How do you feel about the group being honored on senior day? What will be their legacy?
TNIAAM: That's an interesting question and I'm glad you asked because I hadn't really thought of it. I think (read: hope) Andrew White and John Gillon -- the fifth-year transfers -- will be remembered as guys who came in and contributed in ways greater than originally preconceived. White should be remembered as a knock down shooter and Gillon's legacy will undoubtedly be his 43 point effort at NC State along with his game-winner against Duke.
Dajuan Coleman will be remembered as a hard worker who never got a fair shake due to his knees. He's witnessed more success than what he's been able to produce on the court, but he's such a great kid and also has two Final Four rings. Please make it three, basketball Gods?
Tyler Roberson is still such an enigma. His play is just so volatile with peak performance Roberson coming in last year's NCAA Tournament and rock bottom Robie who looks detached and disinterested in the game. Sadly, I think in five years time Roberson will be a mostly forgotten player.
FTRS: Finally, who wins this one?
TNIAAM: I'm going to take Syracuse just because SU is at home, but it isn't a shoo-in. Lammers frightens me yet Syracuse has been solid at the dome. I don't see it giving way to GT with NCAA Tournament hopes on the line in a home game. Syracuse by two possessions so long as there aren't any "illegal" screens...
Thanks again to James Szuba for joining us. You’ll be able find our answers to his questions over at their site, Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician.