This is the Adjusted Tempo of Georgia Tech. This means that if Tech played an average team, each team would get about 65.5 possessions. This is the 325th fastest in the country. When Josh Pastner took over for Brian Gregory, there was a lot of talk about switching to a more uptempo system. That has not happened. Part of that is just due to how Pastner’s teams have performed. Like Gregory, his teams have had relatively good defense and relatively poor offense you get longer possessions. When you (or your opponent) can’t find good shots quickly your possessions take longer. It also takes longer because Tech plays a lot of zone and if they press, it’s almost always a soft press that drops back into the zone. Usually the zone leads to longer possessions. I don’t expect Tech to always play this slow, but I wouldn’t expect any run and gun teams coming out of the Pastner era.
This is the assist percentage of GT opponents, that is the percentage of the opposing team’s field goals that are assisted. This is far higher than the average of 52.9%. This means one of two things. Either this team struggles against good passing teams or they’re really good at stopping players from scoring unless they make the extra pass. Given the success of this defense (38th in the country according to kenpom), I’d attribute it mostly to the latter. We have Ben Lammers who will challenge the ball handler if they get inside. You’re more likely to score by dumping the ball to somebody else than a guard to try to score over Lammers. The other factor is that this team plays a lot of zone. If you have ever watched a game played by Syracuse, the announcers will always mention that you have to pass to beat the zone, not dribble. This isn’t just an announcing cliche, the stats bear it out.
32.3% and 28.7%
32.3% is the percentage of missed GT shots that the Yellow Jackets turn into offensive rebounds. 28.7% is the number of missed opponent’s shots that turn into offensive rebounds. Those are both very big improvements from last year. The latter is especially impressive because of the zone. Zone teams tend to give up a lot of offensive rebounds because their defenders are not necessarily in between the offense and the basket, like they are in man, and because the center (usually the best rebounder) often ends up far away from the basket challenging a shot. This year though GT is above average at preventing other teams from offensive rebounds. The perimeter players are doing a much better job this year of securing boards.
This is kenpom’s projected final ACC record for Georgia Tech. Normally a 7-11 record in the ACC wouldn’t be considered too bad, but it would be frustrating to finish with that after a 3-1 start. I tend to think that GT will actually do better in large part because I think this team has improved quite a lot over the last several weeks. The team has finally come together after injuries and suspensions and the defense in particular has looked a whole lot better. They will be tested though as they head into a very rough four game streak. This Thursday they take on #2 Virginia at home before heading to #15 UNC and Florida State (Who received the 28th most votes) and finally coming back home to #20 Clemson. We will find out a lot more about this team.