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Georgia Tech Basketball: NC State Preview

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Tech welcomes the streaking Wolfpack in their penultimate game

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

This season NC State has been inconsistent. They have wins over Duke, Clemson, and UNC on the road. They also have a 30 point loss to Notre Dame and somehow only won by four points against Pitt. Recently though, they have been on a total roll. They have won four straight with their last win being by 20 over Florida State. Tech has shown some resilience in their last two games, but now they are going against a team finally firing on all cylinders.

North Carolina State is not a very large team. One of their best players is 7’ center Omer Yurtseven, but they spend most of the game with only one player taller than 6’6” on the floor. Their leading scorer is the 6’3” Allerik Freeman spends most of his time at small forward. This could give some much needed mismatches for this Georgia Tech offense. Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson especially could take advantage. Offensively this NC State team is really good. Allerik Freeman scores 15.1 points per game. Oddly enough, he shoots almost better from outside the arc (34.4%) than inside the arc (38.5%). 6’6” PF Torin Dorn scores 13.6 points per game on 53.5% shooting. Yurtseven joins him with 13.6 points per game on 59.5% shooting and 50% from deep. Freshman guard Braxton Beverly is nearly identical to Freeman in efficiency shooting 38.1% from deep and 38.1% from 2. Point guard Markell Johnson is also a sharpshooter hitting 44.6% from deep. Closing out strong will be very important in this game. The Yellow Jackets cannot help too much and leave open shooters.

Defensively, NC State plays like a small team. They are one of the best in the country at defending the perimeter, but they are very vulnerable inside giving up 53.4% inside the arc. That plays to the strength of this Yellow Jacket’s team. They should not be taking threes and focus on getting their shots at the rim. This is a strength-on-weakness matchup that could benefit GT.

This game is happening at McCamish Pavilion at 8 pm Eastern and is on ACC Network Extra. I predict that NC State’s offense will take advantage of the recently mediocre Tech defense. Tech’s offense will see some extra burst with this matchup, but they won’t have the firepower. I predict that Tech’s losing streak will continue with a 76-69 loss.