Georgia Tech (9-11) vs Virginia Tech (11-10)
KenPom Rankings: Georgia Tech - 144; Virginia Tech - 42
Efficiency Rankings: Georgia Tech - Offense 218th, Defense 88th; Virginia Tech - Offense 24th, Defense 91st
KenPom Prediction: Georgia Tech 60 - 72 Virginia Tech. Georgia Tech is given a 14% chance to win.
About Virginia Tech
The Virginia Tech Hokies enter the matchup sitting in a similar position as the Yellow Jackets. Having played one more game than the Jackets, they are sitting at 11-10 with a 3-7 record in conference play. For a team which was projected to finish top 5 in the conference before the start of the season, you could say it has been a fairly disappointing season so far for Hokie fans in year three under head coach Mike Young. Virginia Tech has some decent wins over Florida State, Maryland, and Notre Dame, but some not great losses to N.C. State and Boston College.
Virginia Tech dealt with a significant amount of player turnover in the offseason, losing six scholarship players to transfer or graduation. However, these departures mainly impacted their depth pieces as a majority of their top contributors returned from a season ago. However, there was one player who was a significant departure for the Hokies and that was guard Tyrece Radford. Radford was a major scorer for the Hokies last season and was expected to have an even bigger impact this year before transferring to Texas A&M to reunite with Buzz Williams, who recruited him to Blacksburg.
On the positive side for the Hokies, leading scorer Keve Aluma came back for a fifth season and once again is leading the Hokies in scoring with over 15 points per game this season. Justyn Mutts and Nahiem Alleyne are two more players to watch for the Hokies, both averaging double figures in scoring. Mutts, a 6-7 forward, is in his second season with the Hokies after transferring from Delaware. Highly athletic with long lanky arms, he excels at getting to the basket, but can also shoot the ball some from behind the arc. Alleyne, a 6-4 guard in his third season in Blacksburg, does much of his work from beyond the three point line, averaging about 5 attempts per game. One final player to watch is sharpshooter Hunter Cattoor. Cattoor has steadily improved in his three seasons at Virginia Tech. He shoots 50% from behind the line and averages close to 11 points per game.
The combination of Cattoor and Alleyne, along with other shooters like Storm Murphy, Sean Pedulla, and Darius Maddox makes the Hokies a dangerous three point shooting team, as evidenced by their #2 rank in the country in 3-point shooting percentage. The Hokies play at a slow place, take care of the ball, and are very deliberate about getting high quality looks.
This Georgia Tech team continues to be extremely frustrating. After building some momentum against Clayton State, they looked like a new team against Florida State, playing with much more energy than I have seen since early on in the season. However, they followed that up with a dud at home on Saturday against Miami. While this team can clearly compete with anyone on any given night, I don’t have confidence to predict a win right now, especially on the road. Virginia Tech wins by 10.