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Georgia Tech Basketball: Jackets Fight to Stay Above .500 Against Rival Clemson

Cross-division rivals square off for the final time this season.

F Daniel Miller with a hook shot against Clemson at Littlejohn at Clemson.
F Daniel Miller with a hook shot against Clemson at Littlejohn at Clemson.
Tyler Smith

Hey y'all. My name is Luke Fort and I'm the new kid on the block. I'll be helping out with some of the basketball stuff as well as bringing you some baseball saber blogs as well. I'm a fan of all things Atlanta, as well as a Tech grad with a degree in watching baseball. Looking forward to bringing you some quality articles and some cool point of views in terms of numbers. THWg.

Coming off a rough loss on Tuesday against Duke, Tech (13-13, 4-9) plays host to their cross-division rival Clemson (16-9, 7-6) to end their home stand, as well as play their second to last game at McCamish Pavilion. After giving up 16 points to Duke frosh, and likely first round draft pick, Jabari Parker, Tech has another daunting task in F K.J. McDaniels, who is averaging 17.9 ppg and is the fifth leading scorer in the ACC.

The Tigers are playing for more than just conference bragging rights. Ranked 70th in RPI, Clemson is very much on the NCAA Tourney bubble. If Georgia Tech is going to be able to burst it, they’ll need much more production from the backcourt. With Senior G Trae Golden nursing a groin injury, nobody has picked up the void, with Marcus Georges-Hunt, Chris Bolden and Corey Heyward shooting a combined 41% (67/161) over the past four games with 23 turnovers.

With the lack of production from outside the paint, the interior has been a bright spot of the Yellow Jackets. C Daniel Miller, 2nd in the ACC in blocked shots (behind McDaniels) and leader in FG%, along with F Kammeon Holsey, have carried Tech, both scoring 10 ppg over the past 4 games.

With F Robert Carter, Jr. back in action and slowly picking up minutes, look for Tech to pound the ball in the paint and spread out the stingy Clemson defense to allow some shooting space for the wings. Holding McDaniels will also be a key for Georgia Tech, and I think they’ll be able to do it again, as they held him to 8 points and just 3-14 shooting in the last meeting between the two teams. I’m thinking it’s another low scoring game, with the Jackets on top in a back and forth effort 56-53.