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Georgia Tech Basketball: Previewing Georgia Tech vs. Bethune-Cookman

Let’s see if the Jackets can get their first win of the season state-side!

NCAA Basketball: NIT Championship-Georgia Tech vs Texas Christian Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Tech today is looking for their first win of the season today (albeit in only their second game) in their home opener against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. Starters Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson are both still suspended for this game. Even without those two, Georgia Tech should still win this game. Bethune-Cookman is ranked 341st in the country by KenPom. They have been handily beaten by two future Tech opponents, UT-Rio Grande Valley and North Texas, both of whom are ranked in the low 200s. They are inefficient on offense and even worse on defense. They play a pretty fast pace, but have still given up over 90 points in their first two D-1 games.

I have two keys for Georgia Tech in this game. The first is that they need to find scorers other than Ben Lammers. He should have a big day, but he can’t do this alone. Jose Alvarado had a solid game against UCLA and I expect much the same from him today. But, this team needs somebody else to step up, at least until Jackson and Okogie return. Brandon Alston did a decent job of getting to the free throw line, but his 10 points came on 2-9 shooting and with 6 turnovers. He could provide some offense, but he has to clean it up. Nobody else had more than six points. Evan Cole and Curtis Haywood both had a couple buckets, but looked like little more than jump shooters. Neither veterans Abdoulaye Gueye or Justin Moore looked like much threat offensively, although I could see Moore stepping up his scoring. The player I would really like to see play better is Moses Wright. Early in the UCLA game he had a really nice move to get to the rim, but was unable to finish. After that he seemed to be more passive and finished shooting 0-6. I would like to see him get in a rhythm because he has the potential to be a big scorer for us.

The second key is for the young defense to gel. Overall, the defense played pretty well against UCLA forcing 14 turnovers, only allowing 11 offensive rebounds, and holding them to 40.7% shooting from the field. There were a few issues with communication, especially in the zone. Often, it seemed like two players would end up on the both side and needed to scramble to get back into position. This led to some open three point looks. It also forced the wings to come up too far to help which left Ben Lammers out on an island. I would like to see the top of the zone be much more cohesive today and not leave those gaps.

The player to watch for Bethune-Cookman is senior guard Brandon Tabb. He dominates the ball and if Tech lets him go off, he could keep them in game by himself. Forward Isaiah Bailey and center Shawntrez Davis are also threats.

This game is at McCamish Pavilion at 2 pm today.