R.P.I. #62 Virginia Tech @ R.P.I. #148 Georgia Tech:
TV coverage: Tuesday 9pm RSN
Vegas line: GT+2.5
This is a rather interesting road trip down to the ALT on Tuesday night men.
I’m not here to lie like a rug and tell you that Georgia Tech (GT) will win the A.C.C. this season; however I can straight up tell you that there is more raw talent on this Yellow Jacket hoops team from one to eight than their .5oo record would suggest prima facie.
Some may have been a bit disappointed in a slightly underwhelming win at home on Saturday vs. lowly Longwood. Meh? Not so much. I’m really not all that beat-up by what I saw on Saturday night; as things could have been a whole lot worse.
In my book Seth got exactly what he wanted and precisely what he needed. As Seth pocketed an out-of-conference win in concluding his out-of-conference docket sans the signature V.M.I. or Marshall variety upset for the first time in a long time. Seth also not only managed to get off the Cassell Coliseum court with a win, he managed to get off the count sans any more significant injuries to his remaining Top-8 rotation. He got a look-see at football crossover Tight-End baller Prince Parker and Cassell Guard favorite Paul Debnam, he got a good game out of Manny Atkins –who is showing some real signs of late- and another solid game from Eric Green. What Seth did not get is a lot of O&M chi.
Or energy and that is precisely what Seth will need to amp up a couple of notches in order to beat Georgia Tech on the road Tuesday night. If VT short-circuits energy or effort wise, Georgia Tech can and will steal one in their own backyard. If VT powers up, and throws the proverbial switch; the Hokies A- game (or better) should be enough to win another one as the A.C.C. visitor. On the other O&M hand, if we catch the Hokies B+ (or worse) game … the issue could very much be in doubt.Georgia Tech at a glance:
- 7-2 at home (1 point L to UGA, 3 point L in double-OT to Charleston)
- 8th in Steals per game (9.7)
- 59th in Blocked Shots (4.4)
- Average offense (133rd), average defense (154th)
- 3o7th in 3-point percentage (30.5%)
- 337th in 3-point defense (39.7% allowed)
Leading the way for the Wrambling Wreck, would be one #1, 6`5“ 209 lb. junior Point-Guard Iman Shumpert. Iman (right) leads the Wreck in scoring at 17 per contest, in rebounding at 5.7 per game and in assists at 3.4 every time he steps out onto the court. I’d say that qualifies Mr. Shumpert as the leading man for the Yellow-Jackets basketball team this year. Iman has a little bit of 3-point range at 29% and is second on the Jackets at a nifty 83% from the charity stripe this season. This is rather helpful when you get to the FT line a team leading 101 times on the year. To top all of that off, Iman leads GT in steals at 45 thus far this season; thus making Iman one of the best well-rounded ballers in the whole darn A.C.C. I’d say that is enough to reserve (pun intended) no less than a second-team all-A.C.C. placement for Mr. Shumpert later this year. Not bad work for a guy who missed about a quarter of last year with a significant knee sprain that lead to an uneven 2009-2010 campaign.
Second in scoring would be nepotistic legacy baller one #41 Glen Rice Junior. Yes they are related and yes Glen Jr. has some range on his shot just like his old-man did. Glen is a 6`5“ 185 lb. sophomore 2-Guard who gives GT 13 points and 5 boards per night even if his 3-point stroke has dropped 12% since last year and is now down to 35% for this season so far. In the middle the Yellow Jackets enjoy the services of a legit 6`11“ 258 lb. big, #5 Mr. Daniel Miller a red-shirt freshman from Loganville Georgia. Daniel gives you 5 and 5 per night (points & rebounds) and does lead GT in blocks at 1.9 per contest. Daniel however is a bit raw on the offensive end and is positively offensive from the FT-Line at a lowly 43% on 15` set-shots. #11 6`6“ 220 lb. sophomore swingman Brian Oliver is third in scoring netting 11 points and running down 4 rebounds of his own to go with 82% from the charity-stripe. Fourth in scoring is #0 Mfon Udofia, a 6`2“ 187 lb. sophomore Point-Guard performer who is a former baseball star turned hoopster. Mfon possess a high basketball I.Q. and gets you 8 points per competition; even though Mfon was said to be a bit over-matched in league play last season.
After that #14 6`5“ 210 lb. freshman Wing Jason Morris leads the way at 44.4% on three-pointers and chips in with 7 points overall. This is extremely impressive from a kid said to be the best pure athlete in the six ATL years since Isma’il Muhammad left campus. Maurice “Mo” Miller is a reserve 6`2“ 189 lb. senior Guard who’s minutes and production have been dropping every since his rookie season, right now he stands in at an experienced 6 points and a couple of boards per night to go along with an A.C.C. leading 95% from the FT-Line! #42 6`10“ 218 lb. freshman Nate Hicks provides PF-Center relief minutes off the GT pine as a late summer surprise signee from Panama City Florida. Nate shoots a team leading 65% from the floor although he does not shoot very often; he will get you a couple of rebounds and a block or two per game as well.
- #24, 6`8“ 209 lb. freshman PF Kamerron Hosley, sat out last year with a blown A.C.L., and is now listed as day-to-day with an “illness”. Kamerron is a 16 minute per game quality bench-sub, who can have explosive nights in scoring and on the glass when his trick knee is feeling the part. GT sources suggest that Kamerron is feeling better after sitting out vs. france; and is now likely to play Tuesday night.
- #12, 6`2“ 185 lb. freshman G, Kyle Speller is listed as “sidelined indefinitely” with a thumb injury. (though he apparently did play two token minutes last game vs. Wake two games ago; his first and heretofore only action all year long)
GT typically goes eight deep in conference play for thirteen year Coach Paul Hewitt. The Yellow Jackets certifiably are a team ravaged by major front-court and lengthy or sizey departures from last year — as GT departed no less than 26`9“ worth of low-post guys from last season including very highly touted Derrick Favors, the third overall N.B.A. draft pick by the New Jersey Nets.
Thus far GT has been a bit irregular this season, mutually capable of being A.C.C. hotshot U.N.C. and then being felled by 5 win Kennesaw State by seventeen! Accordingly GT is a bit tough to predict as you never know which version of GT will show up on any given night. In fact the 2010-2011 Yellow Jackets have already gone up and down more times than most elevators.
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The Fourm Guide –somewhat strikingly- is predicting a three point victory for the home standing Wrambling Wreck from Georgia Tech. This is thanks to a mild edge in rebounding and a Yellow Jacket defensive FG percentage allowed metric that improves rather smartly by 7% at home. GT also rebounds better and shoots better in their own house. If fact home-away splits significantly favor GT in rebounding margin (+10) and in shooting margin by a whooping 12% shift in GT’s favor. That’s not good and that does very much suggest that the Jackets have a fair to middling shot to sneak up and sting VT in this one.
Still yet, VT has won 9 of their last 10 for a reason whereas GT is .500 over that same time period vs. noticeably diminished competition vis-à-vis. To me Seth had this one pegged rather shrewdly in his post-game Longwood presser; this one is all about the O&M chi or energy. If VT dials up enough O&M oomph VT should win a competitive and possibly narrow game out on the A.C.C. road. If VT if flat or has a cold shooting night VT will be beaten despite the fact that Seth has had Coach Hewitt’s number of late, having taken 5 of the last six contests vs. Georgia Tech. Fortunately I’ma gonna call for GT to not, I repeat not have enough outside shooting to mess around with VT’s newfangled and rather thrifty zone-defense(s). As the Yellow-Jackets are dead last in A.C.C. 3-point shooting for the entire conference – as VT wins an unattractive one out on the A.C.C. road an moves keenly up to 4-2 in conference play.
Virginia Tech=74, Georgia Tech=66