What type of challenge will the Yellow Jackets present?
Ahead of tomorrow’s men’s basketball game, we reached out to Rob Pansa of the From the Rumble Seat blog for his thoughts on the upcoming match-up with Boston College.
- What is the one thing that BC fans should know about this year’s Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball team?
The record is not indicative of how this team has played, nor the talent level. The Jackets have played an extremely tough schedule and have been competitive in pretty much every game, but have been unable to close games out. Tech hung within one possession of Wisconsin for the majority of their game. They had a second half lead against LSU before the Tigers pulled away. They had a second half lead against North Carolina before the Tar Heels went on a 12-0 run to pull away. Even against Duke, Tech trailed by just six points late in the second half despite a 27-14 foul differential in the Blue Devils favor. The Louisville game came down to the final possession and the Notre Dame loss came in overtime. The Jackets have been competitive all season long but have not seen it reflected in the win column.
2. What player(s) should BC fans watch out for?
Mike Devoe is the obvious answer here. Devoe leads the ACC in scoring and is top 10 in the nation. He’s had just one game where he wasn’t in double figures scoring and had a 37 point performance against Georgia and a 33 point performance against Wisconsin. The next player to watch is Jordan Usher. Usher is having a breakout senior season of his own. He is second in scoring behind Devoe at nearly 15 points per game and leads the team in rebounding with 7.4 per game. He scored a career high 30 points against Georgia State and basically single handedly willed the Jackets to victory in that game.
3. What part of the BC team do you think will give the Yellow Jackets the most trouble?
I think that BC could give the Jackets problems on the glass. With the departure of ACC player of the year Moses Wright, Tech has had a rotation of bigs throughout the season, trying to find someone who can fill those shoes. Saba Gigiberia, Rodney Howard, and Jordan Meka have all had a crack at it, but none of them have taken a strong hold of the job, which often leads to Tech playing small ball. The result is a Yellow Jacket team which ranks 211th in the country in offensive rebounding percentage and 105th in the country in defensive rebounding percentage (per Kenpom). On the other side, Boston College ranks 10th and 65th respectively. I have a feeling Tech may struggle to keep the large frontcourt of Bickerstaff and Post off the boards.
4. At this stage of the season, how do you feel Georgia Tech matches up against the rest of the ACC?
Like I said in my opening response, the Jackets have competed in every game, including unanimous conference favorite Duke. The 0-4 conference record is a combination of some unlucky breaks, too many scoring droughts, and not being able to close teams out. However, I believe from a talent level this team can compete and can beat any team in the conference on any given night.
5. Michael Devoe struggled from beyond the arc against Notre Dame, how important is it for Georgia Tech to see Devoe bounce back in terms of 3-point shooting?
Devoe is at his best when he’s knocking down shots from behind the arc, but that’s certainly not the extent of his offensive game. He is extremely crafty and also excels getting to the bucket and the free throw line. The threat of his deadly three point shot means teams have to play him tight and he is often able to get past his defender. That said, Devoe’s best games have come when he’s had a great night from the three-point line and the Yellow Jacket offense is at it’s best when he’s hitting those shots.
6. What are your expectations for Wednesday’s game?
On paper, this game should be a close one, but the Yellow Jackets are really due for a win. I think this is where they finally break through with a 72-64 victory over BC.