The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (5-1, 0-0 ACC) have two consecutive wins over North Carolina A&T and Mississippi Valley State this week, and they’ll need all the momentum they can get when they head to Brooklyn, N.Y., to face Marshall Henderson and the Mississippi Rebels (4-0, 0-0 SEC) Friday in the Barclays Center Classic.
Game Time: 4:30 pm
Venue: Barclays Center – Brooklyn, NY
Series Record: Georgia Tech leads, 11-8
Last Meeting: 1/11/64 GaTech 69 – Ole Miss 54
Current Odds: Ole Miss by 1.5
Injuries: GT – Travis Jorgensen, Out For Season (knee), Corey Heyward, Out for Season (knee), Jason Morris, Out 4-6 weeks from 11/6 (foot); Ole Miss – None
TV: NBC Sports Network
Radio: 106.7 FM
Georgia Tech and Ole Miss will renew a series that hasn’t been played since 1964 on Friday in the Barclays Center Classic semifinal round. Penn State (5-1) and St. John’s (4-1) will meet in the other semifinal game at 2 p.m. Friday. The winners face off for the title at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, while the losers meet for third place at 2 p.m. Saturday.
This will be one of the tougher early season tests for the Yellow Jackets, and their second game against an SEC opponent this season, defeating rival Georgia 80-71 in Athens.
Mississippi’s only road game this season was a narrow 72-70 win at Coastal Carolina on Nov. 16. The Rebels quickly dispatched of both North Carolina A&T (84-50) and Mississippi Valley State (111-82), both of whom were assigned as prelim games to Ole Miss and Georgia Tech as part of the Barclays Center Classic event.
Although this is not the Ole Miss team that won last year’s SEC tournament and made it to round of 32 in the NCAA tourney, they are still a team for the Jackets to take seriously. The Rebels are currently 42nd in the nation in scoring at 84 points per game, and 19th in nation in rebounding, pulling down nearly 44 boards per game. This means that Tech’s defense and rebounding down low with Daniel Miller and Kammeon Holsey will be a huge key to a win over the Rebels.
The Rebels score a lot of points, but they also put the ball up a lot, shooting a .440 FG percentage this season. The Jackets can use that to their advantage, and pull down as many defensive rebounds as possible, limiting the second-chance points for the Rebels.
The other area of concern for head coach Brian Gregory has to be turnovers. Giving the ball up to Mississippi unnecessarily can lead to huge runs, and put the Jackets in a position of having to play comeback ball. The Yellow Jackets have committed 74 turnovers this season, putting them at 171st in the nation in that category.
Watch for the matchup between Ole Miss senior G Marshall Henderson and Tech senior G Trae Golden. Both players are key to their team’s success on offense and will be the focus of the the other squad’s defense.