Georgia Tech Basketball: Yellow Jackets Primed to Close Out Nonconference Against the Charlotte 49ers


Time for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (8-3) to close out the nonconference and get ready for the New Year and a new look ACC.

Of course they need to end the nonconference schedule on a positive note and they will get that opportunity against the Charlotte 49ers (6-5) at McCamish Pavilion.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets /

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

The 49ers come out of Conference USA and are coming off of giving the Georgetown Hoyas all they could handle before falling 81-78.

Charlotte Head Coach, Alan Major had a tough offseason dealing with his health. But after eye surgeries on each eye and heart surgery this past summer, Major is back on the sideline and has his team competing hard.

His team is led by 6-foot-1 sophomore point guard, Braxton Ogbueze, who leads the 49ers in scoring at 13.1 points per game on 45.1% shooting from the floor.

Charlotte has a strong interior presence in 6-foot-11 center junior, Mike Thorne Jr., who averages 10.7 points and a team high 7.6 rebounds.

Power forward Willie Clayton from Thomasville, GA also bangs the boards pretty hard for Charlotte snatching 7.4 rebounds to go along with his 8.5 points per contest.

As a team, the 49ers shoot 45.2% from the floor and 37.9% from three-point land. They average 75.6 points per game and give up 76.2 points per contest to their opponents.

This game is going to be a battle down in the paint between the big men of Charlotte, Willie Clayton and Mike Thorne Jr., and Tech big men Charles Mitchell and Demarco Cox.

Charlotte going to be able to battle with the Yellow Jackets on the boards, which is something that Brian Gregory’s club really has not had to experience to often this season.

The Yellow Jackets come into this game averaging 43.5 rebounds per game compared to Charlotte’s 40.2 boards per contest.

Charlotte has grabbed 143 offensive rebounds while the Yellow Jackets have grabbed 161 offensive rebounds this season. Defensive rebounds are 271 for Charlotte to 278 for Georgia Tech.

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

The numbers clearly show that Charlotte is capable of competing on the boards with the Yellow Jackets.

What also can become an issue is if Charlotte decides to play a zone. The length and size they can present along the baseline could give Georgia Tech difficulties.

The Yellow Jackets need to battle against the same weaknesses that cost them the three games they lost.

The Jackets must close out on Charlotte’s three-point shooters, and when the situation comes up, be able to navigate in the half-court against Charlotte’s zone defense.

Last season, the Yellow Jackets won this matchup 58-55 on the road in Charlotte. There were some different cast members for that game with Trae Golden dropping 24 points on the ledger to lead the way for the Jackets.

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Tech was able to hold Charlotte to 33.3% shooting from the field in that game.

Hopefully, Tech can duplicate that defensive performance and close out this home-and-home series 2-0.

This game can be seen on ESPN3 at 7PM EST. You can also listen to the game on local radio in Atlanta on 680 AM or 93.7 FM as well as satellite radio on Sirius 199 and XM 204.