Georgia Tech has to be in the midst of one of the toughest three day spans in basketball for any team this season.
Saturday, the Yellow Jackets (12-15, 3-12 ACC) ran into an inspired No. 15 North Carolina Tar Heels who defeated Tech 89-70 in the Dean Dome.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Now the Jackets prepare to take on the new team in the ACC in Rick Pitino’s No.12 Louisville Cardinals (21-6, 9-5 ACC).
Louisville has had a little bit of turmoil this season, notably , the situation with point guard Chris Jones.
Jones was suspended for the February 18th Cardinals games vs Syracuse which UofL loss 69-59, only to be reinstated to play against Miami where he scored 17 points in helping the Cardinals defeat the Hurricanes 55-53.
But guess what, something must of happened between Saturday and today because it was announced on cbssports.com that Chris Jones has been dismissed from the team again. Here is the video care of cbssports.com.
Jones is strong defensively for the Rick Pitino and his presence in the backcourt is going to be missed by UofL fans.
Now the Cardinals are going to go with freshman Quentin Snider at the point, who only played five minutes against the Miami Hurricanes.
This following video gives some background on the possible issues Jones was having with the team care of cbssports.com
Hopefully the young man gets the help he needs so he can be productive in life as well as the basketball court.
Louisville will now depend on their team defense which allows 59.1 points per contest, and their star 6-foot-8 junior forward Montrezl Harrell, who is on the Naismith Player of the Year watch list with averages of 15.6 points and 9.5 boards on 57.5% shooting from the floor.
Though Chris Jones’ 13.7 points will be missed, Harrell still has offensive firepower running along with him. Louisville averages 70.5 points per game as a team.
Sophomore 6-foot-1 guard Terry Rozier is a very capable guard and is the leading scorer for the Cardinals at 17.6 points per contest on 42.7% shooting from the field.
Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell looks to pass the ball against Clemson forward Jaron Blossomgame. (Photo: Jamie Rhodes, USA TODAY Sports
Senior guard/forward Wayne Blackshear brings versatility to Louisville’s perimeter play, and averages 10.5 points and 4.3 rebounds.
What has been the Achilles’ Heel of the Louisville Cardinals is their poor outside shooting. Louisville shoots a meager 30.4% from three-point which is third worse in the ACC.
The only teams that shoot the trey worse than Louisville is Clemson (30%) and Georgia Tech (28.1%).
However, like what was mentioned earlier, Louisville’s defense has been a calling card of the team.
Opponents shoot 37.9% from the floor against the Cardinals, and UofL pilfers 8.3 steals per contest which is tops in the ACC.
Georgia Tech has been close in a lot of their ballgames.
Even though the Yellow Jackets were blown out in Chapel Hill by the Tar Heels, that was more about how motivated UNC was to get a home win, and less about the play of Georgia Tech lately.
The Yellow Jackets offense had improved in the seven games prior to UNC blowout with Tech putting up 66.9 points per contest on 43.3% from the field.
With Georgia Tech’s improved play and their need to knockout a tough ranked team with Final Four potential, this is a game where Louisville could be coming to McCamish at the right time for the Yellow Jackets.
Charles Mitchell, Demarco Cox, and Robert Sampson should be able to hold their own in the frontcourt against Louisville.
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Josh Heath and Travis Jorgenson have elevated their games at the point which should be conducive to them being able to take advantage of the Cardinals’ point guard situation since Quentin Snider starting for them.
Also, Marcus Georges-Hunt has been consistent for the Jackets averaging 16.4 ppg in his last nine games.
The Yellow Jackets have only faced Louisville once since Rick Pitino has been at the helm, and that took place in the second round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament with Pitino coming out on top 76-54.
Coach Brian Gregory has had success against Rick Pitino having a 2-0 lifetime edge.
Both wins came while Pitino was coaching Louisville with Gregory leading Dayton to a 68-64 victory on a neutral court in the 2006-07 season, and then following that up in 07-08 with a 70-65 Dayton win at Freedom Hall.
This game is part of “ESPN Big Monday” and can be seen on ESPN at 7 PM. It can also be heard on local Atlanta Radio 680 AM and 93.7 FM. It can also be heard on satellite radio Sirius 91 and XM 91.