After a pair of almost unbelievable top 15 upsets at home, the Yellow Jackets stumbled on the road at Clemson Wednesday night. Tech will be looking to get back on track against an evenly matched Wake Forest team on Saturday in Winston-Salem.
Wake Forest is coming off of a win at Boston College, but had lost two straight coming into that game. Georgia Tech, on the other hand, dropped one at Clemson earlier in the week, but had two of the biggest wins in the program’s recent history leading up to that road loss.
Going into Saturday afternoon’s game, both Tech and Wake are 13-9, with the Jackets having one more conference win at an even 5-5, while the Deacs are 4-6 in ACC play.
With post-season pictures starting to take shape, both teams will be looking to keep their respective heads above water as the tough conference schedule winds down.
Last Time Out:
At Clemson, the Yellow Jackets kept the score manageable all game, but couldn’t really seem to ever get the momentum to swing in their favor.
Tech gave up 17 turnovers to the Tigers to Clemson’s 11, and shot a miserable 9.1 percent from beyond the arc. Both teams were evenly matched in field goals, and rebounds, but the deficiencies equated to a 62-74 loss for the Jackets.
Know the Opponent:
Wake Forest (13-9, 4-6) has a solid 7-3 home record so far for the 2016-17 season, but lost to common opponents Clemson, North Carolina and Duke at home, while Tech beat two of those teams in Atlanta. To the credit of the Demon Deacons, however, their loss to Duke wasn’t near as ugly as Tech’s.
Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 41-38 has won six of the last seven meetings between the two teams, including a 71-66 win in Atlanta last season.
In the Wake-Tech series, the home team has won 34 of the last 45 regular-season games.
Players to Watch:
Georgia Tech: G Josh Okogie
Center Ben Lammers and senior forward Quinton Stephens will also be players to watch in this game, but for Georgia Tech to keep the score close, freshman sensation Josh Okogie will need to contribute against Wake. He is averaging 15.1 points per game, and when he exceeds that or even comes near it, the Jackets generally fare well.
Wake Forest: F John Collins
Sophomore forward John Collins is averaging 17.5 points per game going into Saturday, and a respectable 9.2 rebounds per game on top of that. If Georgia Tech gets hot from beyond the arc, or Ben Lammers puts up another career day inside, Collins will be leaned upon to make up the difference for Wake.
Tech has had a relatively rough go of things on the road this season, going 2-6 thus far, but I think in a game of evenly matched teams, the Yellow Jackets might have a slight advantage.
Though the Yellow Jackets still need to play a near perfect game to beat ACC opponents, they carry around an important intangible. Tech has confidence gained through slaying giants will go a long way down the stretch in conference play when the going gets tough.