Next, up in our Georgia Tech basketball opponent previews, we take a look at mid-majors Texas-Rio Grande Valley and Prairie View A&M who will look to knock off Josh Pastner’s young but talented squad.
Texas-Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros
- Head Coach: Lew Hill
- 2017-18 Record: 15-18 (6-8 WAC)
A familiar opponent, the Yellow Jackets took on the Vaqueros last season and came away with a 10-point victory. Texas-Rio Grande Valley returns to the Thrillerdome in 2018-19. Senior guard Nick Dixon will be one to watch when the Vaqueros come to town on November 21st. Last season, Dixon had a 23-point effort against the Yellow Jackets, the only Vaquero with double-digit points in the game.
Texas-Rio Grande Valley is your average mid-major program, nothing too special but they can play major conference teams hard at times. Last season, the Vaqueros not only played the Yellow Jackets hard but also put up a decent fight against Texas A&M hen he Aggies were ranked in the top-10. They won’t be an easy fight for the Yellow Jackets but shouldn’t beat the Yellow Jackets either.
Overall, the Vaqueros are a team that the Yellow Jackets should end up beating by double-digits. Last season, Curtis Haywood II had a strong game against TRGV which makes him a player to watch in this matchup at the end of the month.
Prairie View Panthers
- Head Coach: Byron Rimm II
- 2017-18 Record: 16-18 (12-6)
Last season, the Prairie View Panthers were the victim of a strong non-conference schedule that saw them 3-11 before entering conference play. Once conference play began, the Panthers won of 12 of 18 and finished the season strong.
Last season, the Panthers were truly no match for most of their major-conference opponents and it shouldn’t be any different when they come to Atlanta on November 23rd. A player to watch on Prairie View will be senior guard Gary Blackston who averaged 19 points per game a season ago.
Overall, Praire View should not be much of a challenge for the Yellow Jackets and should be a good warmup game for the Yellow Jackets matchup against Northwestern on November 28th.
Past Non-Conference Opponent Previews/Previews Schedule:
To save time, from here on out, we’re going to give each major conference opponent there each post and give the remaining mid-major opponents abbreviated previews that will consist of two teams each.
November 9th: Lamar Cardinals
November 13th: Tennessee Volunteers
November 16th: East Carolina Pirates
November 21st and 23rd: Texas Rio Grande Valley and Prairie View A&M – Thursday (11/1)
November 28th: Northwestern – Friday (11/2)
December 1st: St. John’s – Saturday (11/3)
December 9th and 17th: Florida A&M and Gardner Webb – Sunday (11/4)
December 19th: Arkansas – Monday (11/5)
December 22nd: Georgia – Tuesday (11/6)
December 28th and January 2nd: Kennesaw State and USC Upstate– Wednesday (11/7)