The Georgia Tech men’s basketball team on Wednesday will take the court for the first since January 3rd when they take on the top-25 ranked Clemson Tigers.
Georgia Tech’s jump back into action won’t be the easiest of matchups as the 20th ranked Tigers sit at 9-2 on the season and feature a suffocating defense that has only allowed 60.1 points per game this season.
The Jackets’ last time on the court was January 3, a 70-54 win over Wake Forest. That being said, with almost three weeks off and potential key players missing for this evening’s game against Clemson, this one is hard to predict. Before we make a prediction, here’s what to expect from Clemson’s offensively and defensively.
When Clemson has the ball:
Clemson is not a strong offensive team by any means, they’re scoring just 66.6 points per game this season, comparatively, the Jackets are totaling 80.1 points per game. For the Tigers, there are two players to know offensively. The first of those is senior forward Aamir Simms who is averaging 11.6 points per game this season along with 5.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists. He is shooting a solid 51.6% from the floor this season and is someone you don’t want to send to the free-throw line a lot as he’s making 84.4% of his shots from the charity stripe.
The second player to know is senior guard Nick Honor who is averaging 10.3 points and 2.5 assists this season. He’s shooting 45.6% from the field this season but is shooting a strong 41.8% from beyond the arch, making 23-of-55 attempts.
The Tigers as a team are not a good three-point shooting team as a whole making 32.8% of them this season. However, they’ll take their fair share of shots from beyond the arch, averaging nearly 25 attempts per game or roughly 41% of their shot selection.
Guards Al-Amir Dawes (8.8 points per game) and Clyde Trapp (7.2 points per game) will also contribute their fair share in the game but Simms and Honors have been and will likely be Clemson’s two biggest pieces offensively Wednesday night.
When Georgia Tech has the ball:
When the Yellow Jackets have the ball, they will be going up against a team that is very strong defensively as mentioned above. The Tigers are allowing just over 60 points per game this season, though they are coming off one of their worst performances in an 85-50 loss to Virginia on Saturday. Opponents are shooting just 41.2% against Clemson this season including 33.0% from beyond the arch which ranks 184th in the country.
The Tigers will force a quality amount of turnovers with opposing teams averaging 17 per game this season. The Jackets will have to be careful with the ball as they’ve on average, turn the ball over 12.2 times per game coming into Wednesday night.
As mentioned at the top of the article, this one is truly hard to predict. We’re not sure who the Jackets will be missing on Wednesday (at the time of publishing) and the Jackets haven’t played in 17 days and have had limited practice since then as well. That being said, if not missing the likes of Jose Alvardo, Michael Devoe, or Moses Wright, Tech fans have to like their chances. Alvarado and Devoe are two of the best scorers in the ACC and Wright has the chance to take over nearly any game. If the Jackets have those three, I expect them to take down Clemson.
That being said, if the Jackets are missing one, two, or even all three of those players, then they’ll likely take the loss on Wednesday night. The Jackets would need a considerable amount of points out of the rest of their rotation which has happened at times this season but has not been a consistent threat.