Georgia Tech keys to victory:
1. Strong games out of Jose Alvarado and Michael Devoe
With Moses Wright out, there’s a lot more pressure on Jose Alvarado and Michael Devoe to be on top of their game on Friday afternoon. Replacing Wright is going to be nearly an impossible task for the Yellow Jackets but they’ll have to do the best they can if they want a chance to win. They certainly won’t have the same type of presence inside the perimeter, meaning they’ll likely need to be super-efficient from outside the paint and especially beyond the arc. While the Jackets do have a few scoring options, most of the weight will be on Alvarado’s and Devoe’s shoulders and rightfully so. They’re two of the three stars of this Tech team and have been offensive leaders throughout the entire season. If one of them has an off day shooting, it could spell disaster for the Jackets.
2. Contain Cameron Krutwig
Keeping Cameron Krutwig in check defensively may be the toughest part about losing Wright for the Yellow Jackets. The 6-foot-9 senior center is averaging 15.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game this season while earning the MVC Player of the Year honors. He has a chance to absolutely dominate any game he is in but he can also provide a clunker of a performance once in a blue moon as well. The Yellow Jackets are hoping that on Friday, he has one of those games. That being said, if the Yellow Jackets have a hard time stopping Krutwig, they’ll be in for a long game. He’s scored double-digits in 23 of the Ramblers’ 27 games this season and has recorded 15+ points in 15 games. In those 15 games, the Ramblers are 14-1 with their only loss coming at the hands of Wisconsin. They’re simply tough to beat when he’s on his game.
3. Be efficient on offense
This feeds off our first key to victory but as a whole, the Yellow Jackets need to be efficient offensively. As pointed out above as well in our first look at Loyola, the Ramblers are boasting the country’s top ranked defense and are keeping opponents to just 55 points on 62 possessions per game. Absolutely phenomenal stats no matter who you’re playing. The Jackets as a whole have been rather efficient this season and they’ll need to continue that on Friday, they can’t afford to only shoot 30-35% in this one especially considering how strong Loyola is at limiting possessions and controlling the tempo of the game.