Previewing The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Georgia Tech @ StatSheet
2012 Stats (pdf)
2012 Roster
2012 Schedule

Georgia Tech Offense 10-11
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 45.7 300
Turnover Rate 19.9 159
Off Reb Rate 33.9 110
FTA/FGA 31.8 302
Georgia Tech Offense 11-12
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 49.9 139
Turnover Rate 23.2 287
Off Reb Rate 36.5 54
FTA/FGA 31.1 276

Looking at Brian Gregory's track record, it's tough to figure what it is that drew Georgia Tech to him, other than the fact that Paul Hewitt took all their money in that big buyout of his. Hewitt's offenses weren't exactly a pleasure to watch towards the end, and Gregory's record at Dayton is a modest one.

His offenses tended to be sub-par-to-average in terms of shooting percentage and turn the ball over too much, which is certainly the case with this year's Jackets as well. (Which has as much to do with Hewitt as it does with Gregory.)

When a coach's circumstances change and he's able to bring in higher caliber players, there at least is a chance that performance will change. So it's possible for Gregory to build a good offense at Georgia Tech. He just never really did it at Dayton--just one of his last eight teams finished in the top 75 in offensive efficiency.

If I'd spent the last few years as Tech's athletic director watching Iman Shumpert play throw the ball at the thing, I don't know, I think that Gregory fun fact might be a huge red flag. This of course assumes that Georgia Tech could afford red flags and did not have to take a discount on magenta flags and make a mental note that it meant the same thing, because I'd forget that mental note after roughly three minutes of a Georgia Tech-Florida State basketball game.

But it'll be a while before there's a verdict on Gregory in Atlanta; about all he's been able to do so far is slow the team down to a pace more typical of his Flyers teams. They're shooting better inside the arc and grabbing more of their misses this year, but their turnover rate is way up, and they still suffer from a lack of outside shooting options. Some improvements here, a few steps back there, and the result is an offense that is essentially right where it was in 2011, scoring about a point per trip. They were 183rd in offensive efficiency last year, they're 173rd now.

If Gregory can get these guys to take better care of the ball, and their two-point accuracy holds up, they will get better. But nothing in Gregory's or Tech's recent history suggests you should put much faith in that TO% coming down significantly.

Starters

M'fon Udofia (6-2, 193) -- Udofia is 59-198 (29.8%) from beyond the arc in 2+ seasons at Georgia Tech. As a freshman, he shot 29.8%; as a sophomore, 29.7%; as a junior in 2012, 30.0%. I don't have a point here, I just think that's awesome. (Aside from the poor shooting part.) Udofia has struggled to shoot the basketball throughout his career, and it's probably good that he doesn't take more than an average percentage of the shots. In addition to that sub-30% outside shooting last year, he hit 41% of his twos and 57% of his free throws. Total epidemic.

This is your NC State Shit pick to click, by the way.

Brandon Reed (6-3, 180) -- Reed is a transfer from Arkansas State, where he was a extreme high-usage scorer who probably figured he was ready to be tested at a higher level, never mind his total lack of efficiency. He's pumped the brakes in his first year at the major-conference level, but the numbers are still pretty rough. Forty-four percent from two, sub-30% from three, sub-60% at the line. He at least was passable from outside in his one season with the Red Wolves (33.5%). His free throw rate suggets that he isn't a huge threat off the dribble, and his turnover rate has skyrocketed since the transfer.

Glen Rice (6-5, 206) -- On paper, it looks like Rice may have turned a corner from solid player to potential all-conference player. It's always tough to be sure at this point since non-conference games make up the vast majority of the data on hand, but Rice has increased his efficiency significantly this season despite a very high workload. He has also been good at the defensive end, where he's putting a lot of true forwards to shame with his defensive rebounding and block rates.

Kammeon Holsey (6-8, 226) -- Holsey is shooting 68% (64-94) inside the arc and 33% (10-30) at the line. Last season, his FT% (48.4) was essentially the same as his two-point percentage. Probably a good idea for defenders to make him earn it at the line if they get beaten. He's a big threat on the offensive glass, but also incredibly turnover prone.

Daniel Miller (6-11, 258) -- Excellent shot blocker, but an unreliable contributor at the offensive end. He's hitting about 47% of his twos this season, with too many turnovers mixed in. Solid defensive rebounder.

Bench:

Jason Morris (6-5, 210), Pierre Jordan (6-0, 170), Julian Royal (6-7, 230). Morris hit 40% of his threes last year and the Jackets could really use a return to form there, though he is not a three-point specialist by any means. Jordan and Royal probably won't factor into the offense very much, though Royal has been a good offensive rebounder.

Georgia Tech Defense 10-11
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 50.2 228
Turnover Rate 23.7 24
Off Reb Rate 29.5 62
FTA/FGA 45.2 295
Georgia Tech Defense 11-12
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 43.6 30
Turnover Rate 18.2 288
Off Reb Rate 28.8 47
FTA/FGA 34.1 133

Georgia Tech ranks 13th in block rate this season, which is one reason why they've improved their 2FG% defense and with it their eFG%. Gregory did a consistent job at Dayton building defenses that were disciplined on the defensive glass, so it's not surprising to see the Jackets' success in that area carry over. I'm not sure what explains the big drop in TO%, but at least they aren't fouling as often.

The Pomeroy Predictor likes NC State by nine.

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