Georgia Tech Vs. NC State Preview: Jackets Bring Tough D, Unreliable O

Ta-da! ... Hey! Hey guys! Guys look what I did! - Josh-USA TODAY Sports

Will the normally cold-shooting Yellow Jackets pull off another hot-shooting night in Raleigh? We must pray to the basketball gods in order to avoid this fate. Go. Pray now. Maybe sacrifice a pet.

GT Offense 11-12
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 47.5 230
Turnover Rate 22.8 303
Off Reb Rate 33.8 116
FTA/FGA 28.7 328

GT Offense 12-13
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 47.9 184
Turnover Rate 18.6 77
Off Reb Rate 33.7 126
FTA/FGA 31.1 271

GT @ StatSheet
2012 Stats
2013 Stats
2013 Roster
2013 Schedule

Georgia Tech profiles pretty much the same as last year, which is to say that the Jackets are somewhat offensively challenged. I hesitate to get into this too much for fear of bringing on a repeat of what happened in Raleigh last season. Buncha fluke-shootin' jerks! But given that they're coming off a game in which they scored 49 points, there's probably nothing I need say. A strong performance against NC State is virtually guaranteed.

While shooting accuracy remains a problem for the Jackets, they have at least managed to get the turnovers under control. They really need that to hold up throughout conference play, and it wouldn't hurt if they got more aggressive about grabbing offensive boards. The Jackets have played four power-conference teams so far this season; their offensive efficiency in those games: 87 (L), 90 (L), 100 (W), 76 (L).

Starters

Mfon Udofia (6-2, 195) -- Udofia's offensive workload is the lowest of his career, which certainly seems to have helped his shooting accuracy--he's hitting 60% of his twos and 40.5% of his threes. There is virtually no chance he is as improved as a shooter as those numbers suggest, because he's been rather clanky in the past and his workload wasn't exactly huge then either.

Brandon Reed (6-3, 182) -- Reed had an above-average workload for Georgia Tech last season and posted a 41.5 eFG%. This year he has an above-average workload and is shooting 41.8%. I'm not one to tell somebody how to live, but maybe it would be a good idea to pump the brakes on some of those field goal attempts, son. Reed can be a passable three-point shooter--he shot 33.5% from three as a freshman at Arkansas State--but he's struggled throughout his career to hit shots inside the arc.

Marcus Georges-Hunt (6-5, 218) -- Pretty good freshman debut for Georges-Hunt, as he's been efficient despite taking more shots than anyone else on the team. His turnover rate is outstanding, he's a decent offensive rebounder, and he's making 53.5% of his twos. The three-point shooting still needs work.

Robert Carter, Jr. (6-8, 245) -- Also having a solid freshman year, though his 5-23 shooting from three-point range is a negative. He may want to turn a few of those attempts into twos, because he's been good in the paint. He's a good rebounder at both ends and has a decent block rate.

Daniel Miller (6-11, 257) -- Miller never was much of a scorer in the paint over his first two years, and this has not changed. He's definitely a threat to clean up some misses on the offensive glass, though, and he's been bothering a lot of shots this year.

Bench

Kammeon Holsey (6-8, 231), Chris Bolden (6-3, 209), Julian Royal (6-8, 243), Jason Morris (6-5, 224), Pierre Jordan (6-0, 165). Brian Gregory hasn't been shy about digging into his bench this season--nine players have played in all 13 of Tech's games, though some don't even get 10 minutes a night. Holsey figures to see the most time against NC State, and he's also the most likely bench player to have an impact on the scoreboard. Holsey is hitting 59% of his twos, and in a refreshing change of pace for Tech, he isn't bothering to take threes.

Bolden is just 9-39 from three-point range this year, while Morris is a solid 11-26. I have no idea what to expect from either of them. Jordan needs more minutes, but he could end up a contender for the Mr. Invisible award at season's end (2.5 FGA per 40 minutes).

GT Defense 11-12
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 46.4 51
Turnover Rate 17.9 291
Off Reb Rate 29.2 58
FTA/FGA 33.8 119

GT Defense 12-13
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 40.9 7
Turnover Rate 21.1 155
Off Reb Rate 27.6 37
FTA/FGA 31.1 87

Georgia Tech has been very good at this end of the floor--the Jackets are 16th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency. Their 2FG% is fantastic and they are blocking shots at a good clip, which helps. They've done a great job of keeping opponents off the glass, and hell, even their FT% "defense" is outstanding.

Whether it's by design or simply a product of Tech's interior defense, opponents are taking a lot of three-pointers. So that'll be something to keep an eye on from State's perspective, though it's pretty tough to make NC State launch a bunch of threes because the Pack is stubborn like that.

The Pomeroy Predictor likes NC State by seven.

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