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NC State and Georgia Tech meet in a battle of weaknesses

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These teams are a combined 6-22 in ACC games.

NCAA Basketball: Georgia Tech at Virginia
“Are you not enterta— oh, you’re not. I see. Well. This is awkward.”
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, it’s finally here, the matchup we’ve all been clamoring for. Georgia Tech has the least efficient offense in ACC play, and NC State has the least efficient defense in ACC play. A true headliner of a story line if ever there was one.

Which unit will be slightly less shitty than the other, delivering a victory in the process? Let’s find out together. I haven’t checked, but I’m sure that ticket sales have been brisk this week. Everywhere I look, this game is all anyone is talking about.

2021-22 Yellow Jackets

... Adj OE/DE (rk) eFG% TO% OR% FTR
... Adj OE/DE (rk) eFG% TO% OR% FTR
Offense 99.7 (234) 49.8 (183) 19.8 (254) 25.8 (258) 25.2 (313)
Defense 98.7 (99) 49.7 (164) 19.5 (122) 28.1 (176) 32.0 (226)

Georgia Tech had a heck of a 2021 season and got to the NCAAs for the first time since 2010, and so perhaps Josh Pastner was capable of turning a corner after all. Or not. The Jackets haven’t been able to sufficiently replace Moses Wright and Jose Alvarado; the offense went plummeting off a cliff this year, and they’ll be nowhere near the NCAA tournament, barring a miracle run through the league tourney.

In addition to the departures of Wright and Alvarado, Tech also lost veteran guard Bubba Parham to a season-ending injury. For a team that didn’t have much in the way of reliable depth, that was a tough blow.

The Jackets did return a strong wing tandem in Michael Devoe and Jordan Usher, but while both have had good years, there is only so much the two of them can do. They’re trying, though: when they’re on the court together, which is most of the time, they account for over half the team’s field goal attempts.

Devoe comes in averaging 18.6 points per game on 52.6% shooting inside the arc and 37.9% shooting from three. Usher averages 14.8 PPG on 53.6% two-point shooting and 34.4% three-point shooting. They’ve held up fine despite upping their workloads from last season.

Tech ranked 20th nationally in 2FG% last season but has fallen to 225th this year. The Jackets also have watched their turnover rate climb substantially as more mistake-prone players have taken over the reins. Those are the two most substantial differences, and for a team that even last year wasn’t much good on the offensive glass or notably accurate from three, the loss of those strengths has been devastating.

Not that these are certain to be problem spots on Tuesday night—oh, no, not against this NC State defense. The suspense is incredible!

Anyway, KenPom has Tech by two.