Where: Littlejohn Coliseum
Line: KenPom: Clemson by 10 with 84% chance of winning
Georgia Tech has been a disappointment this year, even more so than normal. In past years Tech’s disappointment has been one of not fulfilling expectations brought on by their talent level. This year’s problem is a little different. Tech doesn’t have the same level of talent as they have had in the past and as a result find themselves losing to teams like Kennesaw State, Siena, and Charlotte.
Watching a Paul Hewitt coached team on offense is a lot like watching Clemson the last several years. Tech’s offense lacks a game plan and discipline. It is tough to tell what they are trying to accomplish throughout the game. In the past they had excellent post players, yet failed to get the ball inside to their big men. This year they lack any semblance of a post presence and rely on Iman Shumpert to create for himself and his teammates. When Shumpert is on he can be a very good player. But, he is a streaky player and leaned on too heavily, in my opinion.
Also keep an eye on Brian Oliver and Glen Rice Jr. Oliver is a streaky shooter, who is cold right now, but earlier in the year lit up Syracuse for 32 points to keep Georgia Tech in the game. Rice is former NBA star Glen Rice’s son. He has a nice mid range game with a good pull up jumper, but does not shoot it well from deep. Georgia Tech as a team does not shoot 3s very well, averaging just under 29% on the year.
Clemson is better than Georgia Tech in 3 out of 4 of the Four Factors to Winning. Since Georgia Tech relies heavily on their guards who don’t shoot it well, it makes sense that Clemson would hold the advantage in Effective FG%. Guards also don’t typically get to the line as much as big men, so that also explains the FT Rate %. Clemson leads slightly in Offensive Rebounding % with Tech leading by a slim margin in Turnover Rate %.
This is a game I believe we should and will win. I'm not as bold as KenPom to say that with 84% confidence. I'd put Clemson's chance of victory at 65%.
What do you guys think? Has anyone seen much of Tech this year? I've only seen them play Syracuse and Northwestern, but watched a lot of their games last year.