Georgia Institute of Technology
Head Coach: Josh Pastner
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Nickname: Yellow Jackets
Mascot: Buzz and Ramblin' Wreck
KenPom rank: 75
Previous history: Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 2-0 including throttling the Huskers 73-56 last season.
Offensive Style: Five out Princeton offense, dribble drive motion, scoring in the paint
Defensive Style: A funky 1-3-1 zone that morphs into a 2-3 / 3-2 zone
Rotation Size: 7-8
Line: Nebraska by 1
Due to cancellations this game has moved from ESPNU to ESPN2
Players to watch: Moses Wright
Senior F Moses Wright has been the best player for the Yellowjackets this season, currently leading the team in scoring, rebounding, and blocks. With GT switching to a smaller lineup vs Kentucky, Wright spent most of the game as their starting center which is mitigated by how much Tech plays zone. Wright has struggled from 3 most of his college career but is a nifty 3-5 this season.
Players to watch: Jose Alvarado
Tech's Senior PG Alvarado leads the team in assists and steals, often times parked at the top of their 1-3-1. Has struggled with his shot to start the season.
Players to watch: Michael Devoe
The talented wing might be their most dangerous scorer, last year shooting 42.7% from 3 while making it to the FT line 100+ times. Devoe was held scoreless vs Kentucky which shows how balanced the scoring is on this team.
Georgia Tech shortened their bench vs Kentucky, only playing 7.
- Bubba Parham is the other 3pt shooter to keep tabs on along with Alvarado and Devoe. Those 3 take the majority of 3s on a team that doesn't shoot a ton of them
- Jordan Usher has been a solid second banana on the defensive end and his shot has been reliable thus far, slotting in as Tech's "big man" for short periods
- Khalid Moore doesn't shoot much as struggles when he does
- USC transfer guard Kyle Sturdivant is still trying to get up to speed defensively but was a spark vs Kentucky, chipping in a career high 15.
- 6'10" 240# Georgia transfer Rodney Howard started the first two games and then didn't play vs Kentucky. Is a rim protector. 6'8" Jordan Meka and 7'1" Saba Gigiberia are freshmen post players who haven't been ready to contribute
Hoiberg got into their 1-3-1 as well as detailing some of the personnel. Also we haven't yet found a replacement game for Florida A&M but it's a possibility for next week.
Georgia Tech got off to a slow start which could be blamed on Josh Pastner's decision to implement an "unheard of plan" of non-contact practices. Additionally Pastner was looking to put in more dribble drive to take advantage of this roster. After loses to Georgia St and Mercer, the Ramblin' Wreck scrapped those plans, switched to a smaller lineup, and gave Kentucky the business.
Tech is one of those 'bring almost everyone back' squads. However, that one player not coming back was the 6'10" shot blocking, defensive anchor James Banks. After problems trying to replicate the success with that size, Tech has leaned on defensive quickness and familiarity. Expect that trend to continue against the small ball Huskers.
The turnovers that fueled Tech's offense vs Kentucky will be a lot harder to come by vs Nebraska as ball control has been the one positive offensive constant of the Nebraska Hoiberg era. Both teams still aren't confident in their half court offenses and will look to get out in transition at the expense of giving up 2nd chance points. Georgia Tech is going to try and work their way into the paint. Nebraska took the few zone looks they saw thus far and ate them up. Tech runs zone for a living so we'll find out how much this team is willing to pass its way to open looks vs driving into defenders/jacking up 3s. One random thing to note is that Trey McGowens played GT twice last year in ACC play.
Defensively ,Nebraska's tendency to pack the paint is essentially what you want to run against GT and should hopefully help in keeping Moses Wright in check. If Tech gets comfortable shooting from outside, it will be a long night for the scarlet and cream. Nebraska's interior defense is suspect so you could see the Yellow Jackets looking down the bench in this game for some of that size.
There really is no outcome, be it blowout win for either team or 4 OT game that would be surprising.
Prediction: Nebraska 78 - Georgia Tech 72