I was fortunate enough to exchange questions with Chas Plaisance from the Georgia Tech blog From The Rumble Seat about the game today. We discussed the Jackets year so far, the challeges Erick Green will face, and more. You can see my answers to his questions here. Both teams are looking for their first ACC win. The game is at 2:30 on the Raycom Sports Network.
TKP: Georgia Tech seemed to do pretty well in non-conference play, but has struggled against the better teams they've gone against. Was your good start due to easy competition or do you think GT has a chance to do well in the ACC?
FTRS: For the most part, the success that the Jackets saw during OOC play was from the easy schedule. That beings said, the played Cal and Illinois very close and both teams are very strong and experienced teams. That shows fans exactly what the Jackets have in their arsenal. They are a young team, with two freshmen starting and another two coming off the bench for substantial contribution. Coach Brian Gregory planned the easy schedule so that he would work some stuff in before ACC play began. At the same time, I think the Jackets under-preformed against Miami and had a close 35 minutes against NC State. I expect the Jackets to have a rough start, but still be able to string together a relatively successful season all things considered.
TKP: You guys have a pretty balanced scoring attack, with 4 guys averaging around 10 ppg. When the team has trouble shooting, who is your go to guy to get you points?
FTRS: Mfon is the spark plug for the offense when the team needs a push. Along with Daniel Miller, both of them are driven to develop a successful team this season. They are two leaders that I believe will step up in the near future and guide the team to success. Some of this learning early on has to be on a personal level before players get comfortable enough to play and be confident in their skills.
TKP: Erick Green has been dominant this entire year and teams have yet to find a way to stop him, what do you think GT will do to limit him on offense?
FTRS: Surprisingly, G.Tech has done relatively well defensively against strong guards. They have a few players that can play lockdown D, such as Udofia, Reed, and Bolden. I expect Gregory will put Reed on him early, and trying to make sure that he is denied the ball as much as possible. His explosiveness and his dominance on the court needs to be stopped if Tech is looking to be successful.
TKP: Every game, Virginia Tech's opponent has a guy come out of no where to score a career high, which one of GT's bench players should the Hokies be most worried about?
FTRS: Georgia Tech has had pretty balanced scoring for the most part, however I see Marcus-Georges Hunt get back to business and have a strong game against VT. This is a very important game for him and Carter Jr. as neither of the starting freshmen have been very strong in ACC play so far. After VT, Tech goes on to play UNC and Duke on the road. Just like against NC State, Tech cannot win without production from Carter Jr. and Hunt. I hope that both of these players will bounce back against poor performances and show the fans their progression and learning.
Another player that has been coming off the bench and making a run at starting in my opinion is Kammeon Holsey. The big has picked up the slack when Miller and Carter Jr. are not producing. I hope to see his playing time continue to increase and see his production develop even more. I think he can be a major threat to teams and adds some height and experience to the team.
TKP: What's your prediction for Today?
FTRS: I predict that Georgia Tech will get its first ACC win on Saturday. The Jackets competed with a strong NC State earlier this week and I expect similar strong play against VT. I think that the Hokies have an amazing player with Green, but unfortunately Tech is very strong in perimeter defense and can defend one strong guard very well. GT will break their ACC losing streak with a win against Virginia Tech. Final score: 75-63.