Posted: 10/26/2012 7:07:09 AM
Our ACC basketball previews continue with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Will Ojanen gives us a write-up about the Yellow Jackets, who are hoping for more in Coach Brian Gregory's second season.
Georgia Tech Season Preview
Projected Statistics (Returning Players Only)Explanation of Statistic Projections
Things to Watch
The inaugural season under Brian Gregory was not an enjoyable season for Georgia Tech fans. At times, the team was unwatchable, especially in ACC play. The Yellow Jackets didn’t reach 40 points three different times during conference play. This year promises to be better, with more depth on the roster, and more viable scoring options on the team.
The biggest departure from the backcourt is Glen Rice Jr. He was the team’s leading scorer and rebounder. But the biggest key to the backcourt is making sure Mfon Udofia cuts down on his turnovers. He can score, but given the talent in the frontcourt, he should be passing the ball more, so expect his assist number to go up this year. Jason Morris also returns after an up and down season, averaging just under eight points per game. Brandon Reed is also back, but he will have to improve his shooting percentage. They all will be pushed for playing time by some highly touted freshmen. Chris Bolden could push for playing time at the point. Marcus Hunt is a highly touted recruit who can score points in bunches. The Yellow Jackets will also get Stacey Poole in time for conference play.
This is the strongest part of the team. Kammeon Hosley was the team’s best player the latter half of the season. He averaged over nine points per game, but averaged 12.5 points per game over the final eight games. Daniel Miller’s 2.4 blocks per game is 1.5 blocks per game better than anybody else on the team. Behind them is a guy whose name you will get to know in the coming years in Robert Carter. He’s built tough at 6-8 and 245 pounds, but can also shoot with range. Also back is Julian Royal, who played better as the season went along.
The Yellow Jackets have an early season tournament that could boost their RPI if they can get a couple of wins in it. After that, they face Illinois in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. They also host Georgia in an in state rivalry game. Aside from these games, the schedule is set up for some easy wins heading in to conference play. The conference schedule will be tough early, as three of the first four games are at NC State, at Duke, and at North Carolina. After that, the schedule lightens up a bit in the middle, before getting a little tougher at the end.
Having more options to score will be a big boost for this team this year. The offensive struggles last year were because of the lack of scoring options. I don’t think the Yellow Jackets will score less than 40 points this year. What hasn’t been touched on is the improvement defensively under Brian Gregory. They were fourth in the ACC in scoring defense last year, and were third in rebounding margin as well. As much as I have hyped the scoring options, the fact that a lot of this team still returns after being near the bottom of the conference in most shooting categories is still a concern. The Yellow Jackets will be improved this season, but still have a ways to go to get to the top of the top of the conference. I think they’ll finish in the bottom half of the ACC this year.
by Will Ojanen @WillsWorldMN
Fantasy Player to Watch
Daniel Miller isn't a consistent scorer but he showed an ability to fill the box score in a number of different ways last season. If Miller's scoring ability takes a step forward, then he could be an impact fantasy player.
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