In an ordinary year, coaches like to play one last non-conference game after the holidays Often they plan it against a slightly considered major low or middleweight, at home, in a game with little or no suspense Players have the chance to remove rust, pick up the pace, and in some cases cut calories from a visit to the house Coaches have one last chance to participate in a plays and lineup workshop waiting before the return of the conference game
There will be no slowdown for Georgia Tech (4-3, 0-1 ACC) on its return from a longer-than-expected 10-day hiatus Their first return game brings North Carolina (5- 3, 0-1 ACC) at McCamish Pavilion in a teams match seeking to avoid 0-2 conference startsNorth Carolina will also be looking to avenge an incredible loss to the Yellow Jackets last year, where Tech took a 27-4 lead and shot 59 percent en route to a 96-83 victory at Chapel Hill.
Enjoy the first five notes on my board in preparation for a New Year’s Eve showdown in Atlanta (8 pm EST, Georgia Tech Sports Network at Learfield IMG College):
Georgia Tech recently reduced its roster by using Bubba Parham as a third guard and dropping a traditional male “5” They also moved 6-7 Jordan Usher or 6-7 Khalid Moore to “5” while 6-9 Moses Wright is on the bench
Conventional wisdom says that a small team makes a team more vulnerable to blocked shots. Yet in its first three games after “downsizing,” Georgia Tech has only been blocked once by Kentucky. , Nebraska and the State of Florida
Why is this important? All three teams place in the national top 25 in average height North Carolina places eighth
NC The State used a smaller team against the UNC on December 22 and managed to spread and dribble the Tar Heels This propelled the Wolfpack to a 17 point lead in the first period which allowed them to withstand several rallies in a 79-76 victoryIt also continued a troubling Tar Heels’ tendency to give up big deficits early on (they have called in double digits in the first half in six of their first eight games)
Can the Jackets use a clean cut and quick ball inversions to get a clean look and clear driving lanes against the length of North Carolina? And can they quickly shake off any post-holiday rust and pin the Tar Heels with another early deficit?
Jose Alvarado led Tech in assists, steals and points in the ACC game last year He also led the Yellow Jackets to most of the friends and family who came in on the see play on the road
The Yellow Jackets have rarely played a game on the road without Alvarado bringing their own section of enthusiastic cheering. This was the case at Chapel Hill last year, when they saw Alvarado finish with 25 points, 8 assists and 6 steals for Tech’s first victory at Smith Center since 2010Among the supporters was one of his New York Youth League coaches, who began coaching him in sixth grade.
Only problem: he came to the game with equipment from North Carolina, Alvarado sheepishly explained that his coach was a UNC fan growing up, although he always showed a lot of love to his former player this that night
After winning 29 career points against Delaware State, Alvarado and Michael Devoe will battle a freshman backcourt made up of McDonald’s All-Americans Caleb Love (111 ppg) and RJ Davis (101 ppg) Love is a dynamic round-the-rim finisher trying to get out of a season-long shooting fit; Davis, like Alvarado, a product of New York Catholic League basketball, was named by Lindy’s as the ACC’s top freshman. Both worked in the UNC loss to NC State (8-28 FG Combined) They aren’t the only ones struggling: North Carolina wins just 256 percent of its three, which ranks no 316 in the campaign
Tech guards have already exhausted a young Kentucky backcourt, forcing them into course changes, interim rulings, and off-system jumps Can they do it again against a North Carolina backcourt who has been thoroughly vetted and possibly looking for an escape match?
North Carolina may have a hard time from three, but they know how to clean up their own misfires
Roy Williams again deploys a frontcourt that can put teams in the wood chipper on the offensive glass: The Tar Heels rank No 2 nationally in offensive rebound percentage (418 pct) Garrison Brooks, 6-11 , the ACC preseason player of the year, had a career-high 35 points and 11 rebounds against the Yellow Jackets last year Armando Bacot, 6-10, who led UNC in scoring in each of the last three games, can beat defensemen with stickbacks The Tar Heels also spin two freshmen off the bench in 6-11 Day’Ron Sharpe, an instinctive shot blocker, and Walker Kessler, from Atlanta, 7-1Georgia Tech has found a niche with a smaller lineup, and Moses Wright had 22 points and 7 rebounds playing long stretches at “5” last year, but Tech’s frontcourt cannot allow UNC to take them. bury them deep or catch them in their comfort zone
Note though: In the race with a 47-27 halftime lead at Chapel Hill last year, the Yellow Jackets failed to allow North Carolina to score a single point. quick break or second chanceJosh Pastner insisted on the defensive transition throughout the year, citing it as a key in our pre-game talks against Kentucky, Florida State and Georgia State.North Carolina is looking for secondary transition baskets as actively as any team in the ACC, including quick post-ups with their big ones How well can the Yellow Jackets limit these basics of the scoring of the North Carolina Wednesday?
UNC guard RJ Davis won New York Mr Basketball and was fifth in New York Catholic League history in career points His total ranks just below another notable New York M Basketball winner:
Now that we’re ready, we hope you are, tooJoin us for pre-game coverage starting at 7:30 p.m. ET on the Georgia Tech Sports Network at Learfield IMG College Visit McCamish
Men’s basketball North Carolina Tar Heels, men’s basketball Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Basketball, NCAA Atlantic Coast Conference Football
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