#41 Georgia Tech Women's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Overall Rank: #41
Conference Rank: #9 ACC
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With their top six scorers returning, Georgia Tech is heading into the 2017-2018 campaign with high hopes. The Yellow Jackets finished last year strong too by making a run to the WNIT championship game. The frontcourt lost Katarina Vuckovic, but Zaire O’Neil and Elo Edeferioka return. O’Neil, a 5-11 senior, led the team with 12.9 points per game and added 5.7 rebounds. Edeferioka is not as effective scoring the basketball, but did lead the team in rebounds and blocked the shots. The addition of Oregon State graduate transfer Breanna Brown will bolster the defense and add a bit more scoring punch to the Yellow Jacket’s frontcourt. Incoming freshman Daijah Jefferson could work her way into the regular rotation too.
2016-17 Record: 22-15, 5-11
2016-17 Postseason: WNIT
Coach: MaChelle Joseph
Coach Record: 274-177 at Georgia Tech, 274-177 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Katarina Vuckovic, Forward, 4.8 ppg
Cha’Ron Sweeney, Guard, 3.9 ppg
Zutorya Cook, Guard, 1.5 ppg
Chelsea Guimaraes, Center, 1.3 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Zaire O’Neil, Senior, Forward, 12.9 ppg
Francesca Pan, Sophomore, Guard, 11.5 ppg
Imani Tilford, Senior, Guard, 9.4 ppg
Elo Edeferioka, Senior, Forward, 6.6 ppg
Kayla Pugh, Junior, Guard, 10.3 ppg
Antonia Peresson, Senior, Guard, 6.6 ppg
Chanin Scott, Sophomore, Guard, 4.5 ppg
Martine Fortune, Junior, Forward, 0.3 ppg
Anne Francoise Diouf, Sophomore, Forward, 0.2 ppg
Key New Players
Breanna Brown, Senior, Forward, Grad Transfer, Oregon State
Lorela Cubaj, Freshman, Forward
Taja Cummings, Freshman, Guard
Kierra Fletcher, Freshman, Guard
Daijah Jefferson, Freshman, Forward
The backcourt is in even better shape with four key returnees. Francesca Pan brings a lot of size to the perimeter and is a dangerous shooter and all-around scorer. Kaylan Pugh was also a double-digit scorer last year. She is not a shooter, but is a great finisher around the basket. Antonia Peresson is the shooter off the bench and led Georgia Tech with 69 made three-pointers last season. With younger players like Chanin Scott and incoming freshman Kierra Fletcher, Georgia Tech has plenty of depth and potential scorers. Imani Tilford can score too, but more importantly she is the player that sets up the rest of the team. Tilford is an experienced senior now and does need to help keep the turnovers down. Georgia Tech was not an efficient team offensively last year and Tilford can help change that. With a little more offensive efficiency, Georgia Tech has the depth and talent to get to the NCAA Tournament and maybe make another postseason run.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.7 (96th in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.6 (209, 11)
Field-Goal Percentage: 40.1 (157, 12)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.4 (150, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.3 (200, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.0 (148, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 61.6 (331, 15)
Rebound Margin: 4.0 (76, 6)
Assists Per Game: 11.9 (241, 13)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.2 (213, 12)
Madness 2017 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#41 Kierra Fletcher
#57 Daijah Jefferson