#89 Georgia Tech Men's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

2015-2016 Overall Rank: #89
Conference Rank: #11 ACC

Georgia Tech Team Page#89 Georgia Tech Men's Basketball 2015-2016 PreviewBuy Georgia Tech Basketball Tickets

Georgia Tech certainly was not a good team last year, but they weren’t as bad as their 3-15 ACC record would indicate. They lost a lot of close games. Of course all of that isn’t bad luck and the Yellow Jackets lacked clutch shooters and playmakers. A handful of transfers will help Coach Brian Gregory fill some holes, but this team will again revolve around 6-5 wing Marcus Georges-Hunt. Georges-Hunt is not much of a shooter, like the rest of the team, but he is the one guy who will consistently attack the basket and make things happen. Following his 13.6 points and 5.5 rebounds last year, big things are again expected during his senior season.

2014-15 Record: 12-19, 3-15
2014-15 Postseason: none
Coach: Brian Gregory
Coach Record: 55-71 at Georgia Tech, 227-165 overall

Who’s Out:
Demarco Cox spent one season with the Yellow Jackets after transferring in from Ole Miss and made a big impact. He was third on the team in scoring with 8.8 points per game and third in rebounding with 6.1. Having his 6-8, 276 pound frame eating up space in the paint was a huge reason why Georgia Tech was the third best rebounding team in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Speaking of rebounding, Robert Sampson certainly helped in that department during his senior season, averaging 6.5 per game. Sampson came on strong at the end of the year and started the last 14 games. By the percentages, Chris Bolden was the team’s best outside shooter, although he shot just 32.6 percent from long range during his last season with Georgia Tech.  

Who’s In:
Coach Gregory hopes three Division I transfers will help cover the rebounding and shooting loses, and in the case of shooting, add a little more punch compared to last year. Nick Jacobs, a senior transfer from Alabama, is a big-bodied forward who was a part-time starter with the Crimson Tide. Two years ago he averaged 8.4 points and 3.5 rebounds as a junior at Alabama. James White, a graduate transfer from Arkansas-Little Rock, will help on the glass too. Last year he led the Trojans with 6.6 rebounds per game and added 11.9 points, while limited to just 15 games. He is tough on the glass and a very efficient scorer, which is nice to have for a team that ranked dead last in the ACC in field goal percentage. Adam Smith should be the best shooter on the team. The graduate transfer from Virginia Tech led the ACC in three-point field-goal percentage last season and led the Hokies with 13.4 points per game. The lone incoming freshman is Sylvester Ogbonda. The 6-10, 225 pound Washington, DC native may need some time for his offense to come around, but he can help out on the glass right away.

Who to Watch:
Charles Mitchell was the other player besides Georges-Hunt who was a consistent scoring threat. He averaged 9.8 points and a team high 7.0 rebounds while playing just 22.1 minutes per game. Mitchell started 18 games, but was used off of the bench late in the season. Starting or not, the former Maryland Terp is ready for a big senior season. Lanky 6-9 forward Quinton Stephens can be utilized at the four spot or the three spot when Coach Gregory wants to play big. At the least Stephens is a tough and versatile defender. In the backcourt, Josh Heath, Travis Jorgenson, Tadric Jackson and Corey Heyward return. Heath and Jorgenson split the point guard duties last season. It was Jorgenson who ended up earning 27 starts as a freshman. He averaged 3.3 assists per game and did a solid job keeping the turnovers down. Neither Heath nor Jorgenson are scoring threats, so both being on the floor at the same will not happen often. Jackson was a big-time recruit coming to Georgia Tech last season, but failed to find his outside shot, connecting on just 16 of his 90 attempts from beyond the arc. He is too talented to keep out of the rotation, but for now he could be best utilized as a scoring threat off of the bench. Sooner or later he will be one of the team’s best scorers, yet he has not proven to be that guy.

Final Projection:
Georgia Tech seems to be on damage control by bringing in transfers to plug holes instead of developing younger players. It makes this a pretty talented team, but they need to learn their roles and learn to play together effectively. If that happens, the Yellow Jackets will start winning some of those close games and pull off a major upset or two along the way. In the end though, expecting consistency is probably asking a bit too much and seven or eight ACC wins is a good target. That should be enough to get Georgia Tech above .500 and competing for a spot in the NIT or CBI.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Travis Jorgenson, Sophomore, Guard, 3.7 points per game
Adam Smith, Senior, Guard, 13.4 points per game (Virginia Tech)
Marcus Georges-Hunt, Senior, Forward, 13.6 points per game
Nick Jacobs, Senior, Forward, DNP last season
Charles Mitchell, Senior, Forward, 9.8 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 63.3 (227th in nation, 14th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.6 (126, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 40.8 (288, 15)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.0 (226, 12)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.2 (334, 15)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 26.7 (343, 15)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.8 (312, 13)
Rebound Margin: 7.3 (12, 3)
Assists Per Game: 11.7 (244, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.7 (195, 13)


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