#110 Georgia Tech Men's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
2016-2017 Overall Rank: #110
Conference Rank: #13 ACC
Georgia Tech came on strong at the end of the 2015-2016 campaign, winning five of their final six games heading into the ACC Tournament. With a win over Clemson in the ACC Tournament, the Yellow Jackets earned a bid to the NIT. They won a couple games in the NIT, but that was also Coach Brian Gregory’s first postseason appearance with Georgia Tech in five years. That cost him his job and Georgia Tech went out and grabbed Josh Pastner from Memphis. Coach Pastner has not had much success with Memphis lately, but he is a proven recruiter and a nice hire for the Yellow Jackets. But for now there is a lot of rebuilding to do.
2015-16 Record: 21-15, 8-10
2015-16 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Josh Pastner
Coach Record: 0-0 at Georgia Tech, 167-73 overall
Who’s Out:
Georgia Tech lost their top four scorers from last season and two more players who averaged at least ten minutes per game. Marcus Georges-Hunt averaged 16.7 points and 3.3 assists and knocked down 40 three-pointers on the year. Georges-Hunt was a dangerous shooter, but he did most of his scoring damage by attacking the basket. The shooter on the team was Adam Smith who was right behind Georges-Hunt with 15.0 points per game. Smith knocked down an impressive 41.4 percent of his 263 attempts from beyond the arc. Nick Jacobs and Charles Mitchell were the double-digit scorers in the paint. Jacobs averaged 10.5 points per game, while Mitchell added 10.1 and added a team high 9.7 rebounds. James White and Travis Jorgenson were also in the regular rotation. That is a lot of lost production and Coach Pastner will have his hands full in year one.
Who’s In:
This class will not be as impressive as some in the near future, but the three incoming freshmen and the one redshirt freshman will get every opportunity to compete for quality minutes. Justin Moore will likely step into a backup point guard role and he can score as well as handle the ball. Josh Okogie is an athletic and versatile 6-5 guard who can play anywhere on the perimeter. Christian Matthews could be the incoming freshman that makes the biggest impact. The 6-6 wing is a big time scorer from anywhere on the floor. Sylvester Ogbonda is the redshirt freshman. The 6-10, 238 pound forward needed the year off to add some strength and he should be ready to at least provide a presence on the defensive end. Coach Pastner also added a couple graduate transfers to help fill out the roster. Kellen McCormick comes from Western Michigan where he averaged 6.0 points per game last season. McCormick is not going to light up the ACC, but he is a 6-8 forward who can knock down a lot of three-pointers if given the opportunity. McCormick spent the last two seasons competing against fellow graduate transfer Jordan Price. Price, a 6-7 wing, averaged 4.2 points and 1.4 rebounds at Eastern Michigan in 2015-2016.
Who to Watch:
Quinton Stephens and Josh Heath are the only returning players who started more than a single game last season. Stephens, a 6-9 senior, ranked fifth in the team in scoring with 5.0 points per game and he is a forward who can stretch the defense with his shooting ability. Ideally, Stephens is a big wing, but he could see some time at the four spot this year. At 203 pounds, Stephens has beefed up a little bit during the offseason and that could help him be more effective on the glass. Heath started 21 games at the point, allowing Georges-Hunt to spend more time off of the ball. Heath is a good ball handler and his 95 assists and 30 turnovers leave little doubt that the senior can run the show for Georgia Tech. However, Heath is not much of a scorer and this team desperately needs to find some players who can knock down shots and take advantage of the opportunities Heath can create.
Final Projection:
Tadric Jackson will carry much of the scoring burden. As a sophomore last year he again struggled with his shot though, connecting on just 27.7 percent of his three-point attempts. Jackson can attack the basket relatively well, but if his shot is not falling, Coach Pastner will have to look elsewhere for his starting shooting guard. The frontcourt does not have much experience returning either, but Ben Lammers had a pretty good sophomore season. The 6-10 forward averaged 14.8 minutes per game and proved to be a major shot blocking threat. At the least, he is a big body who can play defense and help out on the glass. The Yellow Jackets have some talent that has been sitting behind the now departed players, but it will not be enough to compete with some of the better teams in the ACC.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI / CIT / V16
Projected Starting Five:
Josh Heath, Senior, Guard, 2.7 points per game
Tadric Jackson, Junior, Guard, 4.7 points per game
Christian Matthews, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Quinton Stephens, Senior, Forward, 5.0 points per game
Ben Lammers, Junior, Center, 3.6 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.2 (170th in nation, 11th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.7 (146, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.9 (127, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.2 (215, 12)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.9 (279, 13)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.7 (125, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.2 (87, 8)
Rebound Margin: 7.4 (21, 2)
Assists Per Game: 13.5 (153, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.2 (47, 8)

Madness 2016 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#159 Josh Okogie