1. Not the beginning they hoped for
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have had a nightmare begin to the season via two video games. You possibly can say that Kentucky is in an analogous place, however Kentucky’s two losses are towards two match groups, one being a prime 10 staff. Sadly for Georgia Tech, their two losses have are available video games that folks would’ve penciled in as comparatively simple wins earlier than the season started. The opening recreation to start out the yr had Georgia Tech going through the Panthers from Georgia State. A close to double-digit underdog, Georgia State took Tech to a whopping 4 overtimes, earlier than leaving with a three-point victory.
The second recreation of the season had the Yellow Jackets as a 12-point favourite over Mercer, however Georgia Tech by no means led for the whole thing of the matchup and the Bears took dwelling the straightforward victory. The ultimate within the scorebook reveals only a 10-point loss for Tech, however the recreation was not as shut because it appears. They have been down 17 with one minute remaining within the recreation. Georgia Tech has some proficient offensive gamers, however an 0-2 begin to the season shouldn’t be the place they thought they’d be heading into the sport towards Kentucky this night.
2. Smaller lineups round one stable massive
Whereas Georgia Tech positively has the scale to match up with Kentucky’s beginning 5, they don’t essentially maintain that opening lineup on the ground for prolonged intervals of time. With regular starters measuring in at 6’0″, 6’5″, 6’7″, 6’9″, and 6’10”, this really seems like a comparatively even matchup on paper with Kentucky’s starters. Nonetheless, the Yellow Jackets solely play their 6’10” beginning middle, Rodney Howard, nearly 10 minutes per recreation. For a staff that has performed 4 overtimes on this quick season, that’s a really small quantity of enjoying time. As a substitute, four-man Moses Wright would be the largest participant on the ground for Georgia Tech for a lot of the recreation, at 6’9″ and 233 kilos.
Wright is the perfect participant on this Georgia Tech staff, ending with 31 factors and 19 rebounds within the four-OT loss to Georgia State whereas following that efficiency with 20 factors and 5 rebounds towards Mercer. He has hit Three of 5 tried threes this season, however simply 14 of 23 free throws. Kentucky will probably attempt to drive mid-range jumpers from Wright, reasonably than permitting him to determine a put up presence. The senior ahead scored 13 factors and pulled down 10 boards towards Kentucky final season.
3. Taking pictures guards or scoring guards?
One in every of Coach Cal’s favourite strains when going through a younger roster early within the season is when he alludes to having a number of shooters, however says they’re shot takers reasonably than shot makers. What we’ll see with Georgia Tech at present is a gaggle of guards that definitely aren’t shy about letting photographs fly. Whereas among the offensive numbers are skewed as a result of 4 overtimes performed within the season opener, simply wanting on the numbers reveals that Kentucky will have to be ready for a bunch of photographs from any guard within the recreation.
The 4 guards that play the first minutes for Georgia Tech have mixed to take 107 of the 160 photographs tried this season for the Yellow Jackets. These guards aren’t simply capturing, they’re scoring as effectively. Place to begin guard, Jose Alvarado, is averaging 18.5 factors per recreation whereas beginning capturing guard, Michael Devoe, is scoring 19 factors per recreation. The third guard within the beginning lineup is Jordan Usher, who scores 13 factors per contest. The fourth guard comes off the bench to play a ton of minutes is a reputation Kentucky followers could also be accustomed to, Bubba Parham, who nets 14 factors per recreation this yr. Parham etched his identify into the reminiscence of UK followers when he scored 35 factors on 10 made threes towards the Cats when he performed for VMI in 2018.
4. Instructor vs Scholar
Manning the sidelines for Georgia Tech in his fifth season as Head Coach is Josh Pastner. Pastner was an assistant at Memphis underneath John Calipari earlier than taking on as Head Coach when Cal headed north to Lexington. After seven years because the lead man in Memphis, Pastner left this system and headed to Georgia Tech to take over beginning within the 2016-17 season. Coach Cal was extraordinarily complimentary of Pastner, who when he was named Head Coach at each Memphis and Georgia Tech, used the phrase “excellent match”.
Tonight will likely be simply the second time that Pastner has confronted off towards his mentor with the primary coming final yr, Kentucky taking dwelling the 67-53 victory. Pastner hasn’t had the simplest of occasions in his first few seasons within the ACC. Heading into this season, Pastner sits at a 65-67 report general, with a 31-43 convention report. Whereas the ACC might be the hardest convention within the nation on a yearly foundation, the Yellow Jacket trustworthy must be hoping for a profitable report within the close to future.
5. An early SEC opponent
Out of all of the non-conference opponents we’ve seen Kentucky play through the years, the Wildcats have essentially the most all-time matchups towards Georgia Tech. Kentucky sits because the chief within the all-time collection with a 57-15 report general. As a number of our readers might know, the first motive for this many matchups through the years is that Georgia Tech really was part of the Southeastern Convention, being one of many 13 founding members of the convention. Tech left the SEC in 1964 and remained unbiased till serving to to kind the Metro-6 Convention in 1975 and ultimately shifting to the ACC in 1978.
Tonight’s recreation will likely be simply the 11th matchup with Georgia Tech as a real non-conference opponent. Since leaving the SEC, Georgia Tech has simply two wins over Kentucky, for a 2-Eight report. Immediately would be the first time that Kentucky has confronted Georgia Tech with a dropping report within the non-conference period of the all-time collection. The Cats sit as a six-point favourite for tonight’s recreation, trying to get again on observe after again to again losses up to now week.
Go Cats. Beat the Yellow Jackets.