#16 Virginia Tech hosts Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech (11-8, 7-6 ACC) vs. Virginia Tech (14-4, 8-3 ACC) Blacksburg, VA – Cassell Coliseum Tuesday, February 23rd at 7:00 p.m.   (Photo: 247Sports) Georgia Tech has eyes for March: Georgia Tech is currently not projected to make the NCAA tournament, but all of that […]

Georgia Tech (11-8, 7-6 ACC) vs. Virginia Tech (14-4, 8-3 ACC)

Blacksburg, VA – Cassell Coliseum

Tuesday, February 23rd at 7:00 p.m.

 

(Photo: 247Sports)

Georgia Tech has eyes for March: Georgia Tech is currently not projected to make the NCAA tournament, but all of that could change after a resume-building win against Virginia Tech on Tuesday. Georgia Tech is ninth in the ACC and is riding a two-game win streak, defeating Miami and Pittsburgh in their last two games. The Yellow Jackets are coming off a 27-point blowout victory against a depleted Miami team. They were on fire, knocking down 57.1{51a8f47ed26b62794f5b3aaed8601076d65294f6278e23b79b91f33f521836ea} from the field and 42.3{51a8f47ed26b62794f5b3aaed8601076d65294f6278e23b79b91f33f521836ea} from the 3-point line.

Junior guard Michael Devoe is coming off his best game of the season in which he scored 29 points on 11 of 16 shooting. He also knocked down seven 3-pointers in the win. Devoe on the season has been lethal from deep, making 41.7{51a8f47ed26b62794f5b3aaed8601076d65294f6278e23b79b91f33f521836ea} of his 3-point baskets—nearly six a game.  Devoe has scored in double figures in three straight games and is currently averaging 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game.

Georgia Tech’s best player is Jose Alvarado. Alvarado is the leader and veteran on this team. What makes him so great is how dangerous he is from anywhere on the floor. When these two teams faced off last season, Alvarado led all scorers with 20 points.  Alvarado leads the Yellow Jacket in scoring and assists and is averaging 16.7 points—fourth in the ACC—and 3.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He is doing all of this all while shooting 52.5{51a8f47ed26b62794f5b3aaed8601076d65294f6278e23b79b91f33f521836ea} from the field. He also has quick hands on the defensive end, averaging 2.8 steals per game, which leads the ACC.

Moses Wright is also having a stellar year for the Yellow Jackets. The 6’9 Senior is second in scoring with 16.3 points per game and leads the team in rebounding with 7.5 per game. He is coming off a double-double in their last game in which he finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Wright has scored in double figures in 16 of his 19 games played this season.

Georgia Tech is a very old team. Their top six leading scorers are upperclassmen, and they really only use a seven-man rotation.

Virginia Tech first game since covid break: Virginia Tech is coming off a long Covid break, which will be 17 days in total when these teams face off on Tuesday. This can be looked at two ways:

  • It could be beneficial for Virginia Tech if they used the rest to get healthy and hopefully get guard Tyrece Radford back.
  • On the other hand, they could be very rusty for the next couple of games after not playing for over 2 weeks.

Virginia Tech would like to forget the game last season when these two teams faced off down in Atlanta, when the Hokies were held to only 18 points in the first half and ended up losing the game by 19, 76 to 57. In the lopsided loss, the Hokies shot 38.2{51a8f47ed26b62794f5b3aaed8601076d65294f6278e23b79b91f33f521836ea} from the field and 17.4{51a8f47ed26b62794f5b3aaed8601076d65294f6278e23b79b91f33f521836ea} from 3. Now, for Virginia Tech, the faces remain the same from last season, but the outcomes have been much better. The Hokies are third in the ACC and are currently one game back of first place Florida State.

Virginia Tech looks to be without guard Jalen Cone once again. Cone went down with an ankle injury last time out in Virginia Tech’s win against Miami. Cone has been a threat off the bench this season. He had struggled late but was still averaging 9.2 points per game. John Rothstein reported on Tuesday morning that Cone would be available tonight.

If Jalen is not available, expect Freshman guard Joe Bamisile to see increased minutes. He played 25 minutes against Miami, which is well above his eight minutes per game average. Bamisile scored 11 points on 50{51a8f47ed26b62794f5b3aaed8601076d65294f6278e23b79b91f33f521836ea} shooting. He does not lack confidence on the offensive end and is never scared to take the open shot.

Before the pause, Keve Aluma was playing some of the best basketball in the country. Aluma has scored in double figures in four straight games. He averaged 22.3 points and 9.5 rebounds over that impressive four-game span. On the season, Aluma is averaging 15.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. The Hokies would love for him to pick up right where he left off.

Hunter Cattoor is quietly having a great season. The sophomore guard is averaging 9.2 points per game and has scored in double figures in four straight games and six of their last eight games. He is shooting 46.6{51a8f47ed26b62794f5b3aaed8601076d65294f6278e23b79b91f33f521836ea} from the 3-point line, which ranks him sixth in the ACC.

Justyn Mutts has taken the minutes in place of Tyrece Radford, rarely leaving the floor now. He has averaged 36.3 minutes per game since Radford was suspended. Mutts is averaging 8.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game.

Virginia Tech’s Tyrece Radford will be a game-time decision. There has been no official word on the status of the sophomore guard. Tuesday will be exactly one month since Radford has seen live game action. If he plays, he will decide the outcome of this game, at second on the team in points with 11.1 per game and third in rebounds with 6.3 per game.

Virginia Tech forward Keve Aluma (Photo: Matt Gentry)

Projected Virginia Tech Starters:

0 Hunter Cattoor (6’3, 200, Sophomore) – 9.2 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 1.4 APG

3 Wabissa Bede (6’1, 195, Senior) – 4.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 3.0 APG

4 Nahiem Alleyne (6’4, 195, Sophomore) – 9.9 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.6 APG

22 Keve Aluma (6’9, 235, Junior) – 15.7 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.0 APG

25 Justyn Mutts (6’7, 230, Junior) – 8.9 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 2.3 APG

 

Projected Georgia Tech Starters:

0 Michael Devoe (6’5, 197, Junior) – 14.7 PPG, 4.3 PRG, 3.1 APG

4 Jordan Usher (6’7, 213, Senior) – 10.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.7 APG

5 Moses Wright (6’9, 233, Senior) – 16.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.2 APG

10 Jose Alvarado (6’0, 179, Senior) – 16.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 4.2 APG

12 Khalid Moore (6’7, 200, Junior) – 4.2 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 0.7 APG 

Prediction

James

I think the Hokies are going to come out flat. Georgia Tech is coming off a red-hot night in their last outing. I think that carries over to this one. Georgia Tech has something to play for, they are trying to sneak into the tournament. I think it’s a tight one, but I am going Georgia Tech here. If Radford plays for Virginia Tech, I might update my prediction but as of now. Going with the hot hand.

Final: #16 Virginia Tech 74 Georgia Tech 79 

Chris

Everything seems to favor Georgia Tech in this one. The Yellow Jackets are playing really well and teams coming off a Covid break have been averaging about 7-points less in their first games back. It is going to take a little time to get back to where things were, especially if Cone and Radford are still missing for the Hokies. Virginia Tech does have a better defensive team than most so maybe that changes things some and the drop-off isn’t as bad compared to others, but it will be up to the Hokies to prove they are better than what the statistics have shown.

Final: #16 Virginia Tech 64 Georgia Tech 73

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