- VCU, December 15, 2015
Ben Lammers

Starters

Justin Moore

#0 

Sophomore- PG

6’4” 162 Lbs 

2016-17 Stats Per Game

Games: 34

Games Started: 18

Minutes: 18.8

Points: 4.4

FG %: 43.1%

3P %: 30% 

Rebounds: 1.8 

Assists: 2.4 

Steals: .4 

Turnovers: 1.5 

FT %: 52.9% 

Josh Heath, who had the most assists on the team last year, has graduated and Moore will be expected to take over that role. As a freshman, Moore played 18 minutes a game and averaged 2.4 assists per game. He didn’t put up great statistics and had plenty of freshman mistakes. In the game against Faulkner, Moore played 21 minutes and scored 5 points, had 3 assists, and 3 rebounds. Only had 1 turnover which is evidence of maturity. While watching it, Moore seemed to miss some opportunities to make an assist. He looked a little too focused on dribbling and didn’t move his eyes and survey the floor to find the open pass. Thankfully it didn’t cause many problems. Justin Moore has big shoes to fill as Heath averaged about 5 assists per game. Moore will be starting this season unless something Pastner sees in practice and in the beginning games influences his choice to change starting PG. 

Expected Statistics

Minutes: 22.7

PPG: 7.8

APG: 4.1

RPG: 1.6

Steals: .5

Turnovers: 1.8

Tadric Jackson

#1

Senior- Guard

6’2” 203 Lbs

2016-17 Stats Per Game

Games: 36

Games Started: 5

Minutes: 23.8

Points: 12.1

FG %: 44.6%

3P %: 32.5%

Rebounds: 2.2

Assists: 1.8 

Steals: .7 

Turnovers: 1.7

FT %: 56.7% 

Tadric was the sixth man last season, putting up 12 points a night. He wasn’t the best shooter in the world but could get to the hoop with ease. He had a great drive motion and pulled off quite a few fake passes to get to the basket. Jackson has steadily improved from 3-point land during his college career (17.8% as a freshman, 27.7% as a sophomore, 32.5% as a junior). Expect Jackson, in his (most likely) 25 games to keep his scoring the same but increase his other statistics. 

Expected Statistics 

Minutes: 28 (Airing on the low side because Pastner usually plays a lot of young players)

PPG: 13.5

APG: 3.4

RPG: 2.6

Steals: .8

Turnovers: 2.5 (Turnover prone player)

Josh Okogie

#5

Sophomore- Guard

6’4” 203 Lbs

2016-17 Stats Per Game

Games: 37

Games Started: 37

Minutes: 30.8

Points: 16.1

FG %: 45.3%

3P %: 38.4%

Rebounds: 5.4

Assists: 1.6

Steals: 1.3

Turnovers: 2.1

FT %: 74.7%

Josh Okogie came out of high school as a three star prospect. He exceeded the expectations of everyone besides his high school coaches. He averaged 16.1 ppg and 5.4 rpg and his outstanding freshman season earned him an invite from Coach K to the U-19 U.S. team for the FIBA World Cup. Okogie was part of the team that took home the bronze and excelled against Angola when he dropped 17 points and 10 rebounds. He’s also the only player returning to Georgia Tech who shot better than 33% from deep. Okogie also led the ACC in free throws. He was a great driver and drew plenty of fouls and had a 74.7% FT %. He was also 10th in the ACC in points produced (Assists and points)His only shortcoming last year was his assists numbers. His season high was only 5 assists and he had 12 games where he only registered 1 assist and 9 where he had no assists.  Okogie to be the main player in the backcourt and the team this season. 

Expected Statistics 

Minutes: 33.6

PPG: 19.2

RPG: 6.1

APG: 3.5

Steals: 1.7

Turnovers: 2.3 

Abdoulaye Gueye

#34

Junior- Forward

6’9” 214 Lbs

2016-17 Stats Per Game

Games: 20

Games Started: 3

Minutes: 10.1 

Points: 1.2

FG %: 39.3%

3P %: 0%

Rebounds: 2.5

Assists: 0.5

Steals: 0.2

Turnovers: 1.2

Blocks: .6

FT %: 16.7%

The Senegalese post player was making decent progress in his development last season until a wrist injury forced it to end shortly. As a Junior, Gueye only has 28 games under his belt but has not gotten the minutes he needs to fully develop. I don’t believe he will get that this year with talented freshman coming in who will give him a run for his money. Some things Gueye has for him is his 6’9″ height, his good athleticism, and his 7’3″ wingspan

Expected Statistics 

Minutes: 18.5

PPG: 4.8

RPG: 5.6

APG: 1.1

Steals: 0.3

Turnovers: 1.6

Blocks: 1

Ben Lammers

#44

Senior- Center

6’10” 241 Lbs

2016-17 Stats Per Game

Games: 37

Games Started: 37

Minutes: 35.4

Points: 14.2

FG %: 51.6%

3P %: 50%

Rebounds: 9.2

Assists: 2.1

Steals: 1.2

Turnovers: 1.7

Blocks: 3.4

FT %: 73.7%

Lammers, although winning ACC DPOY (should’ve won most improved)has not been in the national scene very much. The 6-10 big man averaged just 3.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks as a sophomore, but Lammers took a major step his junior season and averaged 14.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks (2nd in the nation). Jon Rothstein, of Fanrag Sports, rated him as one of the least appreciated players in the nation. Most of the attention  that is directed to other players doesn’t come to Lammers because he plays for a lesser team which is partially understandable. Not many fans recognize just how important Ben Lammers was to the success of this team. His durability last year was nothing short of amazing. He played and started 37 games, with an average of 35.4 minutes, and took multiple falls a game. His output is also impressive. For a team not known for their offense and/or rebounding, Lammers was amazing averaging almost a double-double in those two stat categories. He also excelled in many other stat categories as well as on defense. He led the ACC in blocks and was second in the conference with a 91.9 defensive rating last season. I fully Expect Lammers to have another great season and if the Yellow Jackets finish in the top six of the league, Lammers might finally get the recognition he deserves.

Expected Statistics 

Minutes: 36.5

PPG: 13.4

RPG: 10.6

APG: 4.3

Blocks: 3.6

Steals: 1.2

Turnovers: 3.5

IMPORTANT RESERVES

The key to Georgia Tech’s bench is four incoming freshmen. While none were highly coveted, each can do things that the starters are either unable to do or struggle at.

Jose Alvarado

247Sports Composite ranking has this point guard at No. 166 in the 2017 class. His claim to fame was recording his high school’s first ever quadruple double. Moore is by no means solidified as the starter at point, so a competition may be underway with Alvarado.

Curtis Haywood 

A top-300 freshman coming in, Haywood is a 6’4″ shooting guard with a solid shot. With the issues last season on offense, Haywood’s skill will be badly needed.

Evan Cole

Although ranked outside of top-500, the 6’9″ freshman is a stretch forward who can knock down an outside jump shot. Cole’s unique skill set with the team could provide him some spot minutes throughout the season, especially if the starters exhibit foul trouble.

Brandon Alston

Brandon Alston is a junior who graduated from Lehigh early and will have two seasons to play for Georgia Tech. He missed last season with an injury and averaged 6.7 ppg the year prior. A good athlete to come off the bench for the Yellow Jackets, Alston could see a fair number of minutes.

Sylvester Ogbonda

The biggest player on the team at 6’10” and 240 pounds, the sophomore played few minutes last year. Still, he’s the likely backup to Lammers at the center position.

Moses Wright 

The freshman, 6’9” 210 forward, was a force in the Faulkner game, scoring 17 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Expect him to be the best backup Forward/center on this team. 

SCHEDULE

Key non-conference games

Nov. 10 – UCLA (China)

Nov. 28 – Northwestern 

Dec. 3 – Tennessee

Dec. 19 – at Georgia

Jan. 6 – Yale

The first important game of the 2017-18 season (also season-opener) will be played in China against UCLA. This is a matchup of opposites, as one of the better offensive teams in the Bruins plays one of the best defensive teams in the Yellow Jackets. UCLA is the more talented team, but their best players are freshmen and three of them just got arrested. Georgia Tech will have the advantage of experience but one of the seniors, Tadric Jackson, won’t play. Still, the GT injuries (Josh Okogie) could negate that advantage.

Last year Georgia Tech had a losing record in the ACC and even if this team is better than last year, that losing record streak will continue. Thats why these non conference games are so important. The problem comes when the non-conference losses add up. That makes those games against the middle-of-the-road SEC teams (Tennessee and Georgia) all the more important. They won’t be considered bad losses, but too many of these will burst the at-large bubble early.

Key Conference games

Dec. 30 – at Notre Dame

Jan. 20 – at North Carolina

Jan. 24 – Florida State

Feb. 8 – at Louisville

Feb. 11 – Duke

Although the ACC is very good this year, It might not be possible to have an easier schedule in the ACC than what Georgia Tech came out with. Three of the top teams, (Duke, North Carolina and Louisville) only play the Yellow Jackets once and they get Duke at home.

The teams who come up twice on the schedule include Wake Forest, Clemson, and NC State. These are by no means easy games, but there’s an opportunity for Georgia Tech to pick up more wins. More importantly, the overall losses won’t add up.

Expectations

There’s one word that will define this season for the Yellow Jackets: shooting. Poor shooting is what prevented Georgia Tech from making the tournament last season. Georgia Tech was 296th in the nation last year in points per game and 212th in Field Goal %. The good news for the team is that they’re above-average or great at most of the other aspects of the game. They also had an entire off-season to address their one glaring weakness.

The defense will be great and the three players responsible for that all come back. Lammers, Jackson, and Okogie will be one of the top trios in the ACC. They may not get the publicity as Duke, but will get the wins nonetheless. The only problem comes with the ensuing suspensions of Josh Okogie and Tadric jackson. Although they will definitely be back for conference play, Okogie and Jackson are vital to this team on offense and defense and can’t miss too many non-conference games if the Yellow Jackets want to make the NCAA tournament.

The top three players are set, but who amongst the role players will step on a consistent basis alongside them? Will any of the freshmen have a surprise first year in a similar way to Okogie? If either of these questions has a positive answer, then the Yellow Jackets will be going to the NCAA Tournament. Georgia Tech last made the NCAA Tournament in 2010 and the program overall hasn’t been nationally relevant since their title game run in 2004. Coach Pastner has started to change that, bringing excitement and even top-100 recruits. If the point guard question hasn’t been solved by next year, then top-100 2018 Michael Devoe may be the answer. There’s solid momentum for Georgia Tech and it would be a shame if a regression comes this year. The overall schedule is easier than others, and the talent is there for a top-six finish in one of the hardest leagues in college basketball. Georgia Tech definitely has the potential to reach the NCAA Tournament if they remain healthy.

Record Prediction:

Overall: 20-11

ACC: 9-9

@GATechNation

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