If the Demon Deacons plan to win another game this season, tonight is one of the best shots against a Georgia Tech team who is 2-8 in conference. How much of a chance does Wake have? According to KenPom, they have a mere 17 percent chance to win in Atlanta.
Well, we spoke with Drew Gordon at From the Rumble Pit to provide greater insight on the Yellow Jackets and assess how Wake will fare tonight.
1. This GT team is arguably the best in Brian Gregory's five seasons. Barring a miracle, however, the Yellow Jackets will fall short of the tournament. How are tempers flaring towards Gregory and what would it take for him to return next year?
Frankly at this point the general attitude more like apathy than anger. Most fans were expecting Gregory gone after last year, but here he is, producing the same results. The way the Jackets finish out the season will have little to no bearing on whether or not he is back next year. It all comes down to whether or not Georgia Tech can get the boosters to buy out the rest of Gregory’s contract, and the rest of Paul Hewitt’s contract (yes we are still paying him). If they don’t, we will probably suffer through a lame duck season with Gregory until the athletic department has enough money to pay a competitive salary. They are against the idea of a “budget” hire because that is how the Jackets ended up with Gregory in the first place.
2. It sure feels like Marcus Georges-Hunt have been around forever. Hell, pretty sure they were freshmen on that Jarrett Jack NCAA Finalist team. How has he grown in their four years and what kind of mismatch does he present?
Marcus Georges-Hunt has grown tremendously in his four years. He was more or less a one-trick pony but has become an all-around player and leader for this Jackets team. He is one of the best at seeking out contact and finishing through it. He has become a much better shooter and defender since his freshman year. He even has played point guard for much of this year. Georges-Hunt has been a bright spot in a rough four years and will likely end his career as one of Georgia Tech’s top ten scorers of all-time.
3. Who's a player not named Georges-Hunt or the elite senior rebounder Charles Mitchell that could have a huge impact on Wednesday's game?
Adam Smith can hit a ton of threes and Nick Jacobs is going to be tough to guard in the post. But I’d say to watch out for Tadric Jackson. This sophomore guard is loaded with talent, but has not been able to put it all together yet. However, he has started to play great basketball. He just scored 13 points against Miami on 5-9 shooting and 15 points against Duke before that. He has really stepped it up a notch recently and is going to come into this game with a lot of confidence. He has struggled with his three-pointer, but he is better than everybody on the team not named Georges-Hunt at getting to the rim.
4. Most would agree that Georgia Tech and Wake Forest are the most like-minded basketball schools in the ACC. Both are real academic-driven schools in the South (we're looking at you, team in the blue), who have storied histories with great NBA players. Both have endured hires that have held their respective programs back as the ACC is becoming more competitive than ever. Both even rock similar color schemes. These teams used to be perennial ACC contenders. Now, some Wake fans have the same elite standards. Meanwhile, others lowered their standards because of the inherent challenges of a loaded conference. Where does Georgia Tech and the fan-base stand on this issue? What is a fair expectation given that Duke, UNC, Syracuse and Louisville are well... who they are?
At this point, many fans can’t remember a time that Georgia Tech was a contender in the ACC year after year. In fact, the Jackets have just one winning record in the ACC in the last 20 seasons. The team has fallen a long way since the days of Bobby Cremins. Most fans see Georgia Tech as one of the worst basketball schools in the ACC. They absolutely have the ability to be a competitive force, but it has been a long time since that happened. A lot of fans see good potential to be where a team like FSU is today. Solidly middle of the conference, but can challenge for the title on a good year. Tech has good recruiting and a strong history, but it is going to take a renewed commitment to basketball to get there.
5.Georgia Tech is favored tonight by 8-points. Both teams boast far better offenses than defenses. While the Yellow Jackets have the best TO% in the nation, Wake has one of the worst. How do you expect this game to play out and what is your final prediction?
This is going to be a close game. Not one game this season in the ACC for the Jackets has been decided by double digits. The outcome has been in doubt in the final 2 minutes in almost every game. Wake Forest is going to hang around, but I think Georgia Tech is simply the better team. The Jackets will lead most of the game, but the Demon Deacons will cut the lead during the second half and Georgia Tech will barely hold on to win. Keep in mind that the Jackets are 2-21 in ACC games decided by less than 10 points in the last two years so if it goes down to the wire Wake Forest has the advantage. On the other hand, Georgia Tech has beaten the Deacons at least once 10 years in a row including some absolute shellackings in Atlanta in 2011 and 2013. My pick is the Jackets by 4.
Thanks again for your time, Drew.How will the Demon Deacons fare tonight? We spoke to our friends at Georgia Tech to find out.