It’s an ACC battle on the college hardwood down in Hotlanta. The NC State Wolf Pack is on the road as they travel to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Saturday afternoon. NC State comes in off a 53-51 road win over Virginia in their last contest Monday night. Georgia Tech was upended 68-64 on the road by #6 Louisville Wednesday night in their last game. The Wolf Pack owns a 55-40 edge in the all-time series between the teams but the Yellow Jackets have won the last three meetings. That includes an 82-81 overtime win on the road in the first meeting this season on November 5, 2019.
NC State Wolf Pack Looking to Maintain MomentumNC State has had a strong season coming into this one as they look to avenge an early season defeat to the Yellow Jackets. The Wolf Pack comes into this one 14-5 overall and 5-3 on the season in the ACC for Kevin Keatts. After opening the season with that loss to Georgia Tech, NC State won five straight games before losing to Memphis on a neutral floor. Following that defeat, the Wolf Pack won five of their next six, with the lone defeat in that stretch a road loss to Auburn, who was unbeaten at that point of the year. The stretch included the Wolf Pack’s best win of the year, a 15-point home triumph over Wisconsin. NC State dropped two of their next three games before responding with three straight wins heading into this contest.
The Wolfpack enters the game 71st in the nation in scoring offense with 76.2 points per game this year. NC State is 169th in rebounding with 36.7 boards a night and 167th by dishing out 13.7 assists a night. The Wolfpack is slightly above average on the defensive end, ranking 159th in the nation by allowing 68.3 points per game this season. C.J. Bryce leads NC State in scoring with 14.9 points plus 6.3 rebounds per contest. Markell Johnson chips in 12.8 points plus 6.6 assists a night and Devon Daniels adds 11 points a game. Jericole Hellems (9.7 points) and DJ Funderburk (13.1 points) are both solid scoring options to lend a hand this season. Braxton Beverley, Pat Andree and Manny Bates are other important pieces in the NC State rotation. The Wolfpack is shooting 45.3 percent from the field as a team on the year. NC State connects on 7.5 three-pointers a night while shooting 32.9 percent from beyond the arc. The Wolfpack is an average team at the charity stripe as they cash in 70.5 percent of their attempts on the season.
NC State is a dangerous offensive team according to KenPom, which is going to test Georgia Tech. The Wolf Pack is 15th in the nation in offensive efficiency and 100th in defensive efficiency on the season. NC State is 87th in effective field goal percentage (51.3 percent), 18th in turnover percentage (15.9 percent) and stand 63rd in two-point field goal percentage (52.4 percent) on the year. Defensively, the Wolf Pack is 42nd in block percentage (12.7 percent) and 74th in steal percentage (10.4 percent) this season. NC State is slightly faster than an average team as they are 161st in tempo with an average of 68.8 possessions a night.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Looking to Get Back in Win ColumnGeorgia Tech has had a weird season when you look at it in its entirety. The Yellow Jackets opened the season with back to back wins, which they immediately followed with back to back losses. Georgia Tech then won two straight only to drop three in a row, including an 18-point home loss to Ball State. Since that point, the Yellow Jackets have gone 4-6 in their last 10 games and have dropped three straight contests. Georgia Tech hung tough in their three straight losses, falling by four, five and four points in those games. They’ll try to get back in the win column and stop that slide here.
Yellow Jackets put up an average of 67.2 points per game offensively, putting them 286th in the nation, which is why the team has struggled this season. Georgia Tech pulls down 35.3 rebounds per contest while dishing out 13.2 assists per game. The Yellow Jackets are 142nd in the nation in scoring defense as they give up just 67.7 points per game this season. Michael Devoe leads the team with 16.2 points per game on the season. Moses Wright (13.3 points, 7.8 rebounds) and Jose Alvarado (11.4 points, 4.8 assists) each average in double figures for coach Josh Pastner. James Banks III (10.4 points, 7.5 rebounds), Jordan Usher, Bubba Parham, Evan Cole and Khalid Moore each average at least 3.6 points per game on the year. Georgia Tech shoots 44.9 percent from the floor as a team this season. The Yellow Jackets shoot 29.2 percent from beyond the arc as the team knocks down an average of five three pointers per game. Georgia Tech is slumping at the charity stripe as they shoot 65.6 percent as a team this season.
According to KenPom, Georgia Tech has done a solid job on the defensive end of the floor. The Yellow Jackets are 34th in the nation in defensive efficiency on the season. Georgia Tech is a stellar 35th in effective field goal percentage defense (45.1 percent), 79th in three-point field goal percentage defense (30.9 percent) and 49th in two-point field goal percentage defense (44.6 percent) this season. For good measure, the Yellow Jackets are 49th in block percentage (12.1 percent) on the year. Georgia Tech will push the pace as they are 104th in tempo with an average of 69.8 possessions a night.
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