Miami Hurricanes Basketball Game 20 Preview: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets


Location: BankUnited Center

Time: 9:00 PM

TV: Sun Sports

Line: Miami -9

The #23 Miami Hurricanes basketball team completed a successful week with victories over two quality opponents: NC State and Syracuse. On Wednesday night, Miami (14-5, 4-2) welcomes the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-10, 0-7) to Coral Gables. Although Georgia Tech has yet to beat an ACC opponent this season, the Yellow Jackets should not be overlooked.

Georgia Tech Scouting Report

Georgia Tech has lost each conference game its played in 2015, but 6 of the 7 were played very closely. GT lost to Notre Dame in double overtime, Syracuse by 1 point, Wake Forest by 7 points, Notre Dame by 3 points, Pittsburgh by 5 points, and Boston College by 2 points. The takeaway? This basketball team is not as bad as its record suggests. I’m not arguing that they have a good team, because Georgia Tech is certainly a lower tier team in the ACC, but this game is far from a tune-up for Miami.

The Yellow Jackets excel on the boards. Georgia Tech ranks 11th in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage and 31st in rebounds per game. The team features three major rebounders. Charles Mitchell, 6’8”, 270 pounds, averages 7.7 rebounds per contest. He recently started coming off of the bench for Jackets, but he may start at power forward against the Hurricanes. Demarco Cox, 6’8”, 275 pounds, averages 6.1 rebounds per game.

The other big man, Robert Sampson, averages 6.2 rebounds per game and has a decent offensive skillset. Georgia Tech utilizes Sampson more as a stretch four that can score from the perimeter. He’s shooting under 30% from deep on the season, but he’s a threat nonetheless.

Georgia Tech’s greatest struggle this season has come on the offensive end, as demonstrated by their 28-point performance against Virginia last week. Virginia possesses an elite defense, but…28 points. GT ranks 278th in the nation in points per game and 284th in field goal percentage. The Yellow Jackets shoot 24.9% from beyond the arc, good for 349th in the country. Given that there are only 351 Division 1 teams, I think it’s fair to say that scoring points has not come easy for Georgia Tech this season.

Marcus Georges-Hunt, junior small forward, is one of the few members of this Georgia Tech basketball that can get his own shot. The 6’5” swingman lacks any consistency from the 3-point line, but has the ability to drive to the hoop in a half court set and get buckets near the rim. Georges-Hunt leads his team with 12.9 points per game, including a 20-point performance against Boston College most recently.

Combo guard Chris Bolden began the season coming off of the bench but has recently joined the starting lineup. He can play either guard position and has a decent 3-point stroke. Bolden only shoots about 30% from deep on the season, but he has demonstrated his shooting ability with solid games against Notre Dame and Boston College.

Quinton Stephens is Georgia Tech’s best pure shooter. At 6’9”, the Yellow Jackets utilize him mostly on the perimeter. Stephens went for 17 points against Boston College and has been fairly consistent from beyond the arc since the start of conference play. He has connected from three in 5 of the team’s 7 games.


Georgia Tech: 59 – Miami: 68

The Hurricanes basketball team has proven itself as a top tier team in the ACC and should not have too much trouble handling the Yellow Jackets. GT struggles to put up points, so if Miami catches fire from behind the 3-point line this game could get out of hand. The Yellow Jackets beat teams on second chance opportunities, but Tonye Jekiri is one of the top rebounders in the ACC. Georgia Tech does not have enough shooters to concern me. Marcus Georges-Hunt can certainly score, but I think Davon Reed can keep him under control.

Miami’s backcourt should be able to exploit that of Georgia Tech. Aside from Georges-Hunt, the Yellow Jackets lack a defensive presence away from the basket. Angel Rodriguez and company should have the drive and kick going in full effect.

Now that the #23 ‘Canes have returned to the rankings, the BankUnited Center should be full of energy and the players definitely sense that. This will help fuel the Hurricanes to a victory on Wednesday night.