JW: What are the keys for the Yellow Jackets in this game?
Dylan: It’s going to sound pretty simple but for the Yellow Jackets the biggest key is making the routine plays. At times this season, the Yellow Jackets have looked much worse than their record because they were unable to make the routine plays. A young team, it’s not surprising that they struggle with this at times that being said they nee to make sure they make the easy passes, layups, free throws, and have strong fundamentals overall. Other than that, it’s going to be limit their turnovers which they’ve done well recently and feed Josh Okogie and Ben Lammers. Both players are nearly averaging 15 points per game. Defensively, it will be to limit the Hokies shots from beyond the arch, at times it’s been killer for the Yellow Jackets. If they can focus on locking down the perimeter, the Yellow Jackets have the advantage with Ben Lammers.
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JW: Georgia Tech has some key wins over UNC and N.C. State and the Hokies lost to N.C. State by almost 40. Will the Yellow Jackets do what the Wolfpack did against the Hokies or will Georgia Tech run something different in this game?
Dylan: Obviously, a team is as good as their stats speak. While the Yellow Jackets had tremendous games against UNC and N.C. State, they also shot well above their average shooting percentage. Now, it’s completely possible that they could have another such performance. That being said, I think we will see the Yellow Jackets look to get the ball down low as well as mid-range jumpers. They’re a team that has struggled from beyond the arch at times this season, so expect to see them take a few threes earlier on in the game to see how their shots are falling. If the shots are falling for Georgia Tech like they did against UNC and N.C. State, watch out, they could be nearly unstoppable at times. However, if they struggle, we could see a game similar to Duke’s victory over Georgia Tech a few weeks ago.
JW: Who is the player or players Virginia Tech must watch out for in this game?
Dylan: It is a toss up between freshman guard Josh Okogie and junior center Ben Lammers but I’ll choose Okogie. He’s been a pleasant surprise for the Yellow Jackets and has been consistent all season long. By the end of the season, he should be the Yellow Jackets leading scorer and could very well be in the discussion for ACC Rookie of the Year.
JW: What three players for GT could possibly take over the game and why?
Dylan: The first player I would say and go back to is freshman guard Josh Okogie. He’s already earned three ACC weekly honors and is coming off a tremendous game against N.C. State. He loves playing in the spotlight and has only gotten better as the season has gone on. He has the ability to score from both inside and outside. The second player would be center Ben Lammers. The junior center is averaging 15.1 points per game this season and is tremendous defensively with 56 blocks on the season. He also excels at rebounding and is strong at the charity strike. Picking a third player is a bit tricky. Ultimately, I’ll have to choose Quinton Stephens. While only averaging 10.6 points per game, Stephens has the ability to get hot and score at will at times. He’s had back-to-back games of scoring 16 and 22 points after a rough two game stretch which is a great sign for him going forward. While he won’t be the Yellow Jackets primary threat offensively, he has the ability to make opponents pay for not covering him.
JW: With the lack of size for the Hokies, do you see the Yellow Jackets taking advantage of that and moving the ball down low?
Dylan: Yes. The Yellow Jackets should take advantage of the lack of size for the Hokies. Ben Lammers has been a consistent force for the Yellow Jackets this season. He’s nearly averaging a double-double and only failed to score in double-digits once this season.
JW: What is your prediction for the game?
Dylan: Hokies win 87-76. The Yellow Jackets have struggled on the road this season and going into a tough arena like Cassell is going to be tough for a young team. They’ve struggled on the road at times this year so it will be tough.
You can catch up with why this game is a must win for both teams here.