Date: December 21, 2013
Tip-off Time: 4:00 PM ET
TV Channel: Fox Sports South, ESPN3 (Online)
Radio: 106.7 FM (Atlanta Flagship), Full list of Local Affiliates
Live Stream: Watch ESPN (Click here)
The Georgia Tech basketball team had a bit of a “break” over the past two weeks, with 2 non-conference blowouts over lesser opponents, but now, they take a step up in competition against a major conference team in Vanderbilt. In addition to the quality of opponent, this is a true road game for the second time this season (the other was a short trip to Athens for the win over Georgia), and that’s always a challenge in college hoops.
Coming into the game, the 8-3 Jackets are considered to be a slightly better team than the 6-3 ‘Dores, as KenPom gives Tech about a 20-spot edge in their rankings. Still, Vanderbilt has had one of the better defenses in the country this season, allowing only 97 points per 100 possessions, and this will be a tough task (especially on the road) for Brian Gregory’s offense.
Georgia Tech has been exceptionally balanced this season, but they’ll need some consistent scoring from their big guns here. Marcus Georges-Hunt and Trae Golden are both averaging north of 12 points per game, but it would be highly beneficial for one of them to have a “breakout” here, and Robert Carter, Jr. (who is averaging nearly a double-double) is the key on the interior. This isn’t quite a tourney-bound Vandy team (remember John Jenkins and Jeff Taylor?), but they do have talent, including sophomore guard Eric McClellan, who is averaging 15 points a game.
Our pals in Las Vegas have installed Vandy as a favorite of between 2 and 3 points (depending on where you look) in this one, and that is supported by a 68-65 projection from KenPom. Still, this is a very winnable game for Brian Gregory and the Jackets, and it would go a long way toward their NCAA at-large hopes, which is something that is never too early to consider.
Stay tuned for more information as it arrives, and we will bring you a recap after the final buzzer sounds.