FSU at Georgia Tech preview and game thread

Josh-USA TODAY Sports

FSU travels to the renovated McCammish Pavilion for the first time.

Trivia time: Name the three ACC teams who have the most talent according to consensus recruiting rankings.

The first two are easy - Duke and North Carolina. They clean up with top recruits every year. What about No. 3? NC State would be a good guess, and would be wrong. Miami? No. Maryland? No. Florida State? No.

If you've ever watched a televised sporting event then you know that the answer to their trivia questions typically involve the teams who they are broadcasting, and this question is no different.

Georgia Tech began the season with 7 consensus top-100 recruits, and recently added an 8th.

To put that into perspective, here's the list of the 347 Division I programs which have more than eight on their roster: Duke, North Carolina, Michigan State and Florida.

But as Florida State fans have seen, having talent does not necessarily equate to wins, especially when that talent is young.

Ken Pomeroy has a smart way to measure experience. Instead of tallying the number of players each team has from each class (freshman, sophomore, etc...), he weights those numbers based on how many minutes each player is getting. Who cares if you have a senior if he never comes off the bench? And why call a team young if their four freshmen never play?

Using this metric FSU is 275th in experience, and Georgia Tech is 284th.

For Yellow Jacket fans, the future is bright. But first they have to get through this season. Sound familiar?

Georgia Tech (12-8, 2-6) made it through the out-of-conference schedule without any bad losses. They lost to Cal on a neutral floor, and at Illinois. They also picked up a really good win vs St. Mary's. But come ACC play they began 0-5, which included a loss to Virginia Tech at home. Since then, they knocked off Wake Forest, lost a one-possession game at Clemson, and this weekend they beat the same Virginia team which smoked FSU.

Tech starts three freshmen. 6-8 Robert Carter and 6-5 Marcus Georges-Hunt are the only players in double figures (both averaging just over 10). Carter, who was thought to be a long time lean to FSU before Air Pierre transferred to Georgia Tech, is an offensively gifted but undersized big, as he plays more like a 5 than a stretch-4. He can put the ball on the floor. He can score with either hand. And he's a solid rebounder. The matchup between Carter and Okaro White will be fascinating to watch. Carter is stronger, and White is quicker. White has a tendency to get into foul trouble. Carter does not.

Marcus Georges-Hunt is a big and powerful guard who scores almost exclusively on the inside. He only makes 28% of his 3s, which likely means he goes Ham tonight. The third freshman is 6-3 Chris Bolden. He's started the past five games but is fairly inefficient.

The upperclassmen are 6-2 senior Mfon Udofia, who is finally playing like an ACC point guard in his fourth and final season (helps to have talent around him who aren't head cases). 6-11 junior Daniel Miller is a role player. He blocks shots. He grabs offensive boards. He cleans up around the rim.

Tech is coached by Brian Gregory, who has them playing more uptempo than any team he's ever coached (this means they're playing at the average NCAA tempo). Their offense isn't any good (200th) but their defense is borderline elite (19th). In eight ACC games, only NC State and Duke have scored more than a point per possession against them.

For FSU, look for Coach Hamilton to shake up the lineup tonight. Against Duke he came out in the second half with Aaron Thomas and Devon Bookert starting, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the game begin that way against GT.

The game tips at 9pm and will be broadcast on ESPN3 and Fox Sports South. Vegas continues to be more bullish on FSU than the numbers suggest, and they have Tech as a 2.5 point favorite. Pomeroy has Tech -6.

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