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Previewing the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

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FSU (16-7, 6-3) travels to Atlanta to take on the reeling Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (10-12, 3-6), in a game which is absolutely huge for the Seminoles’ NCAA Tourney hopes. A win here would put us at 7-3 in conference with Virginia and @Wake Forest next on the schedule, whereas a loss leaves very little room for error the rest of the way. With the abundance of bubble teams suffering bad losses in the past two weeks we’d be a lock at 11-5, regardless of what we do in the ACC tournament.

If you missed the Q&A with Georgia Tech’s bloggers check here and here for expanded coverage of this game.

Georgia Tech is a very different team from last year, having lost Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal to the NBA draft, as well as senior starters Zachary Peacock and D’Andre Bell. This team is now perimeter oriented and completely in the hands of junior Iman Shumpert who leads the team in scoring (16.6), rebounding (6.0), assists (3.5) and is the ACC leader in steals (2.9). Most importantly he’s cut down his turnover rate as well (though it's still bad) and learned how to get to the line, attempting the 7th most FTs in the conference. The former McDonald’s All American is a candidate for 1st team All ACC. Sophomore Glen Rice Jr, who was raw as a freshman, has expanded his role and now is 2nd on the team in scoring at 13.2 ppg. While he’s become a better scorer inside the arc and from the line, his 3pt shooting has plummeted from 46.7% as a freshman to 31.8%. Sophomore Brian Oliver, the 3rd player in double digits (10.9), was recently lost to a thumb injury and will likely be out for the duration of the regular season. Freshman Jason Morris should see more minutes and the highly regarded SG has the potential to go Scott Wood on us. Despite their record this team can’t be taken lightly as they have 5 consensus top-100 recruits on their roster (compared to 7 for FSU), and they’ve played very well at home where they’ve beaten both Virginia Tech and North Carolina. In fact, Vegas has FSU -1, and Pomeroy agrees. The Noles will be without Terrance Shannon, and a couple players (Jon Kreft, Ian Miller) have been sick, which we can only hope hasn’t spread.

The game tips at 7 on ESPN2.