Notre Dame Basketball Preview: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

DURHAM, NC - JANUARY 04: Jayson Tatum
DURHAM, NC - JANUARY 04: Jayson Tatum /

Mike Brey and the Notre Dame basketball team attempt to begin 1-0 in ACC play on Saturday afternoon.

On Saturday, the Notre Dame basketball team kicks off ACC play with a tilt against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets enter with a 6-6 record. Georgia Tech struggled in their last five games with a 2-3 record. The Jackets dropped games to Wright State, Georgia and Wofford.

Georgia Tech are currently averaging 67.2 points per contest. That total ranks 309th in the country. On defense, the Yellow Jackets are yielding 64.8 points per game. Tech shoots a much lower percentage than the Irish. Notre Dame is currently making 49.9% of their shots. The Jackets are only making 43.5% of their attempts.

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Four Georgia Tech players scored double-digit points. They are led by Josh Okogie. Only playing in the four most recent games, Okogie scores 18.5 points per contest. Okogie began the season serving a six-game suspension.

Tadric Jackson, Jose Alvarado, and Ben Lammers also score above 10 points per contest. They average 15.9, 13.2, and 13.0 points per game.

Notre Dame counters with a team trying to find its true identity. Senior Bonzie Colson has played as promised. He currently averages 21.3 points per contest. Fellow Senior Matt Farrell scores 16.8 points each game. TJ Gibbs also scores frequently, averaging 14.4 points. However, the Irish are struggling to find that next option as well as any contributions from the bench.

Further, the Fighting Irish need to improve their rebounding. Currently, Notre Dame ranks 205th in the country with 35.5 rebounds per game.

According to the Basketball Power Index, the Irish have a 93.8% chance of winning Saturday’s game. According to Vegas, Notre Dame is favored by 15 points over Georgia Tech.

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Victories in the ACC are difficult to come by. Notre Dame needs to pick up this win against the Yellow Jackets. Losing this game would be devastating to Notre Dame’s conference record as well as their overall confidence.

The Irish and the Yellow Jackets tip off Saturday at 2:00 pm on ESPNU.