Opponent preview: What to know about Georgia Tech

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse (14-12, 7-8 Atlantic Coast) hopes to begin its bounce-back end to the season at 4 p.m. Saturday against Georgia Tech in the Carrier Dome. SU traveled to Atlanta, Georgia earlier in the season and blew out the Yellow Jackets, 97-63. On Saturday, the Orange hope for more of the same.Here’s what to know about GT ahead of the matchup.All-time series: Series tied, 6-6Last time they played: On Dec. 7, Syracuse scored its highest point total of the season in a 97-63 rout of the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta, Georgia. Elijah Hughes had perhaps his strongest game of the year, scoring 33 points and shooting 6-for-11 from 3-point range.The Georgia Tech report: Since Syracuse last played Georgia Tech, the Yellow Jackets have completely morphed into a new team after the return of starting point guard Jose Alvarado. Without Alvarado on the floor, Michael Devoe was required to be the team’s primary playmaker. This was something he took on successfully in less competitive games but when he disappeared against the Orange the Yellow Jackets were not only beat, but destroyed. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAlvarado and Devoe sharing the floor together makes guarding the Yellow Jackets guards tricky. Devoe is adept as a shooter and shot creator from anywhere on the floor and Alvarado scores his points in the flow of the offense, with teams always wary of his ability to pass. With a team like Syracuse that can’t deny the paint, overplaying him can only bolster one of his biggest strengths.How Syracuse beats GT: Force Georgia Tech to shoot jump shots. We’ve seen this several times this year, where SU has stayed in a game that normally wouldn’t be close because it forced the opponent to get much of its production from the outside. If SU clogs driving lanes, Alvarado and Devoe will have many of their usual scoring and playmaking options cut off. That coupled with another offensive explosion couldn’t hurt, either.Stat to know: 29.9 — The Yellow Jackets’ 3-point percentage, the 319th-ranked rate in the nation.KenPom odds: Syracuse has a 66% chance to win the game Saturday, with a projected final score of 73-69, per KenPom.Player to watch: Jose Alvarado, guard, No. 10When Syracuse played Georgia Tech last, its offense was stagnant and there was little movement. Alvarado will effectively wipe out that concern, as creation for himself or another is his best asset. The Yellow Jackets starting point guard isn’t just a passer, though. He averages the second-highest point total on the team at 14 points per game and can find offense in many different situations. Comments Published on February 22, 2020 at 10:34 am Contact Michael: mmcclear@syr.edu | @MikeJMcClearylast_img read more