Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Hoops Preview: Georgia Tech at No. 21 Notre Dame

February 25, 2017

Georgia Tech (16-12, 7-8) at No. 21 Notre Dame (21-7, 10-5)

Date: Feb. 26th
Where: Purcell Pavilion, South Bend, Ind.
Time: 6:30 p.m. ET

Quick Facts

- Sunday will mark the 16th meeting between the two programs.
- Georgia Tech leads the series 9-6.
- Notre Dame posted 10 conference wins for the 11th time under head coach Mike Brey.
- The Irish have won 20 games 10 times in the last 11 seasons.
- Brey is tied with Digger Phelps with the most 20-win seasons at Notre Dame with 13.

The Starters

Notre Dame
Matt Farrell: 14.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg and 5.6 apg
Steve Vasturia: 14.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg and 3.3 apg
VJ Beachem: 15.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg and 0.9 apg
Rex Pflueger: 4.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg and 1.7 apg
Bonzie Colson: 16.7 ppg, 10.5 rpg and 1.7 apg

Georgia Tech
Josh Heath: 5.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg and 4.5 apg
Josh Okgoie: 15.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg and 1.6 apg
Corey Heyward: 2.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg and 1.0 apg
Quinton Stephens: 9.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg and 2.0 apg
Ben Lammers: 14.7 ppg, 9.3 rpg and 2.1 apg

How They Matchup

(National Rank)
Scoring Offense: Georgia Tech: 68.0 ppg (288) – Notre Dame: 79.5 ppg (50)
Scoring Defense: Georgia Tech: 66.8 ppg (54) – Notre Dame: 69.6 (109)
Rebound Margin: Georgia Tech: 0.1 (199) – Notre Dame: -1.0 (234)
Field-Goal Percentage: Georgia Tech: 43.8% (214) – Notre Dame: 46.6% (75)
Three-Point Percentage: Georgia Tech: 34.8% (195) – Notre Dame: 39.7% (21)
Three-Pointers Made: Georgia Tech: 4.6 (341) – Notre Dame: 9.6 (21)
Free-Throw Percentage: Georgia Tech: 68.5% (226) – Notre Dame: 81.6% (1)

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey and his players made it clear on Thursday that they had been looking forward to this game for quite a while. Georgia Tech knocked off the Irish on a last second shot in Atlanta in January and it left a bitter taste in the mouths of Brey’s squad.

The Irish have more than revenge to play for on Sunday as they enter the contest in a three-way tie for second-place in the ACC but also the all important double-bye in the ACC Tournament is in play. Notre Dame will need some help to get a double-bye but that’s a story for closer to the day.

One positive for Notre Dame entering Sunday’s game is that the performance of Tadric Jackson likely won’t be duplicated as he scored 25 points off the bench in the first meeting. While Jackson had a career day against the Irish, Notre Dame’s bench scored just two points.

The other aspect of the game to watch will be the battle of the boards. Notre Dame was lost the battle 37-29 in the first meeting and going smaller will make it more challenging to keep the Yellow Jackets off the offensive glass. With the smaller lineup, VJ Beachem will be counted on to hit the glass maybe a little more on Sunday.

When push comes to shove, Notre Dame should win this game at home. Georgia Tech is a bad offensive team and the Irish should be able to capitalize off the home crowd with Sunday’s game being a sellout. If Notre Dame can get through Georgia Tech and Boston College on Wednesday, then it sets up for a massive regular season finale at Louisville next Saturday.
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