With the college basketball season transitioning into conference play, we’ll start seeing many more matchups like tonight's Clemson and Georgia Tech game. We’ll preview this ACC showdown before getting into my best bet for the action.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have started the season with a 7-4 record and a 0-1 conference record. Offensively the Yellow Jackets have not been overly impressive, entering tonight with a 103.7 offensive efficiency rating on KenPom, which is ranked 136th in the country.
Shooting-wise, this team has gotten off on the wrong foot this season, putting up a shooting efficiency of 1.016, which is 265th in the country. Georgia Tech has found limited success from anywhere on the floor, shooting 32.7% from three and 48.1% on all two-point attempts. Sophomore Miles Kelly has carried the offense averaging 13.3 points per game while shooting 37.3% from three.
Success on the defensive end has helped the Yellow Jackets win their seven games this season. With a defensive efficiency rating of 98.4 on KenPom, the Yellow Jackets will look to continue their success on that end of the floor against the 9-3 Clemson Tigers.
Clemson’s offense is ranked 45th in the country in offensive efficiency on KenPom, and as a team, they have the 30th-best effective field goal percentage in college basketball. Unlike the Yellow Jackets, this Tigers team can really shoot it from deep, as they enter tonight with a 40.2% three-point percentage, which is the 10th-best in the country.
Defensively the Tigers' biggest strength is their rebounding. Led by Hunter Tyson, who is averaging nine rebounds per game, the Tigers have a defensive rebounding percentage of 78.4%. This has helped them limit opponents to an average of just 6.8 offensive rebounds a game.
Clemson can be found as -1.5 point road favorites, and I’ll be backing them tonight as my best bet. The Tigers possess a shooting and scoring ability I don’t think the Yellow Jackets can keep pace with.
Georgia Tech has put up good defensive numbers this season, but they have also struggled to create turnovers and limit ball movement, which could play a huge factor tonight. The Yellow Jackets are 219th in the country in assists allowed per game, while Clemson's offense has been able to create an average of 15.8 assists per game which is 36th in the country.
The more this Tigers offense can move it around and find open three-point looks, the more dangerous they are, especially with the lack of shooting Georgia Tech has produced from deep.
I mentioned the Tigers' strong defensive rebound already, which will be an advantage tonight, but the one area of rebounding Clemson has struggled with is offensive rebounding. Luckily, they now face a Georgia Tech team with a defensive rebounding percentage of just 68.8%.
Clemson Tigers (-1.5)