The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets has yet another star player to the NBA after just one season. Derrick Favors went third overall, becoming the program’s second-highest drafted player in school history. Plus, junior Gani Lawal decided to forego his senior season and went to the NBA which leaves the Yellow Jackets very thin down low. Fortunately, Georgia Tech is very deep at guard coming into this year. They’ll have six wings between 6’5” and 6’7”, which has moved head coach Paul Hewitt to run a more motion-oriented offense this season which will surely help use their athleticism on the perimeter.
BetUS has posted NCAA basketball odds for the upcoming year, with the Yellow Jackets at +2000 to win the ACC in 2010-11. They are one of the bigger long shots, but Tech is a potential sleeper. You will also find the Yellow Jackets at +10000 to win the National Title. At BetUS, our readers can earn up to a $500 bonus on their initial deposits.
Georgia Tech had maybe the best front line in the conference last season with Favors, Lawal and Zachery Peacock. But all three of those players are gone, and the Yellow Jackets will have a hard time replacing the 25.5 points and 16.9 rebounds that Favors and Lawal combined for each night. Expected to start this year are Kameon Holsey and Daniel Miller, neither of which has played in a college game. Both redshirted last year, with Holsey going down with an ACL tear in the preseason and Miller not playing due to the team’s frontcourt depth. Holsey is an athletic big man at 6’8” who can run the floor and face up, while Miller is a back-to-the-basket type player who will block shots and can hit the mid-range jumper. The 7’10” Brad Sheehan is the only returning frontcourt player who played any minutes last season. Tech also snagged 6’10” Nate Hicks from Tulane in July and he’ll be eligible to play this fall, which surely will help their depth.
The strength of this squad is on the perimeter with the return of junior Iman Shumpert and senior Moe Miller. Also returning are a couple of sophomores who logged a lot of minutes last year in Brian Oliver and Glen Rice Jr. Shumpert can penetrate to the basket and a great scorer who put up 30 points against North Carolina last year, and is primed for a big year as the main focus of this offense. We should also note, he didn’t have a single basket the next time he played the Tar Heels, so he most become more consistent. To improve on his turnovers and consistency, Shumpert has been practicing with former Tech guard Jarrett Jack in the offseason. Rice appears to be their best perimeter defender who can also hit from outside, as he hit 46.7% from 3-point distance last season. Oliver also excels at making the 3-pointer, but needs to become more of a complete player. Miller didn’t get much floor time during the regular season last year, but he came on strong in the conference tournament which should propel him into this year as he will play a bigger part. Sophomore Mfon Udofia has a lot of potential, but saw less and less minutes as the season progressed. He will be much better served in this motion offense as he gets more playing time at either the No. 1 or No. 2. Freshman Jason Morris is maybe the best athlete on the squad who is a very versatile wing player.
Jack’s Pick: 8th Place in the ACC – Georgia Tech made it all the way to the ACC Championship last season, which earned them an at-large bid into the Big Dance. It got Paul Hewitt off the hot seat for now. The Yellow Jackets have the talent on the outside to be competitive this year, but it will come down to how Holsey and Daniel Miller play in the post that will determine if the Yellow Jackets can make another NCAA Tournament run.
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