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Georgia Tech Basketball: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 2015-16 Season Preview


Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

2014-2015 Record: 12-19 (3-15, ACC)
Postseason: None

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Since Brian Gregory took over the reigns as head coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets fans in The Flats have enjoyed only one season where the team finished over .500 and zero postseason tournament berths of any kind.

Fans wanted the ouster of Coach Gregory immediately following a 2014-15 season where Tech continually would bungle away late game leads en route to taking conference loss after conference loss.

Georgia Tech squandered a 9-3 start to their season in the non-conference by going 3-15 the rest of the way in ACC play and losing their lone ACC tournament game to Boston College.

The Yellow Jackets lost eight games by five points or less last season usually because of late game execution or scoring droughts at the most inopportune time.

After the season ended, AD Mike Bobinski took a long look at the coaching job that Brian Gregory had done and decided that despite the 12-19 record, Gregory would be worth retaining much to the chagrin of Yellow Jacket hoop fans.

The speculation is that it would have been fiscally irresponsible to fire Brian Gregory since the school is still paying off the contract of Gregory’s predecessor Paul Hewitt, and paying two fired coaches plus whomever became the new hire simply would not make sense.

So Brian Gregory will be using the 2015-16 season to right the sinking Yellow Jackets ship with a veteran squad that consists of players who have grown in his program mixed with some transfers who have experience at other schools and could help out Georgia Tech chances immensely.

The big question facing the Jackets is simply, “can they get out of the ACC basement?”.


G – Adam Smith (Senior transfer from Virginia Tech)
C – Sylvester Ogbonda (recruit from National Christian Academy in Fort Washington, MD)
F – Nick Jacobs (Senior transfer from Alabama)
F – James White (Senior transfer from Arkansas-Little Rock)

Key Non-Conference Games

Nov. 16 vs Tennessee  – This is a key game because Georgia Tech will be facing a rebuilding Volunteers club led by new head coach Rick Barnes, and a win over a team with some name value would go a long way toward restoring some hope with the Yellow Jackets fan base.

Beating an SEC team always is a good look for ACC clubs since that is a regional sports beef. Tennessee will be the second home game for the Jackets after what should be a tune-up game against Cornell.

Nov. 26 & 27 NIT Season Tip Off – Georgia Tech is going to be squaring off against some nice competition in the NIT Season Tip Off at the Barclays Center.

They will open up competition in this event against the Arkansas Razorbacks which will be the second of three SEC teams they will face in their non-conference schedule. Then, depending on whether they fall into the winners or losers bracket, they will face the winner or loser of the Villanova/Stanford contest.

Arkansas should be a winnable game for the Yellow Jackets depending on if they are able to handle the “40-minutes of hell” that they are going to put Georgia Tech through.

Dec. 19 at Georgia – The annual intrastate rivalry with the Georgia Bulldogs is always an important game on the Georgia Tech schedule no matter what the sport is. Last season the Yellow Jackets defeated the Bulldogs 80-73 at McCamish Pavilion to open up their 2014-15 schedule.

From there the Georgia Bulldogs played well enough in their remaining schedule to make the NCAA Tournament while the Jackets played well enough to go into the toilet.

Key Players

Marcus Georges-Hunt – Marcus Georges-Hunt is the leading returning scorer for the Yellow Jackets coming off of averaging 13.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in 2015-16.

Georges-Hunt is at his best as long as he is able to penetrate and get to the rim and hit his mid-range jumper. What is preventing him from reaching the next level in his maturation is the fact that his outside shooting is erratic.

Last season he shot 28.8% from three-point land and shot 43.1% overall from the field.

Marcus Georges-Hunt’s 2014-15 season ended on a sour note after he broke his foot during the Yellow Jackets last regular season game against the North Carolina Tar Heels.

The Jackets are going to need a healthy Georges-Hunt if they are going to have any chance of getting out of the ACC cellar.

Charles Mitchell – Charles Mitchell came to Georgia Tech in what looked like a trade between the Yellow Jackets and Maryland Terrapins. The Terrapins ended up receiving through transfer forward Robert Carter Jr. while Mitchell came to The Flats to be closer to his family.

Mitchell averaged 9.8 points and a team high 7.0 rebounds for Brian Gregory last season.

He started in 18 games last year but his overall problem was simply staying out of foul trouble. He is going to need to stay out of foul trouble during the 2015-16 season because behind him is a whole lot of youth at his position in centers Ben Lammers and Sylvester Ogbonda.

Season Outlook

To put it bluntly the overwhelming sentiment of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets fan base is that they hate that Brian Gregory is still coaching the Yellow Jackets after the failures of the 2014-15 season.

Even if Brian Gregory was able to squeeze out a season where the Yellow Jackets were able to make the NIT Tournament for their trouble the fan base would still be bitter because they feel that Gregory is weak when it comes to recruiting and his clipboard tactics.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets /

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

For Brian Gregory to keep his job in the eyes of the fans Georgia Tech is going to have to make a quantum leap in their play and there must be visible improvement in the games of guards Tadric Jackson and Travis Jorgenson which says that the Yellow Jackets player development is up to par.

In the end the Jackets still do not have the overall talent to make a postseason tournament. They should improve on the 12-19 mark that they finished with in the 2014-15 season, but they still are not good enough to get out of the ACC basement.

The biggest weakness with theYellow Jackets that is going to carry over from last season to this season is the lack of three-point shooting. Even with Tech being able to snag Adam Smith who shot 41% from trey for Virginia Tech, the Jackets are still a weak three-point shooting team.

Last season Tech shot 26.7% from deep as a team which was the worst out of the entire ACC conference.

If that is not rectified, the Jackets will still be cellar dwellers, and honestly, there is nothing saying that the team is going to make the necessary leap.

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