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Thread: KP Report - Regular Season Finale - FRIDAY GT at WF 8 pm ACCN

  1. #1

    KP Report - Regular Season Finale - FRIDAY GT at WF 8 pm ACCN

    The Deacs last regular season game will be played tomorrow (FRIDAY) as WF hosts surging GT as the Jackets bookend WF's ACC regular season. Here is a take on Josh Pastner's Rambling Wreck squad:

    This season: The Jackets started the season with back to back home losses to GA State (#148) and Mercer (#147), and GT's and Josh Pastner's prospects looked grim for the 2020-21 season. Despite the horrendable start, GT has turned it around improving from a season's worst #90 KP rating on November 27 to a season's best #30 after Tuesday's win over Duke in OT. Right now, GT finds itself 14-8 overall (10-6 in the ACC) and looks to be safely in the NCAAs (generally considered a #10 or #11 seed; fwiw, this is the type of team - veteran team; unique defense; everyone knows their roles; have played lots of close games against top teams - that traditionally pulls a couple of NCAA upsets). As GT heads into the Joel, they have won 5 straight games (Pitt, @ Miami, @VT, Cuse and Duke). As long as the Jackets don't trip up against WF and then lose to open the ACC Tournament, GT should secure its first NCAA bid since 2010 (that GT team featured Brian Oliver, Iman Shumpert, Derrick Favors and Glen Rice Jr.).

    The lineup:

    The Jackets play a veteran lineup (#4 in the NCAA in experience) and generally use only 6 players (#339 in bench minutes). The starters:

    6-0 Sr. Jose Alvarado - This will be Alvardo's 100th start for the Jackets; leads in assists, steals, FT% 88%, 4!% from 3, very steady
    6-5 Jr. Michael Devoe - Solid player, but has not been as good as he was in 2020; almost declared for the NBA draft last year; 38% from 3 (5 for his last 23); 2nd leading rebounder
    6-7 Jr. Khalid Moore - Not a scorer; 24% from 3; hasn't scored in double figures in an ACC game;
    6-7 Sr. Jordan Usher - USC transfer; in the recent win over Cuse: 19 points, 7 boards, 6 assists; 31% from 3;
    6-9 Sr. Moses Wright - has become an elite big man; leading scorer and rebounder; has been unstoppable lately: averaging 25 ppg and 14 rpg over the current 5 game winning streak; my ACC POY

    Off the bench:

    5-10 Sr. Bubba Parham - VMI transfer; slumping lately: 9 total points over the last 4 games; 34% from 3; doesn't turn the ball over;
    6-2 So. Kyle Sturdivant - USC transfer; nothing burger: played in every ACC game, but his conference high game came against... yes, WF with 7

    The analytics: #6 in the ACC in offense and defense. Their strength is shooting as the Jackets are #3 in the ACC in effective FG% (55%) and #2 in the ACC in 2 point FG% ; GT also doesn't turn the ball over much (16% TO%: #4). GT doesn't hit the offensive glass (#13 in O rebound %), and they don't get to the line often. Defensively, GT plays a funky zone which forces TOs (#1 in the ACC in defensive TOs forced; #1 in the ACC in steals). When teams avoid TOs, GT isn't great at defending the paint (#10 in 2 PT defense; #12 at preventing offensive rebounds); their defense forces teams to play slow as the #4 in the ACC in longest defensive possessions. GT likes to keep games in the half-court, #10 in tempo in ACC games averaging 66.8 possessions per game. Foul trouble is the Jackets' Achilles Heel as they have no legit options off the bench.

    The bottom line: KP projects a 74-64 GT win in 67 possessions. FWIW, this is a TERRIBLE scheduling spot for GT. The Jackets are coming off a senior night OT win over Duke, they have the ACC Tourney on deck and GT under Pastner has always been the kind of team to play up to or down to their competition (see the losses to Mercer and GA State; close wins over Florida A&M and Pitt). Plus, GT already coasted by WF in January. Don't expect an A effort from GT. That said, this is an awful "on the court" matchup for WF. Moses Wright has been killing ACC teams with legit inside size and strength, and now he faces a WF team that is 13th in the ACC in two point defense, and with Forbes limiting Okpomo's minutes and with Ody foul trouble an inevitability, at some point WF will be forced to have Mucius and/or Massoud attempt to keep Wright away from the basket... YIKES. Also, while GT is the best in the ACC at forcing TOs, WF is next last in the ACC in giving up TOs (although WF has improved in that area). The point guard matchup tells you all you need to know about the two teams. The ageless Jose Alvarado against high schooler Carter Whitt, who should be planning his HS beach week. Different worlds. If the line gets to 11, I will take WF because GT is they type of team to sleepwalk through most of the game, but WF just lost to a Pitt team by 13 with Justin Champagnie and a handful of low-level ACC bench-warmers; so, passing on the game is the best advice.
    Last edited by Pilchard; 03-04-2021 at 05:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Dickie Hemric
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    The last player to finish in the top 5 in the ACC in PTS, REB, STL and BLK is Josh Howard in 2002-3 ... Moses Wright has a really good shot of doing it this year. GT has been a mess at various points (those early losses were brutal) but Wright has been absolute monster all year. I don't know if he'll win ACC POY, but he probably deserves it.

  3. #3
    L

    Fully expect Wright to dunk all over us.

  4. #4
    Remember when the ACC expanded to the point where a true home and home round robin schedule was impossible, but to protect "tradition", the league assigned each team two "natural rivals" to play a home and home every year, and the ACC assigned WF to GT to each other?

    Putrid.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Pilchard View Post
    Remember when the ACC expanded to the point where a true home and home round robin schedule was impossible, but to protect "tradition", the league assigned each team two "natural rivals" to play a home and home every year, and the ACC assigned WF to GT to each other?

    Putrid.
    Well, rivalries are usually better when one team doesn't dominate the other.

  6. #6
    Someone apply a tourniquet to this team.

  7. #7
    Kind of funny and depressing that the ACC scheduled this game for Friday, to give WF an extra day to prepare for the post-season knowing that WF was a lock to be playing in the Tuesday opening round of the ACC Tournament. Not sure, but think that WF has played in the tournament opening round Tuesday, every year since the ACC adopted that format.

  8. #8
    There shouldn't even be a Tuesday. Top 12 teams should get in only.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Pilchard View Post
    Kind of funny and depressing that the ACC scheduled this game for Friday, to give WF an extra day to prepare for the post-season knowing that WF was a lock to be playing in the Tuesday opening round of the ACC Tournament. Not sure, but think that WF has played in the tournament opening round Tuesday, every year since the ACC adopted that format.
    Ron Wellman invitational - asshole

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Chinaski View Post
    Ron Wellman invitational - asshole
    This!

  11. #11
    On one hand, GT has something to play for and we have not done well against those, at all.

    On the other hand, if we have a press, this might be the time to bring it out. GT nearly blew the dook game by turning it over under their basket. If they can't get the ball across half court Wright is a non-factor on offense.

  12. #12
    Steve Lepore
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    So the Les Robinson game has become the Ron Wellman game. Thanks Ronnie!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Deac83 View Post
    On one hand, GT has something to play for and we have not done well against those, at all.

    On the other hand, if we have a press, this might be the time to bring it out. GT nearly blew the dook game by turning it over under their basket. If they can't get the ball across half court Wright is a non-factor on offense.
    Wake pressed a few possessions against Pitt. Really , really wish that had happened the last possession in regulation against FSU. Might have won the game.

  14. #14
    Sam "Ace" Rothstein
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    I highly doubt we'll see some major wrinkle in what is basically a meaningless regular season finale. Maybe that makes it a good time to throw in something new to see how it works before the ACC Tourney, but I suspect anything like that would wait until Greensboro. And even then, I still think it is more about establishing "identity" than doing something we haven't done all season (for good reason).

  15. #15
    Yeah we can't really press. It either puts Ody in a spot where he's likely to pick up a foul or if he's out we have nobody with any size that can disrupt a break. And it's not like we have long athletic guards to apply the initial pressure. We've had some really solid, sustained defensive efforts at times this year - but it's usually when we're talking and play good help in the half court, with Ody on the floor and Massoud off of it.

  16. #16
    Primetime television! Can't wait to get the popcorn ready for this one.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by cheeseheads12 View Post
    Primetime television! Can't wait to get the popcorn ready for this one.
    Iíll be serving myself some mezcal old fashioneds this afternoon to prepare.

  18. #18
    The action has been on WF and under. Opened at 11.5 138. Down to 8.5 136. Those that have been backing WF lately (the Pitt line made a major move in WF's direction too as did the Clemson game before Pitt) have been lighting money on fire. GT as a big road favorite after finally beating Duke has letdown written all over it, but not sure WF can remain competitive even if GT is distracted. Maybe this is one of those games when a WF player goes nuts from 3, and that's what it will probably take as WF's offense has been a mess lately.

  19. #19
    Forbes has said Dubose is out of gas. The rest of the team appears to be also. Everybody has been slow and late on lots of plays. 33 days with everybody having Covid and no work mid season has really sapped the conditioning of the team. These last four games that really showed. I expect similar tonight. A body won't do what it can't do.

  20. #20
    The once vaunted Wake Forest basketball program is whimpering to a season ending game, taking place on a Friday night and broadcast on a junior varsity network which many people donít even get. Only to be followed by a likely poor showing at the Ron Wellman Invitational ACC Tournament play-in game on a lonely Tuesday afternoon of which few will even take notice.

    Because of Currie and Forbes, know better days are ahead, but itís games like this that make them feel a long way off.

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