After a brutal loss to uGA and, on top of that, losing our top 2019 target to the dwags, the Yellow Jackets needs a big morale and confidence boost. That chance will come tonight against the Wright State Raiders out of Dayton, Ohio. The Raiders play in the Horizon League with a current record of 7-5, without having played a Power 5 conference (P5) team. In his second year following a stint at South Dakota State, Scott Nagy is the man in charge for the Raiders and is coming off an impressive 20-win season. This season Wright State is a very heavy guard led team, with multiple guys getting playing time at the same position.
The leading scorer for the Raiders at 13.6 points per game is 6’3” senior #13, Grant Benzinger. This guy is a straight up sniper who I witnessed first hand last year. He put up a 32 piece against Georgia State one year ago and almost left Atlanta with the win. He can fill it up quickly, and if we try to guard him like Fletcher Magee we will be in trouble. This is a game where we should not be playing zone.
Also in the backcourt for Coach Nagy is 6’4” senior #1, Justin Mitchell. He is the second leading scorer at 11.2 points per game and leader in assists with 35 this season. He rarely comes out of the game and when fatigue sets in, he is prone to turning over the basketball. His season high of turnovers is 8 against Gardner-Webb. Look for Jose Alvarado to take advantage of this and get multiple steals and fast break opportunities leading to some more Moses Wright/Josh Okogie alley-oops.
The final starting guard for the 3-guard system is 6’4” redshirt junior #3, Mark Hughes. He is averaging 9.9 points per game this season and likes to launch three pointers. In the last game he took 11 three pointers…. he made 2 of them. His season high of three pointers made is 4 and he has done it twice, both going 4 for 6 from the three-point line. If he just spots up and takes the easy shot he is efficient, though he likes to try and create and that is where all the misses occur.
The big man for Wright State is 6’11” redshirt junior #22, Parker Ernsthausen. He does not have much offensive game but still averages 8.9 points per game. He relies on over rotation by the defense and getting easy put backs/layups. Defensively he struggles keeping his arms up and tends to hack. If Lammers plays (as he probably will) expect him to be at the free throw line a lot this game.
The other big is 6’9” 275 pounds #11, Loudon Love. 275 pounds might be a little generous because this is a big boy. As you can imagine he sets hard screens and is hard to move off the block. This is a player Ben Lammers might have some problems with on the boards. While in the game, Love is relentless and is determined to get the rebound as he averages 8.3 boards in 24.1 minutes per game.
Prediction: If Georgia Tech can contain Grant Benzinger and not let him go off, the Yellow Jackets should win by double digits. I expect Jose Alvarado to have a nice game with steals and assists. Okogie and Tadric should be able to get into the paint to draw fouls and convert lay-ups due to poor defense from Benzinger. Moses Wright is once again the wild card tonight, but I think he puts up 15 and is a beast in transition like in the FAMU game. Tech by 12.