ACC Basketball: 2015-2016 Georgia Tech Season Preview

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 


12-19 (4-15 ACC) in 2014-2015


Key Returning Players 

  • F Charles Mitchell
  • F Marcus Georges-Hunt


  • C Demarco Cox


  • G Adam Smith, transfer from Virginia Tech
  • F Nick Jacobs, transfer from Alabama
  • F James White, transfer from Arkansas-Little Rock
  • F Sylvester Ogbonda, 3-star recruit



The Yellow Jackets ranked last in the ACC last season in field goal percentage (.408) and were dreadful from behind the three-point arc (26.7%). How do you fix that? Bringing in one of the conference’s best shooters as a graduate transfer is a good place to start. Adam Smith is eligible to play right away as a graduate transfer from Virginia Tech. Smith posted 13.4 points per game last season for the Hokies and shot 42% from three-point range.

The other new guys are all rebounding wings with some scoring ability. 6’8″ Nick Jacobs averaged 8.4 PPG and 3.5 rebounds through 25 games as a junior for Alabama while 6’8″ James White averaged 11.9 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds for Arkansas-Little Rock. It’s no real surprise that Brian Gregory hit the transfer market hard this spring and summer as he’s most definitely coaching for his job this season. It’s interesting that he assembled a group of front court players, as rebounding was the only thing GT did especially well last season.

The lone freshman joining the picture is the somewhat lightly recruited Sylvester Ogbonda. He’s a 3-star prospect according to 247Sports from National Christian Academy in Fort Washington, Md. He’s listed at 6’10” but only around 210-220 pounds which is the same weight range as the smaller forwards listed above. It’s doubtful Ogbonda will have the strength to contribute much as a freshman in the ACC.


Schedule and Prediction


The non-conference slate is highlighted by home games with Wofford, Tennessee and VCU, while the Yellow Jackets play Georgia on the road plus a neutral court match against Arkansas. In conference play, Georgia Tech only has to face the big three of North Carolina, Duke, and Virginia one time a piece. Unfortunately, the other side of the double-edged sword that is ACC scheduling means they also only play fellow bottom-dwellers Virginia Tech and Boston College once. Notre Dame and Pittsburgh are on the schedule twice and overall.

It’s tough to see much if any likelihood of improvement in the win column for Georgia Tech with a relatively strong non-conference schedule that includes a couple “mid-majors” that may well be favored against the Yellow Jackets. If the transfers can score in bunches, especially Adam Smith and Nick Jacobs, that might be enough firepower to surprise some teams early but by the time ACC games begin, teams will be ready. Adam Smith alone can probably account for one or two wins when he has a big night, but the team’s total scoring will have to dramatically improve from last season’s anemic 63.3 PPG which was good for 282nd best in the country. Charles Mitchell was terrific as the first guy off the bench last year, and if he can build on his 9.8 points and 7 rebounds per game he’ll be a big edition to the starting lineup.

It seems likely that GT will post a record very similar to last season’s 12-19 overall mark, with the chance of an upset or two pushing the record towards .500. The ACC hasn’t gotten any worse however, and while Tech has the potential to be in most games late, they’ll need some new faces to step up and pull off more than three or four ACC wins. Georgia Tech will likely battle to stay out of the conference cellar and be looking for a new head coach in March of 2016.


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