Boise State vs. Georgia Tech: Game Preview, TV, Radio, Live Stream, Odds and More
Boise State meets Georgia Tech in the first round of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.
Can the Broncos take their momentum with them across the Pacific Ocean?
WHO: Boise State Broncos (6-4, 1-1 Mountain West) vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-5, 1-1 ACC)
WHEN: Sunday, December 22nd — 5:00 PM EST/3:00 PM MST
WHERE: Stan Sherriff Center, Honolulu, HI
SERIES RECORD: First Ever Meeting
ODDS: Boise State -1, per KenPom
The Broncos head to Honolulu for the Holidays to participate in the Diamond Head Classic, and their first game is going to be their first ever meeting with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The tournament is packed with tough opponents but the Broncos will have to concentrate on their first round draw as the Yellow Jackets are a lot tougher than that 4-5 record reflects. Georgia Tech is coming in with a three game losing streak, and even though Boise State has been inconsistent all year they themselves are coming off of a 43 point beat down against Alabama State.
Josh Pastner’s team is 4-5 with a resume full of understandable losses, to the likes of Kentucky, Syracuse, Arkansas and Georgia. And besides a very lopsided 34-point loss to Syracuse at home the others were a lot closer. Then came this past Wednesday where a 5-4 Ball State team that is also in Hawaii this weekend went to Atlanta and beat the Yellow Jackets at home by 18 points.
It’s easy to say that this Georgia Tech squad hasn’t fared well at home and has been fairly inconsistent throughout the season. Maybe a tournament in paradise for the holidays will help them figure things out. Pastner has struggled in Atlanta in an ever competitive ACC, posting a 52-58 overall record and no NCAA tournament appearances with the Yellow Jackets since leaving Memphis back in 2016.
The Broncos can score, and they are averaging 80.4 PPG and when firing on all cylinders can rival any team in the country. But on Sunday afternoon Derrick Alston Jr. needs to be a playmaker from the get go and Justinian Jessup needs to be effective on the perimeter both offensively and defensively. Georgia Tech has an elite scoring guard in sophomore Michael Devoe who is averaging 18.4 PPG that they need to keep track of. Tough the Broncos may be in luck as he has been in a bit of a rut during the Yellow Jacket’s three game losing streak, shooting a combined 8-37 from the field during that time. They don’t want to be the team he catches fire against but the key to a Bronco win needs to be a great scoring output from their stars and keeping Devoe in check as both a scorer and distributor with assist leader Jose Alvarado still out with injury.
Georgia Tech also has a formidable duo down low in senior forward James Banks III (10.9 PPG and 7.8 RPG) and junior forward Moses Wright (11.1 PPG and 7.4 RPG). They are both capable scorers and rebounders but where Banks III shines is his defensive presence in the paint. He is averaging a team best 3.7 BPG, which is also good enough for third in the entire country. Georgia Tech also has five players averaging at least one steal a game. This could pose a problem for Boise State as we saw how the Broncos struggled against a Tulsa team with similar length on defense going 6-29 from deep and having their stars (Jessup and Alston) taken completely out of the game going a combined 4-18 from the field.
Georgia Tech 74, Boise State 70
Barring any kind of immaculate shooting performance from Boise State, I expect this game to be decided in the trenches and at the free throw line. Ending a bit closer than some might expect.