After a 10-2 start to the season, the Yellow Jackets have started off ACC play 0-4 and remain the only winless team in league play. Yes, even Boston College has won an ACC game.
In Brian Gregory's defense, those four losses have come against Miami (1st place ACC), at Duke (#1 in country), at NC State (beat undefeated Duke), and Virginia (no excuse here, had to win this game). Tech is the only league team to have faced Miami, Duke and NC State coming into this week.
UNC blog Carolina March has put together "tempo-free" stats in league play thus far (a primer on tempo-free stats here). This fits in nicely as Georgia Tech travels to Chapel Hill tonight to play the Tar Heels in what will likely be the fifth straight loss for the Yellow Jackets (North Carolina is favored by -10).
Tech fans should not be surprised their team ranks lowest in the ACC in PPP (points per possession) as well as eFG (takes into account three pointers values and two pointers values into a shooting percentage). The offensive rebounding numbers are surprising since Gregory comes from the Tom Izzo rebounding tree. As poor as the Jackets shoot, they have to get more offensive rebounds to be remotely successful.
If Georgia Tech's offensive pace stays at this level, it will be worst in ACC play in the last eight years (it won't though).
Switching over to Defense
The Yellow Jackets' 9th best Opponent Points Per Possession doesn't look that bad when you consider they have played the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th best offensive point per possession teams.
It just makes the Virginia Tech loss look that much worse considering the Hokies rank dead last, allowing opponents 1.11 points per possession.
All in all, Georgia Tech is about where you would expect except for the loss to Virginia Tech. Because of that loss, the Yellow Jackets need to "steal" a game they shouldn't win.
North Carolina on the road, even with their relative struggles is not likely to be that game.
With a likely 0-5 start the home game vs Wake Forest this Saturday, who will be coming off a home upset of NC State, is an absolute must win to salvage an NIT-ending season.