|1.5 CLEM (-109) @ Draftkings|
9-1 Clemson was ranked 12th when it welcomed Virginia to Littlejohn Coliseum on Saturday. The Tigers were coming off an extended pause due to a positive COVID-19 test and subsequent contact tracing. The 11-day break clearly did not turn out well, as UVa routed Clemson 85-50 for its 11th consecutive win over the Tigers. Clemson (9-2) dropped to No. 20 in Monday's AP poll and will travel to Atlanta to take on a 6-3 Georgia Tech team.
Brad Brownell came to Clemson for the 2010-11 season, after so-so stints at UNC-Wilmington and Wright St (not a single NCAA bid) and has produced a modest four, 20-win seasons and just two NCAA berths in his tenure. However, he returned four starters plus Fordham transfer Nick Honor is now eligible. The Tigers are led by 6-8 senior forward Aamir Simms (11.6 & 5.7) and senior guard Clyde Trapp (7.2 & 5.1). Simms was a preseason All-ACC first-team and Trapp is surrounded by guards Honor (10.3) and Dawes (8.8).
Ga Tech head coach Josh Pastner is in his fifth season with the Yellow Jackets, after SEVEN years at Memphis. His first four seasons have not gone well (just 65-67) and this year's team is 6-3 and similar to Clemson this past Saturday, enters tonight's contest having had four consecutive games postponed and haven't played since Jan 3. Returning PG Alvarado (18.1-3.7-3.8) and SG Devoe (14.2-4.9-3.2) have been excellent plus returning big man Wright (17.0 & 7.1) present an excellent trio. 6-7 USC transfer Usher (9.7 & 5.2) helps out up front plus VMI transfer Parham (9.7 & 3.7) adds to the team's backcourt depth. That's a solid five-man rotation but the Yellow Jackets have little depth.
The Yellow Jackets aren't likely to be at full strength against the Tigers, although Pastner did not identify which of his players he expects to miss Wednesday night's game. Georgia Tech had won four straight games before the interruption but so had Clemson prior to facing Virginia. The "situation" is just right for a Clemson bounce-back against a Ga Tech team playing for the first time in 2 1/2-weeks.