In a normal game, this one would be fairly easy to predict...but there are a lot of unknowns, even up to who is healthy for the game.
GT only averages 2 more possessions per game than VT, but they also look to shoot quick shots in transition. I wondered how that could be so I watched some of their recent games. Turns out, GT likes to push the ball ahead with the pass on misses and turnovers, and walks the ball up the floor slowly on makes and dead balls. Theyre not incredibly efficient in transition, so Im not sure why they dont slow the game down and play less possessions. Theyre top 30 in the nation in half court offense efficiency, so defending for long possessions will be key.
Alvarado, Devoe and Wright are their "guys" in that order. I really like Devoe as a player, and Wright is super long for 6'7...he plays closer to 6'9. Bubba Parham is their Jalen Cone equivalent, and he likes to come in a jack up some 3s. He transferred from VMI where he led them in scoring.
I get Alvarado tales a lot of heat, but I really like him too. He olays super hard for 40 minutes, rarely comes out and is always trying to maximize every possession. Hes a NYC kid, so Im certain that leaks into his personality, but he has a kid and he competes at a high level. Lot of respect for him there.
Defensively GT likes to switch up from man to zone. Their zone isnt a typical zone, it looks more like UNLV's ameoba zone from the Tarkanian days without the trap in the corner. The initial look of the zone is a stacked 2-3 or 1-1-3 that is pushed up and sometimes will look like a 1-3-1. The difference is that they cover the corners a lot better than a typical 1-3-1 and they dont have a guard running the bottom spot, just two stacked guards at the top.
Thats a lot of words to say that where the open shots will come from against this zone will be different than a normal zone. VT would be better off attacking the blocks and then skipping to the opposite wing rather than attacking the elbows and looking opposite.
Even against a man, GT will collapse hard on post entry. Aluma and Mutts shouodnt have a ton of points, but they could be in line for a ton of assists if VT is hitting those open looks off the skip or rotation. Thats where the long lay-off could hurt. It might take a while to get into a shooting rhythm or to know the right time to make a certain pass to get teammates open.
The opportunities will be there though...
In a normal game, Id predict VT to win by 8 to 10. But with the layoff it could be anywhere from -15 to +15. Just depends on how much they can capitalize off of what theyre given.