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Syracuse men’s basketball: what to watch for vs Georgia Tech

The final week of the regular season is here.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team (16-13, 9-9) returns home to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (12-17, 4-14) as the team looks to get back on track before the ACC Tournament.

Here’s what we’re watching for tonight:

Kevin: Better offense

Look we all know what the defense isn’t doing, but if the Orange are going to make Greensboro fun for fans, it’ll be due to the offense. It’s disappointing to be at Game 30 watching the same repeated isolation ball leading to contested jumpers. If Joe Girard and Judah Mintz weren’t shooting over 40% from the floor, this season would have been a lot worse. Georgia Tech is bad on offense so this should be a good game for Syracuse to get some kind of flow established when they have the ball.

Dom: Getting into a defensive groove

Fortunately for the Orange, the Yellow Jackets score the fourth-fewest points in the ACC, including the worst field goal percentage in the conference. Yet, we’ve just seen Syracuse’s defense completely melt down in the second half, giving up 90 points in back-to-back games against Clemson and Pittsburgh. Given how muddled the middle is in the ACC, building up some momentum against Georgia Tech would absolutely be a plus before the Orange take on Wake Forest in its season finale.

Mike: No other defense, or no defense at all?

Georgia Tech is the worst shooting team in the ACC, period. They’re dead last from the field and at the line, and third-worst from distance. The only stats they are slightly edging SU in are rebounds and turnovers. There is no reason why their offense should present much of a challenge for SU - but we’ve heard that one before, haven’t we? Please for the love of Otto, show us some semblance of defensive structure in this game and don’t let it be way closer than it should be.

Szuba: Starting five

Syracuse exercised an interesting move at Pittsburgh, giving Benny Williams the starting forward job back while also inserting Justin Taylor into the starting five for the first time this season. Chris Bell was available but didn’t play and Maliq Brown played sparingly given Williams’s torrid shooting display as defenders continue to help off the forward to double Jesse Edwards. Does Jim Boeheim stick with that five or does he shake it up once more against Georgia Tech?

What will you be looking for in tonight’s game?