The Villanova Wildcats take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Friday, November 27, 2015 at 3:00 P.M. The Wildcats will look to continue their strong defense while fixing the shooting woes that plagued them at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in the Thanksgiving day semifinal against a 2-3 Stanford squad.
Here's what to watch for and what to consider:
1. The Battle on the Boards
With Daniel Ochefu sitting out much of the second half with four fouls, the Wildcats had to fight and claw for every rebound against a tall Stanford squad. The Cardinal outrebounded the Wildcats by a 55-35 margin. Similarly, the Yellow Jackets outrebounded the Arkansas Razorbacks 50-26 in their semifinal.
The 'Cats are going to have to fight to keep 6'8 250 pound forward Charles Mitchell off the boards. He will be coming into the game averaging 11.5 rebounds a game to go along with 14.5 points. Mitchell manhandled a lanky Arkansas frontcourt for plentiful harvest of 18 rebounds on Thanksgiving and dropped 18 points on them. He will prove a real challenge for the diminutive Wildcats who have yet to see a big man with his physical tools and skill set.
2. Turnovers and Possession
The 'Cats survived against the Cardinal by winning the turnover battle, 23-6. This 2015 rendition of the 1-2-2 press has been paying dividends for the Wildcats through 5 games. The Blue & White capitalize on this by protecting the ball themselves through stellar ball handling from Ryan Arcidiacono, Jalen Brunson and Phil Booth. The Wildcats have the opportunity to continue the trend Friday against a Tech squad who coughed up the ball 16 times against Arkansas.
3. Improved Shooting
Villanova needs to find the its stroke early against Georgia Tech or they could find themselves in a real bind. Another 30% shooting night is not going to cut it against a more efficient and effective Tech team. Between Mitchell amd fellow senior Marcus Georges-Hunt, the Jackets have two leading scorers who shoot over 50% from the field and average 16.8 and 14.5 points respectively. The 'Cats need to come out shooting and attack from whistle to whistle.
For the Four Point Play
It will be interesting to see Josh Hart match up with the aforementioned Georges-Hunt who matches up well with the 'Cats star junior. Listed as a forward, the senior wing is effective and strong for the Jackets inside and out.