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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Experienced but erratic Trae Golden could fill Georgia Tech’s void at point guard

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Trae Golden (Getty Images)

Georgia Tech needed a point guard capable of shoring up the weakest position on its roster next season. Tennessee transfer Trae Golden needed a school close to his family's Georgia home with ample playing time available in the backcourt.

As a result, it's easy to see why both sides thought they might be a good match.

Golden revealed over the weekend he will transfer to Georgia Tech, telling ESPN.com part of his rationale was to be close to his "severely ill" father. The combo guard will attempt to use that as the basis for a petition to the NCAA to play his senior season right away rather than having to sit out a full year first.

Whether Golden can provide the help Georgia Tech needs at point guard next season will depend on more than just the outcome of his waiver request. He'll also have to make strides this offseason in his decision-making with the ball in his hands.

Golden produced an erratic junior season at Tennessee, averaging 12.1 points and 3.9 assists even though his shooting percentage plummeted to 38.3 percent and his percentage from behind the arc dropped below 30 percent. He also wasn't reticent to call his own number despite the poor shooting, attempting 95 threes and taking more shots than heralded big man Jarnell Stokes.

Replicating that wouldn't be ideal for a Georgia Tech team with a hole at point guard but promising young talent at other positions.

Wing Marcus Georges-Hunt showed signs of emerging as a potential go-to threat as a freshman last season, averaging 10.8 points and scoring 11 or more points in seven of Georgia Tech's final 10 games. Forward Robert Carter also displayed promise as a freshman, averaging 9.9 points and 6.7 rebounds.

Georgia Tech has other options at point guard if it decides to play Golden more at shooting guard, but none of them are proven. Rising sophomore Solomon Poole, true freshman Travis Jorgenson and redshirt freshman Corey Heyward each were expected to compete for minutes at point guard prior to Golden's commitment.

At the very least, Golden gives Georgia Tech a more experienced option at the position.

Before Golden's transfer, Georgia Tech appeared to still be a year away from challenging for an NCAA bid out of the loaded ACC. Now if Golden can shore up the point guard position and Georges-Hunt and Carter develop as expected, the Yellowjackets appear to be one of the teams in the ACC capable of a jump in the standings.

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