Couple of basketball updates today before we get to football.
Ken filed this note on Tech’s women’s team:
The women learned a tough lesson at the ACC tournament in Greensboro. They lost to Clemson, which was 2-12 and the No. 12 seed in the tournament. It’s the first time a No. 5 has fallen to a No. 12 in the tournament, although it’s only the fourth year the ACC has had 12 teams.
According to the story on the Tech website, teams seeded five or more spots ahead of their opponents were 60-4 before the Tigers ousted the Jackets Thursday.
Further, Tech had beaten Clemson twice, including 89-54 at Clemson Feb. 22.
“We played them at Clemson, we kind of embarrassed them,” said guard Deja Foster. “I think we overlooked them.”
Foster said that coach MaChelle Joseph warned the team about doing just that in practice prior to the tournament. But the Jackets fell in the trap.
“It’s ACC time,” Foster said. “Everyone’s got to come out to play and we just weren’t ready.”
Tech’s third consecutive NCAA bid most likely isn’t in jeopardy. Tech is 21-9 and finished 8-6 in the regular season in the ACC. The last time an ACC team with a winning conference record was kept out of the tournament was 1995.
For what it’s worth, Tech was given an eighth seed in ESPN’s forecasted bracket, last updated Monday.
But its chances of pulling a higher seed are shot, obviously, and Tech’s season-long goal of making the Sweet 16 got that much more difficult. The likelihood of Tech playing opening-round games at the Gwinnett Arena also probably took a nose dive, as well.
But you can be pretty sure Tech won’t be taking anyone lightly anytime soon.
Also Thursday, I got an update on Derrick Favors’ production in the Class AAA state basketball tournament.
After scoring 31 in South Atlanta’s 93-52 win over Thomson — the first state playoff win of Favors’ career — Favors had 23 points, 13 rebounds and 8 blocks in an 87-44 win over Cairo on Wednesday. His coach, Michael Reddick, pointed out that Favors did all of that in limited minutes. No reason for him to play four quarters in a blowout.
South Atlanta plays Washington County at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Columbus State. If the Hornets win that one, they’ll probably face Columbia in the Final Four at the Macon Centreplex on March 13. Those are the top two teams in AAA.
Favors is one of four in-state recruits, with Miller Grove point guard Mfon Udofia also still playing. His team meets Fayette County at 8:30 p.m. tonight in a Class AAAA quarterfinal at the University of West Georgia. If Miller Grove wins, the Wolverines would advance to a Final Four matchup at the Gwinnett Arena at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The high school careers of Glen Rice (Walton) and Kammeon Holsey (Hancock Central) ended in the second round, with Rice scoring 14 in a narrow loss to Norcross.
Back to Favors for a minute: he’s playing mostly power forward, and some small forward. Reddick said he’s quick enough to do it, plus the Hornets have a 6-8 sophomore named Nickalus Jacobs who’s still growing and will be a college center. (Jacobs already has offers from four major programs). Reddick said if Favors had been playing center, he’d be blocking a lot more shots.
Finally, you probably saw Ken’s story on three players leaving the football team. For Greg Smith, who led Tech in receiving in 2007, it was a case of a talented player not fitting CPJ’s system. Jake Blackwood will be missed on special teams. Bryce Dykes was a walk-on who didn’t figure to move up the QB depth chart. Did any of those departures surprise you?