Previewing Tech-Clemson in the ACC tournament

Just got back from Tech and Clemson practices at the Georgia Dome (10 teams are practicing there today, everyone but UNC and Duke).

On the injury front:

Moe Miller, who was 3-for-3 last Saturday until an abdominal strain knocked him out, said he’s fine after four days of treatment. Iman Shumpert said his right hip is still a bit sore, but nothing he can’t play through. Alade Aminu said the time off helped his wrist, which he banged on a dunk vs. Miami. He said it’s 100 percent.

The Jackets and Tigers, who play at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, said the shooting background at the Dome would not be a big factor.

The Jackets seemed refreshed by the fact that, as they put it, they’re 0-0 like everyone else.

“All we’ve got is this tournament,” Miller said. “Everything that happened in the past, it means nothing anymore. Everybody is fighting for their lives, pretty much.”

Gani Lawal called it “a new season,” Aminu called it “a clean slate.”

“We’ve had close games and it’s time to eliminate the mistakes that we’ve had and really make a run for this thing,” Aminu said.

While the No. 12 seed upset the No. 5 seed in 2006 and 2007, no ACC team that’s played in the opening round has gone on to win the tournament.

The Tigers, who made it to the final last year against UNC, talked about that experience but also their 2007 tourney. Then, they lost to Florida State 67-66 in the first round after beating the Seminoles twice in the regular season.

“When you beat a team twice, they have that salty taste in their mouth so they’re going to want some revenge,” forward Trevor Booker said. “I know [Tech] is going to want some. So we’ve just got to take it to ‘em from the get-go.”

Coach Paul Hewitt said Tech’s ability to break the Tigers’ press, and make them pay, will be critical.

“We’ve got to take care of the ball, that’s the big thing for us. They pressure you pretty much every possession, 94 feet. We’ve handled their pressure pretty well, but at the end of that, can we score?

“In the last game we played ‘em, we got a 17-point lead and continued to break their pressure, but didn’t convert some easy baskets, and they came down, they can shoot the ball really well, they’ve got great balance,” he said. “Booker is strong on the inside and they’ve got those guys on the perimeter — [David] Potter, [Terrence] Oglesby, [K.C.] Rivers — who can shoot the three. And when you have that kind of balance, you have a really good basketball team.”

So what’s your prediction for Tech-Clemson?

Here’s an update from the state high school tournament on Tech signees:

27 comments Add your comment

Rufio

March 11th, 2009
3:39 pm

Hopefully we can at least get one win under our belts to keep the kids hungry and wanting to come back next year (lawal)

misterwax

March 11th, 2009
4:13 pm

well, stranger things have happened, but don’t hold your breath…..look for the cheap tix to be on the street all morning…BZZZZZ!

BLAZER

March 11th, 2009
4:14 pm

LAWAL ISN’T GOING ANYWHERE-NEEDS A JUMP SHOT BEFORE GOING PRO

COULD WIN BUT SNAKEBIT THIS SEASON IT SEEMS (BC GAME) AND OTHERS

GEEZ SIN AT LEAST ONE FOR PAUL

BLAZER

March 11th, 2009
4:15 pm

WIN I MEANT NOT SIN (WE’VE SINNED ENOUGHT THIS SEASON)

Just a Fan

March 11th, 2009
4:35 pm

clem’s son wins

David Duncan

March 11th, 2009
6:13 pm

This is a no hoper. The Tigers win by 20 points. All we can do is hope for better results next year.

GT

March 11th, 2009
11:08 pm

If we could just figure out how to play the game without having to shoot a foul shot we got a fighting chance. I mean if it is a beauty contest on who looks the best coming off the bus we have got it won, just please don’t foul us. I wonder if a ref has ever been offered a few bucks not to call a foul against the home team or we just turn down the offer to have two at the line; could we just get the ball back. The foul that is suppose to be a reward becomes an automatic turn over for this team, then they have a few rebounds that go off their heads and they forget who is suppose to take the ball down on inbound. Hewitt has fixed about half of that but the basic basketball skill that any dork in any gym can do is a lost art here.

jw

March 11th, 2009
11:09 pm

If we had a coach winning would be easy, we have more talent than most teams we have lost to this year. The Adm is going to have to bite the bullet and pay what it cost to get a better coach.

ga_tech_92

March 11th, 2009
11:12 pm

Make history Jackets!

GT '13

March 11th, 2009
11:22 pm

JW- Did u think Coach Hewitt needed to get fired when he had success just a few years ago? It’s the same system, the players just aren’t as good, especially on the perimeter. Moe Miller has turned into the second coming of Zam Fredrick, the year he was forced to play point because Jack bailed early. Nick Foreman is a walk on, who does not even look at the basket, and when he is in they are basically playing 4 on 5 offensively. Gani is shooting airballs on foul shots, and Aminu and Peacock constantly miss lay ups. Do you think they don’t work on these things in practice?? To put this on Coach is ridiculous. I think we have a great shot at not only beating Clemson tomorrow, but State the next day. Let’s stay positive!

gt fan

March 12th, 2009
1:06 am

gt13…. just a few years ago?

in my dictionary few=2. since 04 FIVE seasons have passed with 3 record breaking losing seasons. we have set ALLTIME records for losses in the acc. we have had losing seasons at home. something we havent done for almost 30 years.

bobby cremins peaked as a coach at gt after 13 years. it took phew only 4 years to peak as a cough cough coach. i hate to even admit that this suit with no talent is our coach.

i dont pay my lawyer or my dentist 1.4 million a year. i didnt give my lawyer or dentist a 7 year golden parachute if they get kicked to the curb.

if my lawyer or dentist performed as poorly as phew they would have been gone at the first hint of a screw up.

why would we allow phew to do any different? even bobby cremins didnt stink up the place anywhere as bad as phew has over the last 3 years.

GT '13

March 12th, 2009
2:47 am

So, in your dictionary, two seasons ago we went to the NCAA’s and then lost two players to the first round of the NBA draft. Are you telling me that GT basketball now has the bar set as high as the Yankees, where any thing less that a World Series ring is considered a failure? Please. Again, I am not defending all things CPH, but at the end of the day the players PLAY. Starters in the ACC should not be shooting air balls, treating turnovers like they work in a bakery, or starting as walk ons when they can’t throw the ball into the ocean. Once last question regarding Shumpert making the All Conference Rookie Team. Does this mean Virginia should fire their coach since Landesburg made second team Freshman Alll American but they only won 4 conference games and they lost to Liberty College?

Gordon

March 12th, 2009
7:54 am

GT’13,

It has become obvious over the last 4 years that the success of ‘04 was largely due to assistant coaches. Since both Keener and Warren were gone after the ‘05 season, we have not won an NCAA game and been to the tournament only once and have had 3 losing seasons. We are .500 overall since ‘04 (that includes all of the gimme games at the beginning of each season), and in the entire nine years that CPH has been here have had exactly one winning season in the ACC, and that was 9-7.

You are right that it is the players that play, but it is the head coach’s responsibility to see to it that the right players are out there, that they improve as the year goes on, and that if someone leaves early (which happens to everyone) that there is someone to take his place.

Nine years is long enough to judge what a coach can and cannot do. CPH is a nice guy and does several aspects of his job well, but the bottom line is that he does not come close to producing acceptable results on the court, especially for $1.3M. 2-14 with the personnel we have is spectacularly bad. But this is about a lot more than just this season.

Atlanta Jackets

March 12th, 2009
8:16 am

When does Favors get to play? I’m surprised we haven’t seen him yet. Is he redshirting? GO JACKETS!

yellowblood

March 12th, 2009
8:39 am

I’m all for the SA’s attending Tickle Piles but attendance should not be a distraction and I’m afraid they have become one. There were to many at Tickle Piles leading up to the Peach Bowl and this year’s basketball team have been obsessive in their participation.

Hey Yellowbloog

March 12th, 2009
10:37 am

how much did you cry when staffy and knowshow left your beloved team lil’ buddy? was it hard on you? do staffy and cox still have “cuddle piles” like they did before he left? poor cox….all alone now.

RAMBLE ON!!!

March 12th, 2009
10:45 am

GT ‘13 Zam is doing pretty good at USC…go figure. Mo was better his freshman year…go figure. Hewitt has got to go, but we are stuck with him for another year of total frustration, arrrggghhh!!!!

The best thing we have working for us today is Karma. I think the roles are reversed with the men and the ladies. Clemson upset our ladies and I think we were seeded number 5.

Born2Buzz

March 12th, 2009
10:54 am

Gordon,et al, I agree that Hewitt is ultimately to blame for this poor season (and last year) but in ‘04, we had 3 junior starters (Ish, Luke & Elder), 1 senior starter(Marvin), 2 junior 1st line bench players (McHenry & Bynum) and 1 senior 1st line bench player (Moore). The only underclassman that got ANY time on the court was Jack who was a sophmore that started every game as a freshman and was a phenominal talent that played PG throughout his HS career.
Since the 04-05 season GT has been starting and playing mostly freshmen and sophmores. If you don’t think losing Bell and Dickey this year was big you are mistaken.

As I said, Hewitt is ultimately responsible and he has not done a good job of recruiting to keep a line of solid 3 & 4 year players in the program so that we are not playing kids all the time. If you don’t think this makes a big difference in college ball you don’t really know much. Look at the top 6 ACC teams and you will see that they are mostly dominated by junior and senior players.

Granted having solid proven assistants can help, but having mature experienced players is really what matters. If Hewitt can get guys to stay in school so that we have upperclassmen as our core players the program will be allright. If he can’t then we will suffer and he will be gone.

Gordon

March 12th, 2009
11:52 am

Born2Buzz,

I appreciate your comments and you make some good points. But on this year’s team we have 2 seniors (Aminu and Clinch), a junior (Peacock), and 3 sophomores (Moore, Storrs, and Lawal) of the guys that get significant playing time. The only first year players that get any minutes are Shumpert and Foreman. I don’t think that experience can be used as an excuse, so this year it is injuries and lack of talent. Next year we will have more talent so youth will be the excuse. EVERY team has some injuries, some youth, and some players leaving early. Over the long haul, that stuff evens out, so my criticism of Hewitt has less to do with this year than with his overall 9 year record. One winning ACC regular season (and only 9-7 that year), one NCAA win other than the final 4 year, a horrendous road record, etc. I think with our league, our city, and our reputation for putting guys in the NBA, we can do much better than what Hewitt produces. We should absolutely NEVER be 2-14 in the ACC, and should only have a losing season once a decade, not 3 times in 4 years. My fear is that next year he will take what should be a sweet 16 team with 24 wins and turn it into a bubble team with 19 wins that loses in the first round, and that will be enough to get another year, then Favors and Lawal leave and the cycle starts over again.

Gordon

March 12th, 2009
11:55 am

I meant Miller, not Moore, as one of the sophomores in my previous post.

RT

March 12th, 2009
12:05 pm

If a school pays a coach millions of dollars, it is a reasonable expectation that he maintains the team in the middle of his conference with occasional shots at a conference championship. The hoops team is not even mediocre. Some are saying our failures are early NBA jumpers, a bad recruiting class or whatever, so its not the coach’s fault. If the coach has so little effect on a team, why pay him a million+ bucks? There are guys out there who would lose for free.

Dadgum

March 12th, 2009
12:50 pm

Paul Hewitt is a great coach and recruiter. Next year will be a big break out year for Tech.

Favors is no where near to entering Tech. Hasn’t even formally signed. Doesn’t appear to be scared off by this year’s results thankfully. He can sign on April 15th. Not before. Until then he can change his mind.

Rock on…..Tech by 10 today.

Atlanta Jackets

March 12th, 2009
1:11 pm

Thanks Dadgum. I didn’t know he was still in high school! Thanks.

I predict now that in four years (maybe 3! he’s that good!) that Favors will be a top 10 NBA pick. Mark it down!!

By the way, I was the first to post on the mutts board just now. I burned them good! LOL! ROTFLMAO!!

StingerSplash

March 12th, 2009
6:15 pm

Tech 13,

The numbers since the runner-up finish speak for themselves. So should the on-court foibles of the players. Good coaches get those corrected pronto. Bad ones don’t.
This was a program that was a national title contender virtually every year from 1985-96, so yes, the bar is pretty high. And Hewitt has come nowhere close to it in the last five seasons. Even Gailey never had a losing record at Tech and he got shown the door. Hewitt has as many losing seasons as winning seasons now, and no ACC championships of any kind — so far — in 10 campaigns.

Dadgum

March 12th, 2009
8:28 pm

Stinger Splash….so I guess Oliver Purnell should just pack in too. Bunch of damn losers on this blog. Read my above post. Paul Hewitt is a great coach and recruiter. JACKETS WIN!!!!! We will rule next year!! losers…….

Rock on….this blog should be terminated because of all the low-life losers it attracts. I am embarrased for you….really!

Born2Buzz

March 12th, 2009
9:49 pm

Stinger Splash, geez, what planet are you on. We were not a national title contender from 85-96. We might have had 3 teams in the top 10 during that time. Bobby made it to the Final 4 once. I love Bobby as much as anyone but come on folks, we are not, have never been, Duke and Carolina, who are the only 2 teams in the ACC that are consistently national title contenders. You people all have fond memories of Bobby that don’t really match up with reality. Go back and look at how many years Bobby made the NCAA tourney. He had a good run but its not as fantastic as some of you want to remember.
Reality is, we should be a program that finishes upper middle of the ACC and occasionally challeges for the title, if things fall right.
And Gordon, while Clinch and Aminu are seniors, Aminu was a bench player in his junior year and just started this year. We all know Clinch’s trials (remember he missed last year). And Peacock…holy moly.

I still think Paul hasn’t done a very good job of coaching this year but he’s not as horrible a coach as most of you folks want to portray.

GoAwayHewitt

March 14th, 2009
9:53 am

“Reality is, we should be a program that finishes upper middle of the ACC and occasionally challeges for the title, if things fall right.”

Sounds a lot like Dave Braine’s comments about never having a football program that can win more than 8 games a few years back. That’s a shame if you actually believe that.