Tech faces tough inside game at Carolina


   We interrupt the defensive coordinator discussion to bring you a basketball blog. Hey, it’s how we roll. And I’ll be brief, since I’m about to pack it up from Richmond and drive down to Raleigh-Durham area this lovely Friday afternoon.

   Oops, I suppose I should say Chapel Hill.

   In the meantime, I’ll use this cyberspace to throw out a few things I think Tech needs to do to beat Carolina. Granted, Tech hasn’t won at UNC since 1996, having lost the last 12 in the home of baby blue. And last year the Yellow Jackets got blown out 104-74.

   But this isn’t quite your national championship caliber Tar Heel team. Gone are Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, and Danny Green – they took 430 career starts and some 8,000 points with them. But the ACC writers group still picked UNC and Duke to finish in a tie for first place in the ACC.

   NC news outlets just reported today that UNC backup forward Tyler Zeller is out four to six weeks with a stress fracture in his right foot. He didn’t play against Clemson. His absence gives Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors that much more room to maneuver inside, though with both Ed Davis and Deon Thompson lurking in the paint, Tech is still going to have its best interior matchup Saturday since the Florida State game.

   The Seminoles neutralized Tech’s inside game on Dec. 20. In case you don’t remember it right off, that’s the game when Favors was limited to eight points on 4-for-8 shooting and Lawal had only four points on 1-for-7 shooting. Both of those guys, especially Lawal, is playing at a different level right now. Lawal has ranged out to about 15 feet, not afraid to try the turnaround jumper, when things get crowded in the low post. And more often than not he’s hitting it. He needs to get back right at the free throw line tomorrow.

   And Derrick Favors needs to be as involved in Tech’s offense as he was in the first half against Virginia. He scored 10 points in the first half, dunking two or three times, finding that backside rebound and putting it to good use.

   As always it’s guard play that will be the key to taking advantage of those two guys inside. Mfon Udofia and Iman Shumpert played better floor games against Virginia but were both quick to fire up 3s late in the game when Paul Hewitt wanted them to work the ball around, and at least have it kicked back out to them before they launched it up.

   It might be a nice idea for Tech to come into this game tomorrow and press early and often: it worked against Duke, if for no other reason than it got Tech playing with energy right from the start. Carolina is young on the perimeter and coming off a game in which it committed 26 turnovers at Clemson.

   There you have it. I gotta hit the road. More tomorrow from the Dean Dome.

17 comments Add your comment


January 15th, 2010
3:01 pm

lets go tech! beat UNC!

Jacket Man

January 15th, 2010
3:08 pm

You can talk about all of the strategy in the world when these two teams match up. In truth, take the time over the last 4 years and just examine the record on the road for Hewitt’s Jackets. The words are: dreadful, unprepared, soft, sloppy, inconsistent, and poorly coached. The season is so entirely predictable! Win one at home, lose to a lesser team at home, win a big one, and then lose to another poor team. All the people need to see is what the hiring of a good coach {PJ} can do to create winning and enthusiasm. When was the last home game at GT that really mattered? When was the last home game at GT where a championship was on the line?


January 15th, 2010
3:20 pm

I predict 26 turnovers, 2 for 10 from 3 point land, 8 for 30 from the line. No time outs left with 2:45 left in the game. Trouble inbounding the ball will account for 2 of the timeouts.

UNC by 25.


January 15th, 2010
3:58 pm

i’d rather talk about Groh-i think i’ll call him, “Yoda”..


January 15th, 2010
4:21 pm

Roy Williams vs Paul Hewitt.


Fire Paul Hewitt

January 15th, 2010
4:28 pm

Ozzy speaks the truth


January 15th, 2010
4:49 pm

Ozzy has seen GROUND HOG DAY.


January 15th, 2010
4:57 pm

What Hewitt magic in the last 5 years convinces me that he can win consistenly? Hmmmm… I was actually surprised that we beat Duke a week ago because this is still a Hewitt-coached team. We’ll go 7-9 in the ACC this year a be a “bubble” team, even with all the talent we have simply because we have an idiot for a coach. And then next year, CPH will have another built-in excuse for losing because most of the talent will leave after this season…oh well.

NoCoach Hewitt

January 15th, 2010
5:03 pm

I again will be winning EASY money by betting against BLEWITT on the road….Thanks Paul keep that wonderful “coaching” up!!!


January 15th, 2010
5:12 pm

so you recruit high scoring guards, & are stunned they can’t pass, D-up, hit FT’s(i am surprized they can’t dribble)

Tech Forever

January 15th, 2010
6:24 pm

UNC won’t win by 25. They’ll win by 15, but not 25.

82-67 UNC….or worse. They are going to squeeze us back into the paint and make us chuck from the cheap seats.

Former Hewitt Apologist

January 15th, 2010
7:21 pm

I used to defend Hewitt…I was ready to fight two knuckleheads at the bar while standing up for him three years ago. But…no more. Hewitt obviously has not adequately worked on his chosen craft of coaching. How do I know he hasn’t? Check the scoreboard. Check the standings. Check his won-loss record after this season. I can no longer make excuses for the man. He does not spend the time studying and learning how to be a better coach that is required of the leader of a proud team. Watching him turn GT basketball into a team of losers makes me vomit in mouth. They lose close games. They lose blowouts. And not that race has anything to do with it…but I’m a proud Black Man. But…there ain’t not nationalism in sports. I don’t care if you are my blood brother. If you are turning my team into a bunch of candy-assed losers, you gotta go. Either win Coach Hewitt, or leave so a winner can take your job.


January 16th, 2010
12:18 am

I enjoy your blogs Carroll but I’m sorry you have the task of trying to make tech basketball sound interesting. Call me when we get a new coach. Screw it. Bring on beesball.


January 16th, 2010
6:15 am

See what hiring a good coach can do for you cpj,until good teams come along and smack you back to nerdville!


January 16th, 2010
7:35 am

Yeah, you should be an expert on that superDawg.

You guys had some good ones come along last year, like Tennessee and Kentucky.

Grantham looks like a good hire. Good luck to you guys until after Thanksgiving.


January 16th, 2010
7:46 am

Hewitt is such a poor coach, he could lose to UNC, trade teams with Coach Roy, and lose again.

Chicken farmer

January 16th, 2010
12:13 pm

GT basketball has become Chan Gailyish and will only be mired in mediocrity for the remainder of Paul Hewitt’s time under the Big T-t. I too have been a big CPH admirer and supporter and felt that THIS season would be a huge turn around in the annuls of GT basketball with all the talent this man has amassed. Again, “ain’t gona happen” and I agree with Woodstock Dave that Roy Williams could take our talent, teach/coach them his system and take them to the highest levels of collegiate basketball.