How big was beating Clemson? Let us count the ways…

   Tuesday night’s 66-64 win over Clemson was big in a lot of ways …

1)    Tech showed consistency from game-to-game it hadn’t during a well-documented four-game stretch against Georgia, Duke, Virginia and North Carolina.

2)    Tech won a game on a last-second possession, providing itself another mental reminder of how much different this team is than last year’s.

3)    Tech held serve on its home court, and is now 2-1 at Alexander in conference play, (1-1 on the road), something that’s so important going forward as the ACC teams start beating each other up. (Last night was a prime example of the physical toll!) 

   But something else occurred to me too, as the frenzy settled. Yes even for a writer covering the wackiness, the heart rate had to return to normal. It’s cliché, that thing we always hear about good teams having “different players step up every night” (I know, I know, stop me if you’ve heard it before.) But I think it’s cliché because it’s true. And it dawned on me last night that in the last three big wins for Tech, it’s been somebody else for the Yellow Jackets.

   Against Duke: Gani Lawal scored 21 points in 23 minutes, on 8-of-9 shooting and collected nine rebounds.

   Against North Carolina: Iman Shumpert scored 30 points in 36 minutes, on 10-of-17 shooting from the floor and 7-of-9 free throws.

   Against Clemson: Derrick Favors scored 17 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, blocked three shots and had one steal in 31 minutes.

   And that effort for Favors, was with, as Coach Paul Hewitt said afterward, leaving some points on the floor. He went 1-for-5 at the free throw line and missed a layup he should have dunked.

   Yes, those are your three McDonald’s All-Americans, the most talented guys on the floor. You’ve also got Zachery Peacock demanding the ball in the final seconds and playing like a senior.

   So the next step for this team would be to see one of its complementary guys lead the way. Yes, but who?

    Brian Oliver is not afraid to pull the trigger, we’ve seen that, and he’s getting more comfortable and secure with the ball in ACC play. Glen Rice Jr. showed last night that he’s taking the next step and man, does he play with aggressiveness and enthusiasm, to go along with the basketball smarts, Hewitt complimented last night. Can Mfon Udofia get hot in an ACC game, like he did with 26 points against Siena?

   Could it be one of those three guys? I’m sure you guys would settle for another game against Florida State Sunday where the two big post men had double-doubles, Shumpert played a good floor game (6 assists, 3 turnovers, two steals, eight rebounds), and the whole team played solid defense.

   Hey, I stink at predicting. I’ll leave that to y’all!

Josh Smith on Favors

   After seeing that Hawks’ Josh Smith was at the Clemson game last night, I was curious what he thought about Favors. And instead of scrambling over there at halftime (hey, I was talking to some other folks I needed to) I leaned on my new AJC colleague and Hawks writer Michael Cunningham for a little help. He just came through bigtime.

   Here’s what Smith had to say: “ I know him. That’s my little partner. He’s young. He’s still got a lot of growth left. That will come with playing time. I think he will get better as the season progresses. He’s a walking double-double, I will say that. He needs the opportunity to showcase his skills a little more on the blocks.”

Favors honor

   Kudos to Derrick Favors who is getting his No. 34 jersey retired by South Atlanta High School on Tuesday night. Coach Michael Reddick said he’ll be honored at halftime of South Atlanta’s 7 p.m. boys game. I’m sure it’s a proud moment for the seemingly sort of bashful kid.

   Even without Favors, South Atlanta is off to a great season. The Hornets are 14-1 and ranked No. 1 in Class AAA.

Shumpert’s finger

   Shumpert had an ice pack on his left hand last night after the game and said he hurt his middle finger reaching in trying to strip Trevor Booker, and by the end of the game “it was throbbing.” Considering he finished the game, and that Tech will have had four days off between the Clemson game and Sunday’s game at FSU, I doubt it will be an issue, but I’ll keep you posted.

   Hewitt said after the game that Shumpert was suffering from cramps at the end of the game last night. I’m guessing that’s why he wasn’t on the floor that play when Udofia traveled around the 30-second mark. There wasn’t a guy who didn’t have to dig deep late in that game. For that reason it was fun to watch, even if it got a little ugly.

49 comments Add your comment

Cogitatus of Borg

January 20th, 2010
5:54 pm

Nice analysis.

Carroll Rogers

January 20th, 2010
6:03 pm

I just added a quote to the blog from Josh Smith on Derrick Favors, in case you got to this point without seeing it. Scroll up!

JACKETS ROCK

January 20th, 2010
6:33 pm

Glad to see multiple players step up when we need them! Deandre Bell also had a decent game, hitting a clutch baseline jumper towards the end of the game and also hustling on defense. With more consistent play from the freshman guards I think we could build bigger leads.
Was the finger the reason Mfon was handling the rock at the end of the game instead of Shumpert?

collegeballfan

January 20th, 2010
6:35 pm

Nice column Carroll. You covered all the bases.

Seeing Favors have a big game was a nice change. Shumpert was off on his shooting. But I thought, from the TV, that the team showed more chemistry the last two games. The defense was really nice in both games.

Has Hewitt now settled on the 8 guys who play? Everyone knows his role?

Carroll Rogers

January 20th, 2010
7:26 pm

Jackets, yes, I’m pretty sure that’s the reason. …and collegeball, yep, looks like that rotation is rounding into shape, though Hewitt reserves the right to tinker. Moe Miller got some minutes last night and he hadn’t played at all against Duke, Virginia or UNC. And Glen Rice played 21 minutes last night, well ahead of his 12 minutes vs. UNC, five against Virginia and nine against Duke

Carroll Rogers

January 20th, 2010
7:28 pm

And yes, Jackets, D’Andre Bell is doing his thing, doing the little things, forcing turnovers, getting his hands on deflections, and hitting some big shots when needed.

Technophobia

January 20th, 2010
8:05 pm

Good column Carroll. Udofia seems to me like he’s pressing/trying to do too much. I think he’ll settle down soon and start to contribute more.

Cuttysark

January 20th, 2010
8:39 pm

Congratulations to Coach Hewitt on a very nice win as the Yellow Jackets keep the momentum going in the ACC.

The latest article on Georgia Tech Football focusing on the hiring of Al Groh is now available for viewing on http://isportsweb.com. Yellow Jacket football never ends, it just goes into another season. Go Jackets!

Tron5000

January 20th, 2010
8:42 pm

Favors looked really good against Clemson. His game is definitely improving as the season progresses. I’ve seen it mentioned that he could be a top-5 pick in this year’s draft (and I’m pretty certain he’s leaving Tech after this year). Right now, the bottom 5 teams in the NBA are Indiana, Philadelphia, Golden State, Minnesota and New Jersey. The next 5 teams (which are all within 3 games of Indiana) are New York, Milwaukee, Sacramento, Detroit and Washington.

I think Detroit wouldn’t be a horrible team to play for, with Gordon, Hamilton, Villanueva and Tayshaun. I think Golden State would be a fun place to play, and they have a nice young nucleus of Ellis, Stephen Curry, Biedrins, Azubuike, and Tech’s own Anthony Morrow. Minnesota sports Al Jefferson, Jonny Flynn and Kevin Love. But what would be really interesting is the Knicks signing LeBron and tanking enough gamed to pick up Favors in the draft.

Sucks that we’ll only see him at Alexander Memorial Coliseum for this 1 year, but it’ll be fun following the local kid’s career, which should be a long one.

James

January 20th, 2010
8:42 pm

Carroll, you have been doing a great job with these. Thanks a bunch.
So we’ve beat Duke, Clem, and NC, all in a few weeks. Awesome.
In other news, Wake Forest is handling the Tarheels right now. Watch out for them…

GT GRAD

January 20th, 2010
9:23 pm

Getting better as the season progresses…………..good job players & coaches!

I hope GT gets on a roll and builds the confidence that they can beat any team they face!

Go GT!!

goatD

January 20th, 2010
9:40 pm

This team is so stocked with great talent. All they need is identity and ATTITUDE !

Russ' Hairy Sack

January 20th, 2010
10:01 pm

Nice police work, Carroll. Wish someone would delete all the Techies posts on the UGA blogs. I’m not even sure what you found so offensive about mine.

Stuart

January 20th, 2010
10:06 pm

It was a good win, but I would feel that the Duke win was better. Clemson and GT left way too much on the floor. Either team could say that they did not play their best. The point is when offered a chance to win GT floundered, then clemson floundered, then GT stepped up and won when they were offered the chance again.

I am a Clemson fan and am cautiously optimistic about the team, but it is a long ACC season. We will know more about each team when they play again at Clemson. I feel we should have won, but I am sure any fan feels that way about their team.

My only point to GT fans – Hewitt better start winning consisently. If Oliver Purnell had the athletic and basketball talent that GT has had over the last 5 years, we would have won the ACC. You have got to admit that GT has underperformed. Some might profess it is like Clemson in football.

Technophobia

January 20th, 2010
10:36 pm

North Carolina is struggling quite a bit this season. They had a recruiting class that was rated similarly to Tech’s last year and a much more highly rated class the year before compared to Tech. Both Tech and North Carolina have 7 fresh and soph’s on their roster. Although this is the first year NC has struggled, the point is that even a coach like Roy Williams can have trouble with a very young team no matter how talented it is.

ben

January 20th, 2010
11:06 pm

Roy Williams trouble ain’t like Hewitt trouble

GT IS A BUNCH OF LOSERS

January 20th, 2010
11:33 pm

gt is lame in all sports. gt men’s basketball can win the rest of their games but they will lose in the 1st round in the acc tournament and 1st round in the ncaa. so enjoy your “success” but it will mean nothing at the end of the season.

Oh yeah by the way…. UGA 73 – gt 66!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!

Do you remember the football score??? let me remind you UGA 30 – gt 24!!!!!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

WE RUN THIS STATE!!!!

chris o bomb

January 20th, 2010
11:35 pm

Bell is a class act from some rough parts in southern cal. he also contributes to the youth there, and WILL be or will show that he’s our “Mario West.” I would love to see Oliver, Rice Jr., Miller, etc. on the floor more, but i am now believing in CPW that he is the X FACTOR. I am getting strokes and certainly nearly throwing my glass on the screen as usual, but I’m more than satisfied with CPW’s all around coaching since the NCAA championship game(yes… our last great “winning season”). His half court set ups are much better due to an overall better acc and big guard in Shumpert(definite first rounder).

We stilllllllll need adjustments in the inbound’s pass.

I hope we go all the way to the final four(capable of with CPH), but what will happen next season? We got to ask with Lawal, Favors, and most likely Shumpert gone, and not including the “X FACTOR” in Bell.

Either way,
TWHG

BS Patrol

January 21st, 2010
12:31 am

RUNS THIS STATE has the runs. That’s about it.

Kudzu

January 21st, 2010
8:01 am

Does Tech even run any offensive plays? They looked like a rag-tag street pick-up game…bodies flying all over…very hard to watch…if you appreciate nice offense…as I’ve said beforeTech would be great this year with a mature “lights out” point guard to manage this craziness…Somebody needs to really take control…this (type) of play only wins games because of the defense…Honestly, i’ve never seen so many dumb passes and turnovers… Go Jackets!

George P Burdell

January 21st, 2010
8:01 am

Thank you Carroll, and add my applause for your reporting that others have given.
As to the cliche about someone new stepping up, it is natural in sports for many reasons, some of them: (1) the opposing coach is always looking for the best matchups to stop the other team’s player(s) and sometimes the opposing coach succeeds; it then becomes necessary for someone to step up; (2) players are human beings, in this case, kids transitioning from teen years to adult years; while everyone tries to bring their “A” game everyone night, no one can actually do that.

Rusted Wreck

January 21st, 2010
9:21 am

Not a BIG as losing to Georgia!!!

BWA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

LMAO!!!

Thomas Paine

January 21st, 2010
11:30 am

The Jackets suck as bad as the Tar Heels and the Wolverines. Go Terps

TERP HATER

January 21st, 2010
11:36 am

Enter your comments here

TERP HATER

January 21st, 2010
11:38 am

The real college park is in atlanta.

Okeefe/Bob

January 21st, 2010
11:58 am

Good job Carroll. Seems to me that Udofia is going to be the next great Tech guard.Right now he’s still making a lot of freshman mistakes–he will learn quick in this league.ACC is really exciting thi year.Can’t take a night off with anybody.

freshman Tight end

January 21st, 2010
2:07 pm

“GT IS ABUNCH OF LOSERS”

hahaa that moron feels better about himself now… im a loser that probably cant even pick up any ball or even athletic and i like to go piss wasted drunk and walk in a stadium that literally is a shape of a toilet bowl and BARK like a dog…. bc its cool and there are hot girls everywhere but well they aint looking at me… so im gonna go to a gt blog and hahaha make fun of them so i can feel better about my sorry life because making fun of someone is the only way i can boost myself up

KSEE

January 21st, 2010
2:36 pm

Tech needs to keep playing tough..if they do that i think they could roll

did you see the WF point guard last night?

January 21st, 2010
3:18 pm

Perfect example that speed kills….

UGAissolastyear

January 21st, 2010
6:00 pm

We shot 11-22 from the free throw line, didn’t we? That is awful. All the empty seats, too, should be an indication that we have given up on Hewitt. Unranked Wake Forest won at UNC by 13 and never relinquished their lead. Puts our win in perspective. NC St beating Duke more then shows those wins mean next to nothing. So much talent on this team – so sad how Hewitt can coach them into being really great.

UGAissolastyear

January 21st, 2010
6:01 pm

without being too controversial...

January 21st, 2010
8:01 pm

did you notice what Clemzon shot? Does that mean OP is bad too?

Jacket Backer

January 21st, 2010
8:36 pm

I can’t wait until the Terps get knocked out of their shell by Favors and company. Oh wait, William and Mary did that to Grandpa Gary and company in “College Park”, MD.

This just in. . .

January 21st, 2010
9:18 pm

Tech fans are fairweather fans. I especially love the part about, “…not to hate, BUT..” LOL

This is from an Alabama rag:

“FAN SUPPORT: What did Peek love most about playing for Alabama?

The school’s fan support.

“We love them to death,” Peek said. “They’re fanatics and they’re fanatical, and that’s why I love them. I came from Georgia Tech, where – you know, no hating – but they had fair-weather fans. Unless they had a big game, they really didn’t want to show up. … That’s why I love this place so much. It has so much heritage and tradition. They almost live and die with you every Saturday. And that’s why you love them to death. At the end of the day, we almost want to win those games as much for them.”

Technophobia

January 21st, 2010
9:53 pm

Pffft he was here near the end of the Gailey era. We’d had enough!

LOST to UGA 66-73.

January 21st, 2010
10:53 pm

UGA Women beat Number 3 vols tonight while Georgia tek beat Savannah State.

Typical cupcakes for Georgia tek in EVERY SPORT.

This Sport, Georgia tek LOST to UGA as well 50-56.

AJ-C has NO ARTICLE ON YOUR GAME AGAINST SAVANNAH STATE TONIGHT.

UGA Lady Bulldogs are 70-15 against current ACC teams, mostly on the Strength of Andy Landers 29-3 Record against Georgia tek, including 12-0 in Athens.

15 times Andy Landers has beat Pat Summitt. No coach has done better against Pat Summitt than Andy Landers.

18 times the 2 teams have met with both teams ranked in the Top 10 in the Nation. The vols beat Andy Landers for the National Championship Game in 1996.

53-50, as Andy Landers teaches Defense.

Vincent J. Dooley, as UGA Athletics Director, hired Andy Landers as UGA Lady Bulldogs’ Head Women’s Basketball Coach April 1979.

26 NCAA Tournaments for UGA’s Andy Landers is 2nd Best in The Nation, including 5 Final 4 for Andy Landers.

25 Wins a season and this is the 29th Season at UGA for Andy Landers, who is now over 800 Wins in his Career and already named to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

He Graduates ALL of his Players. All.

19 of his former players have played in the WNBA.

429 weeks Andy Landers has been Ranked in the AP Poll, which is 3rd Best in the Nation.

And, tonight Andy Landers beat Pat Summitt for the 15th time head-to-head.

Runner-Up in 1985 and 1996, the 5 Final 4s, 10 Elite 8s, and 16 Sweet 16s, Andy Landers has been ultra successful as a motivator and as a recruiter, along with his main prowess of teaching Defense.

Only 3 teams have done better since 1979 than Andy Landers’ teams, taking the Final AP Poll Rankings and comparing them across all teams.

11 SEC Championships or SEC Tournament Championships for Andy Landers at UGA, and that is 2nd Best in The SEC, the Nation’s Premier Women’s Basketball Conference forever – like Football.

Janet Harris, 4-Time Consensus All-America.

Teresa Edwards won her 1st Gold Medal in 1984, and is the 1st Woman or Man to compete in 5 Olympics in Basketball. Teresa Edwards Won her 4th Gold Medal in 2000.

Katrina McClain competed in 3 Olympics with Teresa Edwards winning the Gold Medal in 1988 and 1996 together as the Backbone of the U.S. Olympics Team.

Recently the vols have had Superior Basketball Teams under Pat Summitt, but the games were not decided until the final basket really ever in the history between Andy Landers and Pat Summitt.

National Coach of the Year 4 times, Andy Landers is a lot of fun to watch coach.

31 All-America UGA Players Andy Landers recruited here.

57 All-SEC Academic Honor Roll, Andy Landers’ Student-Athletes are much better than Georgia tek’s in the classroom, and always have been. These 57 All-SEC Academic Honor Roll players for Andy Landers are in fact his 57 Best Players.

They all Graduate.

Andy Landers so far this year has beat Georgia tek again (he’s Never Lost them in Athens, and sports a haughty 29-3 Record Head-to-Head against Georgia tek), Oklahoma, Rutgers, Virginia, Kentucky and Pat Summitt’s Tennessee Lady vols, and all 6 of them are Top 25 teams.

He will play another 10 Top 25 teams before the end of the season, and 4 of those are coming up now against 4 Ranked SEC Teams.

We don’t have the typical Andy Landers’ Guards this season, but they are a terror on Defense and push the ball underneath very well to The Bigs. They just can’t hit the broad side of a barn.

His inside players however, have been stellar. Ask the vols, who had lost only 1 game all season long and were Ranked Number 3. Andy Landers was Number 8. Those 2 will change places after tonight.

When Jasmine James makes a basket or Ashley Houts, Andy Landers will have a team like his teams of the past and we shall make a run through The NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament yet again this season.

Porsa Phillips and Angel Robinson make a great duo underneath for Andy Landers. Meredith Mitchell is a complete player. They all 5 play Defense as well as any Andy Landers has ever taught. It is really all he teaches. They get it. Tonight, for example, we forced the vols into 23 turnovers, none more crucial than their last.

53-50.

Andy Landers’ Lady Bulldogs and Pat Summitt’s Lady vols are The Class of The SEC.

The Win tonight was in HDTV on ESPN2, the host of the NCAA Women’s Tournament. The SEC Tournament this year is at Gwinnett Arena in Duluth Georgia.

Tennessee and Georgia both could be Number 1 Seeds.

The SEC expects at this point to put 7 SEC Teams in The NCAA Tournament, with only 5 SEC teams not making the Big Dance while the Big East expects to have 8 who will not make the Big Dance.

Notre Dame, you should note, does Consider Itself in the Big East Conference. The BCS gives them a bye playing their soft lousy easy schedules in football, but has changed the rules to favor Notre Dame alone.

It would mean so much to The Lady Dawgs if we would get off our butts and build a replacement for The Stegosaurus.

Playing at Stegeman tonight, Andy Landers on the season, is now 18-1.

PN

January 21st, 2010
11:29 pm

Who the hell is Andy Landers?

LOST to UGA 66-73.

January 22nd, 2010
6:15 am

Andy Landers it the guy who when he beat Georgia tek on your court last year, your coach would not shake his hand. He is 28-3 vs. Georgia tek in basketball, including 12-0 at Stegeman.

Al Groh is a 66 year old, old coot, who cannot identify with 18-year old nerds. He is washed up. Your Defense was a LOT WORSE than UGA’s, yet he interviewed for a coach and ends up with a guy Georgia tek can AFFORD with your # 48 attendance, having to give away 4 Coca-Colas, 2 hot dogs, 2 bags of boiled peanuts and a parking pass to sell a ticket.

It was obvious that since the day Paul Johnson FIRED JON TENUTA that he needed a Defensive Coordinator to replace him. He started interviewing one long before Coach Richt finally had to cave in to our pressure to get rid of our D.C. which then took him 4 top guys all far better than Al Groh and then to 11 year NFL career man Todd Grantham, who by the way is worth and therefore paid 3 times what Al Groh gets at Georgia tek.

8 of 9 in Coach Richt Era is assured.

30-24 while you played 6 games against teams NOT EVEN IN A BOWL GAME, yet LOST 3, and the Academics of your Football team are WAY WORSE under Paul Johnson than they are at UGA.

You are Losers.

And, you are really POOR SPORTS, Georgia tek fans, both of you.

RAMBLE ON!!!

January 22nd, 2010
8:48 am

Carroll, you are doing a great job, lots of information and enthusiasm.
I still see a lot of Ground Hog Day, lousy free throw shooting and too many turnovers.
UNC and Duke are down this year so the ACC is wide open. We don’t have a coach who can win it.
Maybe we can make the finals of the ACC tournament but turnovers and f/t’s will be our doom once again.
The NCAA’s 2nd round elimination by a school only few have heard of.

nickj0321

January 22nd, 2010
9:17 am

HEY LOST to UGA 66-73.
I dont giving a flying fu*k about womens basketball, period. This article was about MENS backetball…

Thomas Paine

January 22nd, 2010
9:18 am

Lets go maryland any tech nerds out there to respond

Carroll Rogers

January 22nd, 2010
10:46 am

Lost to UGA, if you come back on here to see who has or has not responded to your diatribe. be reminded, brevity is good, man. Geez. Do you really think people are going to read all that? Have a point and make it succinctly. That would be great, thanks.

Starring Henry Wilcoxon as Bishop Pickering

January 22nd, 2010
11:19 am

Lost to UGA is really buLLdawg in drag.

Technophobia

January 22nd, 2010
11:19 am

Hey “Lost”, Monte Kiffin turns 70 next month. Think he’s too old too coach? Now do you see how stupid that sounds? If an 18 year old kid thinks he’s too smart to learn from somebody just because they’re 65 that’s a “red flag” that the kid is arrogant and a better fit for UGA. You can have him.

Technophobia

January 22nd, 2010
11:21 am

The FSU game will be a good measure of how much we’ve improved since we’ve already played them this year. They are #1 in the nation in opponent’s FG % though, so expect a tough defense.

Carroll Rogers

January 22nd, 2010
11:44 am

Good stat on FSU, Techno, I might steal that for my advance box

Technophobia

January 22nd, 2010
2:05 pm

You’re welcome Carroll. Happy to help out any way I can.

Technophobia

January 22nd, 2010
2:10 pm

Any update on Shumpert’s injured finger? It would be tough without him.

Carroll Rogers

January 22nd, 2010
7:31 pm

Techno, iman’s finger is good. Paul looked at me like he wasn’t even sure what I was referring to when I asked about it. So sounds like a non-issue.