Tech drops out of the Top 25…and more you didn’t already know

Well, you knew it was coming. After Saturday’s loss at Wake Forest, Tech’s third in four games, the Yellow Jackets dropped out of the Associated Press Top 25 today.

They’ve been hovering around No. 20 since early January. Now it’s Wake Forest’s turn, which entered the poll at No. 23, having won five in a row since that 21-point loss at Tech.

Since that game, when Tech seemed to have everything going, the Yellow Jackets have lost three out of four. As a result, Tech (17-8, 5-6) is in the “also receiving votes” category of the AP poll, actually also receiving vote – singular. Now Tech is in dire need of a win against North Carolina Tuesday night to stop the bleeding.

Lineup watch

So what to expect Tuesday after the Yellow Jackets went all topsy-turvy and got 40 points from their bench against Wake Forest and only 24 points from their starters? A change in the lineup perhaps.

(Tech got 12 points each from Moe Miller and Brian Oliver off the bench Saturday and 14 points from Glen Rice Jr.)

“We’re going to look maybe at a change, but we’ll see,” Tech coach Paul Hewitt said Monday before practice. “I’ve got a couple different possibilities in mind. I want to go through practice today and see how everybody looks.”

Hewitt was thinking about a change heading into Saturday’s game, replacing Mfon Udofia in the starting lineup, but changed his mind after Mfon had a strong practice.

Udofia needed another one today, if he wants to start against UNC.

“We’ll look at Glen,” Hewitt said. “We’ll look at Brian. Maybe even Moe. We’ll look at it. Could be Mfon.”

Shumpert slump

Iman Shumpert scored a career-high 30 points against North Carolina in Tech’s win at the Dean Dome on Jan. 16. But now, coming into the rematch, he’s just been shut out at Wake Forest.

Shumpert went 0-for-7 from the floor, including 0-for-3 from 3-point range. He did not go to the foul line. He had one assist and three turnovers and played 21 minutes, six fewer than Moe Miller, the backup, backup point guard who ended up running the team for long stretches.

Hewitt said today that Wake Forest point guard Ish Smith was the difference down the stretch. It looked that way, both by Smith’s example, and the lack of point guard play from Tech over the last few minutes.

I just filed a story about Shumpert’s recent struggles (be on the lookout), but I’ll summarize – both he and Hewitt said today, more troubling than the lack of offensive production lately is how inactive he’s been on defense.

“He had two deflections in 21 minutes (vs. Wake); that’s not him,” Hewitt said. “I talked to him yesterday. He said he’s feeling fine. He feels like he’s just not in it defensively. He said he finds himself standing around and watching, which is something he never does. But he’ll work out of it. It’s just a little bit of a rut.”

Tired late vs. Wake

I asked Hewitt about how easily Wake looked to be breaking down Tech on the drive late in the game Saturday, and he said he thought that might have been a reflection of fatigue and maybe that was on him.

“I’ve been second-guessing myself about how much we may have practiced last week because we looked a little tired in the last four minutes,” Hewitt said. “I was going back and forth whether we should have practiced last Thursday. I decided after how we ended the game against Miami there were some things we had to go over, so I decided to have practice.”

Carolina injuries

North Carolina is down its third big man, and probably its best. Ed Davis broke his wrist falling to the floor last Wednesday against Duke. UNC announced Friday he’ll be out for six weeks. He joins Tyler Zeller, who’s been out since right before Tech played at North Carolina on Jan. 16, and Travis Wear, who has a sprained ankle, on the shelf.

Roy Williams said today on the ACC coaches teleconference that Zeller was supposed to practice today, but it’s the first time he will have done more in practice than a play or two here and there.

“I really do not see him playing tomorrow,” Williams said.

Wear still isn’t practicing at all, so don’t expect him.

Davis was Carolina’s second-leading scorer behind Deon Thompson with 13.4 points per game and their leading rebounder with 9.6 rebounds. The Tar Heels had talented freshman John Henson in his spot Saturday against N.C. State and he did well: nine points, eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals in the win.

The guy Georgia Tech has to watch out for is Will Graves, who burned the Yellow Jackets for 24 points, including 5-for-8 3-pointers on Jan. 16 in Chapel Hill.

57 comments Add your comment

RussThePaintedMascot

February 15th, 2010
8:15 pm

Hewitt is History.

RussThePaintedMascot

February 15th, 2010
8:17 pm

Still looking for a winning lineup in middle February during the heart of ACC play?

RussThePaintedMascot

February 15th, 2010
8:20 pm

We have the talent to be in the top 10 at least, and the coaching to finish in the bottom tier of the conference. Paint my behind white and call me “Uga”, but I think even Hewie realizes he is out now.

I Bleed White and Old Gold

February 15th, 2010
8:27 pm

Here we are again. Lineup changes in mid-February. Isn’t our lineup supposed to stabilize in late December? After all, that’s after 2 1/2 months of supervised pracctice. And another 1 1/2-2 months of “unsupervised” practice. And “warm-up” games in November and December. Maybe this worked at Sienna, but 10 years later, this fits the definition of insanity.

Thrillerdome Forever

February 15th, 2010
10:14 pm

Lets get it done against the Heels!
I hope coach and the players can find their way back to winning.
As ALWAYS….GO JACKETS.

Game Over

February 15th, 2010
10:16 pm

Regular season title’s been locked up. Tech can only play for the conference tournament and a decent NCAA seed now.

Oh God

February 15th, 2010
10:21 pm

Blewwwwwwit is history….thank god and greyhound, he will be riding with Chan!!!!!!

George "Kingfish" Stevens

February 15th, 2010
10:30 pm

I is regusted!

Dubious

February 15th, 2010
10:39 pm

It sure doesn’t feel like Tech is jelling, does it? So many winnable games have been lost….at home vs. FSU, away vs. UVA, away at FSU, away at Wake….they add up…this team is very close to a bubble team..but not in a good way…the Jackets better be ready for the Heels or they will get beat

Techman78

February 15th, 2010
10:44 pm

This justs goes to show how big of a freakin MORON Hewitt is. You dont change lineups 25 games into a season unless it is injury related. We should be getting used to this crap though by now because Hewitt has done this so much the last couple of seasons. Its almost like he is trying to sabotage the season. I almost think he is testing DRad just to see how crappy he can do and get away with it. How often do you see Coach K, Roy Williams, John Calipari, Bill Self, or Rick Barnes changing the lineup with 5 games left in the regular season??? NONE!!! How many losing seasons do you see those coaches having??? NONE!!! Take some coaching notes Hewitt you freakin loser. Bobby Cremins was not the greatest X’s and O’s coach ever but he produced wins up until his last few seasons. If Cremins had this team he would be 23-2 or 24-1 right now. He let the guys go out and play their game. He kept the same 6 or 7 guys on the floor at all times to develop a cohesive unit instead of trying to play the whole bench and half of the student section to keep his guys fresh. Another thing, Cremins teams could shoot free throws, they could inbound the ball, they were lights out from 3 point land and they were fun to watch. I know im rambling a bit but as a long time Tech fan I am frustrated, pissed off, andtired of this BS. It is TIME FOR A CHANGE!! I will always support this Tech team even if I hate the coach. He is so much worse than Chan Gailey ever was. Hewitt needs to start paying at least 90% of his salary to a combination of B J Elder, Jarret Jack, Marvin Lewis, Will Bynum, and yes…Luke Shensher. If it wasnt for those guys this @$$ CLOWN would be coaching a high school team in Budapest. Anyway, good luck to our PLAYERS the rest of this season these are good kids who deserve so much better than this poor excuse for a coach. Go Jackets!! Fire Hewitt!!

Old Jacket Fan

February 15th, 2010
11:06 pm

What bothers me—is that we are terrible at fundamentals. Foul shooting and unforced turnovers (including an inability to inbound the ball) have cost us several games. How can you play this much basketball and still shoot crappy at the foul line. We should be able to find someone that can teach free throw shooting.

Carroll Rogers

February 15th, 2010
11:27 pm

Techman78, I am the first one to say it’s not a good sign when you’re coming down the stretch of a key game and you’re not sure who the best guy to run your offense is. But I’m going to blow a hole in your argument by telling you that Coach K has too made lineup changes with six games left in the season. He did it Saturday against Maryland, when he gave Brian Zoubek his first start of the season. Zoubek had the game of his career with 16 points and 17 rebounds and Duke won by 21.

Sometimes you guys are so dramatic….

college football

February 16th, 2010
12:08 am

georgia tech Blow Flys showing their real colors, stomp ‘em tar heels!!

Keno

February 16th, 2010
12:23 am

I agree with the comment about trouble with the fundamentals. I’ve seen young high schoolers dribble better than some of our players against Wake Forest. I don’t want to pick on one person, but If I were Shumpert, I’d be embarrassed if I lost control of the ball every time I started a dribble move as he did early in the game Saturday. It’s about practice. Pete Maravich became so proficient a dribbler by tons of practice. When he was young, his father would drive around the neighborhood with Pete hanging out the car window dribbling. Look at the Globetrotters. Anyone remember Dave Denton? It’s about putting in the time guys. .Ted Williams once said the only difference between he and Dave Winfield was about 10,000 swings. I shudder to think that any underclassmen on this team will go pro this year. Look at Crittenden. His career is crap because he really wasn’;t good enough (experienced enough) to go pro, and therefore hasn’t gotten the playing time he needs. (playing with guns doesn’t help either–how incredibly stupid).

Keno

February 16th, 2010
12:32 am

Also, Cremins wore his players out to the point most of the time they were dragging at crunch time. They almost always looked totally wiped out before the end. I think both coaches are extreme in handling their subs. Hewitt’s fresh players aren’t doing so well at crunch time either. Hey, maybe the players are playing too much at things other than basketball!

chatter

February 16th, 2010
8:29 am

Fatigued? How is that possible the players don’t play more than 4 min spurts before Blewit is subing again. Paul Hewitt = a timeout being called and sub being made at every dead ball.

Vermont Yellow Jacket

February 16th, 2010
8:51 am

Keeping my fingers crossed for Tech to put up a good game against the Heels, but I’m not really optimistic.

And Russ, THANK YOU for not posting “first” like some idiot.

RAMBLE ON!!!

February 16th, 2010
8:53 am

For those who have not seen GROUND HOG DAY.

The 10 very long years with Phewitt, he has never figured out what his starting line was/is going into late Feb., even in 2004.

A note to UNC fans, please lock the doors on the way out of the TurnoverDome tonight. Once we get a real coach, you’ll have to settle for watching it on TV, like in the old days.

nickj0321

February 16th, 2010
9:08 am

We need a win tonight guys! Go Jackets!

nickj0321

February 16th, 2010
9:09 am

oh yeah, FIRE PAUL HEWITT

Gustopher

February 16th, 2010
9:22 am

Great Blog Carroll. Way to keep the Duke mentions down to one.

collegeballfan

February 16th, 2010
9:46 am

I did not like what I saw when Shumpert & Miller were on the floor together. And I do not like Udofia on the floor with Shumpert or Miller either. All are points not scorers. Only one at a time in the game. Let Oliver & Rice share the 2 spot.

Fingers Crossed

February 16th, 2010
9:50 am

UNC wins by 15 tonight and GT ends up in the NIT. Blewitt gets fired and we can finally but the past 6 years of excuses and underachieving behind us.
As a die-hard Tech fan, tonight I say “Go Heels” and Go away Blewitt.

A Rob

February 16th, 2010
10:09 am

Hewitt talked to Shumpert to find out he’s standing around and watching on defense! His response was that he will get out of the rut. Inexcusable! How long has Shumpert been at Tech? And he still does not give 100%. That’s coaching people. He’s bleeding what was once a proud program dry and soon it will be completely lifeless.

Need Offensive Coordinator

February 16th, 2010
10:15 am

Collegeballfan I must agree Udofia, Oliver, Rice, Favors, & Lawal. This team looked more fluent when Shumpert was out and got into the offense better; however this offense makes any PG look bad no motion or continuity.

Shumpert needs to rest on work on his game, every time he goes behind his back it is a turnover. I really believe that starting five could be unselfish, play good defense and create some better flow on offense.

A true PG, Oliver is a shooter at the SG, Rice can shoot or drive at the SF, and the two big fellas inside. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this one out.

Nachos con Hewitt

February 16th, 2010
10:17 am

Awww, come on guys, Hewitt ain’t that bad …
Seriously?

I just hope we have a good football season, my heart just can’t take it anymore, and at my old age of 33, I may not make another basketball season

Coach Hewitt

February 16th, 2010
10:25 am

I admit fellas, I am not an ACC calibre coach, but hey, can ya blame me? I’m making the benjamins baaaaby!!!!

eddy

February 16th, 2010
10:25 am

Come on jackets, season starts tonight! Would like to see Oliver start over Udofia, with his shooting spreading the floor and hopefullly get more chances for Favors and Lawal.

Carroll Rogers

February 16th, 2010
10:28 am

Woke up this morning thinking about the point I made about Zoubek, techman78, and I think it was a stupid point on my part because I think he was in there because Lance Thomas has a bruised knee. My bad.

Hewitt Blewitt

February 16th, 2010
10:29 am

Hewitt, you fail!!!! Go coach at a junior college please, these guys have way too much talent to waste with a mediocre coach. Bring on Bobby Knight or Tubby Smith, then we’re talking!

Who is the PG?

February 16th, 2010
10:47 am

The team is having an identity crisis at the PG position, and it is unfortunate that it has gone on this deep into the season. Mfon and Moe should be playing the 1, Iman, Oliver, Rice and Bell at the 2/3.

I have felt bad for Moe … he is a junior, a decent player and person it seems, who had an off-season last year, and had been relegated to the bench. But there is a reason why Mfon won the starting gig: b/c he had an outstanding preseason, offensively and defensively, and showed in practice that he was the best PG. It was generally a surprise that Mfon made the starting lineup.

What’s changed? When Iman came back from injury, he inexplicably took over the PG duties. Why? I’ve speculated before (i.e. Iman wants to be the guy; Mfon freshman inexperience), but IMHO this was a bad move. This PG rivalry may also have created some bad blood; Iman does not appear to like Mfon on court; they’re rivals for the PG position but starting in the same backcourt. Count how many times in a game Iman makes an opening pass to Mfon in the halfcourt.

So why didn’t Mfon goto the bench? I’ll bet that CPH thought he still owed Mfon the starting lineup since he had earned it as the 1, along with his defensive and hustling intensity. Like many bloggers, I’m in agreement that Brian Oliver, Glenn Rice and yes Iman are better than Mfon at the 2.

Mfon is currently mired in a negative feedback loop that has hammered his confidence. He is not playing (or being allowed) to play to his strengths; i.e. a triple threat PG and team leader (the qualities many folks are crying for on these blogs), most likely due to his ‘freshman’ status and this rivalry with the 5 star All American who has a seniority and pedigree advantage. Iman is now struggling, and Moe has/had his chance to be the hero. I think the team plays best with a confident Mfon at the point. Go with what has worked. At little faith in your players and dare I say ‘coaching’ from the coaches might go a long way.

panhandlebuzz

February 16th, 2010
10:54 am

Basketball is a joke. High school, college, and especially pros. I quit keeping up with it about 10 years ago, don’t even watch the NCAA tourney. However, since Tech has a team, I want for it to do well. And, read some things on this blog and info from athletic dept. That being said, Hewitt must go !!!!!

yellarjacket

February 16th, 2010
10:57 am

collegeballfan- I agree with you. When Udofia is on the court it seems like we’re playing 4 on 5, especially on the offensive end and Shumpert hasn’t been much better over the last few games. However, at least with Shumpert he’s either great or terrible, so maybe we’ll see the great Shumpert tonight.

If Shumpert starts at the point, then Oliver or Rice need to start at the 2 guard. Bring Moe off the bench to relieve Shumpert. I just can’t justify Udofia playing right now, unless we have a couple of guards in foul trouble or we sustain an injury. We can’t afford to waste possessions by not having the most productive guys on the court at the same time.

Carroll – will you please ask Hewitt the reason why he won’t play Lawal, Favors, and Zach at the same time? I think it would create some matchup problems for opponents on the offensive end and would also give us a big advantage on the boards, especially offensive rebounds.

eggguy

February 16th, 2010
11:36 am

Coach Hewitt….NEWS FLASH….New Jersey Nets are looking for a Head Coach. Take your resume and go for it……well, maybe an asst. coach….making $75K per year. Maybe you can tell them about your glory year when you first came to Tech. But I wouldn’t mention how you single-handily ruined the fun that WAS watching Tech roundball.

Jacket Dad

February 16th, 2010
11:59 am

Tech doesn’t deserve to be in the Top 25. They have loads of talent, but no chemistry and no fundamentals – and that leads me to Hewitt. He should be embarrassed at his salary when you see his results. Watching Tech basketball used to be fun and exciting – now it is painful and frustrating. I know the powers-that-be at Tech are in a really tough place due to Hewitt’s incredibly stupid contract, but it’s time to cut our losses and get someone here that can get us back to where we once were. It may be painful, but necessary.

Go Jackets!

re Law, Fav and Zac at the same time

February 16th, 2010
12:01 pm

Remember two of these guys are foul attractors. Then what would you do?

GT2002

February 16th, 2010
12:11 pm

re, if any of those 3 bigs get into foul trouble you are right back to where we have been all year playing no more than any 2 of them at the same time. Playing those 3 bigs at the same time would give us an NBA style lineup that would be impossible for teams to match-up against. How can Hewitt not have tried this lineup ONCE?????? I would take my chances starting Mfon/Miller, Oliver, Zack, Gani and Favors and bring Rice, Shump and Bell off the bench at spurts only when the others tire or get into foul trouble. I bet Mfon/Miller would get the ball inside a lot more effectively than anyone else has been able to do with that lineup on the floor. You can’t have an offensive identity when you sub on every dead ball. Bottom line.

NoCoach Blewitt

February 16th, 2010
12:31 pm

We are maybe going to change the lineup???? What a donk!!!! Get out of town Blewitt

NoCoach Blewitt

February 16th, 2010
12:34 pm

If they find a way to lose to UNC with 3 of there 4 big men out to injury, which includes by far their best player, it will be the LAST game I ever watch until Blewitt is coaching in the Southland or Southern Conference where he belongs. And in a way I am hoping for a L. It will just further the evidence of what a terrible coach he truly is.

Also not more than 3 weeks ago Shultz wrote an article praising Tech and Blewitt and if I am not mistaken you did as well Mark. How quick that flip occurred. I on the other hand have been calling for ole Paulies head for 4 + years. Finally this cause has some momentum.

Jackets2010

February 16th, 2010
12:38 pm

I am just curious if there is a Tech coach in football or basketball we do not remember better than they actually were. I could even go all the way back to coach Alexander who wrecked his team for a few years by, get this, removing scholarships because the team got bigheaded after the Rose Bowl. In the sixties Dodd was being criticized for kicking on third down after a blown game to Texas A&M to which he remarked that “he knew when to kick on third down” though most wished he would give it up.
When I mention it was a mistake for Dodd to pull Tech out of the SEC for any reason, I always get angry arguments that he had to in order not to run off players. He should have stayed and fought the rule and it was changed a year later.
What I dislike about the Hewitt situation the most is his contract. MB’s post made more sense of it yesterday but an anuual renewal is still a crazy idea.
This reminds me of when Cremins was given the boot.
Now many forget they were so angry about Tech’s underperformance in the big dance that the situation got as negative as it is now.
I don’t see why we didn’t add Mark Price as an assistant as any price.

NoCoach Blewitt

February 16th, 2010
12:40 pm

Will Mfon and Chumpert score tonight and can we keep the turnover total under 20 should be the questions

Diablo69

February 16th, 2010
1:49 pm

Can’t Paul Johnson just coach the basketball team for the rest of the season? I mean he’s not really doing anything right now. Just bring him in as the interim coach until we find someone long term.

On a different note there has to be some way out of this redonkulous contract. Can we get some arbitration up in here?

Rock On......

February 16th, 2010
2:51 pm

Unless I missed a matchup I believe GT is teh only ACC school that plays Duke, UNC, Clemson, and Wake twice each year. I know UNC is down this year but I find it strange nobody has mentioned this fact. GT will have a winning record against all those teams combined if they win tonight(which they should easily) regardless of what happens at Clemson. That is impressive and should keep GT ranked high in the RPI.

All teams go through slumps especially the youngest team in the NCAA (GT). GT will beat either Maryland or Clemson on the road, probably Maryland. Hewitt will take this team to the NCAA’s and could be a sleeper. Get ready for more years of Hewitt on the Flats. Given his contract(it auto renews people and you can’t fire him without chucking more money than it is worth) and young squad Hewitt is going nowhere.

OMG

February 16th, 2010
4:20 pm

The excuse “This is Young Squad”. The current resoter is not young, we have:
PG – Junior Moe Miller
SG – Junior Lance Storr
SG – Sophomore Iman Shumpert
PF – Junior Gani Lawal
C – RS Sophomore Brad Shaheen

Beside Lawal, I think these players were under develop. While in High School, each of them a decent player on their HS team and has certain strength. For Example: Lance is a good 3-point shooter, Brad has a good Mid-Ranger shoot, and Moe Miller is a decent PG.

I still watch GT basketball because of the NAME in front of the player jersey.

Can't Doitt Hewitt - Marshlander

February 16th, 2010
4:26 pm

Loving Tech but not “Can’t Doitt Hewitt”. He admits he can’t communicate with players? What’s that saying about a coach. Doesn’t know how to maintain a game ending/saving timeout in close games and expends many within one minute of start of the second half or when his team is on a run. What is he doing at halftime? His one year wonder dude (recruited to save his job) looks like he needs 5 years of “Hewitt” coaching to make it to Italy. Didn’t content last second inbound passs vs. UT a year ago and has barely learned. Can’t coach an inbound play one either end of the court. Sorry but it has been four years to many. Goodbye spells best for Hewitt and the Tech Nation. (Maybe he can join the KC Chiefs as a motivational guru or do they already have one (?) and please don’t go to C of C and mess that up(!))

AJC says Sweet Sixteen a must. Didn’t know they called it that in the NIT.

Rock On......

February 16th, 2010
5:41 pm

You can look it up guys. GT is the youngest D1 school and can easily rotate 3 freshmen playing at any time. Carolina is close too. Learn to love Hewitt because unless he goes somewhere else GT is stuck with Hewitt. They simply can’t afford to fire him.

PN

February 16th, 2010
6:20 pm

I can assure you, Hewitt’s job is safe at GT. He is going no where. While I agree that he pretty much stinks given the talent he recruits, his contract is basically fire-proof. Our only hope is that he resigns, which won’t happen.

Bill

February 16th, 2010
6:53 pm

If your team is fatigued, perhaps playing Sheehan 7 minutes or so will help. And give Foreman and or Storrs about 3-5 each. That will keep your better players fresh and hopefully out of foul trouble. If Udofia is lost, just give Miller more PT. Not a real difficult call…well, not for most coaches. Hope everyone gets tonight is must win without a doubt. 5-7 at maryland Sat is scary, even if MD will be playing their 4th game in 8 days. In fact, win tonight and Tech catches Md at a good time…..of course, Hewitt may negate that advantage if he coaches as poorly as he has last 2 weeks.

CatsFly

February 16th, 2010
7:03 pm

Should the SEC lose its automatic NCAA BB bid?

BigDawg

February 16th, 2010
7:41 pm

We Run This State! Get ready for regular a$$ whoopings in all sports now that we have our first true basketball coach since Tubby bolted for bluer pastures. Oh well, at least you have a beautiful and safe campus with lovely southern belles, NOT! hahahahaha, yellow with envy, eh??