Tech tries to buck the road trend at Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – It’s “fear the turtle” time for the Yellow Jackets, who are back in a precarious position – on the road. It’s been extremely unkind to Georgia Tech, which is as you know 5-1 at home but 1-5 on the road.

Down to four games in the ACC, Tech (18-8, 6-6) needs to forget about recent road woes and just play well. That’s hard to do against a Maryland team which has great, experienced guard play, and despite a recent blip at Duke, has proven itself one of the strong teams in the ACC.

The Terrapins (18-7, 8-3) are tied for second in the ACC with Virginia Tech, a team the Yellow Jackets have awaiting on March 6, their final regular season game.

Tech is ranked seventh in the ACC, two games behind Wake Forest which in the fourth spot. That is something coach Paul Hewitt made it sound like Tech is eyeing leading into the today’s game. He basically said the Yellow Jackets have to win this game if they want to get that first-round bye in the ACC tournament.

Starting lineup

Glen Rice Jr. will make his second consecutive start today in place of Mfon Udofia, who has faded lately, but at least showed some life in Tech’s win over North Carolina on Tuesday. (Udofia ended a streak of four games without a field goal when he scored in a layup off a steal. But he still has taken three shots or fewer in each of Tech’s last six games.)

Rice had five points in 27 minutes on Tuesday against UNC. He was active on the defensive end, which is what Hewitt was looking for, with a block and two steals.

The two players who’ll be most interesting to watch today will be Moe Miller and Iman Shumpert. Miller has been a steadying force of late with double-digit scoring in his past two games. He’s had seven assists and five turnovers, to go with 10 rebounds against Wake Forest and UNC.

Shumpert hasn’t played well in four of Tech’s last five games (the exception would be his 14-point second half against N.C. State). Tech really needs him to find some rhythm – either at the point or at the No. 2 spot if Miller keeps showing the most poise at point. It’s hard for Tech to win without him on his game, and it’s no coincidence that Tech lost three of those four games he’s struggled through.

Making matters tough, and at the same time crucial, Maryland has such great guard play. If you don’t find a way to match it, you’re sunk. The Terrapins lead the ACC in assists (16.4 per game) and assist-turnover ratio (1.34) and they are third in turnover margin (plus 3.3). The Terrapins are coming off a win over N.C. State on Wednesday in which they committed a season-low seven turnovers.

The Yellow Jackets will need to be active with their hands, getting those deflections Hewitt loves to keep track of from the bench.

One little area of vulnerability for Maryland might be the fact that the Terrapins are playing their fourth game in eight days because of a makeup game they had against Virginia on Monday. This is Tech’s third game in that span. We’ll see if Tech tries to press more today to see how weary Terp legs are.

Fear This Turtle

Greivis Vasquez is always interesting to the watch. The senior guard is the third-leading scorer in the ACC (18.8) and needs just five points to reach 2,000 points for his career. Vasquez will become the first player in ACC history to reach 2,000 points, 700 assists and 600 rebounds. He’s a guy you love to hate. It looks like to me, though, like he’s mellowed with some of his emotional antics over the years. But we’ll see if he’s fired up by his home crowd today.

I did get a kick out of something said about him during the Duke-Maryland game – that he loves playing at Cameron Indoor Stadium because the students taunt him in Spanish. (He’s a native of Caracas, Venezuela.)

Hewitt said it’ll take a team effort trying to contain him, no one guy will draw the assignment throughout.

One final thought before I hit the send button and make my way out to the court…Maryland is 5-0 in ACC play at Comcast Center this season (12-1 overall), and 5-1 against Tech in this building all-time. The Terrapins have beaten Tech eight straight times.

Is today the day all that stops? It would take one of Tech’s best efforts all year.

366 comments Add your comment

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
1:57 pm

I wish Hewitt would deflect himself out of GT!!

Todd

February 20th, 2010
1:58 pm

Bradley or Schultz should say live from college park…GA. doing the game from a sports bar. That would be funny.

Tech has no chance today. Blowout city by Md.
88 71

Carroll Rogers

February 20th, 2010
2:07 pm

Kudos to the student crowd here Duke. They got Duke beat by volume and they’re around three quarters of the court, not just the one length of the court now at Duke in the end zone. Plus the student section goes on into the upper deck behind one goal.

off we go

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:07 pm

Win or Lose…another day, another painful game to watch…always true with a Hewitt-coached team. No fun….and lots of disappointment.

Carroll Rogers

February 20th, 2010
2:08 pm

the yellow jerseys for Maryland – ick

Carroll Rogers

February 20th, 2010
2:10 pm

Looks like Iman is coming out shooting today. Just going to make it happen

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:15 pm

We should already be up 10 pts, but like any other Hewitt-coached game, the guys are playing down to the talent level they are against. Rushing one-on-one shots, when a couple of passes would give a dunk or a wide open tres.

Carroll Rogers

February 20th, 2010
2:15 pm

Scott Van Pelt is here….So is Lefty.

Steve T

February 20th, 2010
2:16 pm

Carroll, it really irks me that Hewitt starts a game without a point guard. I would prefer to see Miller at the point with Udofia backing up. But we really struggle with Shumpert at the point. Arrgggg!

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:16 pm

7 Offensive rebounds….no finishing !!!!!

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:17 pm

Just yuck, yuck and more yuck….grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory…

Steve T

February 20th, 2010
2:18 pm

A measly 4 points in over 5 minutes! …And Shumpert is still leading the way!

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:18 pm

Post play is so good. NOT

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:18 pm

What’s funny is I knew the game would be like this, but I still tune in. Why do I hate myself like this?

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:20 pm

Gary Williams…the opposite of Paul Hewitt…

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:21 pm

Even a blind squirrel

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:22 pm

Does anybody else not see we have MUCH more talent here? But you wouldn’t know it from the score.

Stu

February 20th, 2010
2:22 pm

This team looks so confused.

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:24 pm

This half court offense continues to be offensive….what is it?????

NoCoach Blewitt

February 20th, 2010
2:26 pm

why is CHUMPert still playing all these minutes??? I rather have Deja Foster in anyone but Iman. Shooting 20% from the field thus far ….at least we are still in it FOR NOW ……I again have laid down some bills on a Tech road game and looking forward to reaping the rewards …. THX again Blewitt

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:27 pm

Just AWFUL….what a waste of potential….Coach Hewitt: you owe GT family an apology a lot more than Tiger owed the public an apology!!!!

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:28 pm

Enter your comments here

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:29 pm

I’m so flabbergasted watching this JOKE that I accidentally posted nothing, but that is what Hewitt gives us and his players:

NOTHING

Steve T

February 20th, 2010
2:30 pm

Well, at least he finally put in a point guard. No, wait……he put in 2 point guards now, Miller and Udofia???

NoCoach Blewitt

February 20th, 2010
2:30 pm

BamaRamblinWreck …….. I feel the exact same way ….. I know I will be pulling my hair out for 2 straight hours and yet I still tune in to the Blewitt Experience ……. maybe a shrink could tell us why we like to torture ourselves twice a week

I have been able to stay away from AMC but always tune in. Just dont want to show up an support the worst coach in D-I BB.

Steve T

February 20th, 2010
2:31 pm

Doesn’t it seem like PH kept Shumpert in as long as he wasn’t playing well, and then we he started scoring he pulled him out. This is typical. He leaves in kids who are struggling and pulls them when they are playing well.

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:31 pm

Has anyone heard of a bounce pass into the post?

NoCoach Blewitt

February 20th, 2010
2:32 pm

I wish Epic Beard Man (EBM) would beat down Paul Hewitt for his second bout

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:33 pm

NCB: I just cannot believe that this nightmare continues, year in and year out. I would appreciate it if our A.D. would at least make a public statement that he is not satisfied. I guess that is counterproductive, but this never-ending cycle has to stop!!

NoCoach Blewitt

February 20th, 2010
2:33 pm

Carroll …..anyway you can try to convince Blewitt that the Clemson game is at home???? …… We could probably win that game if he would stay away from South Carolina

Stu

February 20th, 2010
2:34 pm

Just like the announcers said, Favors has a 6′4 guy trying to guard him and he’s not getting the ball at all. Worst coached team I have ever seen.

NoCoach Blewitt

February 20th, 2010
2:35 pm

Hey Chumpert look at that ….. you actually passed the ball inside and now we have a chance at a 3 point play ….

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:36 pm

Wow!!! They got a pass to Favors….even a blind squirrel

NoCoach Blewitt

February 20th, 2010
2:36 pm

Cant get a rebound then Gani has a wide open dunk and he stands there for 3 seconds til the D gets there….. here come 2 bricks

NoCoach Blewitt

February 20th, 2010
2:37 pm

Boy our press is so effective it leaves the opponent with a 3 on 2 EVERY TIME ……. okay i have seen enough time for some Olympics for awhile

RC

February 20th, 2010
2:39 pm

GO TERPS !!!

NoCoach Blewitt

February 20th, 2010
2:39 pm

I wonder where Mrs. Hewitt ( I mean technophobia) is today

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:40 pm

Why guard the 3? just keep letting them have ‘em with no defense.

RC

February 20th, 2010
2:40 pm

GO TERPS !!!!

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:41 pm

Our team motto;

“Another empty trip for the yellow jackets.”

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:43 pm

I cannot adequately describe how bad Hewitt’s coaching is. It is beyond description. Most jr high coaches understand basketball better than this man.

NoCoach Blewitt

February 20th, 2010
2:44 pm

How can Blewitt continually see people kill our terrible press and STILL can not figure out how to beat one ………. Better get Chumpert and/or Bell back in to turn the ball over a few more times so we can get down double digits by halftime ……why is Moe basically riding pine again???

NoCoach Blewitt

February 20th, 2010
2:46 pm

I see we are hitting our FT percentage average for the year already ….. too bad it is a pathetic 50%

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:46 pm

Bounce PASS!!!!!!!!

Artie

February 20th, 2010
2:46 pm

Road game = another loss for the Jackets!!!!

NoCoach Blewitt

February 20th, 2010
2:46 pm

Bell 3 turnovers …Brilliant ….keep him in Blewey I am sure he will figure it out eventually

AlabamaRamblinwreck

February 20th, 2010
2:47 pm

Schumpert’s passing has no touch whatsoever.

NoCoach Blewitt

February 20th, 2010
2:48 pm

Bell should not play more than 5 minutes a game …. Chumpert tops at 10 minutes ….. THE FREAKIN players that should be playing are Miller, Mfon, Rice, Oliver, Favors, and Lawal …..that is it barring injuries or foul trouble …. once in awhile bringing in Chump or Bell just to give rest for a couple min

Stu

February 20th, 2010
2:49 pm

Standing around doing nothing. This team is LAZY just like it’s coach.

Carroll Rogers

February 20th, 2010
2:49 pm

Tech is getting killed on the defensive glass. that’s at least two baskets Maryland has scored on its third try