Game on: Can the underdog Jackets top OSU?

MILWAUKEE – Game time is rapidly approaching. Today feels special. Eager to see what happens, as I’m sure all of you are. And I’m even wearing a skirt today. Not sure what’s gotten into me.

But days like these are why March is special. And the Yellow Jackets are playing good enough basketball to make you think maybe, just maybe they can get past No. 2 seeded Ohio State.

The odds makers don’t think so, of course. They have the Buckeyes favored by 6 ½, I’m told. But hey, I’m sure they didn’t have Northern Iowa over Kansas either, and after that game last night, you figure, truly, every team in this field has to understand now that you strap up and play, and either team has a shot to win. This one-and-done thing is no-fooling. And it’s interesting as, well, heck.

While we wait it out, I’ll throw out this little factoid. Ohio State is 26-0 this year in games in which it held the lead with five minutes to play.

The Buckeyes are steady and have a great leader in Evan Turner. If there’s any way Tech can rattle him like the Jackets did James Anderson, Ohio State might not have the lead with five minutes to go. But it’s hard to see that happening from such a level-headed quality leader.

From what the Ohio State media said yesterday, Turner was as frustrated Friday night as he’s been all season (while going 2-for-13), with all the physical riff-raff he was taking from UC Santa Barbara. But I see Tech playing him more straight up, going on speed and athletic ability. And I can’t see Turner having back-to-back wobbly games.

So if Tech is to win today, you figure it’s got to be because the Yellow Jackets outplayed Ohio State even when the Buckeyes were good. Know what I mean? And the way the Yellow Jackets came out against Oklahoma State, they were playing as well as we’ve seen them all year. No turnovers for the first seven minutes. Unbelievable from the free throw line.

It’s hard to imagine they’d repeat that 24-for-25 from the line, but you know they’ll be confident from the stripe. They have a big size advantage inside once again, and we didn’t see Derrick Favors go off Friday night like he did in the ACC tournament. Could today be the day? We shall see.

Peacock, Oliver: threes anyone?

You have probably noticed Zachery Peacock has been a little chilly from the floor lately. The senior forward is 2-for-his-last-17 field goal attempts dating back to the Maryland game in the ACC quarterfinals.

(He did have one basket erased against Oklahoma State in the aftermath of a loose ball scramble when Paul Hewitt called a timeout. It ended up being the right call, as Tech got the shot clock reset to 34 seconds, ran more time off the clock and came away with two points on Iman Shumpert free throws anyway.)

Peacock is 0-for-his-last 5 from 3-point range, including 0-for-3 from 3-point range against Oklahoma State, and as I recall he had some really good, open looks.

He made a 15-foot baseline jumper and a short range jumper against the Cowboys, and went 4-for-4 from the free throw line. But couldn’t it make a big difference for Tech today, if Peacock got back to his old ways and hit a couple of those big shots, especially with OSU’s defense packing in on Favors and Gani Lawal?

It would work just as well to see Brian Oliver do the same. He’s 0-for-5 from 3-point range since the Maryland game. He said defenses are playing him out on the 3-point line much tougher than earlier in the season, and he’s adjusted by showing more a mid-range game. That works well too, but his strength is the deep ball, and it could help Tech in a big way today.

Enjoy the game today. This is what it’s all about.

17 comments Add your comment

legendary hoopsjonesman

March 21st, 2010
1:45 pm

come on 2:20. really glad the team has come together at this point of the season. And while it is is perhaps too early to start making too many comparisons to 2004, it is interesting that it was the Duke game in Cameron that year (a rare W for GT there) that the potential for this nicked-up bunch became apparent. Kind of like a week ago when we were within a shot (and a couple of phantom second half calls that gave Scheyer and Singler 5 FTs) of beating Duke for the ACC crown. And of course there’s the coincidence of Milwaukee, a bracket with Kansas (NOT!) Northern Iowa, Oklahoma State . . . keep it up guys– players and coaches and play your best game of the year again today. one step at a time gets it done- defense defense defense.

Buzzzed

March 21st, 2010
1:55 pm

Go Tech. Play smart, not sloppy and win the dern thing! Beers iced and waiting for 2:20.

Daniel

March 21st, 2010
2:01 pm

Top 5? Go Tech!!!

Paul

March 21st, 2010
2:14 pm

glw

March 21st, 2010
2:18 pm

almost game time. agree with the assessment, I doubt Turner will have 2 bad games in a row. It will be more difficult to stop here than James Anderson for Okla. St because Turner always has the ball in his hand. I think Tech can slow him down with Shumpert, but also would like to see Rice, and DeAndre Bell on him at times to really wear him down and maybe we can steal it at the end. Go Jackets!!!

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2010
2:22 pm

Tech shows press early. Turner misses first J

jacketlover4ever

March 21st, 2010
2:47 pm

looks like we came to play

kegiee

March 21st, 2010
2:53 pm

Carol:

Both you and Mark Bradley have been covering the Jacklets since Thur in Milwaukee and yet I have not seen one quote from Hewitt in either of your pieces web or print, why???????

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2010
2:58 pm

I quoted Hewitt in my Shumpert-Turner story. I didn’t in the gamer only because the players seemed to illustrate my points more succinctly. That’s all.

Jacket13

March 21st, 2010
3:02 pm

Many people blame the coaching for Tech’s problems, but their players basketball IQ’s are very low. They do the dumbest things. The turnovers, the bad passes and the bad shots, like that one by Gani Lawal. The look like they are a ESE basketball team.

Jacket13

March 21st, 2010
3:13 pm

What was Udofia doding on that last defense posession? Its really initeresting that the officials are not calling the slaps and bumps that Ohio State is doing but the are getting Tech for every call. That last play Shumphert was slapped on the wrist and nothing was called but they called the push off on him.

Jacket13

March 21st, 2010
3:16 pm

Hewitt Needs to keep Udofia on the bench!!!!! This guy is clueless right now. He needs a summer to get his head together. That last defensive play he just left the player wide open under the basket. The officials will take this one away from Tech today. they arent getting any of the calls. They took Favours out of the game with crappy calls and now the entire Tech starting lineup is iin foul trouble. How many does Ohio State have?

hawks

March 21st, 2010
3:21 pm

Techs athletes are not coach well, and i hope none of them think they should go pro because they need alot of time to develope. They are terrible,it makes me sick!!!!

Corliss

March 21st, 2010
4:47 pm

It’s time for Paul Hewett to go. He’s nothing but a shuckster/snake oil salesman. These guys average 15 turnovers a game(got@least that many today). This should have been the year that they won the ACC(r/s or c/t)with the league clearly down this year. Their offense has NO flow/rhythm to it & despite their “youth”; w/the 1 & done rule, a LOT of teams are “young” and don’t underachieve or look THIS bad. The crown jewel Derrick Favors was apparently poorly coached in high school & under Hewitt………Anyway,if he’s smart, he’ll stay for@least 1 more year though it seems unlikely. For all this “talent” that GT seems to get every year, maybe another h/c is needed to develop it & get them to play as a disciplined, cohesive unit: which Hewett clearly hasn’t done(at least since the title run in San Antonio; which seemed eons ago). Something HAS to be done.

P. Johnson

March 21st, 2010
5:04 pm

Go techies!!! RAH RAH RAH—–All eleven of your Atlanta fans are cheering for you !!!!!!

PissonaBug

March 21st, 2010
5:06 pm

To answer your question, why hell no! gtu’s thugs were not tough enough for the Buckeyes.

THWGT!!!!!!!

mussTARD fuzz

March 21st, 2010
5:51 pm

yallar jackits is going to the final lick off.