Hokies hope to take advantage of Tech’s 3-point defense

The coach of the next team that will get a crack at Georgia Tech’s defense said he doesn’t know why the Yellow Jackets have had issues defending 3-pointers this season.

“But I hope we [hit them],” Virginia Tech’s Seth Greenberg said. Georgia Tech (9-9, 2-3 ACC) will host Virginia Tech (13-5, 3-2) at 9 p.m. Tuesday at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

The Yellow Jackets are last in the 12-team ACC in 3-point field goal defense. Teams are hitting 39.5 percent of those shots. Virginia torched Tech on Saturday, hitting 66.7 percent of its 3-pointers, including 7-of-8 in the first half.

They were the ninth team this season to surpass the 40-percent mark against the Yellow Jackets. Teams aren’t just barely surpassing that level of shooting, they are burning up the nets. Northwestern hit 63.2 percent of its 3-pointers. Georgia hit 54.5 percent. Mercer hit 55.6. Clemson hit 78.6.

Tech coach Paul Hewitt said in 25 years he’s never seen a team run into so many hot-shooting opponents.

“Some of it is bad luck and some of it is we have to make players put it on the floor when we run into those hot streaks,” Hewitt said.

Tech did that in the second half against the Cavaliers. Virginia’s 3-point percentage dropped to 42.9 percent in the second half, still high but much lower than the first-half rate.

The good news for Tech is the Hokies aren’t a great long-range shooting team, hitting 33.6 percent of their 3-pointers.

“I can’t tell people why have shot the ball well,” Greenberg said. “They are extremely aggressive, as Paul’s teams often are.”

While the Hokies may not be the most accurate shooters, they make up for it by being very good defensively. They are first in scoring defense (59.7 points per game), third in the league in field-goal percentage defense (39.4) and 3-point percentage defense (31.3). That success is due to a switch to a zone defense that Greenberg said better fit the team’s skills.

“We  try to limit people to one shot as often as we can,” Greenberg said. “We try to guard and make people take a good shot.”

It will be yet another challenge for Georgia Tech, which is struggling to shoot. The Jackets are last in the ACC in field-goal percentage (41.9) and 3-point percentage (30.5).

But Tech plays much better at home than it has on the road. The Yellow Jackets are 7-2 at home and have blown out their last two opponents, Wake Forest and North Carolina, by a combined 55 points.

“We’ve got another challenge,” Greenberg said.

– Doug Roberson, AJC

40 comments Add your comment


January 24th, 2011
11:34 am

GT is ranked 336th in the nation in 3pt defense. There are only 9 teams in all of college basketball below us. I’m pretty sure anybody could take advantage of that. Just ask Spencer Dixon or Dustin Ware, or Northwestern’s entire team. If Malcolm Delaney has a hot hand then we are in serious trouble.

GT fans hurting

January 24th, 2011
11:46 am

The problem with GT is Paul Hewitt………..he can always make excuses after game but don’t know how to coach.. are he would stop the problem and not make excuses.
Fire Hewitt and the fans return and support the program.

A lifetime is a long, long time.

January 24th, 2011
11:46 am

If a Tech basketball game is played, and nobody cares, did it happen??


January 24th, 2011
11:50 am

Hewitt said that he would have the team wear jerseys without the team name on them so the hokies wont shoot so well. It sure beats trying to coach better

GT Dude

January 24th, 2011
12:01 pm

All I can say is that it at least it’s a home game so there is a 30% chance we win,
if it were on the road it would be only 5%


January 24th, 2011
12:02 pm

Our team looks slow. We don’t seem to have the quickness to compensate on the press or it responding to challenging the 3 point shot.

Obviously, whenever you lose (which we do often), there are reasons you lost. What I want to know is what do we have to do to win? This year’s team does not have the makings to compete at a high level and occassionaly will win at home,

Our offense has not motion, no energy, and consists of Shumpert dribbling and going one-on-one. Oh well


January 24th, 2011
12:06 pm

Hewitt after the VA loss- “when they ga tech on the jersies they don’t miss” No, it is called ACC and most d1 players will hit open threes- how about getting a hand in the shooter’s face


January 24th, 2011
12:06 pm

Tech coach Paul Hewitt said in 25 years he’s never seen a team run into so many hot-shooting opponents.

In 25 yrs I’ve never seen a coach that couldn’t teach his team to defend the outside shot.

It ain’t luck for the other team Paulie, it’s you not having your guys in place to defend them.

There is way too much talent on this team to be playing this bad.


January 24th, 2011
12:15 pm

Talent is there on this team, Coashing is not. Why not pick the hottest Highschool coach in Atlanta, pay him $200,000 to coach the rest of the season. Sith CPH’s rear at the end of the bench to observe. He can have his $1.35 million for life, sitting at the end of the bench.

Come on D-Rad, do something. And dont laugh at this proposal and the other couple hundred that are pouring in. You owe it to these players and their families to step in and make a statement NO EXCUSES

Paul in RDU

January 24th, 2011
12:22 pm

CPH thinks that the reason opponents 3pt FG % is so high is that they just get hot when they see GT on the jerseys? Oh boy!
Roy Williams loses a game and he blames himself. Coach K loses a game and he makes some changes in scheme. CPH loses a bunch of games because of outside shooting and he thinks it is bad luck.


January 24th, 2011
12:27 pm

There is ALWAYS an excuse for Blewitt…if he and my wife got in the same room, I’d like to see who would win in the excuse department….


January 24th, 2011
12:37 pm

CPJ does have a point that I did wonder before he even made that statement. Seriously, if you put most college teams in the country unguarded in a 3-point shooting drill, you will not see anywhere near the 60% range, that’s a fact. Think about free throws – not guarded. Some teams struggle to do much better from a lot closer in night in, night out.
With that said, when a team is running hot from 3-point range, CPJ has got to get his team to do better on the perimeter. The big problem which he has had for years is that they are very susceptible to the dribble-drive and then kick out due to lack of defensive quickness stopping the drive!


January 24th, 2011
12:49 pm

Turnt, CPH not CPJ. I think if CPJ was coaching the bball team they would be able to defend better.

Other coaches adjust, play schemes that better fit their personnel. CPH knows 1 scheme and if it doesn’t work with his players then Oh well.


January 24th, 2011
12:52 pm

The Conyers School for blind Nuns could shoot 3-pointers agaist Tech!


January 24th, 2011
1:18 pm

it is called playing a zone sometimes!! oops Hewitt doesn’t know what that is-just playground ball!!


January 24th, 2011
1:52 pm



January 24th, 2011
2:47 pm

Teams like Wisconson, Penn State, BYU.. what you wanna bet that they hit at least 60% of their 3’s in practice! But Hewitt recruits players like Udofia, whos main attribute reads “can hit a mean layup!” So of course hes probably never seen any team in person hit 60% in practice!


January 24th, 2011
2:57 pm

I wonder about Rice JR, and if he could be as good as his dad if he actually hustled and looked like he cared. You can look at him and can tell hes always had everything given to him. I wonder if he has the gymrat mentality it would take to play in the NBA, or if he just thinks that will be given to him on the merits of his father.
Rice JR… wipe that smirk off your face, and HUSTLE! Then MAYBE you can be HALF the player your dad was!


January 24th, 2011
3:00 pm

Mr editor: so if a black person came on the blog and said “blacks dunk better” .. that would be considered offensive also then …right? freakin Politically correct pansies.


January 24th, 2011
3:15 pm

Thanks Born2Buzz! @BravesFan – Race has nothing to do with this. There are plenty of black pros that can shoot from outside, plenty of white guys who dunk well. Stereotypes don’t really push the conversation forward. I think Glen Rice, an incredible shooter, had a totally different game than his son who is actually more athletic and a slasher, but not as good a shooter.


January 24th, 2011
5:19 pm

That’s been Paul Hewitt’s mantra lately…”Some of it is bad luck and some of it is we have to make players put it on the floor when we run into those hot streaks.”

Bad luck indeed! God forbid Hewitt would blame bad coaching.

Wolley Stekcaj

January 24th, 2011
6:01 pm

It is almost as if Hewitt says these things and fails to prepare his team so that he will be dismissed and collect his gigantic buy-out. Some team in the Northeast will hire him, it certainly appears that he simply wants to be relieved of his miseray in competing in the ACC. He knows he will not be able to win this conference as long as Coach K. is at Duke, and all the other coaches remain at their ACC school. I don’t like for someone to lose their job, but he seems to want separation as much as Tech fans want to separate from him!


January 24th, 2011
6:08 pm

2011 HBCU Draft Board – WRs (1-5)

1. Raymond Webber 6′2, 218 WR Ark-PB
AP/FCS All-American, Walter Payton Award Finalist
led NCAA 101 rec. 1,429yds 10TDs 129.9ypg.
only receiver w/ more receptions is Jerry Rice.
Coach: Monte Coleman (don’t be stupid on this one)

2. Ricardo Lockette, 6′3, 199 WR/KR FVSU
2009 DII 200 Meter Champion
23 rec./232 yds. 4.39-4.41/40yd. dash
Mentor: Terrence Mathis – track guy

3. Ronnie Childs 6′2 195 WR Albany State
BASN All-American, All-SIAC, SIAC Champ 11-1
45 rec./ 22ypc./12TDs – (all he does is catch TDs)

4. Jeremy Franklin 6′3, 199 WR/KR JC Smith
3x All-CIAA, JC Smith All-time leading receiver
55 rec/823 yds/5 TDs – fierce, beats up DBs.

5. Larrone Moore 6′0, 185 WR/KR Delaware St.
25 rec. 450yds 4TDs, 18.8ypc – another track guy
2x Maryland 4A 100m champ, 55m Maryland State champ
4.29-4.36/ 40yd dash (has Deion-like speed)



January 24th, 2011
7:21 pm

While i critized Rice earlier, i think he might be part of a Final 4 run 3 years from now if we land a top PG and a center with more size. Rice has a good shot, but hes gotta keep working on his game if he wants to play at the next level. GT’s players just need to play smarter…. stay around .500, and somehow sneak in the NIT. That would be a successful season for this year.


January 24th, 2011
10:51 pm

GT will not make the NCAA or NIT this year and Hewitt will be fired prior to March 15th when his contract rolls over. You can make book on it.


January 24th, 2011
11:19 pm

It ain’t the “hot hands” of other teams that is an issue — they wouldn’t BE hot if we were in their faces.

Marietta is a nice place

January 25th, 2011
6:13 am

negative, Negative, NEGATIVE

Jacket for Life

January 25th, 2011
7:06 am

Born2Buzz – You must not have watched GT football at all this year if you think CPJ could defend better. I am hoping CPH will at least avoid a losing record which will be better than football this year. Let’s whip the Hokies tonight!


January 25th, 2011
7:59 am

And Jacket for Life, remind me again how many championships CPH has won? Or how many years he’s been with the program. People like you get so old bashing the football program. One bad year, and every single bandwagon fan in the world is about to jump off a cliff. Well, to those people, we don’t need your support. Hewitt won’t finish with a winning record, we won’t make the NIT, and with any luck, we will fire him before March 15th.


January 25th, 2011
8:13 am

I am a GT fan and as such have to pull for the Hokies to win tonight. Have to pull for everyone else but Blewitt..Can’t stand this guy. The only way we move forward is to lose. Sad commentary, isn’t it???


January 25th, 2011
8:58 am

Unfortunately, Yurtle is right. The only way to get rid of PH is for the Jackets to lose. Too bad for the players (except that they do get a free education).

The dilemma is when the Jackets finish around .500 but don’t make the tournament. Bad but not bad enough to fire PH.

[...] Yellow Jackets having problems defending the three [...]

Tech fan

January 25th, 2011
10:11 am

@Dadgum – dont think he’ll be fired this year. I think it would be too hard to recruit a new coach when we aren’t even going to have a home court next year. But I’d be surprised if CPH ever coaches a game in that new building. I think he’ll be gone after next year.


January 25th, 2011
10:18 am

What’s the over/under on the number of times our defenders will foul Malcolm Delaney 45-90 feet away from the basket in a bonus or double bonus situation? I say at least 3 times. I guarantee we lead the conference in fouls committed.

Greenberg is basically telling Hewitt he going to play a zone defense. It’s usually 2-3 zone and they’ll also play a match up zone. I wonder what types of plays Hewitt has drawn up to take advantage? We always struggle against teams who play zone defense.

Va Tech is down to 8 scholarship players due to injury. If we don’t full court man to man press them from start to finish, then Hewitt deserves to lose this game. My prediction is we’ll get down by double figures in the first half due to hot 3pt shooting and silly fouls sending the best free throw shooter in the conference to the line. However, if we press then I believe Va Tech will wear down in the second half and we’ll make a run. It going to come down to if we can finally defend the 3pt line and find a way to attack their zone.


January 25th, 2011
10:45 am

When Hewitt first came to Tech he played an aggressive man to man defense, pressed full court and constantly rotated players. It hard to shoot 3 pointers when a hand is in your face. The fire apparently is gone.

Maryland Jacket

January 25th, 2011
11:39 am

I don’t think we can afford to fire Coach Paul Hewitt right now. Remember those nice construction projects? And as for blaming others, I do believe that he said that it was his fault practices weren’t as intense leading up to the virginia game.

In any case, I’ll be there tonight. Call it a “show of we want him gone” if you want, but it was freaking embarrassing to have at least half the fans at the unc game support unc. That, to me, is even more of an embarrassment: a fickle fanbase.


January 25th, 2011
12:18 pm

I will not pay to watch a Paul Hewitt coached team again. Win or lose!
Maryland Jacket the embarrassment is Paul Hewitt not the “fickle fanbase’. If staying home will help fire PH then do it!

East Cobb Hokie

January 25th, 2011
12:58 pm

Thanks for the cheap tix Jackets. Paid $10, and now see thay are going for $6. Just like football I guess.

Jacket for Life

January 25th, 2011
1:47 pm

GT Phenom – Biggest football fan there is and love CPJ. Not sure where your anger comes from. Just get tired of all the lack of support for GT hoops. CPH and CPJ careers have started the same – CPH did get into a National Championship game in his first 4 years that I doubt CPJ will, but I do not expect that. CPJ has things going in right direction and I will be rooting tonight for CPH to do the same thing.

OldTime Jacket

January 25th, 2011
2:24 pm

Jacket basketball fan for 40 years. The Cremins years were my favorite, but Hewitt has put up similar results. Cremins had 10 NCAA appearances in 19 years and one Final Four, Hewitt 5 in 10 and one Final 4 (Final game). Bosh, Favors, Jack, Young, Morrow, Lawal – Tech basketball is still exciting! Come on Real Jacket fans – let’s support Hewitt and take down Va Tech tonight!!