Tech’s defense comes through again

Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said the difference in his players’ defensive performance against Virginia Tech, and the one in the previous game at Virginia, came down to details.

A game after the Cavaliers became the ninth team this season to hit more than 40 percent of their 3-pointers, the Hokies missed 10 of their 11 attempts in Georgia Tech’s 72-57 victory on Tuesday.

“We’ve been talking about being more aware when you’re off the ball,” Hewitt said. “We have a tendency to lock in on the ball, which is why we get a lot of steals. The second half we did a much better job of recognizing when our man was off the ball and recognizing who the shooters were when they were off the ball.”

Because Georgia Tech sometimes focuses too much on the ball, defenders would lose track of their man, which would allow him to slip into open spots. The Hokies were able to find some of those areas, but they couldn’t make those shots.

No one had a tougher time than Malcolm Delaney, one of the ACC’s most dangerous scorers. Harassed by Iman Shumpert, Delaney missed eight of his 11 shots and finished with eight points, 10.9 points less than his season average. Shumpert said he tried to deny Delaney the ball, often forcing him to go past the 3-point line to catch it.

“I think we played him tough and when I needed help I got it,” Shumpert said. “We played him hard at the basket and we went up there and contested every shot.”

As a team, the Hokies made just two jump shots. In a statistical oddity that’s the reverse of the trouble Tech has had guarding 3-pointers, 52 of Virginia Tech’s 57 points came in the free-throw line or at the free-throw line.

“They played hard and did a good job contesting the shots,” Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said.

In their past three home games, Tech victories by an average margin of 23.3 points, opponents are making an average of 30.9 percent of their field goals.

“The energy you get [at home] really helps,” Hewitt said. “Our student section these last three home games has been really good.”

Tech (10-9, 3-3) will need another performance like that with Maryland coming to Alexander Memorial Coliseum on Sunday. The Jackets will travel to Miami on Feb. 3, followed by consecutive home games against Clemson (Feb. 5) and Florida State (Feb. 10).

– Doug Roberson, AJC

45 comments Add your comment

GT65

January 26th, 2011
12:30 am

The Hokies beat themselves in 2nd half with turn- overs and just shooting 20%. GT got a break and we’ll take it. Not many fans and everyone know why..PH. The players tonight could have won without a coach, great going team.
Now, I still say “Fire Paul Hewitt.”

Paul in RDU

January 26th, 2011
12:31 am

A smart, hard working and dare I say, well-coached, performance by GT in tonight’s win over VT.
Shumpert was fantastic.

Buzz29

January 26th, 2011
12:45 am

I wish we could play all games at AMC.

Iman had a great game. Triple doubles are rare in college. It’s a first for a Tech player in ACC play.

I want to end my self imposed ban on attending men’s basketball until Timeout Timmy is fired but I think I’ll stick to just attending the women’s games. Coach Jo is ten times the leader than Pushover Paul.

Go Jackets!

Fred

January 26th, 2011
1:03 am

I think I get it now. When we lose, it’s because of Hewitt, and he should be fired. When we play well and win, it’s in spite of Hewitt, and he should be fired.

We’ve won three (more than a lot of people expected for the year) of the last four conference games, all by wide margins, which apparently proves Hewitt cannot coach. Am I understanding this correctly?

5150 P.O.A.D.

January 26th, 2011
1:33 am

Fred
It don’t matter. Hewitt has Stolen enough of TECH’s money to half-azz coach. He needs to go. For all the great games there are twice as many bad games.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by You Post Atlanta, ajcgatech. ajcgatech said: Tech’s defense comes through again http://bit.ly/fJfYkj [...]

Gordon

January 26th, 2011
6:14 am

Give credit where credit is due. Tech played very well, and looked prepared. Now follow it up. We’re going to have to win some on the road to make the postseason.

Ozzy

January 26th, 2011
6:45 am

Keep Hewitt forever! Tech deserves him!

MRBIGUNS

January 26th, 2011
7:48 am

Teh has a very talented team and can play with any team across the country but they have to be prepared and coached. Tech has the athletic ability to beat a lot of teams on athleticism alone but when it comes down to crunch time, Hewitt cant get it done. He has to go. Once he’s gone, Tech will be back to the 20 plus wins a season and the second to Elite-Eight rounds of the NCAA. tournament.

Yellow Britches

January 26th, 2011
8:19 am

Has Georgia Tech athletics ever looked so pathetic? When a basketball team wins a game and there is no one there to witness it, and no one who wasn’t there cares, does it make a sound? Check out the scene in Athens? They have a coach. We don’t. End ot story.

Buzz

January 26th, 2011
8:22 am

Fred and Gordon are you crazy or some of CPH family members????? Fire CPH!!!! DRAD does the empty seats not speak volume???? I would like to say what a great game by IMAN!!! Tripele Double and GREAT defense on Delaney!! Oliver great shooting game also!! I would love to come down and cheer ya’ll on but only when CPH is gone!!!!!

Reality Boy

January 26th, 2011
8:26 am

Yes! Keep hewitt!!!

TechfaninVR

January 26th, 2011
8:27 am

I’m far from a Hewitt supporter and have been watching Tech since the Cremins days. With that being said I can see an improvement in offense this year. The way the ball moves in and out. I wish we could have feed Favors as well last year. So kudos to whoever is responsible for the improved offense.

Gordon

January 26th, 2011
9:15 am

Buzz,

All I said was give credit where credit is due. Tech DID play well last night. I know 3 home wins doesn’t cancel out 5 and a half years of mostly underachievement, but can’t we at least be positive when the team plays well?

RAMBLE ON!!!

January 26th, 2011
9:18 am

TechfaninVR, you haven’t been paying attention to GROUND HOG DAY. We always see improvement this time of the year…problem is, the year is more than half over.

No need to get excited, we still have road games and Coach Phewitt.

bee sting

January 26th, 2011
10:02 am

Gordon there is a difference in positive and stupid. Yes, the players played well but the other team suck..so what does that tell you? Hewitt will never win back the fans!

Ok..thanks coach for our $7 million win!

Road Scholar

January 26th, 2011
10:11 am

Congrats to Iman and the Tech team. I watched the game last night and Iman played under control for the whole game. I wish I could say the same on Rice and some others, but all are playing more as a team than anytime before.

I didn’t notice any glaring issues with Hewitt last night. No stupid time outs, etc.

Iman, you have turned into the leader I thought you could become; best of luck against Maryland.

BravesFan79

January 26th, 2011
10:27 am

Watching the UGA game, and then watching the GT game… the GT crowd was pathetic! Im not sure if Hewitt will ever win the fans back over, but i still believe that GT could be one of the top programs in the country if Hewitt would just swallow his pride, and hire a TOP assistant coach. Someone whos a ex-head college coach. Or bring in a “special assistant” for 1 year or 2. Someone like a Lefty Drisel, or a Bob Knight. Someone with name recognition to get fans back in the seats and the program is trying to improve!!
As for this year, GT making the NIT would be a sucessfull year after how the year started.

GTBob

January 26th, 2011
10:29 am

Ive been a CPH critic for a while but he had the team ready to play last night. The defensive schemes were setup well and the offensive schemes, particularly attacking the middle of the zone were also effective. I would like to know though how we can be so much better at home. We get beaten pretty good by VA on the road and then come right back and beat a better VT team by 15 at home.

GT Midtown Fan

January 26th, 2011
10:32 am

I have been a life long GT basketball fan and I wish that the Hewitt bashing would stop. You have to look at all of the facts that are involved in the current status of the GTMBB program:

#1 – This is a very young team. There are only 4 upper classmen on this team (2 seniors & 2 juniors). Out of these 4, only 2 play a significant role on the team (M Miller & Shump) and only 1 has started all 19 games. Total upper classman min’s 1101 (957 of them are M Miller & Shump). Total under classman min’s 2749. There are always growing pains when you have a team this young and the Jackets have taken more than their fair share of lumps this season. However, you can see this young team start to develop and grow as the season has progressed. This type of improvement does not happen without sound coaching.

#2 – The team lost 2 key players early to the NBA (Favors & Lawal). Lawal and Favors accounted for a combined 25.5 PPG and 17 RPG. Can you imagine what type of team we would have this year if these two guys stick around?? You cannot blame PH for this and it also makes it very tough to build a program when you are not able to keep your 5-star players for 4 full seasons.

Its a shame that certain “so-called” GT fans are boycotting this team because you take issue with the coach. I respect that this is your right to support or not support the team. If you are on this blog, I assume that do consider yourself a strong GT supporter.

If you are able look past some of the teams early setbacks, you might see what I see – A young team that is starting to grow and that plays hard everynight on both ends of the floor. I would like to see some of this same intensity on the road from this team and I believe that we will.

If you are a true fan – then come out on Sunday night and fill the Thriller Dome and get behind “Your” team! Last night’s game was as entertaining of a CBB game as you are going to find and this team deserves your support!

IL Jacket

January 26th, 2011
10:32 am

Well said Gordon. This is a young team with a lot of athleticism but undersized. Having lost a large proportion of our scoring last year to the NBA, it is not surprising that it has taken a while for the team to learn it’s identity and play the type of defense CPH is looking for. To those of you who comment on the athleticism and say CPH is holding them back, simply ignores the reality that we would not have these athletes without Paul. Go Jackets!!

GTJason

January 26th, 2011
10:38 am

Dear Brian Oliver,
The season started in November. I guess showing up late is better than not showing up at all.

In all seriousness we were having issues at the half and Hewitt made some changes. After that the mistakes came because of Daniel Miller’s foul trouble and the fact that Holsey isn’t tall enough to play center. This win is just as much Hewitt’s as it is Shumpert’s for the triple double.

I just don’t understand why the team is like a 5 year old child in that they need their hands slapped for something every 5 minutes and then they do the right thing. There is no reason with our athletic guards anyone should be shooting 3’s on us like they have been. Points in the paint I understand, beyond the arc no way.

GTfan

January 26th, 2011
10:52 am

Dream on IL and Midtown..
IL said, would not have these players without Paul Hewitt? Give me a break. We may have better without him..who wants to play for Paul Hewitt?

gotech

January 26th, 2011
11:03 am

Nice to see the killer finishing towards the end.

GT Midtown Fan

January 26th, 2011
11:04 am

GTfan – and you call yourself a fan?? These players clearly are growing under Hewitt. Look at the development of Daniel Miller. Shump has grown into a All-ACC player. Clearly you are not watching and with your attitude…who needs a fan like you!

IL Jacket

January 26th, 2011
11:25 am

GTfan, now you are just acting delusional. Favors was the #3 choice in the draft last year and Thaddeus Young was a high pick his year. GT is not going to get even better players-that is just silly and you know better. Have you been to a game and seen our size-I was shocked at how undersized we are. Its understandably having lost our front line to the NBA. If you were objective you would admit the team is better now than at the beginning of the season, which is attributable to the coaching.

TechfaninVR

January 26th, 2011
11:28 am

I remember something in the offseason about Tech installing a motion offense. I think that it was on full display last night. Again, I’m far from a Hewitt supporter but I think he is doing one of his better jobs this year. Lets face it, recruiting is not the problem with Hewitt. IF he can figure out some solid schemes to bank on then we could be dangerous.

Dooner

January 26th, 2011
11:28 am

This is a young team that played good, smart defense last night. Kudos to this bunch and Hewitt. If we are going to criticize them when they don’t play well then we need to praise them when they do. On the football side we MUST get McCollum or else it is a bust.

Bobby Cremins

January 26th, 2011
11:30 am

If you ask me I will come back ;)

IL Jacket

January 26th, 2011
11:34 am

Dooner, I guess I haven’t been following. Who is McCollum and why is he so important?

buzz-off

January 26th, 2011
12:15 pm

Yes, Hewitt’s great at one and done……..

GTfan

January 26th, 2011
12:30 pm

I’m watching. We’ll see who is right. Attitude has nothing to do with it. Hewitt is killing Tech’s PR doing more harm than good. Just look at the empty seats.
Midtown & IL got to be family of PH.

GTBuzz85

January 26th, 2011
12:32 pm

Midtown. What you said is good and true. My issues are different. There are 2 glaring problems: Attendance and Mental Discipline.

It is humiliating to see an empty Thriller Dome! It being empty means no program excitement or momentum. This doesn’t happen in one season based on a young team. It happens over several years of bad play. My son is a senior and didn’t bother paying his athletic fee because the games are so pitiful to watch. This is a kid who loves Tech sports.

The lack of mental discipline has been a part of Tech BBall for several years as well. That is why they always find a way to blow a game even if 3/4’s of it was played well. Yes, this years team is young and could be why the mental problems. But you can’t say that over the last several years. History then proves that there is more of a problem with the program than just young players.

Yurtle_the_turtle

January 26th, 2011
1:42 pm

Geez GT MIdtown Fan, it’s ONE freaking game! I’ve been a fan since the early 80’s, so don’t rollout your pompous “be a fan” attitude on me! Phewitt sucks and I have the feaking numbers to back me up! Do you really want to get in a fact-based battle with me? All you have to do is open your eyes and see ALL the people in the stands last night. I for one will NOT attend another game until this guy is gone. I’ve written the Athletic Department and no money is coming from me until they do the right thing and fire Phewitt. Wait until we go on the road….

IL Jacket

January 26th, 2011
2:57 pm

No, GTfan having met Paul, his family and the families of several of the players over the past several years, I am just a big admirer. I guess in my opinion, and I realize not everyone may feel this way, the way the head coach represents the Institute and the way the players reflect the Institute’s values are important to me. In an era where there is so much boorish behavior even among college coaches, Paul has never caused me to be ashamed of my connection with Tech. For that I am very appreciative.

GT Midtown Fan

January 26th, 2011
4:06 pm

Yurtle – It is of my opinion that you support your school/team no matter what. No where in my post was I attempting to be pompous or claim that I am a bigger fan then the next person. If you wish to put some facts or “feaking numbers” as you put it, on the record, then be my guest. None of the facts that I posted can be disputed. When you say Coach Hewitt “Sucks” – what do you mean by that? Your post is nothing more than a factless rant. My point is that if you are a true GT Hoops fan then come out and support the kids on the floor – they have been playing their butts off despite the lack of fan support from fair weather fans who have a personal vendetta against the coach.

GTBuzz85 – I agree that seeing an empty Thriller Dome is tough to swallow, especially when you consider that this is the last season ever at this historic arena. The mental discipline should improve as these young players start to mature. Hopefully your son will come around and attend some games.

GTfan – For the record I am not related to PH nor am I even a graduate of GT. I grew up in ATL and am merely a loyal fan.

Yurtle_the_turtle

January 26th, 2011
4:50 pm

GT Midtown Fan… I’ll start with one fact that you don’t seem to be looking at. GT under Phewitt is 31-86 on the road (non-neutral sites). THAT is one indicator that Phewitt sucks. I would like to see the seats not only remain empty but actually get more empty until we get rid of this disgrace of a coach. This one fact (losing record away from home) alone cannot be disputed either. Your “facts”are that Lawal and Favors jumped to the NBA. How did Phewitt coach up their talent? Was Tech better because of their presence? A real coach would have worked their talent into the offense and we would have won more games rather than be a 10-seed in last year’s tournament. Phewett had 2 NBA talented players and couldn’t coach them any higher than a 10 seed. That is why he sucks. Shall I post how many tournament victories he has? How many ACC tournament victories he has? How many championships he has won? How many players have gotten better after they left his “coaching”? Listen, if you want to be a polly-anna, fine. I’m not supporting this guy and my kids (who want to attend) haven’t been either. I’d rather drive my kids to Athens and let them see a real coach in action.

Born2Buzz

January 26th, 2011
5:02 pm

GTBuzz85 – a student not paying his athletic fee? That’s pathetic. Don’t tell me the kid loves GT sports then. What the hell else does he have to do?

I’m not a Hewitt fan. His track record speaks for itself. But last nights game was fun to watch, as were the previous 2 home games. The kids are playing better and getting an idea of how to compete, learning their roles. This team has plenty of talent and Shumpert is maturing into a complete stud.
I still blame Hewitt for the inconsistencies & the bad losses to poor teams earlier in the year, but I have to admit that they played well last night, at least in the 2nd half.

Sadly, the empty seats say too much against Hewitt. I can agree that Paul has always represented the Institute well and he is a good man, but the coaching record speaks for itself.

Now, all Tech fans, Hewitt is not getting fired today. These kids are playing hard and trying to compete. Let’s support them for the the rest of the season and just enjoy some good college basketball. The games would be even more fun if the AMC was packed and loud. So Buzz85, tell your kid to go scalp a ticket and get in there if he loves GT sports.

Chuck P

January 26th, 2011
6:23 pm

I’m a season ticket holder and always will be. I didn’t attend a couple of games in December, but always watch the games against the ACC teams, even when I doubt our ability to win with a lack of talent or effort.
Folks, if you didn’t bother to attend the last three home games, you’ve missed the best overall effort in a few years. The defense against Virginia Tech last night was outstanding! The guys were working the ball around for open shots too. Now it really comes down to whether somebody gets hot shooting….and if so, look out!
My point is, whether or not you feel Hewitt should leave, you should attend the games for this group of players. I can honestly say that this team has shown a lot of improvement and really hustles when on the court. They DESERVE a full house!

GT Midtown Fan

January 26th, 2011
6:51 pm

Amen Chuck P! I am glad that I am not the only one who see this team coming together. Come out and support this team – they are starting to play some good ball! Lets fill the dome on Sunday night!!

Wolley Stekcaj

January 26th, 2011
8:31 pm

Doug, I have been very critical of Hewitt and have not changed my mind that he needs to go, but I must give credit to him for the appearance of putting life into this team. I think he may have just turned them loose and said go get it .He has nothing to lose with this approach.

I still think he needs to go and I think we will stall the rest of the year, but if I am wrong I will be a stand up guy and admit it. My guess is that I will be able to bitch about him the rest of the year!

Yurtle move to athens

January 26th, 2011
9:31 pm

I watched fox this year. He beat tech by one point during techs worst stretch of season. Send your money to uga. Favors is not tearing up NBA his first year. I guess they cannot coach there either.

GTBuzz85

January 26th, 2011
10:26 pm

Born2Buzz – He is married, working his way through school, and has been on the Deans List every semester. He utilizes his time wisely which doesn’t include watching a team that may or may not show up to play on a given night.

Fire Paul Hewitt

January 27th, 2011
11:58 am

I am a season ticket holder and GT Alum and I will be rooting for Gary Williams Sunday night because he is a real coach. The only way GT gets out of this funk is for him to be fired. You can blast me all you want about how horrible that is, we should support the kids, etc. Getting rid of Hewitt is for the long term good of the program. I feel sorry for any kid that has to play for him.

Jackets

January 28th, 2011
9:11 pm

At least you know you are horrible rooting for Williams. Send your money and support to another program. GT is a great school and deserves much better than you.