Tech’s problems in the paint

For a while, Georgia Tech couldn’t stop opponents from hitting 3-pointers.

Now, the Jackets have stopped those shots but they can’t stop teams in the paint.

Maryland scored 72 of its 74 points in the free-throw lane or at the free-throw line in Sunday’s 74-62 win. That came one game after Virginia Tech scored 52 of its 57 points in the lane or at the line.

Coach Paul Hewitt said he thought the way the Terrapins scored was much different than the Hokies scored. He said his guards did a good job of manning up on Virginia Tech’s guards on the perimeter. However, the Terrapins were able to blow by Tech’s guards and get into the lane with ease. Hewitt said he talked to his team about guarding the Terps off the dribble, but Maryland had no trouble, scoring 48 points in the paint.

“I thought the effort was good,” Hewitt said. “I look at effort in a couple of different ways. Of course there is the physical effort, but then there is the mental effort and gritting your teeth and thinking, ‘OK, they want to score at the rim, let’s make them do something else.’ Forty-eight points in the paint makes it tough to win a basketball game.”

Maryland coach Gary Williams said his guards were having trouble in the first half in half-court sets, so they tried something different to get Tech’s guards to back down. The extra benefit was the ability to drive to the basket.

Afterward, Iman Shumpert was talking about the team’s offense but he may have as well been describing the defense when he said, “We just weren’t ourselves tonight.”

Now for the good news: Virginia Tech and Maryland combined to miss 16 of their 17 3-point attempts. It was the first time in 407 games that the Terps didn’t hit a 3-pointer. Opponents were hitting an ACC-best 39.5 percent of their 3-pointers before the game against the Jackets. Now they are hitting 38 percent of those shots.

Tech was playing without two important players: Forward Brian Oliver (flu) and reserve center Nate Hicks (appendectomy).

“Having Nate might have helped, but I thought we had enough to win this game,” Hewitt said. “I was very confident because of how we were playing and attacking our assignments over the last few games. But give Maryland credit because it is one thing to talk about mistakes that you make, but the other team has to take advantage of it.”

– Doug Roberson, AJC

39 comments Add your comment

Outside Observer

January 30th, 2011
11:20 pm

5 guards on the court at once against a team with an All-ACC caliber C/PF spelled disaster from the beginning.

Fire Paul Hewitt

January 30th, 2011
11:24 pm

I’m totally shocked – really, shocked


January 30th, 2011
11:28 pm

I’m shocked. I tell you shocked!!!

Get some flow, hit a big shot, and Hewitt calls time out.


This could hurt our run for the bubble.


January 30th, 2011
11:41 pm

Just more of the same BS from Hewitt..Rads needs to get off his A@@ and fire Hewitt..

How much more do the fans have to take from Hewitt.


January 30th, 2011
11:47 pm

Outside Observer pretty much nailed it. This was trouble from the start. Especially with Hicks and Oliver out. Overall we didn’t play that bad though.

Buzz off

January 31st, 2011
12:00 am

Another example of Coach Hewitt’s work. Forget the New Building, get a damn Coach.


January 31st, 2011
1:29 am

The problem is not in the paint unless the coach is standing in the paint.


January 31st, 2011
3:29 am

So, can we stop with the delusional “Tech can get to the big dance if…” and “Can Schumpert win ACC player of the year” columns. The only question is “Can Tech finish above .500″ and I say no.


January 31st, 2011
6:35 am

One thing I don’t get: if Oliver had the flu why was he sitting on the bench with the rest of the players?

Old Gold

January 31st, 2011
6:52 am

Stop blaming our great coach!


January 31st, 2011
8:03 am

hewett may be bad, but there is no guarantee that firing the coach will make things better. just ask wake forest.

Hewitt is pathetic!!!!

January 31st, 2011
8:11 am

Was at the game last night. Hewitt is such a bad coach. He never makes any changes based on whats going on in the game. Being short handed it would have made more sense to play some zone. Also playing Miller and Holsey together ensured we would have to play 5 guards most of the night. DRAD please fire him before the next rollover.

W Reid Whitaker

January 31st, 2011
8:43 am

I always wonder why Tech continually can’t hit free throws. It hurts almost every game.

Yellow Britches

January 31st, 2011
8:57 am

Do you ever wonder rather anyone in the athletic department gives a rats ass that fans are in the seats? Honestly, aren’t we all just a studio audience providing a backdrop for the TV audience and revenue. If fans mattered week day games wouldn’t start after 9:00. I say paint fake fans on the backs of empty seats and pipe in some sound track or cheers.

Always a Jacket

January 31st, 2011
9:03 am

The problem is NOT in the paint. It is in the GTAA head office.


January 31st, 2011
9:20 am

Doug thinks a 30% decrease in bball attendance is small. LOL


January 31st, 2011
9:20 am

Just when i was thinking perhaps Hewitt was doing a better job of coaching this year, we cant even throw the ball in bounds in the 2nd half when they pressed. Pretty sad for a team with so many guards. Does GT even know what a bounce pass is? The pass from Holmsley to Udofia that went flying out of bounds is a perfect example. All power and no touch on passes is a bad thing in basketball.

Go GT!

January 31st, 2011
9:27 am

Hey Hewitt is pathetic!!!! i guess you really dont know anything ’bout basketball – they did play zone…


January 31st, 2011
9:32 am

Heluva great job! Give Bewitt another million. Let Drads kiss PH’s butt and the fans stay home. Makes me really proud to be a GT fan. Everyone in USA is laughing at us ( GT ). No wonder dawg fans makes jokes about GT’s program.


January 31st, 2011
9:36 am

GO GT!….not much of a zone if you can’t stop plays in the paint!

PH has still got to go!

William Casey

January 31st, 2011
9:36 am

I thought that GT played reasonably well last night, though lacking the energy in the final ten minutes that they’ve shown recently. My only gripe with CPH is that he seemed to let the game get away from him during the 15:00-10:00 minute marks in the second half. Call time-outs! All that being said, Gary Williams is an excellent Coach and Jordan Williams is a stud. Favors or Lawal would have made a huge difference vs. Maryland. Oh, well. GT did play hard. The team has not given up.


January 31st, 2011
9:50 am

This team is currently (In January) playing much more like the final four team of a few years ago. We are playing defense, getting a lot of steals and running when we can. Being down two players really hurt us last night. I would be much happier if we could win on the road.

My patience is running thin with the coach, but I do see a lot of improvement since Kennesaw.

the buck stops somewhere

January 31st, 2011
9:56 am

Explain the strategy wherein you attack the full court press with your point guards (Udofia or Mo Miller) standing on the other baseline and use your center to assist in bringing the ball up….


January 31st, 2011
9:59 am

another football recruit bails after committing. nice
both programs are a joke


January 31st, 2011
10:30 am

Lets go get SAM Mitchell of the New Jersey Nets. Hes a Georgia guy and derrick Favors says hes a great coach.


January 31st, 2011
10:59 am

I would hesitate to call Nate Hicks “an important” player.


January 31st, 2011
11:13 am

If the Maryland game doesn’t move ADDR off the dime, nothing will! Nothing short of a Final Four appearance should save PH’s job now!


January 31st, 2011
11:30 am

Georgia Tech just sucks all the way around!!!!!!!!


January 31st, 2011
11:51 am

Does it matter if Iman wins ACC PoY, especially if the team doesn’t make the field for the NCAA tournament — which at this point seems almost certain to happen?


January 31st, 2011
12:25 pm

I like Mo Miller but for two things – lazy passes and his determination to drive to the basket. how many times in the past four years has he done this only to get stuffed or lose the ball. I believe I have only seen him make one layup in this period and he has never gotten fouled. Enough already!

Where is the coaching? Oh, I forgot. But you would think he would either have learned this by now or his teammates would have said something to him.


January 31st, 2011
12:39 pm

Doug: The problem starts with the coaches. Tech hasn’t been able to hit free throws for the last few years.

Paul Hewitt

January 31st, 2011
12:42 pm

Okay Doug, you have a point. Good idea–next practice we will work on free throws. Then I’ll spend the rest of the time practicing calling time outs.

Doug Roberson

January 31st, 2011
12:53 pm

For argument’s sake: you would then blame phil jackson and pat riley because shaq can’t hit free throws?


January 31st, 2011
12:59 pm

This blog should read:

Tech’s problem on the sideline in the head coaches chair


January 31st, 2011
2:13 pm

Miller, the center, is starting to look like a basketball player. Surprisingly athletic. Not to be confused with Mo Miller who must have dirty pictures of Hewitt or something to get all the playing time and be so bad. Hewitt has been pushing this kid for several years now taking out the hot player so Miller can fumble around clueless. We need a playmaker, someone that can run the offense. Shumpert is a wonderful 2 guard, he shouldn’t have to play point.


January 31st, 2011
3:59 pm

No, Doug, I wouldn’t blame Phil Jackson or Pat Riley. We’re talking about a team, not an individual. Tech’s issue with free throw shooting is a team issue, not individual. I still think it goes back to the philosophy of getting athletic guys instead of basketball players. As bad as Coach Hewitt and his staff are at coaching fundamentals and team basketball, is it any surprise that they don’t shoot free throws well (another fundamental)?


January 31st, 2011
5:51 pm

After the 1st half I actually was praising the job Hewitt did. To keep the game within a bucket while playing 5 guards was commendable. But then the 2nd half blues came on. Yes, it is Hewitt’s fault that our inbounds play does not have any screens involved. Shumpert seemed to have read how he might be ACC player of the year and basically played with his head up his rear all night.
And RAMBLE ON!, you are so right. We knock down a shot and cut it to 3 with 4 minutes left and Hewitt calls time out. Why? So we could set up the press? You should be able to set up a press after a made basket.

As I noted earlier after the UNC game, Hewitt’s ineptitude will bear out over the course of the season. He will be gone after the ACC tourney. And no way is this team making the NCAAs.

ga tech 92

January 31st, 2011
6:17 pm

THEM – Gary Williams
US – Groundhog Day

Delbert D.

January 31st, 2011
6:33 pm

“Tech hasn’t been able to hit free throws for the last few years.”

Bruce Dalrymple could start for this team if he had eligibility remaining.