N.C. State, Maryland next for Tech

Greetings-

Hope all are well. An eyebrow-raising result against Duke for Georgia Tech has led to an intriguing pair of games for the Yellow Jackets. They’ll go on the road to play N.C. State Wednesday and then Maryland Sunday.

A couple thoughts on the 81-74 loss to Duke on Saturday. It’s still a loss, the fourth in a row, but it was about as well as Tech has played this season. Duke missed some shots it normally makes, I think, which helped the Jackets stay in the game after falling behind by 18. Still, Tech showed resolve, made some plays at both ends and had a chance to tie the game with 2:58 to play. Considering that Tech had lost its three prior games, including one to Fordham (Sagarin rating: 242), it was not exactly what I’d expected coming in.

A terrific game from guard Glen Rice Jr., 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range.

“Once he got going, he really was really good,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said following the game.

Point guard Mfon Udofia and backup Pierre Jordan played well, and I think other players had their moments, like center Daniel Miller, forward Kammeon Holsey and guard Jason Morris, but were uneven to varying degrees.

“I do think Pierre helped us out quite a bit,” coach Brian Gregory said. “He’s a guy that gave us 14 really good minutes.”

Anyway, I think they make the two games ahead this week a little more worth paying attention to. One thing Gregory had said last week prior to the Duke game was that focus had been lacking in the losses to Mercer, Fordham and Alabama, and that he wanted to see the team play and fight harder. The conditions for the team to focus and fight were optimal Saturday and may not be better for another game the rest of the season. Duke was a top-five team and Tech was playing at home in its first ACC game. It would have been difficult for the Jackets to not be at their best from a motivation standpoint.

“You scratch your head and say, ‘How can you have 22 turnovers against this team?’ or ‘How can you get out-rebounded by that team?’ and, being honest with you, that’s where we’re at right now,” Gregory said. “We need to continue to do it every day to find that consistency as a program.”

N.C. State is 12-4 and beat Maryland in its ACC opener Sunday. The Wolfpack have beaten the teams they’re supposed to beat and lost to the teams they’re supposed to lose to, with the possible exception of a win over Texas.

Maryland is 10-4 and has beaten Notre Dame and played Illinois close, but isn’t overwhelming. The Wolfpack and Terrapins also have new coaches (Mark Gottfried and Mark Turgeon, respectively) and were picked just ahead of Tech in the preseason ACC poll. (N.C. State at 8, Maryland at 9 and Tech at 10.)

If the Jackets can play with the energy that they showed Saturday, they have a shot. If they don’t, they really probably don’t. Whether Tech can re-produce that level of effort will be a telling progress report, perhaps even more so than the Duke game.

“That’s one of the biggest challenges we have right now, is when you rely solely on talent, you’re going to be inconsistent,” Gregory said. “We have some talented players and we’re going to keep bringing in talented guy, but it’s that daily work ethic and that commitment to each other, that is the difference between the (best) teams. Always has been, always will be.”

52 comments Add your comment

Crazy Robert

January 9th, 2012
7:11 am

Crazy Robert

January 9th, 2012
7:13 am

Sure hope the team gained some assurance they can play in the ACC this year. Still a lot of sloppy moments but also some really good ball movement. Look forward to seeing them mature under coach Gregory.

atlantafanatic

January 9th, 2012
8:29 am

gotta hope what we saw against Duke was progress. But I’m not on board yet.

Hewitt Fan

January 9th, 2012
8:57 am

Im going to sit back, relax and watch the worst hiring in ACC basketball history for the next 2 years, he will be gone very soon!

Paul in NH

January 9th, 2012
10:06 am

Worst hire in ACC basketball history? Worse than Bob Wade, Matt Doherty, Sidney Lowe, Steve Robinson, Bob Staak???

GTBob

January 9th, 2012
10:34 am

Hey Hewitt Fan. I’ve missed you. Do you still think Gregory will never get any quality recruits at GT? As for the team, hopefully the Duke game gave them some confidence after the rough stretch before it.

5150 UOAD

January 9th, 2012
11:31 am

hewitt fan is blowing his horn again after Blewitt beat Ga State? Hahahah. I guess the Loss to DUKE was expected right Hewitt Fan? I mean the REFS are all DUKE and Coach K fans so nobody can beat DUKE.
How many Atl Celtics were convinced to go with BLEWITT to George Mason?

blazer

January 9th, 2012
11:45 am

Hewitt’s run and jump defense would have let the Dukies beat us by 35!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hewitt Fan

January 9th, 2012
11:56 am

It’s people like you who make the Tech fan base look so bad. Show some support for your team and new coach. He’s doing everything he can to bring life back to a clearly dead program and in your case grouchy old fan base. I’m a Tech alum, but it just bothers me hearing comments like yours.

Supersize that order, mutt

January 9th, 2012
12:26 pm

Just win ONE ACC road game this year and Gregory will eclipse anything Blewitt did in his last years at Tech. ONE, that’s all we need. We know that the overall record this year won’t be very good, but ONE road win will make me happy as he*l

Skeezix

January 9th, 2012
12:50 pm

The Duke/Tech game was the first time I have watch Tech under the new coach. Tech put up a great fight against Duke and never quit–a very positive sign. Let’s hope they can get up for every game like that–home or away. Going on the road in the ACC is the real test. It is always tough– as the rookies on the Duke team found out.

Demon Deac

January 9th, 2012
1:11 pm

Hewitt Fan

January 9th, 2012
8:57 am
“Im going to sit back, relax and watch the worst hiring in ACC basketball history for the next 2 years, he will be gone very soon!”

Who knew that Hewitt Fan was actually a Wake Forest supporter.
http://acc.blogs.starnewsonline.com/19850/19850/?tc=ar

William Casey

January 9th, 2012
2:13 pm

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT GT/DUKE GAME:
1. Effort & resillience by the Jackets.
2. Less forcing of the inside-out thing (basic idea is OK)
3. Allowing Udofia to play off the ball some (Mfon & Pierre in game at same time)
4. Rebounding
5. More transition, pushing the ball. REALLY helps Udofia & Morris.
6. Recognition that Rice is the “star” and letting him off leash some

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:

1. Losing the game.

Coach BG is doing a good job under difficult conditions. Hope he continues bringing in former players. Would like to see NC game team meet with this year’s team. Recruits +Poole look good.

silkshaft

January 9th, 2012
2:20 pm

@Hewitt Fan

How many times did you buy a ticket and attend GT Hoops when Paul was HC?

If you actually attended games over the course of CPH’s tenure, you would have noticed that he began losing support from the fan base 3 or 4 years before he left Tech. It hurt to go to the UGA game at the Tit only to see 1/3 of season ticket holders in seats at the beginning of the game and max attendance at 1/2 capacity.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, many can’t see why you’d find it necessary to continue your low brow diatribe.

CBG will need some time to show what he can do with the program – let’s hope he can build a consistent winner and get Georgia Tech basketball back on the national map.

ormewood

January 9th, 2012
2:28 pm

It’s pretty easy for a team to be fired up and focused against Duke (or UNC). It’s something else entirely to do so against NC State and Maryland. Fact is, the Jackets are just not deep and talented enough to compete on a nightly basis with the top 7-8 teams in a mediocre ACC. When’s the Wake and BC games?

Bobby C

January 9th, 2012
2:38 pm

Give this Gregory guy the benefit of the doubt. He is going to be a good coach, you have my word on it. I never cared for that Hewitt fella. He showed reverence for what the coach before him was able to accomplish and he treated former players like crap.

Bobby C

January 9th, 2012
2:39 pm

I meant he showed NO reverence. I should always let Caroline do the typing for me.

Flyer Fan

January 9th, 2012
2:42 pm

Just stopping by to read what the locals think of your new (our former) coach…make no mistake, BG is a really good guy who will not embarrass your program with scandals/bad behavior and will work hard to embrace your traditions…all good…he will probably even upgrade your recruiting some. Now the downside…he will be exposed as a poor X & O coach by other ACC teams very soon. (See Fordham loss…A10 coaches know what’s up.) Great guy, but unless he augments his staff with better game planners and let’s them work…you will do well against non-league opponents, but be mediocre in your league. This was an OK hire at best for you guys…I guess the “big boys” leave it to mid-majors of the world to identify and prove coaching talent. Flyer fans appreciate what Gregory did here…but it was time for him to go. We are thrilled with our upgrade to young Archie Miller…it’s amazing what he’s been able to do with the talent Gregory left behind. He’s the kind of guy our fan base would like to see stick around for 8 years, but there’s no way we’ll be able to keep him beyond 4-5 years.

AMG

January 9th, 2012
2:58 pm

Hewitt Fan, Did you see the recruiting class for next year? Do you have a clue how well CBG is doing? Sit back and stop typing, you don’t know what you are talking about.

DawginLex

January 9th, 2012
2:59 pm

I was impressed with Tech against duke

I hate duke

I do have a question for T3, who repeatedly has bashed Calipari at UK yet all he can write is stuff others have said.

How does Tech accept a transfer from UK who was recruited by Calipari since the kid obviously never goes to class, can’t read and cheated on his ACT and was paid by Calipari to attend UK???

HMMM???????

DawginLex

January 9th, 2012
3:10 pm

My point being that the generalizations and stereotypes are wrong that we all spew.

Stacy Poole is obviously a bright talented kid or he wouldn’t have been able to get into Tech or UK for that matter.

Kent

January 9th, 2012
3:55 pm

An Inconvenient Truth

US News Ranking
GT: 36
UGA: 62

Endowment Size
GT: $1.5 BILLION
UGA: $600 million

Avg. Starting Salary
GT: $59,000
UGA: $44,000

Football
GT: 4 National Titles (1990) Calvin Johnson, Demaryious Thomas
UGA: 2 National Titles (1980) John Kasey, Kevin Butler

Basketball
GT: 2 Final Fours, Chris Bosh, Derrick Favors, Thaddeus Young, Jarrett Jack
UGA: 1 Final Four.

Baseball
GT: Mark Teixeira, Nomar Garciaparra, Kevin Brown, Matt Weiters
UGA: Gordon Beachem.

Golf
GT: Matt Kuchar, Stewart Cink, David Duval, Bryce Molder
UGA: Bubba Watzon.

GT is a GLOBAL brand. UGA is a regional brand.

Wal Mart CEO = GT grad
Wal Mart Checkout person = UGA fan

Paul in NH

January 9th, 2012
4:19 pm

ormewood
Nice to see you back on the b’ball blogs. It is easy to get up for Duke and UNC but the impressive part of GT on Saturday was how they came back from an 18 point deficit. Last year’s team, even with an NBA 1st rounder, never camgot it under 20 once they got well down.
BTW – Looks like Ole Roy losing the Wear twins not only improved UNC but also damaged a potential rival in the NCAA tourney.

RAMBLE ON!!!

January 9th, 2012
6:05 pm

Hewitt Fan, you graduated from GT?!?

Yeah right.

LMAO!!!!

Blue Fox

January 9th, 2012
7:14 pm

Tech can compete if/when Glenn Rice shows up to play.

NCJacket

January 9th, 2012
9:59 pm

Hewitt Fan – Who would you have hired? I know… you wanted to keep Hewitt, but you need to set personal feelings aside. You can’t keep a program going by playing under .500 ball in your own conference year end and year out. Can you show me any team in a major conference that kept their coach after having losing conf records for 5 out of 6 seasons?

GT-UT

January 9th, 2012
11:10 pm

After all this garbage on this blog…all I can say is “Welcome to ACC Basketball”.

Jackets 2012

January 10th, 2012
5:55 am

Maybe I should be given free tickets if the coach cannot motivate the team better than he has.
Most Tech fans have laughed at my illusion that Tech plays better when I attend.
The silliness developed when I was young and the one game my parents or grandparents would take me to each season we would pull off an upset like we nearly did to Duke.
Missing those 4 free throws down the stretch really hurt.
We really need a PG who can get Jason Morris going.
Since I have not been able to attend and fire him up.

Tech Fan Plus

January 10th, 2012
6:36 am

Hey Ken, Many of us Tech fans will be paying attention regardless of how the Jackets played in the last game. Don’t judge us by some fans from other schools.

Dawglasville

January 10th, 2012
8:57 am

As much as I would love to respond to Kent’s selective fact posting (I’ve never understood why he leaves out Jimmy Carter for Tech and Chris Carpenter for UGA), I won’t because I’m visiting your blog.

I know this is off the subject but did you die hard fans think Ted Roof was a good coordinator? He just landed at Penn State. I thought he was terrible for Tech and Auburn. I’m just curious what you guys think?

Jim 70

January 10th, 2012
9:14 am

I did not know that mfon wasn’t a point guard in high school, and during the duke game when Jordan was in, mfon did well. As a pg, his shooting is awful, maybe change the lineup and try him as shooting guard.

Supersize that order, mutt

January 10th, 2012
10:21 am

Dawglasville, I agree with you. How, all of a sudden, did Roof get to be such an in-demand DC? I love him for what he contributed as a player at Tech, but as a coach??? I just don’t get it.

Dawglasville

January 10th, 2012
10:45 am

Supersize, I agree with you as a player. I was a big fan (My Dad went to Tech and I grew up going to two or three games a year and hating UGA, believe it or not). He was just lucky enough to coach with two great OC’s at Tech and Auburn.

Tokyo jacket

January 10th, 2012
10:45 am

Dawglasville,

I’ll respond to Kent’s post. It’s stupid and off-topic. He left off the following for UGA: Hershel Walker, AJ Green, Matthew Stafford, Chauncey Billups, Heinz Ward, et al. Again, not at all on topic (but, you know you laughed at the Wal-Mart CEO vs. Wal-Mart clerk, that was funny).

As far as Roof, up and down. While at Tech, we set an NCAA record for consecutive and total games with a defensive TD. We had a very athletic and oportunistic, bend but don’t break D with Roof. That said, we never could stop 3rd and 1 with him and gave up a lot of yards and TDs. If we had had CAG or Tenuta as our DC when we had Hamilton, Dez White, Charlie Rodgers, Joe Burns, and Clay (all later NFL players), we would have won a national championship.

That said, with Roof as the DC and O’Brien as the RB coach/OC, we were the first team non-FSU ACC champion (co-champion) and routinely in the top 15. Both coaches developed all-conference, all-America, and NFL-level talent. I think PSU is actually going to be in really good shape. I expect them to compete with Urban Meyer on a routine basis.

Tokyo jacket

January 10th, 2012
10:58 am

That of course assumes that PSU won’t be playing in the ACC before OSU is off of probation. With Pitt and Cuse now in the ACC, if you added UCONN, PSUs longest divisional trip (BC/Cuse) in the mythical ACC north would be shorter than it’s closest divisional trip in the Big 10/11/12 every other year (OSU/ILL).

Add to that their coach and DC are ACC AND and east coast guys, the they’ve got increasing pressure to divorce themselves from JoePa and Jerry S history (right or wrong), and that they’ve got an overwhelming ACC presence in their school and I’d bet $5 that they’ll be in the ACC by 2014.

Tokyo jacket

January 10th, 2012
11:11 am

Actually, when Roof was at Tech, his defenses were in the top 20 in scoring, pass, and rush yards – not dominant like Bud Foster, but generally effective. Also, when he was at Duke, they went from the 1-teens in total defense to the mid-50s. That’s pretty impressive considering the talent Duke had a decade ago.

Supersize that order, mutt

January 10th, 2012
11:20 am

Tokyo, I am certainly not disputing anything you said, but I just don’t remember us having that good a defense when Roof was there. Maybe I’ve just forgotten. He is obviously much in demand now. for some reason. I wish him the best. And I would LOVE it if PSU were to jump to the ACC. I never understood why they wanted to be in the Big 10 anyway. The team I would really like to have in the ACC though is ND, but that ain’t gonna happen.

RAMBLE ON!!!

January 10th, 2012
11:29 am

Ted Roof was the reason Joe Hamilton didn’t win the Heisman.

We would have won most, if not all of our games that year, if only Roof could have stopped somebody.

Great player, terrible D.C.

yeller bug

January 10th, 2012
11:42 am

Does Tech have any receivers left that can catch a ball? I’m referring to the loss of Melton as Hill was erratic. Who is Vad Lee going to throw to next year?
As for B-ball, CG will eventually get our team turned around, but don’t expect much this year in terms of wins—-successfuly changing mindset and attitude to a team concept will be the gaol this year.

ormewood

January 10th, 2012
12:05 pm

Paul,

How’s NH compared to RDU? Hope you vote today if you’re a republican or independent.

I agree with what you’re saying. Tech’s comeback versus Duke was really impressive and showed that they have some fight and moxie in them. My point is that it’s easy to get fired up when you’re playing Duke and UNC. Heck, one of the reasons Hewitt stuck around as long as he did was because he seemed to own ole Roy.

It’s how you do against the lesser teams, without the national audience and media attention that determines how good a team you have. Obviously, Hewitt’s teams failed in that regard. Save the top two, and all the rest of the ACC teams are beatable with the right mindset and gameplan this season.

Supersize that order, mutt

January 10th, 2012
12:20 pm

RAMBLE ON!!!, I think you remember what I remember about Roof’s coaching at Tech. I was just not impressed at all. I hope he’s changed, and I wish him all the best

Tokyo jacket

January 10th, 2012
2:12 pm

Ramble and supersize, that’s what I was talking about when I said “we never could stop 3rd and 1 and we gave up a lot of yards and TDs.” Everything was good on paper but never really seemed to add up to a great defense. It was the opposite of Tenuta, statistically they were very similar but with Tenuta we seemed to make the big play when it mattered.

Generally, I agree about Joe H. But, don’t forget that Ron Dayne got the lifetime achievement award and that our offense was 1st and G from the 1 in the 4th quarter against UNC and couldn’t push it in. Many people looked at that as the moment that Joe Hamilton lost the Heisman.

IL Jacket

January 10th, 2012
2:28 pm

Tokyo Jacket, my recollection is similar to yours with respect to Ted Roof-we always seemed to be giving up a lot of yards, but I thought we generally did well in scoring defense or maybe it was in the defense scoring. With respect to Roof being a hot commodity, he is very presentable, has a great deal of integrity and understands the importance of academics in the college football setting. Obviously, why Duke gave him an opportunity as head coach. He is the sort of guy who will not embarass PSU and right now that quality is probably better than being the best DC around.

Tenuta was another matter entirely. High risk defense, blitzing virtually all the time(maybe a response to not having a good defensive line) but also giving up a lot of big plays.

With respect to PSU to the ACC, I really do not see that happening. PSU has gotten comfortable in the B1G after being out on their own and the financial benefits of B1G are much superior to what the ACC has to offer, even after the new contract. Geographic proximity also makes it a lot easier on the Olympic sports and there is good competition.

ormewood

January 10th, 2012
2:56 pm

IL Jacket,

Good post. I don’t think that Penn St is leaving the Big Ten either, but actually geographic proximity might tilt slightly towards the ACC. Pitt, Va Tech, MD, and maybe Syracuse and VA are all reasonably close when compared to some of their fellow Big Ten schools. Not even sure which of their current conference foes is reasonably close, maybe tOSU?

IL Jacket

January 10th, 2012
3:42 pm

ormewood, didn’t check all of them, but OSU is 322 miles away and probably the closest. I think there may also be a bit of a midwestern feel about PSU, in terms of values, etc. that makes the B1G feel more comfortable and a lot of those schools were their traditional rivals.

Bobby Cremins

January 10th, 2012
5:15 pm

Hey guys Give it a chance Coach BG will do fine But they will never surpass what I did at tech (BITCHES)

GTLOVER

January 10th, 2012
9:05 pm

Who cares…Fire CPJ and AG now!

Paul in NH

January 10th, 2012
9:42 pm

Ted Roof a good DC at GT?
With Roof as DC in 1999 GT gave up 361 points in 12 games – including giving up 41 to FSU, 48 to UGA, 45 to UVA and 42 to Clemson. With a half way decent defence, GT would have gone 11-1 instead of 8-4 and Joe Hamilton would have won the Heisman instead of Ron Dayne.

stony

January 10th, 2012
10:08 pm

Do any of you guys realize that this article was about the basketball team?

Paul in NH

January 10th, 2012
10:22 pm

ormewood
As a green card holder, I don’t get to vote – although my tax and SS payments go straight through! It’s been a big change from RDU to Durham, NH – colder weather, more rural, completely different accents and phrases (”wicked awesome” seems to be pretty popular). The people are great, but maybe that goes with being in a college town.

I agree with you about the necessity of beating the weaker teams in the conference – and wow, are there some bad teams in the ACC this year. It’s a long way from the 80’s when Dean, K, Lefty, Bobby, Terry Holland, Jimmy V, Cliff Ellis and Dave Odom were coaching in the league.

Even Hewitt’s best teams didn’t seem to be consistent over the course of the year – but for some reason he seemed to own Ole Roy. Hewitt is one of only 2 coaches who have a winning record against Roy in the league. How the heck GT beat a UNC team last year with a front line that will have 3 1st round draft picks is beyond me.