Georgia Tech-Miami wrap

Some thoughts from the Georgia Tech loss to Miami Tuesday night.

1. Offense is really, really struggling right now. Effective ball movement isn’t there, and the guards are having trouble creating off the dribble, which means not a lot of easy shots. As I wrote in the game story, Tech’s rate of assisted baskets (if that is the correct term) is lowest in the ACC at 46.4 percent.

“Our margin of error is so small,” coach Brian Gregory said. “You have to make all your free throws. Every shot around the basket, you can’t come away empty. You need to finish all those and then on the other end, you’ve got to get one or two more stops.”

2. Not a great home-court environment, not too surprising given the game time (9 p.m.) and opponent. The announced crowd was 5,009, which wasn’t very reflective of who was actually in the building. Further, Tech wasn’t playing well, so fans were either quiet or getting on Tech players, some of them rather pointedly. At one point, Miami coach Jim Larranaga yelled at one of the officials to complain about the fact that his team had yet to shoot a free throw 27 minutes into the game, and it seemed like the whole arena could hear him.

3. A couple positives from Tuesday: Tech out-rebounded Miami and turned the ball over eight times after a 22-turnover game against Clemson. Forward Julian Royal had 11 points (on 5-for-7 shooting) with five rebounds. Gregory noted his improvement and his soft shooting touch from the perimeter. He should get some more shots on pick-and-pop plays.

“Our guards are going to have to be able to look for and him on some of that stuff because he’s proven he can make those shots now,” Gregory said.

4. Tech has lost four in a row and it’s not exactly a leap of faith to say it could run to six. The Jackets’ next two are at No. 7 North Carolina and at No. 23 Florida State. However, the schedule softens considerably in the second half, starting with a home game with Boston College Feb. 4, an eminently winnable game. Of the final eight games, there’s only one game against a team with a winning ACC record (N.C. State).

This isn’t exactly a bold prediction, but I think it’ll go better than this first stretch has so long as the team doesn’t falter. The Jackets are playing hard and for the most part defending well, which will keep them in most games. At some point, that will coincide with better shooting games.

“You’ve just got to keep doing things like [rebounding well] and eventually more good things will happen,” Gregory said.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

36 comments Add your comment

William Casey

January 25th, 2012
11:05 am

GT basketball will significantly improve if CBG is strongly supported for 4-5 years. Here is why:

1. He knows how to coach and recruit.
2. Atlanta is an attractive place to go to school for African-American men.
3. The new basketball complex will make all the difference in the world for effort and energy level. Emotion makes a real difference in basketball, especially on defense. No crowd support last night.
4. This year’s team does not have the talent or depth to win in the ACC. Too many guys have to do things of which they are not capable:
– Ufofia is a 2-guard, not a point.
– Rice is an “instant offense” 6th man, not a “star player.”
– Holsey is not big enough to play power forward.
– Miller is ACC calibre on defense, especially away from the basket. Below average offensively.
– Royal will be ACC calibre starter as a 3-4 man, NEXT year.
– Morris has athletic ability but seems to be having a crisis in confidence.
– Reed, Hicks, Jordan do not have ACC levil ability; would be practice players on other ACC teams.

GT will be a veteran team with an infusion of good young talent playing in a brand new facility next year. They should be competitive and could be good if Udofia and Rice accept their roles as senior leaders. The only negative is that there is no true point guard in sight.

Brock

January 25th, 2012
11:07 am

good things happen when you attack the basket, coach. No inside game at all and no one is driving to the goal. Offense is pitiful.

William Casey

January 25th, 2012
11:07 am

“caliber” & “level”– sorry, can’t spell before noon!

Comment

January 25th, 2012
11:23 am

William, your assessment looks pretty accurate there. I think Tech will rebound, but it’s not going to happen against NC or FSU anytime soon, but I’ll watch and root them on. The only thing that bothers me is Udofia’s erractic play at times. Don’t get me wrong, he has good pontential, but sometimes on the fast break you sould pull up before making a boneheaded decision and a following offensive foul. Rice needs to practice free throw shooting, that has cost us in several games and hopefully is only a follow over from the Hewitt days where Tech never shot free throws, ever. Tech will get better.

I really like Daniel Miller’s play. He plays with good consistency and seems to be the rock that Tech needs on the inside.

UGA = Yawn

January 25th, 2012
11:35 am

These are Hewitt’s recruits. I didn’t expect much this year. Apparently, their being able to shoot the ball through the hoop was not a prereq for Hewitt recruiting them. CPG will get recruits that can score. Bank on it. PS: we did score 22 in the 1st half . . . up from the 18 or 19 we typically score lol.

Born2Buzz

January 25th, 2012
12:02 pm

Thanks for your hard work Ken. Sitting through last night should draw hazard pay.
I would not say any game is eminently winnable at this point. Maybe we should at least be competitive against BC. But hell, we should have been competitive against Miami. I think the atmosphere makes it really tough, but the guys and CBG have to fight through that.
I know CBG has some decent recruits coming in but in college ball, and really in all bball, without a good PG and guys that can shoot the outside J, your offense is going to struggle. Are any of the new recruits PGs?
We haven’t had a decent PG since J.Jack left.

Uppity Fan

January 25th, 2012
12:04 pm

You are not going to win many scoring in the forties.

Born2Buzz

January 25th, 2012
12:22 pm

Just listened/watched the post game press conference. At least CBG isn’t making any excuses or lamenting the lack of a home court environment.
But poor Glen Rice had to sit through the whole presser and then take a few obligatory questions. As I stated on the other blog, he looks like a guy wondering how/why he ended up in this place. It’s nothing he’s ever said, just my reading of his demeanor. I can’t blame the guy because I’m sure it’s not what he thought he was signing up for 3 years ago.

But hey, as WC stated, things will improve. Right? Hello? Anybody?

spider

January 25th, 2012
12:27 pm

during football season i was saying cant wait for basketball season. during basketball season im now saying cant wait for baseball seaon. im sure during the 2nd half baseball season i will be saying cant wait for football season and so on.

Buzzoff

January 25th, 2012
12:29 pm

I’m sorry by Brian Gregory Hewitt is not a good coach! I am tired of watching the lack of post play from Daniel Miller and Kameon Holsey. The guard brings the ball into the front court and then passes to the center/forward at the top of the key. This play is run over and over and over again. Miller and Holsey need to be in the post and get position in the post. If necessary, please send me a 2 million dollar check and I will gladly teach this. Free throw shooting is abysmal as usual. I can go on and on. These players have talent! The coach is to blame. Brian Gregory SUCKS and GT baskeball looks like toast to me. 15 years to recover from what I see!

Jacket Dad

January 25th, 2012
1:03 pm

What’s the deal with a 9:00 tipoff? Sorry folks, but you are not going to get anyone to drive downtown on a weeknight at that hour to watch a team struggle. I may sound like a fair-weather fan, but those are just the facts.

Everyone knew this would be a tough season in multiple respects. That is playing out. I am concerned about the coaching offensively – which was a stated concern when Gregory was hired. I do think he is doing his best with the cards he was dealt, but still not a lot of foundation to build on right now.

Sad

January 25th, 2012
1:10 pm

gtfanfrom1951

January 25th, 2012
1:17 pm

its going to take time to build back up this program.

Comment

January 25th, 2012
1:32 pm

Say what you want, but EVERYONE needs to back Coach Gregory, especially through this abysmal year that everyone knew was coming. Give him time.

Paul in NH

January 25th, 2012
1:57 pm

I have to agree with William Casey. GT doesn’t have the players – especially at guard

GTFan

January 25th, 2012
2:13 pm

Unless the performance of this team changes dramatically, the new coach won’t last past next year. Regardless of who did the recruiting, a coach should be able to convince Mr. Rice that it is a team game. A team game does not include uncontrolled plowing toward the basket. I watched Clemson and Miami play last week and thought they were so sloppy with ball handling that Tech could handle them easily. Boy, was I fooled. Tech is not disciplined in their approach to the game and that is coaching, not recruiting, or “new guy”, etc.

Therut

January 25th, 2012
2:21 pm

William, you must work in the Tech athletic dept. You are so right on. Nothing for me to add except you have to teach Miller to go to his left under the basket with a little hook shot-i.e. Kareem a. Jabbar.

Buzzoff

January 25th, 2012
2:29 pm

William and Therut = Dreamers….Get over it…GT is irrelevant in sports now and won’t be again for years to come. Radakovich sucks and so do the coaches he hired!

blazer

January 25th, 2012
3:10 pm

Atlanta would be a good place for any players if they are good!!!

Can we score 50 in a game! Make free throws?

Gordon

January 25th, 2012
3:51 pm

William Casey gives a good analysis above on the first post. The biggest threat at this point is that the team gives up. They just need to keep playing hard. The guy that worries me the most is Morris. He really looks down. I know he has talent but he just isn’t playing well. I predict 12 wins. Next year 16 or 17 wins. After that, we’ll see. Not having an experienced talented true point guard until 3 years from now is what will hold us back. Shumpert would have made all the difference.

Tech Troll 13

January 25th, 2012
4:07 pm

Buzzoff be careful you are about to fall off the deep end.

This team has no “go to” guy. We are playing with a team full of role players and guys that wouldn’t get minutes in normal circumstances. Rice is trying to carry the team, but he soesn’t have the talent. At this time, he is the best we have. The great thing about basketball is that it only takes a couple of players to make a big difference. I know, I used to go to games before Price & Salley showed up. So, don’t give me 15 years to recover. That’s crazy.

As for CBG, I like what I see. He has the team playing hard and when you are overmatched, that is all you can ask. Coaches have little impact on free throw shooting. That is a player/talent thing. I coached for years, and you can practice for hours on eand without much improvement. As for recruiting, he seems to be having an immediate impact on the top players. I feel beter about him now, than when he was hired. I have a lot of respect for Jay Williams and he had good things to say about CBG and the future of the team and I agree. Everythings going to be alright.

William Casey

January 25th, 2012
4:20 pm

@BUZZOFF: Sorry, I know that I shouldn’t feed trolls who have nothing to offer, but I want SOLUTIONS rather than “these guys suck” commentry. Just out of curiosity, how many games have you been paid to coach? Your withering insights are astounding. You are wrong. GT will be NIT candidates next year and on the NCAA bubble in 2013-14. Basketball programs take some time to build (Coach K & Bobby Cremins in the 80’s are examples.) It’s especially difficult when the switch is from a “CEO” type coach (CPH) to a hands-on disciplinarian like CBG.

William Casey

January 25th, 2012
4:22 pm

“commentary”

RochesterJacket

January 25th, 2012
5:09 pm

CBG knows how to coach? Are you kidding me? Have you actually seen Tech play this year? Our offense is terrible. CBG could let them play street ball and they’ll score more than 20 points in a half. I do not care what players CBG has, they’re Division 1 basketball players. I’m sorry but there is no reason why we should lose to Mercer and other Division III schools……NO REASON. CBG better get to it soon or he’ll be on the next Greyhound out of Atlanta. A new stadium is not going to boost our level of play – that a fact!

GT Girl

January 25th, 2012
5:11 pm

Nice posts William, good assessment.
Go Jackets and don’t give up! We were so close to beating Clemmons there at the end.

Buzoff

January 25th, 2012
5:13 pm

@William Casey….continue smokin’ your crack pipe if you want to…Brian Gregory Hewitt is a horrible coach and is way overpaid for his services…The offense is horrible, the defense is horrible, the team is the worst I have ever seen…we play with our bigs outside, the guards don’t penetrate and kick it out and everything is a pick and roll (or stand and watch)..how hard is that to teach? This team will not win 10 games!!! How is that better than last year? There is absolutely no improvement in this team. None..Zilcho…Nada!!! A good coach gets his team to improve! This team gets worse and worse…GT will not win 10 games again next year or any year again with this garbage! GT SUCKS!!!!

Buzoff

January 25th, 2012
5:19 pm

@GT Girl – send some of your dresses and high heels to Coach Gregory-Hewitt….he is a better cheerleader than coach. GT has a pathetic excuse for a sports program!! Barely got beat by Clemson in basketball? Please get back to the laundry room!

RochesterJacket

January 25th, 2012
5:21 pm

Solutions:
1. Feed the POST!!!! Basketball should be played inside out and not outside in.
2. Have the 4-5 set slip screens for each other. Post players need to work the “inner triangle” (rotating from both blocks and free throw line while setting screens for team mate).
3. Practice free throw shooting. Better yet, practice shooting all together. Practice shooting from the elbows, short corner, 3 point line(top, wing and corner) and catch and shoot off of picks.
4. Work harder on defense to get turnovers and that will lead to easy layups. Or should I say, “should lead to easy layups”?
5. Work as a team. Tie them to a rope and get them to move as a unit.

Jim 70

January 25th, 2012
5:45 pm

I did not understand why the announcers kept saying rice should drive more to get to the foul line, and when they were calling for it he was1 for 5. I thought if the game got close, Miami would do a hack-a-shaq (insert rice here). We lost to Clemson by 2 and ice was 4 for ten.

As somebody earlier said, make free throws and quit launching NBA 3 pointers.

GTLOVER

January 25th, 2012
6:07 pm

Sorry fans,
It’s NIT for tech basketball for ever.
It’s 7-5, 8-4, loose to jawja, loose bowl game in football for ever.
Academics too high.
Can’t get dumb jocks.

Really?

January 25th, 2012
9:11 pm

This blog blocks more comments than any blog I have ever posted on. The truth will set you free ken. What are you so afraid of my friend?

William Casey

January 26th, 2012
1:25 am

@ROCHESTER JACKET: Thanks, you offer some solutions and that is refreshing. I suspect that some of them are being implemented, though there are only flashes of results. Bad basketball habits (i.e.- AAU basketball) are hard to break. Also, feeding the post requires a real point guard. They ARE trying. Miller gets LOTS more touches this year.

@BUZOFF: I ask again, how many games have you been paid to coach? All you do is rant.

Mad Jacket fan

January 26th, 2012
6:06 am

CPJ needs to get his big headed egotistical butt fired. After reading his latest story I’m fuming. No coaching changes, not even trying to recruit a kicker and last but not least his Godlike mentality. He might as well mimic that Little Rock,AR HS coach who own side kicks every time. With our putrid kicker your only talking about giving up 10 yds. Plus you might even recover a few,(doubtful beings he’s over specail teams). Extra bonus keeping Groh’s dismal defense off the field. If it fails least he has resume footage for his next coaching job in Pop Warner, (where his offense belongs).

juvenal

January 26th, 2012
9:55 am

wasn’t offense the knock at Dayton? no $ to fire anyone right now…..

ramblingbuzz

January 26th, 2012
11:45 am

Gotta give CBG the benefit of a doubt at this point. Bu right now this team is absolutely awful on offense. Whatever Gregory is trying to teach on offense either the players aren’t buying it, or it’s the wrong thing.

RochesterJacket

January 26th, 2012
3:38 pm

Give me $500K/year and I’ll turn the team around. Better yet, give me $250K/year and I’ll have them running better offense than CBG. The offense is so bad they’ll actually do better if they would play street ball. CBG, look on Youtube or google to see how an offense should be ran. Dribble drive penetration and then kick it out for a jump shot, maybe? How about looking at the more successful teams in the ACC and college basketball and mimic their offense? If you’re not going to score, how about running the four corners and limit the opposing team touches? Use every second of the shot clock and I would love to see the defense show different looks throughout the game.