Georgia Tech-Clemson wrap


Georgia Tech didn’t have much going for it Tuesday night going into the game and it showed in the Jackets’ 56-37 loss. A few thoughts:

1. Tech was unable to handle Clemson’s man-to-man defensive pressure. The Jackets needed a guard, Mfon Udofia, Brandon Reed or Pierre Jordan, who could split a double team or swing the ball to the weak side, but none could accomplish it enough to force the Tigers to back off. This has been the Jackets’ struggle for much of the season. It happened repeatedly that one of Tech’s bigs would screen for one of the guards, leaving a double team on the guard as the big rolled away, and the ball got stuck in the double team.

“We have struggled all year long, it’s no secret, with teams that have pressured us and were able to pressure the ball,” coach Brian Gregory said.

Tech handled the absence of Glen Rice Jr. fine on Saturday, perhaps because the Hokies played in a zone and gave the Jackets more room to get into their offense. It was not the case Tuesday.

2. The effort was there, particularly in the first half. Clemson didn’t score on its first six possessions but Tech only got ahead 4-0 in that span. The Tigers didn’t have an offensive rebound until the 3:56 mark of the first half, but still led 22-13 at that point in part because of Tech’s slew of turnovers and poor shooting. (I think I’ve written this before.)

The Jackets wore down in the second half, no doubt in part because they were playing with seven scholarship players (not counting former walk-ons Nick Foreman and Derek Craig) and had played a taxing game against Virginia Tech Saturday.

In the second half, Tech handled the ball better and had more open looks, but shot 25.0 percent from the field.

“It’s hard,” Gregory said. “You’ve got to give the guys a little slack because defensively, it’s hard to keep going back and trying to get stops when you’re not scoring any points at all.”

3. Guard Jason Morris deserves praise for trying to play on a mid-foot strain suffered in the Virginia Tech game. He started, played 17 minutes and did not score.

“That was, again, a guy who was just trying to give everything he has, but you could tell he was slowed, he didn’t have that explosiveness,” Gregory said.

4. I’d say that Tech hasn’t had two back-to-back games where it gave a good account of itself since the beginning of the ACC season, when it lost to Duke and then beat N.C. State on the road. I think it’s just how this team is. One thing I’ve heard Gregory mention multiple times is the team’s small margin of error. There isn’t a player who can create a lot of easy chances for his teammates or a player who can throw the team on his back for five minutes at a stretch or who can grab a defensive rebound, head upcourt and finish at the basket.

There are players who can do those things, but not consistently.

Everything, or nearly everything, has to go right for the Jackets to have a chance.

It happened against Virginia Tech and the Jackets had the game in their hands. It didn’t happen on a number of fronts Tuesday and the result was Tech’s lowest-scoring game since 1980.

22 comments Add your comment


February 22nd, 2012
1:10 am

I went to the game and all I can say is “let us pray”

Tito Dan`Fodio

February 22nd, 2012
3:30 am


Bring back Yunkus


February 22nd, 2012
5:56 am

it was good to see my boy milton having a good game. i am so proud of him and hope his play continues to improve and he lands on an nba roster

Big Ol Stinger

February 22nd, 2012
7:00 am

I hope the guys on this team are doing the work in the classroom.

It looks like they’re going to need those Tech degrees.

Derek Craig

February 22nd, 2012
7:19 am

I should have started

bulldog steve

February 22nd, 2012
7:31 am

The good news for Tech is nobody was there to watch and nobody really cares.

Big Ol Stinger

February 22nd, 2012
7:52 am

Apparently you do poodle boy.


February 22nd, 2012
8:08 am

A “blue collar” team….bricklayers and turnover makers. Not fun to watch.

Serious question…does it seem that Tech shooters are “scared” to take a shot? Seems to me they had just rather pass…


February 22nd, 2012
8:10 am

this ajc site has more “jumps” than the Tech team…????


February 22nd, 2012
8:21 am

Hope the recruiting class is good. We need major reinforcements!


February 22nd, 2012
8:34 am

Shows you just how sorry the state of the program was under the former coach whose name it pains me to say. Coach Gregory, we believe you can get us to where we want to be. Keep the faith!


February 22nd, 2012
8:41 am

bulldog steve…as awful as Tech basketball is, how did this happen, 12/07/11 at Georgia in Athens, Ga. Tech Wins, 68-56 ?


February 22nd, 2012
8:51 am

Give Clemson and coach Brownell credit. They exploited Tech’s two biggest weaknesses – lack of point guard play and poor shooting.

37 points is simply unacceptable. Tech plays really hard on D but lacks “flow” on offense. It’s one thing to shoot poorly from beyond the arc, quite another to miss 8 and 10 foot jumpers.

GT Dude

February 22nd, 2012
8:51 am

I was at the game last night, talk about boring! Even the couple of Clemson fans sitting near me starting talking about preparing their taxes.

This team is officially the worst TECH team since 1950 – an earlier game with only 38 points and now this one with 37. This includes the Coach Morris teams of the late 70s / early 80s.

Can we talk about baseball?

GT Dude

February 22nd, 2012
8:55 am

@ crackbaby
Missing 8 & 10 footers wasn’t so bad as the missed layups and dunks

If I am Coach Gregory, I send Miller over to the football weight room and tell him not to come back until he can grow a beard!

[...] Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution hits the highlights of Georgia Tech’s embarrassing 56-37 home loss to Clemson [...]

Ex season ticket holder

February 22nd, 2012
9:39 am

I’m a football guy who the sales folks got to try basketball season tickets the two prior years by shrewdly calling after a big football victory. (VT win in 2009)
Sure glad I gave it up for this year.
Not sure the fixed up thriller dome will be enough to bring me back.
We sure could have used a W vs VT.
Hated to see Udofia’s probable last chance to make a thrilling game winning shot taken away.
Been nice to see him be the hero since he does try hard every game.
Should the coach have called for a non shooting foul and made them make two shots?
I guess not.
But if u gamble on them not making the shot, u can get your heart broken a lot.

UGA = Yawn

February 22nd, 2012
10:06 am

37 points…really!!??


February 22nd, 2012
10:23 am

You guys lost alot of talent to the NBA with Blewett’s one and done ringers, but given time I think Coach Brian Gregory will get Tech BB back to competing for Championships, this is his 1st year as Head Coach and the players are playing alot harder for him than they did for his predecessor. We have given Coach Fox 3 years now and it looks like we are going backwards. GATA


February 22nd, 2012
10:29 am

without Miller, KSU beats us again….


February 22nd, 2012
10:59 am

Tech is definitely struggling with the jumpshots and offensive rhythm, but the defense is definitely an improvement over previous years.

Daniel Miller is a great player and team player. I love watching him play.

By far the best player at his position at Tech in recent years.


February 22nd, 2012
1:52 pm

Great defense! Clempsun gets only 56.