Tech basketball open practice Friday

The baskets in the new McCamish Pavilion come recommended. They are previously owned hoops, last used to great effect by eventual national champion Kentucky at the NCAA South regional at the Georgia Dome last March.

“From my experience just shooting on those rims, I get a feel like they’re shooter’s rims,” Georgia Tech guard Brandon Reed said. “They’re not too stiff, but they’re not too wobbly.”

The Yellow Jackets, who began practice Friday, will happily accept any aid in their attempts to launch basketballs through goals. In his second season at Tech, coach Brian Gregory is counting on more skilled, selfless and precise play to generate more scoring.

“Let’s just admit there were times we just struggled making shots,” Gregory said this week.

As confessions go, this wasn’t exactly worthy of “Law & Order.” Out of 338 Division I teams, Tech was 313th in scoring (60.2 points per game) and 203rd in field-goal percentage (42.7 percent). The season ended with a 54-36 ACC tournament loss to Miami. It was Tech’s third game under 40 points, the lowest output in the ACC tournament in the shot-clock era and the Jackets’ lowest-scoring game since 1961.

Tech’s offensive hurdles exceeded inaccuracy. The Jackets also didn’t handle the ball well, didn’t set each other up for baskets frequently and, because of depth and learning-curve reasons, didn’t procure many easy scores in transition. Tech finished the season 11-20, the Jackets’ first 20-loss season since 1981.

“If your defense breaks down on two or three possessions, or your offense gives up easy baskets because of transition, now it’s an eight-point game, the game’s over,” Gregory said.

The Jackets have a fistful of reasons to expect the production will improve. Center Daniel Miller spent the summer making his jump hook a trustworthy weapon and extending his range to about 17 feet. Forward Kammeon Holsey worked on his inside game and honing a bank shot. Reed, starting his second season after transferring from Arkansas State, has shown more confidence in his jump shot.

Guard Jason Morris, who shot 40.0 percent from 3-point range as a freshman but 29.2 percent last season as a sophomore, is no longer hampered by injuries to both feet. Point guard Mfon Udofia has hoisted hundreds of jump shots to improve his 38.3 field-goal percentage.

“Mfon, I haven’t seen him miss the last few practices from out there,” Miller said Wednesday, as the team wrapped up preseason workouts.

And, Tech will have three freshmen who could play in the rotation and offer promise as scoring threats. Guard Chris Bolden has long-range touch. Forwards Marcus Georges-Hunt and Robert Carter can score close to the basket and from the perimeter.

Should the improvements hold, it figures to have a multiplying effect. Better perimeter shooting will ease pressure on Miller and Holsey in the post. The more 17-footers Miller can hit, the farther out he can draw opposing big men, opening up shots at the rim. More depth will permit more opportunities to run and chances at easy baskets.

“Everything’s just been flowing well,” Miller said. “We feel good about how we’ve been playing.”

The skill improvement will be augmented, Gregory hopes, by a more selfless approach to sharing the ball.

“If you’re ready to shoot and the pass is on time and on target and you move the ball and break down the defense, you’re going to make more shots, whether you’re shooting out in the parking lot or you’re shooting in McCamish Pavilion,” Gregory said.

Georgia Tech key dates

First practice: Friday, 5 p.m.

First exhibition: No public exhibition games scheduled.

First game: vs. Tulane, 7 p.m., Nov. 9. (Inaugural game at McCamish Pavilion)

First conference game: vs. Miami, 2:30 p.m., Jan. 5

Conference tournament: March 14-17 in Greensboro, N.C.

37 comments Add your comment

Chris o bomb

October 13th, 2012
10:11 am

I’m really loving the court. It’s clean looking without the big yellow jacket covering the floor… Just the “gt.” with that said, we should be much better offensively, cause there’s no where to go but up. Can’t wait for the season and hoping to compete in every game. Thwg. And first’

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

October 13th, 2012
10:52 am

After the last three football games, I’m totally ready for b’ball season to start! I hope the football team has a better second half of the season, but I think the basketball team will be significantly better this year.

GT Fan

October 13th, 2012
11:10 am

GT Fan

October 13th, 2012
11:06 am

Supersize, quit being vague on the “something smells fishy” Fred Holton injury.

Here we are, 6 games played, now the bye week so week 7, and I think FH has already been ruled out for week 8???

We fans were led to believe he MIGHT play vs. Va Tech!? Now, 2 MONTHS later he’s still listed with an “undisclosed” injury? Is this some kind of mental (a.k.a. academic) injury?

That’s what me is startin to believe. B/c a physical injury, which many thought was going to be healed in week 1, would surely have healed by now……

GT-UT

October 13th, 2012
11:31 am

Go Jackets! Dunk on somebody!

dry dirt road

October 13th, 2012
11:32 am

Tech’s court does look good with the two toned floor and the gently sloping seats. I agree with Chris about no jerk Buzz with it’s oversized nose at the center of the court. Personally I dig the yj from the 60’s and 70’s with the ovesized wings.

Buzzer

October 13th, 2012
11:32 am

And what about the women’s team, Ken?

dry dirt road

October 13th, 2012
11:33 am

oversized wings, not ovesized- keyboard is where fights take place with jerk Buzz

ToeMeetsLeather

October 13th, 2012
11:33 am

Can’t wait to see the freshmen additions to the team along with the Poole brothers. This will be a totally different TECH squad playing in “their” new arena. We are about to experience a new era in TECH hoops, just need to get the students back involved.

I think we have an outside shot at going “dancing” this year with a productive and injury free year from Mfon.

dry dirt road

October 13th, 2012
11:36 am

you can hand the 60’s-70’s yj to new 1982 Tech on a siler platter and they are blind as a bat to it’s oversized wings theme

dry dirt road

October 13th, 2012
11:39 am

TML, it won’t be their court b/c Tech under my former Physical Training basketball coach, Whack Hyder, beat Adolph Rupp’s Kentucky in the old gym, ending Kentucky’s long win streak.

Jacket Detective

October 13th, 2012
11:41 am

I have a suggestion for coach.
Does not pertain to basketball coaching per se.
Can we get the whole team to have their flu shots?
Believe it or not, Hewitt’s last team had a nice streach that included beating UNC and VT.
It was ended when Oliver and the back up center caught the flu and couldn’t play vs Maryland.
How about no more seasons where games are affected by the flu?

dry dirt road

October 13th, 2012
11:43 am

Tech with the Pooles and with the point guard kid from Jax who was the city league phenom who dunks it plus the new court and Cremins signed back on do offer promise and conjure up a heapin’ spell of eager anticipation now that jerk Buzz is on it’s way out.

Jacket Detective

October 13th, 2012
11:47 am

When was that dry dirt road?
1955? (educated guess)

Jacket Detective

October 13th, 2012
11:50 am

Heyward’s son who plays point guard is out for the year, isn’t he?
Do we have a back-up point to Mfon?

ToeMeetsLeather

October 13th, 2012
12:08 pm

JD, the FSU transfer will still back up Mfon, can’t think of his name. Also, the younger of the Poole brothers may start school on January 1st and join the team at the same time as his brother. Not a done deal yet though.

Paul in Nh

October 13th, 2012
12:44 pm

Excellent piece from Ken.
GT will be improved over last year but they still have a long way to go. Making the NIT would be a great season for this team.

Jacket Detective

October 13th, 2012
1:09 pm

Prediction: Jason Morris will be our most exciting player. He should shoot a lot better too. I like Miller and Holsey working on insides moves, especially Miller’s jump-hook. Can we hope for .500 in the ACC?

GT Girl

October 13th, 2012
4:40 pm

@GT fan-Fred is still hurt. It’s worse than anyone originally thought. That’s all anyone needs to know.

SS loves Obama

October 13th, 2012
4:52 pm

@GT Girl….Do you have sources?

The Dream

October 13th, 2012
5:06 pm

I’ll drive up from Griffin and give them all Flu shots for free. If that will help them out’ then consider it done.

1 4 GT

October 13th, 2012
7:39 pm

Ken put that toothless disclaimer about everyone making nice & not acting like children & enumerating bannable (his word) offenses. Too bad he doesn’t have the guts to enforce it. On second thought, maybe that’s why he quit adding it to the end of his articles. Oh well. Guess we’ll just have to endure the stupid jerks using other guys names & mocking them & belittling other legit bloggers that have been here forever.

Jacket Detective

October 13th, 2012
8:55 pm

I hope they accept your offer The Dream.
Needs to be done so no one misses games due to the flu.

Jim 70

October 14th, 2012
8:33 am

with the way the football season is going, looking forward to bball. hopefully cpj can get the program turned now that al is gone, but we need to find players who can play 60 minutes and not go missing in Q4.

SS loves Obama

October 14th, 2012
11:27 am

@ 1 4…you make some good points. However, please leave out the personal shots at Ken. Thanks, Steve

GT Fan

October 14th, 2012
1:16 pm

GT Girl … again, what’s with all the secrecy regarding Holton’s injury???

I’ve read many posts by you over the first 7 weeks of the season that he had a deep bruise on his foot?
Now you’re saying his injury is worse than originally thought? And that’s all anyone needs to know??
Spill the beans, What’s up with FH?

GTGirl

October 14th, 2012
2:52 pm

it’s not my place to say and Tech has not announced anything.

GT Fan

October 14th, 2012
3:16 pm

GTGirl,

You’re not on trial, and no need for you to claim the 5th, so come on now, spill it. What’s Holton’s injury all about??? I don’t work for TMZ or the National Enquirer, you can tell me. Come on.

Before, you were okay letting it known that it was a bruised foot. Now it’s not your place to say? Be honest, and swear to tell the truth so help you God …. do you really know what FH’s injury is?

SS loves Obama

October 14th, 2012
7:00 pm

@GT Fan…Relax. We are all on the same side here.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

October 14th, 2012
8:55 pm

Double duty for Ken. As if you didn’t have your hands full enough with football.

Hopefully we exact revenge for that lopsided tourney loss against Miami in that first hoops conference game.

hustle25

October 14th, 2012
9:32 pm

Coach Gregory,
Can we Please wear Navy uniforms for the Away games? It is very difficult to see contrast on TV when we wear the Gold. Also, from my past playing experiences, having 2 “light” colored uniforms is much harder for the players when they have to make a quick pass/save.
Would not mind seeing the Gold for a few Home games like in the days of Dalrymple and Craig Neal.
Keep recruiting the Metro area and we will win 20 by next year.

UGA = Yawn

October 15th, 2012
7:56 am

Paul in NH – making the NIT!? It’s like kissing your sister. No one wants to go to that. I would much rather not go to post-season then go to NIT. We will be patient and look forward to making the NCAA only!!

Marine Jacket

October 15th, 2012
9:27 am

The younger Poole will not join the team until next season. He is a senior in HS.

Go Jackets!!!!

North Ave Killer Beez

October 15th, 2012
9:37 am

The freshmen bring in a lot of talent. Paul in NH, you must not understand the college hoops landscape. A forward like Robert Carter will turn things around quickly. We will be marching to madness no doubt. Can’t wait for hoops to start, GO JACKETS!!

juvenal

October 15th, 2012
10:34 am

only mag i saw picking us 12th in the ACC….

NikeJacket

October 15th, 2012
10:57 am

Ken they are having a scrimmage this Sunday, you should add this to the schedule above:

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/c58.0.403.403/p403×403/550852_10151130858093163_1969658095_n.jpg

BIG BEE

October 15th, 2012
3:21 pm

SS, we are not on the same side if you love Obama!!!

ToeMeetsLeather

October 15th, 2012
5:08 pm

The younger Poole is trying to graduate in December and enroll early at TECH. This is similar to what some of the football players are doing, we just have not had a basketball player enroll early to this point.