Basketball coach Brian Gregory spoke with reporters Tuesday morning in advance of Wednesday night’s game against Presbyterian at McCamish Pavilion. A few notes:
1. The Presbyterian game was scheduled as part of the football team scheduling the Blue Hose to play in the home opener this season. As part of negotiations with Presbyterian, associate athletic director Ryan Bamford offered two basketball games to sweeten the deal.
2. Gregory was fine with it, as Presbyterian fits the prototype for what he’s looking for in a non-conference opponent. He said he wants a few things – well-coached teams that will show different defenses and help prepare Tech for the ACC schedule. Perhaps more to the point, he wants a team that will help, or at least won’t hurt, Tech’s RPI ranking.
The staff studies potential opponents for how many returners they have, their schedules in past years, their offensive and defensive style, their RPI over the last several years.
“We spend a lot of time in the spring on that when we’re finalizing our schedule,” Gregory said.
3. Gregory spent some time Monday with Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, who was in town for the doubleheader at the Georgia Dome. The two are good friends, Gregory having served as an assistant with Izzo and then later for him at Michigan State. The Spartans had just returned from playing in Germany at Ramstein Air Base.
Gregory tossed around the idea of eventually doing something similar in the state around Veterans Day.
“We’re a great military state,” he said. “I think that would be something really neat.”
4. The lineup for Presbyterian – Robert Carter Jr. and Marcus Georges-Hunt at forward, Daniel Miller at center, Mfon Udofia and Brandon Reed at guard – will be the same as the lineup for Tulane.
5. Gregory said all three freshmen, Carter, Georges-Hunt and Chris Bolden played well, though he noted all three shot an airball.
“I don’t think that’s ever been done before,” he said. “But that’s O.K., too, because it was good film work that we were able to show.”
The three of them combined for only one turnover. As a team, Tech had an 18-10 assist-turnover ratio. Tech’s ratio last year was .76, 300th in the country.
“That’s a stat to watch for us,” he said. “That’s really important.”
6. After the game, players went to the front row of the two student sections to thank fans for coming to the game. Gregory noticed with a minute and a half left and the game well in hand, that the building was still full. He told the team when the game ended to acknowledge the students after shaking hands with Tulane’s players, “and they took it from there.” Gregory gushed again about the support of students at the game.
Said Gregory, “We need to have a connection between our team and our student fans.”
Thanks for reading.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog