UPDATED: Jackets dump Alabama State

Georgia Tech forward Kammeon Holsey scored 11 points to go with five rebounds in the Jackets' win. CURTIS COMPTON/AJC

Georgia Tech forward Kammeon Holsey scored 11 points to go with five rebounds in the Jackets' win. CURTIS COMPTON/AJC

UPDATED, 10:32 p.m. There was little in the way of either drama or mercy Monday night.

Georgia Tech treated Alabama State the way an ACC team ought to handle an opponent from the Southwestern Athletic Conference, dispensing a 75-41 thrashing of the Hornets at McCamish Pavilion.

The game grew loose at times, but the Yellow Jackets exploited their advantages in size, athleticism and cohesion for most of the 40 minutes.

“We wanted to play our game the whole game and take them out early,” forward Robert Carter said.

In their first game after completing final exams, the Jackets clubbed the Hornets with a 19-2 run midway through the first half that provided a 20-point lead. Tech was never threatened thereafter. The performance drew in comparison to Tech’s last game, in which the Jackets permitted an inferior UNC-Wilmington team to nearly steal a win out of McCamish before closing the game out.

The 34-point margin of victory is the largest in coach Brian Gregory’s tenure, surpassing a 33-point win over Florida A&M last season.

Tech improved to 7-2 and has won three in a row. The Jackets have two separate three-game winning streaks for the first time since the 2009-10 season, the last time Tech had a winning record and also qualified for the NCAA tournament. They’ll attempt to extend the streak to four games, which would also be a first since the ’09-’10 season, Saturday at home against the Citadel.

Alabama State, which entered the game ranked 314th in RPI according to realtimerpi.com, fell to 1-9. The Hornets are among the least effective teams in Division I at rebounding, taking care of the ball, scoring and, not surprisingly, winning.

Carter was the most effective player on the floor, active and focused. He fought for rebounds, challenged shots in the post and on the perimeter and ran the floor for transition baskets. The freshman finished with 13 points on 6-for-9 shooting and a game-high 11 rebounds, a career high. It was his first double-double as a Jacket.

“Carter’s just so athletic and crashes the boards, shoots it from the outside, nice post moves,” Alabama State coach Lewis Jackson said. “Just a tough cover for us both in the man and zone.”

Guard Brandon Reed led the Jackets with a game-high 14 points, including two 3-pointers, to go with four assists against one turnover. Guard Mfon Udofia scored 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting from 3-point range.

Gregory took satisfaction in the effort, particularly the team’s 51-30 rebounding edge, 20 assists on 29 baskets and Alabama State shooting 25 percent from the field. Tech had been outrebounded in its previous five games before Monday.

“We came out with a sense of urgency, which will always lead to good things,” Gregory said.

The game was noteworthy as the debut of early enrollee freshman Solomon Poole, who entered the game with 6:10 remaining in the game. As might be of expected of a player who had had two practices with his team before Monday, Poole appeared out of sync with his teammates and perhaps overeager, committing three turnovers in his six minutes. He scored his first two points as a Jacket at the line, banking home two free throws.

“He’s got a lot to learn,” Gregory said.

After the game, Gregory informed media that freshman guard Corey Heyward, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in June, tore the same ligament again in an unsupervised workout. He had surgery and will begin his rehabilitation again.

“He’ll start the rehab right away,” Gregory said. “Sometimes, these things happen and he’s a tough kid. He’ll come back full strength as soon as he possibly can.”

Updated: Guard Jason Morris did not dress for the game, as he is suffering from plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the arch. He is considered day-to-day.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

54 comments Add your comment

case391

December 17th, 2012
9:19 pm

Paul in NH

December 17th, 2012
9:28 pm

Ken
What’s going on with Morris? He was on the bench in street clothes. Injured or transfer? I’d guess transfer

Student

December 17th, 2012
9:33 pm

To Paul: About Morris. Transfer? Seriously? No he didnt transfer. He has played since he got here as a freshman. Dont post dumb questions on here.

UGA = Yawn

December 17th, 2012
9:41 pm

7-2. Hell yeah. Make it 8-2 Saturday. Go Jackets!

Paul in NH

December 17th, 2012
9:46 pm

Student
OK genius – why wasn’t Morris playing? You do know how transfers work don’t you? Players who aren’t getting the minutes they think they deserve and are looking at several people ahead of them in the rotation look to transfer after the 1st semester. As exhibit A, I give you Stacey Poole, Jr.

CC

December 17th, 2012
9:50 pm

Well, it’s fun to pulverize an opponent, and on Saturday Tech gets to slam dunk The Citadel. But just go to the RPI index for basketball and see where these programs (Alabama State and The Citadel) are. Citadel occupies place number 346 — dead last, bottom place of the RPI ratings.

The only hope you have to recover from playing programs this bad is to have a coach that tells you, you should have played better, should have done this, should have done that, so things stay in perspective. It only gets harder from January on. I think coach Gregory knows just how to get the team to forget the easy prey and begin to fear the pounding they just might receive if they get too soft because of their pretty much cupcake schedule so far.

And what the heck is wrong with J Royal? Last year he was a shining light in a dismal though rebuilding season, and tonight — he FOULS OUT and looks like a klutz all over the court. I’m hoping he doesn’t travel this road too long.

kingster

December 17th, 2012
9:50 pm

I’m not sure but I thought I heard one of the anouncers say Morris was a litttle sick, I think it was a foot problem, please don’t quote me. Paul in NH, don’t be a dud, don’t get on this site saying silly things,this isn’t bulldog nation.

William Casey

December 17th, 2012
9:52 pm

Paul, he wouldn’t have been on the bench had he decided to transfer. The announcers said he was unavailable due to illness.

Paul in NH

December 17th, 2012
9:54 pm

William Casey
Thanks for the update. Visions of Ra’Sean Dickey were going through my head with Morris

kingster

December 17th, 2012
9:58 pm

Yes CC, J. Royal ran around the court like his pants were on fire, he clearly wasn’t in the game (maybe he was thinking about his last exam answers/lol) Now CC, I understand what you’re say about Tech games, but they schedules those game last year, TECH didn’t know they were going to be that bad, me myself, anybody they beat I’m happy because of the years before Coach G., if we played Mickey Mouse and beat him bad I don’t have a problem with that /lol……the football team doesn’t give us much hope for a real winner.

Mike

December 17th, 2012
10:02 pm

Paul – Morris has planters fasciitis.

Steve

December 17th, 2012
10:09 pm

Great game for the Jackets! I was a little disappointed though watching Poole play his first game. I wasn’t too worried about how he played. Being a little sluggish is expected when you just joined the team and you came in near the end of the game. The disappointment came with his attitude out there. After making turnovers he would hang his head and shout expletives. At the end of the game he wouldn’t even shake his own teammates hands. Instead he just walked away all pissed off. Look at the scoreboard man! Your team just won. Be more of a team player and your own personal game will start to get better. Hopefully he’ll shake off the nerves or whatever that was. Go Jackets!

GTMAN

December 17th, 2012
10:12 pm

Before we discount the albeit weak opponents, anyone remember Kennesaw St ?

At least we are blowing out weak teams like we should. Hewitt teams would have found a way to make this game competitive. I love what I see with BG

Jacket Detective

December 17th, 2012
10:15 pm

At least we win these games unlike Can’tBeatACupcakeU.
Wonder what school that nickname would fit?

ATL

December 17th, 2012
10:18 pm

Morris- Morris has planters fasciitis. I’ve had this and it hurts like hell! it’s in the arch of the foot. Hurts to walk or even put pressure on it.

Buzz 2011

December 17th, 2012
11:14 pm

The Jackets are for real.. Let’s get rolling in the ACC.. The best basketball
conference in the country!!

Biff Pocoroba

December 17th, 2012
11:33 pm

We need some easy games right now with two new players joining the roster. Last year we lost to Mercer about this time. Hewitt’s teams always looked awful right after finals too.

Unbiased Sometimes

December 17th, 2012
11:38 pm

These kids will be 10-2 going into ACC play. I fear they will be a little over confident and get a rude awakening against Miami. If they do drop a couple early ACC games to Miami and NCSU I hope they can keep their composure and bounce back strong.

Ken Sugiura

December 17th, 2012
11:48 pm

sorry i neglected to include this. ATL and Mike are correct. He has plantar fasciitis (inflamed arch) and is day-to-day.

Tech Forever

December 18th, 2012
12:01 am

HEY KEN

Is there any truth the rumbling rumors that CPJ is on the verge of hiring Lance Thompson as our new DC?

Veteran Fan

December 18th, 2012
12:53 am

Steve and CC, where are the bad attitudes coming from? We just beat a team by 34 and held them to 1 point for close to ten minutes and you have a problem with that! Oh and anyone who was there tonight if they have any basketball knowledge can tell that Solomon Poole is the real deal! His defense was physical, quick, and intimidating. His offense was Strong and confident. Did you see him drive to the basket and draw three defenders on him and dish to Holsey with them hanging all over him? Very impressive player! Oh and get off Royal’s case, he is working hard and starting to fill his role. Overall, the team is growing and getting better every game! Good crowd tonight with the students gone and a lot of highlights against a weaker team, very entertaining! By the way, St.Marys was in the tournament last year and we shut them out for 8minutes of the second half and held their star to 5 points for the game. No cupcake there or Cal or Illinois! Go Jackets!

GT71

December 18th, 2012
6:07 am

Well, well, a Tech sports story leads off in the AJC. Must have been a REAL slow local sports day in the ATL, But then, it WAS Monday night, right before Christmas, high school football is over and the local pro roundball team had the night off.
But, hey! Thanks a bunch, there, AJC. Scraps are tasty too!

lumberjacket

December 18th, 2012
6:08 am

Watching Poole on the bench during the game and when he played, honestly, he looked like a kid that was playing HS ball last week. I can imagine, even for a superstar, the turnaround that quick might be a little overwhelming. The big arena, the crowd, the expectation. And I am sure he was a little nervous even though he wouldn’t admit it. Probably mad at himself for not playing great, after he got the biggest ovation of the night so far when he took the floor. I think he’s gonna be a good player for us this year, and I do think it will help when his brother is there playing as well. Go Jackets!

Bud

December 18th, 2012
6:28 am

Hey Paul read the article last paragraph

ToeMeetsLeather

December 18th, 2012
7:33 am

Went to the game last night and I need to vent in hopes that someone at TECH will read this and take a few of the items in to consideration.

Made a late day decision to take in the game. Fought nasty traffic and was right at game time getting to the ticket gate. Missed the first six game time minutes due to waiting in line because there was only one of numerous ticket windows open. As expected, paid $12.00 for $5.00 worth of junk food(I know this is a given at all arenas but still need to bi*** about it). Had to climb over six people to get to my seats whille there were four empty rows in front of us, CLOSER to the court. After the game we walked back to our car, which was parked in a wide open parking lot due to no students being on campus and a spot I have used for years to attend night games, only to find a $50.00 ticket from the TECH parking Nazis.

And my alma mater wonders why attendence suffers a times.

I love Tech, but I will spend the next game in my recliner.

Am I way off base with this rant? What say you?

Tech Man

December 18th, 2012
7:38 am

Come on guys. Tech hasn’t played a decent team yet. I’m a dire hard Jacket but let’s face it we haven’t entered the ACC schedule yet. I hope we can go .500 in the league and win one tournament game. Realistically, we’re looking at a NIT berth. But that’s ok with this young team. Next year we will be better and probably go to the NCAA tournament. Don’t get excited just because we beat inferior teams..

Iluvnutella

December 18th, 2012
8:00 am

Like the way we are coming along. Poole (lil brother) needs to grow up kwik…..still acting like a HS spoh on the floor. Let the game come to you kid, u aint a wolrd beater yet….Go Jackets!

Burdell

December 18th, 2012
8:14 am

Tech Man-

Where have you been the past few years? Georgia Tech basketball was officially dead. We were losing to inferior teams. We had no alumni support. We had no past player support. The kids played with no emotion and zero fundamentals. Brian Gregory, his staff and his recruits are starting to polish some of the tarnish off our guilded history. No one on this message board is crowning them ACC champs yet. Are you saying you wouldn’t be excited with an NIT berth in only his second season? And without a one-and-done? Favors got us into the tournament a few years back…not the team and definitely not the coach.

I AM EXCITED when I see our team play with such enthusiasm and hussle on defense. I AM EXCITED when I see our coach doing things the right way. I AM EXCITED when I see our coach on campus at other events drumming up support for his team. I AM EXCITED about the FUTURE of Tech basketball!

GO JACKETS!

George P. Burdell

December 18th, 2012
8:21 am

It is hard to tell when you play an outclassed opponent but Tech was pressing on turnovers much better than they have in the past. It obviously won’t be as easy against better competition, but at least Gregory has recognized it as a weak point and made an emphasis to get better. And, while I hate it for the kid, I’ll be shocked if Royal is wearing a Tech uniform this time next year.

Bobby Dodd Jr.

December 18th, 2012
8:24 am

Until Tech starts winning consistently in football and beat UGA more, they will always be second fiddle. Gotta start winning, period.

UGA = Yawn

December 18th, 2012
8:33 am

Tech Man, in a few games, we will probably have more wins already this year than all of last year! Be positive. I can understand negativity while Hewitt was here – we were all negative. But the change is great and Gregory is doing the right things. EVERYONE plays cupcakes at this time of the year. EVERYONE. We won by nearly 30. Why is that not good enough. You set your sights on the NIT – I set them on the NCAA. The ACC is tough but, this year, it is beatable.

haha

December 18th, 2012
9:16 am

you beat a 1-9 350 rpi team and some act like they are good. haha

Born2Buzz

December 18th, 2012
9:20 am

It was a good win over an inferior opponent. My comments:
Holsey is our best player…for now.
Carter Jr is our best talent. He showed plenty of skills last night. And hey, took only one 3pt shot and made it.
Poole, in his limited exposure, showed the natural ability to have some highlights upcoming. Can’t wait to see his brother on the court as well.

Love the new McTitty Dome! The lighting puts all the focus on the floor and you don’t pay attention to the empty seats. It wasn’t a great crowd (it’s a Monday night and school is on break) but the arena doesn’t feel empty or cold like it used to on similar nights.

GT BBall is on the way up folks. Come on board and enjoy the ride because in the near future its going to be fantastic.

[...] started the fall as a high school senior but is now an enrolled-and-eligible collegiate freshman, played six minutes against Alabama State on Monday. Atmospheric reading: Remember how thin last year’s 11-20 Jackets were? This team can go 10 [...]

OldGold1964

December 18th, 2012
9:25 am

I love this T.E.A.M. (Total Effort by All Members) ! A couple of the players could get all puff-ed up with themselves, and be selfish and perhaps show some superstar ego, but that is not what we need at this time. Keep working. Without egos taking over, looking after each other and playing like a “team”, continuring hard work, good things are in store for success. There will be time to look back and clebrate after the fact.

ramblingbuzz

December 18th, 2012
9:30 am

So it was not a very strong team and the ACC schedule is much tougher. However, as others have said, it’s refreshing to see the team play with enthusiam and do some of the things (inbounding & shooting free throws) they were not doing under the previous coach. This team really appears to be headed in the right direction. And Tech fans are generally a patient lot if they see improvement in a team’s effort and execution. I wish the trend was as obvious for football especially the execution part.

Steve

December 18th, 2012
9:33 am

Hey “Veteran Fan” – I don’t know where Poole’s bad attitude is coming from. That is what I’m trying to figure out too! His team just played a great game and won. I also believe that he’s a great athlete.. I just want to make sure he keeps a good “team player” attitude out there and doesn’t mess with our team chemistry which has been working great so far! Can’t wait for ACC play to start up!

Iona new dwag and it smells

December 18th, 2012
9:54 am

My Gaels woulda hung a hunnert on those Alabama St slugs.

www

December 18th, 2012
10:08 am

tech forever, what do you know?

[...] Thoughts and observations from Monday night’s game at McCamish Pavilion, a 75-41 win for Georgia Tech over Alabama. Game story here. [...]

Jacket Detective

December 18th, 2012
11:02 am

I said “prove it” to Tech basketball and they did.
So I followed up the 2 game package with an ACC package.
I’m saying that to the football program now.
Prove it that u can play defense.
We can only go so far with good offense and crummy D and STs.
We have the problem to have with our basketball program.
We have to keep from getting too far ahead of ourselves with excitement.

swampjacket

December 18th, 2012
11:03 am

At the game last night…and not a good first impression of Poole…no excuse for not hustling, walking back up the court on defense, pouting after a mistake so you stop playing while the ball is still in play, acting like it was the team mates fault that you threw a bad pass, and please tell me he always uses the glass at the line….

o'keefe

December 18th, 2012
11:20 am

Swampjacket–I’ll just bet that the coaches saw the same you did. I also bet they will start today working on it. Remember Bobby Hurley at Dook many years ago? He was an absolute mess(sour puss , hang dog, etc. Coaches showed him films of himself and guess what? He turned out to be pretty good.Thats what good coaches do , they coach and that means skills as well as attitude.Rhey will correct that problem one way or another–if you get my meaning.

swampjacket

December 18th, 2012
11:29 am

O’Keefe- Believe me, I hope your right….but hustle and attitude are hard to coach…Again, I hope I’m completely wrong, but it was uncomfortably obvious last night!

Jacked and Stacked

December 18th, 2012
11:38 am

Amazing game, but both teams were very careless with the basketball. Looking forward to conference play!

TechApp fan

December 18th, 2012
12:11 pm

Tech seems to have “figured out” how to win the rebounding battle…just give it to the point guard and let him shoot a three! Nothing but net = no rebound.

Perhaps young just-from-highschool kid was (over) trying to make a great first impression. And, that was for sure a different type free throw method.

Fun game.

michael

December 18th, 2012
12:39 pm

good game/solid, still can’t shoot but better. aside from that, anyone other than me thinks that former a.d. rad. took the job to oversee his son’s education? he’s a floater…..

bw

December 18th, 2012
1:16 pm

And what the heck is wrong with J Royal? Last year he was a shining light in a dismal though rebuilding season, and tonight — he FOULS OUT and looks like a klutz all over the court

He’s grown ~2-3 inches since last year, as far as I can tell. He may even be taller than Carter. I think Royal is trying to figure out what his game is now that he’s PF sized.

Tom

December 18th, 2012
1:27 pm

Uh-oh…..Mercer just got upset by the dwags.

mboman

December 18th, 2012
1:55 pm

Royal still growing and that will take some time for him to get used to. He also looks like he is physically maturing and bulking up as well. Looks like he’s trying to do too much instead of letting the game come to him. He needs to continue to work on his game and stop pressing. His time will come if he keeps his attitude and work ethic in the right direction.