Tech grinding over winter break

For a man who loves little more than being on the practice court with his team, Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory is about to enter his element.

With final exams complete and the spring term not starting until Jan. 7, Gregory has three weeks to hone in on his team and prepare for the ACC schedule. The Yellow Jackets will have four nonconference games over that span before the ACC opener against Miami Jan. 5, starting Monday night with Alabama State at McCamish Pavilion.

“We still need to take care of a lot of business before we worry about the ACC,” Gregory said. “But, yeah, the next three weeks is an opportunity for us to get better as a team and where we’re solely basketball.”

Gregory will split practice time between skill development sessions and full-team work. While the Jackets will play Alabama State, the Citadel Saturday, Fordham Dec. 29 and Chattanooga Jan. 2, all at home, Gregory likened the time to a training camp.

“It’s always good to have a break off of schoolwork,” forward Robert Carter said. “It’s just exciting to go in the gym and not have to worry about going to study hall afterwards, just go out and focus on what we love to do.”

Rebounding will be a priority. The Jackets have been outrebounded in each of the past five games, winning three. In their last game, their rebounding deficit nearly cost them a victory in their most recent game. Tech had to rally from five points down with just over five minutes left to beat UNC-Wilmington, an inferior opponent, at McCamish Dec. 8. While Tech is better than last season, it will have little chance of competing in the ACC if it can’t improve on the glass.

“I think you’ll see a change in that pretty soon, because lately we’ve been doing a lot of tough defensive rebounding, offensive rebounding drills,” Carter said.

Gregory and his staff will also work separately with brothers Stacey and Solomon Poole, the former a transfer from Kentucky and the latter an early-enrollee freshman, to accelerate their adjustment. Solomon Poole will be eligible to play Monday. Stacey figures to be cleared by the school for the game against the Citadel Saturday.

Stacey Poole’s last game action took place in the 2010-11 season, when he totaled 45 minutes. His brother will be arriving directly from high school competition.

“My expectations are for what they do every day in practice,” Gregory said. “The games will take care of themselves.”

The games could well be valuable also. At 6-2, Tech has a chance to move to 10-2. After the weekend, the combined record for Tech’s next four opponents was 8-29. Any shot at the postseason will require Tech to stack up as many wins as possible before ACC play begins.

“We’ve got to get these games by any means necessary,” said guard Mfon Udofia, whose goal as a senior is to lead Tech back to the NCAA tournament. “I keep telling these guys, these are games we can’t overlook because these are games that can come back and bite us.”

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

17 comments Add your comment

Chris

December 17th, 2012
3:20 pm

Wes

December 17th, 2012
3:44 pm

Can’t wait to see what the Poole Bros. can bring to the table.

We already have the ability to be a NCAA Tournament team…maybe they can help take us to the next level.

Bill Siggelkow

December 17th, 2012
3:46 pm

Looking forward to the game tonight. I hope to see a strong solid effort from Tech. A number of our games against so-called “inferior” opponents have been fairly close — case in point Presbyterian College and UNC-Wilmington. I’d like to see us come on strong and stay strong — similar to the way the Falcons took care of the Giants on Sunday. GO JACKETS!

Gordon

December 17th, 2012
4:01 pm

Hope we can build a huge lead tonight so Solomon gets some minutes.

GOLD PANTS

December 17th, 2012
5:16 pm

Fellow bloggers… The game tonight for users of Comcast will be on Fox Sport South (FSSO) Channel 48. Go Jackets.

Luke

December 17th, 2012
5:19 pm

Just a couple of FYIs…

Tech was an underdog to Presbyterian. 10.5 point underdogs to be exact. Vegas doesn’t even offer lines on this game. It should not be close.

The game will also be on ESPN3 for those who have access to that.

btgt69

December 17th, 2012
6:03 pm

just beat uga,,, oh we did,,, we want a rematch!! THWg

GOLD PANTS

December 17th, 2012
7:24 pm

I agree with btg there, The Bulldogs dominate Ga sports, and we fans of the Jackets are jealous BTW, Dude, Meet me at Swinging Richards this weekend, for the Man on Man dance Lot’s of cute fellas will be there.

btg69

December 17th, 2012
7:26 pm

You got it sweetie..

GTJohn

December 17th, 2012
7:47 pm

DWAG trolls are easily recognized. Good luck with your date Mrs. 7:24 pm.

Paul in NH

December 17th, 2012
9:04 pm

Easy win tonight. GT was too big, too strong and too deep for Alabama State.
What’s going on with Morris? He was on the bench in street clothes. Injured, grades or transfer? My guess is transfer.

1 4 GT

December 17th, 2012
9:45 pm

btgt69 I don’t know….but I do know the real Gold Pants & that is not him @ 7:24 PM….that is likely the name thief that has plagued this blog for several months now. His email address is derickdooley@aol.com. Feel free to drop him a line.

GOLD PANTS

December 17th, 2012
10:12 pm

Thanks 14GT. That was definitely not me @7:24. That is the first time that has happened to me. And by the way fake Gold Pants, do you really think I would make an appearance at Swinging Richards being that I am nearly 70 years old. PLEASE GO AWAY.

GT1968

December 17th, 2012
11:21 pm

Ken,
What does “grinding” mean? Tech is 7 and 2 and on a winning streak. What is wrong with that?

Bill Siggelkow

December 18th, 2012
9:18 am

Got my wish!

golfman22

December 18th, 2012
10:03 am

For all you redneck dog trolles who never stepped foot on UGA as a student….GT has a better basketball, baseball, and golf program that UGA…95% of you don’t know any coaches or players on any of these other teams….but you call yourself a DOG fan, only in football are you superior to GT!!!

THWG

December 18th, 2012
10:38 pm

GT, the 3 NC schools (not wake), the U, and Maryland will make the tourney.