UPDATE: Tech drops ACC opener to Miami

UPDATED, 7:30 p.m. Georgia Tech sought confirmation of its strong nonconference start. It received, instead, a kick in the pants.

In their ACC opener, the Yellow Jackets were outclassed by Miami, absorbing a 62-49 defeat Saturday at McCamish Pavilion. Tech lost patience on offense, was broken down on defense and had no answer for the hot shooting of guard Rion Brown.

“I think you’ve just got to look in the mirror and say, ‘At this particular point, on Jan. 5, they’re a better team than we are,” Tech coach Brian Gregory said.

Tech (10-3 overall, 0-1 ACC) was unable to build on the promise it showed in the first 12 games, mostly against a weak schedule, and saw its six-game winning streak come to a finish. Miami, a rugged bunch heavy with seniors, led for the final 25 minutes of the game, at one point breaking away for a 23-point edge.

Before a crowd of 7,614, Tech held Miami (10-3, 1-0) to a reasonable 41.5 shooting percentage, but had trouble producing at the other end. The Jackets shot 32.7 percent, their season low, and were outrebounded 40-29.

“We just haven’t played bigs like this all season,” said center Daniel Miller, who had a strong defensive performance but shot 2-for-7 for six points. “We prepared and all that good stuff, but we’ve got to get used to playing in the ACC.”

Said Miami coach Jim Larranaga, “I thought we came up here and played very, very good defense for 40 minutes.”

For Tech, the challenge only intensifies. The Jackets’ next game is Wednesday at N.C. State, the preseason favorite to win the ACC.

Said guard Mfon Udofia, “If you don’t bring it, this is what’ll happen to you.”

The game was tied at 17 when forward Robert Carter took his second foul with 6:36 remaining in the first half and headed for the bench. He joined Miller, also with two fouls, leaving the Jackets without two of their most effective players for the rest of the half. Miami closed on a 16-6 run as the Jackets turned the ball over four times, rushed shots and failed to box out.

“We gave up two offensive rebounds in the last three minutes (of the first half) for layups,” Gregory said. “So if you just take care of the board work, it’s a two-possession game.”

Down 10 at the half, Tech failed to make any headway. In a typical stretch, forward Kammeon Holsey scored against a double team to cut the lead to eight with 14:43 to go, but then Tech left Miami guard Durand Scott alone under the basket to return the lead to 10. Carter scored on a goaltend to trim the lead to eight again. Gregory clapped emphatically from the bench, exhorting the Jackets to buckle down defensively. Brown, from Hinesville, Ga., freed himself up for a 3-pointer. On Tech’s next possession, a steal by Miami guard Shane Larkin turned into a layup for a 13-point lead.

“We were never able to get those two or three stops and then two or three good offensive possession, as well,” Gregory said.

Down 23, Tech scored the final 10 points of the game, sparked by guard Solomon Poole.

Brown, the son of former Tech star Tico Brown, scored a career-high 22 points on 9-for-11 shooting, including 4-for-6 from 3-point range. Brown had come into the game having missed his past 15 3-pointers, but found his form in an 8 a.m. pregame shootaround. With about 40 family and friends in attendance, Brown came off the bench and made his first seven shots, including three 3-pointers.

“It’s always great to see your son do something really well,” said Tico Brown, now an insurance agent in Hinesville. “He played really well (Saturday). Of course, it’s always bittersweet when you’re going against Georgia Tech, but fortunately, this only happens a couple times.”

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

76 comments Add your comment

This team is just not good...

January 5th, 2013
4:44 pm

Told y’all so. Cupcake time is over and Gt is relegated to the kids table again.

White&Gold

January 5th, 2013
4:57 pm

Nobody ever said this team was going to the final four. We know we’re a young team. I think you forget that we predicted to be a lot worse than what we are.

This team is just not good...

January 5th, 2013
5:03 pm

Wait about 15 games and you’ll see we’re every bit as bad as people projected. And forget any sort of tournament play.

Unbiased Sometimes

January 5th, 2013
5:06 pm

They missed a lot of shots that they usually make. Tech will win some ACC games but probably still an NIT team this year.

White&Gold

January 5th, 2013
5:06 pm

What ever you say troll. Future is still bright.

Alabama Jack

January 5th, 2013
5:09 pm

To: This team is just not good…

But better than your dawgs.

Jacket Detective

January 5th, 2013
5:25 pm

Just one game.
Shots not dropping.
Rebuilding will take time.
Solomon looked good.
Hope we can see more of him soon, especially when few are making their shots.
I would really like to see us take quicker shots or a more uptempo game but I doubt that is going to happen.
If Morris or Bolden miss their first two shots, they get benched.
They need more shots than that.
It wasn’t Gregory’s best game in use of his bench.
But coach and team are learning.
Future still bright regardless of jealous dawg trolls.

PGA

January 5th, 2013
5:35 pm

Not surprising to see us struggle today. Miami is a better-than-average and experienced team, and we’re a squad full of guys playing their first conference game. We’ll be all right.

5150 UOAD

January 5th, 2013
5:44 pm

KEN………did they hang the Banners an Retired Jerseys?
Tech does plan to hang them up don’t they?

Cellar

January 5th, 2013
5:47 pm

WTF was that! Pathetic! I was not expecting a final four, but I did expect to see improvement! I saw no improvement whatsoever!!! Cellar here we come!

UGA = Yawn

January 5th, 2013
5:47 pm

OMG! WTF was that? You can’t be serious!? Really? How does a team play and shoot soooo poorly on their own home court? That just does not happen! Gregory has spent a year and a half winning us over. Another game or two like that, and he will have no support. That was Gross!!!

Buzzzed

January 5th, 2013
5:48 pm

“The lead expanded to 23 before a last-minute charge led by guard Solomon Poole whittled the lead back down to its final 13.”

Dang, didn’t see the game but maybe this guy should get more PT.

UGA = Yawn

January 5th, 2013
5:49 pm

Cellar – funny. You and i were thinking the same thing at the same time!

This team is just not good...

January 5th, 2013
5:58 pm

It’s cute that you think anyone who sees this team and coach for what they are, are dog fans but eventually you’ll reach the same conclusion. There is a reason our team looked best towards the end when the team went away from what they were doing the entire game. Coaching is severally lacking. Still.

GT Jeff

January 5th, 2013
6:03 pm

When Solomon came in, he looked like the offensive threat that we were missing. I thought Mfon looked bad. Solomon will be starting half way thru the ACC play. I predict a transfer for Royal. We have no one that drives and creates their own shot and this is why Poole will be starting. Also, it did not help we shot 32% for the game. I think our best 5 are the 4 freshmen and Hosey.

TechApp fan

January 5th, 2013
6:05 pm

With Tech facing a zone (forever?), just passing around the three point line…is boring. So, either get the ball inside (I do not know how) or hit some three’s…if you don’t like the zone.
Poole is a spark plug…and fun to watch.
Tech (hopefully) won’t be that poor shooting all the time.

UGA = Yawn

January 5th, 2013
6:10 pm

Love the article headings also. Tech ‘drops’. Tech ‘loses’. I could think of about a hundered other words that should have been used. Those are much too tame.

TechApp fan

January 5th, 2013
6:12 pm

as they say up here in NC, that is not basketball as it was intended.

Nate

January 5th, 2013
6:13 pm

People shut up and support our team. No one here was realistically thinking this was a top NCAA tourney team. NIT or better would be nice. Quit whining like little girls.

UGA = Yawn

January 5th, 2013
6:25 pm

Nate. You must have not watched the game. We all are GT – thus, we have the right to say what we want. Home teams don’t shoot and play like that on their home court. I could see if we were #300 playing #1 – but that was not the case. Most of us did not think we would win – although we all hoped we would. It’s the being down by over 20, at home, to Miami that just does not make sense. So we can expect to lose by 40 to Duke?

60yearGTfan

January 5th, 2013
6:27 pm

I figured this is what would happen, but BG is the right man for the job. We are young, and we will be better. I don’t think we are going to do much this year; maybe next year we will really be competitive with the top ACC teams.

Caleb

January 5th, 2013
6:30 pm

Solomon looked very sharp, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. I’d like to see him start. It seems like Gregory is being too political with playing time and should just let the best guys play. After this showing at home though, I have no hope for a winning ACC record. Maybe we’ll mature enough to make some noise by ACC tournament time thought.

5150 UOAD

January 5th, 2013
6:34 pm

Royal has not looked like some great McDonald’s All American by a long shot.

GTpack

January 5th, 2013
6:40 pm

Rebounding efforts are severely lacking. Need some players who get position for rebound on every shot taken on both ends. Always a 50/50 chance the shot is a miss. Today for us, 67% of the time it was a miss. Need someone who feels “THAT BALL IS MINE!!!” and goes after it.

Paul in NH

January 5th, 2013
6:43 pm

Solomon Poole has been with the team for less than a month, has played in 4 games (he missed the Chattanooga game) and has a grand total of 28 minutes, all of them in garbage time, and we have people think he should be starting in the ACC???
Poole will get his minutes once he starts to show familiarity with his team mates, the offense, how to play college defense, etc. He has talent but he has had little time with the team.

Cellar

January 5th, 2013
6:49 pm

Nate when you pay $1,200 for 2 seats like I have for 30 years you have the right to complain! That was total garbage out there today!!!

Dubious

January 5th, 2013
7:01 pm

It was worse than awful. Hopefully it was just a bad day and not a larger sign. Tech has to rebound better; they got almost no offensive rebounds. Gregory is probably trying to play too many players. He is trying to play 12 and it is hard to play more than 8-9.

JDawg

January 5th, 2013
7:23 pm

Don’t you geeks ever get tired of whining about how bad you are? The endless debate over whether you are terrible, or just mediocre is amusing and boring all at the same time.

5150 UOAD

January 5th, 2013
7:29 pm

maybe change your name to WHINE CELLAR……LOL

5150 UOAD

January 5th, 2013
7:34 pm

jdWag don’t you hate always being 3rd or 4th best? Being so close but NEVER good enough to be a Champion unless you wear a leotard or Cowgirl boots has to kill you dwag fans.

Ken Sugiura

January 5th, 2013
7:36 pm

5150 -there are no plans for the jersey to be hung from the rafters. it’s why the players with retired numbers are honored elsewhere in the arena.

JDawg

January 5th, 2013
7:38 pm

3rd or 4th is way ahead of totally irrelevant.

Tech man

January 5th, 2013
7:46 pm

Now we have to play real teams. Different season now.

WS Jacket

January 5th, 2013
7:51 pm

It was said earlier but the difference Solomon brought in his short rotation was dribble penetrate effectively. The game moves so fast that the difference of making a defender react creates opportunities for teammates. Bolden/ M G-H rarely caught the ball in a position to make an offensive move. It was pass for 30 seconds then shoot.

I am a big Mfon fan but he distributes without making defenders commit. Solomon is young and will make errors but it is good to see him getting minutes as it may come into play as this team does have a chance to be a bubble team this year and quite good next depending how they play.

JDawg

January 5th, 2013
7:56 pm

It just came to me! It’s like listening to two old people in a doctor’s office telling each other about their ailments. You guys are awesome! Thanks for the laughs!

TRUTH HURTS

January 5th, 2013
8:18 pm

the truth….some of those former players in the stands on hand for todays game need to be on the bench and part of this coaching staff..its that simple..this coach was too proud or too paranoid to offer not even one of them a chance to be part of this ………they are GT basketball of glory days from the past ..still do not understand why some dayton coach needs to be running tech basketball..but so many of you were so adamant on these blogs about making sure not one of those players should be given a shot now to coach or lead..well its beyond me…at least they can beat the Kennesaws they played in the last 8 games…yep thats something

JDawg

January 5th, 2013
8:22 pm

The truth does indeed hurt.

Ken Stallings

January 5th, 2013
8:24 pm

“Georgia Tech sought confirmation of its strong nonconference start. It received, instead, a kick in the pants.”

Ken Sequira, I highly suggest you take a look at the RPI if you seriously think Georgia Tech had a “strong” non-conference start! Today’s RPI tells the truth. Georgia Tech’s non-conference strength of schedule was #297, and the Yellow Jackets went 10-2 despite its relative ease.

Then, they get smoked at home by Miami, which is looking more and more like a strong team. That result is surprising by the final score’s margin, but not because Georgia Tech proved anything special in their non-conference schedule.

Veteran Fan

January 5th, 2013
8:50 pm

Very young team in their first conference game! They will be fine! Patience folks, this is a very good coach and he will work hard to get it done! Tough game Wednesday, but a better match up next Saturday! I believe we will get better and better each game! Go Jackets and THWG!

JDawg

January 5th, 2013
9:52 pm

Don’t stop believin”! Haa Haaa Haaaa Haaaaa Haaaaaa Haaaaaaa! Give me an L….L! Give me an O….O! Give me an S….S! Give me an E….E! Give me an R….R! Give me an S….S! What’s that spell?! Losers! Say it again….Loooosers! One more time! Looooooosers! Geeks. Wow.

Supersize that order, mutt

January 5th, 2013
9:59 pm

Why the hell is a dwag troll on a Tech basketball blog? Does UGA even have a basketball team? I sure didn’t see one in December when we smashed them.

Supersize that order, mutt

January 5th, 2013
10:01 pm

Hey, JDwag……how many points in a 3-point basket? Can you answer that on your own, or do you need a Jim Harrick cheat sheet?

GSUGT

January 5th, 2013
10:08 pm

I think Coach Gregory is doing a good job, although it was obvious our freshmen were overwhelmed playing against a big, experienced front line like UM has. We REALLY need a quality PG, Mfon is ok but I think he is much better suited as a 2 guard because doesn’t seem to have the ability to penetrate and create for others. Often our best passer on the floor is Miller, our center! I see flashes of brilliance from the younger Poole, he seems to have that star factor and reminds me of some of our point guards of the past (Jack, Crittenton, Shumpert). That being said I’ve really been disappointed in the development of both Royal and Morris, these were 5 star prospects that are making little impact on the court. Our best 5 right now are Miller, Carter Jr, Hunt, Udofia, and Poole. Poole isn’t ready to take over the starting job just yet though, he still gets a little ahead of himself trying to do too much too soon. I would REALLY like to see Georges-Hunt take on more of a scoring role, the kid is a natural scorer, but goes on long stretches where he looks timid and defers to Udofia. All in all, we can’t judge this team based on one bad performance against an experienced Miami team in their first ACC game. We’ll get better.

Jacket Detective

January 5th, 2013
10:18 pm

Dawg fans secretly pulling for ND because they’ll be so jealous of Bama and 3 out of 4 NCs?
I’d bet many are for that very reason.
25 million, plus or minus a million, to Richt and zero NCs to show for it.
Money well spent?

just sayin

January 5th, 2013
10:23 pm

as usual the yellow blowflys are sucking again

Tech93

January 5th, 2013
10:35 pm

Offense is going to be a problem with this team now that we are starting the ACC schedule. We play like scared deer in the paint. We don’t take it hard to the basket. There is no midrange game or 3 pt shot. Only thing may be to get out in transition. Way too many turnovers and need to improve FT shots. I’m afraid it is going to be long season. It doesn’t make sense that Royal who was highly touted does not seem to be able to contribute much. Udofia is not a true point guard either. Maybe Poole can come along quickly even though he is young.

BT

January 5th, 2013
10:40 pm

The players haven’t bought into Gregory’s player rotation .. you could see it in their body language in the earlier games .. I was hoping playing so many players was an experiment before ACC play began but today was more of the same .. don’t forsee any improvement in the short term .. but I will be there next Saturday to support the team .. do the students know we have a basketball program?

Paul in NH

January 5th, 2013
11:16 pm

“some of those former players in the stands on hand for todays game need to be on the bench and part of this coaching staff..its that simple..this coach was too proud or too paranoid to offer not even one of them a chance to be part of this”

The NCAA limits the number of basketball coaches to 1 HC, 2 assistant coaches and 1 part time assistant coach. Giving one of these limited positions to someone with no coaching experience just because they are a former player is crazy.

Supersize that order, mutt

January 5th, 2013
11:24 pm

@ BT…..the students haven’t returned from Christmas break yet. Classes re-start Monday

Supersize that order, mutt

January 5th, 2013
11:26 pm

@ Paul….you know that, and I know that, and most sane intelligent basketball fans know that. Unfortunately, just like with the football team, we have haters who think they have all the answers for everything, when they really don’t know their azz from a hole in the ground. Would you believe somebody yesterday wanted Tech to go after O’Leary for AD. I mean, how totally stupid can these people be?