UPDATED: N.C. State too much for Tech

Updated, 12:30 a.m. RALEIGH, N.C. – To have a chance against N.C. State, Georgia Tech needed 40 excellent minutes.

The Yellow Jackets were capable of about 33. Against a superior opponent on its home floor, Tech gave a credible effort before falling 83-70 at PNC Arena Wednesday night.

The Jackets continued to withstand the Wolfpack’s attempts at knockout punches before a 14-4 run put them on the mat. Turnovers and misses gave N.C. State the opening to score in transition and put the game away.

“We played a tough, hard-fought game,” guard Mfon Udofia said. “Sometimes you don’t end up on top.”

In the game, Tech led for nearly the entire first 10 minutes of the game and, until the final six minutes, never let the Wolfpack get ahead by more than four points. The final result was Tech’s second consecutive loss, which dropped the Jackets to 10-4 overall and 0-2 in the ACC. However, the game’s course in reaching the result reflected far better upon Tech than its defeat in the ACC opener to Miami.

“This is the hard part, because you’re close and you still don’t get it done,” coach Brian Gregory said. “Now you need to dig down a little deeper, and this’ll be a test of our character, as well.”

N.C. State, ranked 20th in the country and the preseason favorite to win the ACC, won its eighth game in a row to improve to 13-2 overall and 2-0 in the conference.

Against a formidable front line, Tech’s big men, center Daniel Miller and forwards Robert Carter and Kammeon Holsey, were aggressive, scoring a combined 34 points. Against Miami, the trio scored 23 points. Miller in particular stood his ground, leading Tech with a season-high 15 points on 7-for-11 shooting with 10 rebounds for his first double-double since the season opener against Tulane. He also tacked on three assists and two blocks, both team highs, with no turnovers.

“He was aggressive,” Gregory said. “I still always want him to be more aggressive, but he did a good job on the glass.”

Overall, Tech showed more determination to stay in the game than it had against Miami. It showed in particular in its rebounding and its willingness to attack the basket. Tech was outrebounded 43-37, but had 14 offensive rebounds to N.C. State’s nine.

“That’s a good ballclub and we came out and we were just as good as them, if not better, up until the end,” Miller said.

Tech took a staggering 18 more shots from the floor than N.C. State, 73 to 55, in part because it protected the ball better (seven turnovers to the Wolfpack’s 13)  and didn’t go to the line as much (Tech shot 16 free throws to N.C. State’s 29). However, N.C. State made 28 baskets and Tech only had 27.

The Jackets had difficulty producing clear shots at the basket, which often turned into missed shots that jump-started N.C. State’s lethal transition game. Tech only had eight assists on its 27 baskets, its poorest ratio of the season.

“They’re long, they’re athletic, they’ve got good size and they’ve got veteran players and so they’re able to defend,” Gregory said.

Tech managed for much of the game to retreat quickly enough to slow the Wolfpack down, but wore down at the game’s conclusion.

In the 14-4 run that secured the game for N.C. State, guard Rodney Purvis hit a 3-pointer in the open court on a possession created from a steal and C.J. Leslie scored on a layup after a missed 3-point shot by Carter.

“That’s probably what it was, just us getting tired at the end,” said Miller of N.C. State’s closing push.

Gregory gave guard Solomon Poole, the freshman who joined the team in December as a mid-year enrollee, six minutes of playing time in his most meaningful action. Poole flashed his offensive game, creating a basket for Miller on the break and scoring on a teardrop shot, but also was taken advantage of on the defensive end.

“I thought the six minutes were productive,” Gregory said. “At the same time, he’s going to learn, because (when) you make mistakes here or there and you give up a basket, those are big plays.”

N.C. State was led by point guard Lorenzo Brown, a Centennial High grad, who had 21 points, 10 assists and five rebounds.

Through the first half, Tech played the Wolfpack possession for possession, not letting the N.C. State crowd and the Wolfpack transition game create a getaway. In that, it was an improvement for the Jackets, who lost to Miami in their ACC opener Saturday at McCamish Pavilion when foul trouble and an inability to sustain focus allowed the Hurricanes to take a 10-point halftime lead that was never challenged afterwards.

With 3:38 to go in the half, N.C. State guard Tyler Lewis drew a foul on Poole, in briefly to give Udofia a rest. He made both shots to put the Wolfpack ahead 30-26. However, Miller answered with a basket in the post and Tech tied it up on its next possession with a transition basket from Marcus Georges-Hunt.

The Wolfpack again pushed ahead by four, gaining a 34-30 edge on a layup that enveloped the court in thunderous applause. Udofia stuck a 3-pointer to quiet the crowd.

On Tech’s final possession of the half, Chris Bolden dropped a 3-pointer over Scott Wood to give the Jackets a 38-37 halftime lead.

Tech assistant coach Josh Postorino returned to the bench for the first time since his DUI arrest in early December. A statement from the team at the time said he would not be on the bench “for an indefinite period of time in order to deal with personal issues.”

Tech will receive a relative respite Saturday when it will be at home against Virginia Tech, which is 9-6 and has lost four in a row. After that, the challenges continue with road games next week at Duke and North Carolina.

“Not good enough, but another opportunity on Saturday to move forward,” Gregory said.

44 comments Add your comment

Paul

January 9th, 2013
11:28 pm

Read this article, apparently Lorenzo Brown had a great game and was the leading scorer.

Ann

January 9th, 2013
11:29 pm

Read article . . .Lorenzo Brown had a great game (darn for GT!).

Paul in NH

January 9th, 2013
11:45 pm

A much better performance for GT than against Miami but RBC Center is a tough place to win – not a disgrace to lose there.

Biff Pocoroba

January 9th, 2013
11:46 pm

If Coach can’t convince Carter to stop shooting 3 pointers, it is going to be a very long season.

Unbiased Sometimes

January 9th, 2013
11:52 pm

Played hard tonight. There were LOTS of positives to build off. They looked like they wanted it….unlike the miami game.

Silly Mutts

January 10th, 2013
12:13 am

Still a work in progress. Took a few better shots tonight. NC State is really really good. GT just doesn’t have the horses..yet. Go JACKETS!!!!

fuzzybee78

January 10th, 2013
12:18 am

Folks this is going in the right direction. We are playing much smarter, not beating ourselves, turnovers way down. We clearly need some better 3 pt shooters but were building something here on the floor and in the classroom. CBG is working the plan! Back it Jacket Fans!!!

DOC 51

January 10th, 2013
12:19 am

Carter will never be a great player.He has loads of talent ,but lacks mental toughness.CBG will never push him to be great.Carter has a lazy streak like M.Mackey and J.Forrest.

Kicking it with Cremins

January 10th, 2013
12:39 am

@Doc. Come on, give the guy a break, freshman, the acc conference will build toughness. I think this evaluation at the end of the year would prove better.
IMHO the playing time these freshman get this year will be so valuable to their development. CBG is doing great, its been a long time since I’ve really enjoyed watching Tech BB.

StingerSplash

January 10th, 2013
1:13 am

Doc, James Forrest did not have a lazy streak. Dude brought it every night. His injuries toward the end of his career at Tech really hampered him and he tried to play through the pain.

ben

January 10th, 2013
2:35 am

Doc, I’ll take James Forrest and Malcom Mackey on this team in a heartbeat.

[...] the Wolfpack simply ran away from them. Georgia Tech lost to N.C. State 83-70 on Wednesday …UPDATED: NC State too much for TechAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)North Carolina State topples Georgia Tech behind Brown and [...]

big daddy

January 10th, 2013
5:19 am

Tech needs to start the season playing tougher competition than they do. They look good playing weaker teams, winning most of them, and then when they get into ACC play they don’t have that killer instinct to compete. I like the Coach, and if given the time, he will build a good basketball program on the Flats.

SatchelBuzz

January 10th, 2013
5:39 am

If MGH doesn’t start making shots, and BR doesn’t stop taking so many shots,…it’s going to be a stretch to make the NIT.

ToeMeetsLeather

January 10th, 2013
6:39 am

We’ve probably started the season having to play two of the top three teams in the league, and we will see the top team in game four. At times we have had four freshmen on the court, going against seasoned ACC veterans. If the team continues to progress at the same rate, I still think this can be a .500 ACC squad as the schedule eases up. Saturday against VaTech is a must win.

Good to see Poole at PG during meaningful minutes. It appears he will be the primary back-up to Udofia in another week or so. Once he is allowed to get in a game rhythm, he is really going to be fun to watch.
With everyone else back next year, this playing time is going to pay tremendous dividends for the 13-14′ team.

Road Scholar

January 10th, 2013
7:52 am

Way too many points in the paint, many uncontested, by NC State very close to the basket. They almost drove at will. Tech was tardy also on defense on some of their breakaways.

ramblingbuzz

January 10th, 2013
7:58 am

Tech played hard, but their inexpereince showed at the end. For NC State, Scott Wood threw in 20 and was 4-9 on 3 pt attempts. He was a big reason GT could not get out in front in the 2nd half. GT just doesn’t have enough scorers that can hit consistently from outside. And while Holsey gets in the paint and battles for the ball, he missed way too many shots from close range last night.

UGA = Yawn

January 10th, 2013
8:06 am

So what now? Should we expect to lose one game after another in the ACC? I mean really. Step up and play and win. There has got to be other talent out there in the US waiting to have the chance. Why is it we can never field a team that can win games of importance??? (Football OR Basketball!)

UGA = Yawn

January 10th, 2013
8:07 am

Mfon; ’sometimes you don’t end up on top’? Ah dude….you’re 0-2 in the ACC. See me when you end up on top!!!

UGA = Yawn

January 10th, 2013
8:09 am

Re: next week. Blow out city!!!

WolfpackInRaleigh

January 10th, 2013
8:17 am

Good game last night. I told my friends before the game that Tech was a good team, especially defensively. Very proud we were able to shoot > 50% against y’all. I don’t look forward to our return game in early March, but that’s what is fun about basketball. Good luck until then, and if y’all want to beat UNC-CH next week, you’ll have the Wolfpack fans applauding y’all the whole way.

We’ve been waiting 20 yrs in Raleigh for the good times to return. Hopefully ladt year and so far this year mean we’ve finally stopped wandering in the desert.

geno

January 10th, 2013
8:18 am

BG needs to play Stacey for longer stretches. MGH is allowed to go too long without producing. Or play them together. Reed and Bolden don’t give you much. Poole gets rebounds and assists, then gets pulled before he gets a rythym. They need his toughness.

gt4ever

January 10th, 2013
8:20 am

I believe he has this team on the right track…

Lee Goza

January 10th, 2013
8:24 am

Only two assists from our senior point guard. Unacceptable. Need to start Poole at PG as soon as he is ready (maybe sooner) and move Mfon to no. 2.

the buck stops somewhere

January 10th, 2013
8:52 am

While the shooting % was an improvement from the Maryland game we are not going to win many games if we keep shooting below 40% from the field and 25% from 3 the last 2 games (9 of 36).

Spacecat01

January 10th, 2013
8:54 am

Enter your comments here

Ben

January 10th, 2013
8:56 am

Getting better! I’m looking forward to seeing more of both of the Poole boys.

Todd

January 10th, 2013
8:57 am

All who are saying it was a good game – you’re crazy. Did you actually WATCH this offense? It was NBA isolation – take stupid shot night all night. There are hardly any ASSISTS or passes near the basket. NC State was the complete opposite…

Offense reminded me A LOT of the CPW “clogged toilet” offense.

The only difference from the UM game was that we rebounded a few more and a few more went in – until the 5:00 minute end of game collapse.

Spacecat01

January 10th, 2013
9:14 am

@geno you’re absolutely right, the Poole brothers need longer stretches. Solomon need to be at the point and M’fon at the 2, because he can run the point and score. MGH has to make shots and BR needs to stop shooting defense is good. @Doc, freshman or not RC need to man up and play in the post and stop trying to shoot 3’s. CBG needs to study this and stop with PJ and use the Poole brothers MORE!!!!!

Spacecat01

January 10th, 2013
9:21 am

@Todd so we need point that is willing to pass before shooting, sound like CBG NEED Solomon(SOLO) in the game at point.

Buzzzed

January 10th, 2013
9:22 am

1.) Again, this team needs to learn to finish.
2.) Bad shot selection in this game (what’s Carters 3 point %)
3.) Average to Bad defense around the basket

Buzzzed

January 10th, 2013
9:24 am

Also, NCS seemed more aggressive with loose balls/rebounds. NCS seemed to want it more. Team is lacking fire.

YouBet

January 10th, 2013
9:31 am

This team can’t shoot! This team plays lousy Defense! This team cannot rebound! This team takes crappy contested shots! Need I say more!!!! GT’s basketball program will never get back on track. I agree with previous poster. RC Jr. is lazy and plays zero defense!

juvenal

January 10th, 2013
9:49 am

Carter did hit a three-letting Brown blow by him, & getting stripped of a rebound late hurt worse……..any hypothesis using absolutes hard to prove……..definitely need to recruit a big if Royal does not live up to the hype……

William Casey

January 10th, 2013
10:03 am

I was pleased to see Solomon Poole get his short stent of meaningful minutes. CBG is bringing him along properly, neither annointing him “the savior” nor adopting a “sink or swim” approach. He seems very unselfish and is an offensive creator. Unfortunately, he creates offense for the other team as well at this point in his career. CBG will fix that. I disagree with those who are critical of Robert Carter. I don’t see laziness at all. I see a talented offensive player who’s still converting baby fat to muscle with a willingness to defend. Overall, if CBG can keep this group together, GT could be a good team as early as next year.

William Casey

January 10th, 2013
10:04 am

GTBob

January 10th, 2013
10:17 am

The team played pretty well against a good opponent on their home court. It was certainly a better performance than the Miami game. That said, the team looked unprepared to play a close game down the stretch. When NC State got the lead to 5 or 6 our team seemed to panic and terrible shots and bad turnovers followed. The mental toughness needed there will come with experience. We also need to raise the awareness and intensity level on defense. They had way too many easy baskets created by attacking us when we weren’t really ready for it.

[...] Thanks for reading. Link to game story here. [...]

crackbaby

January 10th, 2013
12:02 pm

Jackets played hard. It was good to see the effort. Difference in the game was Kam Holsey just couldn’t get his shots to drop.

Not gonna bang on Kam. He was inside all the time taking it CJ Leslie. His shots just wouldn’t fall.

The younger Poole is definitely the PG of the future. Quick, and had that AMAZING assist to D Miller. If he has issues on D, CBG and staff will have to coach him up.

Mfon played really well, too.

Damn Good Jackets. Let’s beat down Va Tech this weekend and start a win streak.

yeller bug

January 10th, 2013
12:09 pm

Tough loss, but the team played hard—great TO numbers, 7 for the game? We use to have that many at the halfway mark of the first half!

The team is playing the fundamentals well—they are young and learning. I think as FuzzyBee pointed out, we don’t have any pure shooters on this team—yet. Brown had a good game and Woods was a killer for NCSU, hitting critical 3-pointers—-we need a good outside shooter—hopefully someone will find their groove and step up. Despite the loss, this was much better than the UM game—keep’em improving CBG….we’ll get there.

Jackets98

January 10th, 2013
12:21 pm

@lee you mention assists yet no guys outside of our of pg is shooting the ball that well so how in the heck is he to get assists when guys can’t knock down shots? I guess he should pass it to himself? We must not be watching the game..

Look at teams with high assist numbers and look at their supporting cast…prime example the wolf pack..Zo had 10 assist b/c guys finish his easy looks from 3 down low etc…Our guys are not…trey Burke gets assists b/c he has guys around him…

Not to mention the system takes away from being creative except for on fast break opportunities so that point sir is invalid

Therut

January 10th, 2013
1:16 pm

Oh how badly we need a little white guy that can stay out on the perimeter and shoot the three. Every good team has one.

wreckmaniac

January 10th, 2013
5:14 pm

Yes, this is a respectable loss. Losing to a top 10 team on their floor. Its the Miami game that still smells.

C'mon Man

January 10th, 2013
5:37 pm

Time to cut the ties with Mr. Royal!!! He is an absolute waste! Please transfer Julian!