5 thoughts from Tech-N.C. State

1. There wasn’t a lot of mystery to Wednesday’s game. Georgia Tech hung in and played fairly well, but didn’t have enough playmaking to match N.C. State and stay in the game. In the final six or seven minutes, the Wolfpack made stops and hurt Tech in transition, making five consecutive shots at one point. That’s what’s going to generally happen when a team ranked 20th in the country and is the preseason conference favorite plays at home against a team picked to finish ninth.

“This is probably the third game against a high-quality opponent that we got the game into the last eight minutes,” coach Brian Gregory said. Cal and Illinois were the other two instances.

Tech had a small chance to win Wednesday, but it would have taken everyone on his game and few slip-ups defensively, and that didn’t happen. Marcus Georges-Hunt had a tough game (2-for-10 from the field), there wasn’t a ton of help from the bench (16 points) and the 3-point defense could have been better (7-for-16, including 4-for-9 by Scott Wood).

“Marcus, I thought, had some looks that he’s been consistently knocking down,” Gregory said.

Said center Daniel Miller, “Scott Wood hit those threes at the end and gave ‘em a little spark and we just weren’t able to match that.”

2. Tech shot 27-for-73 – that’s 46 missed shots. That is a lot. That’s only nine fewer shots than N.C. State actually took. (The Wolfpack went to the line 29 times, making 20. Tech had 16 free throws, making 12.)

Some were pretty makeable – Mfon Udofia was 2-for-8 from 3-point range and had at least a couple that I thought were going in, and Hunt is not a 2-for-10 shooter. But the Jackets, it seemed, had trouble getting open shots much of the night. The eight assists on the 27 baskets is indicative.

3. Solomon Poole showed some flash in his six minutes. He wasn’t great defensively, but created on offense and gave Tech a little bit of a spark. Interestingly, Pierre Jordan, who typically subs for Udofia, didn’t play at all in the second half. Gregory said he thought Poole might be able to pressure the ball better and also just wanted to see how he could do.

“He hasn’t played any real minutes yet,” Gregory said of Poole. “Pierre’s still a big part of what we do.”

4. Miller was probably Tech’s best player – season-high 15 points on 7-for-11 shooting, 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, no turnovers. He took more shots going to the basket, it appeared, rather than his fadeaway. He also played most of the game with five stitches in his chin after taking an elbow from C.J. Leslie.

“We need that,” Gregory said. “I hate to say it, we need that every night from him.”

Said Miller, “They were points that we needed, and I just felt like I was the guy at the time to do it.”

5. I don’t think you could call the third game of the ACC season a “must win,” but if the Jackets don’t handle Virginia Tech at McCamish Saturday, they’re staring an 0-5 start in the face, as trips to Duke and North Carolina follow.

Thanks for reading. Link to game story here.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

32 comments Add your comment

Aardvark Base

January 10th, 2013
10:35 am

Peach Fuzz

January 10th, 2013
10:44 am

Take away UGa FB, and college sports in the state of Ga do no not cut it.

Aardvark Base

January 10th, 2013
10:48 am

It seems like Scott Wood has been at NC State forever, and he always plays good against us. Solomon looked really good, and considering his huge lack of experience, he could be really special when he gets some games under his belt. I wonder why we’re not getting more production out of Julian Royal & Kam Holsey?….

Aardvark Base

January 10th, 2013
10:50 am

I agree that football & basketball have been mediocre in Georgia lately. However, the baseball, softball and tennis programs at Ga Tech in particular are awesome. Oh yeah, and golf. GT always in the running for national title, and Augusta State has won the last two. But I’m assuming you’re not counting any sports other than football.

Lee Goza

January 10th, 2013
11:01 am

Pierre Jordan is not an ACC caliber guard and needs to ride the pines unless someone gets hurt. Play the Poole brothers!

juvenal

January 10th, 2013
11:15 am

way too many easy drives to the bucket for a so-so FT shooting team, & Udofia did not repeat last years performance there; also hope Jason gets well soon(he ready for Saturday, Ken?)

Gt '10

January 10th, 2013
11:18 am

Peach Fuzz: I guess baseball is not a sport.

g

January 10th, 2013
11:24 am

IMO, Royal is a bust and should consider a transfer. He looks slow, and it appears that playing defense is the last thing he is up for. Very soft for his size.

Luke

January 10th, 2013
11:26 am

Neither is golf, swimming, gymnastics, softball, WBB, and tennis either. All of which UGA and Ga Tech excell in (maybe not both at one time, but either one or the other).

juvenal

January 10th, 2013
11:39 am

definitely need another big, any of you recruiting wonks out there have any scoops?

Yurtle_the_Turtle

January 10th, 2013
11:42 am

Hate to think that it’s going to be another cold winter as far as GT Basketball goes. I actually got giddy from the 10-2 start but it looks like we will be in the 7 -9 range as far as rankings go. No tournament for us again. Still, I’m hoping the future is better. Does anyone know how good next years class is going to be? Not sure who we’re recruiting.

Born2Buzz

January 10th, 2013
11:54 am

Poole will start playing the minutes Pierre was getting. Pierre is still a big part of the team…on the practice court. You gotta have the talent to play against the big boys.

Ken Sugiura

January 10th, 2013
12:02 pm

thanks, Juvenal. Forgot to mention Jason Morris was out. Not sure about Saturday.

JM

January 10th, 2013
12:05 pm

GSU made it deep into the College Playoffs again this season. As others mentioned, there are plenty of examples of good college sports in Georgia. Some people?

On GT, they have a hard start to the ACC season. They had their chances last night, but just couldn’t match-up for the entire game. Except for a few minutes in the first half and the last 3 minutes the team did well. The young players are learning, in 3-4 weeks they will be much better. Go Jackets.

JM

January 10th, 2013
12:07 pm

Morris needs to be healthy, he adds to the team when he can play 100%. Get Well SOON.

White&Gold

January 10th, 2013
12:08 pm

Yurtle, this is our rebuilding year. I don’t think anyone was thinking Big Dance before the season. Still, rebuilding seasons for basketball usually end like they did when Hewitt was around (which was frequent). That being 9-12 wins. I know our OSS was weak, but past Tech B Ball teams would have only won six or seven of those games. Don’t have too high of expectations this year. Most to get out of this season is experience and development. I’d love to see us in the Dance, but I’d be perfectly fine with an NIT bid. Future is bright.

crackbaby

January 10th, 2013
12:15 pm

Ken,

Kam Holsey was really aggressive inside on offense – backing down CJ Leslie. His shots just didn’t fall. Hope he doesn’t get discouraged. Gotta credit CJ Leslie for defending without fouling.

It got out of hand at the end b/c the Jackets were forcing quick shots, missing leading to NCSU fast break or FTs. I thought CBG should have quit fouling with less than a minute left – the game was out of reach under any possible circumstances but he had the Jackets keep fouling to make the score look much worse than the game played.

crackbaby

January 10th, 2013
12:22 pm

Interesting opinions in comments above and the game blog – they are all over the place.

@juvenal – while another inside man would be nice, IMO Tech desperately needs better guard play. Last night Gminski said Tech was the biggest team NC State has seen. Solomon Poole looks like he will fit the bill (sooner rather than later I hope). That kid Purvis for the Pack had Xtra quicks.

Mfon has really worked hard to improve his play at point this year. I’m impressed.

White&Gold

January 10th, 2013
1:09 pm

One reason why it would be nice to have Rice Jr. on this team is because of the fact that he is a natural scorer. That’s one area that Tech lacks. Shumpert and Rice Jr. have been the only ones that have qualitfied as such in a number of years. I know it’s good to share the wealth, but when as a team we’re only shooting under 40% game, it’s big to have one guy who can put up around 20 a game. Have we had anyone score 20 this year?

Lee Goza

January 10th, 2013
1:21 pm

Mfon has improved tremendously but he just is not a natural PG. His passes need to be crisp and accurate enough to set up shots for the other players without them having to dribble or adjust to catch the ball. That’s part of the reason we aren’t shooting well. I agree… our PG needs to be Solomon sooner rather than later and let Mfon play more 2 guard.

Paul in NH

January 10th, 2013
1:49 pm

I agree with crackbaby – GT needs to have outside players stepping up. Solomon Poole has obvious talent but he is still learning how to play team ball – especially at the defensive end.
GT played well last night against a good team – one that will have a bye in the ACC Tourney. NIT looks likely to me.

Paul in NH

January 10th, 2013
1:53 pm

GT-AAA-77

January 10th, 2013
2:49 pm

Scott Wood got open on a number of moving screens that weren’t called because our players ran around rather than through the screener. A little coaching will clear that up. And our cutters and dribblers weren’t hugging the screens being set, which led to a lot of late clock congested clock. Again, coaching will correct (kudos to the screeners for not moving and collecting fouls). I look forward to an entertaining (hopefully successful) future THIS season.

TomB

January 10th, 2013
3:01 pm

It’s really difficult to win in this league depending so much on youth like Tech does. It’ll take some time for these kid’s to realize they can play in the ACC and with maturity Tech will be fine. Even with the poor shooting last night from Tech, the game was winnable with consistent defensive play. Just takes a few lapses on defensive like last nights poor perimeter defense to change the outcome for the game. Good days ahead just be patient.

michael

January 10th, 2013
3:10 pm

how ever you carve it-up, we still can’t hit the side of a barn. prediction of two games above .500 at the end of this month.

C'mon Man

January 10th, 2013
4:36 pm

Agree with Michael. This team flat out stinks at shooting the bball!!!

yeah sure

January 10th, 2013
4:50 pm

Bobby Cremins will end up having to take the team back over before this is all said and done, what a mess

[...] six or seven minutes, the Wolfpack made stops and hurt Tech in transition, making five Source: Georgia Tech Football – AJC Blog Share this: Posted in Jackets « Atlanta Hawks: Drew searching for way out of four-game [...]

Veteran Fan

January 10th, 2013
6:14 pm

A lot of progress from Saturday to Wednesday. Our youngsters are beginning to grow up. Mr. Carter had a rough game as did Brandon Reed. Tough matchups all over the place especially with Morris sidelined for the game. Middle to late stretch in the game Leslie got away with murder on Holsey. But that is life in the ACC where the officials favor the tobacco road teams and their stars! Looking forward to Saturday and our first conference win! Don’t count us out at Chapel Hill either. Cameron may be too tough a nut to crack this early for the freshmen. Still think this is a tournament team, just have to grow up. Love watching Solomon Poole and Miller is playing very well. He still doesn’t realize how good he can be, but is starting to take charge! His drive around Leslie was incredible late in the game!

ToeMeetsLeather

January 11th, 2013
6:34 am

@”yeah sure”, when CBG’s freshmen are playing like Hewitt’s seniors I’ll agree we “have a mess”. How’s George Mason doing these days big guy?

Would like to see Georges-Hunt try using the backboard more on some of those drives, seems to be a lost art.

I disagree Ken, to keep the NCAA bubble in sight, VaTech is a must win.

By the way Ken, thanks for all of the updates. Keep’em coming.

Big Al

January 11th, 2013
7:59 am

May need to find a way to get somebody to pop Daniel Miller in the chin every game. Often, he just play to passive but great game against NCST.

Savannah Paul

January 11th, 2013
10:45 am

Royal is another Kwame Brown. Got to the next level and found out that everyone has game and that you have to work harder to rise to the top. Not sure if he really wants to put in the work.