LIVE from Tech-UNC hoops: Will this game be ugly, too?

Tech's Brian Oliver blocks a shot Atlanta - Georgia Tech forward Brian Oliver blocks a shot by UNC's Justin Watts. Tech led 33-32 at hafltime. (Curtis Compton)

Brian Oliver blocks shot by UNC's Justin Watts. Jackets led 33-32 at hafltime. (Curtis Compton)

So I went to the Georgia Dome Saturday night, expecting a competitive football game. Oops.

Is it possible I could come to Alexander Memorial Coliseum tonight expecting a blowout and get something else?

Come on, work with me here.

Georgia Tech (7-8, 0-2), which has lost three straight and seven of its last 10, faces North Carolina (12-4, 2-0) tonight. According to RealTimeRPI.com, the Jackets rank 168th in the country in RPI, which tucks them between Western Michigan and IPFW (Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne). The Tar Heels are ranked 18th.

No revelation here: The Jackets aren’t very good. The worst thing is they’re not getting better. They’ve followed a non-conference schedule that included losses to Kennesaw State and Siena with ACC defeats to Boston College (86-75) and Clemson (87-62).

Coach Paul Hewitt, who started to lose the fan base a few years ago, never has felt more heat. Last year’s 23-13 record and NCAA tournament berth was viewed by many as underachievement. Some believe the only reason he remains on the sideline is his rollover contract, which requires a roughly $7 million payoff if Tech fires him. But athletic director Dan Radakovich publicly continues to support Hewitt.

A win tonight certainly would quiet critics. But that’s a longshot. The Jackets are a mess defensively and wouldn’t seem to have an answer for the Tar Heels’ lineup, which includes 7-foot junior Tyler Zeller (14.6 points, 7.7 rebounds). Through two ACC games, Tech’s defense ranks last in points allowed at 86.5, while the Heels are second at 58.5.

So do you see any hope for Tech tonight? Or is this game going to be as ugly as the football game in the Georgia Dome last night?

Either way, I’ll be here live blogging for your pleasure (or displeasure).

Commenting begins in 3, 2, 1 . . .
By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

207 comments Add your comment

George Stein

January 16th, 2011
6:24 pm

No, there is no hope. Carolina’s terrible but we’re worse.

lanier

January 16th, 2011
6:27 pm

the falcons game was more entertaining than this beatdown Jeff. did you get run out of the house?

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Wake me...

January 16th, 2011
6:32 pm

when Hewitt is gone.

Bobby

January 16th, 2011
6:33 pm

I love GT, but I’ll be happy if the Jackets come within 10 at the end of the game. I suspect the Tarheels will mop up AMC with the Jackets by the end of the first half of play.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

GT Trumpet

January 16th, 2011
6:37 pm

I got $100 for Christmas from my extended family. Only $6,999,900 to go! Donations to the buyout can go to Radakovich’s house.

Gordon

January 16th, 2011
6:40 pm

The problem is that even if Tech plays one of its better games and it is close with 3 minutes to go, we lose. We were up 5 with 3 minutes to go against UGA and Fox thought of something while Hewitt didn’t. If it comes down to that in this came, Roy will and Paul won’t. When was the last time we outflanked someone? It’s been years.

The interesting game will be the next one. If we lose at home to woeful Wake Forest the whole season may implode.

Chris

January 16th, 2011
6:43 pm

I’m just curious to see how many people acutally show up for this game. Tech basketball has become hard to watch.

Jeff Schultz

January 16th, 2011
6:49 pm

GT Trumpet — The first $100 is the hardest. The rest should be easy.

gatyj

January 16th, 2011
6:51 pm

What Tech needs to do is swap Hewitt for the Woman’s coach. She seems to have it all together and the Lady Jackets are doing quite well.
But then, if they did that, another program would be screwed up. Maybe I will e-mail Hewitt like I did last year asking him what was wrong with his team. At that time they had lost 4 of 5 games. At least he e-mailed me back and true story opened his e-mail to me by saying I was clueless. They were playing good ball. Sad part is they ended up losing 2 of 3 after that. So much for me being clueless.

Big Al

January 16th, 2011
6:51 pm

I once watched a TV show that claimed Bob Hope would make an appearance, but when his time slot arrived, he wasn’t there. One of the commedians said, “That’s what I’ve always said about this show. There’s no hope.” As long as Hewett is the basketball coach at Georgia Tech, I say likewise, “THERE’S NO HOPE!” Not first, but neither am I alone in my opinion. THWG

D A DoubleU G

January 16th, 2011
6:51 pm

I think Georgia Tech should take some of the Property Tax money that Mark Richt owes on North Ave, and buy out their basketball coach so we can quit hearing about how awful he is.

Mark Richt = Georgia Tech’s DADDY

5150 P.O.A.D.

January 16th, 2011
6:54 pm

GT Trumpet
1 9mm round is cheeper.

Steve

January 16th, 2011
6:54 pm

Jeff, are you having to do a live blog from this game as a punishment?

Old Gold

January 16th, 2011
6:56 pm

Tech will not win a single ACC game! Can’t even beat Georgia!

GT Alum

January 16th, 2011
6:58 pm

At this point, I’m just holding onto the fact that it’s less than a month until pitchers and catchers report. Doesn’t look like any of the teams I follow are going to be doing anything interesting until baseball season. The Hawks look like they’re preparing to get handled easily in the 2nd round of the playoffs again.

Bill Lewis

January 16th, 2011
6:58 pm

The Georgia fans will pay Hewitt’s salary if Tech will keep him forever!

stevie zero

January 16th, 2011
7:00 pm

jeff, are they somehow serving alcohol there tonight or did you bring your own?

GT Trumpet

January 16th, 2011
7:01 pm

On a real note is this game on TV anywhere? There may be no hope but I do enjoy seeing the band.
And POAD, a single 9mm round is 30 cents online ($14.99 sale for a box of 50!).

D A DoubleU G

January 16th, 2011
7:01 pm

Sports South, Trumpet

D A DoubleU G

January 16th, 2011
7:03 pm

POAD and Trumpet are having a conversation about buying a 9mm bulet and killing their coach??

Stay classy Techies.

I am pretty sure a cop could track your IP address and arrest you for talking like that on here.

John Patrick Mason

January 16th, 2011
7:03 pm

Hey guys, just wanted to let you know that I will be tweeting to all of our football recruits telling them not to come here. I tweeted to Vad 10 times yesterday! Jesus, I am somewhat of a stalker crazy guy ain’t I?

Also, I think I am cool that my name is the guy from “The Rock”.

5150 P.O.A.D.

January 16th, 2011
7:03 pm

Schultz
Maybe the Pats and BRADY playing the Falcons and Ryan cursed both teams in the playoffs.
4th Qtr with 13:00 Pats down by 10

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jan Olsen and others. Jan Olsen said: LIVE from Tech-UNC hoops: Will this game be ugly, too?: Or is this game going to be as ugly as the football game… http://bit.ly/eIYdZG [...]

Paul in RDU

January 16th, 2011
7:08 pm

The GT-UNC game is going to be ugly. One team has disciplined players. a couple of good inside players and a coach who has won 2 NC’s. The other team’s best player is trying to audition for the NBA, has little inside game and the outside shooters can’t beat 40%.
UNC by 15 as Zeller and Henson run wild inside.

John Patrick Mason

January 16th, 2011
7:08 pm

5150 P.O.A.D.

January 16th, 2011
7:10 pm

DA double
Nobody said anything about killing Coach. Maybe that is what you think you read. I just said a 9mm round is cheaper than buying out Hewitt’s conrtact. That could mean I will shot myself if I have to watch him coach another game. You are ASSUMING you think what I mean. So, you do know what happens when you ASSUME don’t you?

Chris

January 16th, 2011
7:11 pm

Tech has a chance. Just because they lost at Clemson by 25 points isn’t the end of the world. North Carolina lost at Clemson by 19 in their last trip there last February. I think it was Carolinas worst margin of defeat in something like 10 years.

John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith

January 16th, 2011
7:17 pm

John Patrick Mason,

You are a stalker, sir. I find it sad and bizarre that you follow the tweets so closely of an 18 year old recruit.

You then took the time to read the info of a Tweeter, then look that person up on Myspace…. MYSPACE??? You loser.

Schultz, please note this poster is releasing personal information presumably of another commenter, which is a direct violation of the AJC Commenter User Agreement, and should be banned.

GT Trumpet

January 16th, 2011
7:19 pm

Wow…I actually didn’t make that connection when I read POAD’s comment. Wondered why he mentioned a bullet, I thought he thought bullets were incredibly expensive for some reason.

One time last year I was in my car on campus and CPJ walked in front of me at a stop sign after a practice. I entertained myself thinking what would happen if I accidently ran him over. All I could picture was Tech fans grabbing torches and pitchforks. We love CPJ and he will continue to lead us for many years.

D A DoubleU G

January 16th, 2011
7:21 pm

CPJ will “lead”you?

To 6-7 seasons, losses against UGA and losses in the Independence Bowl to Service Academies, maybe.

But wait…. he beat UGA in 2008, i forgot. SO he is good in Techies books for all time.

bgdawg

January 16th, 2011
7:22 pm

Can’t even beat Georgia? UGA is ranked, maybe going to the NCAA tourney, and beat the 10th ranked team in the country. UGA would beat GT 10 out of 10 times this year

"Chef" Tim Dix

January 16th, 2011
7:27 pm

Heard Hewitt is petitioning the FDIC to raise account limits.

DURKA

January 16th, 2011
7:31 pm

Nothing shy of winning the NCAA tournament will quit critics. NOTHING.

Hewitt is gone. Money has been raised. DRad is just waiting for the season to end and putting on a diplomatic face cause that is his job.

We get taken to the slaughter tonight. Congrats to the football pickups this weekend!

Jeff Schultz

January 16th, 2011
7:33 pm

Steve — Haha. Actually, I volunteered for this. I like college hoops (even as bad as Tech is).

Jeff Schultz

January 16th, 2011
7:34 pm

Stevie Zero — I actually had three margaritas in the car before I walked in. I’m ready for tip-off! Wait, where’s the court?

GT Trumpet

January 16th, 2011
7:34 pm

I don’t like to make excuses for coaches but this past year was nothing to do with CPJ’s coaching. It had everything to do with our players not finishing the drill. We threw interceptions when we could have beaten VT, ugag, Kansas, and Air Force.

I’m excited for this years recruiting class! I believe our 2012 and 2013 seasons will be superb, but I don’t have much hope for 2011 honestly.

"Chef" Tim Dix

January 16th, 2011
7:34 pm

Fund raising at Tech explains the strong arm robberies around the Campus.

Jeff Schultz

January 16th, 2011
7:35 pm

POAD — Yes, I saw that score. How about that? So I guess the Falcons are the equal of the New England Patriots.

FACTS

January 16th, 2011
7:38 pm

Brady + Ryan = COY chokes of the year combined 25 – 5 record but 0 – 2 when it counts

Jacket 56

January 16th, 2011
7:39 pm

WE SUCK!!! How long will D-Rad let this continue before he drops the hammer. He says publicly that he is behind Hewitt. No way that’s how he really feels. We need a booster with deep pockets to step up and write the check before Hewitt runs this program in the ground.

Jeff Schultz

January 16th, 2011
7:43 pm

A lot of empty seats in here and many of the ones filled are wearing powder blue.

DURKA

January 16th, 2011
7:43 pm

Schultz,

Who do you think some good options to target as a new coach when Tech gets rid of Hewitt at the end of the season? Give us a tease for some good early options.

"Chef" Tim Dix

January 16th, 2011
7:43 pm

“Booster with deep pockets” at Tech?

Que the Bigfoot sightings.

Paul in RDU

January 16th, 2011
7:43 pm

Fox Sports Carolina seems to have the longest pre-game ever for this game.

Jeff Schultz

January 16th, 2011
7:46 pm

Durka — I can’t even fake a good answer right now. But it needs to be someone who can deal with academic situation.

DURKA

January 16th, 2011
7:47 pm

A lot of students and alumni are not attending in protest, and because losing is miserable.

We should stop discussing this team and coach and just move on as if they don’t exist. It’s a waste of time and breath. We may not win another game this season.

Jeff Schultz

January 16th, 2011
7:47 pm

2-0. … Stop the game!

Yellow Britches

January 16th, 2011
7:48 pm

Jeff, Tech might be better offer agressively selling tickets to our basketball games through the athletic offices of our opposing schools. They have a list of Atlanta based alums who might be inclined to watch this crap. I’m done. Finis.