1. Derrick Favors doesn’t look like the Derrick Favors who played for South Atlanta. There’s a reason for that. He’s being asked to play out on the floor; his best work is done down low. The shots he’s getting — he took eight apiece in Georgia Tech’s losses to Florida State and Georgia — include too many face-up jumpers. He’s not a jump shooter. He’s a power player with terrific post moves. Trouble is, Gani Lawal is Tech’s No. 1 post option, and he has developed into a good one. But Lawal and Favors don’t yet mesh. They’re not, say, Horford and Noah.
2. Tech has a history of not always getting the ball to its biggest talents. Chris Bosh averaged 9.7 shots per game his one season at Tech. Then he left for the NBA and was the fourth player taken in a famous draft. (LeBron was No. 1, Carmelo No. 3.) Projected to be the second player drafted in June, Favors is averaging 8.2 shots. When asked Tuesday if there were enough shots for both Lawal and Favors in Tech’s offense, Hewitt said, “I think so.” Asked if the two get in one another’s way, Hewitt said, “I don’t think so.”
3. Such is the level of Georgia’s talent that Mark Fox can barely buy his starters a moment’s rest. There came a sequence in the first half when this was brought into stark relief. He removed Trey Thompkins, Ricky McPhee (a former walk-on) and Dustin Ware at the same time, and the result was that the Bulldogs were left with a lineup that had no hope of scoring. One horrid possession was all it took for Thompkins and Ware to be re-deployed. Ware wound up playing 38 minutes, McPhee 35, Thompkins 32. No Tech player save Lawal worked more than 32 minutes. And the team with no depth won. This guy is doing some coaching.
4. Thompkins is twice the player he was as a freshman. Last season was slowed by an early injury and never got into shape. He’s slimmer and quicker now, and he’s a tough matchup for any defender. (Favors started against him but ran into foul trouble, which can happen to post players who are asked to defend face-up opponents.) Thompkins is big but can shoot from distance and make plays off the dribble. The game’s biggest moment was his driving three-point swoop as the shot clock was down to (almost) nothing and the Bulldogs were leading by a point. As coaches say, he made a basketball play.
5. Hewitt has worked against three Georgia coaches without building a winning record against any of them. He was 1-2 against Jim Harrick and 3-3 against Dennis Felton; he’s 0-1 against Fox. Hewitt has twice taken ranked teams to Athens and lost to the unranked Bulldogs. The frustration level in the Tech community seems at an all-time high, and the next five games — opponents: Duke, Virginia, North Carolina, Clemson and Florida State — could well determine not just the course of this season but the path of Hewitt’s future.