Credit where its due, Jackets in Final!

I’ve been critical of Coach Hewitt in my last few blogs. Rightfully so, I think, and with reason. This team obviously has the talent to perform at a high level. Yet somehow we witnessed another losing record in the ACC regular season.

But I also have to give credit when its due. And tonight its definitely due…

Hewitt has been coaching with a chip on his shoulder the past few days and his team has fed off that energy and focus. As a result, we’re looking at an ACC Final match up against Duke tomorrow afternoon.

Somehow, this Jackets team has persevered and managed to rattle off three wins without playing a complete 40 minutes in any of them. Somehow, this team has managed to survive and advance. And really, that’s all that counts at this point. Those of us who remember the 2004 run will remember how that team gathered up a series of unlikely and dramatic wins en route to the national title game.

But make no mistake…the Jackets must play a complete game against Duke to secure the conference title.

They must reduce turnovers…14 against UNC, 25 against Maryland, and 16 against North Carolina State. That’s an average of about 18 turnovers a game in the ACC tourney.

They must hit their freethrows…9 of 16 against UNC, 13 of 27 againts Maryland, and 19 of 32 against North Carolina State. 34 points left on the floor in the last three games and barely over 50% in the ACC tourney.

And Tech must learn how to handle pressure and inbounds the ball in clutch situations…even the TV commentators have picked up on the inability to get the ball inbounds.

If the Jackets turn the ball over 18 times and shoot 50% from the stripe tomorrow…well…it’ll be UGLY…

Duke doesn’t let you get away with numbers like that…they pound you into the ground if you give them a chance.

Tech has already beaten Duke once this season…can they do it again?

Go Jackets!

Beat Duke!

38 comments Add your comment

Kay

March 13th, 2010
10:46 pm

Crowd will be mostly Duke fans. Few Ga Tech fans.
Officials will check with Coach K as to how to call the game.
Favors and Lawal will be called for early touch fouls.
Officials will take Lawal and favors out of the game early.

Kay

March 13th, 2010
10:47 pm

Hope I am totally wrong!
Goooooo Jackets!

Tobaccer Road Crew

March 13th, 2010
10:55 pm

Kay, you’re almost assuredly correct about the refs.

John

March 13th, 2010
11:13 pm

Coach K is already in a king-sized bed with the refs. Call their hotel room and he will answer the phone.

Nancy

March 13th, 2010
11:24 pm

Kay you are SO correct. I only hope that because Paul Hewitt knows his job is on the line that he will pull some of Coach Ks antics and get to the refs too…Its time that we take Duke down and its time for a new team at the top and no one better than the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets….

Sean C.

March 14th, 2010
12:32 am

To put it succinctly, Coach Hewitt simply isn’t coaching up to snuff.

Need proof? Two cases in point:

1. Inbounding the basketball should not be adventure. When “Line” (where 4 players line up near mid-court…when the ball is out-of-bounds under Tech’s basket) is the only inbounds play in your repertoire, that’s lazy coaching. What’s even more exacerbating is the fact that the players “executing” (I put that in quotes because it’s more the lack of execution that we see) said play seem to be moving at half-speed. There’s no sense of urgency in trying to get open to receive the inbounds pass. This is not practice; it’s a real game. While having one inbounds play isn’t necessarily terrible, when it is not executed properly because the players aren’t hustling, the blame can only lie with the coach and his coaching staff. Accumulating 16 turnovers in a half (vs Maryland, 25 for the game)? Are you kidding me?

2. Every trip to the free throw line should not cause a collective panic. For those thinking that free throw shooting is something that cannot be improved upon, consider this from Mark Fox and Co. just up the road in Athens: UGA’s FT Shooting % in 2008-2009 under Dennis Felton was 63.8%. This year under Mark Fox? 71.8%. The Dawgs even lost their best FT shooter in Terrance Woodbury (83.9%) but still managed to improve 8 percentage points (for those of you interested, that is a statistically significant improvement). Consider these improved numbers: Travis Leslie went from 57.5% to 73.5%, Dustin Ware from 68.4% to 82.2%, Jeremy Price from 52.2% to 69.4%, Chris Barnes from 43.7% to 56.1%, etc. In fact, EVERYONE who played on last year’s team improved their free throw shooting percentage this year. Coincidence? Let’s also not forget that Mark Fox’s previous teams at Nevada also shot the ball well from the charity stripe: over 70% during his tenure there.

I could talk about numerous other points: the lack of consistent player development from year to year, the lack of basketball IQ among GT players, the lack of discipline among the team, the same mistakes being made over and over again without correction, the inability to coach-up players, etc.

I don’t mean to be bash Coach Hewitt. I’ve never met the man, and by all accounts, he seems to be a standup guy; however, his coaching leaves a lot to be desired. That being said, I hope Tech can overcome bad (or non-existent, as the case may be) coaching to upset Duke tomorrow…although I won’t be holding my breath.

Techman 78

March 14th, 2010
4:09 am

Even though we are playing for the ACC championship Hewitt still needs to go. Before the season, considering the returners from last season and the class of freshmen we had coming in the ACC championship was “expected”. However, we have still managed to underacheive all season again. Yes, we beat UNC for a 3rd time this season on Thursday, but we only hit just over half our free throws and commited several turnovers. Maryland was truly an “ugly” win. Then NC state, we have soooo much more talent then they do and still almost managed to lose. If it wasnt for the drive and the talent of these kids they would have been out in the first round of the ACC. It certainly isnt Hewittts coaching that got them this far. Unfortunately, he has now done just enough, again to keep his job for another season of underacheiving lackluster performances. Oh well, good luck to the kids to make a good run in the tournament. After having to play for this moron they deserve something good to happen. Go Jackets!!

collegeballfan

March 14th, 2010
6:57 am

Sean C. at 12:32 am.

I agree with every statement you made re Tech. I am not familiar with the UGA numbers, but I do know Fox can coach circles around most SEC coaches. Fox’s problem at UGA is a fan base that cares more about has zero interest in basketball.

Sarge1

March 14th, 2010
7:06 am

Hey, didn’t Tech win? All those negative posts made me forget. Fact: Tech IS playing for the ACC Championship today. Ugly wins are still wins and are infinitely better than “pretty” losses. Fact: Tech has progressed to where they are because of the team maturation taking place. Fact: If CPH is so terrible as a coach, why are we seeing an improved response during crunch time? Me thinks lthat this team finally realizes how good they can be. Good luck today Tech and good luck in the Big Dance. I hear UGA might be in the NIT IF they can play it in Shreveport.

old Tech fan in NC

March 14th, 2010
7:47 am

Tech has a good record (at times) defending the three point attempts. Dook has a record of inconsistency making the three pointers. So, if the phase is in alignment, Tech may win.

We have already enjoyed seeing the MD coach pull his hair, sweat, stomp, swirl and spin, spit and point
Would it not be even more fun seeing the rat do the same this PM!

rainman

March 14th, 2010
7:52 am

One thing we know for sure — coach K will exploit weaknesses like a vulture picking at an open wound. He will press all day and use the foul line to his advantage.
CPH, on the other hand, should have a plan to limit Duke’s top two players — stick to them like glue, deny them the ball, double team them …. whatever it takes. If these two can be held in check, Tech can win this game.

old Tech fan in NC

March 14th, 2010
8:19 am

Dook has three top players…

StingerSplash

March 14th, 2010
8:56 am

Can’t argue with any of the sentiments expressed, Ramblin’ On. Tech has been good enough to overcome the chinks in its armor. Today, it must not have any chinks to beat Duke.
And it’s hard to go on the two games of the series this year. Tech looked great in one game, and looked like the team that has so maddeningly surfaced too often for the liking of all involved.
So which team will be conjured up today? The one that can, on any given day, play as well as anybody in the nation … or the one that will to and even below the level of its competition?

Jamaica

March 14th, 2010
9:10 am

GT is going to the big dance and that’s all that matters. CPH has done a great job this year. This team could win it all because they are starting to jell at just the right time. Can you imagine if they started playing better then they have been? Coach, this is your year, so handle your business.

Typical Techie Bandwagon Crybaby

March 14th, 2010
11:16 am

Yay, back on the bandwagon!!!! Go Jackets!!!

yo

March 14th, 2010
11:20 am

well your right..it is the dook discipline vs. the undisciplined, it’s the fundamentals vs. unfundamentals and it’s the noturnovers vs. the turnovers…but GT has the better talent and maybe today they can overcome where they lack, go get’em Jackets

ATL XMAN

March 14th, 2010
11:20 am

tech will lose today because they play stupid and cant shoot free throws. only chance of winning is playing great defense and hoping duke has an off night shooting like the last 3 teams they just played. paul has no control over his front court and is sinking with them. he wants them to throw it to the big guys but once they see they are guarded they shoot and most time miss. i feel sorry for coach PH i can see the frustration but thats what you get when play a bunch of ball hogs at the guard position..too many times they throw up some stupid shots hoping their big guys can rebound it. duke will do a better job rebounding than the terps and nc state and will win this game going away..i say by 15 or more. because unlike tech duke will hit there free throws late to put the game out of reach.

ATL XMAN

March 14th, 2010
11:22 am

tech will get crushed the first game in the big dance because they will have to play a high seed. tech will be a low seed. 10 maybe

ATL XMAN

March 14th, 2010
11:37 am

nancy and kay..please dont use the excuse of the refs calling touch fouls..tech guys foul with authority down low and is easy to spot. so when tech loses today you blog about how the guards stunk it up and not how the refs call touch fouls..

MiamiJacket

March 14th, 2010
11:43 am

The key to this game is petty simple. Stay out of foul trouble and shut down Singler. If we can do those two things we’ll win. You can’t give Singler open threes or he’ll make you pay.

We should destroy them in the post though. Hopefully our guards can remember how to make an entry pass to the post. They did a much better job going to Favors and Lawal against Maryland but then couldn’t figure it out against NC State.

T.O

March 14th, 2010
12:01 pm

This just goes to show how talented this team is and what they are capable of doing when they decide to play.  The problem is the coach here.  Where was this team all year???  In a down ACC year, this team went 7 and 9??  There’s no discipline with this Jackets team, stupid fouls, way too many turnovers, substitution pattern with all the guards makes no sense.  Hewitt can recruit with the best of them but as far as the coaching goes, he belongs at a mid major and not the ACC. 

Nancy

March 14th, 2010
12:07 pm

ATL XMAN….you are correct they do….BUT SO DOES DUKE and it NEVER gets called….and I say this at every DUKE game I watch NOT just against GT….im NEVER saying GT is not without fault BUT if refs would just let em play….you will find its just not as bad as the refs make it out to be…..IM WITH JOHN……COACH K IS IN A KING SIZE BED WITH THE REFS!!!!!!!

Nancy

March 14th, 2010
12:09 pm

and IF Tech loses today as long as they give it their all thats all that matters to me….IT MATTERS TO WIN….it is DEF time for a new SHERIFF in town and I WANT IT BADLY FOR THEM but they werent expected to make it this far in the the tourney and they did so Im proud of that…..BUT dont EVER EVER EVER count out the GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS!!!!!!!

Nemo

March 14th, 2010
12:13 pm

Glad all you guys know already that Tech’s going to lose the game. Saves me the trouble of watching it.

FL Jacket

March 14th, 2010
12:55 pm

Techman 78, I’m not sure if you’re just ignorant, and allow your hatred of Hewitt to cloud your vision, or the fact that you are posting at 4am means your are under the influence of something. No team, last year’s UNC team included, can be “expected” to win the championship. You clearly haven’t played the game or you would have a clue as to how hard it is to win championships. Should our record, especially on the road, be better? Absolutely. But in a tournament on a neutral floor, talent usually prevails. These kids have worked hard and are playing their best ball when it counts, and have a shot to win a championship today. And like it or not, these kids wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Coach Hewitt. He is the coach they want to play for. I for one am proud of these kids and Coach Hewitt. Go Jackets!

TechGradandGatorFan_DawgHater

March 14th, 2010
12:56 pm

Last Saturday I jumped on the get rid of Hewitt bandwagon. The ACC sucks this year and they probably should have won a couple of more games. That being said, the truth is College Basketball is a game about the point guard. When Hewitt had a decent point guard (I went back and checked) we did not do too bad. Jarrett Jack was the best that we had during the Hewitt era and that carried to the heights that we went. Sure we have some of the best talent in the NCAA at the wings. Favors is a top five draft pick and there is a pretty good chance Gani will go in the first round. If we had even a Will Bynum caliber point guard we would be on our way to another Final Four. I hope I am wrong, but I don’t see us going deep in this year’s dance.

And I agree with Kay. We won’t get our share of the calls today. So…..

south

March 14th, 2010
2:23 pm

Chris…your a disgrace of a GT fan

south

March 14th, 2010
2:26 pm

Nancy, apparently you have expierence sleeping in KING SIZE BED to get what you want.

Techman 78

March 14th, 2010
5:47 pm

FL Jacket, first off, I didnt say that the ACC championship was expected. Learn how to read dickhead. Second of all the reason that I was posting at 4AM is because I have to be up that early for work. I dont drink and I dont do drugs so no I wasnt under the influence of anything. I have played the game and I do realize that winning a championship is never EASY. This team is as talented as any team I have ever witnessed, however it is very, very undercoached. I never said that Paul Hewitt wasnt a good recruiter because he is the reason that these kids are at Tech, however he is not a good coach. All he ever does is make excuses for his team not winning. Hewitt does not coach any fundamentals. When a team cannot shoot free throws, cannot inbound the ball and turns the ball over like the jackets do that is a product of coaching. IF YOU EVER PLAYED the game you would realize all of these facts so save yourself the embarrassment of calling me out when you dont know what your talking about. I am extremely proud of this group of guys, I truly think that they could go a long way in the tournament. I will say this though, if they do go along way into the tournament it will be because they have one heck of a group of kids that have a will to win and a lot of talent, not because Paul Hewitt coached them there. We will not see consistent play at Tech until we get a coach that teaches some offense, free throw shooting, and inbounding the ball. I am a die hard Tech fan and I am tired of seeing these kids work there butt of to get lackluster results. Go Jackets, make Atlanta proud in the Tournament.

Jack

March 15th, 2010
7:39 am

The best thing the jackets did at the ACC tourney was to find Moe Miller as their point guard. This is a no brainer. I know Coach H like tall guards but would you not play Ty Lawson? Schumpart (sp?) would be best used as a slashing 2 guard and would help his offense if was there. Bell or Oliver at the other wing and now you got something. THe 3 bigs is working well. Good run at the ACC but too many turnovers. Moe at the point would reduce those.

ATL XMAN

March 15th, 2010
9:34 am

a person can either shoot free throws or they can’t. and if they cant it is up to them and not the coach to get better. the coach cant shoot for them. free throws are something a player can work on after practice aswell..blame coach PH for other things like blowing his timeouts way too early sometimes or having the wrong players on the floor but you cant blame him for the bad free throw percentage. thats all on the players. every coach stresses free throws and sets a certain amount of time to work on them during practice. i will bet you duke takes just as much time as tech to work on free throws during practice. i did like how hard they played defense though but they have a long way to go on offense if the guards shoot whenever they feel like throwing up a 3 when they should really work on getting it to the low post. the gaurds right now play stupid, although very talented, they play stupid. again not coach PH fault.

ATL XMAN

March 15th, 2010
9:49 am

give coach K credit..he teaches and works on the def player moving his feet and having the def player in the right spot so they dont have to foul. tech doesnt do any of that..they play very agressive on defense and lots of over playing which inturm will cause the defense to be out of position most times than not thus having to foul so the offensive player doesnt hav an easy shot. also if you notice techs players get tired pretty quickly thus they are having to reach in alot instead of moving their feet. they use that time to rest or catch their breath. if coach wants them to play that agressive on D then he might need to have them run more during practice aswell.

JuneBaby

March 16th, 2010
7:38 pm

Duke lands a teamfull of all-americans every year, many more than coach hewitt. but when’s the last time they won a ncaa championship?? if it’s about recruiting, shouldn’t they or no. carolina win it every year? another thing, if coach k. is such a developer of talent, what happens to his players in the nba? beyond grant hill or c laettner? does the talent just disappear when they leave cameron? remember these are supposed to be all-americans, not just any old scrubs. btw, when is the last time tech won a ncaa championship? was it when Naismith was coaching? it certainly wasn’t whack hyder or bobby cremins. all i’m saying, is that i don’t see duke, kentucky, louisville, syracuse, ucla, texas, georgetown, or maryland winning championships lately. and they have much more of a basketball legacy than ga. tech has ever had. this hatred for coach hewitt is an irrational thing. there aren’t many ways to explain it, but there are a few.

Dooley's Cardiologist

March 18th, 2010
3:48 pm

You give credit to the unreal talent on that team, not Hewitt. The only reason Tech isn’t a 8 seed in the NIT right now is becaue of the talent (PLAYERS). Hewitt is a moron!!

indianman

March 20th, 2010
2:41 am

ga tech will lose to ohio state

Louie

March 20th, 2010
9:42 am

Well where do I start.

Out of the loop lately, HOW BOUT THE JACKETS !!!!!!!!!!!! Huge win over OK State….

jackhammer, whats up son ??

”As the Mutt Turns” gets better EVERYDAY. Now m. adams has shut down the drunk parties on Cow Town campus, eliminating early homesteading with tents, kegs and wide screen tv’s. Guess the drunk starts at home so look for a TON of DUI’S as mutts try to drive to the games. LOTS of check points and arrests.

STILL…………. L M F A O.

LATER

2 and done!!!!

March 23rd, 2010
8:11 am

Another typical overrated, overhyped, disappointing Yech hoops season down the drain with nothing to show for it!!!! And now they’ll watch YET another of their “student athletes” execute the annual ONE AND DONE practice that is common for Yech thugs!!!!

LOVE IT!!!!!!

UGA (STUPID REDNECK FANS, 7-5, 1980)

April 14th, 2010
12:30 pm