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?