Posted: 10:17 am Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Tech looking to Daniel Miller 

By Ken Sugiura

daniel miller, georgia tech yellow jackets, college basketball, acc

Georgia Tech center Daniel Miller is averaging 10.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game this season. (Jason Getz / AJC File)

It remains to be seen what Georgia Tech can accomplish in 13 remaining ACC games, starting tonight against Boston College (9 p.m., ESPNU). The first five games have been something less than a fount of hope.

But I think the answer, or as much as an answer exists at this point, might be center Daniel Miller putting the team on his back from a scoring standpoint. Coach Brian Gregory said as much after Tech’s loss to Miami Saturday. Miller took five shots, tied for fourth most on the team, making three. He and forward Kammeon Holsey were 6-for-10 and the rest of the team was 7-for-34.

“When he gets the ball in the paint, we need him to be aggressive to score,” Gregory said. “And I think hopefully he’ll see that when we show it to him on the film and he’ll understand how important it is for him to get (shots). The rest of the season, he should be getting nine to 12, 13, 14 shots every single game.”

Miller is averaging 7.1 shots this season with a high of 11. From a points-per-shot perspective, Miller has the highest ratio (1.48, just ahead of Trae Golden at 1.42) but the second-lowest shots-per-minute average among available scholarship players after guard Corey Heyward.

Obviously, the more shots Miller takes, the less efficient he’ll almost certainly become. But he’s clearly Tech’s best scoring option right now. If you’ve followed his career, you know this has been something of a theme. To his credit, Miller is team-first to a fault and only wants to take good shots. The thing is, I think, a poor shot by his estimation is still probably better than a lot of the shots that are going up.

Gregory addressed the matter further Monday, prior to the team’s departure for Boston. Post players not getting enough shots, he said, is typically due to a combination of guards not getting them the ball enough and the post players themselves not being assertive enough. He said what can help is that players like Miller score not just off passes into the post, but on offensive rebounds, drive-and-dish plays and in transition.

But, he said, “you’ve still got to be disciplined enough to feed the post.”

If players had been watching last night, they might have found some inspiration or at least example in N.C. State. The Wolfpack played without T.J. Warren, the league’s leading scorer, who was out with a sprained ankle. They scored 20 points in the first half and shot 22.2 percent from the field. Sounds familiar.

However, down 29-20 at the half, N.C. State outscored Maryland 45-27 in the second half to win 65-56.

“In the first half, we looked a little lost offensively, trying to figure out how we’re going to do this because we do rely on T.J.  a lot,” N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said. “In the second half, we just kind of settled down and said, ‘All right, let’s go. Here’s who’s on the floor. We’ve got to play. We’ve got to score.’”

I should say that it’s not like Tech has been groping around in darkness since Carter’s injury. The Jackets played well for a half at Duke. They beat Notre Dame. They were up at halftime against Pitt. They just flopped against Miami.

The other thing is, part of the solution to playing without Carter depends on 3-point shooting, and Tech has been abysmal from 3-point range. The Jackets rebounded better against Miami than they did against Pittsburgh. Forward Marcus Georges-Hunt and Golden, while they didn’t shoot well against Miami, drove to the basket to get to the line.

The right ideas are there, it would seem. It’s a matter of making it happen, and that would start with Miller.

Unrelated: I confess I didn’t know that, until this morning, former Tech guard Mfon Udofia is playing in the NBA’s D-League. He is playing with the Delaware 87ers and averaging 8.5 points and 2.0 assists per game. Stat page here.

14 comments
juvenal
juvenal

what happened to the acc post? good thing i made a copy........

GTBee
GTBee

Am I missing something? Isnt he a Senior?! A bit late to start relying on him. As a big man in ACC basketball - he was a big fail. Hopefully he will get a GT degree.

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

And people question whether BirminhamJacket is a real Tech fan......hmm......wonder why???

GGee
GGee

Get the ball in the post!!! Maybe Morris will come out of the gate attacking the rim and crashing the boards. Miller needs to go all out for 1 game. See what the results are, if good... hell know he has been wrong all along about hisimportance to this team on offense

TechTroll13
TechTroll13

I don't think it is in Miller's DNA to be a selfish player, but that is what we need.  It is hard to be something you're not used to being.

Movement on offense is more difficult when playing against a zone.  It is much easier to run sets against a man to man, which is what we were doing agaist Pitt.  We played really well in the Pitt game.  They are very good.

@Pistol66 I agree with your comments to BJ.  He loves hyperbole.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

Get the damn ball inside......and box out!!!!


Birmingham: GTH!

crackbaby
crackbaby

CBG, "Post players not getting enough shots... is typically due to a combination of guards not getting them the ball enough and the post players themselves not being assertive enough"

That may be true but in this instance it's because the coach is not preparing his team enough.  Tech needs movement on offense - both the ball and the players need to move.  Run some GD plays! Get offensive rebounds.  Run the tape of the Pitt game - do what they did to us to BC.


D Miller should touch the ball on every possession in the half court offense.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

"Tech looking to Daniel Miller"


I keep waiting for the more appropriate article:  "Tech looking to move to Division 2"

Pistol66
Pistol66

Ken, you are saying what all Tech fans know. Daniel is the key player on the team! He is very talented but he is unselfish to a fault! His drive and dunk against Pittsburgh was incredible! His problem right now is too many minutes and in the ACC, where every game is a battle, there is no rest for him! We are hoping that Morris being back in the lineup will help on the boards and Daniel can get a breather during the games! He is the best center in the conference and I hope the Hawks get him in the draft! Under Coach Bud, he could be the next Tim Duncan or Tiago Splitter!

juvenal
juvenal

& like CBG said post game, they don't feed him the ball inside just so he can pass it back out........hopefully, Jason can help with the treys.....

juvenal
juvenal

have to watch the cheap fouls early.......

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

@GTBee A fail?  He's been dominant the past two seasons  He was soft and too unselfish his first two seasons thanks in part to your man Hewitt.  

Pistol66
Pistol66

So where does that put uga, Illinois, and Notre Dame since we beat all three this year? I keep waiting for all the idiots like you that don't understand basketball to say something intelligent! We play in the best basketball conference in the country and you have to bring your A game every night! We have been short handed, but we have been very competitive in every game. We should all be proud of Coach Gregory and his team for playing hard and representing us well!