Posted: 6:00 am Monday, January 27th, 2014

7 takeaways from Tech-N.C. State 

By Ken Sugiura

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, North Carolina State, college basketball, ACC, sports

N.C. State’s Jordan Vandenberg (14) blocks the shot of Georgia Tech’s Daniel Miller (5) in overtime. The N.C. State Wolfpack defeated the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 80-78, in overtime. (Ethan Hyman / Raleigh News & Observer)

Thoughts and observations from Tech’s 80-78 overtime loss to N.C. State Sunday in Raleigh, N.C. Game story here. Subscription version here.

Photos: Georgia Tech at North Carolina State

1. On its face, an 80-78 overtime road loss to N.C. State is not the worst thing. Tech brought an undermanned team to Raleigh, N.C., and was one play from winning the game.

Tech did give up an 11-point lead, but battled the Wolfpack down the stretch and came up with a series of big baskets and rebounds. The Jackets re-claimed the lead three different times in the final seven minutes after N.C. State rallied from 11 down to take the lead at 62-61. They played with some grit.

2. That said, the way that Tech lost, repeating patterns it has shown previously this season with ineffective offensive play down the stretch, obviously makes the loss less palatable. Tech scored on six of the first eight possessions of the second half, all against a man-to-man defense before N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried switched to a zone. The Jackets scored on seven of their final 24 possessions of regulation.

Was it all because of the zone? No, but it didn’t help, though. The Jackets had six turnovers in the final 11:37. Some clean shots were missed, other shots were forced. The efficiency that Tech showed in the first half – 10 assists on 13 baskets, 50 percent shooting from the field – gave way to a grind in the second half – four assists on 13 baskets, 40.6 percent shooting.

3. Effort was commendable. With the exception of the Miami game, Gregory is getting that out of this team, at least. Tech outrebounded N.C. State 42-31.

4. Forward Marcus Georges-Hunt is struggling to make baskets. He was 3-for-14 but finished with 13 points thanks to 7-for-10 shooting from the free-throw line. Georges-Hunt does have a knack for drawing contact to get fouls, and I wonder if on at least a few of his misses he was creating contact to get a whistle.

Regardless, he is now shooting 32.1 percent from the field in ACC play. His rebounding, though, has picked up – 16 rebounds in the past three games – and only three turnovers in those games despite a lot of time on the ball.

5. If nothing else, Corey Heyward and Quinton Stephens getting considerable time this season as freshmen will be valuable next season. Had Robert Carter and Travis Jorgenson stayed healthy, neither would be seeing the court nearly as much as they are.

Stephens made good use of his quick trigger, making five of seven shots for a career-high 13 points.

Heyward didn’t do a ton offensively, but had only one turnover in 22 minutes. I’d suspect that Heyward will have a pretty good chance at starting next season. (My guess at a starting five – Heyward, Chris Bolden, Georges-Hunt, Carter and maybe Robert Sampson, the transfer from East Carolina.)

6. You could make an easy case that Tech would be 0-6 in the ACC had Golden not transferred in this year instead of 2-4, as he was critical in both of the Jackets’ two ACC wins (20 points, four assists against Notre Dame, 24 points against Boston College). I suppose, though, if we’re going to play the alternate reality game, then perhaps Carter and Jorgenson wouldn’t have gotten hurt if Carter weren’t here or didn’t receive immediate eligibility.

7. I suspect no one is clamoring for an update on Tech’s postseason hopes, but here it is. I think we can say the NCAA is not terribly likely. Tech probably would need to finish 17-14 to have a shot at the NIT. At 11-9, that would mean finishing 6-5 over the final 11 regular-season games. The final 11 – North Carolina, at Wake Forest, at Clemson, Virginia, Boston College, Duke, Clemson, at Notre Dame, at Florida State, at Syracuse, Virginia Tech.

Five of those I could see Tech winning – at Wake, both Clemson games (although the fighting Radakoviches have won seven in a row against Tech), Boston College, Virginia Tech. But to win all five and then steal one from the other six would be a tall order.

30 comments
HarveyPooka
HarveyPooka

I'm not throwing in the towel on this season, but really looking forward to 2014-2015, with return of Carter and Jorgenson. stronger and full of determination.  No doubt that Daniel Miller will be greatly missed, but the potential for good things next season is "right in front of us, for the taking" and the team will do okay.

MarineJacket
MarineJacket

Shooting, shooting and shooting.  Stephens is the only player that I feel confident when the shot leaves his hand.  I know we are getting a 2 guard in next year that's suppose to be the same type of shooter, but Bolden, Georges-Hunt, Heyward and company have got to become more consistent with the jumpers.

The defense has been good all year, we just can't score consistently.

Go Jackets!!!!

juvenal
juvenal

shame Royal did not pan out.........

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

Any time a game goes to OT check FT-shooting.   The Jackets missed 7 (69.6% 16-23).  

jgcair
jgcair

Look at the stats: GT had more three point makes, more free throws, way more rebounds. What is missing? Inside defense, in the paint we give layups and drive and dish. If we play a zone this should not happen. We allow high percentage of field goals because teams know they can drive on our defense. Working on the defense, and keeping teams under 50% will turn these close losses into wins!!!!

CraigSelf
CraigSelf

Tech is so far removed from the Cremin's era it's not even funny.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

Why do they stop trying to get the ball inside?????? Again, the second half was w/o penetration. Yes the zone had an affect, but why did they really not try to get the ball inside..then out? Holsey's last lob to Miller, with a defender ON HIS BACK was ridiculous!

GTBee
GTBee

Ken, we will end the season with the same 2 wins we have in the ACC.  Maybe 1 or 2 more but that is it!

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

CBI (at best) for GT this year.

GTBee
GTBee

Our AD can't stand the heat - so what does he do?  He DOESN'T answer any emails sent to him.  He has his assistants answer them.  How lame.  Stand up and be a man Bobinski!

leegoza
leegoza

Stephens deserves more playing time as he is one of the few players we have with any kind of shooting touch and should be a starter next year if he can bulk up a little. I hate to say it but I don't see any post-season play in our future until we learn how to handle a zone defense. Why Bolden over Solomon as a starter next year? What has he done to deserve this? Is Solomon done at GT?

Hookedonshortpasses
Hookedonshortpasses

Do they get (really) tired?  Saw a couple of "air-ball" shots late...

Jim70
Jim70

Tough lose, but these are the ones we need to win in order to make the nit.  out of country so couldn't see the game, but mgh's missed shots were not on ones he got a whistle, since they don't count.  so are you saying his misses were forced trying to get a call?


Good article, but don't really like next years line up.  with that line, will be another long year. 

MarineJacket
MarineJacket

I think Royal could have worked out, I believe that the fact that Carter came in as a freshman and started turned him off.  His game was similar to Carter's, with the face up jumpers (43%)and 3pt shooting (37%).  And according to CBG, that's what he wants his 4s to be able to do in addition to posting up. 

It'll be interesting to see how his career progresses at George Mason with Coach Hewitt

Go Jackets!!!!

Hookedonshortpasses
Hookedonshortpasses

@D-Sheets If you google Mark Price free throw shooting, he indicates to be good, you

need practice.  A lot of practice.  Since practice does tend to improve proficiency, wonder

how much some guys do....practice.

TechTroll13
TechTroll13

While Golden adds the offensive output we need, he is not quick enough to stay in front of active point guards on defense.

TechTroll13
TechTroll13

While I am a big Cemins fan, let's not forget exactly what he did.  In his last four years his overall record was 58-65 with zero NCAA appearences.  His career ACC record was 134-150.  No doubt there were some great moments, but ....

TechTroll13
TechTroll13

Holsey is a terrible passer.  I rather he take a bad shot than try to make a pass.

TechTroll13
TechTroll13

Your prediction seems to keep changing.  You originally said 0 to 2.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@GTBee He has personally responded to the letter and email which I sent him.  Maybe it's the tone in which you write to him.

Born2Buzz
Born2Buzz

@leegoza  Why Bolden over Solomon as a starter next year? What has he done to deserve this? Is Solomon done at GT?


Likely we will not see Solo again.  We will eventually find out the real story behind him not even suiting up.  Migraines don't last this long.

TechTroll13
TechTroll13

I like Ken's reporting, but I'm not going to put much stock in his projected starting line-up.

GTBee
GTBee

TechT his last few years were all not great but his first 15 were spectacular!!

GTBee
GTBee

I said 0-12 or 2-10. Assumed a 12 game conf. Didnt realize we play 18? 4-14 then

GTBee
GTBee

Well??? What words of wisdom did u get from him then? Pls share. Copy and paste his response in here.

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

@GTBee His first three years were garbage.  Two under .500 years and then a first round KO in the NIT.  Hmmm.......but I'm sure you had faith that he would blossom into the great coach he turned out to be.  After all, PATIENCE is a virtue.