Reviewing Tech’s loss to No. 9 Louisville

Georgia Tech's Quinton Stephens, center, passes the ball in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville in Atlanta, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Georgia Tech’s Quinton Stephens, center, passes the ball in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville in Atlanta, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Looking back at Georgia Tech’s 65-50 loss to No. 8 Louisville Saturday at McCamish Pavilion. You can read the game story here and the “5 things” recap here.” Quotes from both coaches and Tech players are here. A story explaining UPS’ role in Louisville’s win is here.

Four factors*

4factorslouisville

The first two lines pretty much explain it all. Louisville shot more effectively, boosted by 9-for-16 shooting from 3-point range, and took better care of the basketball.

*Four factors follows the idea that the four statistics that most lead to success are effective field-goal percentage (which weights 3-point baskets proportionately), turnover percentage, offensive rebounding percentage and free throws per field-goal attempts.

Thought of the game

Much more so than the North Carolina or Duke games, I think this is the sort of game that we’re going to see a lot the rest of the way. Tech defends fairly well (rebounding aside) and gives teams trouble but loses because the offense can’t generate enough points.

Saturday, Tech gave Louisville more trouble than the Cardinals have faced most of the season. Only four teams have held Louisville to under 65 points in regulation – Old Dominion, Wichita State, Baylor and Virginia. Those four teams are a combined 51-12.

After an atrocious start, the defense enabled Tech to put a mild-sized scare into the No. 9 team in the country, drawing to within three points midway through the second half. However, Tech shot 34 percent from the field and made one of eight 3-pointers. That isn’t going to get it done. Louisville is an excellent defensive team, but only two teams have scored fewer points this season against Louisville in regulation.

Louisville was further aided by two huge offensive rebounds that the Jackets could well have secured after Tech made its second-half run. The Jackets do not rebound well on the defensive end, partially because it’s harder to do when playing zone defense, and in this instance both Louisville offensive rebounds turned into 3-pointers that helped stave off the Jackets.

Stat of the game

Outside of center Ben Lammers (9-for-14 for a career-high 24 points) and guard Josh Okogie (5-for-12 for 15), Tech shot 3-for-24, including 0-for-6 from 3-point range, for 11 points. Forward Quinton Stephens, who came into the game averaging 10.1 points, had three. Guard Tadric Jackson, who has produced two games of 20 or more points and four with 15 or more, had five points, shooting 1-for-10 from the field.

“It’s nothing against those guys, because Quinton’s giving every ounce of energy that he’s got and Tadric’s trying,” Josh Pastner said. “We just need another scorer.”

Thus far this season, there have been 36 games in which teams shot below 40 percent from 2-point range and 20 percent from 3-point range, according to teamrankings.com, as the Jackets did Saturday. As you might suspect, those teams are 0-36. (Tech is one of three power-conference teams among the 36, the others being Rutgers and Michigan.)

Individually speaking

Lammers played another impressive game, with the 24 points to go with nine rebounds and three blocks. Effectively set up by teammates, he scored 10 of Tech’s 12 points in a 12-0 run that cut the lead to three midway through the second half. Louisville assistant coach David Padgett paid Lammers a considerable compliment after the game, saying he was probably the most improved player in the ACC.

Coming off the bench, Gueye had two points, four rebounds, two blocks and an assist in 18 minutes. Pastner started him in the second half, evidence of the impact he made in the first half. Pastner said he wanted Gueye’s size in the game to combat Louisville’s going frequently with Lammers at center, Gueye at power forward and Stephens at small forward. Stephens has mostly played as a “stretch 4” this season.

Quote of the game

“We’re very limited offensively. And that’s O.K. Like I’ve told our guys, there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s who we are. That’s who we are. We have to accept that. We’ve got to get better, but some guys just have to step up for us. No if’s, and’s or but’s about it. When you’re open, you’ve got to put it in.” – Pastner

From my iPhone

frisbeedog

You’ll never go wrong with Frisbee dogs as the halftime act.

On a personal note

The game was played shortly after the winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service ended, part of the warning including an exhortation to drive only in an emergency. I think this is the third game that I’ve covered during or shortly after such a warning, the other two being the Boston College and North Carolina games in the 2013-14 season. As you might imagine, the roads have been abnormally clear of traffic. And, actually, the roads themselves (at least the ones between my house and the arena) were dry and ice free.

The rather unfortunate impact of the warning for Tech was that it appeared that a lot of Tech fans chose to stay home, whereas hundreds of Louisville fans who bused down for the game gave the Cardinals a heavy dosage of support. In his first three games, Pastner hasn’t had much in the way of breaks, beyond the very significant break of North Carolina shooting 5-for-26 from 3-point range.

On top of playing three teams in the top 10, the North Carolina game was played at the same time as Tech’s football game, the Duke game was All-American guard Grayson Allen’s first game back from his suspension and coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last before his leave of absence and the Louisville game was played at a time when Tech fans likely stayed away by the hundreds.

Next

Tech plays Clemson at McCamish Pavilion Thursday night at 7 p.m. The Tigers are 11-3 overall and 1-1 in the ACC.


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