Reviewing Georgia Tech’s loss to No. 16 Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - JANUARY 21: Marial Shayok #4 of the Virginia Cavaliers shoots the ball over Josh Okogie #5 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during a game at John Paul Jones Arena on January 21, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – JANUARY 21: Marial Shayok #4 of the Virginia Cavaliers shoots the ball over Josh Okogie #5 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during a game at John Paul Jones Arena on January 21, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images)

Thoughts and notes from Georgia Tech’s 62-49 loss to No. 16 Virginia Saturday in Charlottesville, Va. The “5 things” story is here, and quotes from the game can be read here.

Four factors*

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The big difference is in offensive rebounding percentage, which resulted in Virginia scoring nine points on second-chance possessions to none for Tech. In fairness, limiting Virginia to 24.1 percent is actually a fairly reasonable effort. The far bigger problem was the mere two offensive rebounds that Tech collected.

*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.

One thought

The result was about what should have happened. Georgia Tech played well for a stretch but was ultimately defeated by a better team. The Yellow Jackets were in the game through 15 ½ minutes. It was 29-28 in Virginia’s favor when Josh Okogie drove to the basket and scored. At that point, Tech had scored 28 points in 25 possessions.

That’s pretty good against most teams and exceptional against Virginia. Moreover, Tech had come from down 12 points earlier in the half.

However, over the final 35 possessions, Tech scored 21 points. That’s pretty miserable. Overall, that’s 49 points on 60 possessions, .817 points per possession. That’s poor, even taking into account it was against Virginia.

The Cavaliers, meanwhile, averaged 1.016 points per possession, which is actually pretty good defense for the Jackets.

In the end, Tech, a team with offensive limitations, had an overall rough day against one of the best defensive teams in the country. At the other end, Virginia, a pretty effective offensive team, did enough against Tech’s defense, but hardly lit up the scoreboard.

Given what Virginia is capable of, it was a reasonable outcome.

Stat of the game

Three players had rebounds for the Jackets. Forward Quinton Stephens had 13, center Ben Lammers had seven and guard Tadric Jackson had three. That just seems implausible. Virginia, for instance, had 17 missed 3-pointers, shots that often ricochet away from the basket (though the Cavaliers seemed to have a lot of in-and-out shots). It would just seem that a few of them would have found their way to any of the Tech players besides Stephens, Lammers and Jackson.

In Tech’s first six ACC games, the number of players with rebounds ranged from six to eight.

Defensively, it wasn’t devastating; Virginia had seven offensive rebounds out of 29 possible rebounds, which isn’t much of a percentage. But on the offensive glass, Tech only had two offensive rebounds and no second-chance points. Some of it had to do with the Jackets being spread across the perimeter, but a poor rebounding game, regardless.

Individually speaking

As noted in the “5 things” story, a really rough day for Lammers. Virginia center Jack Salt did a nice job on him, challenging nearly all of his shots and preventing Lammers from getting advantageous position in the post. Lammers has gotten better at using his body to seal off defenders and set himself up for uncontested layups, but I don’t think he had any Saturday. Also, I can only remember one easy basket, on a nice leave from guard Corey Heyward after he drove and drew a double team.

Josh Okogie scored 13 in the first half on 4-for-6 shooting. He scored just one point in the second half and attempted one shot. Okogie said he wasn’t as aggressive as he should have been. Virginia coach Tony Bennett said the team made some adjustments to make it harder for him to score.

Coach Josh Pastner got forward Kellen McCormick into the game less than six minutes in, as he was apparently frustrated with Stephens. McCormick had not played at all in the past two games. He didn’t do much, but played a part in one basket with a quick touch pass into the post that helped create a score.

Guard Justin Moore scored 10, the third double-figure scoring game of his career, on 5-for-6 shooting. Moore repeatedly got free on cuts to the basket.

Quote of the game

“The one thing about defense, and why we lead the in defensive field-goal percentage, that’s about effort and playing hard and energy. That’s what our guys have done. Offense, it can come down to skill stuff and other things. For the short term, we’ve got to keep working at those things to make those short shots and the long term, the best we can do is recruit at a high level. Like Virginia has done a great job of getting guys who can shoot the ball. Just having that type of shooting, even though maybe they didn’t shoot as well from 3 today, having those type of shooters just creates so many opportunities all throughout the floor.” – Pastner

From my iPhone

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I realized I didn’t take many pictures on this trip. This is a picture of cupcakes in the media room in John Paul Jones Arena. The guy in the back is a Little People figurine that I take pictures of from the road and send to my 3-year-old. He finds great amusement in them. I had a chocolate cupcake. It was quite tasty.

On a personal note

I was on a 9:10 p.m. flight to Richmond, Va., on Friday night, and we ran into a delay. There was some sort of air pressure issue that the pilot discovered just as the jet was going down the runway. At first, the pilot was trying to take care of it from the cockpit, but then eventually we had to go back to the gate, and then eventually we were all let off to switch planes.

As you might imagine, there was some grumbling. But as we were sitting at our gate, though, a passenger collapsed, and a few passengers ran to give aid. Someone grabbed defibrillator paddles. It was pretty jarring. Feeling helpless, I said a short prayer and certainly feared the worst. I don’t know what happened ultimately, but no one was rushed off, leading me to think that the situation stabilized.

When I boarded the plane and sat down, the two guys sitting on either side of me were talking about what might have happened had we flown without delay and that had happened while we were airborne. Given the timing, I guess it’s also possible that, had the flight left and arrived on time, this cardiac event could have taken place when this person was already in Richmond and in a place where medical personnel and defibrillator paddles weren’t nearby. Who knows what might have happened? Perhaps it all worked out for the best, to say nothing of the possibility of the problem with the plane not getting discovered until we were in the air.

Frankly, the delay was kind of a hassle. I think we landed in Richmond around 2 a.m. But, I think we were all given a reminder that some things are not worth our vitriol, delayed flights being one of them.


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