GT 68 - NIU 50

slugboy

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The box score will look better than the game did.

The first half was solid. The second half squandered the work of the first. The game should have been 80-43. Deivon Smith put the team on his shoulders today. The team came out flat in the second and basically went without scoring while NIU scored 17.

If we play hard on defense, the team looks good. When we give less than full effort, it ain’t good.
 

lv20gt

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First half we got up by 23 at the half. Now, considering the opponent it I wouldn't argue it was impressive, but it was what we were supposed to do, probably a bit more than that considering the pace would have us winning by 46. 5.5 minutes into the second half they had outscored us 17-1 and puled within 7. Needless to say that was terrible. However, we held them scoreless for 7 minutes after that and the last 14.5 minutes we out scored them 24-13. That pace, over 40 minutes, would have been a 30 point win.

The team has a lot to work on, which we knew already, but this was a game where we looked like we played about 35 minutes of what we were supposed to, and 5 minutes of really bad ball. Now, that 5 minutes was extraordinarily bad where we were both completely inept on offense and a sieve on defense. This team has a lot of potential on it, but it can also get blasted if it isn't on. This is a good lesson for the team and one better learned in a win than a loss. Come January and February, the only people likely to remember that we had a 5 minute stretch where we got outscored 17-1 by UNI are the players who will hopefully use it as motivation to stay focused even if we have a lead.
 

awbuzz

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At the end of the 1st half I thought that if we at least hold this spread the rest of the game we'll be okay, should win by at least another basket or two. Well in less than 8 minutes of basketball, that hope quickly faded as the lead dropped to 7 points and I was hoping for at least a win by 20, then just that we'd hold on an get the W.
Good news is we finally mad a basket in the 2nd half and seemed to play some better D.
Glad we pulled out an 18 point victory.
 
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awbuzz

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Howard in foul trouble again... 9 whopping minutes of game time, 0 rebounds ...

Glad the Franklin got some good burn. 30 minutes (4 fouls), 11 boards.

Oh, have to tip the hat to Smith. His energy is WOW! 3 blocks, 9 boards, and six assist in 25 minutes.
 

ChristoGT

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Was our defense good, or was NIU just terrible at shooting? Looked like their FG and 3PT shooting was in the 20's.
 

GTHomer

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I liked the way Franklin looked last night. He aggressively goes to the boards, which is something we will need throughout the season. If he can manage his fouls, I see him as being a key contributor this season.

I had high hopes that this would be Howard's breakout season given how he finished last year. It is still early however I hope he figures out what he needs to do be contribute soon.

Smith will also be a key this year. Plays out of control at times however I like that he tries to take the ball to the hole to make the defense collapse on him. When he kicks the ball out, the shooters will need to hit those open shots, as Kelly did early in the game. If Smith could pull up and hit the shot from the elbow consistently, he could be unstoppable this year. Because he goes all out while on the floor, he will need to be mindful of silly fouls.

As the level of competition increases, it will be interesting to see the player rotation. It is good that so many are getting playing time now though we still need to see what Meka will bring this season. He will be needed if Franklin and Howard get in foul trouble.
 

SecretAgentBuzz

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What I liked:
-DEIVON SMITH! He was all over the place. Steals, rebounds, assists, blocks, he did it all. His athleticism was really on display and I thought that if a few guys would have made their open looks and he didn't get hurt, he was on pace for a triple-double.
-JA'VON FRANKLIN! He really established himself down low and showed really good anticipation on blocks and rebounds. He was, at least in this game, what we need Howard to be. I know he is smaller, but he "plays big" and gives us a legit option for a small-ball 5. We were +24 with him on the floor.
-Kelly and Coleman establishing themselves as our best offensive options. They can both get buckets all day.
-Lance Terry can be passive on the offensive end, but he has really quick hands and good defensive instincts. He had 2 steals but at least 2 or 3 more deflections. He is a solid player and good addition to the team.
-Free throw defense. Really well done in this important part of the game. ;)
-I also liked the different sets we ran on offense (horns?). This was a good game to get creative and try new things.

What I didn't like:
-The lack of energy out of the half. I am not surprised (we were up by a mile), but we lost our defensive intensity and let them battle back. NIU was the team playing harder for those first 5-7 minutes of the second half. Needless to say, we cannot have those kind of lapses against better teams.
-Howard. He needs to play better and I am sure he knows it. His fouling tendencies are still an issue. He only played 8 minutes and 51 seconds and we were -3 with him on the floor. We will need him to bang with bigger teams, and he has not played well at all in the last two games. Is he sick?
-There were times that we got stagnant on offense. When we can't get the back-door cut, sometimes we re-set too late in the clock and end up burning the possession.
-27.8% from three-point range isn't going to cut it. This team is better than that. (at least...I hope they are!)

Nice to get the win, and nice to be ahead for all 40 minutes. That's the way you take care of business.

Go Jackets!
 

awbuzz

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Was our defense good, or was NIU just terrible at shooting? Looked like their FG and 3PT shooting was in the 20's.
Yes to both over all. Although they started the 2nd half making their first seven shots.
 

Peacone36

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Was our defense good, or was NIU just terrible at shooting? Looked like their FG and 3PT shooting was in the 20's.
Yes to both over all. Although they started the 2nd half making their first seven shots.
I mentioned prior to the game that NIU had terrible shooting metrics despite playing horrible competition.

After last night they rank 360th out of 363 in effective field goal percentage and 342nd in team 3pt percentage.

Tech currently ranks 5th in the nation in opponents effective field goal percentage and 10th in opponents 3pt percentage.

So early indicators are that both are true
 

YlJacket

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This wasn’t Howard’s game obviously. They took him to the 3 pt line for a high ball screen and then beaT him to The rim with a smaller player. Franklin simply moves better than Howard and is more explosive, but we are going to need Howard’s big body in a lot of matchups.

Neither Howard nor Franklin are great in the modified Princeton. We did do something interesting a couple of times where we went five out and put the ball in the guards hands with an open lane. I would like to see us do some more of that especially with Devion at the top of the key with or without a highball screen to penetrate and kick.

Last nights score will look good for the algorithms, but the film will show a lot of things we got to work on
 

gte447f

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On our free throw defense, my 8 year old son deserves some credit. Free throw defense is his specialty 😉

On our poor 3pt%, I thought we shot several wide open 3’s from way too deep. I know everybody has crazy range these days, but if you’re wide open and you have time, why shoot from a step (or 2) behind the arc when you could easily get 3-5 feet closer? Some of those deep 3’s are unnecessarily wasted opportunities in my opinion. Kelly was most guilty of this last night.
 

gameface

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I am concerned about Howards play but not as much as some. He has a history of playing poorly against shorter competition. The shorter quicker bigs can more around him and cause foul trouble.
 

g0lftime

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Howard in foul trouble again... 9 whopping minutes of game time, 0 rebounds ...

Glad the Franklin got some good burn. 30 minutes (4 fouls), 11 boards.

Oh, have to tip the hat to Smith. His energy is WOW! 3 blocks, 9 boards, and six assist in 25 minutes.
The team is just better when Smith is on the floor. He is fast and can penetrate. I think we will see more dribble drive offense than the Princeton thing Pastner likes as the season progresses. Smith reminds me a lot of Jose and may be more athletic. Kid can flat sky. First chance I have had to watch our team this year and he really impressed me.
 

MtnWasp

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Currently, the team is ranked #275 in offensive efficiency and #14 in defensive efficiency. Of course, with only three games, those numbers will be highly susceptible to bias created by the playing styles of the competition. But, it is interesting that our early 3-0 start is on the heels of defense, which was not what was to be expected from the pre-season scrimmages.

The team doesn't look settled at all and I don't have the impression that the players have figured out their roles yet. We'll see if that is a season long thing or if guys start to establish consistent roles and production from game to game. The Javon Franklin we saw against NIU was the guy I was expecting to see in the first two games. Deivon Smith makes things happen. this club absolutely needs this quality. When he was out after getting nutted, it showed.

Am I the only one who has the impression that Jalon Moore is on the brink of big things? The Moses Wright comparison could be correct. Will it happen this season?

I will be interested to see how Howard plays when we go up against teams with some legit bigs (instead of guarding live bodied PFs). In the NIU, I didn't like how the team played when both Lance Terry and Sturdivant were on the court together. When Deivon Smith, Javon Franklin and Jalon Moore were on the court together, their combined athleticism seemed to really scramble NIU.

Maxwell is an interesting player. His shot isn't falling at all so far, but his +/- for the first three games is good. He is not a great ball defender but he works hard and mixes it up on both ends, He seems to have a settling effect on the team on both ends. Something to watch.
 

alagold

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If this game had been against a good team ,it would be a real success.But it was vs the worse team in their conference (pre-season) and .playing at home.. They shot bad-They shot 42% from line!! Our blanking out at start of 2nd half is disturbing-I hope that is a lesson learned.
The only real positives were-JAVON--exactly what we need with Rodney disappearing again.My big concern is against good teams shot fakes will get him to sky and foul since he loves to block (5 blocks).
Smith put on a show in all areas.I wish he were more consistent on his shots as he can get free a lot and also more in control., next yr he'll be better. .
Everyone else (except Moore) were meh. overall 39% FGs with Kelly 1-7 from 3 , Max 1-6. Terry could be much.better than last night showed I think.
 
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