Pre and Post Notre Dame Comments

Root4GT

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
265
Sigh…we just won the conference and right now have the best recruiting class in years and everyone wants to cut ties. We are basically a little development and one piece (5) short of contending for the conference again. Not gonna be this year, but not exactly time to panic.
Seriously. UGA is the only P5 team we have beaten. It was clear after the loss to Miami if Ohio this team had major issues. None of the issues have answers. Getting to .500 would be a giant step forward. This team is poorly constructed and lacks talent.

Pastner’s recruting has sucked. Three top 150 players in 6 years is pathetic at best.
 

orientalnc

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Seriously. UGA is the only P5 team we have beaten. It was clear after the loss to Miami if Ohio this team had major issues. None of the issues have answers. Getting to .500 would be a giant step forward. This team is poorly constructed and lacks talent.

Pastner’s recruting has sucked. Three top 150 players in 6 years is pathetic at best.
We have one major issue right now and it is the root of everything else. Howard, Saba and Meka are not ACC caliber 5s right now. Blame that on recruiting or whatever else you like, but it is not a failure of the program nor Pastner. When Howard is healthy and on the floor, we are the equal of any team most nights. Not every night, but most nights.

As for Pastner's lack of recruiting top 150 players, Wright and Alvarado were not top 150 players. I am sure Pastner was aware of the state of things at the 5 and tried to get a transfer who deserved to get minutes this year. GT is not a slam dunk for kids who see themselves getting drafted after one year in school. The transfer portal may be a bigger part of our recruiting than we like.
 

dtm1997

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13,877
Deebo is a pro (size, ability to shoot, high basketball IQ, ability to guard 1-4) he played combo guard in high school he can handle the ball well. We may not have him as long as you all think. I’m sure he has been feeling his way and trying to play the right way, does he defer to the older guys too much probably yes, but it’s obvious the staff sees something in him and outside of the expected freshman woes he has not been a liability. A lot of stuff has been said about the offense & in our case of talent we’re doing them some disservice with the Princeton offense. We don’t set many screens, there are not many ball reversals, we have poor team assist numbers. Why are Devoe & Deebo not coming off pin downs? They should be running their defenders off multiple screens. Defenders should cringe with knowing they are going to get their azzes screened all night. Why are we not pushing the ball in primary looking to pitch ahead to Usher & Moore for transition buckets? We walk the ball up the court entirely too much. I understand you recruit kids that fit your program & can run your system, but this isn’t the case right now. I’m willing to bet if Meka & J. Moore played 1-1 J. Moore would win 8 out of 10 times. So still not sure as to why he is not getting more mins with Saba & Howard out. I believe if we continue to adjust the offense we will be fine. 0-4 in ACC is tough to stomach & losing magnifies a lot. Time to be optimistic there are 15 games left & we can actually beat all the teams, though UNC does pose match-up problems, but we can beat them.
 

Techster

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14,584
Last year, we had 4 guys who could score 15+ points a game. Alvarado, Wright, Devoe, Usher. This year, we're down to Devoe and Usher.

Usher scored 16 (with 14 rebounds!), and Devoe scored 20. If one of Sturdy (10 pts) or Moore (8 pts) gets to 15, we beat ND in regulation.

We need a 3rd guy to step up the way Usher stepped up last season. Devoe and Usher won't always be on every night.

In terms of contributing, the bench did a fantastic job in the first half, and was almost invisible the second half. If our bench guys had the same production in the second half as they did in the first, we win in regulation.

Point is...whether it's one of the veteran guys stepping up to help Usher/Devoe, or the entire bench as group, Devoe and Usher need help on the offensive end. I do like that our younger guys showed flashes in the first half which is something Pastner can build on the rest of the season, but there are two halves in a game. One good half just isn't going to cut it in ACC play.
 

dtm1997

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Three top 150 players in 6 years is pathetic at best.
I mean, this is an easy narrative to twist around. I can say we have 5 composite Top 150 players on the team right now and chime in with the paradigm shift in recaruiting from HS to transfer portal.

Not defending Pastner's roter construction, just pointing out that you should be careful when you try to come over the top. Your "fact" doesn't necessarily back up your opinion.
 

Techster

Helluva Engineer
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14,584
I said this before the season began, and I repeat it now, we cannot play small and win. We have to have a big who contributes more than Saba and Meka. I hoped Howard would be back by now as he is needed just as a presence in the middle of our defense. I don't remember who in Swarm preseason threads touted Meka as a future star inside, but he ain't there yet. I expected more from Saba and, while he is at least big enough, his instincts and reactions are terribly inadequate. Also, when you play small you have to hit better than 22% of your threes. When we win it's with defense and without a big we aren't doing that right now.

An observation about the role Jose played that we are missing this year. No one on this team has the combination of talent and the force of their willpower to be the guy that takes on the opponent in the last two minutes of a game and wills the team to victory. Devoe has the talent but lacks the willpower. Usher is the opposite. No one else on this seems to have either.

I think our coaches need to be more cognizant with Saba. No way he should be defending at the top of the key against quicker bigs that can handle the ball. We saw him exposed repeatedly in that position as ND's bigs just drove right by him for easy baskets. When Saba is in, maybe go with more zone than man. Maybe Saba needs to work with our track coach the way Devoe did during the offseason to improve his speed and quickness.

Too many easy baskets for ND last night...and ultimately, that was the difference.
 

Root4GT

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
265
We have one major issue right now and it is the root of everything else. Howard, Saba and Meka are not ACC caliber 5s right now. Blame that on recruiting or whatever else you like, but it is not a failure of the program nor Pastner. When Howard is healthy and on the floor, we are the equal of any team most nights. Not every night, but most nights.

As for Pastner's lack of recruiting top 150 players, Wright and Alvarado were not top 150 players. I am sure Pastner was aware of the state of things at the 5 and tried to get a transfer who deserved to get minutes this year. GT is not a slam dunk for kids who see themselves getting drafted after one year in school. The transfer portal may be a bigger part of our recruiting than we like.
Sad excuses for Pastner’s failure to bring in enough ACC talent. If the transfer is your thing we are ok there but we don’t get any players that can carry a team or are go to guys. As for HS recruiting Oastner is terrible. He got lucky with Moses that he became a great college player. That happens for about 1 in 1000 HS players.

He is fully responsible for the team. They are all his players and simply aren’t a good team.

The best players are seniors. The underclassmen show they are not near ready to be ACC impact players.
 

jayparr

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I think our coaches need to be more cognizant with Saba. No way he should be defending at the top of the key against quicker bigs that can handle the ball. We saw him exposed repeatedly in that position as ND's bigs just drove right by him for easy baskets. When Saba is in, maybe go with more zone than man. Maybe Saba needs to work with our track coach the way Devoe did during the offseason to improve his speed and quickness.

Too many easy baskets for ND last night...and ultimately, that was the difference.
To be quicker and faster he does not need a track coach for help!! All he needs to get in his mind set is to tell himself to pick up his feet as fast as he can off the ground and put it em on the ground as fast as he can!! He needs to do that in his own self practice and do it over and over. It worked for me as a young boy and my coach told me that. And it really worked!!!!!!!!!
 

YlJacket

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2,669
Interesting reading the different perspectives today. For the heck of it I'll give my reality:

1) The issues on this team go way beyond just the 5 spot. Beyond a functional 5, it was pretty well known we had to have the PG spot step up and have the young uns come in as legit scoring threats. None of those 3 happened - not just the 5. And to be clear Howard doesn't fix the 5 spot if he is healthy.

2) I do think Usher and Devoe have lived up to their part of the bargain - though I don't think they have been utilized correctly (see below)

3) We are a year behind in recruiting for this year's team. We needed developmental bigs in the pipeline a year earlier to be ready for this year and the young uns don't seem to be quite there yet. To be clear, I do think that both our bigs and young uns can and will be legit ACC players but it will be late this year or next year - too late for this year and we will now be faced with replacing Usher and Devoe for next year. So I don't see a way forward for next year without at least 2 big wins in the transfer portal.

4) This has not been Pastner's best coaching job from a strategic perspective. I am not joining the "fire CJP" crowd or saying he is a "bad coach" - but he missed badly in how he put together the strategies for the team this year - especially on the offensive end. The 5 spot wasn't supposed to be a key offensive threat this year but he installed a princeton offense that ran through the 5 spot. They have to pass with anticipation and handle the ball in addition to having to make a 15 footer to make this work. Terrible idea just at that level. Beyond that the offense doesn't spread any defense and requires your players to make plays in crowded space. If you look at our 2 key scorers - Usher and Devoe - they both do better in space and in an uptempo offense. Instead we ask them to get the ball at the elbow and drive through multiple help defenders (off the 5 spot and our corner supposed shooters) when Devoe in particular is not the most explosive athlete to get through that. This is a decision that CJP should have known enough in off season and pre season workouts to know wasn't going to work.

5) The way we played against ND is closer to the core system we should be using this year than the modified princeton stuff. We ran 5 out and 4 out sets which gave both Usher and Devoe a lot more space to operate in and especially with Usher you saw the benefit. But also made things easier and fit better with Sturdivant, Moore, Deebo, et al. Get out of the f'n phone booth and play to the strengths we do have instead of trying to force things through a square peg that doesn't fit. Its anecdotal, but note we went back to the princeton set with Usher at the elbow at the end of the game yesterday and couldn't score when we needed to.

To answer the obvious retorts - no you can't play small all the time and there are times you need a true 5 for defense if nothing else. And ND is the perfect team for us to play small against. Note though that Miami beat Duke playing small yesterday but had a defensive energy in digging down I haven't seen from us this year. And they sure as hadies didn't try to play through their big - instead they played to their strengths.

We can play Usher and Moore as our bigs against a lot of the ACC going forward but not all. So we will need to find ways to have any of the 3 bigs on the court without taking away all the space for the others. Put them at the dunker spot and let them set screens but make the guards/wings the primary ball handlers. However, the reality for this year is even if we had played more to our strengths we would have maybe a couple more wins - maybe. But I do think we would be in better shape with more comfort in getting the ball to shooters in position to score for the rest of the games. But given #3 above, this year wasn't going to be a dancing year most likely. Certainly not now.
 

YlJacket

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To be quicker and faster he does not need a track coach for help!! All he needs to get in his mind set is to tell himself to pick up his feet as fast as he can off the ground and put it em on the ground as fast as he can!! He needs to do that in his own self practice and do it over and over. It worked for me as a young boy and my coach told me that. And it really worked!!!!!!!!!
FWIW if that were the case I would have won the 100 meter dash at the olympics. For a big like Saba to get faster and more coordinated with his feet it is a bit of time for his body to catch up and a gradu load of jump rope, squats, box drill and whatever else they have in the dungeon. They all 3 need another year.
 

kg01

Get-Bak! Coach
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What? It's much harder to build a consistent winner through recruiting than it is through development.

It's funny. I talked myself into and out of agreement with you a couple times. What I landed on is that it's easier to consistently win via the 'development' route, but you can skip steps via recruiting.

The former takes more time, almost too much time. And you can't miss, so margin for error is razor thin - which makes it a questionable tact, imho.
 

lv20gt

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It's funny. I talked myself into and out of agreement with you a couple times. What I landed on is that it's easier to consistently win via the 'development' route, but you can skip steps via recruiting.

The former takes more time, almost too much time. And you can't miss, so margin for error is razor thin - which makes it a questionable tact, imho.

IMO the recruiting path has a thinner margin of error. If you rely on new additions every year to fill your holes then you limit the players you can take. You need instant impact players and even in freshmen that is not reliable for all except maybe the top 20? If that. If you need a center that leaves what, 5 or 6 to go after , depending on the year? Maybe that same number of transfers. All in high demand. And if you do, those type of players are the types that move on quickly, either as NBA players or they were transfers who ran out of eligibility and so the next year you're back in the same situation creating a cycle. To me that is not a sustainable module for success for most programs and I think if you look at the programs who pull it off the best, Duke, Kentucky, etc, you're seeing that unreliability to some extent.

Look at guys like Bittle, Bediako, Reid, Aidoo, etc. All top 50 guys and all have struggled to various extents. Yes there are some examples of freshmen having great impact. But it isn't as reliable as people think. Just getting a top 50 guy does guarantee you get someone ready to go. And the same holds true of transfers. Sure there are big time transfers that make an impact. There are also big name transfers who make a significantly smaller impact than advertised. So sure, elite recruiting can give you more wiggle room if things don't turn out, but the reality was we were a program that went a decade without an NCAAT appearance and were sporadic before that. We can't realistically expect to win the recruiting battles for the types of recruits/transfers that can make that type of immediate impact reliably (key word reliably).

I don't think we can rely on recruiting plug and play players, from hs or from the portal. Too few and in to high demand and we just don't have enough to sell at this point, even with an ACCT from last year. We need to go the development route and I think we've for the most part setup well for it. I think there are three factors that have this year being what it is. The first is a poor 2019 class. We don't need a top 10 class in the nation, but we need at least solid players in most classes. That class lacked that, although we did well in the portal that year with Ush and Bubba and tried to address that weakness with Howard and Sturdivant. The second thing was not getting more experience for the young guys last year. Part of that was Maxwell and Meka being hurt, but part was just Pastner selling out to maximize our accomplishments last year. He really should have gotten Howard and Saba more burn last year but it is hard to be too critical with what we got in exchange. The last thing is the disruptions we had this year in the OOC schedule. Between injuries, the flu, covid protocols, etc we didn't get the early season experience that we needed to. We might not have gotten to where we needed to anyways, but those disruptions really hampered us. The first two issues put a greater need on the OOC for us this year and made the third issue that much bigger a deal.

IMO people forget that a big reason why Jose, Moses, Mike, Ush etc developed the way they did was because they played through early. We absolutely should not be going with Ush/Moore as our bigs this year. For one it's not a winning strategy in the best of scenarios but also it just further delays the development of our bigs. Play Meka and Saba. Let them learn from their mistakes and when Howard returns let him do the same.
 

Buzzbomb

Mello Yellow-Jacket
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9,329
AJC reporting Bubba is out for the rest of the season.
Not certain if we rushed him back too soon or what?
 

Fatmike91

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AJC reporting Bubba is out for the rest of the season.
Not certain if we rushed him back too soon or what?
I thought he was out for Covid health and safety protocol I think for the end of the rehab, so I doubt anything was rushed.

He's a senior so is this career ending? Bummer.

/
 

forensicbuzz

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I thought he was out for Covid health and safety protocol I think for the end of the rehab, so I doubt anything was rushed.

He's a senior so is this career ending? Bummer.

/
He could probably petition for a medical red-shirt acception. Don't know if he's interested in that. I'm disappointed. I think when he came here he filled a specific role, and that was not a scoring threat. I think he would have been that 3rd scorer this year because he would have been looking to score like he did before he came to Tech.
 

William S. Baker

Georgia Tech Fan
Messages
82
IMO the recruiting path has a thinner margin of error. If you rely on new additions every year to fill your holes then you limit the players you can take. You need instant impact players and even in freshmen that is not reliable for all except maybe the top 20? If that. If you need a center that leaves what, 5 or 6 to go after , depending on the year? Maybe that same number of transfers. All in high demand. And if you do, those type of players are the types that move on quickly, either as NBA players or they were transfers who ran out of eligibility and so the next year you're back in the same situation creating a cycle. To me that is not a sustainable module for success for most programs and I think if you look at the programs who pull it off the best, Duke, Kentucky, etc, you're seeing that unreliability to some extent.

Look at guys like Bittle, Bediako, Reid, Aidoo, etc. All top 50 guys and all have struggled to various extents. Yes there are some examples of freshmen having great impact. But it isn't as reliable as people think. Just getting a top 50 guy does guarantee you get someone ready to go. And the same holds true of transfers. Sure there are big time transfers that make an impact. There are also big name transfers who make a significantly smaller impact than advertised. So sure, elite recruiting can give you more wiggle room if things don't turn out, but the reality was we were a program that went a decade without an NCAAT appearance and were sporadic before that. We can't realistically expect to win the recruiting battles for the types of recruits/transfers that can make that type of immediate impact reliably (key word reliably).

I don't think we can rely on recruiting plug and play players, from hs or from the portal. Too few and in to high demand and we just don't have enough to sell at this point, even with an ACCT from last year. We need to go the development route and I think we've for the most part setup well for it. I think there are three factors that have this year being what it is. The first is a poor 2019 class. We don't need a top 10 class in the nation, but we need at least solid players in most classes. That class lacked that, although we did well in the portal that year with Ush and Bubba and tried to address that weakness with Howard and Sturdivant. The second thing was not getting more experience for the young guys last year. Part of that was Maxwell and Meka being hurt, but part was just Pastner selling out to maximize our accomplishments last year. He really should have gotten Howard and Saba more burn last year but it is hard to be too critical with what we got in exchange. The last thing is the disruptions we had this year in the OOC schedule. Between injuries, the flu, covid protocols, etc we didn't get the early season experience that we needed to. We might not have gotten to where we needed to anyways, but those disruptions really hampered us. The first two issues put a greater need on the OOC for us this year and made the third issue that much bigger a deal.

IMO people forget that a big reason why Jose, Moses, Mike, Ush etc developed the way they did was because they played through early. We absolutely should not be going with Ush/Moore as our bigs this year. For one it's not a winning strategy in the best of scenarios but also it just further delays the development of our bigs. Play Meka and Saba. Let them learn from their mistakes and when Howard returns let him do the same.
Maxwell was very impressive in the Duke game.
 
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