Article Reasons To Remain Optimistic After Jackets Lay An Egg

  • Highlight

Reasons To Remain Optimistic After Jackets Lay An Egg

#5 Moses Wright finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds vs. Syracuse(photo credit: ramblinwreck.com)

ATLANTA, GA – There’s no sugarcoating Saturday’s ACC home opener vs. Syracuse.  The Jackets laid an absolute goose egg in more ways than one can comfortably count in a 97-63 loss to the Orange.

No energy.  Slow offensive execution versus the 2-3 zone.  Poor scout and/or poor recognition on defense.  Anemic free throw shooting.  Outrebounded by 10 against a team who just ten days ago was outrebounded by the Nittany Lions of Penn State by 29.

The list goes on.  Others will dissect it.  I will not.  At the end of the day, enough others will do it for us and we’ll end up more frustrated than McCamish Pavilion rims following a charity stripe attempt by the home team.

Speaking of charity, this post mortem will try to make lemonade out of today’s performance. To do so though, this forager requires ingredients from beyond December 7, 2019.  In other words, let’s interpret this game in broader context than a single, isolated data point.

Coming in to today, Georgia Tech’s KenPom adjusted defense was ranked #24 in the country.  Following today’s performance?  Double it, #48 in the country.  Today’s defensive performance was an aberration when compared to the Jackets’ whole body of work.  It didn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize how lethargic the Jackets battled on the defensive end today.  That said, effort has rarely been an issue for this squad.  Put me in the corner that believes effort won’t be an issue going forward, either.

How about the offensive end?  What gives?  Tech shot just 38.7% from the field versus the Orange today.  This is materially below a season average of 45.2% in their first six games. Mike Devoe was held to 2 of 12 from the field for 7 total points, well below his season average of 23.8% per game.  This was a decidedly poor offensive performance, but it’s not a sign of things to come.

Some might say the offensive output was due to the Orange’s 2-3 zone, the likes of which teams rarely encounter.  While the Jackets and Orange have engaged in several pry-your-eyes-out battles on the hardwood, there isn’t a clear pattern of performance.  Prior to today, Josh Pastner was 3-1 versus Jim Boeheim.  In Tech’s last game versus the 2-3 in January 2019, the closest game we have to the current roster mix of both squads, the Jackets tickled the twine at the Carrier Dome to the tune of 59.5% on their way to a 73-59 road ACC win.  That performance was a role reversal and surprise to many, including Vegas.

One of the key contributors in that game was Tech point guard Jose Alvarado, unavailable today.  He notched 19 points and proved to be a smooth operator inside the zone.  He along with Jordan Usher are two of the most important pieces to this year’s roster, and neither were available today. At a minimum, both are certain to be a helpful, and hopefully incessant, injection of energy that this team and the fan base needs.  The upside?  TBD, but the evidence suggests Jose is the straw that stirs the drink, and Usher is arguably the best athlete on the team.  With regards to how the full roster projects against the Orange, we get to test the theory when the Jackets pay a return visit to Syracuse in February.

Bottom line is the Jackets have to find a way to claw their way out of another year of postseason purgatory.  Today’s loss is likely meaningful in a bad way for the Jackets’ NCAA tournament resume.  Barring a dramatic turnaround, the Orange are destined for the ACC’s bottom tier this year.  That makes today’s result a “bad loss” in the eyes of the selection committee.

Thankfully, in recent years the bubble has been littered with teams who have proven they can lose to anybody.  The difference between those selected for The Dance versus those who were not often boiled down to “who did you beat?”  The good news for this year’s squad is there is a lot of runway remaining to stack big wins and prove they can play with the best.  Their first opportunity for a big win is one week from today, when the Jackets look to rebound (pun intended) and make a statement in the Bluegrass State against the top 10 ranked Kentucky Wildcats.  Go Jackets!

 
Last edited:

gte447f

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
450
Injuries, transfer elegibilty, trends? Really? Teams can’t miss 2 of their best 3 and perform at their best. That’s not an excuse. That’s a fact!

What about Banks? Until recently he seemed widely considered by the fan base as being our #1 or #2 most critical pieces (i.e. best players) along with Jose. You seem to be putting him outside our top 3, since Devoe obviously has to be in the top 3 as the team and ACC leading scorer. I have seen some suggestions on the board the last couple of games suggesting Banks should back up Moses. Banks is the nation's leading shot blocker and has multiple 20 point games and double-double games already this season. However, he missed 2 starts in a row for what Pastner called an internal matter, and his minutes and stats seem to be down across the board in the last couple of games. Can we expect him to get back on track at his early season level?
 

GT11

GT Athlete
Messages
265
What about Banks? Until recently he seemed widely considered by the fan base as being our #1 or #2 most critical pieces (i.e. best players) along with Jose. You seem to be putting him outside our top 3, since Devoe obviously has to be in the top 3 as the team and ACC leading scorer. I have seen some suggestions on the board the last couple of games suggesting Banks should back up Moses. Banks is the nation's leading shot blocker and has multiple 20 point games and double-double games already this season. However, he missed 2 starts in a row for what Pastner called an internal matter, and his minutes and stats seem to be down across the board in the last couple of games. Can we expect him to get back on track at his early season level?
Moses’s head is out of it. Sometimes he acts like he’s in another world
 

dtm1997

Helluva Engineer
Featured Member
Messages
13,790
Moses’s head is out of it. Sometimes he acts like he’s in another world

To be fair, James has to decide how badly he wants to take the next step consistently to create future opportunities for himself.

It's all there for him to take, which would result in positive results for the team as a whole. He's worked hard to prepare himself. He needs to go take it.
 

LibertyTurns

Helluva Engineer
Messages
5,933
We either need to get serious about basketball on an ACC level or join the Sunbelt. We are a basketball school in a basketball conference pretending we are a football school. It’s ****ing tedious.
Odd set of circumstances. I’m at work yesterday & can’t believe the ever increasing deficit. Co-worker tells me “Well looks like GT gave up on having a football team so looks like you’ll just focus on basketball for now on”.
 

kg01

Get-Bak! Coach
Featured Member
Messages
11,580
Location
Atlanta
Odd set of circumstances. I’m at work yesterday & can’t believe the ever increasing deficit. Co-worker tells me “Well looks like GT gave up on having a football team so looks like you’ll just focus on basketball for now on”.

I hope you gave your co-worker one-a these ...

side-eye.gif


saywha.gif


I know your ascot game is on point so I'm thinking it was the latter.
 

LibertyTurns

Helluva Engineer
Messages
5,933
I hope you gave your co-worker one-a these ...

side-eye.gif


saywha.gif


I know your ascot game is on point so I'm thinking it was the latter.
Yeah it was definitely the bottom one. That was one of those true WTF moments. Now to be fair that individual is not alone. There’s a sizable contingent that thinks we’ve relegated ourselves to the world of Wake and Dook. Much like the mutt that gets the 5 star that really isn’t they think we’ll get 4 stars, but only the 4 stars nobody else wants because their coaches waved off. I’m not buying that, but I am skeptical we can get the difference makers in here at the numbers we need to be successful. QB will be the most glaring weakness because we have zero track record going back to the beginning of time in QB development. Lil’ Joe being the exception but he never found himself off the pine in the NFL.
 

Bogey404

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
792
Odd set of circumstances. I’m at work yesterday & can’t believe the ever increasing deficit. Co-worker tells me “Well looks like GT gave up on having a football team so looks like you’ll just focus on basketball for now on”.
Your coworker knows nothing about the direction we are headed.

Sent from my ASUS_Z01RD using Tapatalk
 

glandon1960

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
142
I am of the opinion that every team will play so well in a couple games each season they will beat virtually anyone. I also believe every team will play so bad in a couple games that they will lose to virtually anyone. We see that every season ... sometimes a 'really good team' has one of those 'lay an egg games' but the talent difference or other teams performance is such they can't pull out the YW. The ones you live for are when both teams play one of those games where they can both beat virtually anyone at the same time.

Examples - GT being up on FSU by about 30 Pastner's first year (no one thought FSU could play that bad), GT up about 30 on Wake a couple years ago at home, etc.

GT laid an egg Saturday - no way around it. I was there, until the last few seconds, and it is the most frustrated I have been in a while. The game plan to attack the Syracuse zone was fine - the execution when players got the ball at the high post was really poor (mostly too slow and indecisive on what to do - which allowed Syracuse time to react/recover). One thing Jose did well vs. Syracuse last year was receive the ball at the high post and make quick decisions.

Defensive intensity was not there, but has been the other games so unless I see this again, still optimistic this will be the best team GT has had in a long time.
 

LibertyTurns

Helluva Engineer
Messages
5,933
Your coworker knows nothing about the direction we are headed.

Sent from my ASUS_Z01RD using Tapatalk
No he doesn’t but he not much different from most other non-GT fans. GT was a tough team to play and now not so much. The future is dependent on our current recruiting getting inked and developing as expected. We’re going to need to patient. Meanwhile college football marches along and the duration of time it takes for us to have a competitive team again is going to establish our new reputation. Right now if you’re not watching GT you’re thinking WTF is going on over there and your assumption is probably not a good one.
 

LibertyTurns

Helluva Engineer
Messages
5,933
We had 5 winning seasons in the last 10. The 13 years before that were ALL winning seasons. The decline is sad to see. Hoping CGC can get us back to consistent winning seasons.
We had 3 losing seasons in the last 11. Maybe we were watching different teams play?
 

dtm1997

Helluva Engineer
Featured Member
Messages
13,790
I'll be interested to see how we respond when we play Syracuse at the Carrier Dome this winter.
 

mstranahan

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,354
7 of 11 were winning seasons. one was 7-7

2010: 6-7
2015: 3-9
2017: 5-6
2019: 3-9

I goofed and had one of our amazing 7-6 seasons flipped as 6-7

so 5 winning seasons, one .500 season and 4 losing seasons. Still a BIG step down from the previous 13 years.

Our average record over that decade is 6.6 - 6.2
 
Top