Welcome to another edition of Monday Mornings from McCamish. This weekly segment will be released on Monday mornings throughout the 2013-14 Georgia Tech’s Men’s Basketball season. We will revisit the previous week’s action as well as look ahead to the upcoming week’s games.
Last Week Recap:
Georgia Tech now stands at to 13-12, 4-8 following a 1-0 week with a dramatic victory over Boston College.
Tuesday 2/4: Boston College 71 Georgia Tech 74
During Atlanta’s second snowy, icy debacle of 2014, Georgia Tech again hosted an ACC contest. Unlike the first-go-round, the Jackets came away with a conference win. Marcus Georges-Hunt’s buzzer beater triggered an eruption inside McCamish Pavilion, but it was just the exclamation point to a hard fought battle.
The Jackets’ victory, like many this season, was rooted in rebounding dominance. Tech obliterated the Eagles on both ends of the boards. Tech outrebounded BC 36-19 overall, 14-4 in the second half and perhaps most impressively Tech had 13 offensive rebounds to only 12 Eagle defensive rebounds. Georges-Hunt, Robert Carter Jr. and Quinton Stephens each had five while Daniel Miller, the team’s second-leading rebounder, had only one. Instead it was another redshirt-senior who stole the show.
Kammeon Holsey scored 15 points (2nd on team behind Miller’s 18) and pulled down a Yellow Jacket best 9 rebounds – including 4 on the offensive glass. Holsey’s performance was just as critical to the victory as Georges-Hunt’s four point play.
Another critical figure is 77.8 – Tech’s second half field goal percentage. Tech made 14 field goals in both the first and second half, the difference being that the White and Gold took 16 fewer shots in the second half than the first. For all of the Yellow Jacket’s shooting woes this season, they sure have periods where they seriously cannot miss (see 1st half at Boston College).
All in all, Tech picked up an ACC win at home and in the process avoided falling below .500 for the first time this season. And after dropping back to back games to Boston College to end the 2012-13 season. Tech flipped the script in 2013-14 by sweeping the Eagles.
Tuesday 2/18 9:00pm: #8 Duke (20-5, 9-3) at Georgia Tech (13-12, 4-8)
After a pleasant twilight tip last Thursday afternoon, Tech will face #8 Duke in a late, 9pm game on the ACC Network. With a #8 ranking in the AP poll, the Blue Devils will be the highest ranked team that McCamish Pavilion has ever hosted in its brief history.
Duke arrives in Atlanta having won eight of nine and three consecutive. That said, the Dukies have a daunting stretch ahead that includes three games in five days. On the road at Tech and North Carolina, then at home to host presently undefeated Syracuse. While fatigue may not play a factor in Tuesday’s game, perhaps the Blue Devil will be caught overlooking the Jackets with Carolina and Syracuse on the horizon. But perhaps that’s wishful thinking given the Duke-Krzyzewski pedigree.
As for more tangible analysis, it’s simple. Duke can score as well as any team in the country. They average over 80 points per game and have three players averaging double figures (super-freshman Jabari Parker at 19.3, Rodney Hood at 16.3, and Quinn Cook at 12.1) and two more averaging over nine (Andre Dawkins at 9.2 and Rasheed Sulaimon at 9.3).
The glass is Duke’s only glaring weakness. They are outside the top 150 in the category, but even if they lose the board battle it’s still an uphill climb for their opposition. Just ask the Maryland Terrapins who notched 43 rebounds and held Duke to 69 points, but still came up short on Saturday night.
Duke will be a heavy favorite entering Tuesday night as they should be. But given Tech’s style of play (rebound focused), a possible return of Trae Golden, Duke’s upcoming schedule and a raucous home court (*cough*I’m talking to you students *cough*), an upset shouldn’t be thought of as impossible.
Tip-off is at 9:00pm and will be broadcast on All News 106.7 FM and televised on ACCN
Saturday 2/22 12:00pm: Clemson (15-9, 6-6) at Georgia Tech
Approximately two weeks ago the Clemson Tigers won their eighth straight game over the Yellow Jackets. Given the nature of the last three defeats (3 points, 3 points, and 4 points) it’s time the Jackets finished the job and snapped the streak.
To do so, Tech must break the 50 point barrier. The Tigers this season are 8-0 when holding opponents on the short side of the semi-centennial mark. Tech’s biggest problem this season when it comes to scoring has been the simple task of knocking down shots. So far creating good looks hasn’t been a regular problem (that’s not to say it hasn’t happened), but even that will be doubly difficult facing a gritty and disciplined defense – Clemson ranks eighth in the country in fewest fouls committed.
Two things do bode well for the Jackets this coming Saturday. Odds are Marcus Georges-Hunt will not shoot 1 for 13 as he did two weeks ago. And Robert Carter Jr. will play after not being available at Clemson earlier this month. But by the same token, it is highly unlikely that Clemson forward K.J. McDaniels (17.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg and 2.7 blocks per game) will be held to a pitiful eight points and 21.4% from the floor.
As the season winds down and with the remaining schedule, this game is pivotal for Tech for the sole reason that it is one of the few remaining games that can be confidently dubbed “winnable.”
Tip-off is at 12:00pm and will be broadcast on All News 106.7 FM and televised on RSN.
Be sure to check back next week for a new edition of Monday Mornings from McCamish, but in the meantime follow @WREKSports on Twitter and like us on Facebook (under “WREK Sports”) to receive in-game updates and analysis.