Ramblin' WREK Report

Monday Mornings from McCamish: 2/10

Monday Mornings from McCamish: 2/10

Welcome to another edition of Monday Mornings from McCamish. This weekly segment will be released on Monday mornings throughout Georgia Tech’s Men’s Basketball 2013-14 season. We will revisit the previous week’s action as well as look ahead to the upcoming week’s games. This edition was written by Kyle Norton and I’d like to extend a big thank you to him!

Last Week Recap:

Georgia Tech now stands at to 12-12, 3-8 following a 0-2 week with a losses on the road against Clemson and at home to #20 Virginia.

Tuesday 2/4: Georgia Tech 41 Clemson 45

On Tuesday the Jackets suffered a tough loss to Clemson in the last couple seconds of the game. The Jackets and the Tigers battled back and forth throughout the night. In the end the Jackets had a chance to win or tie, but Marcus Georges-Hunt missed a jumper and Tech got the ball back, but Georges-Hunt missed the lay-up, and Kammeon Holsely missed the second chance attempt. It was another extremely poor shooting night for the Jackets, who team average was 35%, and it was another extremely disappointing loss. However Chris Bolden looks to be returning to form with a solid shooting night.

Saturday 2/8: #20 Virginia 64 Georgia Tech 45

Virginia’s stifling defense proved too much for Tech in Saturdays loss. The Jackets only made 18 shots and shot about 37% from the field. The Cavaliers also beat the Yellow Jackets on the boards, which is very rare for this Tech team. The game was actually very close until the final 5 and a half minutes in which the Cavaliers scored 13 points and the Jackets scored none to end the game. This was yet another game this season that was winnable that just slipped right out of Tech’s hands. However it was good to see Robert Carter Jr. and Trae Golden back on the court after both sustaining injuries, even if it was in limited minutes. Tech can finish the season on strong note, if both of them return to full health soon.

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Looking Ahead:

Wednesday 2/12 7:00pm: Boston College (17-5, 8-1) at Georgia Tech (12-12, 3-8)

Georgia Tech will face Boston College at 7 PM this Wednesday. This is a Boston College squad that Tech beat last time around in Boston. Last time it was the Jackets hot start and solid rebounding that led to the win. If Tech gets out to a good start again, and rebounds like they normally do, the Jackets stand a good chance of winning again.

The Jackets also need to take advantage of Boston College’s porous defense which allowed over 50% shooting in the last game between these teams.

Also by this point hopefully Trae Golden and Robert Carter Jr. will be feeling more like their old selves again and start this game. Boston College didn’t have to face Carter Jr. last time around and if he is feeling good, he should prove a challenge for them to stop on offense and the boards.

Tech’s defense has looked very good this season and has been very good the past couple games. However the bench has been weakened by injuries, so it has been tough for the squad to hold up for a whole game. If we can get a solid 40 minutes of defense, the game will be so much easier to win.

The Jackets beat this BC team on the road, without Carter Jr. earlier in the season and now they get to play at home with more players returning from injury. This game is definitely winnable for the Jackets, if they shoot well, rebound, and play solid defense.

Tip-off is at 7:00pm and will be broadcast on All News 106.7 FM and televised on RSN.

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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.

 

 

 

 

Monday Mornings from McCamish: 2/3

Welcome to another edition of Monday Mornings from McCamish. This weekly segment will be released on Monday mornings throughout Georgia Tech’s Men’s Basketball 2013-14 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 12-10, 3-6 following a 1-1 week with a loss at home to North Carolina and a win on the road against Wake Forest.

Wednesday 1/29: North Carolina 78 Georgia Tech 65

On an icy Wednesday evening Georgia Tech dropped its third consecutive home game at the hands of the North Carolina Tar Heels.

The busy roads of Atlanta were eerily abandoned, the game wasn’t on any of your one thousand television channels, and the sellout crowd didn’t even fill half the stadium. But perhaps the most bizarre development of the night was the Tar Heels’ second half intensity and efficiency en route to their first road win in over two months.

The Heels shot a scalding 16 of 24 from the field in the final half, led by Marcus Paige who nailed all six of his shots including three treys. North Carolina scored 52 points in the second period doubling their first half total. Although the Tar Heels’ energy had been AWOL over the past few weeks, Wednesday night reminded all of us that the talent never left.

All things considered Tech hung tough throughout; the 13 point margin of victory was Carolina’s largest lead of the game. But again, as has been the case too many times this season, Tech couldn’t find a key shot or big stop when it needed one. The Jackets had multiple opportunities during the game to sway momentum, but none better than after a Trae Golden three cut the deficit to two points. The shot was erased less than 20 seconds later after Marcus Paige drained a corner three to spark a 9-2 Carolina run that created, what turned out to be, an insurmountable advantage. Throw in shooting percentages of 41.8% from the floor, 23.5% from beyond the arc and a back-breaking 57.7% from the charity strike and it’s impressive that Tech hung around as long as it did.

Saturday 2/1: Georgia Tech 79 Wake Forest 70

Taking on an ACC opponent squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble, playing on a court on which visiting teams were 1-12 and carrying only eight scholarship players, Tech wasn’t exactly a favorite. Lose your starting point guard in the first ten minutes, it’s probably time to start warming up the bus.

And then just like that the Jackets handed Wake Forest only its second home loss of the season by a final score of 79-70.

Marcus Georges-Hunt spearheaded the Yellow Jacket attack with a career-high 23 points. Meanwhile Daniel Miller co-authored the win with his fifth double-double of the season (16 points, 14 rebounds – seven on the offensive glass!). But what was most encouraging on Saturday afternoon was the complementary performance of the supporting cast.

Tech’s bench scored 27 points. Chris Bolden reached double figures for the third time this season with 12 on the afternoon. It’s far from coincidence that Bolden’s three 10+ point performances have led to all of Tech’s three conference wins. In addition to Bolden, Stacey Poole Jr.’s eight point total was his highest in an ACC game since arriving on the Flats.

Also worth noting was Ron Wamer’s five minutes on the floor due to Trae Golden’s pulled groin. The walk-on hadn’t played since December 7th and logged a career-high five minutes. In fact, Tech is 4-0 in Wamer’s four appearances – although that may actually be just a coincidence.

Saturday’s victory may be Tech’s most impressive of the season given the circumstances. So while some appear to have written this season off as a disaster, Tech is on pace to match the same conference win total as a year prior despite the rash of injuries. Furthermore there are several winnable games left on the schedule beginning on this Tuesday night.

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Looking Ahead:

Tuesday 2/4 7:00pm: Georgia Tech (12-10, 3-6) at Clemson (14-6, 5-3)

Georgia Tech will travel to Clemson on Tuesday night to compete in its fourth road game in a five game stretch. The Tigers are off to their best ACC start since the 2008-09 season and are coming off an ugly 53-49 road win against the Seminoles. Then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Clemson is the number two ranked defense in the country allowing only 55.8 points per game and they’ve made a living off gritty, defensive basketball. No opponent has broken the 60 point barrier at Littlejohn Coliseum this season – including the Duke Blue Devils who average over 80. Furthermore, Tech has lost eight straight at Clemson with their last victory coming in 2005 – we’re talking Jarrett Jack, Luke Schenscher, Will Bynum, B.J. Elder and company.

What little offense Clemson needs comes from small forward K.J. McDaniels. The Birmingham native leads the team in scoring with 16.7 points per game (Clemson’s second leading scorer is junior guard Rod Hall at 9.2). In Clemson’s game against Florida State, McDaniels scored 26 of his team’s 53 points and pulled down a Tiger-best seven rebounds.

Beyond McDaniels there isn’t much for the Tigers. As a team they are the second-lowest scoring squad in the ACC ahead of only Miami. If Tech’s wants to win back to back games for the first time since Christmas, it must create open looks and force the Tigers to score.

Tip-off is at 8:00pm and will be broadcast on All News 106.7 FM and televised on the ACCN.

Saturday 2/8 12:00pm: Virginia (17-5, 8-1) at Georgia Tech

Four days after facing the nation’s second best defense, Tech will play host to the best defense the country has to offer: Virginia.

Last Saturday, the Cavs knocked off #18 Pittsburgh on a buzzer-beating three from Atlanta native Malcolm Brogdon. The 48-45 victory resulted in the Panthers first home loss of the season and put the Cavaliers solely in second place. The Cavaliers’ 8-1 conference mark signals their best start in ACC play in over 30 years.

A defensive juggernaut, Virginia, the ACC’s second best offense, Pittsburgh, was held to a feeble 45 points (a full 30 points below their season average). They had little margin for error. Brogdon’s three with .4 seconds remaining was the Cavs only field goal in the final eight minutes. In fact, no points were scored by either team in the three minutes leading up to Brogdon’s game-winner.

Brogdon, an alumnus of Greater Atlanta Christian School, leads his team in scoring with 11.6 points per game, but is only one half the Virginia’s talented guard tandem. The other member is senior guard Joe Harris. The only returning 2013 All-ACC 1st teamer, Harris is a model of consistency. He’s put up double digits in seven of eight games (the exception was a nine point effort in a win over Notre Dame). Furthermore he has put up at least three assists during Virginia’s ongoing five game win streak.

Before facing Tech, the Cavs will host Boston College and as a result likely enter Saturday’s matchup at a gaudy 9-1. It will take a near perfect effort from Tech to defeat the Cavs, but a long-awaited return to McCamish Pavilion will be a step in the right direction.

Tip-off is at 12:00pm and will be broadcast on All News 106.7 FM and televised on the ACCN.

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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.

GT Baseball Preseason Media Day

The 2014 Georgia Tech baseball season is less than 2 weeks away and as Opening Day approaches WREK Sports has you covered! Hear what Coach Hall, Mott Hyde, Dusty Isaacs and Jonathan King had to say at preseason media day.

Coach Hall Media Day

Dusty Isaacs Media Day

Mott Hyde Media Day

Jonathan King Media Day

Remember Tech fans you can hear every pitch of the 2014 season on 91.1 FM WREK-Atlanta or on wrek.org. And be sure to give us a follow on Twitter @WREKSports and like us on Facebook under “WREK Sports” #NothingButTech

Getting to Know Jason Morris

Nolan Alexander caught up with Jason Morris earlier this week (before the North Carolina game on Wednesday night). Hear what the senior forward has to say below!

GTK: Jason Morris

Monday Mornings from McCamish: 1/27

Welcome to another edition of Monday Mornings from McCamish. This weekly segment will be released on Monday mornings throughout Georgia Tech’s Men’s Basketball 2013-14 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 11-9, 2-5 following a two game road trip in which they defeated Boston College and lost to NC State in overtime. (A big thanks goes out to Kyle Norton who contributed the recaps).

Tuesday 1/21: Georgia Tech 68 Boston College 60

In their first meeting since last year’s ACC tournament, Georgia Tech picked up a needed road win against Boston College 68 – 60.

The Jackets sprinted out to early twelve point lead, and while the Eagles were able to keep it close, they never took the lead or tied the game up. This was due to a great shooting effort by the Yellow Jackets. In the first half Georgia Tech was absolutely on fire hitting 73% of their shots and shooting an amazing 75% from the arc. The team cooled in the second half, but still posted a shooting percentage of 52% for the whole game. Tuesday’s game was the first time this whole season that Jackets shot above 50% overall and from 3 point range.

Rebounding was another strong point for the Yellow Jackets in this game, as well as the whole season. Each Tech player had at least 2 rebounds, leading to a 12 rebound advantage over Boston College. When Robert Carter Jr. went down, questions were raised about if this Tech team could keep rebounding like it had before his injury. Well, it seems as if the entire team has simply has picked up where he left off.

It is fun (and perhaps a little unhealthy) to wonder what Tech record would look like if Tech shot like they did in this game every game.

Sunday 1/26: Georgia Tech 78 NC State 80 F/OT

Georgia Tech fought hard in its overtime loss to NC State on Sunday but came up short 80-78.

Georgia Tech and NC State battled back and forth the entire game, but Georgia tech came up just short in a thrilling overtime matchup. However one bright spot in the game was the play of Daniel Miller. Daniel Miller put up a monster stat line of 21 points and 14 rebounds. The big man is known for being a presence on defense and the boards, but this outburst of offense is a pleasant surprise from him. Daniel Miller continues to impress this season and has really stepped up as one of the major producers for this team.

Another of the game’s few bright spots was the Jackets’ improved free throw shooting. The numbers have been dismal recently from the charity stripe, but the Jackets made about 70% of their free throws in this game.

It may sound simple, but one of the major factors in the loss was missing too many shots. The Yellow Jackets actually outshot the Wolfpack by five shots, but converted four less than the Wolfpack. Once again Tech struggled to get its shots to fall. The Yellow Jackets need to improve their efficiency on offense going forward to be able to challenge opponents.

This loss to NC State and the win over Boston College are very similar. In both games the Jackets had significant rebounding advantages and overall played well defensively. The big difference is shooting percentage. When the shots are falling this Tech team is hard to beat, but when the team has an off day it shows in the final score. Shooting the ball efficiently from the field and the free throw line is what separates a close Tech win, from a close Tech defeat.

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Looking Ahead:

Wednesday 1/29 7:00pm: North Carolina (12-7, 2-4) at Georgia Tech (11-9, 2-5)

One would be hard pressed to try and find a more enigmatic team than the team that Tech will face at McCamish Pavilion on Wednesday night They’ve had statement wins over Michigan State, Louisville, and Kentucky. They’ve face-planted against the likes of Belmont and UAB. The North Carolina Tar Heels appear to have all of college basketball stumped, even their coach Roy Williams.

Just yesterday when it appeared that the Tar Heels were in a free fall at 1-4 in conference play, they proceeded to stomp Clemson 80-61 (a score that indicated the a closer game than it really was). In the rout, Carolina displayed an intensity that had been absent since the turn of the calendar year. They held a 37-21 lead at half and widened the gap in the second half to over 30 points. Even with a late, inconsequential offensive surge, the Tigers shot a woeful 34% from the field (a program worst over the last four years).

The Heels on the other hand poured on the points. F James Michael McAdoo scored a game-high 22 while shooting a blazing 9 of 13 from the field. The guard tandem of Marcus Paige and Leslie McDonald added complementing efforts of 15 and 12 points respectively. The Tar Heels shot over 55% from the floor as a team and tallied 19 assists in the win. The 80 points allowed was a season worst for the Tigers (a team that led the nation in scoring defense at 54.8 points entering Sunday).

The most notable trend for the Tar Heels of late has been the emergence of senior guard Leslie McDonald. The Memphis native has started the last three games (his only starts of the season) and responded by scoring in double digits each contest. McDonald’s career has been marred by an ACL tear and NCAA sanctioned suspension that resulted in a total of 45 games missed since the fall of 2012. McDonald is desperately looking for a strong finish to a somewhat forgettable career and he is starting to gather momentum.

As for Wednesday’s game, Coach Williams and his players have preached the necessity of urgency in the coming games. The question with this year’s Tar Heels has always been: can they put performances like these in back to back games? So far they haven’t. But Tech should expect anything but that on Wednesday night with the Heels coming off their best game in over two months.

Tip-off is at 7:00pm and will be broadcast on All News 106.7 FM and televised on ESPN2.

Sunday 1/26 1:00pm: Georgia Tech at Wake Forest (14-6, 4-3)

Entering the week the Wake Forest is tied for fifth in the ACC at a 4-3 mark and stands at 14-6 on the season. For a struggling program and head coach who has produced losing records in each of his first three seasons, this success couldn’t have come soon enough.

That being said, the Demon Deacons do not dominate one facet of the game in the particular. They score, rebound, and defend sufficiently, but not dominantly. They have a senior leader in forward Travis McKie who provides experience for a young team (the other four starters are only sophomores). The Deacon attack consists of three double digit scorers (Codi Miller-MacIntyre, Devin Thomas, and Travis McKie) and two more above eight. Bottom line: they are balanced and competitive in nearly every game.

That being said, the defining aspect of this team is that they can win. And do so in the clutch.

Wake is 7-2 in games decided by 10 points or fewer; a sample that includes all four of their ACC wins. They knocked off NC State at the buzzer, Virginia Tech on the road, and Notre Dame just two days ago to preserve a 12-0 mark at home. After 11-2 run gave the Irish a one point lead with just over two minutes to go, Wake wasn’t fazed. The Deacs proceeded to score on their next six possessions to seal their 14th win of the season. A win total that hasn’t hasn’t been exceeded in a single season since head coach Jeff Bzdelik arrived in 2010).

Ultimately, the Jackets have struggled to win close games and on the road this year. Wake Forest has exceled in crunch time and at home (not withstanding this Wednesday’s home game against #2 Syracuse). Tech will have to reverse these trends if they hope to defeat the Deacons at the Joel on Saturday afternoon.

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.