Monday Mornings from McCamish: 11/25

Welcome to another edition of Monday Mornings from McCamish. This weekly segment will normally be released on Monday mornings, but a heavy test week on the flats pushed back the release (on that note: big shout out to Eliot Beckham who pieced this together on short notice). We will revisit the previous week’s action as well as look ahead to the upcoming week’s games.

Last Week Recap:

Wednesday 11/20: Dayton 82 Georgia Tech 72
Sunday 11/24: North Carolina A&T 71 Georgia Tech 78

After a disappointing loss to Dayton in the mid-week the Yellow Jackets rebounded with a come-from-behind win over a tough North Carolina A&T team this Sunday and moved to 4-1 on the year.

No season ever goes exactly according to plan, but this past Wednesday’s loss to the Dayton Flyers was a a hiccup Tech head coach Brian Gregory would have liked to avoid. Gregory came to Atlanta at the start of the 2011-12 season, having coached the eight years prior at Dayton and won the 2010 NIT Tournament with the Flyers. This was the first time he had faced his old team, who now has five straight wins over ACC opponents and moved to 4-0 on the year with the win over the Jackets. Dayton had 17 steals in the game to Tech’s 7, culminating in 33 points off turnovers to Tech’s 6. The Flyers had 55 points from three players, including 20 from surprise starter and Ohio State transfer Jordan Sibert. After a 13-0 run from Dayton near the end of the first half, the Jackets seemed to roll over and never looked like making it close again in what was undoubtedly a performance disappointing to Coach Gregory against his former school.

One positive the team could certainly look at going forward is the inside play of Daniel Miller, Kam Holsey and Robert Carter, Jr. The Jackets won the battle down low handily, scoring 42 to Dayton’s 36 and getting 17 second-chance points (Dayton had only 6). Miller was Georgia Tech’s leading scorer on the night with 20 on 7-9 shooting, and made all of his 6 free throw attempts. On a night when the white & gold backcourt seemed more than a little uncomfortable (senior Trae Golden was hassled into 6 turnovers alone, and Golden combined with fellow guards Chris Bolden and Solomon Poole were an astounding 4-21 from the floor), it was the Tech big men who showed the ability to produce consistent offense.

Coming off of a loss, the Jackets showed signs of a hangover in the first half against the NC A&T Aggies. But Tech showed some true resolve after finding themselves down 37-33 at the half and 49-38 with 13:43 to play. From that point, the Yellow Jackets went on a 14-3 run to tie the game at 52 and felt in control of the game from there. Of note was the play of the previously mentioned frontcourt. Miller played only 20 minutes due to foul trouble and eventually fouled out, but bagged 10 crucial points for his team in what was a whistle-heavy, physical game. Carter, Jr. also showed up well, particularly on the defensive side of the court where he grabbed 11 boards in addition to his 3 steals and sole block. And Holsey, who saw important action in the second half in place of Miller, chipped in another 10 points and drew several fouls (foul trouble was also a big problem for NC A&T, who had two players foul out and four players ride the bench with four fouls apiece).

But the big difference in this game for Tech was the play of Trae Golden and Marcus Georges-Hunt. The team’s two leading scorers on the season were the driving force of the second half comeback, pushing the tempo and scoring points both in transition and in the half-court setup. Golden, who finished with 20, seemed unstoppable driving the lane late on, and Georges-Hunt (16 points, 2-4 from three-point range) made some key shots from range and was a threat using his pull-up jumper as well as from the outside. After allowing 17 steals versus Dayton the Jackets only coughed up two to the Aggies. Going forward, look for this improved ball-handling to be a point of emphasis for Coach Gregory and look for Miller, Holsey and Carter, Jr. to continue getting good looks inside.


Looking Ahead:

Tuesday 11/26 7:00pm: Mississippi Valley State (1-4) at Georgia Tech (4-1)

Tech’s pre-Thanksgiving midweek opponent isn’t a big name, but figures to be very capable of a shootout. The Delta Devils gave Mississippi State a fight last week, losing 111-82 in a real show of offensive firepower. The last 100-point game the Jackets had, if you were wondering, came on November 11, 2009, against Florida A&M.

Tip-off is at 7:00pm and will be broadcast on 106.7 FM and streamed live on ESPN3.


Friday 11/29 4:30 & Saturday 11/30: The Barclay’s Center Classic, Brooklyn, NY

Preview to follow.