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Georgia Tech Below .500 In 2012-13 Season? ACC Coaches Poll Thinks So

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Liz Condo-US PRESSWIRE

It may be more of the same this year for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets if the conference’s coaches are right.

The Jackets were picked to finish ninth in the first ACC men’s basketball poll released this week.

Last year the Jackets struggled, finishing tied for last in the ACC in a year that was punctuated by losses and turmoil. Despite the lukewarm opinion by his peers, head coach Brian Gregory says he is optimistic about the upcoming season.

Tech returns all five starters from last year’s team and added several freshman that have garnered some attention in early practices.

“I feel very positive about our guys’ attitudes and the way they want to be coached every day. We’re getting good leadership from our upperclassmen, and our freshmen know how to play the game.

They’re going to help us. We’ve just got to keep plugging along,” Gregory told reporters this week.

The team lost its leading scorer Glen Rice Jr., who was booted from the squad for discipline issues. To perform better than last year, someone on the squad will have to replace the 13 points a game and feisty defense off the bench that Rice provided.

“I think we averaged 60 points a game last year. At the same time, I think we’re going to be better defensively. But our defense is not one that gambles a lot, creates turnovers and easy baskets on the other end. We could play at a faster pace and be better offensively,” Gregory said.

The Jackets start the season on Nov. 9 against Tulane.

The coaches predicted the North Carolina State Wolfpack to win the ACC  this season beating out perennial leaders in the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels .

Coaches Predictions:

1. NC State

2. Duke

3. North Carolina

4. Miami

5. Florida State

6. Maryland

7. Virginia

8. Clemson

9. Georgia Tech

10. Virginia Tech

11 Wake Forest

12. Boston College

 

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2013-14 ACC Basketball Season Grades: Georgia Tech Struggling for Relevance





Remember Georgia Tech? Remember Kenny Anderson and Dennis Scott? The days of Georgia Tech’s time as a nationally-known college basketball program have long since passed. And the 2013-14 season did nothing to bring the Yellow Jackets back to the front burner of hoops thought. Georgia Tech again struggled majorly in the ACC, finishing the season 6-12 in the ACC and 16-17 mediocrity. While Georgia Tech’s overall records screams an up and down year, the ACC mark continues a trend for the Yellow Jackets. The once proud program led by then-head coach Bobby Cremins hasn’t won more than seven conference games since 2007.

That trend didn’t change this season. Georgia Tech is 21-47 the last four seasons in league play. Whether it’s talent, coaching or just apathy as the ACC has gotten larger, the Yellow Jackets seem to be forgotten on the regional and national scenes. Here’s an evaluation on both sides of the ball, plus overall, for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in 2013-14.

OFFENSE: For a couple years now, Georgia Tech’s offense hasn’t been effective. This year, the Yellow Jackets managed just 66.7 points per game, 281st nationally. A big factor in that was poor shooting. Georgia Tech hit just 43.1 percent of its shots from the field. Also, the Yellow Jackets were a modest 31.5 percent from three-point range, which in this era where it seems like everyone hits in the 40- to 45-percent range, won’t cut it. Trae Golden led the club with 13.3 PPG as one of four Yellow Jackets to average in double figures. Georgia Tech was even weak from the free-throw line, shooting 68.4 percent. GRADE: D.

DEFENSE: While forcing turnovers wasn’t Georgia Tech’s thing, the Yellow Jackets weren’t bad defensively. Georgia Tech ranked in the top 100 of the country in scoring defense and blocks per game. The Yellow Jackets also grabbed almost 25 defensive rebounds per game. But the defense had a lot of pressure on it game after game because of the inability of the offense to put points on the board. Under the circumstances, the defense did fairly well given all it was asked to do if Georgia Tech was going to have any chance to win. GRADE: B.

OVERALL: The 2013-14 season was another year in which Georgia Tech was just kind of there. The Yellow Jackets have been under .500 overall in seven of the last nine seasons and seem a world away from their NCAA Tournament title game appearance in 2004. There’s a lot of work to be done for the Yellow Jackets to be relevant again. They were average for what they were expected to be, which wasn’t much. GRADE: C.

Twitter-style, the 2013-14 Yellow Jackets in 140 (or less): “And finally Saturday in the ACC, Georgia Tech lost. Now, back to the Georgia State Fencing Championship. #GTHoopsDoNotMatter”

Ed Morgans is an ACC Basketball Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @writered21 and add him to your network on Google

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North Carolina Tar Heels Prove They Can Grind Out Win





Shots weren’t falling, players were riddled with foul trouble, and North Carolina overcame it all to pick up their second straight ACC victory (78-65) at Georgia Tech Wednesday.

This game was incredibly important for the Tar Heels for multiple reasons. The Tar Heels desperately needed another conference victory, they had to show they could win on the road, and they needed a win without having everything go right. The Tar Heels found out they could win when the game doesn’t go according to plan.

The Tar Heels were held to only 44 percent shooting and had to play much slower than they probably wanted. However, Carolina was able to run their offense in the half court successfully enough to counter Georgia Tech, slowing the game down. The Yellow Jackets clearly did not want to run with the Tar Heels and kept the game close for about 30 minutes. Tech’s pace did not allow Marcus Paige to run up-and-down and the offense took some time to get rolling.

What helped counter the lack of offense was a strong defensive effort that carried over from the Clemson game over the weekend. North Carolina held Georgia Tech to only 43 percent shooting and 4-of-15 from behind the arc. This played a big role in allowing UNC to figure things out on offense. Finally, Carolina started hitting shots and that gave the team the confidence they needed. The offense actually played surprisingly well in sets, as is evident with the 20 team assists.

North Carolina took all of it in and expanded on a one-point halftime lead slowly, but surely. Paige shook off a couple less-than-great performances and did a little bit of everything en route to 17 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

James Michael McAdoo, despite sitting much of the second half with four fouls, notched a team-high 17 points before fouling out. Kennedy Meeks also continued his recent solid play with nine points and a team-high 10 boards. He could be a key player down the stretch as North Carolina tries to find a way into NCAA tournament. Carolina also hit its free throws — 15-of-21 — going against their season average of around 61 percent.

It may not have been pretty for coach Roy Williams and his Tar Heels, but picking up the win Wednesday could be as important as any other victory this season.

Gregory T. Philson is an ACC college basketball writer at RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GTPhilson, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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