It’s a good day for Georgia Tech head coach Brian Gregory when he is able to clear his bench in the second half because his Yellow Jackets have complete command of the game. That was the case Saturday afternoon as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets used their size advantage and played stellar defense all they way to an 87-57 blowout victory over the East Tennessee State Buccaneers.
Sophomore Marcus Georges-Hunt was co-leader in scoring for the game with 18 points on 7 of 12 shooting from the field, and Robert Carter Jr. followed up his ACC/Big Ten Challenge performance with another solid outing of 13 points and 8 rebounds.
This was the complete game that Yellow Jackets fans have been waiting for Gregory’s squad to have. The team used their strength, which is their size on both ends of the floor. The size advantage came in handy for the Jackets particularly on the defensive end. The Buccaneers had an obvious issue getting shots in the paint and grabbing offensive boards against the frontline of the Jackets.
The Yellow Jackets dominated the boards as they should have with a 48-35 margin. 33 of those boards were on the defensive end as they, for most the game, held ETSU to one shot per possession then would outlet pass for easy buckets on breaks.
It was encouraging to see Georgia Tech make a consistent effort to work the ball inside the middle of the ETSU zone. At times they had difficulty getting it inside, but for the most part their effort getting the ball down low turned into a lot of open looks for perimeter shooters, as the ETSU zone would collapse and leave people open behind the three-point arc.
Georgia Tech had their best outing from beyond the three-point line this season hitting 10 of 23 for 43.5%. Overall the Yellow Jackets shot a season high 51.6% from the field for the game.
Coach Gregory shook up his starting lineup to start this game benching his starting backcourt of Trae Golden and Chris Bolden in favor of Corey Heyward and Solomon Poole. That move seemed to provide a spark for the Yellow Jackets. Heyward brought some nice energy to the point guard position though his stats really don’t reflect the impact he had. This move to the bench seemed to light a fire under Golden, who had 13 points and five assists, after going his two previous games scoring in the single digits.
The Jackets will have nine days to think about what they could take away from this game before they come back and play Kennesaw State on Dec. 16th. Tech should remember that their size is their best friend, it opens up countless opportunities for them on the offensive end and gives opponents fits on the defensive end.