Mar 4, 2014; Syracuse, NY, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Brian Gregory and the bench react to a score during the second half of a game against the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome. Georgia Tech won the game 67-62. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
When you look back at the 2013-14 regular season for the Georgia Tech men’s basketball team, two words come to mind – injury and inconsistency.
Injury was a major factor in the success, or lack of, for the Jackets. Freshman PG Travis Jorgensen was lost early in the year with an ACL tear. He was supposed to be a major factor in Tech’s point guard rotation behind Trae Golden but that idea got put to bed. Then an injury to Robert Carter Jr.‘s meniscus was a major blow to a team that actually had some momentum going. Carter’s offense and rebounding ability was hugely missed for the six week stretch that he was sidelined.
Even point Golden spent some injury time on the bench this year, with his bad groin at one point making it even tougher for head coach Brian Gregory to put together a proper rotation. But what can be said is that through all the injuries that Tech suffered, Gregory was still able to get great effort out of his team every game. It could not be said that they did not play hard.
As consistent as the effort was, the execution within the game was sorely lacking any consistency. The outside shooting was very spotty for Tech all year, with the Jackets shooting their three-pointers at a 31.5% which was third worst in the ACC. Chris Bolden was off and on all season shooting the ball (well mostly off). He shot a team low 29.5% from the floor and was erratic at best coming off the bench.
Marques Georges-Hunt was another player that was now you see him, now you don’t. Georges-Hunt was the second leading scorer for the Jackets at 11.6 ppg, but there were too many games where Tech needed him, but he simply did not show up.
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
The inconsistent outside shooting also contributed to Tech’s hard time dealing with zone defenses all year. Teams were daring Georgia Tech to shoot from outside, and the Jackets simply could not knock down shots from the perimeter on a consistent enough basis to gain opponents respect.
Turnovers were a bugaboo all season as well. Tech turned the ball over 12.2 times per game which was fifth worse in the conference. Tech simply had a hard time handling full-court pressure and 2-3 zones and a lot of turnovers was the result of that.
So what was working, other than Daniel Miller and coach Gregory’s antacid? Not a lot, to be honest. But the two wins at the end of the season–one of them over once top-ranked Syracuse–showed that when Gregory has a healthy team, he can get his guys to play with just about anyone.
Amazingly, the Yellow Jackets finished 15-16 on the season and even looked respectable doing it. With the kind of effort that Brian Gregory was able to get out of his team this season, it makes you wonder what kind of season the Jackets could have had if they were able to stay healthy.
Now the focus has to fall on two main areas; recruiting (which Gregory has always been exceptional at doing), and player development (which is an area that needs some serious woodshedding, for both coach and players).
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