It has simply been gut-wrenching to watch the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-10, 0-7 ACC) get to the doorstep of breaking through in the win column, only to see the opportunity get snatched from them for one reason or another.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
The seven game losing streak that Tech is on, has sparked the maligning campaign for fans and critics of Georgia Tech Basketball, and in particular, coach Brian Gregory.
After taking a 64-62 defeat in McCamish Pavilion to Boston College, and going through a few days of criticism and disappointment, a road trip to Corral Gables to face the No.23 Miami Hurricanes (14-5, 4-2 ACC) might be what the doctor ordered.
Sometimes the best thing for a struggling team is to get away from home, away from the criticism and nagging fans, in order to find focus ,togetherness, and victory on the road.
Of course getting this victory on the road is not going to be an easy task.
Miami coach Jim Larranaga has his Canes’ playing strong.
Miami was on a five week hiatus from being ranked in the Top 25.
But after winning four of their last five contests which included victories over Duke at Camden Indoor, and at the Carrier Dome over Syracuse, they broke back into the rankings at No.23.
The Hurricanes are holding opponents to 62.7 points per game which is fifth best in the ACC, while averaging the seventh best scoring total in the ACC at 70.4 points per contest.
Junior guard/forward Sheldon McClellan stands 6-foot-5, and leads the Hurricanes in scoring at 15.0 points per game on 51.7% from the field and 35.2% from three-point land.
(Photo: Robert Mayer, Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports)
Senior guard Angel Rodriguez, who transferred to Miami from Kansas St., also is a huge contributor to the Hurricanes cause dropping 14.4 points and 4.5 assists per contest on the stat sheet.
Meanwhile, junior 7-footer, Tonye Jekiri, holds down the paint for the Canes averaging 8.1 points and an ACC leading 10.3 rebounds per game.
What makes Miami good is that they don’t beat themselves because they take care of the basketball.
The Canes’ commit the third least amount of turnovers in the ACC at 10.1 per game.
They also average 14.3 assists as a team per contest which is the sixth best assisted basket rate in the ACC.
Coach Larranaga will not hesitate to put a zone on the floor defensively with Jekiri holding the middle of that zone.
Miami can put some size on the floor overall that could give Georgia Tech issues defensively, but also could effect what Georgia Tech attempts to do offensively.
We have said time and time again that the Yellow Jackets look lost on offense. They look hesitant to pull the trigger, or when the initial ball movement and player rotation does not bare fruit, the team looks like they don’t know what to do next.
Brian Gregory addressed that in his latest presser on the Georgia Tech Athletics Channel on You Tube:
Hopefully they worked out the kinks in their offensive execution in the last three days.
Let’s be clear, it is understood that players are going to make bad passes and not always read and react correctly. However, with these kids it happens way to often.
How many times have we sat and said, “why didn’t you drive that?”. How many times have we seen a crisp pass made and asked, “why didn’t you pull the trigger?”.
Jan 25, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets guard Chris Bolden (2) shoots the ball against the Boston College Eagles in the first half at McCamish Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Things are not always going to be perfect with offensive execution, but at least look like you know how to get to option B and C.
There is just a crispness that we expect to see on offense, and Georgia Tech does not show it consistently enough.
Georgia Tech has had success in the past against the Hurricanes in BankUnited Center, defeating then No.6 Miami 71-69 on March 6, 2013.
However, the Yellow Jackets have dropped 8 of 11 to the Canes’.
Miami has an overall edge historically leading the series 11-7 and have an 11-5 record against the Jackets since joining the ACC.
This game will be televised on Fox Sports South in Georgia and can also be live streamed on ESPN3 starting at 9PM EST.
You can also listen to the game on local Atlanta Radio on 680 AM and 93.7 FM as well as satellite radio Sirius 136.