Tuesday, November 18, 2003

GT wins opening hoops game

Well, a solid performance from the Jackets as they beat Louisana-Lafayette 79-45 at the ThrillerDome. Unfortunately I was driving through Canada while the game was going on. Got to my hotel to turn on ESPN and catch the 2nd half - and guess what - Canadians don't like ESPN. What's that all about?? Although I was able to watch "World's Strongest Man" in French though - qui qui.

Back to the game. I was able to get online and listen to the 2nd half. So I'll make some comments based on listening in and the stat line. Luckily I recorded the game so I will check it out when I get back.

Seemed to be a balanced game from the whole team. Strong defense, balanced scoring against a depleted LL club.

Jarrett Jack - double/double with 11 assists and 12 points (5/6, 1/2 3pt, 4 boards, 4 to's, ). Nice outing. If JJ runs the club this way this season look out. However, you know when JJ's last double/double occurred? Try his freshman debut last year. So he has a knack for season opening games. Wes D. on the radio commented on how much stronger he looks this year. Evidently has been hitting the weight room. Great outing by JJ.

BJ Elder - 17 points (8/17, 1/4 3pt, 5 boards). A good start to BJ's season. I said before the season that he should average 17-22 points a game this year).

I'smail Muhammad - 13 points (6/9, 7 boards-4 offensive, 2 blocks, 3 assists, 3 to's). A solid effort for IM. If IM can truly become a slashing offensive threat this year that sure would add a dimension to the team. Combine that with his tenacious defense and he could be a pleasant surprise this year.

Marvin Lewis - One of Marvin's "where did he go" games. 8 points (2/9, 2/8 from 3pt, 2 board, 2 assists, 1 steal, 3 to's). Usually Marvin disappears on the road. I sure hope this is not a preview of things to come his senior year. We'll give him the benefit of the doubt since it is the 1st game. Too much hoops to play yet.

Luke Schenscher - had 6 points and 1 rebound. I said 1 rebound. Yes, 1 rebound. really - 1 rebound. I'm not kidding.......Without watchinig the game I cannot comment on his aggressiveness, but 1 rebound against a depleted LL team is not much to get excited about. He did sustain a cut under his eye. I will comment later after watching the tape. However, Luke, at least outrebound Jarrett Jack, who had 4. Please..........really..........please. The Macon Telegraph even did a profile on you today.

Clarence Moore - I like this stat line - 6 boards (3 off), 3 assists, 4 steals. Only had 5 points (2/5) but did hit a 3-pointer. Clarence has said he is willing to do whatever the team needs to win. That is a stat line to me that shows a guy doing some dirty work. I love it. We know this guy can score and this will come as the season progresses.

"The rest" - Robert Brooks had 8 points (4/5) and 6 boards. I will take that ALL DAY my friend. Tony McHenry finished with 5 points (2/3) inlcuding 1/2 from 3-point range. Also had 5 boards, 1 block, 2 assists - reasonable outing from Tony. Would like to see his offense develop (as would all fans) as the season progresses. Jim Nystrom goes 2/2, including one from long distance. That could be a nice confidence booster. We keep hearing about how he shoot the lights out. Anything Jim can contribute adds another dimension as well.

General comments

Rebounding - Everyone talks about our weakness on the inside. Luke is going to have to do more than he did tonight, but check out the distribution of rebounds (Is'mail 7, Moore 6, Brooks 6, Elder 5, McHenry 5, Jack 4, West 3, Lewis 2, Luke S 1, Nystrom 1). A solid effort from all on the boards as GT outrebounded LL 45-29.

Turnovers - 16 total. Better than the pre-season games. I really expect our turnovers to be lower as the season progresses since we do have experienced people in the backcourt.

Free Throw Shooting - 4/10. Welcome to Georgia Tech.

OK - nice win. Love to start the season this way. And it looks like we will have another home game on Thursday against Hofstra as they beat Marist 79-74. If GT beats Hofstra, we could end up matched up against #1 UConn. We will get to see pre-season all-american O.Ekafor, who was almost a YellowJacket and our old "friend" Ed Nelson (on the bench watching of course).

For the complete NIT bracket, click here.