Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Tech Loses to Wake Forest

I don't have a lot of time, but Tech loses a tough one on the road to Wake Forest 98-91. GT did a lot of things right tonight. The Jackets finished with 20 assists and only 7 turnovers. That's strong. They shot 48% from the floor and 44% from 3pt range and hit 17-18 free throws. Normally you see stats like that and you think a win is on the way. But it wasn't to be.

Here were my keys to the game that caused the Jackets to fall short:

1. Rebounding - Tech was out-rebounded 37-29. Just like the Duke game, key rebounds down the stretch were our downfall. Make no mistake, this was a key reason for the loss.

2. Defense - Wake Forest shot something like 60-70% in the 2nd half. Sorry, but our defense faltered. Yes, Wake hit some REALLY long shots, but they got to the basket entirely too easily, we had a lot of missed assignments and too many times where the help defense was missing. First half defense was strong. It was NOT in the 2nd half. Wake scored 98 points and 61 of those came in the 2nd half. I don't care what you say - that's not strong defense. That's actually the most points in a half ever by WF at "the Joel" in ACC games (per somebody on one of the boards).

3. Officiating - I am typically the last person to blame the officiating. But let's face it. Wake Forest shot 46 free throws and GT shot 17. That's not a slight discrepency. That's huge and the game was NOT lopsided like that in actual play. Sorry, but facts are facts.

One last thought. Is it just me or does Luke seem to hit that baseline 10 foot jumper with amazing consistency? Here's a thought. What if you set him down there with some level of regularity. If they play off him, let him take that shot at will. It they come up on him, send a cutter to the hoop and let him use his solid passing skills. Of course, what do I know?

By the way, evidently Luke was playing sick. Someone at the Hive reported he hurled at halftime. Got to give him props for playing under those conditions.

One pattern that you can count on with this team is that any first half lead will disappear in the 2nd half. I cannot count how many times it has happened. Again tonight. Frustrating, but that's life. You are not going to hold down a team like Wake all game.

Look, we just lost a tight game to the #4 team in the nation on the road. Nothing to be ashamed of. Just tough to be so close and not close the deal. I stand by my statement. Win against Clemson and we're in. A win in the ACC Tourney would seal it 100%, but 8-8 and we're in.