Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Georgia Tech, Who Art Thou?

Paul Hewitt took the Yellow Jackets on an amazing ride to the national title game in 2004. They lost to Uconn, but it was a damn fine run. What have they done since then? Answer, not much. They’ve had only two winning seasons, and one tournament victory against George Washington to their names since. Understandably, Paul Hewitt entered the season on a bit of a hot seat. Luckily for Hewitt, he has the inside combo this year of Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal. In this current climate of mid-season coach firings brought to us courtesy of the hyper intense world of college football, those two are what you call job savers.

Georgia Tech’s guards did a decent job of breaking Clemson’s press and when they did, the results were nasty…in a sweet way. Favors and Lawal combined for 24 rebounds and 33 points on the way to a tense 66 to 64 victory. From the field, Favors shot 8 for 13 and Lawal shot 8 for 10. There is no way they would have shot that well unless they were dominating Clemson’s front line. (For the record, they were dominating Jerai Grant and David Potter, who combined for 5 points and 5 rebounds. But, nobody really dominates Trevor Booker. Man’s a beast.) If last night’s game was all you saw of Georgia Tech, however, you might have got the wrong impression. That is to say, depending on which impression is the right impression to get of this Yellow Jackets squad.

Last night Georgia Tech’s two bigs played amazing. More importantly, they played amazing together. That hasn’t been a constant for this team. The Yellow Jackets have four losses on the season. Florida State, Virginia, and Dayton, which aren’t horrible, and Georgia, which kind of is. In the loss to Dayton, Lawal turned the ball over 8 times and only ended up with 4 rebounds and 9 points. Favors only did marginally better, with 4 rebounds and 10 points. In the loss to Florida State, Favors was amazing with 4 blocks, 3 steals, 12 rebounds and 8 points. Lawal had 4 rebounds and 4 points. In the loss to Georgia, Lawal put up 21 points. Favors was flat. You get the picture.

Georgia Tech has also knocked off 3 ranked opponents in the past couple of weeks: Duke, North Carolina and now Clemson. The most dominating performance by the two together was on display last night against Clemson. If they can click from here out, and both decide to play on the same night, Georgia Tech could be scary good. National Title run good? Maybe. But, if they don’t play well together…job savers only come along every so often.

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