March 10, 2012
By Jon Cooper
The 2011-12 Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball season was going to be something of an anomaly even before it began. There was a new head coach and no real home court.
Hope is the same can be said of its 11-19 record (4-12 in the ACC) and first-round exit in the ACC Tournament.
But judging this team solely by record doesn’t really seem right. With a couple of exceptions, this team was never out-worked and never quit despite what seemed like a sisyphean season.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to measure how difficult you made life for a top-10 team that is battling for the conference championship and a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs, or for valiantly fighting on the road despite being shorthanded, only to see a victory disappear on a desperation three at the buzzer. There is no way to measure progress in learning a defense-oriented system that will continue to confound opponents, who won’t be able to wriggle off the hook once the team does improve offensively.
What’s coming doesn’t help right now, there are some numbers that will. Here are some of them.
5 – Georgia Tech’s rank defensively in ACC play. Their 65.5 points per game were actually a tenth of a point better than North Carolina and only a bucket from being in the top three (Florida State was third at 63.4 ppg).
1 – The number of losses in 12 games when leading with 5:00 to play in 2011-12. Unfortunately, their 11-1 mark in closing games out was in stark contrast to the 0-18 when trailing with 5:00 to play.
1 – The number of losses in eight games this season when shooting better than 50 percent.
0 – The number of games the Jackets shot 50 percent or better during the 2010-11 season.
3 – The number of opponents that shot better than 50 percent against Georgia Tech. Two of them were non-conference opponents Northwestern and Alabama, both ranked at the time, and coincidentally were the first two games played at Philips Arena this season. Both were also during the week.
13.6/8.9 – The point differential and margin of victory between games played during the week and on the weekend in ACC play. In weekend games Tech scored 65.4 points and was outscored by 2.5 points. During the week they scored an average of 51.8 points and lost by 11.4 points. The Jackets were 3-5 on the weekend to 1-7 during the week.they shot nearly 8.0 points better on the weekend (44.9 to 37.0) shot the three better (38.8 with 6.8 makes per game vs. 27.8 and 4.6), and shot free throws better (71.1, 10.1 per game vs. 61.2 and 8.9 during the week).
14 – The number of opponents that shot under 40 percent against the Jackets.
1.5 – The Jackets final edge per game in rebounding margin. That was fourth in the ACC, Florida State was second (plus-2.7), and NC State was third (plus-1.7). Last season, the Jackets were plus-.2 better than their opponents.
2 – The Yellow Jackets’ rank in defensive rebounding. Tech’s 31.4 defensive rebounds per game tied with FSU, a tenth of a point behind conference leader Virginia.
3.9 – Georgia Tech’s blocked shots per game in ACC play. That ranked fifth. Its 63 blocks were one behind Maryland for fourth.
5 – Miller’s final rank among shot-blockers in the ACC. His 1.9 bpg were tied with North Carolina’s Tyler Zeller (Miller’s 31 blocks in 16 conference games were actually one better than Zeller).
5 – The improvement in wins by head coach Brian Gregory’s 2006-07 team at Dayton. That team followed the 2005-06 team which was Gregory’s lone losing season as a head coach prior to 2011-12. The ’06-07 team was 19-12, with an 8-8 record in the Atlantic 10, tying for seventh. The previous year, the Flyers were 14-17, 6-10, 11th in the conference.
6 – Point guard Mfon Udofia’s rank in assists in conference play. The junior totaled 54 assists in 16 ACC contests (3.4 per game).
7 – Udofia’s rank in assist-to-turnover ratio in ACC play, as he was plus-1.5 (54 assists, 3.4 per game, to 37 turnovers, 1.5 per game). The Jackets, however, were minus-2.75, 11th in the conference.
7 – The number of games in his last nine that Pierre Jordan played without committing a turnover. That covered 92 minutes. For the season, Jordan had five multi-turnover games but none after Feb. 1 and he never committed more than two in a game.
8 – The number of times the Yellow Jackets were outrebounded in their entire ACC slate. They were only beat on the boards twice over their final six games, including the ACC Tournament.
9 – The number of times in the last 10 games that Miller scored in double-figures. He had three double-digit scoring games all last season, none in ACC play.
9 – The number of three-pointers that senior Nick Foreman made in the season’s first three games and final six games — all played without Glen Rice, Jr. In those nine games, Foreman shot 45.0 percent (9-for-20) from behind the arc. He made 10 three-pointers all season.
9 – The number of ACC games decided by 10 or fewer points. The Jackets were 3-6 in those games.
11.8 – Kam Holsey’s points per game over the final six games. That takes into account his four points in the ACC Tournament against Miami, when he was limited to five shots, making two of them — his lowest total in that stretch.
12 – The number of rebounds by which Tech beat Duke on the boards in their ACC opener on Jan. 7.
15 – The number of double-digit scoring games by Holsey this season. That included five straight in non-conference play (Nov. 14-23) and a run of six of seven in ACC play (Feb. 4-25). On Feb. 25th he recorded his first career double-double (16 and 10) against Maryland. Holsey had scored in double figures twice in his career heading into the season.
19 – The number of three-pointers in ACC play by Brandon Reed, which was second on the team (Udofia finished with 20). While he finished on a cold streak, hitting 2-for-17 over his final four games, that cold snap followed a torrid three-game stretch in which he shot 8-for-18 (44.4 percent).
20/12 – Udofia’s assists and turnovers over the season’s final four games. That even includes his one assist to five turnovers in the ACC Tournament. Prior to that game, he had 19 assists to seven turnovers over the previous three games, including a career-best nine helpers in the win over Maryland.
22 – Jason Morris’ career-high point total in the regular season finale against Wake Forest. Morris also set career-bests for field goals (eight), and three-point field goals (five), shooting 8-for-16 and 5-for-7 from three. The latter was easily his season best and a career-high when attempting at least five threes.
22 – The number of multi-block games for MIller. The sophomore center had at least one swat in 29 games, and had at least four 10 times. His season-high was five at Wake Forest on Feb. 15.
39.2/25.6/59.5 – The Yellow Jackets’ shooting from the field, from three and from the line at Philips Arena. That includes the entire ACC slate, plus non-conference games against Northwestern and Alabama.
48.5/32.1/71.1 – The Yellow Jackets’ shooting from the field, from three and from the line in the five non-conference games at The Arena at Gwinnett Center.
44.0/37.6/66.5 – The Yellow Jackets’ shooting from the field, from three and from the line on the road.
58.6 – Georgia Tech’s points per game in ACC play, 11th in the conference, a little more than a bucket ahead of Boston College (56.9)
66.1 – Georgia Tech’s free throw shooting in ACC play, that was the lowest percentage in the conference.
91 – The number of three-point field goals made in conference play. That ranked seventh in the conference. Their 33.5 percent from three did as well.
228 – The number of consecutive games in which the Jackets have hit a three-point field goal. Three times that streak was in jeopardy during the season, as they made one three against St. Joseph’s in their opener of the Charleston Classic, hit one against Virginia at Philips on Jan. 19, and managed just one against NC State on Feb. 9.