Run Them Off The Floor

Sept. 20, 2010

By Matt Winkeljohn
Sting Daily

They’re back together now, sort of, and the men’s basketball team at Georgia Tech is going like mad with the idea of getting in super shape to run this season. That comes as no shock, really, for a team that has lost post players Gani Lawal, Derrick Favors, Zachery Peacock and Brad Sheehan.

The Yellow Jackets are also searching for chemistry, which every team covets.

“The main thing is getting everybody to get on one page,” said senior guard Moe Miller. “We’ve all got to be fast, and in condition, and read and react to each other’s moves. The teams that play together, nine times out of 10 . . . will exceed people’s expectations.”

The Jackets will have a need to exceed because they have just four players over 6-feet-5, and three are freshmen. The other, 6-6 sophomore swing man Brian Oliver last season was more oriented toward the three-point shot than banging bodies in the post. The other three are redshirt freshmen Daniel Miller (6-11) and Kammeon Holsey (6-8), and true frosh Nate Hicks (6-10).

It is possible that Tech will start nobody over 6-6, or perhaps even 6-5.

Official practices will begin in a few weeks. For now, group workouts are en vogue.

“The main thing has been conditioning, a lot of running preparing for the transition from dominant big guys to being more guard-oriented,” Miller said. “Coach [Paul Hewitt] is focusing on getting your man and guarding him no matter how big he is.”

“Get in better shape than opposing teams and run them off the floor. We’ve got a lot of guards, and coach Hewitt loves to sub. With the way we’re training now, we can give it our all.”

Miller is in a unique position, and not just because he’s a senior. His scoring average has gone from 8.1 to 5.8 to 3.9 points per game in his first three seasons in part because he’s encountered an odd run of injuries including a concussion and a broken nose.

His playing time jumped late last season, and it’s a good bet that he’ll play plenty this season. He’s looking forward not only to playing more, but playing a style of basketball which may fit him well.

“I want to say it may be some dribble-drive, more off the dribble, and you’ve got to kick it more like a Kentucky offense, or Memphis,” he said. “Over summer we worked on a four-out-one-in [scheme], setting screens and freeing each other up. I’m not quite sure yet because we really haven’t covered it.”

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