Nov. 13, 2006
ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia Tech’s “Fab Three” had another easy night.
Now, about that nickname.
“The Fab Three,”‘ Zach Peacock said, shaking his head, “isn’t very original.”
Georgia Tech put all three freshmen right in the lineup after going 11-17 last season. So far, so good.
The Yellow Jackets (2-0) have blown out two straight overmatched opponents, following up an 83-49 rout over Elon with another dominating performance. Young and Peacock each had 14 points, while Crittenton, the point guard, chipped in 12 points and 10 assists.
“There’s a lot of expectations on this freshmen class,” Crittenton said. “I think we’re doing a good job of living up to it.”
The only tense moment for the Yellow Jackets came with about 7 1/2 minutes remaining. Crittenton went up for a dunk and was slammed to the court by Grant Maxey, who was called for an intentional foul.
Crittenton remained down for a few seconds, then hopped up to shoot two free throws.
“It was a little scary,” he said. “I felt like a bus hit me.”
Coach Paul Hewitt was clearly concerned when he went over to check on his prized freshman. No one was more happy that Crittenton got up.
“I’m not going to tell you what I was thinking,” said Hewitt, who guided the Yellow Jackets to the NCAA championship game in 2004 and is counting on the freshmen class to get things headed in the right direction again. “Let’s just say I was glad he was OK.”
Sophomore Lewis Clinch led Georgia Tech with 16 points. Junior Ra’Sean Dickey, who lost his starting job to Peacock, showed he’s not happy about that situation with 15 points and eight rebounds. Jeremis Smith added 10 points.
Jackson State (0-2) has been on the opposite end of two blowouts. The Tigers were coming off a 96-65 loss at No. 10 Alabama, starting a stretch of 10 straight road games to begin the season. The Southwestern Athletic Conference team doesn’t play at home until Dec. 18.
Senior Trey Johnson was basically a one-man show for Jackson State with 33 points. Julius Young, with 14, was the only other player in double figures.
“The thing we have to do is find more scorers,” Jackson State coach Tevester Anderson said.
That wasn’t a problem for the Yellow Jackets. They spread the wealth while shooting 69 percent (22-of-32) in the first half, a staggering display that wasn’t really all that surprising; their shooting range was mostly right under the basket.
In building a 54-31 halftime lead, Georgia Tech scored 13 baskets off layups and three more with dunks.
The Yellow Jackets didn’t let up much in the second half, finishing at 65 percent (39-of-60) from the field – their best performance since a 67 percent effort against North Carolina State on Jan. 27, 1993.
“Their athleticism showed up,” Anderson said. “They are very good athletes, they pound it inside a lot and there are just tough to spot up when they pounding it inside.”
The Yellow Jackets scored nine straight points to wipe out Jackson State’s early 6-4 lead, totally dominating their smaller opponent in the lane.
Clinch dunked off a pass from Crittenton. Peacock dropped in a layup, then converted a three-point play after being fouled on another shot in close. Mario West finished off the run with still another easy hoop.
“It’s really been easy to adapt to (college),” Peacock said. “As long as you’re going hard, everything else will fall into place.”
It just got worse for the outmanned Tigers. Georgia Tech stretched its lead to 37-16 before the game was 11 minutes old on Clinch’s second jam, this one set up by a pass from Smith.
Appropriately enough, Dickey finished off the half by grabbing an offensive rebound and scoring off the putback from underneath as the buzzer sounded.
“When I come in off the bench, I’ve got to keep up the intensity,” Dickey said. “I look at it as a challenge.”