You can go months without one-point games and then get them in bunches. That is what has happened with Georgia Tech’s basketball team over the last 10 days. Under Paul Hewitt’s watch, the Jackets had only been involved in one, one-point game. That was last season in the “ACC-Big 10 Challenge” when the Jackets rallied to edge Wisconsin, 62-61.
Now Tech has doubled that figure in six games and come up short on both ends. Not only did Tennessee need a miracle from Jon Higgins to pull the upset, Minnesota got their star, Rick Rykert, to hit a pretty tough shot for the Gophers win at Minneapolis.
Prior to Hewitt’s administration at Tech, the Jackets were 6-3 in one-point games in the previous five seasons (1996-2000), with perfect 2-0 marks in 1997 and 1998.
SCOUTING THE MEN OF TROY
Usually in March around tournament time you hear about”giant killers”, but Georgia Tech will get to face one on Tuesday night at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, whenTroy State (6-1) faces the Yellow Jackets for the fifth time. The Trojans, who tied for the regular season crown in the Atlantic Sun last season, have already posted wins at Arkansas and Southeastern Louisiana this season.
Their most recent effort was an 89-77 win at Lipscomb on Thursday in Nashville. Troy State had six players in double figures, with forward Rob Lewin posting 10 points and 13 rebounds. The only blemish for TSU is a loss at Southern Miss, where the Trojans let an 8 point lead slip away in the last 12 minutes.
Don Maestri has supervised Troy State’s move from division two status to its current spot in the A-Sun. Along the way, Maestri guided the Trojans to a pair of appearances in the “Elite 8” of division two, including a title game trip in 1993.
Troy State has moved to an up-tempo style of play that is producing successful results to date. The Trojans have 10 players who are averaging 12-minutes or more per game. Their style of play is predicated on three-point shooting. Troy State averages 31 three-point attempts per game. Their conversion rate is 36%, with guards Herbert Evans (10-15) and Ben Fletcher (17-60) leading the charge from behind the arc.
Loyola Marymount proved in the `80’s, its one thing to play this style, yet another to defend with it. The Trojans are forcing opponents into an average of 20 turnovers per game.
TROY'S ONES TO WATCH
# Name Ht. Cl. Pos. Notes: 15 Ben Fletcher 6’3 Sr. G 13.1 pts (23 @ Ark.) 10 Greg Davis 6’1 Jr. G 12.1 pts., 4.4 ast. 31 Rob Lewin 6’7 Jr. F 12.1 pts., 7.1 reb.
WHO’S NEXT FOR THE JACKETS…
Looking ahead in the schedule for Tech. Here’s a quick check of the upcoming opponents and their seasons to date.
Dec. 21, at Syracuse, 12 noon (ESPN): The Orangemen (5-1) whipped Binghamton, 94-58, on Saturday and don’t play again until Tech’s visit this weekend. 6’8 rookie Carmelo Anthony has posted double-doubles in five of six games, and is averaging nearly 25 points and 10 rebounds a game.
Dec. 29, at Maryland, 5:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Net): The Terps saw their 87-game home court non-conference win streak go by the boards with Saturday’s loss to Florida at Comcast Center. The Gators also snapped the Terps 21-game home court win streak dating back over a year. Maryland hosts UMBC on Dec. 23, before the Jackets visit the following Sunday.
Jan. 2, at Tulane, 8 p.m. EST (Radio Only): The Green Wave are 3-5 on the season with a tough early schedule featuring 8 games in 19 days. After their loss to Kentucky last week, Tulane is on exam break until Dec. 20, when they host Savannah State and Jackson State on Dec. 23.