Bird and the guys at the fine Georgia Tech blog From the Rumble Seat offered up some questions and answers about Sunday night's matchup between the Jackets and UNC. Their questions and our answers can be found here.
Here are our questions and their answers about the somewhat enigmatic Yellow Jackets:
THF: Which is the real Georgia Tech team: the one that beat UTEP and Richmond and played Syracuse to a 4-point game, or the one that lost to Siena, Kennesaw State, and was just blown out by Clemson?
FTRS: We are the team that got beat by all of the terrible teams. UTEP and Richmond are non-Big 6 squads. They may make some noise in tournament, high pressure settings but in a neutral court, regular season game, they didn't have the horses to run with Tech. Syracuse plays an almost identical style of basketball to Tech's featuring lots of transition offense and defense so the game looked less like a college game and more like a street pickup game amongst a bunch of friends. Expect sloppy play from Tech for the rest of the season. If we win a single road game, I'll be happy.
THF: Tech's team field goal percentage is barely over 40% for the season, which is 281st in the country, and three-point shooting is worse, at only 29%. Why can't the Jackets seem to throw it in the ocean?
FTRS: Teams can focus their man to man defenses on our key players. We don't have any strength in the front court to take pressure off the perimeter offense so that hurts us immensely. Also, the 2nd half is killing us. Did I mention we're a bad team?
THF: Tech's guards would seem to be as solid as any in the ACC. What's up with the guys up front?
FTRS: The front court is relatively inexperienced. It's led by redshirt freshman Daniel Miller. He's accumulated almost all of Tech's blocks but isn't a big offensive threat. Kammeon Holsey is probably the more dynamic of our front court players and has had some big games including 18 points against Boston College. Nate Hicks subs in and out for these guys at the 4 and 5 spots. For the most part, the bigs aren't much of a factor for Tech like they were last year. We're only averaging 11 points/game from true forwards/centers.
THF: How has this season played out against preseason expectations?
FTRS: I was hoping Tech would be better because of the talented group of guards. I figured Hewitt would have a fun, explosive offensive featuring a four guard look. Instead, our guards are just missing all of their shots and we're playing a lot of 3 on 5 or 4 on 5 basketball. There doesn't seem to be enough talent in the low post to compete with the big squads of the ACC. Hardly anyone is giving any defensive attention to our front court and our guards are smothered all game.
THF: Just how hot is the seat under Paul Hewitt?
FTRS: It's hot in our hearts but cold in our heads. Hewitt has an 8 million dollar buyout due to a continuously renewing contract. Every year it regenerates to 6 full years unless we don't resign it. Not resigning his contract is basically a message of incompetence to recruits and a white flag so we've yet to not resign him. I think some bitter Tech fans are on the brink of hiding a copious amounts of weed in his SUV and calling in the DEA.
THF: Who will win and why?
FTRS: I think Tech will win because UNC plays bad at Tech. Hewitt either gets destroyed by Roy Williams or he narrowly edges him out. I think this game smells like a narrow victory. There's nothing scientific or quantitative about it. I just think Hewitt gameplans for one or two games per year. UNC is usually one of those games. It's sort of like a lesser version of Clemson's struggles at Carolina.
Thanks again to the guys at From the Rumble Seat for their insight!