We lost to Florida State. The way we played, we probably deserved to lose. But we had a chance to win. The fact we even had a chance is amazing to me. We looked like one of the poorest coached and most disjointed team EVER. There was only one bright spot about the game. I got to see Derrick Favors' tattoo of Jesus holding a basketball, which is just awesome. On to the rant.
DISCLAIMER before I continue: I missed the first half of the game. But after seeing the score and hearing the stats on my way home to watch the second half, I don't think I missed much. We were out-rebounded by 10 in the first half. How the hell can we be out-rebounded by 10 in a freaking half when we have Gani and Favors on the inside?! How is this even possible? Yes I know FSU has a lot of "length" and they have a guy who's 7'1"... but still, there is no excuse. We'll come back to rebounding, and in particular, boxing out later. But now let's talk about offense.
Honestly, I have been apart of better offensive basketball teams at the Campus Rec Center at Tech playing pick up games. You may think I'm joking, but I'm absolutely serious. It seems like we have no set plays to generate an open look. Do you remember in the movie Semi-Pro when Woody Harrelson teaches the Tropics the play he calls "The Puke"? If you haven't seen it, Woody makes the team run the same play in practice until everyone on the team vomits so that they never forget it. This might be the wrong analogy, but Georgia Tech needs a play like "The Puke". We have no way of generating open shots.
Here's my idea for the offense. How are we not running the same offense as the Orlando Magic did during the playoffs last year? Put the ball in D'Andre Bell's hands and have him run a pick and roll with Favors every time down the court. You might think it won't work, but the Magic did that last year almost every possession and went to the NBA Finals. We don't have to run that play, but we need to DO SOMETHING!!!! And then when we managed to generate an open look, we couldn't knock them down.
I really want to rail on one player in particular, but I won't do that because I respect our student athletes too much. I'll just say the 6'9" PF has no business shooting step back 3's and taking runners in the lane. It is unthinkable some of the shots that were taken tonight by that player and others.
Back to defense. We played fantastic defense for the first 35 minutes as far as I can tell. We only allowed FSU to score 45 points with 5 minutes to go. Okay fine... Then all of a sudden we have a complete brain fart and allow them to go on a run. Yes we were scoring at this time too, but we couldn't get a stop to save our lives. What gives?
Then while their shooting free throws, the ball is up on the glass and our whole team stops playing!!!! WTF. Maybe the ball wasn't in play anymore, I couldn't tell... but the fact is that our players assumed there would be a whistle and there wasn't one. The football team plays hard until the whistle. Not so with our basketball team. And then in OT the FSU free throw shooter gets his own f**king rebound!! This is INEXCUSABLE. THE FREE THROW SHOOTER CAN'T MOVE UNTIL AFTER THE BALL HITS THE F**KING RIM, HOW CAN HE GET THE REBOUND? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?
I'll tell you how. All of these problems stem from a lack of coaching and a lack of discipline. In other years we could blame s**t like this on our lack of a point guard, or just overall lack of talent. But not this year, it's all on the coaches this year.
Our players talk about how Paul Hewitt is a "players coach" and therein lies the problem. I don't know much about Paul or how he runs practices, but it's pretty apparent come game time. Our coaches and players talk about staying disciplined during the game, knowing each other's responsibilities, etc. but we can't do any of those things come game time. I've always been a Paul Hewitt apologist, but I'm sorry, this is inexcusable. I know it's only one loss, but things need to turn around in a hurry. If this team with this amount of talent can't have a winning record in a down ACC and get to the Sweet 16, Paul has to go. That's my opinion.
My buddy Jose summed it up best tonight after the game. He said, "I want to believe we won't suck [when I sit down to watch a GT basketball game] yet we always do."