Well internet-land, that was a hell of a game. It had it's ups (taking the lead for all of 12 seconds) it's downs (the end), but it was still tight except for a brief 4-minute stretch in the 2nd half. It was a defensive contest to be sure. There were 13 blocks, 8 steals, and 31 fouls. The defensive conspicuousness of the game may have been a product of the terrible offensive production, but we'll get to that. The offensive impotency was kind of surprising, because both teams displayed great ball skills throughout the game. There were only 17 turnovers between the rivals. Under Paul Hewitt, this would often be the number of TOs Georgia Tech gave away in a half. Seriously, thank God that guy's gone. But let's stay on target and talk about this game.
In the first half, both team's offenses had the virility of a doorknob. They shot a combined 22% (13-58). There was a lot of ball movement and a lot of shooting, but I think they were over-energized and worked more like a crowd of coked-up gazelle than a basketball team. It got to the point where it was humorous to watch both teams play. Marcus Georges-Hunt described the feeling of watching all of your shots fall by the wayside in the best way imaginable: "[its like] woah...what are we gonna do now?" Vapid offenses aside, the defense actually wasn't that bad. Climpsun had 6 of its 9 blocks in the first half, and Tech continued its trend of great FG percentage defense by holding the Tigers to under 30% from the field. Regardless of how they got there, each team stumbled drunk into the locker rooms with the score sitting at 20-15 and some serious work to be done.
The second half started off with an bang. Both teams scored a combined 14 points in the first three minutes, or 40 freakin percent of their combined score in the first half. Perspective is hilarious. Several players highlighted the offensive takeoff. Marcus Georges-Hunt and Robert Carter Jr. each had 10 and 8 points in the second half respectively. Marcus was helpful to the rest of the team in more ways than one. In the post-game presser, he said he noticed that in the first half the bigs were helping too much and dumping the ball too often. The Jackets corrected this and had 18 second half points in the paint. The smarter offense wasn't there when Tech needed it, though. With the Jackets coming off a timeout and 23 seconds left in the game, Chris Bolden drove into an open lane. Clemson crashed on it and instead of passing the ball out for an outside J to tie the game at 55, Bolden went to the hoop and missed. Clemson got one of two of the ensuing FTs and that was it. The Jackets now are 13-10 (3-8) and go to Wake Forest on Saturday for their second game against the Deacs this season. Hope you'll join us for the gamethread. If you want to listen to CBG's full remarks from the postgame, you can find that right here.