Olivier Hanlan was not to be stopped by the Jackets on Thursday. - Streeter Lecka
The ACC's Freshman of the Year showed why he was deserving of such an accolade, as he produced some record-setting numbers en route to helping his team beat the Jackets by 20 points.
Before we go any further with this article, let's get one thing straight here -- when you've got a guy who's 14-18 from the field, including 8-10 from 3-point range, and scoring 41 points by himself in a 30-minute span...yeah, you're fighting an uphill battle from the start.
Now, I won't make excuses here. Certainly Tech's defense left something to be desired and wasn't much for impeding Olivier Hanlan in this game, and the youth of this team showed as they appeared frustrated, flustered, and unfocused over the final 25 or so minutes of the game.
We got off to a great start, going up 15-0 in the first 5 minutes of the game, and even having a 28-14 lead at the 7:00 mark in the first half. Knowing that, it's wild to think that we ended up losing the game by 20. However, Hanlan got hot, the Eagles erased their deficit to take a 5-point halftime lead, and things just mushroomed from there as they took the victory by a score of 81-61. To put things in perspective, Georgia Tech's 28-14 lead was the last time they were really in control of the game, as Boston College went on a 70-36 run in the final 27 minutes of the game...effectively scoring 2.6 points per minute to Tech's 1.3 (see David, I can do complex stats too!)
The only guy wearing navy and gold who had a really solid and impressive performance was Marcus Georges-Hunt, who had a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Other than that, in what was probably his last game as a Jacket, Mfon Udofia had 10 points, 4 boards, and 3 assists, while Brandon Reed scored 8 points in 19 minutes off the bench and Robert Carter, Jr. was good for 7 points and 9 rebounds. It hurt quite a bit having Chris Bolden (a major source of production as of late) fail to score from the field and get his only 2 points from the free throw line. Overall, the team was pretty bad offensively, shooting just above 50% from the free throw line and 32% from the field, a number that reminds me of what we saw early on in conference play.
My take here is we have a young team, and that it was painfully obvious over the course of the game. They came out hot and took a big lead, but became irreparably flustered when the lead was lost. It is what it is. I hate to see Mfon go out like this after his 4 solid years of service, but I think that we've got a lot of reason to be excited about this team next season, especially with the maturity that this season brought for Bolden, Georges-Hunt, Carter, and Solomon Poole, who may well be our four starters flanking Daniel Miller next season.
Denial? Angry? Accepting? Where's everyone at in the 5 stages of grief? You optimistic about next season as I am?