The Georgia Tech basketball team fell to 11-13 on Monday when they lost by a final score of 65-63 to the hapless Hokies in Blacksburg. The game appeared to be firmly in Tech's hands -- the Jackets led by double-digits with just over five minutes to play -- but eventually lost on a late three pointer by Virginia Tech's Malik Muller. The defeat pushes the Jackets into the double-digit loss column in ACC play despite them having six games still to be played for the conference slate, including two matchups with Clemson, two with UNC, and one apiece with Louisville and Florida State. Anyone who follows the ACC knows that this final stretch is forgiving by conference standards, but it will still be a test for Brian Gregory to cap off what has been another disappointing season.
Tech may have lost the game in disappointing fashion, but one bright spot did emerge for the Jackets in the form of freshman Tadric Jackson, who scored 10 points in what was his first truly efficient offensive display at the college level. The author of that article tried making a case for more minutes for Jackson, but I really can't make my mind up as to whether or not he should see more playing time. On one hand, Jackson is probably the most athletic player on the team and there is no doubt in my mind that he is the future of Tech basketball. His shooting has been off all season, but he has the obvious talent to make an impact at some point, so why not give him minutes now in what appears to be a dead season?* On the other hand, Jackson came into the Virginia Tech game shooting 12% from three point range. That is flat out awful, especially for a guy lauded for his shooting stroke. No sense in playing a guy who isn't producing in what small role he currently has.
*I'm going to go ahead and answer my own question here by saying that Brian Gregory is fighting for his job and wants the lineup with the best opportunity to win the game on the floor. If this were his first or second season, Jackson would be playing more.
I talk a lot in these posts about recruiting rankings and how they tend to rise when Alabama or a similar big-name school makes an offer, but I'd never really considered that it might be valid to reevaluate a player's ranking after they receive an offer like that. I guess when I think about it I can see why that is true, but I still think that it's tacky and pretty dumb to reevaluate based on an offer received. I just can't see what the difference is from when you review film the first time versus the second time. Does the offer from a factory make the film more impressive to scout? It obviously creates some weird bias or placebo-like effect, but I don't get why that is.
Yesterday I linked to an article talking about recruits who refuse to sign NLIs, and it now appears that four-star linebacker Roquan Smith, who committed to UCLA over Georgia, will do that very thing. Smith is unhappy with UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich's decision to leave in favor of the Falcons, and has therefore opened his recruiting back up. I would normally be in favor of this, but because Smith is also considering uga I'm a bit disappointed -- he is a talented player who I don't care to see in red and black. It is also worth noting that some people have linked Vic Alexander's decision to come to Georgia Tech to Roquan Smith's decision to attend UCLA -- both play the same position and it was speculated that Smith's decision may have pushed Alexander away from the Bruins.
Have a great Wednesday!