Georgia Tech’s offense took a sizable hit late yesterday afternoon when it was announced that starting B-Back and two-time ACC Rookie of the Week Dedrick Mills will be out for this weekend’s game against Duke. Mills apparently suffered an upper body injury in practice this week and was deemed unfit to go on Saturday by the coaching staff, leaving backup Marcus Marshall to fill the void just a day after Paul Johnson commented on his desire to get Marshall more involved in the offense. That may be good timing for Marshall as far as finding a nice rhythm for the rest of the season, but the vagueness of the term “upper body injury” is somewhat unnerving.
Besides stopping Tech’s big plays, another tactic employed by Duke head coach David Cutcliffe is to prepare for much more than just the option when facing the Jackets. I’d call that a sound decision considering how much better a passer Justin Thomas is than his stats would indicate; coming unprepared for pass plays could be a death sentence for Duke. Trick plays, meanwhile, haven’t gone so well for the Jackets all season long. Not even the reverse has worked to its full potential, leaving fans hungry for the Paul Johnson-style trickery that made the 2014 season so fun (even though that very play happened a bit too early against North Carolina in 2014).
Of the fifteen teams that play basketball in the ACC, Georgia Tech has been picked to finish one spot short of dead last in the conference. Only Boston College, a team which has been absolutely putrid in recent seasons, was picked to finish with a worse record than the Jackets. In fact, Boston College is probably the most winnable conference game on Tech’s schedule this season. That’s not a place you want to be as a program, but it should get a bit better in the coming seasons. Duke, meanwhile, is the unsurprising favorite in the ACC as Coach K gears up another unfairly talented team for a run at the NCAA Championship.
Have a great weekend!