Josh Pastner got the first big win of his Georgia Tech career on Wednesday night, defeating the VCU Rams in overtime by a final score of 76-73. There were quite a few turnovers from both sides — a total of 39 for the game — but the Jackets were ultimately able to exorcise their offensive demons and hang 76 on a very talented VCU team. We saw something in that game that Brian Gregory simply never showed us with any consistency: a bounce-back win against a very good team on the road. Winning in Richmond is just not something you do against VCU, certainly not under Shaka Smart and even less so under Will Wade, the former Chattanooga head coach who owned a 20-2 home record with the Rams until last night. It’s one game, but it’s one game that no one expected this team to win. No one but the team, of course, which is all that matters.
Should be a get well game for VCU. Yellow Jackets are beyond challenged in terms of personnel. Won't win a game in the ACC. https://t.co/ThsZwQpeQ9— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) December 7, 2016
It took an 16-point, 8-rebound, 4-block performance by Ben Lammers plus an additional 24 points from Tadric Jackson to pull it off, but Tech found a way to prove the above crow connoisseur wrong. If Tadric is ready to put in all of the work needed to be a star, he has the talent to be just that for a Tech team with little to no ACC-caliber players — for both talent and experience reasons — readily available. Don’t mistake the praise for optimism (terrible idea), but congratulations to the team on a great win. Carry that momentum into the next game against Alcorn State and then into Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.
Want to win football games? Hire quality assistants. Want to hire quality assistants? Pay quality assistant-level salaries. That second point is something that Georgia Tech is utterly failing in, ranking dead last in the ACC among reporting schools in terms of assistant coach salaries. That already puts the Jackets in the lower half of the conference, but we can safely assume that Miami and Pittsburgh at the very least would rank ahead of the Jackets. It’s entirely plausible that any one of the five unreporting schools could do so, but we’ll call it two and roll with the assumption that the Jackets are no better than 11th in the conference. That is just a mindbogglingly ugly figure, especially for a program that has been more successful over the past decade than the majority of the schools in front of it. It’s not completely an Athletic Department issue, but something has to improve.
Someone tell nick saban his chopper is about to be towed if he doesn't get it off Gwinnnett County properties immediately pic.twitter.com/NCx5CSXMCJ— Brad Lester (@BradLester1) December 8, 2016
While we have this discussion, Nick Saban is hovering above looking for a place to land his helicopter. This is my ultimatum, GTAD: get Paul Johnson a helicopter and pay your assistants more or else I’m going to change the name of this series to something witty and offensive that I haven’t thought of yet.
Tune back in tomorrow for some depressing transfer/decommitment news that I don’t have the heart to include in today’s post. Let the basketball team celebrate and give the AD some time to weigh their options on the helicopter without distracting either party.