Tonight’s basketball matchup with Clemson up in South Carolina will provide the Jackets with the season’s first opportunity to prove that lightning can in fact strike twice, this time in the form of a season sweep. Tech last saw the Tigers back in the middle of January, the day after Clemson’s national title victory in football, but the Jackets have just as much to prove this time around as they did back then. Brad Brownell’s team started off the season with a number of impressive victories over quality out-of-conference opponents but has since been on the exact opposite trajectory that we’ve seen from Georgia Tech, starting just 2-6 in conference play. Jaron Blossomgame is a very good player and Clemson can still see the light at the end of the NCAA Tournament tunnel. Tonight’s game certainly won’t be an easy one to win.
A second win against Clemson would once again do wonders for Tech’s NCAA Tournament hopes, but the truth is that the Jackets are already in pretty good position to make the big dance even prior to tipoff tonight. The hardest part of the ACC schedule is now completely finished; the second half looks much more forgiving than the first, which Tech navigated admirably despite its rigor nonetheless. Of the nine games remaining in conference play, four are at home and five are on the road. Notre Dame is the only remaining top-25 team left, and that game will be played in South Bend. Everything else is completely winnable, and even that game is a strong possibility given Tech’s recent success and Notre Dame’s slide. Add in a guaranteed game in the ACC Tournament and you’ve got a path to the 20 wins you’d need to feel confident about a team’s tournament hopes.
Georgia Tech lost out on what would have been one of the final pieces to its 2017 recruiting class yesterday afternoon when three-star wide receiver Marlon Williams elected to commit to Central Florida. I suppose it’s only natural for Tech to lose a commit to Central Florida after poaching a couple of their guys this cycle, but it still hurts to lose a potential recruit at a position of need. It sounds like Williams put a lot of thought into his decision from reading his commitment letter, so hopefully it works out well for everyone.
Perhaps the coaching staff has a trick up its sleeve for national signing day, but the general feeling is that the recruiting process had been winding down for some time now as the number of names on the big board began to shrink.