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Technical Tidbits 3/6: Pastner, Lammers, and Okogie clean up on awards day

May I introduce you to Joshua Paul Pastner, ACC Coach of the Year?

Louisville v Georgia Tech Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

Georgia Tech dropped its final game of the regular season over the weekend, suffering a late-blooming blowout at the hands of Syracuse up at the Carrier Dome on Saturday afternoon. The Jackets went to the break trailing by a dozen before cutting the deficit down to three points at the start of the second half, but Cuse’s Andrew White III made Tech’s comeback a short-lived one by hitting four three-pointers in three minutes to seal the win. He finished with 40 points in the game, including shooting 8-of-9 from beyond the arc, dooming Tech’s at-large tournament hopes barring an ACC Tournament miracle.

The basketball team brought home a trio of conference-level awards yesterday, including a coveted ACC Coach of the Year honor for first-year head coach Josh Pastner. Various corners of the Internet were predictably irate following the announcement, but the truth is that the award almost always goes to the coach that broke preseason expectations — something that Pastner unquestionably did better than anyone else. It remains shocking that he was able to completely reinvent himself as a coach so quickly, and the fact that Pastner was able to win with this roster really spells good things for the future of basketball in Atlanta.

Ben Lammers, meanwhile, brought home a huge honor of his own: ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Largely in recognition of his astounding block total for the season, Lammers took home the accolade over a number of other very qualified players. He has been absolutely stingy all season long, transforming from a rotational role player a season ago to the absolute backbone of the 2017 Yellow Jackets. The team quite honestly cannot succeed without him on the floor, as we’ve seen a couple of times this season, in large part because of his defensive contributions.

It would be wrong of me to pass over Josh Okogie’s accomplishment, being named to the first-team All-Rookie team for his phenomenal freshman campaign. There isn’t a whole lot to say here that hasn’t been said already on the behalf of one of the conference’s best players. Josh Okogie has come out of nowhere and become a top-tier player in a top-tier conference. Congratulations to him on his own well-deserved award.