On the first play of overtime Asanti Price hit a three pointer. That was Georgia Tech’s first lead of the game. This was a game that Georgia Tech should not have won, but they scrapped, made plays, and got a little luck when they needed it.
NC State came into this game missing two of their best players. DJ Funderburk was suspended and Markelle Johnson was announced out due to injury just before the game. It didn’t look like it would stop the Wolfpack early. The started off up 8-0 and expanded on the lead topping out at 39-24. But after that the Yellow Jackets started chipping away. There was no big run, it was just a few points here and a few points there until the game was tied with 13 minutes left in the second half. Every time GT tied the game, NC State would pull away a little bit before giving it back. Neither team was able to break this stalemate and the game ended up in OT after Jose Alvarado missed a game winning three attempt.
OT was much of the same. The teams were just trading blows. NC State took an 81-80 lead with just 35 seconds left, then craziness happened. Jose Alvarado threw a terrible pass to turn the ball over. Then NC State lost the ball and a scramble ensued in the corner for the ball. Somehow the ball stayed in bounds and ended up in Georgia Tech’s hands. They pushed the ball up floor and Jose missed another three pointer. Khalid Moore snagged the offensive board and somehow snuck a pass to James Banks who went up and got fouled. He coolly hit both free throws for the win.
For NC State I have to give credit to C.J. Bryce. He had 24 points on 8-13 shooting and could not miss, even with a hand in his face. The only way to stop him was to outright deny him the ball.
- James Banks and Moses Wright were a frightening combo down low defensively. They were blocking shots left and right and changed the Wolfpack game plan.
- The core of Banks, Wright, Alvarado, and Mike Devoe looked good offensively. Each made big plays and carried the offense at times this game (with the exception of Wright).
- Khalid Moore looks like he will be a good role player this year. His defense looks great and he does enough on offense to warrant a lot of playtime.
- Once again Georgia Tech got off to a slow start. This has been a recurring issue in the Josh Pastner-era.
- Three point defense. This is partly the result of the matchup zone, but players weren’t closing out quick enough and NC State made them pay. Switching to man helped out here.
- Georgia Tech turned the ball over 18 times. Another recurring issue come back this year.
- Georgia Tech’s best players can’t keep getting in foul trouble. Both Banks and Alvarado were in serious foul trouble for most of the game and Moses Wright fouled out with 10 minutes left in regulation.
- Georgia Tech needs other players to step up. Evan Cole got a few minutes, but had his issues. Bubba Parham stretched the defense, but ended with one point. Asanti Price made some freshman plays and was 1-4 from deep, but didn’t do much else. Jordan Usher is coming, but not that soon. We need bench production especially if Banks and Alvarado insist on fouling so much.
- Georgia Tech’s plays down the stretch including out of a timeout were not good at all. A semi-open Khalid Moore three is not the last shot we want in a tie game.
There’s a lot to be negative about here, but Georgia Tech is 1-0. They are 1-0 in the ACC. They are 1-0 on the road. This team fought back when it looked like they were done for. Player of the game goes to James Banks. He had 5 blocks, 14 rebounds, 20 points on 8-13 and some very clutch plays including the game winning free throws.