ATLANTA, GEORGIA — It has been a quiet week in Atlanta as things settle down for the holiday respite. Between basketball and swimming, that’s really all there is to discuss. For our own sake, I’ll endeavor to keep this short today, rather than ramble on for the sake of putting words to paper.
In the RECC, the slight uptick is noticeable, which is due to a large part women’s basketball and a much smaller part an uptick for volleyball. For those curious as to what those two teams in particular have done recently to result in this, I encourage you to check out last week’s edition.
Otherwise, there’s not much left to add. To those reading this who graduated this weekend, congratulations, you got out. The site as a whole wishes you well on your journey. For everyone, newly-minted graduates included, we also wish you a happy and safe holiday season, as well.
Overall: - / Last Week: -
Polls - AP Poll: 18 | Coaches: 21
Nerd Stuff - Massey: 31 | NET: 30
Only one game this week, and it was an evening Sunday tilt against Wake Forest to open conference play. The Demon Deacons entered the game 10-1 on the season, however their nonconference schedule was incredibly soft and they lost to the only high major on their schedule, Nebraska, by a whopping 26 point margin on their home court. However, since that game, the Deacs have played lights out on offense, absolutely burying the likes of Troy, East Tennessee, and South Carolina State by a combined score of 274-159 and scoring more than 90 points in all three of those games. Wake Forest, quite clearly, is a high-flying offense, while Tech’s grind-it-out defense figured to make the game a fascinating clash of styles, at the very least.
The Jackets, however, managed to limit their guests to just half of that output, taking the game 62-45. Wake Forest jumped out to the earliest of leads at 2-0 after scoring first, but after that, it was all Georgia Tech. Tech shot 45.8% from the field and 31.6% from three, a good stat for both, especially the latter, given the woes from three point range /earlier in the season. The Jackets were still poor from the free throw line, however, managing just a 50% rate. With respect to scoring, Eylia Love and Nerea Hermosa led the way for Tech, notching 16 points each, while Digna Strautmane added twelve of her own, including two from distance.
All in all, it was a good game for Tech, and they’ll be back at it again with an early afternoon game on Tuesday against Boston University before taking a much-deserved break for the holidays and rolling into ACC play.
Swimming and Diving
Polls - Coaches: M: 19 | W: NR
Nerd Stuff - CAP: M: 36 | W: 42
It is not worth beating around the bush here — this was a weird meet. With a large chunk of the Tech team tied down by the big national and multinational meets like the Short Course World Championships or graduation, Tech was not necessarily swimming their usual roster of athletes. It seems fitting that the meet was also bizarre, really, as the events of the day featured not only oddities like 75 yard and 150 yard events of each stroke, but also a “skins” format in the 50 yard events - also in all four strokes - that consisted of three alternating rounds in which swimmers were consistently eliminated, shrinking the field first to six and then to three, with the third and final heat winner being considered the winner overall. If this was the plan for the meet all along, well, this column missed the memo, as it was completely unsuspected that this would be the case until walking into the stands on Saturday morning. In addition, the meet was also in the west side of the pool, which is normally only used for competition when both sides are in action, with the east set of lanes usually being the default.
In terms of results, Christian Ferraro, McKenzie Campbell, Clark Wakeland, and Kyle Barone (twice) all won events, while diving had a particularly strong showing against Northwestern. Unfortunately, Miami did not bring their vaunted diving teams along with their women’s swim program, so Tech did not get the chance to face off against that star-studded lineup.
Ultimately, this was a really strange meet. It’s silly to say that there are no takeaways, but, in the grand scheme, this meet is a curious oddity and not much more. There is no need to sound the alarm about the state of the men’s team falling by a particularly large amount to Northwestern when four of their biggest contributors - Caio Pumputis, Berke Saka, Batur Ünlü, and Mert Kilavuz - were shredding their national record books at Worlds. This extends to the women’s side, too, as Defne Taçyildiz, Imane El Barodi, and Zora Ripkova were also there. The alternative to recruiting a giant chunk of the Turkish national team - in the case of Saka, Ünlü, Kilavuz, and Taçyildiz - is to miss out on a lot of talent the rest of the year, a trade certainly worth making. The events of the meet were almost unanimously weird either by distance or format, making results there also tough to translate.
Thus, we call it what it really is - a curious oddity.
12/21 - Georgia State
12/21 - Boston University