This game was pretty simple. Some pretty normal runs by each team in the first half led to a tie game at halftime. With 16 minutes left in the game the Yellow Jackets led by 1. With 12 minutes left in the game the Tar Heels were leading by 11. That 4 minute stretch was the decisive stretch. UNC continued to pull away after that and was never really threatened again. This was very similar to UNC’s big win against Michigan the other day when they dominated the second half after an even first half.
The problems on offense were pretty simple. The first is that Michael Devoe didn’t play as well as he has all season. He missed open three pointers and he couldn’t create too much inside either. The other problem is that nobody else really has the scoring ability to pick up Devoe and Pastner’s offensive system isn’t getting good shots for other players. The team went from draining threes in the first half to barely taking any in the second half.
There were some offensive bright notes. Deebo Coleman made some very nice plays. I’d love to see him in the game more. Khalid Moore also had a decent game hitting a couple of threes and picking up some good clean-up buckets. Beyond that there were issues though. Jordan Usher couldn’t get open at all. He had some very nice finishes against good defense, but he only shot 4-10 and didn’t draw any fouls. Rodney Howard played most of the game and didn’t even put up a single shot.
Defensively I won’t be too harsh on the Yellow Jackets. The Tar Heels had very good ball movement to find the open guy and was hitting their open shots (particularly from deep). They mixed up defenses, but couldn’t really find anything that worked consistently. UNC had success up and down the lineup with 4 players scoring 15 points. Caleb Love was inefficient scoring, but was a major playmaker for them. RJ Davis and Armando Bacot did great at scoring though they both had some turnover issues.
This was a disappointing result for Georgia Tech. Fan enthusiasm has been high to start the season, but disappointing home results against Miami (OH), Wisconsin, and UNC are eroding that. GT certainly isn’t out of the tournament yet, but they’ll need to figure out a way to play much better if they are going to get there.
The Yellow Jackets get no reprieve coming up. First they play LSU downtown on Saturday, (Ranked just outside the top-25 by AP and #13 by kenpom) before heading to Arizona to play against #20 USC (#11 by kenpom). They really need to get a win in one of these games.