ATLANTA, GEORGIA — With the end of the finals season comes graduation. Through the years, I’ve had the privilege of conveying the list of graduating athletes quite a few times, and each year, it serves as a nice bit of perspective. Sure, we have a women’s basketball game to discuss a bit later, too, so graduation wasn’t the only thing that happened this week, but regardless of whether or not the names listed below are extremely familiar (see: football players who often find themselves with the ball and in the midst of the action on national television like Dontae Smith or Malachi Carter) or not, walking across the stage at Bobby Dodd is shared amongst them all, and is likely the most concrete and lasting achievement they will take away from their four or more years on the Flats.
It is by no means a mandatory part of the Tech fan experience to have attended or graduated the school — this is a big tent, and all are welcome — but it is certainly an achievement every student at Tech strives for, and one worth of the laud that comes with it. So, whether or not the folks listed here are memorable for their contributions on the diamond — side note: seeing Cort Roedig go on to bigger and better things makes that special 2019 spring feel so far away — or the gridiron, court, track, or pool, we here at From the Rumble Seat send our most sincere congratulations, and a hearty welcome into the company of those of us who have gotten out and graduated into the family of Tech alumni.
Sam Crawford (MS AE), Matthew Gorst (BS BA), Cort Roedig (BS AE)
Kondalia Montgomery (BS HTS)
Derrik Allen, Luke Benson, Jamal Camp, Dylan Leonard, Taylor McCawley, Dontae Smith, Zamari Walton, Sylvain Yondjouen (BS BA), Demetrius Knight II, Malachi Carter (BS LMC), Devin Ellison (BS PSYC), Jaylon King (BS CE), William Lay III (BS ME)
Sarah Halverson (MS Analytics), Cynthia Miller, Jackson Wydra (BS CS)
Swimming & Diving:
Cale Russell (BS CS)
Jeanette Lin (BS BA)
Track & Field/Cross Country:
Claire Moritz (BS BME)
Tech (8-3) handled by Boston College (10-4) 74-62
Alright, perhaps I was stalling writing about this game while talking about graduation. To begin to discuss this basketball game, I must first draw an allusion to a long-standing feeling among Tech football fans. Every year, when this site previews the schedule, no matter how good or bad Duke or Georgia Tech are, there is always a line of consensus among commenters (or other FTRS writers) that Tech football should really never lose to Duke. It is always, without fail, penciled in as a win, seemingly completely regardless of context. I’m not mentioning this in order to say I disagree here, but I am certain that I tend to feel the same way whenever a Tech basketball team has Boston College on the schedule.
All that said, Boston College has had a decent year thus far, though they certainly do not represent the stiffest test thus far on the schedule in Tech’s still-young season. Their best win prior to Sunday likely was their win against Holy Cross (RPI #139), and they had dropped games to Harvard (#123), Ohio State (#13), Virginia Tech (#8), and Stephen F. Austin (#60), putting them somewhere just outside the top 100 in RPI coming into the game. With the general middle-of-the-road nature of the opponent, it is the type of game Tech needs to win in order to secure a bye or double bye in the ACC tournament, and though a loss does not doom the Jackets’ postseason hopes by any means, it does make getting as solid of a seed as possible that much harder. So, all that said, how did it happen?
Things started out well for the hosts, as Boston College raced out to a nine point led thanks to a 21-12 lead at the end of the first. Tech never led in the game, and they would tie the score twice in the early goings, after which Boston College took over and would not look back. The BC lead was aided by a 3-4 margin from distance in the first quarter. Tech clawed some of the lead back in the second, going into the half down by seven, but the Eagles would again come out strong in the third quarter, scoring 15 while allowing just 6 points, a defensive showing more similar to Tech’s brand of basketball from the past few seasons. Though the Jackets attempted to get back into the game with a 9 point run in the fourth quarter, they merely managed to tighten up the final margin, and ultimately fell by 12 points on the day.
On a positive note, Tech seems to finally have found consistent success in taking advantage of their free throw attempts, finishing 20 for 22 from the line for a 90.9% clip. However, their effectiveness from distance was minimal on the day, finishing just 2 for 15, while their overall field goal percentage was 20 for 71 (28.2%) and they were above 30% on a quarterly basis in just the second quarter. Tech did a reasonable job on the glass, and were able to find some success with offensive rebounding, turning those boards into 22 points, to boot, but they were out-rebounded by one and let up 8 more points in the paint than they scored, something that did not happen when the paint was patrolled by Lorela Cubaj. Tech also turned the ball over 16 times, which is never useful, especially when playing from behind.
On the day, Swartz led the way with 14 points, 9 of which came from the free throw line, though she also went 1 for 8 from distance. Tonie Morgan and Kara Dunn also wound up in double figures, with 11 points apiece. Ultimately, the offensive output for Tech wasn’t world-beating, but it is also an eminently reasonable result for 40 minutes of play for this Tech team. The difference in this game came in the margins - Tech turned the ball over more, they were less efficient and less effective shooters, and they were out-blocked and out-rebounded, and they turned the ball over more. When compounded with a rougher afternoon on defense — Boston College made 41.9% of their field goals and 42.9% of their three pointers — that’s just how things shake out, particularly after having to return from what was undoubtedly a grueling final exam slate.
With Tech returning home to catch a non-conference foe, Furman, at home on Wednesday in the first game of a day-night McCamish doubleheader, it is a matter of tightening up the defense and the little details as the Jackets get one more game before the rest of the gauntlet of the ACC looms. Of note, the Furman game will take place at 1:00 PM and will be carried by ACCNX, while the second game sees the men’s team hosting Clemson at 7:30 PM on ESPN2.
In the Club House:
All clubs remain at rest due to fall semester finals and the upcoming Winter Break.
12/21 — Furman [1:00 PM, ACCNX]
12/21 — Clemson [7:30 PM, ESPN2]