Attendance at our games this year hasn't been fantastic, and the team this year hasn't been fantastic, but I'll be darned if the McCamish Pavilion isn't still capable of producing a simply electric environment. For anyone at the game tonight, you probably saw me on the big screen having a good ole' time, and from the sound of it there were a lot more fans out there having themselves a good ole' time as well.
In their final conference game against Maryland (in this conference, at least....article for another day, sorry), Tech rode on the backs of 2 likely heroes in Robert Carter Jr. and Daniel Miller, as well as one less likely hero, junior Brandon Reed, who played 21 minutes off the bench.
Carter supplied the team with a double-double of 19 points and 10 boards (plus 2 blocks), and was a perfect 4-4 from the free-throw line. Combine that with Daniel Miller's 16 point, 9 rebound, 3 block performance (including a perfect 12-12 from the free throw line...you did indeed read that right, TWELVE OF TWELVE BY THE CENTER), and the Jackets were cooking with gas in this one. Oh, and then Brandon Reed shot up off the bench to score 8 straight for the Jackets and finish with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists -- it makes sense how Coach Gregory would have been reluctant to pull him out of the game.
HUGE nights from those three contributed greatly to tonight's victory. A few team-wide keys to the game were...
Phenomenal Free Throw Shooting
Yes, we're still talking about Tech here. As previously mentioned, our PF and C combined to go 16-16 from the charity stripe, and the team as a whole was 20-27, good for 74.1%. It's pretty safe to say that getting to the line 27 times and making 20 of them is a big deal in a game decided by 10 points.
Great Transition Offense
We are, indeed, still talking about Georgia Tech. The offense tonight did a good job of both beating the press and turning defensive rebounds into fast breaks, which was a pretty big deal for about the first 6 minutes of the game and helped us get out to a lead early. Maryland played the press early and often, and Tech was never phased by it, using their big guys well to complement the guards in getting the ball over center court, and typically finding a way to turn it into a quick 2-on-2 situation that was very good to the Jackets all night that saw them make easy layups and draw fouls.
Our guys were harassing Maryland on their end of the court for the entire game. The Terrapins never had an opportunity to settle in and get comfortable, which led to a lot of undesirable shots and matchups resulting in Tech getting the ball back quickly quite often. On that note, we continue to rebound the ball well as a team, winning the battle again tonight 31-27.
Overall I was very impressed with the team's performance, and was taken aback by Brandon Reed lighting it up off the bench. I won't sit here and tell you that we're now pretty assured wins against Miami, NC State, and Boston College, but it's very comforting to see this sort of performance with the conference tournament so close, and it'll be even better to see if we can string together a few more complete games like this. I'm foolish for it, but I actually somewhat like our chances against NC State, provided the crowd shows up. What do you think? Did you like our performance tonight?