Georgia Tech is hoping more touches for big men Demarco Cox and Charles Mitchell can bring an end to the Yellow Jackets’ seven-game losing streak to start ACC play. Tech plays No. 23 Miami Wednesday night (9 p.m., Fox Sports South).
Tech coach Brian Gregory’s offense hines on getting the ball into the post, but wants to emphasize it more than the Jackets have.
“In evaluating, we have to get the ball in there more,” Gregory said. “I think there’s times where there wasn’t enough pressure to stop you from throwing it in there, or there wasn’t enough backside help, and that’s when you need to get it in there.”
In the past two games, Cox and Mitchell, who are second and third on the team in scoring and first and second in field-goal percentage, respectively, have taken a combined 14 shots, one shot less than their combined per-game average. Gregory has said previously that he'd like for them to take 20 shots per game. Both Virginia and Boston College double-teamed the post, making it harder for either player to get off shots. Turnovers in the post have been a problem as well.
“We were a very physical post-up team, and over the last couple of games, we haven’t been as much,” Gregory said. “Now is that due to being trapped some and the guys maybe not not wanting to get the ball deep where the trap is and getting the ball? But we’ve got to get back to that.”
For the season, Mitchell is averaging 9.8 points per game and shooting 53.5 percent from the field. Cox’s numbers are 8.6 and 53.1. The rest of the team is shooting 36.6 percent.
Miami does not typically double team the post, but has a formidable post presence in Tonye Jekiri, whom Gregory described as the best defensive center in the ACC.
“We’ve been emphasizing it in practice a lot, and we need to try to get the ball in more to the bigs, because basically it’s how we play,” Cox said.