breaking news

Authorities at the scene of a possible sixth bombing in Texas

Josh Pastner regrets an early-season lineup change

It was before the sixth game of the year. Georgia Tech had just beaten Northwestern on a last-second layup by guard Tadric Jackson, was 4-1 and playing solid defense. The Yellow Jackets looked like they might be able to ride out guard Josh Okogie’s six-game NCAA suspension and finger injury.

At that time, coach Josh Pastner made a lineup change, one he now said he regrets.

To that point, Pastner had played Jackson in the sixth-man role he had played last season so well that he finished second in sixth man of the year balloting in the ACC. He played effectively against Northwestern, with 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

But Pastner, speaking Sunday prior to the team’s departure for Brooklyn and the ACC Tournament, said he had told Jackson that he would start him against Grambling State, so he went ahead and made the change.

Pastner’s standard practice is to not mess with a lineup that’s working, but, because he had given Jackson his word, he put him in the starting five, taking out guard Brandon Alston. Tech lost 64-63 to the Tigers, one of the worst losses in team history (although Grambling State’s season would ultimately somewhat soften the blow).

Pastner said he should have stuck with the same lineup, “because we were in a groove and I’ve never done that before. When things are moving right, I just leave it alone.”

5 observations from Georgia Tech’s win over Northwestern

At least statistically speaking, Jackson wasn’t a disaster. He was 8-for-18 from the field, although he was 0-for-5 from 3-point range and 3-for-8 from the free-throw line, for 19 points. He also had three turnovers, but did have seven rebounds. Pastner recalled him as being “awful.”

But the Jackets lost, playing sloppily on offense (13 turnovers, 11-for-22 from the free-throw line) and giving up 6-for-14 shooting from 3-point range in a sign of things to come.

5 observations from Georgia Tech’s loss to Grambling State

Tech then lost to Tennessee and Wofford for Pastner’s first three-game losing streak in his head-coaching career, setting the stage for a disappointing season. Pastner said that Jackson may well have won a spot in the starting five, but, the Grambling State game wasn’t the right time, evidently.

“I’m nitpicking, but I should have left the lineup as it is at that time,” he said.

Grambling State, as it turned out, went on to win the SWAC regular-season title, which it hadn’t done since the 1988-89 season.

Perseverance brings Tadric Jackson to the finish line

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Previewing Georgia Tech spring practice: Offensive line
Previewing Georgia Tech spring practice: Offensive line

On the offensive line, Georgia Tech will enter spring practice in decent shape. Guard Parker Braun, an All-ACC selection, and center Kenny Cooper, are two of the better players anywhere on the Yellow Jackets’ roster. Guard/tackle Will Bryan has ample starting experience, and tackles Jahaziel Lee and Jake Stickler also are returning starters....
What Josh Pastner has planned for Georgia Tech’s offseason
What Josh Pastner has planned for Georgia Tech’s offseason

Everything went right in his first season. Just about everything went wrong in coach Josh Pastner’s second season at Georgia Tech. And now, with the Yellow Jackets’ 2017-18 season in the past, Pastner has begun honing in on his third season. “I think we can be good,” Pastner said. “We need to take the next step.&rdquo...
Josh Pastner’s next assistant doesn’t need Atlanta ties
Josh Pastner’s next assistant doesn’t need Atlanta ties

In his search for a replacement for former assistant coach Darryl LaBarrie, Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner said he will not limit his field to coaches with recruiting connections in Atlanta and the state of Georgia. “Does it have to be an Atlanta guy?” Pastner asked. “No, it doesn’t have to be an Atlanta guy. We need a guy...
3 NBA talent evaluators assess Josh Okogie
3 NBA talent evaluators assess Josh Okogie

Three NBA talent evaluators do not see Georgia Tech guard Josh Okogie as a first-round pick. At least not yet. The sophomore declared for the NBA draft last week, but did not sign with an agent to preserve the option of returning to school for his junior season. While Okogie did not specify what he’ll need to hear in order to stay in the draft...
Josh Okogie addresses NBA draft declaration
Josh Okogie addresses NBA draft declaration

Georgia Tech guard Josh Okogie missed the first eight games of the season with a dislocated finger (the first six of which he would have missed anyway with an NCAA suspension). He saw teammates Jose Alvarado and Curtis Haywood suffer season-ending injuries. Perhaps not surprisingly, Okogie said that the prospect of injury will weigh into his decision...
More Stories