More from Georgia Tech’s 87-77 first-round defeat at the ACC Tournament in Brooklyn, N.Y. For the “5 observations” story, read here.
1. Georgia Tech picked a bad time to go really cold. Guard Josh Okogie was 5-for-20 from the field, including 3-for-14 on 2-point field-goal attempts – 21.4 percent – which is highly uncharacteristic. He shot 45.1 percent during the ACC season inside the arc.
Largely, they were pretty good shots. He took a lot of jump shots and might have been served to go to the basket and try to get to the line, but they were shots he has made.
“He’s your third-team All-ACC guy,” coach Josh Pastner said. “He had great looks. He just missed them.”
2. The second-half rally was stirring – Tech cut the lead from 68-51 with 4:14 left to 72-65 at the 2:31 mark. That’s 14 points in 103 seconds, thanks to three steals and quick baskets. But, Tech lost control of the game in the first 24 minutes.
They were down 10 by the 2:10 mark of the first half and then by 15 at the 16:17 mark of the second half, and that was too great a deficit for a team that ranked second to last in the ACC in offensive efficiency. Tech finished the season 0-11 (including Tuesday’s games) in ACC games when it trailed by 10 or more.
There was a sequence late in the first half when Tech, trailing 26-19, held Boston College to two points in five possessions and had a chance to cut into the lead and shake itself loose of its funk.
Of Tech’s six possessions, Tech scored three points and was 1-for-5 from the field, the only basket on a post move by Ben Lammers on which he was fouled and made the bonus free throw. He also missed a makeable layup that gave Boston College a transition opportunity for its only basket of the sequence and also the front end of a one-and-one. The other three misses were on jump shots, which were makeable, but perhaps a more aggressive tack might have been wise.
The sequence ended when Boston College scored under the basket to extend the lead to 30-22. It didn’t lose Tech the game – the lead grew by only one point – but was representative of Tech’s inability to take advantage of opportunities.
“We took care of the ball, but we had some chances where we just couldn’t get over the hump,” Pastner said.
3. Pastner stuck with forward Moses Wright, who was struggling (he was scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting in 24 minutes) before putting in forward Abdoulaye Gueye when the lead reached 20 with 13:37 to play. Gueye made an instant impact, creating turnovers that sparked Tech’s rally.
Pastner said that “I wanted to kind of see if Moses could get out of it because he was rebounding, he was guarding. It was just the offensive issue. And I felt with A.D. in there, shooting-wise he’s not much better than Moses.”
Wright had six rebounds in 24 minutes. Fellow freshman forward Evan Cole played a similar game, doing well on the glass but otherwise having a tough time. He had five rebounds in 19 minutes, but was 1-for-5 shooting for two points with three turnovers.
“I think it was big for them,” Pastner said. “I think they were a little nervous, and they shot the ball that way.”
4. Tech has lost its opening game in the ACC Tournament six times in the past eight years. The Yellow Jackets were the lower seed in five of the losses.