As the ACC season shifts into high gear, each conference game offers a new opportunity for the 3-3 Demon Deacons. A victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday would put the Deacs in prime position within the conference as we move to the second half of the season. With that in mind, the fine folks at From the Rumble Seat took a few minutes to answer some questions about the new-look Yellow Jackets:
1. Brian Gregory is in his second season with the Jackets, and has a young roster going through growing pains (where have I heard this before?). Are GT fans being patient so far?
I think due to Tech's quick success this season on the court, fans are a little discouraged after losing 5 straight. That being said, we knew that our schedule was weak in December and the easy teams inflated our record a bit in the out of conference games. Tech knew that there was a chance that we would go 0-5 in our first set of games. I just think most were hoping that wasn't going to be the case. We have played UNC and the three ACC teams in the top 25, so we knew it wasn't going to be an easy stretch.
2. McCamish Pavilion looks great and seems to be the perfect size for Georgia Tech athletics. How much do you think it adds to your home court advantage?
I think it is amazing! I love the lighting and the fact that the stands are dark and the court is so bright. It looks great inside and out and has definitely helped people get excited about this season. I hope that it will continue to build into a place people hate playing in, but for now, we need to start winning. You know ACC fans- if you build it they will come. It is only a matter of time before these fans start going crazy. Hopefully we will see some fun games this season.
3. Of the freshman and sophomores on your roster, which ones do you believe have a chance to make a major impact in the conference after a couple of years of experience?
Robert Carter Jr. hands down. He has the ability to shoot from range as well as has the body to play down low. He has a great right handed hook, be ready for that on Saturday. He won't be a blocking phenom or anything like that, but his rebounding and his ability to shoot and get physical down low is just going to continue to grow as the year progresses and for the years to come.
Chris Bolden, Solomon Poole and Marcus Georges-Hunt are also very strong players. I think they have looked great. It's interesting to think that these three along with Carter Jr are freshmen. I'm excited for their growth. Poole has been getting more time and Bolden is finding better ways to score. Georges-Hunt is a threat everywhere on the court. All in all, I'm impressed in Gregory's young group.
4. Tech seems to play good solid defense, only giving up a lot of points to the likes of UNC and N.C. State. Give me three adjustments they need to make to get better on offense.
Shoot better from the charity stripe. Simple concept, but not easy evidently. We have been plagued with awful percentages from the FT line.
Find the big men down low. We have a very large team and need to utilize our post players as much as we can.
Knock down these shots. We are lacking a key "go-to" player that consistently hits down shots when open and when we need him to. We have the quality, just haven't seen it on the court yet. This is partially due to the age of the players in my opinion, but the shots will start to fall. We just need to keep finding good looks. Mfon Udofia has also been flat in ACC play. We need a win to build up his confidence again and get him charged up. He's taking on a lot this season.
5. The Varsity is right down the street from campus. How many games does it take for Tech freshmen to figure out that eating two Red Dogs walking with rings and a Frosted Orange before the game is a horrible idea?
Better question is how many games it will take for everyone to stop eating their sorrows away after basketball games... Tech students cope with the losses by eating, or at least I do. I feel like the Varsity would have been a great way to deal with the blues after all these losses- let's call it Varsity Blues.
But yes, bad idea.... very bad. When you stand up after eating all that food you realize it real quick. Not fun. Ha!
I see Tech winning on Saturday. They have played very competitively against UNC and Duke, as well as VT. If Tech can come out playing strong and making shots like we have seen at home, I think they have a chance to get their first ACC win. I think that Tech's defense is going to very successful and hold Wake to some tough shots. Look for a very strong presence from the Jackets down low. Score: 69-59.
Thanks to Chas for answering these questions for us! You can follow more Yellow Jacket sports here.
You can read our answers to Chas' questions here.