November 13, 2009

Friday Basketball Notebook

Georgia Tech basketball opens up their regular season schedule this Saturday against Florida A&M. The Jackets will look to rebound after a lack luster performance in their second exhibition game last weekend against Indiana-Pa. The 22nd ranked team in the nation needed overtime to get past their Division II opponent.

Head Coach Paul Hewitt recognized that there are some areas that the team needs to improve upon. He mentioned, "General court awareness. I thought that some of our younger guys got stage fright. There were some things that happened late in the game where four of the five guys were clear on instructions, but one guy was not. Things were discombobulated because of that, but overall we just need to get better."

The Jackets will look to build upon their effort defensively from their first pre-season game. Coach Hewitt has always aimed for defense to be the cornerstone of his basketball teams. "We need to react quicker," he said. "There were a lot of times where we got caught ball watching. That is something that I have grown accustomed to early in pre-season, which I expected against Western Kentucky. Much to my surprise, we did none of that against Western. We were very alert and very sharp defensively. We only gave up nine offensive rebounds in that game, only to come back and give up 17 to a Division II team. A lot of that when I watched the tape was because our guys were frozen or looked like they were in a trance."

Coach Hewitt will look for his team to re-kindle the energy that they demonstrated early in the game against Indiana-Pa and carry that over for the entire game against Florida A&M. He cited some keys to Saturday's game by saying, "We were in a good rhythm early on defensively. Playing alert, getting our hands on balls, and forcing turnovers. This season I think that we have a chance to average anywhere between 80 and 90 points per game, but it has to be because we are really good on the defensive end and getting out in transition. We can't get to that total if we are playing in the half court all day."

Starting Rotation

Coach Hewitt says that the rotation is not set it stone yet. According to him, "The rotation will be adjusted as the year goes on. Guys are going to play better. For example, D'Andre Bell in the middle of his sophomore year was nowhere in the rotation and by the end of the year he was out there as our sixth man and by his junior year, he was a starter. Guys can improve and show that they belong on the court. There is no set rotation right now. Nobody has really separated themselves other than say the top six or seven. Everybody else is in a pack right now. Those certain guys can bring certain things to the table, but they also have deficiencies which can be cleaned up."

Daniel Miller

Coach Hewitt discussed Daniel Miller's decision to red-shirt this year. He said, "We talked about it and we looked at minutes. I spoke to he and his family and it was his decision. I make recommendations but I do not tell anybody that they have to do this or that. Over the years, I recommended it to Luke Shenscher, but he decided not to do it. I recommended it to Mario West and Brad Sheehan and they did it. Ultimately it was his decision."

Injuries

None. Iman Shumpert is healthy and everybody is 100 percent going into the game.



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