Sunday, December 19, 2010

Paul Hewitt Gets A Big Win: How Georgia Tech Upset Richmond

The Yellow Jackets came into Saturday's game against the 8-2 Richmond Spiders as a 6 point underdog, but came away with a 13 point win because of three big improvements made from a year ago.

Richmond vs Georgia Tech Pre-Game

Tech's free throw shooting has been near the bottom of the ACC in recent years, but has vastly improved this season and by hitting 23 of 29 sealed the win late in the second half.

Another big reason Paul Hewitt's team was able to win so convincingly was their domination of the boards. Tech allowed just three offensive rebounds from 31 Richmond missed shots. This is with a team who has just three players total taller than 6'6". The Jackets are rebounding even better than a team one year ago that featured two NBA Draft picks in the front line.

Richmond came into the game at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas shooting an unreal 50.2% from the floor or a 57.8% eFG% when the value of three pointers are factored in. Tech's defense was able to limit the Spiders to just 39% from the field and a 46.1% eFG%.

Despite the overall good defensive effort, Tech still needs to improve on their three point defense having allowed the Spiders to nail 7 out of 20 from long range.

On an individual player side, sophomore Mfon Udofia had a great game ending with a +15 plus/minus rating. Udofia came to Tech very highly rated, but has struggled thus far. Another player who has seen reduced playing time recently, Glen Rice, had a great night too ending with a +15 rating and a team high three assists.

Paul Hewitt finally saw the type of play he has been hoping for all year and still thinks this team can make the NCAA Tournament if they continue to play like they did Saturday and I don't see why not either.

Tech coach Paul Hewitt said the overall effort pleased him, and even with a slow start to the season feels he has an NCAA Tournament team.

“It will be tough," Hewitt said. "I’m not sure honestly yet how well we will do. I mean I think we’ve got a chance to be one of the better teams in the league but we’ve got maybe three or four non-conference games to get ready and those games are important. I felt today was really the first time we played like a Georgia Tech team. I felt we played with a level of confidence and a good defense, especially in the second half, cause Richmond is a very good team.

Georgia Tech 67 Richmond 54

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