2008 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Basketball Preview
For the second time in three seasons, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (15-17 overall, 7-9 ACC) did not make a post-season appearance. This year head coach Paul Hewitt seems confident that despite questions regarding specific players, scoring and depth, that this Yellow Jacket team can be a winner.
The front looks big, although none of the players are overly athletic. And there are many questions regarding toughness, rebounding skills and health. Sophomore center Brad Sheehan (7.8 MPG, 0.9 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.4 APG, 40.0 FG%, 75.0 FT%) possesses good instincts but must be more assertive. Former McDonald’s All-American Gani Lawal (17.3 MPG, 7.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 0.3 APG, 57.0 FG%, 49.5 FT%), a sophomore forward, has potential but still needs to improve his passing, free throws and shooting from 10-feet and beyond. Junior forward Zack Peacock (20.7 MPG, 9.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 1.0 APG, 50.3 FG%, 80.6 FT%) is the best shooter upfront but not a sound rebound man.
Last season as a freshman, point guard Maurice Miller (20.6 MPG, 8.1 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 3.3 APG, 43.9 FG%, 80.2 FT%) showed a lot of improvement over the course of the season. His strengths are his shot and versatility. If he can become more confident in setting up plays, he’ll be one of the best in the ACC. Look for freshman Iman Shumpert to play a lot. He’s versatile enough to spend time at the shooting and point spots. Swingman D’Andre Bell (24.8 MPG, 6.6 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.9 APG, 47.6 FG%, 76.9 FT%) offers fine defensive skills.
The Jackets finished seventh in the ACC last season and look to
do the same this year. Georgia Tech has not posted a winning record
since they went 9-7 in 2004 and made it to the NCAA title game.
That year they lost to Connecticut in the final. To get to the NIT,
this club will need to stay in each and every game to the bitter
end, and they must hone their defensive chops too. If they can do
those two things, Tech will be pointed in the right direction.