Georgia Tech’s basketball team could have rolled over and died. Like they have in recent seasons.
After all, the Jackets started their ACC schedule with two straight losses and faced number four Virginia Saturday afternoon at McCamish Pavillion.
GT head coach Brian Gregory’s crew played a solid game from start to finish and were the better team Saturday. They beat Tony Bennett’s Virginia with a bruising defense, tough rebounding, dead-eye shooting and hustle.
There’s a lot of talent on this team, folks. Gregory has assembled height, length, athleticism and they can finally shoot the basketball.
If you knew nothing about these teams and watched Saturday’s game, you would have thought Georgia Tech was #4 and Virginia the upstart.
Gregory’s program has struggled, so Saturday’s win was big. He relished the opportunity to discuss the win after the game.
”Our wins against Georgia, for me, are always our biggest, but outside of that, this was by far our biggest win,” Gregory related. ”We’ve had some big wins, but unfortunately a lot of them have been on the road.”
Georgia Tech had a good crowd Saturday, giving the Jackets a rare home court advantage. Jackets’ stalwart guard, Marcus Georges-Hunt, took particular note.
“It feels great,” Georges-Hunt said. “When I went down to the locker room and came back out to warm up, I was surprised and chills went through my body after I saw all the folks here. The student support and the people that came back to campus early, I thank them for it.”
There’s a long way to go in ACC play, but the Jackets look like they will win at least half their league games. Maybe a little more with a couple fortuitous bounces.
The goal is to have a solid enough resume to secure an NCAA tourney berth when league play ends. That would probably take 10 ACC league wins, which is within reach.
If the Jackets don’t get to 10 in league play, they may need a win in the ACC tourney to secure their NCAA berth. All this is early speculation, but there is no reason Georgia Tech can’t accomplish this season’s goals. The talent is there and Gregory is growing with this team.
The win over Virginia was was no fluke.