For the first 12 and a half minutes of action in Nashville on Saturday, Brian Gregory and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets appeared to be in complete control against Vanderbilt. Then, the wheels came careening off.
Stacey Poole, Jr. and Daniel Miller keyed a 12-0 run for the Jackets that gave them a 29-15 lead with 7:31 remaining in the opening half, but in all actuality, that was the last of the “highlights” for the road team on Saturday. From there, Vandy finished the half on a 14-2 run, thanks to 5 turnovers in the final 10 possessions for Tech, and the ‘Dores managed to continue that blitz in the second half, upping the burst to 23-4 by the time the score was 40-35 in favor of Vandy.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the last of it from the home team, as a 9-0 run by Vanderbilt pushed the lead to 52-39 just over 10 minutes to play (after GT began the half shooting 5 for 19), and Tech was never able to recover. The 13-point margin gained by the Commodores at that point was the final margin, as the Jackets trailed by as many as 17, but never narrowed the margin to less than 9 from that point forward.
Overall, it was a ghastly offensive effort from the Jackets, especially given the positive start. In the first 12 and a half minutes, Tech scored 29 points, but following that, they managed only 34 in the final 27+ minutes, and for the day, they shot just 38.5% from the floor, 16% (4 for 25) from beyond the arc, and a ghastly 9 for 16 from the free throw line. In fact, only a wretched day at charity stripe for Vandy (17 for 29) kept the game close, as the ‘Dores shot 50% from the field against what was a tepid GT defense at times.
The aforementioned Daniel Miller was the lone bright spot for Brian Gregory and company, as the 6-foot-11 senior managed a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while adding 4 blocks on the defensive end. Aside from Miller, though, the rest of the starters had horrible shooting days, with Marcus Georges-Hunt (1 for 7), Trae Golden (2 for 9), Chris Bolden (3 for 9), and Robert Carter, Jr. (2 for 8) all shooting under 35% individually.
To be fair, losing in Nashville’s Memorial Gym to a decent Vanderbilt is nothing to be terribly sad about, but the way in which this one went down is a bit troubling. The offense absolutely fell apart at times, and for the “middle” 20 minutes (from the 10-minute mark to the 10-minute mark), the Jackets managed only 19 points. Still, there is a lot to glean from this one as the first non-UGA road game on the slate, and Brian Gregory will have a lot of teaching to do before the Jackets return to the floor next Sunday in Charlotte.