To preview today's game between the Eagles and the Yellow Jackets, we welcome the always entertaining boys of From The Rumble Seat to the blog for Five Good Minutes.
In exchange, we answered some questions on BC basketball over at FTRS. Be sure to check it out.
BC Interruption: Some claim it is hard to win on the road in the ACC. This year in particular the home court advantage has been quite pronounced, with home teams going 55-22 and road teams going 22-56. This Georgia Tech programs falls right in line with that trend, having gone 5-1 at home and 1-6 on the road. What is it about Alexander Memorial Coliseum that gives the Jackets a decided home court advantage?
From the Rumble Seat: We kinda think that the 5-1 record at home is a function of how good this team really is. We feel like the Maryland, Miami, and Florida State road games were stolen by the cruel hand of fate. Nine times out of ten, this team is 9-4 looking down on most of the NCAA hopefuls ... not looking up. The ball just didn't bounce our way in those three road games (two buzzer beaters and a REALLY cheap foul with zero time left).
Concerning GT's atmosphere, it's about average as far as attendance goes in the ACC (max capacity is 9,191). What it lacks in size, the GT faithful make up for in over-the-top-in-your-face-ness. I remember many a times in school that I threw vulgarities or obscenities at opposing teams that I definitely frown upon now. I was a moderate then. Chants of "F*** you J.J." and oceans of middle fingers from the crowd were commonplace during my collegiate heyday. Our crowds have thrown liquor bottles and flasks at Matt Ryan for Pete's sake (and ironically he's the savior of Atlanta).
I think I attribute a majority of the hostility of the Tech student section to a relative lack of women in the crowd. There's no one to condemn our actions or judge us as miscreants. It's just a bunch of dudes at the game. And the women that do go to Tech games join in the chaos as well. So maybe it's combination of the Ratio and frustration related to Tech's academic rigor. Beats me.
BCI: Everyone knew when Derrick Favors stepped on campus that he would be off to the NBA the following spring. What’s your take on the Favors situation? When you look back on this season, will having Favors for only one year be a net positive or negative on the future of the program?
FTRS: Favors' legacy will probably be the equivalent of Chris Bosh or Thaddeus Young's. He was effective at his position but due to brevity may have little impact on the future of our program other than as a billboard for future one-n-dones saying, "Come to GT, high school phenoms! Take a semester of classes and if you don't like it, go pro!" If he helps us get past the first round of the tournament, he will have accomplished more than Bosh and Young could albeit Favors' supporting cast is arguably more talented than the aforementioned.
BCI: How ‘bout some blatant question regurgitation. What are the current postseason goals of the Yellow Jackets? Have they changed since the season tipped off? Has the team exceeded or met expectations?
FTRS: The goals are all tied into our end of season performance. First and foremost, we've got to make the NCAA tournament. Hewitt needs it to reestablish himself with the GT base. Secondly, we've gotta get a good seeding and win a couple games. If we're seeded against another major conference team playing for pride (UConn) or a midmajor dynamo (Butler), then I don't see our expectations being met with an early bow out. Hewitt needs some love from the Selection Committee and he needs some wins in the NCAA's. Expectations and goals haven't really changed much.
We expected the team to struggle like a team that's allocating about 40% of its minutes to true freshmen. We struggle on the road and against veteran squads but we've got the talent to play with Duke and sweep a hapless UNC team. So no expectations ever really changed for the more critical Tech fans.
BCI: On short rest in a four day ACC Tournament, what ACC program do you see as being a dark horse in Greensboro? Conversely, what program that has enjoyed moderate regular season success runs the risk of bowing out early?
FTRS: Based on your projections, we'd meet Miami and Maryland in the first two rounds. We guarantee that we could eliminate both Frank Haith and Gary Williams before you could spell the word "Spaziani" and finish a half gallon of clam chowder. It'd be glorious payback and we match up well with those two teams. Hewitt's squad is playing like a solid unit right now and should be fairly dangerous on short layover. He's dipping into his depth with the increased PT of veteran Moe Miller and freshmen snipers Brian Oliver and Glen Rice, Jr. A lot of teams are hitting a physical wall right now and GT is hitting its stride.
BCI: What are your thoughts on this season’s unbalanced ACC schedule in basketball? All even out in the end? Or decided advantage for certain programs from year to year?
FTRS: Well, the teams do get to determine it all in the ACCT. It's not like the Big 10 football schedule where teams can tie and have never played eachother or the Big East in basketball where there are just way too many teams. The imbalance was difficult to adjust to at first but FTRS believes it's a bigger deal in baseball. Baseball series are much more important than individual hoops games. And not having the home-home series has really put an interesting twist into the baseball schedule (e.g. teams that are unfortunate enough to have an unhealthy serving of Tech, UNC, Miami, or Clemson away in the same season). A couple of bad series in baseball could really mess up your push to host a Super Regional and essentially knock you out of contention for the CWS.
BCI: Last one, admit it. You’re a little scared of this Eagles team, aren’t you? Some might have left us for dead, but the rest of the league has to at least have raised their brow at the fact that BC picked themselves up off the mat and won back-to-back games for the first time in 50+ days. So who ya got? What’s the final score?
FTRS: I started to answer the question until I saw the roster of the Eagles and realized that you guys are stacked based on nicknames alone. Judge Rehnquist. BJ's little brother. Mr. October. Honey Dunn. The City of Love.
Ultimately, we're not worried about BC. We think we can beat y'all up down and do minate the glass. Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal should out rebound your starting five. And at home this season, Tech has played incredibly dominant basketball. FSU bit us in the butt at home once already but that was early and we need a win. If Paul Hewitt can't motivate them to beat BC, then the threat of not playing in March should. Tech wins 80-60.
BCI: That's quite a bit of confidence. We certainly will see shortly. Thanks for joining us.
For more information on the Ramblin' Wreck of Georgia Tech, be sure to check out From The Rumble Seat.