“There’s no excuse for the way we played; we definitely should have left it out on the court more,” forward Moses Wright said.
Georgia Tech hosted Syracuse Saturday afternoon and was simply outclassed in every facet of the game. Head Coach Josh Pastner and his men suffered their largest loss of the season, 97-63 to Syracuse. The Yellow Jackets move to 4-3 on the year and will look to forget this game very fast.
Coming into Saturday’s matchup, Head Coach Jim Boeheim and his men were coming off a three-game losing streak, and looked to make a statement in Atlanta, and that they did.
For Georgia Tech, it was a game of only negatives, and with the brunt of ACC play creeping up what went wrong for the Yellow Jackets, and what do they need to improve?
Elijah Hughes and Buddy Boeheim
For Syracuse Junior forward, Elijah Hughes stole the show. He finished with 33 points, a new regular season-high, 26 of those points from the first half alone. He shot the three-ball lights out, starting the game with four straight threes. He finished the game 10-15 from the field.
Sophomore guard Buddy Boeheim added 26 points of his own, a new regular season-high for him as well. Just as Hughes took over the first half, the second half was all Boeheim. The guard opened up the second half with 11 straight points for the Orange, and furthering the lead the 20 point lead they had built up in the first half. Boeheim finished the game 8-15 from the field.
The two combined for 59 points, only four shy of tying the entire production of Georgia Tech.
Syracuse came out in the infamous 2-3 zone; they’ve been running for years. Georgia Tech’s offense came to a complete halt, the second they had to deal with this tricky defense. Syracuse forced the Yellow Jackets to settle for many poor shots, overall shooting 38% from the field and 34.8% from deep.
Moses Wright led the scoring for the Yellow Jackets with 17 points, and Bubba Parham added 11 of his own. More notably, guard Michael Devoe was held to only 7 points and had a rough shooting night.
”We did a good job with Devoe, we just didn’t let him get comfortable,” Coach Boeheim said
Turnovers continue to plague the Yellow Jacket offense this season. The team finished with 19 turnovers, which is in part to the tough 2-3 zone from Syracuse. Parham and Wright both finished with 4 turnovers. Once again, the turnovers halted any offense Georgia Tech planned on executing. More importantly, it allowed Syracuse, a spectacular three-point shooting team, the ability to get wide-open threes on the transition. Granted, the team is young and missing some leaders, but at this point, the turnovers need to stop if they want to succeed in the ACC.
Since the outside shots weren’t falling, the Yellow Jackets focused on dumping the ball down low and letting James Banks III and Wright get to work. They did a fantastic job drawing fouls and getting to the line, but yet again, they couldn’t seem to get the free throws to fall. They finished 7-18 from the line, which added a cherry on top of all the other problems seen Saturday afternoon.
“It’s definitely an issue; we work on it; anyone who’s played basketball knows free throw shooting. It’s not as much as a skill thing…it’s a mindset,” Coach Pastner said.
The Yellow Jackets get a week off before heading to Kentucky, currently ranked 8th in the nation. While it is perceived to be a week of rest and to recover, it’s finals week for the players, which takes away from the recovery process. Georgia Tech will take on the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday, December 12th, and will look to upset the SEC giant.