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After the Buzzer: Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Quick Hitters

-They made us nervous, but the Cards picked up another ACC win on Wednesday night. I am likely in the minority here, but I was happy with it. I know with this team, we probably shouldn’t have any letdown games or “trap” games, but regardless of how experienced they are, they are still college kids and it happens. College basketball is wild this year and Louisville isn’t immune to it. Three big wins on the road, including one at Cameron Indoor, and then you come home and get down by 11 and still fight back to get the win…I’ll take it.

-Just a random thought as I typed that first note. We are less than five years removed from a self-imposed NCAA Tournament ban and another year of not even making the tournament at all. While it hasn’t looked perfect, Louisville is 16-3 and 7-1 in the ACC. Again, I’ll take it.

-Now for the game. I think depth played a factor. Georgia Tech only played seven guys, and one of those only played four minutes. Louisville played nine guys for at least 10 minutes.

-14/23 from the free throw line still isn’t good enough. Side note: I think if you miss the front end of a one and one, it should count as two misses.

-David Johnson showed flashes again of what he brings this team, and also showed where he needs improvement. On one play, you will see a steal in the post and he takes it all the way down court and finishes and gets fouled. But then you also see him get blown by on defense and either foul or his man dishes for an open dunk. You’re going to have those things happen. He’s a freshman and will improve. The good thing is that he gets to be out there after mistakes and doesn’t get pulled right away. With his size, he just has the ability to do some things that our other guards can’t.

-Good to see Samuell Williamson playing with confidence again. Regardless of how he is scoring, he is always rebounding. And he always seems to find his way to a big offensive rebound at some point.

-The center spot of Steven Enoch and Malik Williams combined for 26 points and nine rebounds.

-Dwayne Sutton was invisible in the first half, but made up for it in the second half with hustle plays and knocking down a big three right after Georgia Tech took their biggest lead of 11 points. It was his only three of the game, but very timely. He also had six rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Things are just different for this team when he is on the floor and filling the stat sheet.

-I want to go back to David Johnson for a minute. He had four fouls in this one. His first two were on offense and were 31 seconds apart. The first was the moving screen after the dribble handoff. The second was a pushoff when he was driving baseline. You can live with the fouls where he may be a little slow on defense. That’s just going to be a part of it. The ones that hurt are the ones I mentioned that happened in the first half. Those are unnecessary and very avoidable. Again, not hating on him at all. He will learn and improve. But the cheap ones are what hurts when you get the “normal” fouls later and are suddenly in foul trouble.

-Jordan Nwora assist/turnover watch for this game was one assist and two turnovers. Aside from that, he did some good and bad things. He forced some shots, but then he led the team in rebounds with seven. However, the defense reverted to being pretty bad for the most part. He got caught ball watching at one point and his man went back door on the baseline for an easy bucket. Then we all know late in the game he was pulled because he just wasn’t helping. He had a very bad closeout (in film review) that led to a wide-open layup. It all looks worse when it looks like effort. You can’t look like you got shot out of a cannon when you have the ball on offense, but then look like you would rather be anywhere else on the defensive end. All-Americans play on both ends, and there’s still time for Jordan to fix this. He is better at it than last year, but there is still so much room to grow. I really hope I am not typing this same stuff in late February and early March, or the season may not last long beyond that.

-Speaking of defense, watching Fresh Kimble play defense is a thing of beauty. That is all.

-Again, I know we all wanted to see Louisville come home from the big win over Duke and ride that momentum to a 15-20-point win here. But winning with some adversity can be a good thing as well. Now you have a middle of the pack ACC team in Clemson coming to town. Yes, they beat Duke. But they are coming off of a loss to NC State (5-3 ACC) and a three-point win over Wake Forest (2-6 ACC). Louisville should win, and it shouldn’t be one that we have to worry about with a couple of minutes left. Key word: shouldn’t. We know how that goes. We’ll see if this team got the letdown out of the way and if they can set the tone early and often on Saturday.

-As always, thanks for reading. Go Cards!

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