December 22, 2009

Jackets down Owls 80-55

The Georgia Tech basketball bounced back following a difficult overtime loss to Florida State with a solid 80-55 win over Kennesaw State Tuesday afternoon in Atlanta. Zack Peacock led the way with 18 points in 16 minutes off the bench. Peacock hit all eight of his field goal attempts and both his three-point attempts. Maurice Miller was equally impressive running the offense with eight assists off the bench. Head Coach Paul Hewitt was pleased with both Miller and Peacock's performances off the pine.

"Both of those kids played good ball games today," Hewitt said. "Zach has been very consistent for us all year. Going back to Puerto Rico, we talked about him shooting the ball more. When does that he opens up the floor and takes our basketball team to a whole new dimension. With eight assists, Mo put forth a very solid effort."

Hewitt said after the game, Miller made a strong case for increased playing time. Starting point guard Mfon Udofia was held scoreless and only had three assists in 24 minutes compared to Miller's eight.

"There is no door that is closed to anyone on this team," Hewitt said. "The best guys are going to play and with a performance like today you will see [Miller] play more minutes. It has to be earned. I want to see him get loose balls, defend, make smart plays and keep us organized. In watching the tape of Florida State, the one thing I would have done differently was to give Miller more minutes instead of Mfon's 41 minutes. Mo did keep us organized."

The Jackets struggled in the first half hitting only 39.3-percent of their shots, but rebounded in the second half hitting 65.5-percent from the floor.

"The first half was a case of us not executing, but we were going to get it worked out. In the second half, I thought we did a much better job of getting the ball where we wanted it to be. It is probably a little tougher than I expected at this point and maybe that has something to do with Iman [Shumpert] not being in there. The good news is that he should start practicing when we get back and God willing he will be able to play in the Charlotte game on Jan. 2."

Iman Shumpert should be on the court for practice after the Winston-Salem State game and he will travel to Charlotte and could be back in the starting lineup when the Jackets travel to Athens to face Georgia on Jan. 5.

"We want them to stay aggressive, but need to establish our big guys more," Hewitt said. "In the second half we did a better job."

Oliver bounces back

Freshman forward Brian Oliver bounced back from a tough 3-of-10 shooting performance against Florida State, to score 14 points in 14 minutes. Oliver hit four of his seven three-point attempts.

"In the Florida State game my shot wasn't falling," Oliver said. "Coming into tonight I figured if it is an open shot I will take it. I got good looks. There were times in transition where I would normally take a shot and slowed down. Everyone has told me to slow down and move the ball around so we can get better looks."

Oliver says the freshmen struggles are not due a lack of chemistry, but instead due to a lack of execution.

"I don't think we are still feeling each other out," Oliver said. "I think a lot of our problems are because we rush a lot. We do really have to slow things down and give it time to set it up. There are some times where Derrick [Favors] or Gani [Lawal] will have a guy posted up, but if we are acting like robots running through the play, we might clog them up. We just need to slow down."

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