Though it took waking up four writers on press row, we have wrapped up the first round of the ACC Tournament in unspectacular fashion.
Miami batted the beehive around in Phillips Arena, but there was very little fight in Georgia Tech as the Yellow Jackets fell 54-36. There is really not much to discuss on the game other than Miami simply was the better team in every facet, especially in the second half when they went on a 30-9 run to finish the game.
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The Hurricanes now move on to face in-state rival Florida State in the second round of the tournament.
And, mercifully, Georgia Tech will end its season as early as most expected entering this season.
Eating up the paint: Reggie Johnson takes up some space, just ask Georgia Tech center Daniel Miller, whom he scored seven second-half points against. Miami coach Jim Larranaga had his team run the offense through Johnson at times in the second half—with varied effectiveness—as it seems the team is still finding an offensive identity since Johnson’s return from being declared ineligible by the NCAA earlier this season.
Johnson finished with seven points and nine rebounds after being held scoreless in the first.
The interesting thing to note here is that Miami thoroughly beat Florida State earlier this season while Johnson was still ineligible. Larranaga went with a small lineup to fluster the Seminoles into a 78-62 drubbing Coral Gables, Fla., and he could do the same tomorrow if he feels it gives him a better chance to win.
Reggie Johnson can still be an effective player this postseason (right, Duke?), but it’s unclear if he gives the Hurricanes the best shot to win Friday.
Shane Larkin takes what he wants: The diminutive Miami point guard helped swing the momentum toward the Hurricanes in the second half with three steals and subsequent coast-to-coast layups. His quick hands flashed in passing lanes all night, helping to make life difficult for the Yellow Jackets, who turned the ball over 20 times.
Miami will look to continue its thievery against the Seminoles, who are one of the worst offenses in the country when it comes to taking care of the basketball.
Depending on the outcome of other conference tournaments, the Hurricanes might just steal that NCAA bid in the process.
We all might be blind: Georgia Tech’s offense was as bad as advertised, or worse, without suspended guard Glen Rice, Jr. In case you missed the opening to this column, the Yellow Jackets scored 36 points. Total.
That they averaged less than a point a minute against a Miami that ranked in the bottom half of the conference in defensive efficiency is even more uninspiring. Neither team was truly impressive on the offensive end, but the Yellow Jackets were painful to watch.
If this game is any indication of the offseason work that needs to be done, expect those gray hairs to keep coming in on Brian Gregory’s sideburns.