Tech's season ends not because of bad luck but bad coaching

Credit: Mark Bradley

Credit: Mark Bradley

I apologize in advance for belaboring a point. By now, you know my feelings about what should happen with Georgia Tech basketball . But I do want to make this observation.

The Jackets' season ended with a loss to Boston College in the opening game of the ACC tournament. The Eagles scored the winning basket with 10.6 seconds remaining when their leading scorer -- Olivier Hanlan, long a swatter of Yellow Jackets -- shot over Robert Sampson after being isolated.

The Jackets' final shot was taken by Corey Heyward, who was Tech's 11th-leading scorer on the season and the ninth-leading scorer available today. I'm not sure if that was the designed play -- I'm not sure Tech has designed plays -- but Heyward made a good move to the basket only to dribble his way into a contested layup.

It would have been a tough shot for Chris Paul to spin home. Heyward's try glanced off the front rim and was swatted out of bounds by Boston College as time expired. The cameras then cut to the anguished faces on Tech's bench, where we saw ...

Charles Mitchell.

Mitchell was Tech's second-leading scorer and leading rebounder this season. On Tuesday, he scored 14 points and took 11 rebounds. For reasons unknowable, he wasn't on the floor when a 2-point basket would have won the game. (And we all know Tech's best hope of generating points is to hurl the ball at the goal and hope one of its big men can follow it home.) But Corey Heyward, who'd made eight baskets this season including two this day, was.

Much has been made over how unlucky Tech has been to have gone 0-11 in ACC games decided by five or fewer points or in overtime. I'm sorry, but not deploying your best available offensive player and best rebounder at the end of a one-point game isn't luck. It's coaching -- or, more precisely, the absence thereof.

I cannot imagine any scenario in which Georgia Tech keeps Brian Gregory.