Jacobs looks like he can contribute on offense. Nick Jacobs, a transfer from Alabama, showed a soft touch around the post, finishing with 12 points on nine shots. Jacobs established position for feeds and scored on turnarounds. Midway through the second half, he scored on back-to-back possessions on a lay-in off a lob pass from guard Travis Jorgenson and then off a post move following forward Quinton Stephens' feed.
The Jackets pushed the pace. Gregory's mandate to play at a faster tempo, at least for one game, looked for real. The Jackets consistently looked to run after both Cornell misses and makes. Even when it didn't result in clean fast-break opportunities, Tech was able to score before Cornell could set its defense. With just under 14 minutes to play in the first half, Cornell's JoJo Fallas made a 3-pointer. Tech quickly inbounded and center Ben Lammers hustled down the court for a post-up, scoring on a feed from Stephens just nine seconds after Fallas' basket.
“If you’ll watch the film, we’ve always tried to push the ball, on makes or misses,” Gregory said. “We actually make some baskets at the end of it now. So it just looks better.”
Tech's improvement looked real. It's only one game, but it would appear that there is basis for the optimism that has surrounded the team in the preseason. The Jackets are deeper, more athletic and more experienced than they have ever been in Gregory's tenure. Forward Charles Mitchell (10-for-11 shooting, 11 rebounds, 21 points) combined his rebounding ferocity with improved conditioning. Transfers James White and Smith add elements of frontcourt athletic ability and perimeter shooting that Gregory hasn't had.
“Offensively, we’re much improved,” Gregory said, “and we’re goign to keep getting better because I think some guys are just starting to kind of feel their way on that.”