Rebounding is a weak spot within playing a zone defense, as Tech often does, because it’s more of a challenge for players to get a body on offensive opponents to box out and keep off the glass. But Pastner said that the team’s defensive rebounding also could have been better when the Jackets were playing man-to-man.
“We didn’t do a good enough job of rotational rebounding on the back side when we were in man-to-man,” Pastner said. “That’s something that we have to keep getting better at, and we’ve spent a lot of time on that.”
Another number that stood out in the box score was Tech’s eight 3-point shots. The Jackets made three, led by guard Miles Kelly going 2-for-3 from behind the arc. The last time Tech attempted fewer 3-pointers was in the 2018-19 season.
With the number of perimeter shooters that the Jackets have, such as Kelly and guards Deebo Coleman and Lance Terry, Tech needs to create more opportunities for 3-point tries. The impact of taking so few 3-pointers was magnified by the fact that Tech was 16-for-40 (40%) inside the arc. The Jackets shot below 40% on 2-point shots only twice last season.
Tech did compensate by taking 27 free throws to the Panthers’ 21, though the Jackets could have been better from the line, too, making 18 (66.7%).
“Georgia State’s defense was good,” Pastner said. “I’ve got to continue to find different ways to make sure good shooters like Lance will have more opportunities. That’s an area we’ve got to continue to tinker with.”
In the win over Georgia State, Coleman led the team with 16 points, making nine of 13 free throws. Kelly scored 15, including the game-winner on a drive to the basket with 4.1 seconds left. Forward Jalon Moore scored seven off the bench, with a team-high seven rebounds. While Terry scored four points, he had five defensive rebounds.
“We’ve got to keep getting better,” Pastner said. “We’ve got to keep cleaning things up.”