Lessons Learned From The Loss At Louisville

Matthew McGavic

Looking at the final stat line from last night's loss to the #6 Louisville Cardinals, it's easy to draw simple conclusions following the game. While proclaiming that turnovers continue to  devastate the team and that they struggle to close out games are accurate statements, they don't necessarily tell the whole story.

If you ask shooting guard Michael Devoe and forward Moses Wright, they will tell you that the team learned a lot about themselves moving forward despite suffering their third straight loss. 

"It's still good for us because we're learning," Devoe said. "We got better tonight, and that's the ultimate goal."

In lieu of the team's clear flaws, what Devoe is saying is not wrong. Like in their previous game against the Virginia Cavaliers, Tech's offensive operated fairly well whenever they were not giving the ball away. The Yellow Jackets shot 13-21 (61.9%) in the first half of play, back-to-back instances where Tech shot over 60% in the opening half.

However the Jackets are not just building off of positive takeaways, they know exactly where they need improve as well aside from the obvious.

Just a couple minutes into a second half, Georgia Tech built an 11 point lead over their host after leading by 6 at the break. But over the next 13 minutes, the Cardinals outscored the Jackets 33-11, including a 10-0 run with 5 minutes to go in the half.

"That's when we got a little comfortable and relaxed a little bit, instead of actually putting our foots on their necks," Moses Wright said.

But faced with a double digit deficit in the closing minutes, Tech did not fold. Instead they mounted a comeback attempt of their own, firing off an 11-0 run to pull within a single point with 1:20 to go.

"We just preached about getting stops after stops. Not to really worry about the offensive end, Cause the offense will come," Wright said. "So we just try to get stops, and it'll translate into offense."

And they did just that, taking the #6 team in the land to the brink on their home floor. But like they have a few times before this season, late game execution faltered and resulted in a loss when victory was mere moments away.

"It's kind of frustrating that we're not winning at the end of the game," Devoe said. "We gotta put two halves together. Usually we come out in the first half and we're really good, and then second half we kind of slip up. We just gotta learn from that, go back and watch the film and just keep getting better"

Wright shared the same sentiment as Devoe but with a spin of positivity, saying that while losing games late is tough, they are "sticking together as a team knowing that we're right there."

It's never fun to continuously be competitive in games but still wind up on the losing side. But if there's anything that can be taken away from the floor of the KFC Yum! Center, it's that the Yellow Jackets acknowledge that they can be better and are continually working to reach their end goal.

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