Georgia Tech returns from long layoff after COVID shutdown
By PAUL NEWBERRY AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP)– After a dismal start to the season, Georgia Tech turned things around and rolled into the brand-new year with a modest winning streak.
Then COVID-19 struck.
The Yellow Jackets were required to shut down all basketball activities and postpone four straight games.
A 2 1/2- week layoff has actually put coach Josh Pastner in uncharted territory as his team prepares to resume play Wednesday night by hosting No. 20 Clemson.
” This is my very first time in the middle of a season being on time out like this,” he said. “I desire to play video games. Offer me 50 video games. I love practice, but you want to play, you wish to contend.”
Having set a clear objective of Georgia Tech going back to the NCAA Competition for the very first time in more than a decade, Pastner’s team started the season with disheartening losses to state rivals Georgia State and Mercer.
But, after another loss at Florida State in their Atlantic Coast Conference opener, Georgia Tech (6-3, 2-1) duped 4 straight wins– including conference triumphes over North Carolina and Wake Forest.
The Yellow Jackets have not played since their 70-54 thrashing of the Demon Deacons on Jan. 3.
” To be sincere, I do not believe it’s going to be that big of a difficulty,” senior forward Moses Wright stated. “I seem like we’re all going to be ready to go come the dive ball. I don’t think there’s going to be any let-off from what we did prior to this little short shutdown we had.”
Pastner didn’t sound rather as confident that the Yellow Jackets can simply choose up where they ended.
” How will we be? I do not know. We have actually not played in a long time,” Pastner stated. “We had some actually terrific momentum prior to getting shut down. It is what it is. We’ve simply got to prepare to go.”
Even with the long layoff, Pastner indicated that his group will not be at full strength against Clemson since of COVID-19. He declined to provide information.
Pastner is a lot more worried about his gamers’ state of mind.
” We’re not dealing with robots,” he stated. “We’re handling humans. Momentum and connection matter in sports. In the end, we have actually got to head out and attempt to get it done. We’re playing an actually good team that we need to play truly well against.”
However Pastner stated he’s altered his approach for handling the pandemic because the start of the season.
The Yellow Jackets tried to manage at first with non-contact practices, as Pastner figured that would lessen the fallout should among his gamers test positive.
However the losses to Georgia State and Mercer forced him to change his methods.
” If we had actually continued that, we could’ve been 0-27 on the year,” Pastner said. “We may not have won a game if we had continued non-contact practices. I realized we’ve got to experiment contact, in as regular an environment as we can, to offer our group the very best chance of success.”
Regardless of the long layoff, Pastner has no remorses about his decision.
” We decided to take a calculated risk,” he stated. “If you have a positive, the entire team has to close down again. … However you’ve got to practice to have any chance of success.”
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