Georgia Tech started out the season 2-0, but ever since their 2021 ACC Championship run, they haven’t had the most valuable piece of Pastner’s offense: the big man.
After The 2020-2021 season ended, Moses Wright departed, leaving Saba Gigiberia and Rodney Howard to fill his shoes. Saba Gigiberia was an underutilized shooter standing at 7’1 so he decided to transfer to San Francisco.
Now all that’s left is Rodney Howard and true freshman Cyril Martynov. Safe to say Rodney Howard has been rusty the first two games, but no one has expected any different given his play last season. In his first game he racked up 15 points, mostly from offensive rebounds in the paint. There’s where it ends for him so far. Saturday against Georgia State he layed an egg with only one shot attempt, and 3 rebounds.
Now Pastner is faced with 2 decisions. Start 7’0 Cyril Martynov and bench a veteran Howard, or continue to put his faith in Howard, and risk further lack luster play. Outside of those two players, the next tallest would be 6’8 Jordan Meka, who hasn’t seen much hardwood in his career.
Lacking a valuable center wouldn’t be an issue except for Pastner’s Princeton offense. This offense requires the big man to run the offense and be able to score down low. Rodney Howard hasn’t done either of those things. When Pastner can’t rely on Howard, he has to rely on our undersized roster to be playmakers. Considering they shot 40% and 47% from the floor in their first 2 games, this isn’t a successful strategy.
The lack of recruiting the big man has also proven detrimental to Pastner’s job reputation. People inside the Georgia Tech fanbase have already forgotten about the ACC Championship win and are calling for Pastner to be fired. There needs to bee some serious evaluation of strategy this season or else Georgia Tech will likely fail with an offense lacking size.