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Next Up - Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets and Blue Devils tangle at 7:00 on ESPN2.

Jahil Okafor, center of attention as usual.
Jahil Okafor, center of attention as usual.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Tech is in the house Wednesday and while the Yellow Jackets are not the mean, lean team Bobby Cremins might have brought, much less the deep, pressing team Paul Hewitt dropped by with, you shouldn't take Tech for granted.

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As Brian Gregory pointed out, Georgia Tech hasn't been blown out a lot.

Wojo's Marquette beat them by two, the SC Upstate disaster was a five pointer, Notre Dame took two overtimes, Syracuse was a one point loss, Wake seven, Notre Dame at home just three, Pitt five...Okay, Virginia was ridiculous at 57-29, but UVA has done that to more than one team this year.

BC was a two point loss and State a one point loss on a remarkable shot by Trevor Lacey in overtime.

So as he said, Tech is certainly competitive. Only UVA and Dayton have truly taken the sting out of the Yellow Jackets (Dayton, where Gregory worked before coming to Tech, won by 14).

We did point out that yes, they were competitive, but still were losing.

Which brings us to Charles Mitchell, who will be making a highly unusual appearance in Cameron this year.

When last seen, you may remember, Mitchell just barely missed a chippy which would have given Maryland a much desired win over Duke on the way out the door.

If you haven't kept up, and we haven't very much, Maryland is #21 and in the last three games has been blown out by Indiana, nearly lost to Northwestern and was then crushed by Ohio State.

But back to a real basketball league.

You have to wonder what Mitchell is thinking about this game. He's no longer a Terp, but you can't get much closer than he did to winning without winning. The lasting image to us was seeing the Maryland kids just fall to their knees. You have to admit they gave their all, and that certainly includes Mitchell.

Now he's back, a Yellow Jacket, and touring the ACC with his new team. We're trying to recall if that ever happened before

Michael Gbinije went from Duke to Syracuse but Syracuse wasn't in the ACC then, and he sat out a year.

Makhtar Ndjaiye started at Wake and ended up UNC's curse, but in between he was at Michigan.

And next year, Sean Allen will play for Virginia Tech. But that's all we can come up with, other than Bones McKinney back in the day, and like most young men in 1942, he went off to war first anyway (he started at State and finished at UNC, and to complete the trifecta, later coached at Wake Forest).

Anyway, keep an eye on Mitchell. He's been as erratic at Tech as he was at Maryland, but he may have unfinished business with Duke and Cameron. The basketball gods were very unkind to him.

Mitchell is averaging 10 ppg and 7.3 rpg, which ain't exactly chicken feed.

Tech's other rent-a-big, Demarco Cox, a grad student transfer from Ole Miss, where he played for former State guard Andy Kennedy.

Cox is averaging 8.9 ppg and 6.2 rpg.

They shoot  a respective .531 and .513

And in a (big) nutshell, that's Georgia Tech's problem.

The only reliably dynamic offensive player is Marcus Georges-Hunt, who averages 14 per game.

Georgia Tech is staying in games through hard work and effort, not because Gregory has a bunch of gunners.

What he has is some really good role players who ideally would be placed around two or three solid offensive talents.

You can imagine for instance if Malcolm Brogdon had opted to stay home, or if Tech had Wake's Devin Thomas. Or maybe Tech had managed to get LaDontae Henton, or one of Notre Dame's perimeter snipers. Then, say, Travis Jurgenson looks much better at point, and he's not bad as is.

They have the mortar, just not the bricks...well, bad metaphor since Tech does toss up a lot of bricks. But you get the drift.

So what happens in Cameron?

Well, we think it's a reasonable bet that it's a tighter game than most people expect. Tech has to contend with Jahlil Okafor, obviously, but a hot three point attack would sink them quickly too.

In a grind-it-out game, though, Tech can hang around and as as often been the case, be in a position to win.

Which brings us back to Mitchell.

Wouldn't it be amazing if this game came down to the wire and Mitchell had the ball in his hands again?

Would the gods pity him? Or mock him again?

To be clear, the notion of the basketball gods is kind of silly. It's not like you have Ares leading the break, with just the right pass from Athena, and Apollo on the whistle.

But the idea of cosmic...justice? Righteousness? It's tempting even in basketball.

And putting Mitchell in that same situation twice...that would be fascinating.

We'll see soon enough.