Who is nation's most underrated bball team? Georgia Tech?

Posted by Coley Harvey on January 28, 2011 

I'll let you answer the question(s) posed in the headline above on your own.

It was one that was discussed late Thursday night on one of ESPN's college basketball shows. (You'll have to forgive me, happened to flip by as I was headed to bed so I'm not sure what show it was, but it was on during SportsCenter's 1 a.m. slot)

The question was specifically posed to college analyst and former player LaPhonso Ellis, who had an answer that seemed to puzzle the two others on set, and may have left some around the country scratching their heads.

Who did Ellis think was the most underrated team in America? That's right, he said Georgia Tech.



Former NBA player LaPhonso Ellis, now an analyst at ESPN, said Georgia Tech was America's most underrated college basketball team. Photo Credit: Denver Post

Specifically, Ellis -- who played at Notre Dame before enjoying an 11-year NBA career playing for the Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks among others -- said the Yellow Jackets' improved play at home and the addition of compliment players to Iman Shumpert suggest that Tech could go on a roll for quite some time. Time, of course, will let us know for sure.

There are signs of improvement with this team. Shumpert's triple-double last week indicates how high his level of play has reached, as well as the work the training staff has done to reduce his cramping issues. The emergence of Glen Rice, Jr. and Brian Oliver offensively gives opposing teams other players to worry about other than Shumpert. And the increased comfort of freshmen forwards Daniel Miller, Kammeon Holsey and Nate Hicks is visible and duly noted. The thing is, can those young three sustain it.

Tech learned earlier this week that it would be without Hicks after he had his appendix removed early Thursday morning. He'll be out for 2-3 weeks, Hewitt said Thursday. Additionally, Rice may not be able to play at least Sunday's game against Maryland because he's suffering from the flu. Without those two, but particularly without Hicks, the Jackets will be much smaller for the next few games.

In the event Rice can't go, Hewitt said freshman Jason Morris likely would start in order to give Tech some size on the floor against a big Terrapins team. The other candidate would be smaller guard Mfon Udofia, who has played well on both ends in recent weeks.

Hicks' departure will mean more minutes for Holsey and Miller, as well as Morris and Oliver. Not a starter, Hicks routinely comes off the bench to give the Jackets length. He only played one minute against Virginia Tech on Tuesday, and was recovering from a broken nose.

Back to the matter of Ellis' comments.

It should be noted, Ellis called Tech's game against Wake Forest last week; one the Jackets set a school ACC game record by winning by 35.

Tech guard Moe Miller likely would find himself agreeing with Ellis. He made these comments Thursday afternoon, when asked if this team could be even better than what it's shown at home the last three games:



"We still have certain lapses. And that's the scary part because we're still beating teams by 15 points, but we still haven't played the complete game yet. We have those lapses where we take plays off and that's something we have to continue to improve on and continue to get better at. If we can continue to improve on it and get better at it, and we can get better as a team and collectively as a unit and everybody takes care of their assignments, we can only get better and better."    

So what do you think? Agree with Ellis? Or no?

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