Originally created 11/17/06

Freshman lives up to his billing



ATLANTA - Georgia State basketball coach Mike Perry knew a year ago how talented Georgia Tech freshman Javaris Crittenton was going to be.

Yellow Jacket coach Paul Hewitt even told him at an award's ceremony last spring.

"They were giving Crittenton an award, and he (Hewitt) said 'You know, Mike, next year that kid is going to make me look like a pretty smart coach. This year, I don't look too smart, but next year I'm going to look pretty smart.' "

Hewitt looked like a genius on Thursday night as Crittenton poured in 18 first-half points and nine assists to lead No. 23 Georgia Tech in a 103-74 rout of the visiting Panthers at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

Five Jackets finished in double figures - three with 18 or more - as Georgia Tech (3-0) hit the century mark in back-to-back games for the first time since 1994 and only the fourth time in program history.

Fellow freshman star Thaddeus Young added 19 points while sophomore Lewis Clinch led the team with 20.

The blowout was yet another highlight from Georgia Tech's talented underclassmen, but the surprise was the team's 3-point shooting. The Jackets shot 54 percent from beyond the arc, going 13-for-24 after only making a total of eight in their first two games.

"If we take good shots, we can shoot the ball well," Hewitt said. "We've got to move the ball and make the extra pass. I thought there were too many times where we looked a little like a grade school team."

The Jackets had largely been an inside team coming into the game. More than 72 percent of Georgia Tech's field goals in the first two games came in the paint. Crittenton quickly changed that trend in the opening minutes by nailing three consecutive 3-pointers.