December 2, 2009
Oliver off to a fast start
Entering the season, Georgia Tech's freshman class was expected to produce big numbers and so far they have delivered. Three of the top six scorers on Tech's roster for the season have been freshman. Derrick Favors is at the head of the class with 13.6 points per game, followed by Mfon Udofia with 10.6 points per game, and finally Brian Oliver with 6.6 points per game.
Oliver spoke about the progress of the freshman and the team this season by saying, "As a team we are doing real well. We had that lost to Dayton, but things are starting to come together. We're getting used to everybody. We know what Derrick, Gani (Lawal), and Iman (Shumpert) can do and Mfon is a great floor leader."
Oliver hails from Glassboro, New Jersey and he directed William Penn High School to a state title in his senior season on his way to all-state honors. He was recruited by Tech as a sharp shooter and so far he has been everything that they had hoped for. Oliver has been lethal from deep this season by making 10 of his 21 three point attempts (48%). He has a pure video game stroke and rarely misses from his favorite spot in the left corner.
"They brought me in here to be a shooter and that's what I'm doing," he said. "My father always tells me that you've gotta be confident in your shot, because if you're not then it probably won't go in. I get open looks and I know that I can knock the three down. If I have it, I'm gonna take the shot."
Oliver is still working to improve his overall game, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Having only played five games, he is still adjusting to the speed of the game.
According to him, "Defense is the area that I would like to improve on right now. College is a lot different than playing in AAU. I'm still adjusting to the speed of the game. In high school I played down low a lot on defense and got a lot of rebounds. I need to learn how to crash the boards from the three spot."
Oliver and the rest of the freshman will next face a tough Siena squad that was pre-season top 25 by many publications. They are an experienced team with three returning senior starters, led by point guard Ronald Moore. Tech aims to improve their defense which allowed Mercer's point guard James Florence to drop 40 points on them in the last game.
Oliver cited areas of emphasis for the game against Siena by stating, "We want to improve our team defense. We let Florence get 40 on us last game and we need to tighten up against Siena. We need to get our rotations down and play with more emotion so that we aren't just going through the motions on defense."
The Jackets look to come out fired up and focused Wednesday night at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
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