Gunner, you can't underestimate the disruptive effect of losing your best player for several weeks. The whole flow of the offense has to be reestablished. I think that Tech will get back on its feet after Elder gets back into the flow.
There are a few things that stike me about this team. I'm talking strictly on paper because I haven't seen them play yet this year. I remember that last year Hewitt used his bench a lot, and the numbers suggest that he is using it a lot this year as well. While this is a veteran team with 5 seniors, they also have 4 freshmen who are seeing significant playing time even though none of them are starting. That's a lot of freshment that are playing key roles, so the team may still be going through some adjustments.
This is one of the best rebounding teams in the country, but it is not a strong offensive rebounding team & its best scorers are on the perimeter. Despite the fact that they are also one of the best shot blocking teams in the country as well, they struck me as soft in the middle last year. Hewitt probably knows this better than anyone & there may be a method to his madness of taking quick 3's.
In the NC State game, in particular, Elder took the most 3's. Nothing wrong with that; he's a good 3-point shooter. Unfortunately, he missed them all. Live by the 3, die by the 3. They come in bunches & when you go cold, you look awful.
Tech did a lot of good things in this game & put themselves in a position to win, but clearly their horrendous 3-point shooting cost them the game. However, there were other little things that were a factor. They could have won the game even without the 3's, but they turned the ball over too much & State was very good on its limited free throw opportunities.
All coaches have their own philosophy & there are as many different philosphies as there are coaches. Furthermore, coaches tend to view the games more as part of a long movie, while wee fans tend to look at each game as a snapshot, or a microcosm all its own. I can't speak for Hewitt, but there may have been things that he is trying to accomplish with this team that were reflected in the game.
First, I noteced that Tech's 3-point attempts are down since the conference season began. This may simply be a reflection of tougher opposition & fewer field goal attempts overall. Or it may be a reflectio of the fact that one of their better 3-point shooters has been out for most of the conference season so far. However, It may be that Hewitt is trying to establish something with this team & that he wants them to take more 3's; he may be actively encouraging them to do so if they have gone away from one of their strengths.
Some of your criticisms seem to indicate that you simply have a different approach to the game than Hewitt. It soesn't make either of you right; I'm sure you can both find others to agree with you.
Most coaches encourage good shooters to continue shooting when the shots aren't falling, believing that they will come. As far as not running any offense & shooting with 28 seconds left, that may be their offense. You'd know better than I. Yousee this approach with Pitino-coached teams all the time, but never with a Bob Knight-coached team. Different philosophies.
Why should Hewitt call time out to reset his offense if the kids are running the offense that he's asked them to run? I'm making a big assumption here, but that's my guess. If the coach doesn't call time out, it's because he likes what he's seeing & he wants to encourage the kids to keep running the offense - even if that means quick 3's & even if they've been missing so far. Some teams apply pressure with their defense, others apply pressure with their offense. They want to force teams to run back down the floor after they've been on offense because they know that a quick scoring attempt is coming. The offense also has a better opportunity for offensive rebounds if the defense hasn't had time to get set & since, Tech doesn't rebound well off the offensive boards, this may be calculted. Paul Westhead did the same thing with his 7-second offense at Loyola-Marymount &other teams had the tongues hanging out from all the running. Coaches are willing to live with missed shots if they feel that the overall effect is to wear the other team out.
Coaches that press in the first quarter don't do it to because of the benefits in the first quarter; the benefits come in the fourth quarter when you have tired the other team out. The most interesting number I see in Tech's season stats is turnovers. Tech averages 15+ turnovers per game. That's a lot of turnovers for a good team to make. However, they also force 16 TOs per game from their opponents. So, both teams are turning the ball over a lot. That suggests that a frenetic style of play is by design.
Tech's strengths are defensive rebounding & shot blocking. If that were my team & my players weren't especially strong in offensive rebounding & I had a deep bench, I know what I'd do: I'd run a quick strike offense. Tech plays excellent defense & shoots a pretty high percent, so it looks to me that this is what they're doing. Against, State, they actually shot less than their usual # of 3's, which suggests that the misses did eventually effect their approach.
Hewitt's approach may look sloppy at times, but I think that the goal is winning ugly. I'd hang in there. He is a good coach & I think that this team will come around, given the # of seniors & their tournament experience. A loss to State may feel bad, but there are no bad teams in the ACC - okay, Miami & VA Tech. The point is that you lost a 2-point game to a good team. It happens. You also don't know what the kids are going through in their lives off the court & what minor injuries they may be playing with.
Patience, my friend. :)