Wednesday, March 31, 2004

More hilarity at Coach K's expense

Well, the farkers are at it again, and they the photoshop skills are out in force. Check it out here.

Tech stories on SI.com

Two, one about Elder here, and Stewart Mandel gives us a little respect here.

DAILY SWARM

MORE CRAP ABOUT THE "REAL" NC
... begin Duke / Uconn (from MSNBC.com). All I have to say is that if one of those teams is truly the best in the land, then they will not have problems beating little ole weak GT or Ok.St. in the finals. Maybe it will just be like a tune-up for next year............. Here's another look at the games, but the writer does a good job of not discounting Ok.St and GT. Did you know that during Villinova's '85 title run, they won their 6 tourney games by a total of 30 points - that is the smallest margin of victory in history. GT has won their 4 games by a total of 21 points.

ALL REGION TEAMS
Not only did Jack and Luke make first team, but C-Moore and W.Bynum made 2nd team (link here).............. The Jackets are not giving up just getting to the FF (story here).

SCOUTING THE GAME
Here is a good look at the Cowboys from RamblinRed at the Hive................... Meanwhile, Tony Allen is a big part of their success (story here)......... Here's a story on John Lucas, who ended up at Ok.St only because Bynum ended up at GT........ MSNBC actually just wrote a nice column on the Jackets (story here).

From the USAToday, a look at "Rookie" Paul Hewitt, who is primed and ready........... Another story about Coach Hewitt making a name for himself.

COWBOYS LOOK TO START FAST
We all know that a slow start is NOT a good thing for the Jackets - well, the Cowboys are looking to start fast (story here)...............

STAR POWER ON THE SIDELINES
story here........... Hewitt getting major love from other ACC fans - Carolina fans

ELDER WILL BE READY TO PLAY
Looks like BJ should be close to 100% (story here). Great news.

FORMER JACKETS EXCITED FOR THE TEAM
You've heard that D-Scott was on 790theZone earlier in the week hyping up the Jackets. He will speak to the team at Hewitt's request. John Salley has been hyping up the team on BDSSP almost every night. He even wore his throwback jersey the other night................ Kenny Anderson is also excited about the team, but his boss wouldn't give him time off to go to SA - "I told him he has a better chance of seeing God than me allowing that to happen," Carlisle said, smiling.". I love Anderson's comments about working out over the summer with the team - that they always come in together, they work hard, and that - "Plus, Paul Hewitt is a class guy. He works hard and doesn't take any mess. He's real straightforward and he makes sure those guys work hard, so they had no choice but to be successful."...............

Now Travis Best is getting in on the excitement. In the Dallas News, he said - "Proud alumnus: Travis Best is happy his college team made it to the Final Four. But he prefers a different name for Georgia Tech: Point Guard U. Tech has produced Kenny Anderson, Best and Stephon Marbury over the last 15 years. Now it has Jarrett Jack . "He's carrying on the tradition of No. 3, that's for sure," said Best, who like Marbury also wore No. 3. "He's definitely holding his own. "Every time I see that number, I think it should be in the rafters ... just put one big banner with both our names on it," he said of himself and Marbury. "I'll accept that." Proud alumnus: Travis Best is happy his college team made it to the Final Four. But he prefers a different name for Georgia Tech: Point Guard U. Tech has produced Kenny Anderson, Best and Stephon Marbury over the last 15 years. Now it has Jarrett Jack. "He's carrying on the tradition of No. 3, that's for sure," said Best, who like Marbury also wore No. 3. "He's definitely holding his own. "Every time I see that number, I think it should be in the rafters ... just put one big banner with both our names on it," he said of himself and Marbury. "I'll accept that."

Here is another GREAT article on the team, mentioning that Hewitt has embraced the tradition started by Coach Cremins and called Salley, Price and D-Scott to make sure they would be at the game. - "I felt like I owe those guys something," Hewitt said yesterday. "I've talked about the tradition Bobby established and we tried to build on that tradition, and here we are in the Final Four. The history and tradition made it a little easier than for most coaches."

Who else will be at the game along with Salley, Price and D-Scott. How about Brian Domalik, Matt Harpring is trying to arrange his schedule, K-Anderson will be there if we make it to Monday night, maybe Bruce Dalyrimple, and possibly others. Evidently, Coach Hewitt has over 20 tickets alloted for former players.

FULL TRANSCRIPT OF PRESS CONFERENCE
To read what Coach Hewitt, C-Moore and M.Lewis had to say at the recent press conference, click here.

MORE ON J.JACK AND POINT GUARD TRADITION
I am sure this will not be the last story on J.Jack (story here).

MORE ON THE CHICAGO CONNECTION
This storyline will probably get more PR as the week goes on (story here).

ED NELSON SAYS OKAFOR IS OK
Dr.Ed Nelson has cleared Okafor for the game this weekend (story here). Notice the commnet - "Nelson is sitting out this season per NCAA rules for transfers and will travel to the Final Four on his own money. But Nelson could have been there as a player with Georgia Tech, where he averaged 8.1 points as a sophomore last season before leaving to join the Huskies." I hate to say this, but I'm not so sure we are in the Final Four with Ed Nelson on our team. I don't want to suggest that other players wouldn't play the same, but when he left, that made room for C-Moore, who has helped bring team chemistry and leadership to a new level. It is heart that has gotten GT to the FF, and C-Moore has added heart in spades to this team. Just not sure we would be the same without him and having a guy in his place more concerned about minutes.

If you don't believe me, then read this new story on C-Moore and what he brings to this team. Can you believe that Coach Hewitt said to Moore during the Syracuse / Kansas final game - "If you were on our team, we would be playing in this game," Hewitt told Moore". Now THAT is spooky!!!!!!!!!!!

WHERE ARE THEY NOW - MARK PIKE
Nice story on the former Jacket defensive player from the Bill's site.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW - DAVID DUVAL
As reported yesterday, he has withdrawn from the Masters - here is the story......... Evidently, other players feel for Duval (story here).

WHERE ARE THEY NOW - M.MADDUX
Looks like he is doing well, scoring 34 points in his latest effort.

MASKING BS IN MATHMATICS
This guy tries to make an argument for Duke based on a math argument. To me this story is crap. If you really want to normalize, then take out fouls at the end of the game from the trailing team. Because guess what the losing team tries to do to stop the clock - duhhh. Take that out and Duke does not get worse treatment - believe it. Of course the guy writes for the Duke b-ball report, so what do you expect.

FOOTBALL TEAM MAKES ADJUSTMENTS TO O-LINE
Click here for details........... Also, here is a story on Gerris Wilkinson, a winner, who will move back to his natural linebacker position this year.

WILL WE LOSE CALVIN JOHNSON BEFORE HE EVER STEPS ON THE GRIDIRON?
Turns out Calvin is quite the baseball diamond star. And while "insiders" say there is no chance we will lose him to baseball, it is fair to say "never say never".

MCDONALDS ALL-AMERICAN GAME COULD IMPACT MORRIS AND THE NBA
No doubt a strong performance could impact Randolph's decision on going pro. (story here). The game is tonight (no doubt on TV if you check)........... Here is a video clip about the MAA Game, including some time with R.Morris flipping burgers at the cafeteria.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

WHO HAS THE BEST FIGHT SONG IN THE FINAL FOUR??

This story says the Jackets win hands down. I can't argue. Not even from my biased perspective. Ours just rings ok kick ass, rowdiness and political incorrectness - I love it!!!

For a good link to downloads of all major fight songs, go here.
For a good link to all the fight song lyrics, click here.

Here are the lyrics:

Georgia Tech's "Ramblin Wreck"

I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer,
A helluva, helluva, helluva, helluva, hell of an engineer,
Like all the jolly good fellows, I drink my whiskey clear,
I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer.

Oh, if I had a daughter, sir, I'd dress her in White and Gold,
And put her on the campus, to cheer the brave and bold.
But if I had a son, sir, I'll tell you what he'd do.
He would yell, "To Hell with Georgia," like his daddy used to do.

Oh, I wish I had a barrel of rum and sugar three thousand pounds,
A college bell to put it in and a clapper to stir it around.
I'd drink to all good fellows who come from far and near.
I'm a ramblin', gamblin', hell of an engineer.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Connecticut
"UConn Husky"


UConn Husky, symbol of might to the foe.
Fight, fight Connecticut, It's vict'ry, Let's go.
Connecticut UConn Husky,
Do it again for the White and Blue
So go--go--go Connecticut, Connecticut U.
C-O-N-N-E-C-T-I-C-U-T
Connecticut, Conneticut Husky, Connecticut Husky
Connecticut C-O-N-N-U!
(Repeat)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Duke
"Fight Blue Devils"


Fight, Fight Blue Devils,
Fight for Duke and the Blue and White.
March on through,
For the touchdown's there for you
Go get 'em
Duke is out to win today
Carolina goodnight
So turn on the steam team
Fight Blue Devils fight!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oklahoma State

Ride, ride, ride, ride
Ride 'em Cowboys, down the field
Fight, fight, fight, fight
Fight 'em Cowboys, and never yield
Ride, ride, ride, ride
Ride on Cowboys to victory,
Cross (Opponent's) goal,
Then we'll sing.
Oklahoma State!
Ride 'em Cowboys, ee-yah!
Ride 'em Cowboys, ee-yah!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For good measure here are the lyrics to:
"White & Gold"

So then it's up with the White and Gold
Down with the Red and the Black
Georgia Tech is out for a victory
We'll drop our battle axe on Georgia's head, CHOP!
When we meet her our team will surely beat her
Down on the old farm there'll be no sound
Till our bow wows rip through the air
When the battle is over Georgia's team will be found
With the Yellow Jackets swarming around.

"ANY GIVEN NIGHT"

This has to be one of the best articles on the Jackets I have seen all year long - from ESPN's Wayne Drehs. (Story here). The type of article that gives you that warm fuzzy and makes you realize that anything is possible and we need to realize the media is just made up of people expressing opinions that help to bring in dollars.

Wayne Drehs is the same guy who wrote this article on J.Jack - it is obvious he goes the extra mile to get that deeper story - nice job.

Daily Swarm

RE-SEED THE FINAL FOUR
NO WAY I say!!! The popular opinion is that GT is the worst of the four. Vegas has GT with the worst odds to win the whole shooting match (6-1). Are people forgetting that GT has beaten both Dook AND UConn?? Come on, get with it media........... For more on the lack of respect for GT and particularly for Coach Hewitt, see this article on the "forgotten coach" of the Final Four............ In fact, you could probably call this the "Final Three" based on the media. When speaking of re-seeding, who do they say it undercuts - Ok.St - no mention of GT, even though we have already beaten two of these losers............. Can the ACC represent and get two teams to the finals? (story here). Even Duke is considered an underdog to UConn.............. Here is a little love, but it comes from our local guy, Bark Madley. (story here)................... Here's more love for the Jackets.

Now here is some props for GT and Ok.St. (story here) - "THE Georgia Tech story is just as intriguing. The consensus was that the Yellow Jackets' season walked out the door after Chris Bosh, Tech's 7-footer, left for the National Basketball Association last summer after one season. Then Tech's best sophomore, Ed Nelson, had a better idea and transferred to — where else? — UConn. Recruiting services did not rank Tech's incoming group of players among the nation's top 200 classes. The average ranking of coach Paul Hewitt's first three recruiting classes: 56th in the nation. If you understand how that translates into a Final Four team that beat UConn on its way to winning the preseason National Invitation Tournament and beat Duke at Duke, please e-mail your explanation as quickly as possible. Until then, I'm going to respect the presence of Duke and UConn in the Final Four but admire the good work delivered by Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech."

More game notes, particularly about how the ACC is what prepares ACC teams for the dance.

HEROES WELCOME
The team was swarmed when they returned to campus. Some reports had over 1000+ people welcoming the Jackets back (AJC story here). That's great for the team and the campus. 1990 was magic and the magic is back........... Even Reggie Ball was there to greet the team, and evidently Dook didn't get much of a reception from their fans (story here). A little easy to take winning for granted I guess.

COACH HEWITT GETS PROPS AFTERALL
This from the ESPN site and Jay Bilas - "Paul Hewitt, Georgia Tech: Paul Hewitt is a wonderful teacher of the game, and he has fought the established powers of the ACC to bring Tech up into the upper division of the league. He can X-and-O, and teach the game with anyone in the business. But I think his greatest strength is the belief he has in his players. The Yellow Jackets feed off of his confidence, and play at a higher level because of it. Who wouldn't want to play for a coach that believes in you like Hewitt does?"

Check out this article, which looks at Coach Hewitt's background and even mentions that he talked to Coach Cremins this week, who thanked him for bringing his last recruiting class to the Final Four.

GUARD PLAY WILL BE KEY
No doubt about this (story here). Is it just me, or could they please find another picture of J.Jack that does not make it look like he just got done inhaling some of the whacky tobaccy.............. Here's more on J.Jack and the high-flying Jackets.

INJURIES WILL PLAY A FACTOR
With BJ's ankle, Okafor's back and Duhon's rib, there is a subplot here. Although I have to admit - I am getting sick of hearing about how "couragous" Duhon is for his play. His rib has gotten more PR than John Kerry. In fact, I posted a rumor on the the Hive that I heard Duhon's rib was getting his own situation comedy. The guys over at the Maryland board have taken the story to a new level............. Here's another story on inuries.

FORMER JACKETS JUMP ON THE WAGON
Looks like some former Jackets will be involved with the team. Dennis Scott was on 790theZone yesterday and evidently has been asked to talk to the team by Coach Hewitt. He also made a strong play for R.Morris coming to GT............ John Salley, on BDSSP, wore his Spider Salley throwback jersey and said Coach Hewitt called him with a ticket to SA. He will be there this weekend. My guess is that other players will be involved as well.

OK.ST. PRACTICED IN SHOULDER PADS AND HELMETS
...earlier in the season when Coach Sutton didn't think they were tough enough (story here). They act like his philosophy is so old-school that nobody else has it. Yes, we have the ESPN Human Highlight Isma'il, but the reason we win is fundamental - team defense, rebounding, etc.

For a good overview of Ok.St, click here. Provides stats, record by game, etc.

CHICAGO IS REPRESENTING STRONG
No doubt Chicago is represented well in this Final Four - "The Chicago Public League will be well-represented at the Final Four in San Antonio this weekend. Each of the four teams boasts a former Public League star: Tony Allen (Crane) at Oklahoma State, Will Bynum (Crane) at Georgia Tech, Sean Dockery (Julian) at Duke and Marcus White (Young) at Connecticut."........... In fact, Bynum has already talked to his buddy over at Ok.St. and the smack talk started. This from PG Tony Allen - "I talked to him (on Monday) and told him I'm not even worried about them, that I'm already working on a scouting report for UConn," Allen said. "He laughed. But we're going to teach him a lesson that he should have come to Oklahoma State.". This is a really good article on the two guys............... Here's more mention of Bynum and how proud his mom was for him hitting those big shots in the last two games............. Here is more mention of the Bynum / Allen connection, among other things............ Here's more on the Chicago public league and Bynum.

Did you know that Will "the Thrill" Bynum had another nickname in high school - "The Blur"............. Here is a very interesting article on Will Bynum from the perspective of Arizona Wildcats - the team he came from.

GT TO PLAY KANSAS AGAIN NEXT YEAR
As reported earlier, GT will play Kansas AT Kansas next year sometime in December probably. (story here)............. The issue of the foul on Langford comes up again in questions to Coach Self - "Langford's foul: Self was asked about an offensive foul call on Keith Langford early in overtime of Sunday's loss. It appeared questionable at best. Langford fouled out on the pushing off call with 3:44 left in OT and expressed anger at the call after the game. "I've not watched the tape. It's better served I watch the tape before I make any comments," Self said. "Now matter how I feel, officials are human just like players are human. Players don't make every shot. Officials get the majority of them right. Certainly the call on Keith was a tough call. I will say this ... the way you feel immediately after a game, you say things out of frustration that maybe shouldn't be said. Even though at the time I thought they may have not been good calls, we had plenty of opportunities to make our free throws, plenty of opportunities to get defensive rebounds and plenty of opportunities to get stops. That one thing did not cost us whether it was good or bad. We just didn't make enough plays to win the game."

A LOOK TO OUR HOOPS FUTURE - BUCK FREDRICK
Nice article on Buck. Check out the line his senior year - "He averaged 34 points, 8.5 rebounds, five assists and 3.5 steals this season, while shooting 52 percent from the floor and 79 percent from the foul line. He made 42 percent of his 3-point attempts". Not only that, he carries a 4.5 GPA and scored 1200 on his SAT - the real deal. It is great to see him looking forward to playing at GT - can you imagine the excitement that he and the other 3 guys that have signed must be going through watching the tourney? Hopefully it can help swing a certain 7-footer as well.

WHAT DO G.O'LEARY, MIKE PRICE AND L.EUSTACHY HAVE IN COMMON
All these guys made foolish mistakes, but didn't pay players, fix grades or hire strippers........... and all are getting a 2nd chance.

BEESBALL TEAM LOOKS TO CONTINUE HOT STREAK
Time to crush Auburn at home. They have 6 of their last 8 games. (story here). They've beat us once already - time for payback.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW - DAVID DUVAL
He has withdrawn his name from the Masters, saying he needs more time with his new family and to work on his game.

COULD B.GONZALEZ HEAD TO MIAMI
Now it looks like St.John's might lose their latest top candidate - Manhatten Coach Bobby G., to Miami, as they enter the ACC. Now, wouldn't that be sweet? I don't know why I have grown to dislike St.John's..... well actually, I do know. Their fans are not humble. By the time they do hire a new coach, they will have gone through a humbling of major proportions. Maybe I'll actually feel sorry for them by then.

CLEMSON REPORTS 11 RECRUITING VIOLATIONS
Good job gomers - on one board, someone said IPTAY stood for "It's probation time again ya'll". IPTAY is of course the name of their alumni ass. For the story, see here.. Way to represent the ACC - NOT!!!

more good stuff..

Excuse me if this has already been posted, but I saw another good story about Tech in the New York Times this morning.

Interesting look at records of the Final Four

From "stickdog99" at Duke's board:

2003-04 record vs. Final Four teams:
Duke 2-1
Tech 2-2
OSU 0-0
UConn 0-1

2003-04 record vs. Elite Eight teams:
OSU 2-0
Duke 3-1
Tech 3-2
UConn 1-1

2003-04 record vs. Sweet Sixteen teams:
OSU 6-0
Duke 6-2
UConn 6-3
GT 5-3

2003-04 record vs. NCAA first round winners:
OSU 8-2
Duke 13-4
UConn 9-4
Tech 11-6

2003-04 record vs. NCAA field:
OSU 10-2
Duke 18-4
UConn 12-5
GT 13-6

Dook actually has a chance to end the season with 20 wins versus teams in the NCAA tourney - impressive................ except that IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!!!! GT holds its own when looking at records against top competition.

Monday, March 29, 2004

The Media Circuis Begins

STORIES FROM THE DANCE FLOOR
Phil Taylor over at SI.com lays the gravy on the Dook bandwagon too much. He tries to answer the question why Dook is hated so much, but ends up piling on his personal love. He acts like they are the most squeeky clean program in history. Whatever............. Slightly different look at last night's game.......... Take it to the bank that BJ will play this week (story here)............... Wow, this guy says our chances of winning are "About as much chance as an elk on the interstate". Well, obviously people forget that we have already beaten UConn and Dook this year. But you know what - great. Let's continue to be the underdoy and take the nets down in SA........ The GT/Ok.St game is certainly going to be considered the "undercard", the "warm up bout". This story calls it the "low carb match-up of the day". Get used to it............... Here's a nice look at the Jacket's grit from the Tuscon Citizen.......... Langford from Kansas is sour over that charge call that fouled him out in the 2nd half. When he has a chance to go back and look at the replay, he will see that the refs were right (another story on the call here)........... This on Kansas not being able to make 3 final fours in a row.............. Here's a look at the four remaining teams with UConn a clear favorite.

The Final Four MVP could be the team trainers (story here)........... Here's some misc notes on the dance, including the fact that Paul Hewitt was born (1963) 5 years after Eddie Sutton STARTED his coaching career.

How about this - GT has held their opponents leading scorers to 13-52 shooting in the dance. That's 25%. (story here)

OK.ST. WILL PROBABLY BE THE SENTIMENTAL FAVORITE
Remember the plane crash that killed about 10 players back in 2001 (story here)? I am sure that will provide a strong storyline for the game - certainly more sentimental than BJ Elder's twisted ankle. Here's another story on the tragedy.

Here's a look at the match-up going into the weekend. These guys are tough defensively and we should not expect either team to score much more than 65 points.

ALL REGIONAL TEAM NAMED
J.Jack was named the regional MOP and C-Moore made the all-region team also. The other players were KU's Simien and Miles and Nevada's K.Synder.

LUKE MAKES THE HOMETOWN PRESS!!!!!!!!!!
Our "216cm" center scored 15 points. Ain't metric great? (story here).

RECRUITING R.MORRIS
Some pre-game notes on R.Morris prior to the McDonalds All-American game - "Media access to the players is somewhat limited, but 6-foot-11, 270-pound center Randolph Morris out of Landmark Christian (Ga.), a teammate of both Howard and Josh Smith’s with the Atlanta Celtics, said that while he is contemplating his decision between Georgia Tech and Kentucky, the possibility of heading straight to the NBA is also on his mind. "It’s a choice [among] Kentucky, Georgia Tech, or the draft,” said Morris, who also mentioned that his performance this week will not impact his decision." ............ Looks like the NBA is not out - stay tuned.

ALL-TIME ACC FOOTBALL TEAM
CFN.com has listed their all-time ACC football team. Only one Jacket makes the squad - Ken Swilling. What do you think? Is that fair? (story here).

WHERE ARE THEY NOW - JASON COLLIER
Looks like Jason has earned himself a spot for the remainder of the season with the Hawks - nice going. A little hometown flavor. Dez White comes to the Falcons and Collier with the Hawks - nice.

ST.JOHN'S CONSIDERING BOBBY GONZALEZ
Well, St.John's fans are FINALLY getting it through their head that they will not get Paul Hewitt. Believe it or not, many of them only think that way because we are going the Final Four. A few really deluded fans actually still want to wait until the season is over. Looks like they have shifted their search to B.Gonzalez from Manhatten.

More aftermath..

Not that we need any more recaps after everything Scott has posted, but here are 2 I liked. One from the Washington Post, and another from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Aftermath

Well, get ready to let the joy of the Final Four soak into your system. Enjoy every moment because we don't know what this weekend will bring. For only the 2nd time in school history, the Jackets head to the Final Four. San Antonio here we come.

ON TO THE MEDIA STORIES
Here's the AP story.......... Here's a look at the team without BJ and his efforts to play, even talking with Dennis Scott prior to the game.......... Here's an AP look from the Kansas point-of-view. Here's the Bark Madley article. Notice that Hewitt didn't cut down the final net - he deferred to President Clough and AD D.Braine. Wow - talk about leadership - giving credit to others. I also like the confidence of Coach Hewitt telling his team "we are still going to win - it's just going to take a little longer".......... On the Kansas side here is a look at Bill Self and how he is NOT Roy Williams.......... Did you know that GT has 9 victories against teams in the final AP top25 poll, while Kansas has not beaten one team in the final poll? This guy looks at the many reasons why Kansas lost.

THE LINE ON J.JACK
Holy crap - 29 points, 9 boards, 6 assists, 4 steals and 13-14 from the line. Are you kidding me? Expect more stories like this........... By the way, did you notice that Jack tossed the game ball in the air at the end of the game? Evidently it landed in the Jacket's section and was passed to Coach Hewitt's wife, who was in tears (per this NY Times article). Actually, it was another article that mentioned the crying part.............. Here is a great article on Jack from ESPN......

THE FINAL FOUR IS SET
The Jackets play Ok.St. and Dook will match-up against UConn (what a heavyweight match-up). Dook took care of pesky Xavier............. Speaking of Dook, yet another guy in the media deciding to tell the truth about K.

Interesting - of the 3 teams other than the Jackets in the Final Four, GT has beaten 2 of them.

GET READY FOR THE UNDERDOG ROLE
ESPNNews has a poll on who fans think will win the dance. Right now UConn is dominating and GT only has 8% of the vote. Get used to it. I am sure we just inherited the "Cinderella" title for the remainder of the dance.

SO, IS THE ACC OVERRATED???
That's a popular question, considering NCST, WF, UNC and MD bowed out earlier in the dance. It is a resounding NO. Half of the final four teams are ACC. Here is a quick look at the ACC match-ups.

GETTING LOVE FROM AROUND THE ACC
The UNC board showing some love for Hewitt and the Jackets....... This from NCST fans......
OK, it's not all love - evidently the Wake Forest fans have some sour grapes. Can you believe these guys?........ Upon further review, I did find a more positive WF thread here........ Fans of other ACC teams like FSU, Clemson and even BC came to the GT boards and expressed their congrats. Great to feel the support.

IF YOU ARE MAKING TRAVEL PLANS TO THE FINAL FOUR
... the official travel agency to call would be Anthony Travel. For the official press release see the bottom of this post

ARE THERE OTHER SPORTS GOING ON???

REGGIE BALL AND CHRIS WOODS PLAY WELL IN SCRIMAGE
Looks like Reggie and Woods played well. (story here).

JACKETS ROUTE GA SOUTHERN IN BEESBALL
Oh yeah - the beesball team won also.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
F O R I M M E D I A T E R E L E A S E: March 25, 2004

Anthony Travel, Inc. to provide official Final Four fan travel packages for
Georgia Tech Athletics Association should Yellow Jackets advance.

Atlanta, GA: The Georgia Tech Athletics Association will partner with Anthony Travel, Inc. of Dallas, Texas to provide official Final Four travel packages to San Antonio, Texas for Georgia Tech fans should the Yellow Jackets advance to the NCAA National Finals. Yellow Jacket fans can place deposits for the potential Final Four fan trips beginning Friday evening following the Georgia Tech vs. Nevada basketball game should the team advance to the Elite Eight.

Anthony Travel is offering Yellow Jacket fans several different travel options, contingent upon Georgia Tech advancing to the Final Four. Official package components include: accommodations at an official Georgia Tech hotel for four (4) nights, game ticket, ground transportation, special event party ticket and Georgia Tech Final Four souvenir. An air travel option is also available.

Anthony Travel, Inc. (ATI) is a full-service travel management company with unparalleled expertise in university services, group alumni travel, amateur athletic sports team travel, housing bureau services, and event management. In addition to serving as Georgia Tech’s Final Four fan travel partner, Anthony Travel serves as the official travel partner for the University of Notre Dame, University of North Carolina, Stanford University, Purdue University, Southern Methodist University, Valparaiso University, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Disney's Wide World of Sport's Complex, US Youth Soccer and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, among others.

To purchase official Georgia Tech Final Four travel packages, please visit AnthonyTravel.com or
call (800) 736-6377.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Amazing Performance in St. Louis!

Those had to be two of the grittiest, guttiest performances by a Tech team ever. Seeing them in person was awesome.
One kind of cool note: After the players took turns cutting off pieces of the net, Coach Hewitt got up on the ladder and cut off a piece for himself. Before he got down from the ladder, he called out Dr. Clough, who climbed on the ladder and cut down a piece of nylon. Dave Braine got a piece of the net also.

JACKETS WIN !!!! JACKETS WIN !!! JACKETS WIN !!!

Once again, "team heart" takes it to da house. They win in OT over a tough Kansas team. Have to run, but major props to the team - I'll fill in more later, but they beat the clear media favorite and it was obvious that CBS was rooting for Kansas. Well take the Jackets and live with it!!!

GO JACKETS!!!!!!

70 is the magic number

Thanks to "lawbee" for this stat:
- In Kansas's 8 losses, they have failed to score 70 points EVERY time.
- In Kansas's 24 wins, they have scored more than 70 all but once
- Kansas did lose to Nevada by 14 points.

Kansas is getting all the pre-game hype, all the picks, all the accolades right now, but they are beatable. No doubt 70 is the magic number. Let's hear it for the D.

Daily Swarm

JACKET NOTES IN THE MEDIA
First part of this story talks about Hewitt and the convincing job he had to do with Marvin Lewis and family after Cremins left. Further down, it looks like W.Bynum would have gone to Ok.St if they had a ship available when he transferred. Could make for an interesting sub-plot should we win today............ This story shows the low-key confidence of the team. Let's hope it carries them to San Antonio.......... No doubt Elder will play today - bank on it. (story here)............... To see how GT and Kansas do against the spread, check out FoxSports.com.

KANSAS IN THE MEDIA
Well, EVERYONE is picking Kansas now. They are popular now that they are winning big and have been to the final four 2 years in a row. All the CBS guys are picking Kansas - most of the ESPN crew also. Hopefully we can spoil the party............. Here's a look at Wayne Simeon, the tough KS baller.

REGGIE BALL WORKS ON THE NEXT CHAPTER
Chapter 2 starts in the fall - the script is being written now - let's hope we like it when it hits the presses. Reggie is ready to prove himself again. In fact he added 15 pounds of muscle in the off-season. Interesting article on Ball, and interesting about the work they are doing to try and shorten his release............Looks like both he and Chris Woods were sharp in practice.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW - MATT KUCHAR
Matt has a stellar first day, shooting 5-under 67 on day 1.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW - K-FOX / D-SMITH
They are both mentioned in this article about the Patriots needing some help at the linebacker position.

Hewitt article

Whether or not we advance to the Final Four later today, I think I speak for many of us in stating my admiration for the job that Paul Hewitt has done, not only this year, but really ever since he has been at GT. I confess that I was skeptical after he took what I thought was mostly a Cremins-holdover team to the Dance his first year and then never really far after that (until this year, of course). It all goes to show how instant gratification in sports is generally unrealistic, and that the value of strong recruiting balanced with floor-level leadership must my synchronized. Here is a good column I found this morning on the USA Today website. I only hope that Hewitt sticks around long enough to truly rebuild the tradition born under Coach Cremins.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Ok - everyone breath please

Well, all I can say is that this was a gut-check win - a banding together. A team effort. It wasn't pretty, but it was a beautiful thing. It was bitter and it was sweet. It was nerve-racking yet oh so satisfying. The Jackets take down a pesky Nevada team 72-67. And they did it without leading scorer BJ Elder. Elder went down in the 1st three minutes of the game with a badly twisted ankle. He returned briefly but could not continue.

So how did everyone pick up the slack?

- How about Lewis who scores 23 point on 7-13 (4-9 from 3pt), 5 boards.
- How about Tarver who comes in and gets 6 points (3-4), and 5 boards (4 off)
- How about Moore who grabs 8 boards, including some big ones at the end of the game
- How about Isma'il who also grabbed 8 boards.
- How about Luke who grabs 7 boards and scores 7.

I didn't even mention guys like Jack, Bynum.

Yet the story of the game once again was defense. The WolfPack shot 32% from the floor - WOW!!!!! And the 2nd half was really strong defensively. How's this - Nevada shot 21% in the 2nd half. Man if we could just find some offense we could dominate.

Is it just me or do you feel great about this team? They are playing far from their best on the offensive end, yet the defense is keeping us in games. However, let's get real for a second - we better find a stronger offensive game against Kansas. This is the best team we have faced in the dance so far. We better be ready. BJ - keep the ice coming - we're all rooting for you to get better - we NEED you!!!!

Of, everyone put up you defibrillators until Sunday!! (but make sure to keep them charged).

Friday, March 26, 2004

Daily Swarm

WATCH THE JACKETS PRESS CONFERENCE FOR FREE
Just click on this link and you should see Real Media pop up and the press conference (32 minutes) with BJ / M.Lewis as well as Coach Hewitt. Hear BJ / Marvin talk about defense, hear them explain "Luke has a posse" (Lewis wears the shirt to the press conference). Hear them talk about the Dook game, about Coach Hewitt, about the match-up in the middle with Nevada, about upsets. Then watch Coach Hewitt talk about graduation rates, defense, aggressiveness (all 5 Nev starters have shot at least 100 free throws), K.Snyder, Luke's posse,

By the way, if you want to hear the Nevada press conference, click here. To watch any of the other press conferences, click here.

IT'S OFFICIAL - HEWITT AND ST.JOHN'S ARE YESTERDAY'S NEWS
The bastion of journalism, the NY Post (sarcasm), is reporting the Hewitt has officially contacted St.John's to tell them he will NOT be their HC next year. (story here). Believe it or not, now the St.John's fans actually think they might hire our AD and Hewitt as a package deal - at this point I just feel sorry for them............ Now Calipari is taking himself out of the running, and with other open jobs like Georgetown, St.John's better hire someone soon, or they will be pulling names out of their you know what.............. This article absolutely calls the St.John's situation was scary accuracy. I'm sure St.John's alums will refuse to read it and accept it - "delusions of granduer" was the kindest part of this story. It says Hewitt has "outgrown" St.John's. No doubt.

WHO HAS "THE EDGE" FRIDAY???
Interesting look at the Nevada / GT game. Notice how dang close both teams are to one another - scary!!........... Expect a big change of pace in Friday's game compared to the grind it out BC game. (story here)........... Notice at the bottom of that article Hewitt says he has decided "less is more" and is not going to overwhelm his players with practice this week. Probably a good idea. If they don't know how to prepare by this time of year, forget about it - and the last thing you need is an injury in practice............... While I am nervous about this game, I think the Jackets come out and dominate this game. I just don't think it is going to be a nail-biter. I honestly think we win this one by about 12-15 points.

Here are all the facts you need about the Jackets heading into the Friday game.

MCHENRY STEPPING UP THE OFFENSE
You know he is actually shooting 47.8% from the field this year - very respectable. If this guy can keep his defender honest, that could really open up things for BJ & Luke in particular (story here).

LUKE HAS A POSSE
Well the shirts have made the national media, as Sportsline.com has picked up the story. Evidently Luke has sent a couple home to his parents............ This blurb mentions that Coach Hewitt actually bought t-shirts for the team, and Marvin Lewis was spotted wearing one in practice - I love it. Lewis's quote is great - "As he's improved, the fans have really begun to like him a lot," Lewis said. "We're very proud. Luke's really worked on his game and has gotten a lot better."

MORE ON NEVADA
Giving Kirk Snyder a chance when other programs would not has paid off for Nevada. His grades scared off most high profile programs, but he has matured into one of the best players in the nation and a likely 1st round pick (story here)............ Evidently Nevada is the popular pick as "Cinderella" at this point. Interestingly, if we beat Nevada and UAB beats Kansas, we will have to play UAB, who at that point, would probably be considered the next Cinderella. When we win it all, hopefully our path to the finals will not be looked at as soft - it won't matter when we cut down the nets.............. Want to know how much money Nevada will make by staying alive in the dance? (story here)............. Don't leave any teams for dead, as Coach Hewitt says in this article.......... Looks like the Nevada team got a good sendoff......... While Kirk Synder is their MVP, one assistant coach says Todd Okeson is their MIP (M.Important P), a small tough dude (story here).

This story again focuses on Synder and how stopping him will be key for the Jackets. Looks like Isma'il is ready for his chance as the stopper - "He can do a lot of things on the court. He can shoot the ball. He's taken over 200 foul shots, so you know he gets to the basket. He's just a very good all-around player," Muhammad said. "But I can't wait to get in and have that assignment. I love checking the better players. It's going to be a test for me."

GUESS WHO IS PROBABLY GOING TO BE THE NEXT MIAMI HOOPS HC???
How about St.John's cast-off Mike Jarvis. That's right - the guy who couldn't do anything right in the Big East has obviously got some people thinking he is right for the ACC. All Miami has to do is pay the $2million buyout clause in Perry Clark's contract. (Story here).

HEWITT DOES NOT LIKE HOW GRAD RATES ARE CALCULATED
Well, Coach Hewitt's comments yesterday (see yesterday's daily swarm) got picked up in the media (story here). Turns out GT has a 27% grad rate (% players that graduate within 6 years of their initial enrollment). No doubt some things count unfairly. like transfers who graduate at another school. Coach Hewitt also mentioned a guy like Jason Collier who is about 10 credits short of a degree and working on it. One of our posters had an interesting proposal - what if you counted % of credits towards a degree. So Collier would be like 90%+ and most of the work he has done would count for something. Of course Ed Nelson will not count, and Chris Bosh will not count. But hey, Bosh did the right thing............ Another story looking at the graduation issue............ This article goes into more detail with Hewitt's comments - for example - Kevin Morris transferred to GaState and graduated. Pablo Machado transferred and graduated from Loyola, but both count as "non graduates".

If you listened to Coach's press conference (link above) you can hear his detailed explanation. I tell you what - that is one thing I respect about Coach Hewitt - he speaks his mind - he is not afraid to call out incorrect facts - he actually called the graduation rate numbers "fraudgulent".

WHERE ARE THEY NOW - RICHARD LEWIS
No, not the comedian, but the beesball player. He was taken in the supplemental draft from GT back in 2001. Now he has been traded by the Braves to the Cubs (story here). Here's the blurb on him - "Lewis, 23, was a 2001 supplemental first-round pick out of Georgia Tech. He struggled in 2003 at Double-A Greenville, batting .239/.305/.341 with six homers, 47 RBIs and 19 steals in 129 games, but rebounded to hit .404 in the Arizona Fall League. He's not spectacular but has decent all-around tools. He has good speed and even better instincts on the bases, and he also has some gap power. Defensively, he's surehanded and turns the double play well. If he can hit more like he did in 2002 at high Class A Myrtle Beach (.279 with a .359 OBP), Lewis can be a big league regular."

AROUND THE DANCE FLOOR
JJ "punk" Redick is "embracing" the role of villian (story here). He even references the BJ Elder incident. Oh please..... spare me (eyes rolling in the back of my head). First of all JJ, "we" haven't won any national championships. Dook has, you haven't.... period. People don't dislike you primarily because you win. They dislike you because you are not humble, you are not a good winner. You are not a good example for kids. Enough on these guys........... Here are some random notes from the ACC, including some vindication for what Matt D actually accomplished with UNC last year (19 wins just like Roy - only without May and Felton / McCants as a frosh, and a tougher schedule). Matt D is being considered for the James Madison job along with GT assistant Dean Keener................. Here are some misc notes on the tourney............ Here's a look at each region, and why this guy sees GT as the possible best backcourt in the nation and refers to Isma'il as a spectacular video-dunk machine".............. Here's an article mentioning Okafor and a bit on his recruiting............. Here is a nice look at the WF/St.Joe's matchup - of course by the time you read this the game will be over........... Here are random notes from FoxSports.com.............. Can you believe Larry Eustachy gets the HC job at S.Illinois (story here). I guess it's ok to party with the students - nothing like a few coeds on your arm - wives really go for that stuff............... Here's an interesting look at point shaving and a quote from Bobby Cremins - "The former Georgia Tech University men's basketball coach Bobby Cremins, who coached for 19 with Tech, said point-shaving is an unforgivable sin. "If I ever had a player involved in point-shaving, I probably wouldn't talk to him for the rest of his lifetime," Cremins said in a Sports Illustrated interview."

ANOTHER LOOK AT THE BEESBALL WIN OVER UGAg
.... from the Dawg perspective.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW - NAT DORSEY / DARYL SMITH
This mock draft (story here) has Dorsey getting drafted 34th (2nd pick in the 2nd round) and D-Smith getting drafted 48th (#16 pick round 2). Here is what it says about them:
DORSEY - "New York Giants- Nat Dorsey- OT- Georgia Tech- With the Giants line arguable the least talented in the league, Coach Couglin adds a pure talent in what would be the definition of a need pick."
SMITH - "New Orleans Saints- Daryl Smith- MLB- Geargia Tech- Smith is a hard nosed player with is instinctive and aggressive, and can hopefully inject the Saints porous run defense with the attitude it has been lacking."

SI.com had these comments on Dorsey - "Georgia Tech tackle Nat Dorsey, a 20-year-old junior who declared for the draft, says he remains excited to show what he can do for NFL teams, and came away from last month's Combine feeling that he capitalized on the chance to do just that. "When it's football time, there's nothing I can't do," he boasts. "There is no reason I shouldn't be the second offensive lineman picked. I just feel there is nothing I can't do."

WHERE ARE THEY NOW - FRANK BOLICK
Bolick played beesball for the Jackets in the 80's. He is being honored with induction into the Ed Romance Hall-of-Fame

WHERE ARE THEY NOW - TONY HARGROVE
Tony has made the best of a terrible situation (story here). He has worked hard and impressed scouts. In fact he has done the exact opposite of Maurice Claurett, who was out of shape and would not work out at the combines. I hate what happened to Hargrove, but I wish him the best and hope he makes it in the NFL. Wouldn't it be great to have him on the field this coming season. Oh well. Look at a guy like that and a guy like Tony Hollings - I guess you can do what'ifs all day long.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Daily Swarm

BEESBALL TEAM TAKES DOWN UGAg 4-3
Well they may not be winning like they are used to, but they DID beat the pups today 4-3. It did take a 2-run rally in the 9th inning, but I will take a win over them any way we can get it. (story here)

COACH KEENER COULD BE NEXT HC AT JAMES MADISON
GT assistant hoops coach Dean Keener has made it to the 2nd round of interviews for the James Madison HC job (story here). Who is he replacing? None other than former GT assistant Sherman Dillard, who coached for 6 seasons at GT. While I would be happy to see Coach Keener get such a great opportunity, there is a selfish part of me that wants him to stay at GT.

COACH HEWITT CONTINUES TO CONFUSE ST.JOHN'S FANS
In the article linked above Hewitt said - "It's been addressed. It's over with," Hewitt said. "Unless a bolt of lightning comes down from some place, I'll be here next year.". Remember Coach Hewitt saying that as long as Dave Braine is here, he will be at GT? ST.John's fans are actually suggesting hiring Braine and Hewitt as a package deal. Wouldn't that be coup? NOT! That school is a mess and the fans are actually worried about being a laughing stock across the nation if they don't get a high caliber coach. What they don't realize is that most of the nation doesn't think they CAN get a top caliber coach and it is more about pity and shame, not being a laughing stock. I just fell sorry for them more than anything.

SEE ONE OF ISMA'IL'S BEST DUNKS
This one was a non-televised game (Tenn St)and never made it to air. This version is a video tape of the replay board at AMC so the quality is low, but see for yourself. This is the one that theGooley made the classic 3-shot sequence where he drops the ball down to his knees then back up again for the reverse jam.
Right-click here and save as

In case you missed some other great Ish highlights, click on these two sites (page 1......... page 2) to download others. Thanks to GTDean for the library.

QUOTE OF THE DAY
Coach Hewitt is getting more comfortable showing his sense of humor in the media. From the same article above - "When told Nevada coach Trent Johnson had called the Yellow Jackets one of the top four teams in the country, Hewitt didn't hesitate. "He's supposed to say that," Hewitt said. "Just like I'm going to turn them into the '27 Yankees."

JACKETS IN THE MEDIA
Here's some misc notes from FoxSports.com, including this blurb on the Jackets - "Despite working with a point guard named Jack, the Yellow Jackets have done quite well. And Jack happens to be a last name. The first name of Tech's floor leader is Jarrett, who may be good enough to ease his squad past Kansas. Much of Georgia Tech's hopes hinge on big Aussie Luke Schenscher. But big things may be required of 7-2 Aussie Luke Schenscher if deep-shot-happy Tech is to reach the Final Four. Just for fun, try saying this guy's name three times fast. And I don't mean Luke, Luke, Luke. Anyway, Tech also suits up perhaps the tournament's most exciting dunker in forward Isma'il Muhammad. This is one Muhammad who floats like an Apache helicopter and stings like a tax audit."............ Dickey V answers questions on hoops (story here), saying while Nevada could win, he thinks GT is a little too strong and athletic............. Another story on graduation rates - it even made Best Damn Sports Show tonight - although no teams were mentioned specifically. They did say 4 teams in the dance graduated ZERO players. Again my question - did Ed Nelson transferring and Chris Bosh going pro count? I think the answer is yes. Evidently Coach Hewitt addressed the question on the "Mike & Mike" radio show this morning. This from "kirbee" at the Hive paraphrasing Hewitt's comments - "The rates are overblown. Basketball misses more class time than anyone else. Hewitt believes the season should begin Dec 21 after fall finals. We have players playing in Europe who are under 10 credits short of a degree making $300k a year. Jason Collier just graduated and he won't count toward our rate. There are a lot of facts lost in the numbers like transfers and people going pro and the difficulty of playing basketball and academics. Greenberg agreed."................. Here's another look at the Jackets and the surging program.

If you want to download the Coach Hewitt interview on Best Damn Sports Show then.... right-click and save as.

IS THE JACKET TEAM AMONG THE BEST EVER??
This AJC article asks that question. By reaching the sweet 16, that already places them in tight company (only 7 other times have we done that). The 25 wins is the 4th highest win total. I would put this team in the top 10 Jacket teams of all-time clearly - but let's wait until the season is over before we pour on the accolades (just like Coach Hewitt says at the end). The AJC poll in that same article has Jacket fans clearly voting the 1990 team as the best - with over 60% of the current vote total.

AROUND THE DANCE FLOOR
Some pretty funny comment on this page2 at ESPN.com................ A look at Nevada star Kirk Snyder, who looks to be a possible early draft candidate and possible 1st rounder............. Nice article on the Jameer Nelson / Chris Paul match-up, which could be a classic - these guys are players............. Here is a look at the remaining 16 teams in the dance............... Here's a look at some of the mascots in the dance.......... Not related to the tourney, but Clemson's Chey Christie will be transferring in the off-season for his senior year. Looks like he wants to start over. This is the 2nd guy that will transfer from Clemson - not sure if there is something deeper going on with Purnell or if these guys just realize they will not have a place in Coach Purnell's new system.

J.JACK RESPECTS TRADITION
No doubt JJ has become a student of the game. Interesting that Stephon Marbury was JJ's favorite player. In this story, they even get a quote from Marbury - "He's doing a great job this year," said Marbury, now with the New York Knicks. "The thing I like most about him is he's running the team. He's scoring, hitting big shots, doing all the things that make them win."........... Of course my favorite quote was from Jack himself when ranking himself among great GT PG's. - "Jack isn't ready to proclaim himself one of the greatest point guards in Georgia Tech history. He knows who came before him. "I'm not at that point in my career," he said. "Give me a couple of years and maybe I'll be all right.". Wouldn't it be great if it WAS 2 more years? Of course his favorite player was one-and-done and Anderson was two-and-done. We should have JJ back for at least one more year - two would be fantastic!!

HOOPS RECRUITING NEWS
Randolph Morris played in the Roundball Classic tonight - stats were around 10-13 points, 6-8 boards, 1-8 from FT line (ouch) - didn't see it myself....... Here is a story on KY hoops including mention of their recruiting situation. Here's a similar story with slightly different spin.

Dwight Howard's dream was actually to be the 1st kid to go straight to the pro's from high school (story here from NY Times), before Garnett and others started the exodus (actually I think Moses Malone was one of the originals). With all that he still maintains a 3.2 GPA - would have been a good one at GT - oh well.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW - D-SMITH, K-FOX, N-DORSEY, T-HARGROVE
Here is an updated look at the NFL draft and possible picking order - this simulation has D-Smith still going to the Patsies with the 32nd pick.......... Also here is what Mel Kiper Jr had to say about these guys over at ESPN - "Georgia Tech had mixed results from its Pro Day, as ILB Daryl Smith (6014, 234) and DE Tony Hargrove (6033, 269) improved their stock, while OT Nat Dorsey (6063, 314) and OLB Keyaron Fox (6021, 229) disappointed. Smith, considered somewhat of an undersized inside linebacker prospect, was bigger than expected and still ran impressive times of 4.6 and 4.63 in the 40. Smith also had a 36-inch vertical and ran a 4.21 short shuttle. Hargrove, who missed all of last season due to academics, had a lot to prove at his workout, and he did just that by running 4.68 in the 40 at 269 pounds. Hargrove also impressed with a 39-inch vertical and 30 reps on the bench. Straight-line speed and 40 times aren't all that relevant when it comes to scouting offensive tackles, but Dorsey looked slow and less explosive than expected on his two attempts, running 5.52 and 5.44. Fox also damaged his draft value by running poor 40 times of 4.73 and 4.79." Thanks ZonaJacket for the tip.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW - MATT MURTON
He is making a name for himself in the RedSox minor league system. Here is the write-up on Murton - "4. Matt Murton, OF. Murton is the Red Sox big minor league power source of the future. At 6-1, 226 pounds, Murton has the frame and ability to put up big power numbers. A Georgia Tech alum, Murton, like Murphy, represents the type of player Epstein wants. The 2002 Cape League MVP, Murton displays great plate discipline, which resulted in a .374 OBP at his first minor league stop. Despite his size, Murton is surprisingly fast and is an asset on the bases and in the field. In 2002 Murton was 19-for-19 in steal attempts. He covers a lot of ground in the outfield, but he has a weak throwing arm. Murton is ahead of schedule due to his time playing at Georgia Tech and in the Cape League. Murton actually hits better with a wooden bat. He will probably begin the season at Single A Sarasota, and the Red Sox expect him to be ready for the big leagues by mid-2006."

GOLF TEAM FINISHES 3RD
... at the 58th annual Western Intercollegiate. Colorado won with Cal coming in 2nd (story here).

BALL HAVING A GREAT SPRING PRACTICE SO FAR
Man, is this encouraging or what (story here)!!! If Ball can truly elavate his game this year, read those defenses better, hit those passes he overthrew, watch out!!

COACH GAILEY SPEAKS AT THE GREENVLLE / SPARTANBURG YELLOWJACKET CLUB
I am absolutely kicking myself for traveling this week in NY - I so badly wanted to go to the dinner with Coach Gailey in Greenville SC. However, "BigOleStinger" and "gtguy96" have provided some great updates. (click here for the full thread). I will take out some interesting points from the dinner:

1. Coach invented a new word "deHumble-ize" - which is what they are trying to do with Reggie Ball. At a recent club meeting (Gainesville I think), Coach said one of the worst things that happened to Reggie Ball was having him carried off the field in the 2nd game of his career.

2. Most improved player is Reshaun Grant, our talented tailback who redshirted last year to recover from a high school injury. Said he really knows how to run North to south and will be a great player - still needs work on his pass blocking skills

3. Two unnamed players are borderline on their academics right now for fall eligibility.

4. The #1 rated HS tailback right now plays for Buddy Geis's son in Florida, so we are hoping to have a foot in the door with him. (his name is Maurice Wells, plays in Jacksonville FL, broke the state single game rushing record with 429 yards. GT is one of his current top schools along with Ohio St, UGAg, USC, FSU and MD).

5. Biggest concerns right now are LB, left side of O-Line and kicker/punter.

6. Taylor Bennett has been impressive and could very well be Ball's back-up.

7. Even thought Pat Nix will take over OC duties, Coach Gailey will still call the plays

8. We will be experimenting with the shotgun (yeah!!!!) to better utilize Ball's abilities.

9. Calvin Johnson is the freshman most likely to help right away

10. GT only goes after about 30% of the kids everyone wants. We want the best athletes from the pool of brightest stundents. If a kid's dream is ONLY to play in the NFL, he's not a Tech kid. You have to sell them on academics - and if it scares them off, then we don't want them.

11. Our facilities are a major plus - rival ANY college or pro facilities in the country.

12. Coach Gailey and Reggie Ball met with a kid with cancer who's favorite player is Ball. Played catch and they spent time with his family.

13. "gtguy" made these comments about Gailey - "Some things I came away with... Gailey is as genuine as they come, brutally honest, and a Christian. He understands the balence between Ga Tech academics and athletics, and will recruit only solid student athletes, and no one he thinks will squeak by. His intent is to win a championship at Ga Tech."


You know, Dave Braine took a lot of heat his first few years here - but now he is starting to look smarter and smarter. Winning will do that - the Hewitt and Gailey hires are looking quite good in retrospect, while many Jacket fans have doubted the strength of those choices. While we haven't yet gotten the football team up to the next level, you can see a progression and Gailey has not let the program slip, which is typical when new coaches come in.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Daily Swarm

PAUL HEWITT IS EVERYWHERE
This guy is becoming ubiquitus. Interviews on 790theZone, Jim Rome, ESPN Radio, Cold Pizza, Southern Sports Report, Best D Sports Show. Man!! I will write up a re-cap of the Best Damn Sports Show Interview later. Here is a link to the video clip of the Cold Pizza interview if you want to see the whole thing. (high-res version......... low-res version). In one story, Hewitt said that the media requests are building so much that he has had to have some of his assistants help out. Wes D. has done handfuls of interviews as well.

Best part of his interview on Cold Pizza:
JC: Some of your critics say your biggest weakness is your inside play
PH: Are those the same critics that picked us 7th in the ACC? (he then goes on to praise Luke S).

VIDEO CLIP OF J.JACK STEAL
Right-click on this link and "save as" to save this highlight on your harddrive. This is Jack's steal to seal the end of the BC Game.

BJ ELDER GETS HONORABLE MENTION FOR ALL-AMERICAN AWARD
Congrats to BJ Elder for getting the national recognition. (story here). He was honorable mention for all-american hoops, along with a long list of other players.

MORE ON NEVADA
The team is getting used to life on campus for a couple of days before heading to St.Louis (story here)........... Here's is RamblinRed's look at Nevada - kind of scary reading his take on things. While they have one guy kind of like a larger Tim Pickett (Kirk Synder), they also have a 6'11" center who knocks down 3-point shots (Nick Fazekas). These guys are going to be a handful.............. Meanwhile the NY Times did this piece on the team.......... Here's a FoxSports.com look at the St.Louis bracket.................. Here's another look at Nevada............. From a local Las Vegas paper, here is another look............. Even the AJC gets in on the act in this story about Nevada............ One Nevada player, Garry Hill-Thomas, evidently is an insomniac - maybe he can keep his teammates up the night before our game so they'll run out of gas............. This story touts Nevada as that one team that flies under the radar and has what it takes in March............. This story looks at Nevada as the "top dog"................... Here's another look at the "cinderella" team from Macon Telegraph.

MORE ON THE JACKETS
Click on the Georgia Tech link to read ESPN's take on the team - get more out of Luke and Bynum and stop turning the ball over.............. This story talks about the Jackets trying to limit distractions. It is great to see all the attention the players are getting - it is rightly deserved. I just hope they can really turn off these distractions and focus on the task at hand - beating Nevada. They may think the attention is special now, but wait and see what happens if we make it to the final four. They ain't seen nothin' yet............... C-Moore's return has made a big difference on this team. IMO, "trading" Nelson for Moore was one of the best things that happened. This AP story is fantastic with great quotes from Coach Hewitt and the players. Wouldn't it be great for Moore to come back and be part of a final four team..... or even more??? Either way, it has been a special year already............. Here's a look at the tourney from a Canadian perspective, eehhh. Nice comment on GT - "One person who's all-too-aware that forecasts can be wrong is Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt, whose team was picked to finish seventh in the ACC this season. So his players don't think they have an advantage just because some high-seeded teams are gone. "The fact that we were so overlooked provided a great lesson to our players," Hewitt said. "We were left for dead. Now we're in the Sweet 16. We know there are some real quality teams out there that aren't being recognized."................. Not a nice article about graduation rates of players - says GT is one of 7 teams in the tourney that graduated less than 1/3 of their players. Would be interesting to know WHY these players did not graduate - was it losing Nelson to UConn, Bosh to the NBA, Isenhauer passing away, etc???? What I want to know is how many are flunking out or just not finishing their degrees................ FoxSports.com picks GT in the Final Four - "At some point, the world will wake up and discover the greatness of Jarrett Jack."............... Here are some random comments from the AJC.

ONE SHINING MOMENT.......NOT!!!!
Well, what will CBS show during their wrap-up after the final game - not much in the way of buzzer beaters, as this article points out.............. Speaking of non-shining moments, the Dook hatred continues (story here).

CLEMSON COACH OLIVER PURNELL DOING WELL IN HIS BRACKET
Coach Purnell actually picked UAB over Kentucky. Check out his picks for the Sweet 16 - he still has 3/4 teams from the ACC going to the final four (Dook WF and GT - his original picks).

LUKE AND C-MOORE MAKE ESPN'S "ALL HAIR TEAM"
C-Moore makes 2nd team and Luke makes 3rd team. (story here). Sorry but no-way Luke finishes behind half of these guys!!! He's 1st team all the way............ Speaking of Luke, this article from the Washington Post looks at foreign players in the dance, including Luke.

MCHENRY LOOKING TO GAIN BACK RESPECT ON THE OFFENSIVE END
Story on A.McHenry taking advantage of teams playing off of him. If he can use this as a platform for a stronger game next year that would be yet another weapon for Coach Hewitt.

ST.JOHN'S - LIKE A BAD MOVIE ENDING
You ever see one of those movie thrillers where the bad guys gets killed and you THINK he is dead...... then he manages to make one last ill-fated attempt to kill the good guy?? Well St.John's is the bad guy that just won't die. Check out this story from the New York NewsDaily. Here is a short blurb from the AJC. I will post a summary later, but Coach Hewitt addressed the coaching situation AGAIN on Best Damn Sports Show tonight. He said - "I addressed those questions back in December when Mike Jarvis was fired. As long as Dave Braine is my AD, I will be at GT. I have a great situation at GT. When you see coaches getting fired irrationally, you have to stick with it when you have a good situation."...................... Here is an interesting discussion on the UNC discussion board about Hewitt and the St.John's job.

Now, in articles posted in the last few hours, the NY media is finally starting to accept that they are not getting Hewitt (story here). Interestingly they point out that it would be ideal to get Hewitt, but NOT ideal if he brought his staff- as they do not know NY high school recruiting, which is one of the factors that brought down Jarvis.

HOOPS RECRUITING - LOOKING AT POSSIBLE EARLY ENTRIES
There could be about 8-12 kids declaring for the draft from high school - amazing, although I think the number will probably end up somewhere closer to 6, but we will see. This ESPN article looks at each player. The Morris watch continues - still looks like an April / May announcement - KY fans are extermely postivie - we'll just have to be patient................ This story looks at Kentucky's team next year, including the possible addition of Morris........... Here's another look at some recruits playing in the Roundball Classic............. Here is more recruiting news from around the ACC, including more mentions of Morris (as a KY lean). But I wouldn't put too much stock in this site. They have consistently made errors. For example the article says that JR Smith at UNC has not scored high enough on his SAT, but Smith's dad said otherwise last week.

In other recruiting news, Buck Fredrick has been added to the Carolina All-Star Classic roster. He will replace Ra'Sean Dickey, who has opted to play in another all-star game. (story here). Players are only allowed to play in 2 post-season all-star games.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW - DEZ WHITE
Guess what - Dez will be catching balls in the ATL next season....... with the Falcons!!!!! Fantastic!! It will be interesting to see what role he can play with Vick coming back healthy for a full season. Here is his official Falcons bio page........... Here's the official press release.............. Here's the UPI story............ The Chicago Tribune covered the story in the most detail (story here). Key points - Dez visited the Giants, Cardinals, KC. He signed a $2MM deal with a $600K signing bonus. What excicted him the most was that the Falcons schemes rely on receivers making one-on-one moves to get open....... Actually I found a public version of the story here.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW - JOE HAMILTON
Looks like Joe could miss Orlando's next game (story here), although the good news is that an MRI on his knee showed no significant damage.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW - NAT DORSEY
Looks like the Cowboys are probably interested in Dorsey to beef up their O-line. He spent a good bit of time with them during the NFL combine. He is project to be a late 2nd - 3rd round pick.

JACKETS ON TV
You might want to set your VCR's - on Saturday ESPN Classic is doing a 30 minute look back at the 1990 Final Four, including Dook, UNLV, GT and Ark. Comes on at 6:30pm on ESPNClassic.

PAUL HEWITT ON BEST DAMN SPORTS SHOW
Funny, light-hearted interview with PH, John Salley, Tom Arnold and Chris ????.

Salley: When I heard GT signed a coach, I thought it was Mark Price. When I saw your face on the news, I thought - who is this black guy? He must be one of Mark's assistants.

Chris: Congrats on the Sweet 16. J.Salley, Coach Hewitt brought a picture of you from your GT days. (Hewitt shows picture of Salley dunking with tiny shorts cinched up his crack).

J.Salley: Coach, I thought we were friends. Why you gonna show me in those daisy dukes????? But coach, I would really look like the hoops expert on this show if you were to go all the way. Can you help me?

PH: We'll do our best. Kidding aside, we have to thank John Salley for coming in a couple of years ago to talk to our players. It is important that our players understand the legacy that was created with Bobby Cremins, Mark Price and John Salley. Those 3 guys started it and we are just trying to carry it on.

Tom Arnold: Really Coach. What exactly did Salley tell your team..... where all the Atlanta hot spots are??? (laughter). Coach, you are the highest seed left in your bracket - what does that say about the game?

PH: There is so much parity that you can pretty much throw away the seeds. There are going to be a lot of close games regardless of seeds. The lack of bigmen has just evened out the game so much.

Chris: BJ and Jack are your studs. Does it make you nervous having a freshman at PG?

PH: No because Jarrett is a sophomore (Chris looked very ruffled when he realized he goofed). JJ is just so steady this year and has improved his game so much.

Salley: Does Nevada make you nervous?

PH: Do you want the politically correct answer? Actually, they are a team with a lot of confidence right now. They are playing well and we got to scout them when we played UConn in the pre-season NIT.

Salley: Actually coach, the strategy I would use is to send in your B-team to get into a fight with their A-Team (more laughter).

Chris: Coach, with your team doing well, there are rumors about the St.John's coaching job. Is this stressful?

PH: I addressed those questions back in December when Mike Jarvis was fired. As long as Dave Braine is my AD, I will be at GT. I have a great situation at GT. When you see coaches getting fired irrationally, you have to stick with it when you have a good situation.
.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Daily Swarm

GAMETIMES ON FRIDAY
Here are all the gametimes for the tourney Thursday / Friday. GT tips off at 9:40 pm Friday.

NEVADA TEAM WELCOMED BACK AT AIRPORT
Looks like the Jackets weren't the only team to get a warm reception. I think that's great - that's what the tourney is all about. Now.... let's beat the snot out of them.

HEWITT NOT THE ONLY HOT COACH IN RUMOR MILL
Nevada's HC is now being thrown around for jobs and he's not happy about it. However, it is obvious from his quotes he is probably interested in a bigger opportunity........... Speaking of Hewitt and St.John's, this article hints that the new top candidate is probably Chris Mullin. I guess the motto is - if you can't get a great coach - bring back the glory days.

NO RESPECT FROM SPORTSLINE
The put us as #4 in our bracket of the 4 remaining teams (story here). Actually, I like it when we are underdogs.

SO IS YOUR BRACKET BUSTED????
This article looks at the teams left. FYI, my final four picks are all still alive - UConn, GT, Dook and Ok.St. I have UConn/GT in the finals and UConn winning it all.......... This article looks at remaining teams also, but he gets the ACC wrong - saying we have 4 teams left - whoops............. So how much workplace productivity is lost during tourney season? This article discusses that, but it is worth it!!

A TRIBUTE TO TIM PICKETT
Nice article on Pickett - a great college player and probably the ACC's best pro-prospect right now. His season is not over, but not much left. I like the writer's comments on the 1st GT/FSU game - "Remember that game against Georgia Tech, when he hit shots from everywhere on the floor? I re-watched that game three weeks ago and the rewind button made it look even more impressive. He made shots that no one should have made. Guys hanging on his arm, guys bumping him as he came through screens, guys with hands in his face -- didn't matter. Pickett delivered."

ALERT - WANT TO WATCH DICKEY VS HOWARD ON VIDEO???
Click on this link and you can watch it for free. The Battle of the Border, which I attended in Greenville SC.

MICAH OWINGS NAMED ACC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Congrats - story here.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Daily Swarm

COACH HEWITT ON 790THEZONE THIS MORNING
Coach was on the radio this morning. Thanks to "HaitianBuzz" at the Hive for this update"
"Coach talked about Jarret's decision to go for the dunk, and said in retrospect that it was the right choice. He initially signalled JJ to get a timeout, but JJ did the right thing. He gave a little flack to ESPN's Chris Fowler for saying that Jack had a Brain Lock all in the highlights on ESPN Said he's seen Nevada play before when he was scouting UConn, their game style should match with what we like to do. Coach also mentioned that the team had SI writers follow them around Milwaukee, so we should see a piece on them sometime soon. The guys asked coach if he hears about the St. Johns and Georgetown rumors. He said he doesn't get it, he's flattered, but it is a non-issue. They also mentioned a niece piece in the NY Times this weekend, where Cremins had a lot of good things to say about the team, and it was an overall positive article. Coach mentioned the team will have to stay focused this week, and he anticipates they should be able to. This will be the first dome game for most of our guys except Marvin and Robert who played during the ACC tournament in the GA Dome 4 years ago. The Mayhem guys made the point to say that every time Hewitt talks he makes GT look good."

On top of that, the 2LiveStews were going nuts for GT on their radio show today (listened at lunch on the internet). Played the fight song about 50 times and made some funny comments. At one point he starts talking about how "Paul Hewitt the negro, has taken us to the sweet 16." Obviously you had to hear it in the context of the show, but these guys are pretty funny. Kudos to Coach Hewitt - he really is rebuilding this program, he represents the school well every time he opens his mouth.

CONFERENCE TALK HEATS UP
Obviously as the tourney progresses there will be more talk about if the ACC lived up to the hype. So far the ACC is 9-3 which is very respectable. We have not steam-rolled opponents, but then not many teams are. NCST gave away their game and UNC and MD could have won at the buzzer. This article says the ACC should have had a better weekend............. This story looks at the winners and losers between the BigEast and ACC after the conference switching.................. This story looks at which teams are left and why. Note the quote from Isma'il M - "We play 16 games like this in the ACC," Georgia Tech junior Isma'il Muhammad said Sunday after his team's 57-54 gut-check victory over Boston College. "After you go through an ACC season, an NCAA game doesn't seem that tough."

ELDER / JACK NAMED TO ALL-POD TEAM
Nice props to these guys (story here).

WANT TO SEE PICTURES OF THE WELCOME BACK FOR THE TEAM??
Check out theGooley.com, always great for nice pics............ Speaking of fan support, this story talks to some GT fans about the hoops team.

MORE ON THIS PAST WEEKEND
Story focusing on the turnovers in the game. Coach Hewitt quote - "'I'm sure it wasn't the prettiest game to watch,'' Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. ''It was more like an old-fashioned Big East game. Not pretty.''................. Here's another look at our game against BC from a Dallas/Forthworth paper............... The win against BC can be credited to defense, particularly on their top 2 guys - Craig Smith and Agbai. Smith took the loss particularly hard and took the blame (story here) - "It was a nasty feeling. I felt we should've won and I put it on myself because I played terrible." You have to respect a kid saying something like that. Leaders take the blame when things don't go well........... Is J.Jack getting comfortable with the hero role? Well, not exactly (story here). From Coach Hewitt - "I think he's starting to live for moments like this," . J.Jack's response - "I don't think so," Jack said. "I'd have a short life span if that's the case."

HEWITT RESTORES TECH'S PRESTIGE
I am sure we will see more articles like this if we keep winning - nice props for what Coach Hewitt has accomplished from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

JEREMIS SMITH EARNS ALL-STATE TEXAS HONORS
Jeremis was named to the 4A all-state team - congrats!!!!

WANT TO SIMULATE SOME GAMES???
Check out this site and click on "SimMatchup" - you can put any of this year's teams against one another, or even put past year's teams (like our 1990 squad) up against other teams. I won't have a chance to play with it but looks cool. Thanks to GoldSox at the Hive for the tip.

ESPN'S TOP 100 FOOTBALL PLAYERS - HENDERSON / DANIELS MAKE LIST
They have named their early "Hot 100" players for next football season. Here were the entries:

63. Eric Henderson, Georgia Tech, DE: Led the ACC with 11 sacks and was second with 24 tackles for loss, a Tech single-season record.

99. P.J. Daniels, Georgia Tech, RB: Former walk-on battled his way to 1,447 rushing yards, including an NCAA bowl-game record 307 yards versus Tulsa in the Humanitarian Bowl.