Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Comments on the GT/Mich Game from the Boards

I perused the discussion boards to get a feel for what people are saying about the Jackets. Of course when you win big and dominate, it always strokes your ego to read the glowing comments:

Arizona fan on their own team:

Watching GTech take apart Michigan, a couple of questions come to mind:
(1) Why is our offense sooooooooooo bad?
(2) Why is Bynum such a great player for GT and didn't do anything here?
Is it possible the problem is here?

From a Duke fan:
Tech looks like the best team I've seen so far this season. They're incredible, every open shot is going down and they are playing amazing defense. I can see why Tech is rated so high, they've played extremely well so far.

From FSU fan #1:
GT...did you watch any of that debacle? These guy's are plain sick. Michigan is getting worked!

From FSU fan #2, responding to fan #1:
Tech looks extremely good tonight, it's a major league beat-down on meatchicken.

FSU fan:
Jack has made some of the most incredible plays I've seen this season so far.

Kentucky fan:
Now, I am starting to think that Jack, Elder, and Bynum may be the best backcourt in the nation. They are strong, tough, and each shoots it well. I'd be surprised if Chris Paul or Raymond Felton can do anything against them this year.

Kansas fan:
Michigan is playing like they have three walk-ons and GT is playing like a team with five ultra experienced seniors. I knew this game was going to be a blowout win for GT, but I've been impressed so far. UNC, Wake, and GT should have some serious track meets going on this year.

Maryland fan:
i dont believe in getting too worked up over one game and I admit that GT did not look this good against UIC, but these guys are proven winners and every indication is that they should be better this year. They were in the freaking title game last year.

Its an embarrassment that UNC and Wake (2 talented but flawed teams) have gotten the hype that GT has earned.

NCST fan:
This GT team is LOADED.
I really wish we would scrap our O and let the kids run, be a lot more fun that way and we might even pack the RBC center for a non con game.

Virginia fan:
GT is not just lights out, they are entire east coast power blackout.

Wake Forest fan:
Man, Tech looks really, really good. Easily the team I am most scared of in the ACC...

Wake Forest fans on Luke:
1. Tech is definitely the team I fear more than any other in the ACC. They actually play defense to go along with their high scoring offense. If LUUUUUUKE shoots 18 feet shots like he is tonight they will be one tough team to beat. They are also my 2nd fav team in the ACC.

2. When Luke caught that inside pass and in the same stride caught it chin-high and kissed it off the glass... THAT scared me.

3. I can't figure out how Schensher went from bad to good in just the matter of a couple games last year. Whatever he did, Visser needs to do.

Miami fan:
#1 Ga Tech KILLS Michigan 99-68...imagine what they will do with us...

Illinois fan:
If the Big 10 loses 7-2 again, and the big 10 struggles out of conference (Minny tonight), you can blame the rest of the teams for hurting our seed or bracket come March. It is really a shame because Illinois has no control over it at all.

Indiana fan:
G Tech scores more in a half than we can score all game...wow*

Michigan fan:
UM study in defense! Keeps GT under 100. Wow. Something obviously to build on.

Breaking News: Jackets Heading to Orlando

Per the AJC, "sources close to the situation" confirm that the Jackets will be heading to Orlando. Story here.

Now, it is time to call out all GT Fans.

Folks, it is time to step up and show that you are a REAL GT fan. We need to fill up the stadium in Orlando. I am calling all fans to the stage - front and center!!!! Buy your tickets as soon as they are available and BE THERE!! Support your team!!! Show these bowls that Georgia Tech is a team that they want, no matter what the record!!! Show them that we "travel well"!!!

So I am going to leave this post at the top, and I am going to ask everyone to let it be known that you are going to the game. As soon as I get home from this business trip, it will be time to convince my wife for a road trip.

I will be updating this post with a rollcall. If you are going to the game, leave your name in the comment box. Let us know when you buy your tickets. If you don't leave your name and you are one of the regulars, I might just "call you out".

I am serious about this. It is time for fans to get behind this team and show the east coast bowls how attractive we are. THERE ARE NO EXCUSES!!!!! Besides, the last time we were in Orlando was pretty sweet if memory serves me. I was there.

Great Christmas Gift for Tech Fans

For true-gold fans, a nice gift - link here.

First Media Report of "Gailey on the Hot Seat"

Well, many sites have their "coaches on the hot seat" prior to new seasons. This site has indicated Coach Gailey will be on theirs:

Gailey's seat is getting warm

Those coaches-on-the-hot-seat lists revealed before every season certainly will include Georgia Tech's Chan Gailey next summer.

The Yellow Jackets are 6-5 after losing to Georgia Saturday and headed for another mediocre season under the former Dolphins assistant. Gailey is 20-17 — 12-12 in the ACC — in his three seasons in Atlanta.

Opinion is divided on Gailey. His supporters point to his high character. His detractors cite the program's fall from four straight eight-win seasons prior to Gailey's arrival and inexplicable losses, including one to lowly Duke in 2003.

ACC/Big10 Challenge Update

NC ST takes care of business at home, outlasting Purdue.

NCST 60.....Purdue 53 (@NCST)

Another story on the ACC/Big10 Challenge and the ACC dominance.

"Ugly Day, Ugly Play"

M.Lough from the Macon Telegraph shares his wisdom from the GT/UGA game.

Jeremis Smith Update

Per Andy Katz over at ESPN:

Georgia Tech freshman may not be out for year
Monday, Nov. 29: Georgia Tech freshman forward Jeremis Smith will be out for at least a few weeks with a dislocated knee cap. Tech assistant Cliff Warren says the injury turned out to be less severe than originally thought and no one is ruling out a return this season. Smith had been averaging 4.5 rebounds a game, good for fourth on the squad.

Meanwhile, Michigan has an injury concern of their own:
... Michigan is taking it very slowly with Lester Abram's shoulder injury. His range of motion hasn't improved enough yet. He missed the two Preseason NIT games in New York last week and is doubtful for the Georgia Tech and Notre Dame games this week. Abram is averaging 10 points and six boards a game. ...

Michigan Trying to Slow #4 GT

Story here. From Coach Hewitt:

“The stereotype of the Big Ten is a lot of walk-it-up, a lot of low-post play,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. “But this is a team in Michigan that is as comfortable getting up and down as they are in the halfcourt. They like to get out and pressure, get in the passing lanes. They can shoot the three. They can get out in transition with anybody. Then they’re also strong inside.”
Here's a more detailed story on Abrams, in case you are interested....... In addition, here is a story on their point guard Dion Harris, who the coach is trying to get to play better defense and shoot better.

Elder / Schenscher on another award list...

...this time the 2004-05 Bayer Advantage® Senior CLASS Award. link here.

Top WR Prospect Compare to Calvin Johnson

Well, most recruiting services didn't even have Calvin Johnson as one of the top 5 wide receivers in the country. But NOW they use him to compare other's talents. Link here.

Rouse runs like a gazelle and is much more advanced than Williams at the wide receiver position at this stage of their careers. Like Williams, Rouse is very dangerous with the ball in his hands and is absolutely deadly in the air, much like Calvin Johnson, the true-freshman sensation at Georgia Tech (and our No. 3 rated WR last season by Scout.com).

Army Player a "huge GT fan"

Link here.

Underrated Warrior
Senior DE Will Sullivan has quietly authored a stellar career during his tenure in the "Black, Gold and Gray." A two-year starter, Sullivan registered 45 tackles and led the Black Knights with three quarterback sacks and 13 tackles for loss a year ago. Sullivan is in the midst of another highly productive campaign, recording 44 tackles, including 10 for loss, two quarterback sacks and two interceptions. He registered perhaps his finest career showing against USF, finishing with a career-best 10 tackles, including three for loss, one quarterback sack and one fumble recovery to help lead Army's 42-35 defeat of the Bulls. Sullivan stands in second place on Army's career sacks list with 8.5, three shy of the Academy standard. He also ranks tied for fourth on the Black Knights' career tackles for loss list with 28. A native of Atlanta, Ga., Sullivan grew up a huge fan of Georgia Tech and its then-head coach Bobby Ross.

Narrow Defeat Frustrates Jackets

Story here. Hey, I would be upset if the weren't hurting. They are true Tech men!!!

C.Johnson / T.Bell Named Freshman All-Americans...

...by Rivals.com. Congrats to those two guys who had OUTSTANDING years. Heck, Bell doesn't even have a scholarship yet. He walked on instead of accepting a 'ship to Clemson for soccer. Rest assured that is likely to change. Story here.

Monday Morning QB

Well, Tuesday morning actually - link here. I don't want to focus on the "bad", but they do get this right - there is plenty of blame to go around for the game ending fiasco.

THE UGLY: Few have seen as ugly a finish as Tech offered up Saturday. Ball spiked the ball on third-and-21 from the Georgia 32, despite having plenty of time to get a play called and off. On fourth down, he threw the ball out of bounds thinking it was third down. The coaching staff, particularly head coach Chan Gailey and offensive coordinator Patrick Nix, certainly deserves plenty of blame for the fiasco as does Ball, who was counting on the stadium scoreboard to tell him what down it was. The game will be remembered for the sequence.

Virginia close to heading to Independence Bowl

Link here.

Recruiting - Trey Dunmon

More on the recent O-Line verbal commit:

DUNMON SAYS "YES" TO TECH: Three consecutive trips to the Georgia Dome should give Hawkinsville senior offensive lineman Trey Dunmon an idea on navigating Atlanta's busy one-way streets. Dunmon needs that experience because Friday he verbally committed to play with Georgia Tech over Mississippi.

No stranger to Atlanta - at least the downtown area - Dunmon and the Red Devils have advanced to the GHSA Class A semifinals inside the Dome for the past three seasons. Saturday, defending champion Hawkinsville beat Bowdon and will again host the Class A finals against Clinch County on Friday at 8 p.m.

After a Hawkinsville practice session at Tech's facilities last Friday, Dunmon said Tech defensive line coach Giff Smith text-messaged him: "(You and GT) Do you want to be a Yellow Jacket?"

Dunmon said he's always been a Tech admirer, plus his grandfather Danny attended high school with Tech coach Chan Gailey. Ultimately, the connection with Tech coaches and staying close to home propelled Dunmon to choose Tech, although he had previously verbally committed to Ole Miss a few weeks ago.

"At Tech, my family can come watch games, the distance isn't a problem," Dunmon said. "At Ole Miss, distance is a problem."

More Stories of Courage from GT/UGAg Game

Wow, if David Greene's thumb wasn't the most couragous story since Chris Duhon's rib, now comes word of DeMario Minter's sprained left ankle while covering Calvin Johnson. Can you see the tear welling in my eye?

TOUGH DAY: Everyone knows Georgia cornerback DeMario Minter was flagged for three pass interference calls against Georgia Tech’s Calvin Johnson on Saturday. Not everyone knows Minter played with a sprained left ankle.

“It’s still nagging, but I fought through it,” he said. “The weather didn’t make it any better, but I had to do it for the seniors.”’

All of the calls against Minter, including two in the end zone on one drive, were booed by the Georgia fans, but a Bulldog coach said only one of them was even questionable. Minter wasn’t so sure.

“I think it was just my day,” he said. “I think the officials were out to get me today.”

Monday, November 29, 2004

Hindsight is 20/20

Nice to be able to brag about stuff after it comes true from this gambling site. I wonder if he talks about the stuff he "guaranteed" that didn't come true:

Saturday, I guaranteed that Georgia Tech would cover and they did! 100,000,000* NFL Parlay Of The Year cashes the ticket with the Bills & Jets on Sunday - I can't be stopped! Tonight, for the only time all season, I release my Perfect Stat Game of The Year. All 4 stats that I use on Monday Night, all point in one direction for the first time all year. Don't make a move on St. Louis - GB without TD !!
Here's more from the world of betting - this time hoops on GT and their shooting woes (I guess prior to Ark LR).
There is always a certain hangover period early the next year when a team has the success that Tech did last year. Just keeping games close is a huge morale booster for foes. That is what has happened so far to Tech which has been sluggish in their two wins. It’s tough to blow anyone out if you can’t put the biscuit in the basket. They are shooting 40.8 percent from the field, including 21.4 percent from 3-point range. The Yellow Jackets have had trouble knocking down uncontested shots, converting 58.7 percent from the foul line.

All three percentages are well below last year’s totals. Without Marvin Lewis, a 39.8-percent 3-point shooter last year, the Yellow Jackets were expecting offensive contributions from freshmen guards Anthony Morrow and Zam Fredrick. Neither has played much because of their adjustment to the college game, particularly on the defensive end.

Morrow, Fredrick and Anthony McHenry are a combined 0-for-7 on 3-pointers. Jarrett Jack, who suffered a bruised right wrist and Illinois-Chicago, is the only perimeter player shooting well. He is 9 of 15 from the floor, including 3 of 8 from 3-point range.

As a result of the poor shooting, teams are playing a sagging zone defense against center Luke Schenscher, who has attempted just 12 field goals through two games.

With Tech admitting they are going to be focusing more on getting an outside shot than the overall game as they ready for a tougher schedule, such kinks make a blowout even more unlikely.

Bowl Update "of the day"

Ok, here's what I have been able to find out

1. We know that Virginia cannot play in the Champs Sports Bowl (CSB) in Orlando due to exams.

2. The CSB is trying to work with the ACC to convince either the Gator or Peach to take Virginia, which would mean the Jackets would again be likely headed to Boise.

3. The CSB does not want Georgia Tech. They want another team of the "8-3 record caliber". Folks, we're in the interesting spot of not being wanted by ANY of the bowls with ACC tie-ins.

4. In the meantime it is being reported that the ACC is close to inking a deal that would send Virginia to Shreveport to play in the Independence Bowl. That is the slot opened up by South Carolina declining a bowl bid after their little snafu with Clemson.

5. For this to happen, the Peach Bowl would have to release Virginia from consideration, which evidently they have not done yet.

6. Meanwhile, the MPC Computers Bowl in Boise would LOVE to have Virginia (duhh). They are saying they will only release Virginia if one of the Big East teams (BC, UConn, Syracuse) will agree to play there.

Hoops: Jackets fall in both polls

ESPN/USAToday Coaches Poll - Jackets drop from #3 to #4 as we switch with Illinois.

AP TOP 25 - Jackets again fall from #3 to #4, only this time it is Syracuse and GT switching places. Illinois checks in at #5.

In both polls, 7 ACC teams end up in the top 25, as Virginia broke into the short list. The ACC strength will be put to the test beginning tonight with the ACC/Big10 Challenge.

Stories on the GT/UGA Game

Well, some stories if you want to get depressed again:






















The Ladies in Action...

...come on get your mind out of the gutter. First, the lady hoops team comes from behind to beat Princeton - link here........ The volleyball team will host the 1st and 2nd rounds of the NCAA tourney - link here.

Recruiting - Football

The Jackets have a new verbal committment, from Trey Dunmon, a big 6'3" 275lb offensive lineman from Hawkinsville High School in Georgia. He had initially committed to Miss. but changed him mind over the weekend. Don't have time for more than that. I'll find out more and post further info. later. Here's his Rivals profile.

Evidently there were rumors that he committed to Ohio State on his visit last weekend, but that is not the case. Story here. Wells is still planning on announcing his decision at the US All-American Bowl in San Antonio in mid-January.

In case you didn't know...

...Ben Roethlisberger's father was a QB at GT - story here.

Ken was a quarterback at Georgia Tech whose football career was cut short by a knee injury. During his last two years in college, he concentrated on baseball.

Where are they now - Nat Dorsey

Nat is nursing a sprained right shoulder - link here.

Dorsey's recent inconsistency also could open the door for Goldberg to keep the job for the rest of the season — if the local kid is successful this week.

"It'd be real hard to replace a player if you win and he plays real well," Vikings coach Mike Tice said.

Where are they now - Jonathon Smith

Mention of Freddy here.

Smith is a rookie seventh-round wide receiver from Georgia Tech who returned two punts for scores as a senior last season. He had a 70-yard punt return for a TD two weeks ago at New England and a 53-yarder against the Rams before he was caught at the 5.

Where are they now - Ed Nelson

Well, Ed wasn't happy with his role on the GT team (coming off the bench) and he was homesick. With Emeka Okafor gone, it looks like Nelson will still fight for minutes.

There aren't enough minutes available to satisfy all the talented players UConn has up front. It first appeared that White and Ed Nelson would be the odd men out, White more likely to spend a lot of time on the bench than Nelson. Now it looks like Nelson, the Georgia Tech transfer who was the ACC Rookie of the Year three years ago, will struggle to get playing time.

Sunday, November 28, 2004


Ok, here's the latest:

1. Virginia has opted out of the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando due to conflicts with exams

2. GT would be the next logical choice, meaning UVA would probably head to Boise.

3. The Champs Sports Bowl does not want Georgia Tech. Sound familiar? Evidently nobody wants GT to play in their bowl.

4. However, there are a couple of scenarios where Virginia could actually move UP in the bowl chase and someone like Miami could end up in Orlando.

5. As a result, we will probably have to wait another week until this Sunday to see how the picture clears up. There is an outside chance that they could go ahead and invited GT on Monday, but it is not likely.

6. The CSB in Orlando is on December 21, so the clock is ticking. Every day that goes by, they lose ticket sales. You have to give people a chance to make their plans.


.... Champ Sports Bowl, against Colorado.


Also note the quote in this story of Gailey taking the blame for the spike on 3rd down.



No Timetable for Jeremis Smith

Well, the good news is that X-rays show no further bone damage to the knee, and preliminary tests show no structural damage like torn ligaments, but the MRI on Monday will tell more of the story. Story here..... I saw a report on the Hive that Smith attended to women's hoop game and sat behind the bench. He had crutches and a full-leg cast.

Tech Hosts Michigan in ACC-Big10 Challenge

Story here........ Here are some comments about the other match-ups.......... The Big10 is out to end the ACC dominance - story here.

Orlando Bound????

Evidently Virginia has exams that conflict with the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, which means GT could get the invite as early as today. Story here.

Now Tech (6-5) is expected to be invited to the Champs Sports Bowl as early as today. The game matches as ACC team with one from the Big 12.

Tech director of athletics Dave Braine acknowledged the possibility of playing in Orlando during halftime of Saturday's 19-13 loss to Georgia, but said he had received no official word from the bowl or the ACC.

"Anything I say is pure speculation," Braine said Saturday night.
It will not hurt my feelings to be handed this opportunity on a silver platter.

Where are they now - Nick Rogers

An injury on the Packers gets Nick Rogers back onto the team - link here.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

More on Jeremis Smith's knee

More details - graphic details........ And here's the official GT version........ Here's more on the player reactions.

Jackets Lose 19-13.... Toy with my Emotions

Well, I'll say this much. The team never gave up. However, I had virtually given up on the Jackets in the 1st half, because UGA was having their way in our secondary, and they were dominating our offensive line. But our boys battled and battled, and built some momentum in the 2nd half with David Greene out of the game with a cracked thumb. The defense deserved major props for keeping us in this game...... again.

I am proud of the team for making a game of it. I am frustrated like everyone else at the play-calling on the last drive. I am typically very favorable to ours players and coaches, but bottom-line, we blew it. We spike the ball on 3rd and 21, then Reggie throws the ball out-of-bounds on 4th. What was that? Like everyone on national TV, I saw Patrick Nix motioning to Gailey to spike the ball, and somehow Reggie Ball followed through with that signal, even though it appeared Gailey didn't agree. I don't know what they were thinking. But Chan calls the plays right???

Well, the fans are melting down right now on the discussion boards. Hey, credit and blame go to everyone for this one. The O-Line deserves blame for not protecting Reggie ball in the 1st half at all. The secondary deserves blame for total breakdowns in coverage. Our offense again deserves blame for just not getting it done and scoring points. The coaching deserves blame for the debacle at the end of the game. And you know what...... all those same people deserve some credit for things as well. So what the heck.

Well, here are some random thoughts

1. We better develop some serious depth at QB. It is tragic that there was nobody except D-Bilbo to come in and throw the ball when Reggie was hurt. And guess what - next year will not have QB depth either. What we will have is a stable of unexperience, high potential guys..... But potential ain't depth. We know the QB job will be wide open. But anyway you cut it, we are probably in for ups and downs in 2005. It's the inconsistent junior-to-be or the redshirt freshman, or the redshirt freshman, or the converted QB-to-WR D-Bilbo.

2. I am still in the camp of keeping Chan Gailey but hiring an offensive coordinator, and Patrick Nix didn't show me tonight that he was the guy for the job. Get a guy who can complement Tenuta on the defense and put some discipline into the off-unit. As for Chan Gailey, I still would like to see what he can do next season and the one after that. That won't be popular with many fans, but the guy has elevated his recruiting EVERY year here, and ultimately you have to have the horses to win games. He is getting better guys every year and that WILL pay-off.

3. Chan is labeled as a "conservative" offensive guy. I don't think that is a good phrase. I prefer to use the term "disciplined". It just seems that the O-unit lacks discipline. All you have to do is look across the field at our defense to see the difference. Some of it is the players and some of it is the plays and sophistication of the offensive playbook.

4. I am glad David Greene is gone. That guy made ALL the difference in that game. When he was in the game in the 1st half, we stunk and he picked apart our secondary. When he went out, we made our move and got back into the game. Then Greene comes back in at the end and successfully moves the ball downfield to eat up clock and lessen our chances of getting the ball back.

5. CBS is the biggest "homer" for UGAg that I have ever seen. How many personal profiles can you run about 2 guys - David Greene and David Pollack. Heck they were running personal interest stories on Greene while Shockley was in. They made this big to-do about the injury and the "courage"...blah blah blah. Meanwhile, nothing about Reggie Ball suffering an elbow injury and rotating with Bilbo. Nothing about Daniels taking over RB duties with a sore knee after losing our 1st / 2nd / 3rd string RB's. Nothing. There was no doubt who CBS wanted to see win that game.

Prediction Thread

Per Buzz's request, put your picks in the comments here. I'll keep this at the top until gameday.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Sobering Picture

We can only hope and pray this is an injury that Jeremis Smith can recover from. Seems like such a great young man. There was a report on the Hive that his mom was at the game and was shaken up (of course).

If the image doesn't work, click here.

Jackets Beat Ark. Little-Rock 79-54

Well, defense still rules, but the offensive shooting certainly was the best of the season. The Jackets ran out to a 22-2 lead, but just didn't put Ark-LR away until the end. But let's look at the game:

1. INJURY. The worst news of the night is that Jeremis Smith went down with about a minute to go. From the radio call, sounded like a very bad injury to his right knee. He was in major agony. Evidently Elder went running the other direction in a moment of shock and Jack was calling for the trainers loudly. Smith goes off on a stretcher. To say that is disappointing would be an understatement. The Jackets had a 25 point lead, but of course that's when the Hewitt is trying to get minutes and experience for the freshman. From the sound of it, we will not be seeing Jeremis for a long time. No sense in speculating, but if it's bad, at least he would qualify for a medical redshirt.

2. DEFENSE. They got it done.....again. Ark-LR only shot 33% from the field, including 12% from 3pt range (2-17). A strong outing again. The Jackets had 8 steals, forced 19 turnovers and turned them into 22 points.

3. OFFENSE. The Jackets shot 47% from the floor, and 43% from 3pt range (4-7). Definitely better than the first two games. Elder paced the team with 23 points, Isma'il added 13, most of which came in the first half, Bynum added 11 and Jack had 10. Jack really led the team, with only 1 board and 1 assist from a triple-double. Jack had 10 pts, 9 assists, 9 boards, 1 steal, 3 to's.

4. FREE THROWS. Continues to be a concern. We go 6-11 from the stripe. Broken record time. We just need to improve here. Period.

5. REBOUNDING. The stats show that the Jackets out-rebounded ALR 44-38, not a big margin. However, the Jackets controlled the boards more than the stats indicate. Jarrett Jack led the team with 9 boards (8 defensive). Just a reminder - when Jack leads the team in boards and they are almost all defensive, that means the big guys are doing their job blocking out their guy. Many times they block their guy, and are not able to leap for the board as a result. That is how guards get a lot of boards on good rebounding teams. So I see this as a positive sign. The rest of the boards were spread out, but nobody but Jack had more than 5.

6. THE FRESHMAN. Well, The Jeremis Smith injury clouds any kudos. Before he went out, he had 2 pts, 3 boards, 1 block, 2 assists, 4 fouls and 1 to in 19 minutes. Anthony Morrow got 11 minutes, hit a 3pt shot, had 1 board and 1 assist. Ra'Sean Dickey finally got his first minutes of the season and he appeared to play well in his 6 minutes, collecting 3 pts (2-3), 3 boards, 1 block and a foul. Buck Fredrick played 3 minutes and had 1 board.

Overall a nice effort from the team. But all of this is tempered by the loss of Smith. In the post-game interview, it was clear that Coach Hewitt was shaken up about J-Smith's injury. He said the team will be fine and he is only concerned with Jeremis because he is a good kid who has really worked hard. Wes mentioned that it was "erily similar" to the timing of the Tarver knee injury last season. Coach said Tarver was able to make a 100% recovery and he can only hope it will be the same for Jeremis.

Keep the faith Jeremis. Things happen for a reason. Don't ask me what that reason is. Stay strong.

Fans Chose Top Games at Sanford

Link here.

Freshman Hoopsters Struggling to Find Their Place

Well, as we have said, on a team of veterans like this, what do you expect. But it sounds like all 4 freshman are expected to play tonight. Story here. Jeremis Smith certainly took advantage of his opportunity:

They all want to play and are trying to be patient until their turn comes. Smith asserted himself especially well against Illinois-Chicago. He grabbed six rebounds in 12 minutes, drew a charge, made two assists and a steal, and blocked two shots.

The "Rudy" Story Once Again

Want to relive Rudy's sack of the GT QB back in 1975 again, for real? Story here.

And in his last college game as a senior, he was ordered in by Coach Dan Devine for one play. The final play of the game against Georgia Tech in 1975.

"November 8, 1975, to be exact," Rudy said.

In true storybook fashion, Rudy, playing defensive end, somehow managed to sack the Tech quarterback and was lifted on the shoulders of his jubilant teammates and carried off the field.

"People don't understand," Rudy said. "This wasn't just the first time I played. It was the first time I dressed for a game. The real surreal part was just running through the tunnel before the game.

"The play itself was like it was supposed to happen. I always practiced like I expected to play. When I was given the opportunity, I expected to make the tackle. I just needed the chance."

Saying it is one thing, though. Doing it was something else.

"Making the sack, it was very exciting," Rudy said. "I remember jumping up and down afterward and giving high-fives. Then, before I knew it, I was on the shoulders of my teammates."

Later, in the locker room, a sports writer came up to him and smiled.

"You know, son, this only happens in Hollywood," he said.

Some 10 years later, Hollywood finally bought the script that was crying for someone to make it into a movie.

Where are they now - Frank Broyles

The Arkansas AD and former GT football player will be hospitalized due to an irregular heartbeat. Story here.

Do you like Dickey Vitale??

Mention of Vitale and Muhammad - link here.

I believe Vitale truly does feel he has the best job in America. When he declares that Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium is going to be "rocking and rolling," it's because he loves it when Cameron Indoor Stadium is rocking and rolling. When he calls Georgia Tech's Isma'il Muhammad a "high-riser," it's because he truly gets a kick out of watching Muhammad fly through the air and dunk. When he repeats the rhetorical question, "Are you kidding me? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" after somebody pulls off some amazing feat on the court, it's because he truly believes he was just a witness to something special.

So before you dismiss Vitale after he finds yet another coach who "can flat-out coach", go easy on the guy. You could be listening to Bill Walton.
If the guy wasn't such and Duke and Carolina homer I probably wouldn't mind listening to him.

Where are they now - Jeremy Lincoln

Well, actually I don't know, but evidently his high school rushing mark bit the dust - link here.

Payne finished his career with more than 2,700 yards, about 300 more than Jimmy Lincoln, according to Wabby. Lincoln went on to play at Georgia Tech.

"[Breaking the record] meant a lot to me," Payne said. "Jimmy Lincoln was a pretty good running back, an All-American. It's an honor."

Where are they now - Tony Hollings

Struggling with the injury bug on the Houston Texans - that's where. Story here.

Jackets Go Cold.....

... shooting the rock in hoops that is. Story here. We cannot underestimate the impact of losing Clarence Moore and Marvin Lewis. More than anything these guys were the most consistent shooters from the outside. Yeah, Lewis would disappear at times, but we he disappeared, he just wasn't taking a lot of shots. When he took shots he didn't get into many prolonged slumps. And C-Mo always seemed good for 1-2 3pt goals each game.

Here's my take on each of our current perimeter players:

Elder - streak shooter. His shots will eventually start falling, but in spurts. He can still score 0 one half and 20 the next. The streakiest of our shooters and that won't change. The key is not settling for 3pt shots all the time. Elder has a great ability to post-up, to drive, to pull-up from 10feet. He can work himself out of slumps by moving his game more inside.

Bynum - another streaky guy who's shot will come around. But again, another guy who could put up 30 one game and 0 the next.

Jack - I think Jack will really show an improved shot this season. He hurt his wrist prior to the UIC game and struggled, but his shot percentage will go up this year.

McHenry / Muhammad - We heard about Isma'il's improved jump shot and that T-Mac needs to be more aggressive on offense. But we have yet to see either of these guys knock down perimeter shots their entire career. So I'm not looking for much from the outside from them.

Fredrick / Morrow - Here's the interesting delimma. It is pretty clear that these two freshman could help add two more perimiter shooters to the line-up. Unfortunately they are not ready for the defensive play of the GT game at the collegiate level yet. And the bottom-line is that they are going to earn their minutes on D and not shooting the ball.

Our shooting will come around. There is no doubt about that. However, it is not clear that we will be as good a shooting team as last season. Time will tell. Can the freshman step up the D and get their shots as a result? Stay tuned.

Here's a story on the struggling offense.

Daniels Upgrade to Questionable








From Reggie:

"I think Georgia Tech is more of the educational school, the nerd school I guess. When they look at Georgia, they see the tradition, the recent success and that's what attracts a lot of the fans they have," Tech quarterback Reggie Ball on why Georgia has more fans around the state.



Where are they now - Keith Brooking

The Falcon's new defense seems to suit Keith Brooking quite well. Story here.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Seniors Get Their Send-off

...at GT and UGAg. Story here.

Jackets Hoopsters Return Home...

... to play UALR. Story here.

Well, finally more comments on the freshman from Coach Hewitt

- Evidently they were thinking of possibly redshirting Ra'Sean Dickey, but apparently that will not happen. He is exected to play Friday.
- Some of the freshman have expressed concern to coach about playing time.
- The real answer comes down to defense. Until they show an ability to play "Georgia Tech" defense, then they will not see bigtime minutes.
- What Coach is really telling them is - boys, this is the bigtime. What do you expect?

Daniels, Woods Upgraded to Questionable

Story here.

A lot on the line for GT / UGAg Seniors

Story here.

Football - David Brown Anxious and Waiting

On of the prized defensive recruits from this year's football class, he is redshirting this year in order to get bigger and stronger. Story here. I like his aggressive, confident attitude:

"My goal is to compete for a regular playing time next season," Brown said.

"No, change that. I'm going to start on the defensive line next season. That's my goal for 2005."

BJ Elder - Senior Season Blowout

Story on Elder stepping up his senior year.

Champs Sports Bowl...

...releases GT from consideration - link here.

Here's the way the situation looks. The only ACC bowl we will attend is the MPC Computer Bowl in Boise Idaho. However, MPC isn't overly interested in having us back again this year and we are not overly interested in going.

So right now, the ACC is talking with the MPC folks about switching with another bowl - one of the open SEC or PAC 10 bowls. Stay tuned. We will probably hear where we are going next week.

GT to Play in Maui in 2006

...in hoops. Sounds like fun to me. Who's in? Story here.

The Famous Hat

Remember the episode last year when Buzz stole Wake Forest hoops player Eric Williams' mom's hat during a game. Well, here are her comments on the episode:

The hat is well known around the ACC, even becoming a target of Deacons rivals. In an episode caught by television cameras last season, Georgia Tech's yellow-jacket mascot swiped the hat off Williams' head in a game in Atlanta, then ran off and tossed the hat into Tech's student section.

Williams chased down the mascot, wrapped it in a headlock, then retrieved the hat from a sheepish-looking Georgia Tech student.

"Ask the bumble bee how important it is to me," says Williams. "I told him if I don't get my hat back I'll snap his neck.

"So I took off running, I didn't know I could run that fast. I'd been working out in the gym. See, he didn't know that. He didn't know I got 30 rebounds in one game."

Calvin Johnson - more attention


Obviously from a UGAg perspective.


Now some stuff on other players:

Great story and the selfishly good news for Tech fans:

As a result of the injuries, Henderson is leaning toward returning for his senior season. Henderson said he is not worried about his professional future right now.

"It might be a blessing. I think everything is going to work itself out," said Brooks, who like Lee and Lewis have advised Henderson to return to Tech and get his degree in business management before trying the NFL. "I'd like to see him come back. We've talked about it and I think he's going to come back."

Key points - Bennett will not play, Daniels might play, the Blue Turf bowl and GT have mutually agreed to wait and see if we can switch. And the QB job will officially be open wide in the spring, regardless of what happens from here on out.

Story on Gerris Wilkinson


Recruiting - Track and Field

Tech signs a talented track-and-field distance runner - EC Gibbs.

Recruiting - Joe Wolfinger

Another blurb about the 7-footer who commited to the Washington Huskies after being pursued by Paul Hewitt and others. Sounds like something is selling well for the Huskies:

Roy is convinced past national exposure is how the UW signed heavily recruited 7-foot center Joe Wolfinger, a Beaverton, Ore., native now attending a Massachusetts prep school.

The big guy, also pursued by Cincinnati, Florida State and Georgia Tech, appeared extremely knowledgeable about the Huskies, who received precious nationwide airtime last season while playing in the NCAA Tournament against Alabama-Birmingham, traveling to North Carolina State and hosting an unbeaten Stanford team.

"The kid visited, and three days later he committed; it was that fast," Roy pointed out. "I used to scratch my head and say, 'Coach, kids don't know what we're doing here.' Now, I'm scratching my head and saying, 'Coach, we're going to have to turn kids away.'

"When I committed, I thought everything that's happening was going to happen. But because it's happened so fast, it's incredible. It's happened overnight."

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Weird Luke Schenscher Reference

Don't ask me where this comes from:

Australian Rules. Georgia Tech center Luke Schenscher came up huge in last season's Dance. His secret? Block out the boos and embrace his inner nerd. The Magazine's contributor Justin Heckert reports.

Consistency from Reggie Ball

Story here. Actually it is too late to have consistency from Reggie Ball at this point in the season. Because of course consistency means you do something repeatedly over time. What we need from Reggie is one of his signature great games. We need the top of the roller-coaster this Saturday - and I think he just might make it happen.

Wow, what a clever play on words. Wonder if it took a staff of people to come up with that one. Nice to see his teammates backing him, even if the fans are fickle:

"We don't worry about Reggie," center Andy Tidwell-Neal said. "He's shown a great ability to bounce back from game to game. He's a confident guy and he's got all the physical ability in the world to get it done against Georgia."

Teams Trying to Prevent Another Brawl

Well all this attention from the NBA and Clemson / SC has gotten people thinking about our little old rivalry with UGAg. Come on, it's "clean" old fashioned hate. Don't they know it is annual tradition to sit down for tea and crumpets with the mutts? Of course they always want to drink it out of a toilet bowl, but what they heck.

Gailey knows where to draw the line:

“Are you going to see guys helping each other off the ground?” Gailey asked. “You won’t be seeing any of that. I think that we’ll know where we have to draw the line.”


Heck, even the media in Canada has picked up this story.

When was the last time these two teams fought?:
The last time Georgia and Georgia Tech came to blows was 1993, when a large fight broke out in a Grant Field end zone late in a 43-10 Bulldog victory.

Brief mention:
In the aftermath of the brawls at the Clemson-South Carolina football game Saturday and the Indiana-Detroit NBA game a day earlier, Richt is taking steps to avoid trouble Saturday against Georgia Tech.

When the Bulldogs get ready to leave the field during pregame warm-ups, they won't huddle up on the midfield "G" if Georgia Tech is still on the field.

"We may huddle up but maybe not right on the "G" to stay further away," Richt said.

It is rare that the Bulldogs are exchanging words with an opponent before a game, Richt said.

"It's usually a skinny receiver and a skinny DB that I don't really worry too much about," Richt said. "Those guys are always talking smack."

There were eight personal fouls called in last year's 34-17 Georgia win - five on Georgia and three on Georgia Tech, including one on quarterback Reggie Ball, who collided with Georgia trainer Harris Patel out of bounds, drawing a personal foul.

"I think a lot of us, including myself, got caught up in the emotion of last year's game," Ball said. "It was my first time being out there and you have to keep that under control. You can't play with that chip on your shoulder all the time."

Calvin Johnson in the Spotlight


Calvin Johnson's list of attributes reads like an aspiring wide receiver's letter to Santa Claus. Dear Santa, please bring me ...

A long, lean frame (6-foot-4).
Great speed (4.4 seconds in 40-yard dash).
Remarkable agility (43-inch vertical leap).
Feathery hands (one drop all season).

"Keep going," said Georgia Tech football coach Chan Gailey. A letter writer would get hand cramps trying to list all of Johnson's talents and abilities.
Check out what Andy Tidwell-Neal had to say:
Johnson's most impressive attribute, at least to teammates, is that he's so good so soon. Center Andy Tidwell-Neal said Johnson became the best player on the team during his first college practice.

Here's what the enemy coach had to say about him:
“Calvin Johnson is just a big, raw freshman and he¹s getting better and better, and creates a match-up problem for a lot of people. He has good strength, agility and size, and can win a lot of jump ball situations,” said Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt.


Travis Bell Misses Cut for Award...

...the Lou Groza Award. He didn't make the top 3, but deserves props for an outstanding season anyhow. And besides, he's just a freshman. Plently more years to win some hardware.

If you're going to the game bring your cans...

...food cans that is - link here.

The Food Bank of Northeast Georgia is asking Georgia and Georgia Tech fans to bring canned food to Sanford Stadium on Saturday to help feed the less fortunate during the 2004 holiday season.

Food bank volunteers will be stationed outside stadium gates to collect donations from fans attending the annual Georgia-Georgia Tech game, which is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.

Tire Bowl Comments on Georgia Tech

Well, North Carolina is going to the Tire Bowl which means we are most likely headed to the MPC Computers Bowl in Boise (unless the ACC can cut a deal to swap with one of the other open bowls). Here's what Tire Bowl officials had to say about GT:

"We gave Georgia Tech due consideration," said Will Webb, the bowl's executive director. "But when you look at the number of alumni in the region and the fact that Carolina's a lot closer, the best decision was Carolina. The numbers game all fell to Carolina.

Recruiting - Maurice Wells

High school star RB Maurice Wells had a rough last game

The story of the night was running back Maurice Wells being held to a dismal thirty-five yards on twenty carries. Most of the time he did not make it past the Apopka defensive line, and if he did, he certainly never made it around the linebackers. Sledge did not have to worry about him at the safety position.

“One play he was so frustrated he hit one of our linebackers,” Sledge said. “We knew as a team we could stop him.”

Wells spoke briefly about his troubles.

“They got a great defense,” Wells said. “My offensive line, they played great all year but just had a little bit of a breakdown at different times and stuff. But the defense we played against tonight was great.”

The defense he played against was stifling, and I don’t remember Wells breaking many, if any tackles. The offensive line for Sandalwood averages over 300 pounds each, normally wearing down defensive lines, but on this night the opposite proved to be true.
In terms of recruiting, Wells had a fantastic visit to Ohio State where he saw the team upset Michigan. No doubt Ohio St. is the team to beat (he has family in that area also), but don't count out the Jackets quite yet.

Cool Graphic on Hoops Game

Check out this ESPN re-cap of Monday's GT/UIC hoops contest. Check out the game-flow graph and run your cursor over it. You can see the score progression throughout the game. Nice.

Calvin Johnson Earns ACC-ROW #4

His 2nd rookie-of-the-week in a row and 4th overall. I think he is a lock by now for the ROY award. Story here.

In addition, this on CJ's assault on the ACC record book:

624 - Receiving yards for Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson. Only N.C. State's Koren Robinson (853 in 1999) had more as a freshman.

Nate Curry Does Nothing Halfway

Nice story on Nate Curry and going all the way. A Q&A session. Here was an interesting question and shows that he's a real team guy:

Q: What about your season? Is it disappointing that your numbers are down (his 22 catches are 15 fewer than he had last season)?

A: It's not as good as last year. I haven't gotten as many passes as I got last season, but whatever the coach asks me to do in order to help the team win, then that's what I'm going to do. I'm the weakside receiver, so a lot of the reads don't go my way. It's just the type of offense we run.

Point Guards Trying to Stay a Step Ahead

Story here. With this from Jarrett Jack:

Georgia Tech junior point guard Jarrett Jack said point guards have to stay organized.

“I think it’s my job to direct the team out there,” Jack said. “Coach (Paul Hewitt) puts the team in my hands, and it’s my job to make sure everyone is in the right position at the right time.”

Jack, a sophomore, led Georgia Tech to the Final Four, in which the Yellow Jackets lost to Connecticut in the championship game.

Football and Hoops Success at the same School?

Succeeding at one sport if your school is labeled as another. Story here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Bynum and UIC

Story on Bynum. This on if we had lost:

Playing time won't be an issue tonight. Hewitt has joked that this game is Bynum's to take care of.

Said Bynum: "(Hewitt) just said, 'If we lose in Chicago, we're going to have a fistfight in the locker room.'

Tech Freshman Finding it Tough

Article from Macon Telegraph after game 1 on the freshman. Here's Coach Hewitt on why Ra'Sean Dickey has not played:

Dickey, a 6-foot-9, 255-pounder from Clio, S.C., has struggled in preseason practice with turnovers.

"He's not taking care of the ball, not holding onto it strong," Hewitt said. "He's a very, very good scorer. He's got excellent footwork. But he's playing like a high schooler."

Jackets Appear Boise Bound

Macon Telegraph article:

But MPC Computers Bowl executive director Gary Beck sounded resigned to taking the Yellow Jackets on Monday afternoon. The general lack of extra bowl eligible teams from major conferences is working against Tech, leaving the bowl without many attractive options in a switch.

"I don't know if there's a team the quality of Georgia Tech available now. We'd probably be more apt to invite Georgia Tech back," Beck said. "We'd be more than happy to have Georgia Tech here."

Tech athletics director Dave Braine said the Yellow Jackets would accept an invitation from Boise. He also said he wouldn't be opposed to going to another bowl if something could be worked out.

"All bowls participating would have to accept it. It probably would be a good chance that we might end up in Boise," he said, before the Tigers' decision. "A bowl is a bowl. Our kids had a great time in Boise last year."

Bowl Situation

Well, here's the deal with bowls, as best as I can guess:

BCS - Miami
Gator - VaTech
Peach - FSU
Champs Sports - Virginia
Tire - North Carolina
MPC Computers - Georgia Tech

So I think it is blue-turf time for the 2nd year in a row. Clemson will decline a bowl berth due to the brawl against rival SC, making the path to Boise clear for the Jackets. Even though the loss assurred us of not getting an east coast trip, it would have been nice to see the team in Vegas or Houston. But alas, bring your cold-weather gear.

Having said that, the team seemed to have a GREAT time there last year, so whereever they end up, best of luck to them. Congrats on another winning season and another bowl game.

Now, there is a small chance we trump North Carolina for the Tire Bowl. Personally I think that would be justice for our previous west coast trips and UNC's first opportunity for a bowl in awhile. But I give it 2% odds.

This from the Tire Bowl Website:

Ken Haines, president and CEO of Raycom Sports -

"We regret not being able to consider Clemson as an option for our Bowl. However, we fully understand and respect the actions of the University. Going forward, Georgia Tech and North Carolina remain as possibilities for the Continental Tire Bowl.”

Will Webb, executive director of the Continental Tire Bowl -

"We will be meeting with our selection committee tonight and plan on making an announcement tomorrow as to our selection for the ACC representative in this year’s Continental Tire Bowl."

Now, there is one more scenario. The Jackets turn down a trip to Boise and the ACC makes a deal with one of the other open bowl slots (of which there will probably be 4-5). Now that S.Carolina is out the SEC might have 2 open slots. The PAC 10 will likely have 4 open slots and there might be one more open as well from the Big 10. If this happens, we want to make sure not to tick of the MPC folks or we may not get a return offer in the future if it comes to that.
Here are some older bowl articles:

Think that fan support impacts Bowl Reps?
Representatives from the Champs Sports Bowl (formerly Tangerine) in Orlando were at Bobby Dodd Stadium for Saturday's game. The Champs Sports Bowl has the fourth pick among ACC teams.

They expressed disappointment at Saturday's small crowd and indicated before the game that a Tech loss would all but eliminate the Yellow Jackets from consideration for the Dec. 21 game.

The Continental Tire Bowl in Charlotte, which picks fifth, has made no secret of its desire to have North Carolina or Clemson represent the ACC in its game.

More confirmation that UNC will get chosen in the morning:
"When we first created the bowl, we had an interest that a Carolinas team would be involved," George Johnson, the Continental Tire Bowl spokesman said Saturday at Wallace Wade Stadium. "As we sit here today, we've never had one."

That leaves Johnson's committee a choice between UNC, Clemson and Georgia Tech. While he wouldn't rule out the Yellow Jackets, Johnson made it clear that the real choice is between UNC and Clemson -- but he insisted that neither team was a frontrunner.



Monday, November 22, 2004

Jackets Escape from Chicago With Win 60-59

Tonight the Jackets are FORTUNATE to leave the city of Chicago with a victory, beating U of Illinois-Chicago 60-59. Escape, squeek out, eek, edge – doesn’t matter what word you use, UIC had an excellent game plan, executed and played to our weakness. The good news is that we did get a victory and being exposed like this will give the team plenty to work on during practice.

The subplot of the night was Will Bynum's return to his hometown, where he is a "playground legend". Interesting, UIC's star player, Cedric Banks has a history against Bynum. Willie B had never beaten a C.Banks team through high school, which included 4 head-to-head contests. It almost become 5-0. It was nice to see those two guys after the game walking off the court together laughing and hugging.

Now, you have to give UIC credit. Cedric Banks really played well, consistently breaking our defenders down off the dribble and hitting shots. He ended with 23 points, 7 boards, 2 assists, 3 steals, 3 to's. A great night, but the only UIC player in double-figures. But they didn't turn the ball over a lot (12), they ran good screens, handled the ball well, and had a nice transition offense.

Let's talk about the Jackets, and I am going to focus on the areas that seem to need work, but don't want to sound too negative. We all know it is early and the team is learning to play together again and it is a different team. So with that, here are my thoughts.

1.BREAK THE ZONE. In both games, teams have decided to the play zone defense and force the Jackets to hit outside shots. Both nights we didn’t get that done. Tonight the Jackets went 4-21 from 3pt range (19%). BJ Elder went 3-10, so he was the only one coming close. To be honest, most of the time we looked lost and didn't know what to do in the half-court offense. There were a small handful of plays where the team got aggressive and found the opening in the zone and pounded the ball inside. But those times were few and far between. Mostly we either settled for a 3pt shot or turned the ball over. We have got to get more effective at our half-court sets or teams will continue to zone-up and pack'em down low. Have to make shots.

You know what - this is the same thing we were saying after 5 games last season. Paul Hewitt has this team so focused on being a defensive team that they seem weak in half-court sets. In a team profile on the "Southern Sports Show" after the game, Paul Hewitt said their goal is to be the best defensive team in the country. He even said - I'm sure those guys think about offense occasionally (laughing), but they understand that offensive opportunities come after solid defense and getting out on the break. Well, unfortunately there just hasn't been a lot of transition offense.

2.INTENSITY. This team is known for full intensity throughout the game. I thought there were stretches tonight where they didn't have it. Just a mental thing.

3.TURNOVERS. We didn't protect the ball tonight, with 19 turnovers. Jarrett Jack had 7 to's, Bynum 4, Muhammad & Schenscher 3. Just not a good night fundamentally. Coach says that he can accept mistakes due to aggressive play. However, many of those turnovers were NOT the result of intense UIC defense or aggressive GT offense. One turnover at halfcourt came when Bynum was looking back at Coach Hewitt for the play and the UIC guard pounced on the ball - direction arrow UIC. Not only that, many of the turnovers were the result of...........

4.LAZY PASSING. Boy does this one frustrate me. We start our half-court offense and cannot figure out how to break the zone, so we just pass the ball WAY out on the perimeter. And we get lazy and we lose focus. Lazy passes, No initial fake before the pass. Just look at the guy and telegraph him the ball. At one point, UIC obviously had gotten instructions to start overplaying the passing lanes way out top. And it worked, with back-to-back terrible to's. Elder throws a lazy pass that is picked off, Bynum gets careless and misses a pass that gets stolen. Frustrating, but nothing they can't fix.

Once again, this is EXACTLY the same thing we went through at times last year. And things are all interconnected. It is a result of an inability to break the zone. Last year we ended up HANDING the ball to each guy instead of passing it at times.

5.REBOUNDING. Ok, we outrebounded UIC 36-31, but this is a team about 3 inches shorter than GT at every position, and they lost their tallest guy for the last few minutes of the game. At the half I beleive we were being out-rebounded. Just basics of blocking out. I worry about this going against teams similar in size. Again, remember this was an issue last year.

Luke had 9 boards, Muhammad 7, and Jeremis Smith had 6. Smith was a bright spot and 3 of his boards were offensive. I thought Smith handled himself well, also dishing out a couple of assists. I will give him a hard time - his first collegiate shot was a brick, but hey, it's his first shot ever. To his credit he later came to the stripe and knocked down his only 2 free throws. And that's big because......

6.FREE THROWS. Wow. We struggled again. 10-18 from the stripe. Game 1 versus Al.St - 17-28. Hhhhmmmmm. That's 59% for the year. Bottom-line - we will LOSE games this season if we do not improve. But improving free throws is like herding cats - no magic way to do it. Probably more mental than anything. Bynum went 0-4 from the line. Luke hit two key FT's at the end to put us up by one, but Muhammad was 2-6 at the stripe and missed the front end of a one-and-one with 6 seconds that could have provided more than the 1 point cushon. There is one, maybe two guys I want at the line at the end of the game - #1 J.Jack #2 L.Schenscher.

7. TOUCHES FOR LUKE. There were long stretches where Luke didn't get touches, and we are more effective in the halfcourt when he touches the ball, whether he passes or shoots. With the height advantage he should have tried more shots in the post. Just didn't get the ball enough. Luke finished with 8 points on 3-5 shooting, but he also had 4 assists. So clearly, good things happen when Luke touches the ball.

8. THE FRESHMAN. Well, I mentioned Jeremis Smith, and he was the only freshman to get minutes. No Morrow, Fredrick or Dickey. Guess we are just going to have to see how things progress. I think it was clear from the start that Smith would see action, but I think some people are surprised that Dickey has not gotten any time yet. But it's early and Coach knows best. After all, the goal is winning games. I just shake my head and think - I never imagined the day where we recruit 4 top 100 kids, and not only can none of them crack the starting line-up, but they have a hard time earning minutes. Is this really GT basketball? Kidding of course. After the Cremins years I am having a hard time coming to terms with this. Of course when you have 5 seniors and a junior PG leader, that happens.

Again, these comments are not to be negative. Just observations from a tough road game in a sold-out arena. The season is early. It is a marathon, not a sprint. Hey, Louisville lost tonight, UNC the other night, UVA beat Arizona, Kansas struggled, etc. That's college hoops. Don't forget that our National Championship runner-up Jackets only finished tied for 3rd in the ACC last year.

A win is a win. And a ROAD win is about survival and grit and is even sweeter. In the end, THAT is what this team showed tonight. They held on in a tough environment and just figured out how to get it done.

Congrats to the Jackets!!!! Welcome back home and we look forward to you taking care of business against Arkansas Little-Rock this Friday. GO JACKETS!!!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Stories on the Virginia Loss


On our late season play:

The Yellow Jackets have shown a tendency to let seasons, not just quarterbacks, slip away late. Now Tech, which is 4-6 in November under Gailey, faces its stiffest test of the season, archrival Georgia. The season finale offers much the same chances Saturday's affair did. Importantly, it offers a chance to forget.


Well, Andy-Tidwell Neal shows once again that we are all putting pressure on 18 year old young men:
"If we would've gotten that touchdown, who knows what would've happened," Tidwell-Neal said. "It hurts. But we tried to keep Reggie up, tried to keep his spirits up. Because he needs to really feel like we're trying to help him out."


The article opens:
The next step, the one that has proven so elusive to the Georgia Tech football program in recent years, was out of reach again Saturday.


Al Groh on burning his freshman punter's redshirt against GT:
"Some of you guys are obsessed with this redshirt thing," Groh said. "I'm obsessed with winning. We're going to use every resource available to us to win a game. Who knows when we're going to be back in this position again? If a guy can help us win a game, hey, who knows how that game would have gone without him?"









Hoops Team Prepares for Illinois-Chicago

The first road trip to Willie Bynum's hometown. Story here.

Calvin Johnson is Looking BIG!!!!

Wow - Calvin is looking like a monster. Actually this is a graphic from the game today. I was only able to get this screen capture, but very cool anyhow:

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Game Re-Cap

Here's the official story, along with links to quotes, the stats and pictures.

AP Doesn't Let Reggie Off the Hook

Check out the AP article on the game and how the story writer treats Reggie's quote after the game:

Ball also had a fumble to go along with his two interceptions, extending a discouraging pattern for the sophomore quarterback. He hasn't shown any consistency, following up a career-best 288 yards passing last week with another turnover-plagued performance.

Ball got a little testy when the discussion turned toward his erratic play.

"What do you expect?'' he said. "We play in the toughest conference in the country. We probably have the hardest schedule in the country.''

His first point was highly debatable. His second point was downright laughable. The Yellow Jackets have only four opponents currently ranked in the Top 25.
Reggie is a 19 year old young man who has had an awful lot of negative pressure. I'd probably start getting testy at this point too.

Jackets Lose Big to Virginia

The Jackets fall to Virginia 30-10 in a game was frustrating for fans because once again, 4 Jacket turnovers led to 20 UVA points. If you really want to break it down, it is that simple. Game, set, match. The defense tried their best to keep the Cav offense in check. For the most part they did that in the first half. In the end, the Jacket offense was a more powerful weapon for UVA than for GT. Reggie Ball threw 2 INT's in the endzone and fumbled another ball on a key QB run.

Ok, what conclusions can we draw from the game?

1. Do not underestimate Virginia. They out-muscled us today. Yes, we made mistakes, but their D-Line pressured Ball most of the day, and he didn't handle it well. They are a good group and deserve some credit. M.Hagans didn't do a lot passing, but man, everytime they needed a play, he made one. How many times did the play look like it was over only to see Hagans pull something out of his rear? They are a strong, physical team and deserve some credit for coming into our house and taking this game.

2. Today we really could have used PJ Daniels. This is not a knock on R.Grant, because it was not PJ's running we needed. It was his blocking. By running Grant out for screen passes (which is ok), we lost another guy to provide pick-up blocks on the UVA blitzes. It is clear that R.Grant can be a special player. He is fast and he really has the ability to cut and make people miss. However, Daniels was missed today, plain and simple.

3. Calvin Johnson really is special. Johnson catches 5 balls for 108 yards. For once he actually caught a couple in stride. We are finally throwing more and more his way, which is what we should have been doing all along.

4. Our defense is great, but I am excited about our defense NEXT YEAR. We only lose one starter (Butler) and we have so many freshman that are getting some experience this year (Guyton, Chambers, Richard, Robertson, Anyaibe, Brown, DJay Jones, J.Lewis, Oliver, AJ Smith).

5. Reggie Ball. Where do I start? Reggie is every bit as good as last year. And Reggie is every bit as bad as last year. In other words, Reggie has not progressed much at all his sophomore season. He will make 4 good plays, then kill it with a bad one. His performance today is defined by 2 INT's and 1 key fumble. But that's 3 plays out of 67 offensive plays. It shows you how the slightest slip on just one play can cost the game. So what do we do moving forward??? Well, here's my take:

A. Let Reggie finish the season. We've ridden this horse this long, let's finish it with him. Heck, the way he plays, he's likely to pull off something special next week. But you cannot stick a true freshman in in the game in Athens for his first snaps. And at this point, there's not enough to gain by burning Bennett's redshirt.

B. Come spring, the QB job is wide open and Reggie has to earn his spot again. Nothing he can do from here on out assures him of anything. There's only 2 games left (hopefully), and even if he finishes solid, it will have been an inconsistent season. I want Bennett to get plenty of snaps on the 1st team in the spring.

C. Should Reggie earn the job next season again, then he is on a short leash. There is no protecting a freshman redshirt. Bennett comes into the game if Reggie doesn't show clear improvement.

6. Chan Gailey. Well, the debate will rage on here and on the discussion boards. The bottom-line is this - he still needs to be given at least two more seasons to show what he is trying to do with this team. And you know what - he will. Do NOT give me any crap about "conservative offense". He's got Reggie flinging balls all over the field, and it just doesn't work!!! Chan Gailey is trying to push the offense to be as aggressive as he can with the talent level we have. We just don't have a high-powered offense with enough players capable of that style. It's that simple. We are starting to put the pieces together - wide receivers and running backs look solid moving foward, the O-Line will need more depth, and again, it comes down to improvement at the QB position. I am very happy with the progress in recruiting, and ultimately that is what leads you to more wins.

I would like to see Chan Gailey bring in a real specialist who has some skills at developing QB's. Let a guy like that work with our QB's and see if we can bring more of out them in the spring and fall. Maybe even hire a talented offensive coordinator to call the plays. But as the season has progressed, I have come to realize I don't have a huge problem with Chan Gailey's play-calling. Sure, there are some I question, but for the most part I don't think he's done that bad.

7. I have one more interesting point. As the season rolls along, it looked like GT was up-and-down more than anyone in the ACC. We lose to UNC, then beat Clemson, MD and NCST on the road, 2 of which were ranked. It makes it very difficult to gauge where our team is among other ACC teams. However, I beg to differ. We should judge our play against opponents based on THEIR total body of work, not just where they WERE when we played them. If you look at it that way, it is clear where we stand in terms of ACC play and development.


#6...Georgia Tech.......4-4.....6-4

#8...win.....NC ST......3-5.....4-6
#10..dnp.....Wake For...1-5.....4-5

So there you have it. We beat the teams that finished below us in the standings and lost to all the ones who finished ahead of us. Maryland, Clemson and NCST as it turns out just weren't that good. So we are clearly middle of the pack in the ACC. And you know what. That is nothing to be ashamed of. Would you rather be Clemson or Maryland or NC ST or Wake Forest? At the end of the day our last few seasons are proving to be more consistent than many other teams. And nobody wants to hear it, but keeping our record the same could actually be considered progress because of the injuries, flunkgate and the new ACC additions of Miami / VT.

The 24 rule is in effect. That goes for fans too. Come Sunday night you better be thinking about nothing but getting ready to whoop some mutt-tail.

Hoops Re-cap of the GT Victory







From Coach Hewitt:

Said Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt: "I'll tell you how tough this league is. I asked [Tech guard] Will Bynum what was the biggest difference in the run we made to the NCAA tournament finals from the regular season, and he said, 'Coach, once we got out of the ACC, the games dropped in intensity level.' That was last year, when we didn't think the league could get any better. It has."
And who is the best NBA prospect among ACC guards?
"That's why some experts believe Jack (6-3, 205 pounds) might be the best NBA prospect among the ACC's elite trio of guards. The Georgia Tech junior with the rippling pro build blossomed for the Yellow Jackets last season, averaging 12.5 points, 5.6 assists and 4.9 rebounds and driving Tech's run to the national title game. Jack, a Fort Washington native who was primarily an off-guard in high school, is still learning the nuances of playing the point.

"He made huge strides in that regard last year," said Hewitt. "He always brought us supreme confidence and energy, which everyone around him feeds on. But by the end of last season, he was seeing the game as a point guard."

Jack's grasp of the position improved so dramatically last season that he was named MVP of the St. Louis regional after pushing Tech to its first Final Four appearance since 1990. His strength and athleticism make him virtually impossible to stop off the dribble, and pro scouts uniformly agree he has the best vision in the conference. But if Jack wants to once again be the star of St. Louis (the site of this season's Final Four) and beyond, he'll need to improve his perimeter shooting (31.6 percent from 3-point range).


Yeah right!! This story was BEFORE last night's loss to Santa Clara:
When Georgia Tech's Jarrett Jack dribbled around Rashad McCants last March to hit the winning shot in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament, it was a snapshot of what's still missing from North Carolina: smart defense, consistent communication and something harder to define -- mystique.
Which is why, despite all of the hype and hope around campus that UNC basketball "is back," men's coach Roy Williams said, "I don't know that I believe it, myself."
I guess Roy Williams is a pretty smart guy.

Prediction Thread

Once again, give me your predictions in the comment section of this post. I will keep this post at the top until gametime, so make sure to look below for new stuff.

Cavs Look to Contain Ball, Break History

Story here.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Jacket Defense Dominating in Opener

It's not how you start. It's how you finish. That is something Coach Hewitt said last year and tonight the hoops team decided to start AND finish strong. In between things were a little shaky but the Jackets got out of the gate and then closed the door on Alabama State, beating them at AMC 74-37.

The Jackets opened the game on 13-0 run, stretched the lead to 18, but then floundered a bit until the last half of the second half. Alabama St. actually got within 10 points in the 2nd half, but then the Jackets turned up the heat and ended the game on a 23-0 run. Wow.

Remember, this is just the first game. The season is a marathon, not a sprint. So we cannot take too much from just this game against clearly out-matched competition.

DEFENSE: There is no doubt the defense was the difference tonight, as the Jackets held the Hornets to 25% shooting (13-51). The tough D forced 21 turnovers, which led to 26 Jacket points (the Jacket's 12 turnovers led to zero Hornet points). The Hornets only had 6 assists the entire game. The Jackets also had 13 blocks, which surpasses their highest total last season (11). As Timmy said on the tagboard, "defense wins champsionships", and clearly this team is focused on continuing what they started last season.

REBOUNDING: Again, we don't want to take things too positively, but GT outrebounded the Hornets 51-33. That includes 19 offensive boards. Rebounding was a weakness during long stretches of last season. It was "glass-by-committee" tonight with Muhammad finishing with 10, Mario West with 9, McHenry 7, Elder 6, Tarver 6, Luke 4, Jack 4 and Bynum 1. And tonight Ra'Sean Dickey and Jeremis Smith did not play, so that is more interior strength not even in tonight's lineup. Crashing the boards more effectively would be a nice improvement in this year's team.

INDIVIDUAL RECOGNITION: Jarrett Jack led the Jackets with 20 points on 5-8 shooting (3-5 3pt). He also had 4 boards, 3 assists and 3 turnovers. We all know Jack has been working on his shot a lot over the summer and through 2 exhibition and one regular season game, it shows. If Jack really has improved his outside shot that will really add another perimeter scoring threat. We cannot take for granted the loss of Marvin Lewis and Clarence Moore from the outside............. Isma'il Muhammad ended with 9 pts (4-7), 10 boards, 1 block, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 turnovers. Quite a nice line......... Luke Schenscher had a solid outing with 8 pts (4-7), 4 boards, 3 blocks, 1 assist, 3 to's........... BJ Elder ended with 15 points but really had an off-night shooting (5-17, 2-8 3pt). However he did other things for the team, grabbing 6 boards, 3 assists and 1 steal..........Anthony McHenry was outstanding, posting a typical T-Mac stat-line - 4 points (1-4), 7 boards, 3 blocks, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 to's. Just call him the glue-man......... Will Bynum had an off-night shooting, scoring 7 (3-9, 0-3 3pt) and had 1 board, 3 assists, 3 steals and 1 to.

PLEASANT SURPRISES: Theodis Tarver scores 4 pts (2-6), but had 6 boards (4 offensive), 6 blocks, 1 steal and 0 to's. It is nice to see him step up. I really want to see that young man develop and blossom. It would add so much to this team........ Mario West, are you kidding me?? In 13 minutes he scores 4 points (1-1), grabs 9 boards (4 off), 1 assist, 1 steal and 0 to's. Outstanding!!!!

THE FRESHMAN: Well, a bit of a disappointment. Buck Fredrick plays 8 minutes, scores 3 (1-3), although his bucket was a very nice drive and up-and-under hoop. He also had 1 assist.........Anthony Morrow plays 6 minutes and goes 0-2............ The real mystery - why didn't Ra'Sean Dickey play at all??? I'm sure we'll hear more about this. But there has been no report about an injury or suspension. So we'll just have to wait......... Jeremis Smith was held out due to a leg injury, but is expected to play on Monday night.

THINGS TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT: Free throw shooting. 17-28 from the line (61%). This is one of those areas that always seems to plague the Jackets. They just have to do better. But how the heck do you get kids to improve? It's one of those mysteries............. The other area is the general offense. We ended the game 41% from the field and only 25% from 3pt range. Of course Elder and Bynum were a combined 8-26 from the field. Outside of those two, shooting was solid. Of course look how we are talking about. Bynum and Elder are streak shooters, so I'm afraid this will be a pattern throughout the year.

WHO GOT THE MINUTES: Here's how the playing time went:

Remember, Smith and Dickey didn't play tonight.

COMMENTS FROM THE COACH: I caught the post-game show. Coach Hewitt said that the defense is playing to its capability, but the offense missed a lot of easy opportunities. Free throw shooting needs work....... We will continue to see a lot of zone defense against us unless we start hitting more perimeter shots. BJ was 1-9 in the first half. Alabama St. stayed in the zone and it worked until the 2nd half when they started finding holes and getting the ball down low...... We will need to change our press. We used the "22" the whole time. It is kind of liking facing a 90 mph fastball every time. Pretty soon it doesn't look so fast anymore. So we'll have to change that up some...... There are 6 guys worthy of being a starter and Bynum will get the start on Monday in front of his hometown crowd in Chi-town...... Isma'il is showing that he can also play the 4-spot, which will help us. He is physical enough not to get pushed around underneath........ When Jeremis Smith gets back, what he will really bring is some outside shooting, but also another guy who can feed Luke from the high-post position, along with A.McHenry......... Wes Durham said that evidently they are deparate for tickets to Monday's game. They cannot find enough. Expect standing room only.

CONCLUSION: Hey, it's basketball season, we're ranked in the top 5, we have tons of experience and tons of talent and the best team chemistry in the nation. Our defense is stifling and other areas of our game appear to be improved. We just crushed our opponent by doubling their score. Life is good. GO JACKETS!!!!!

Curt Shilling Gives Jason Varitek Props

Shilling was on the "Best Damn Sports Show" the other night. He was asked

"There are a lot of free agents on the Red Sox. If there was only one guy you HAD to sign, who would it be?"
His answer (losely paraphared):
"Varitek. No doubt. He's the guy. What he means to this team cannot be overstated. No matter how much money he ends up making, he will ALWAYS be worth more for what he does."

The Fridge Frustrated

Story here. This was his comment after getting thumped by VaTech:

"Obviously, I'm not reaching these kids,'' coach Ralph Friedgen said. "I just have to sit back and re-evaluate everything. I can tell you what -- I'm not very good at this.

"You won't see me around here a whole long time if we do this a whole lot. They won't have to fire me. I'll quit.''

Volleyball: Jackets lose in their first match...

...of the ACC Tourney. Wow, you go without a loss during the entire ACC slate, and have a 21-match winning streak. Then you come to the ACC Tourney, where stakes go up, and POW!! Taken out by Clemson. This is the 8th straight year the #1 seed will not win the tourney. Last year GT was also #1 and lost to Maryland in the finals. Wow, this has to be disappointing. Do you think Clemson fans even know??? Story here.