Sunday, January 30, 2005

Back to the losing ways

The Jackets lose an uninspired road against against Maryland 79-70 tonight. Here's the quick summary - no time for more:

1. Rebounding - not great. Outrebounded 48-39. Luke grabs 10 boards, but they let Travis Garrison grab 15 boards for MD.

2. Defense - not great. MD shoots 45% from the floor and 33% from 3pt range, but once again, they had a lot of open shots. For some reason Nick Caner-Medley had a bunch of open shots to start the game..... and he hits them. A lot of defensive breakdowns all game. Just not a typical Jacket defensive game.

3. Offense - not great. Jackets shoot 35% from the floor and 20% from 3pt range. Terrible execution in crunch time at the end of the game when we actually had a chance to tie up the game. Shooting from the outside was terrible. Bynum goes 3-12, Jack 3-14, Morrow 1-7, Isma'il 4-17 (and many were from the outside). By the way - shooting inside was poor also. How many lay-ups can one team miss. Just another in a long line of poor shooting in road games.

4. Road Woes - Well, we have still only managed 1 road win - a 1-pt squeeker to UIC. After that nothing but losses.

5. Assists. The team has 9 assists on the night with 26 field goals - terrible. In our 6 losses, Jarrett Jack has a total of 18 assists. That's 3 per game.

6. I'll give you a bright side. For 2 games in a row the Jackets have shot free throws well. Tonight 15-18 from the stripe. Isma'il was 7-7. Think about that - he was better at the line tonight than he was from the floor by far.

Combine poor rebounding, poor defense, poor offense, poor ball distribution and I actually wonder how we kept this game to 9 points. So now the road monkey gets bigger for the Jackets. I will remind fans that we are never as bad as you might think we are, and we never as good as you think we are. Don't let your emotions drop into the tanks. GT has a VERY legit shot at winning 4 of the next 5 games. Of course we better start winning soon.....

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Recruiting - Football

More good news over the last few days. First, I broke the story over a week ago, that UNC commit Jason Hill (6'5" 247lb OL) might decommit and the Jackets were in the running. Well, evidently his teammate was very convincing (GT WR recruit Greg Smith). Story here. He will be joining the Jackets. I like Smith's comment - sounds like a confident guy:

"With our class, it's all about players that are underrated," Smith said. "We don't have 5-stars or [AJC] Super Southern 100s. We're going to have to go in and prove we're the truth."

In addition, GT received a verbal commitment from OL 6'4" 285lb Dan Voss, considered one of the best prospects in the Philly area. Voss scored a 1350 on his SAT.

I do believe that brings the total number of commits to 18 (not including transfer Tashard Choice or Riles).

Ever wondered about the details of National Letter-of-Intents? Heres L.O.I 101.

Hoops Notes

1. On a recruiting note, 2006 recruit Javaris Crittenton and 2007 big-man prospect Gani Lawal were at the Wake Forest game. Javaris is a 6'4" Point Guard in the mold of that Coach Hewitt likes and is believed to be favoring GT......... Here's a story about Cliff Darrell, the next big man to come out of Texas, following Chris Bosh and Lamarcus Aldridge...... While I have no info that GT is involved with him, there is mention of George Raveling seeing him in 7th grade. Of course Raveling and Paul Hewitt are close friends. So you never know....

2. Jackets finally seeing things fall into place..... It's funny. People have said it here this week - the difference between winning and losing is a fragile thing. It's a fine thread. If Anthony Morrow hits just one shot against VaTech, maybe we win that game. We almost threw away the game against WF with that break-away intentional foul. It's a fine line.

3. Momentum. Hard to get. Hard to keep....unless of course it is losing. Then it seems you cannot shake it. How many people were ready to write off GT to the NIT tourney after the 3 losses, and how many now are ready to pencil us in to the Sweet 16 again? The truth is that we are never as good or as bad as we think. It's our emotions that swing all over the place.

4. Eric Williams is a tall order..... That kid is playing like a star for WF. All the talk was Chris Paul, but it was Williams who single-handedly kept WF in that game. Major props to EW. We were lucky that he had to come out in OT. Lucky..... More on Williams....

5. Team's confidence coming back...... Nice to see.

6. Slowing down Chris Paul was a team effort. Of course, it's the same formula we've used in all 3 games against him. It will be interesting to see how other teams try and stop him.....More on Chris Paul....... A Whacky week in the ACC.... How does Herb Sendek keep his job?...... When will Pete Gillen lose his?

7. Last season, Coach Hewitt lobbied to make sure refs understood that Luke Schenscher was getting a disproportionate number of personal fouls. It worked. Guess what - he's making his point again - only this time with Jarrett Jack:

"I think Jarrett Jack is an outstanding player," Hewitt said. "I'm not sure that when a player as good as Jarrett does some of the things he does, like getting knocked off balance or stumbling, I'm just not sure he's doing that all on his own.

"I'd just like to see a kid who has established himself as one of the better players in the league be treated as such. Chris Paul is a great player. But when Jarrett takes a shot and it hits the side of the backboard, he's too good for that. When he's dribbling the ball in the middle of the floor and falls down, I've got to think something is there."

8. Where are they now - Kenny Anderson, entered Friday night's game needing only 7 field goals to reach 4000 for his career. Anderson is in his 12th year in the NBA...

9. Terps return home to face GT. By the way, with Maryland's last victory over Duke, Gary Williams passed Bobby Cremins on the all-time list for ACC wins by a head coach. He now has 135......... More on the match-up, including the fact that both teams are coming off wins over top 5 ranked teams....

10. Is it really time to start talking bubble teams? MSNBC asks that question.

11. The team headed to Maryland one day early to beat the ice storm. Turned out to be a good move.

Friday, January 28, 2005

GT "Self-fixes" NCAA Penalty

Looks like the issue of academically ineligible players will be settled soon, as it seems GT and the NCAA agree on what happened and nothing more serious has been found. Link here. Not over yet, but looks "90% sure".

Stories from the Game

Well, I had a great night sleep. Here are a few more notes from the game and some game re-caps:

1. ESPN Top 10 Plays-of-the-Day - GT had #8 (Bynum to Jack to Ish for the reverse lay-in), and #5 (Ish soars from nowhere to throw back the missed shot).

2. Sports is about match-ups and sometimes certain teams or certain players just do not match up well. Chris Paul is now a combined 4-23 from the field in his career against the Jackets. He finished last night 2-11. Of course it works the other way - witness our troubles against NCST.

3. It is worth bringing up that Coach Hewitt was quoted as saying he was pleasantly surprised after watching game film against VaTech. Personally, I thought he was smoking some whacky weed, as did some of my friends, who sent me personal notes. But once again, Coach Hewitt proves that he knows this team better than anyone. When he says we're playing well (but we are losing), I am starting to think we should believe him. When we are winning and he says we are not doing the things we need to do to be successful, I think I'll start believing him. Most of the time I think this is about keeping your team on an even keel. Don't let them get too up or too down. Maybe he's just flat out being honest. Go figure.

4. On TV, it sounded like AMC was really rockin' (at least most of the night). THAT is the kind of support this team deserves. Great show from the local fans!!!

5. Will Bynum has scored 58 points in the last two games. We won one and lost one. The real difference imo - passing. 19 assists is good and an indication we were distributing the ball well most of the time. I still come back to Jack being the difference. Not his scoring, but getting his team involved. He did it last night.

6. How tired will these guys be playing at Maryland on Sunday? Jack and Bynum both log 40+ minutes, McHenry 38 and Ish 32. Luke ought to be well-rested with only 19 minutes.

7. I have to say this - the ACC referees last night were bad. Not bad in that we got "jobbed". Just bad all around. Bad both ways. Ironically, it wasn't Ted Valentine who was the worst on the floor.

8. There were 17 NBA scouts sitting courtside to witness this game, including 4 from the Atlanta Hawks.

9. After the game, Coach Hewitt took blame for the team not handling E.Williams. He said he was guilty of not preparing the team enough to handle him. He said he did have a strategy to use, but he didn't tell the team about it until halftime. It was a semi-humorous moment.


Well this box score differs from the one at Yahoo - it shows we DID out-rebound WF 37-35.


Interesting comment from Skip Prosser about Coach Hewitt:

Wake coach Skip Prosser didn't need Thursday night's loss to teach him that lesson.

"Last year when they'd lose a game, he kept telling his team, telling us, telling everybody else who would listen, we're a good team and they'd continue to be good," Prosser said before the game. "He knows they're a good team. People who know basketball are aware they are a good team."


Leave it to our "friends" at AJC to focus on "WF losing" as opposed to "GT Winning" in the headline for the game.












Georgia Tech at Maryland (Sunday):
What it means: Both teams have struggled lately, though the Terrapins stopped the bleeding with a critical victory Wednesday at Duke. The Yellow Jackets had been slumping heading into Thursday's game against Wake Forest, losing three in a row. Maryland, which had lost three of five before the impressive win at Duke, fell to North Carolina State by 16 in its last home game and would like to string some wins together to improve its postseason credentials.

What to watch for: Georgia Tech is still learning how to get along without senior guard B.J. Elder, the team's second-leading scorer who has missed six games with a hamstring injury that has corresponded with the Jackets' slump. The Terps have struggled at times defensively and need to step it up on that end with sophomore stopper D.J. Strawberry (knee ligament) lost for the season.

A nice comment on the former GT standout:

If the NBA gave out an under-the-radar award to the best player getting minimal attention, Raptors forward Chris Bosh would be the man. He's the same spectacular athlete he was at Georgia Tech, with a lot more game. He and Bobcats rookie Emeka Okafor could be the best big men in the East within three years.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Take a Breath Please.....

.... just the absolute best ACC game of the season. Jackets beat Wake Forest 102-101. That's right, the Jackets give up 101 points AND WIN!!!! I don't have time to go through all my thoughts, but suffice it to say this is the type game this team needed. Contributions all-around, a real team effort, a battle. Wow. One for the ages. So many outstanding performances - Jack, Bynum, Ish, Morrow, Dickey, McHenry, etc..... It took everyone.

1. Free Throws. Jackets shoot 31-38 from the line, which includes 2 J.Jack misses in OT. Very impressive

2. GT shoots 54.5% from the field and 43% from long distance. Bynum was on fire again early, and Morrow hit some good momentum shots in the 1st half. Jack goes 7-11, scores 23, Bynum drops 30, Ish has 17 and Morrow gets 11 (all in the 1st half).

3. Interestingly, GT is outrebounded 33-32 and still wins. Combine that with the 70+ points we gave up and this was a real crazy win.

4. Fouls - 53 of them between these teams. E.Williams was a one-man wrecking crew, dominating our inside guys. Didn't matter how many of them defended - he either got the hoop or the foul, and sometimes both. He ends with 27 points and has to leave with cramps....thank goodness!! West fouls out, Luke has 4, Dickey has 4, Morrow has 4, Ish and T-Mac have 3 - should I go on.

5. Injuries. T-Mac and Ish fights cramps.

6. I have to give major props to Ish. The guy just made some bigtime plays tonight. He really was the man. He ends with 17 pts (7-11), 3 boards - one of which was super-critical - an offensive board and assist to Luke for a dunk - 2 steals, not to mention 6 assists. He just made so many good plays and man did he have another ESPN top 10 play. A Jack 3pt miss bounces up and he comes out of nowhere to throw it back down. You have to see it to understand it.

7. Dickey and Morrow play well. Dickey gets 8 minutes, 5 pts, 5 boards, but he gets into foul trouble which limits his minutes. Morrow hits some big shots early, going 4-6 from the field. I tell you, Morrow just has a beautiful stroke and it's quick.

8. In the end, Jarrett Jack proves why he is the team leader. He plays 43 minutes and has fresh enough legs to drain two critical free throws in the end. I don't care how much guys like Paul and Felton get hyped, I'll take Jack everyday of the week and Sunday. Tonight he did a better job involving the team. He took the ball to the hoop when the time was right and just would not let this team lose. Great outing.

Sweet dreams to all!!! GO JACKETS!!!!

Michael Lough on Sports Fans in ATL

Interesting comments:

I like that some Philadelphia players shed tears.

And I've never seen one sporting event so grip a city as that game did, unifying a few million people. In the airport Monday, the joy was genuine and far-reaching, more than anything I've ever seen. Ditto the vibe wafting through the cold at Lincoln Financial Field.

I've never had that feeling at an Atlanta sporting event, but Atlanta has rarely been known as much more than a quality place to have sporting events. The Falcons-Rams game was not filled to capacity, the Braves have empty seats during the World Series, and the city hasn't come anywhere near adopting Georgia Tech.

It's hard to get goose bumps - regardless of the temperature - in the ATL.

That said, it will be interesting to see the city, region and state continue to grow as Falcon Nation.

Speaking of Recruiting at GT...

...check out these quotes from former lady hoops coach Agnes Berenato:

"It became a home, and I thought that either I would retire there, I would die there or I'd get fired there. I loved Georgia Tech, I loved Atlanta," she said.

But as much as she loved Georgia Tech, she also acknowledged some difficulties the school presented with recruiting.

"I believed in the education of Georgia Tech, but it is a technical institute, so it's very, very, very difficult to recruit. The average SATs are phenomenal, and the choice of majors is very limited," she said about her former school.

"It taught me a different way of coaching, I became a technical coach. Everything was angles ... You'd say to a kid on the free-throw line to follow through, and they'd say, 'How many spins do you want on the ball?'"

200% Wrong Club

This seems strange to me, but some banquet that appears to have a bunch of athletes honored in the ATL area. Maybe you know more than I do. Link here.

Where are they now - James Butler

I have yet to find a good tidbit about James Butler's practice sessions for the Senior Bowl. Evidently he got beat by a QB playing WR on a 40-yard pass from David Greene. Link here.

Softball - Nationally Ranked

GT comes in at #23 in the USA Today / NFCA pre-season softball poll. Link here.

Hoops Notes

The GT signee has missed most of this season with an injury, but is back now and learning to play again with his mates.

'It's hard to lose someone like D'Andre and not have it hurt you in terms of scoring,' Paleno said. 'But in his absence other guys have had to step up and they will have to keep doing that because D'Andre still is not 00 percent. We haven't broken 70 points all year.'

Bell, who has signed with Georgia Tech, averaged 25.5 points, 11.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists last season. He put the game away with a steal and a fast-break layup that gave Pali a 61-53 lead with 1:23 left.

Why is it that the Atlanta Journal Constitution writers do more research and more work writing about Georgia Tech's opponents than Georgia Tech???? This is a very nice article about Chris Paul by AJC writer Jack Wilkinson.

Well, duhhh.. One thing in the article is dead-on - the guy most capable of "being" BJ Elder in terms of contribution is Anthony Morrow, but he has disappeared in our losses and stepped up in our wins.







Interesting story about Chris Bosh's high school teammate and the most highly touted on that team and his struggles at SMU.

Speaking of Chris Bosh....

2. Chris Bosh, Toronto Raptors
Welcome the next up-and-coming '4' to your fantasy leagues. In the month of January, Bosh has absolutely dominated the competition with averages of 19.5 PPG, 11.5 RPG, and 2.0 BPG. If the former Georgia Tech star has a few down games, look to quickly make a deal for him. If you're in a keeper league and have yet to inquire about Bosh, you're really missing out. He's a 10-time All-Star in the making. GM Rob Babcock has made it no secret that Bosh is the team's centerpiece for the future.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Beesball Rankings

The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason Division I Poll is out and GT is in the #11 spot.

GT Lady Two-Sport Star?

Four year Volleyball standout Lauren Sauer is going to join the hoops team. Of course at 6'4" she might really be useful. She's going to start playing immediately and will have one more year of eligibility after this season. Story here.

The Latest on Jeremis Smith

Evidently Coach Hewitt reported (I think on local ATL radio) that Jeremis Smith is unlikely to play again this season unless something unforeseeable occurs. He said he was nowhere near ready to play again. I did not hear the comments myself, but that is the summary of comments as communicated over at the Hive. Certainly not good for the Jackets or Smith.

Want to know why it's hard to compete??

Because colleges cheat, that's why. When schools are paying money to influence high school coaches to get their players to commit to their college, how do you compete with that????

The schools being thrown around in this article? None-other than our step-brothers in Athens, Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Michigan State and Arkansas. As for Georgia, here's the deal:

A former high school coach testified that three SEC schools, including the University of Georgia, paid him money for his top football player.

Lynn Lang said former Georgia head coach Jim Donnan gave $700 "out of his pocket" for work at a camp. He added that Bill Harper, a Georgia booster from Memphis, sent him a $100 bill in an envelope.

In testimony Tuesday in U.S. District Court, Lang said Alabama paid him money to steer Means to the school along with Kentucky and Georgia. He also testified that Tennessee, Mississippi, Michigan State and Arkansas offered money for Means but never paid.

The story is not a new one. This is the story that was the downfall of Alabama. However, the payoffs from Donnan and a UGA booster is new information. It will be interesting to see if any new sactions come down on the mutts. With the current hoops problem, could they encounter the dreaded "death penalty"? Guess we'll find out more in the coming weeks and months.

Don't talk to me about Georgia Tech not recruiting with the big boys. If this is the crap you have to do to get the top players, then screw it. I don't want any part of it. I want to sleep at night. I want to have pride in the institution that I gave 5 years of blood, sweat and tears. I will accept toiling in the middle of the pack with an occasional rise to greatness if it means we can maintain our dignity and pride.

Georgia Tech has a hard enough time competing with the big schools due to the academic rigor. It is an insult to think that we also could compete with payoffs, jobs for athletes, jobs for parents, cars, houses, pushing athletes to zero-value classes, etc. How could we? Well, we have proven that every so often we can compete at the highest level and in between we can be a solid competitive team. But year-in year-out top 10 - NO WAY!!

More often than not, the cream of the crop recruits will go to Ohio State, USC, Okl, etc instead of Georgia Tech, even in the face of questionable behaviors. Why? For some the lure of illegal money or illegal jobs will be enticing. Some will just have NFL stars in their eyes, and think that the "football factories" will be more effective at sending them to the NFL. What they don't realize is that they're wrong. If you are "a playa", you will get to the NFL regardless of where you played your ball. They will find you. Just ask Jerry Rice or Ben Rothloisberger. There are thousands of examples in the history of the NFL. Just this past season, GT send 6-8 players to the NFL. If you are a real player, it doesn't matter. They will find YOU.

Why do those top schools send more players to the NFL? It is not because of TV exposure. It is not because they develop players more effectively. It is not because they are in a better conference (we can say that now). It is because they recruit better players. If you recruit more talented high school players, you'll send more to the NFL. That's how you become a "football factory".

Of course, the risk is that guys will never get their shot to shine because they are playing 2nd / 3rd string to other more talented guys. But that's a risk many are willing to take, because of course they ALL think they are the best and that they will ALL play in the big leagues. Ask Maurice Clarett or Sammy Maldanado their opinion on the value of the education they were given.

So when we re-cap the recruiting class, let's not complain and moan. Let's celebrate. Let's celebrate the 20-21 kids who were given an opportunity to wear the white and gold and took it. Let's get past "stars" and rankings. Let's celebrate those kids who WANT to be here and bee proud!!! Let's cheer them on and watch them develop.......and win!! Because they will.

Where are they now - Anthony Hargrove

Better late than never......More on the former Jacket football standout. Very cool articles about the Rams DE starter who will be back in ATL this weekend as his Rams face the Falcons Saturday night.






Recruiting - Football

Some random notes from the world of recruiting.......Evidently the AP thinks GT had a "woeful" start to recruiting. A bit overdramatic if you ask me.......This on Will Miller.......

Will Miller, a 6-foot-4, 260-pound offensive lineman out of Cherokee County High School, has switched from the Blazers to Georgia Tech.

"Georgia Tech is where I've wanted to go from the beginning," Miller said. "I decided to switch."

Miller said he has informed UAB coaches of his decision.

He plans on visiting Georgia Tech this weekend.

QB's switching committments is not unique to Jonathan Garner...

In the "laugher" quote of the day, check out the comments from George O'Leary's latest QB recruit:

Dynamic as he was diminutive, Joe Hamilton started four years at quarterback for Georgia Tech, amassing 10,640 yards of total offense and throwing for 65 touchdowns.

So the fact Central Florida football coach George O'Leary sees a whole lot of Hamilton in Southeast High senior Marquel Neasman should be taken as nothing less than a robust compliment.

Neasman appreciates the thought but prefers to embrace their differences.

"I'm bigger than Joe Hamilton," said Neasman, who on Monday committed to play for O'Leary, the former Georgia Tech coach, at UCF. "I have a better arm than he did coming in, and I think I bring more to the table as far as intangibles, things you can't teach. Like leadership."

This tells me one thing - that George O'Leary TOLD HIM all that stuff. Obviously it worked - he's signing with UCF.......O'Leary is evidently having a good recruiting year.......... Could GT pick up a Defensive End recruit who has already committed to North Carolina?

North Carolina could lose another player from its class, which would bring its total of defections to four. Jason Hill, a 6-5, 260-pound defensive lineman from Atlanta, said that he has not heard from North Carolina's coaches and doesn't know where he stands in the recruiting class.

Hill was to have visited North Carolina last weekend but didn't. The assistant who recruited him, Gunter Brewer, left the staff to join the Oklahoma State staff. Hill visited Oklahoma State last weekend.

He is also considering UAB, Georgia Tech and East Carolina. He said that he still wants to play for North Carolina but has no idea if he will be signed.

In recruiting to the NFL, a tidbit about Kyle Wallace and his recruiting days with Auburn senior Danny Lindsey:

Lindsey was the only Auburn player in the all-star game, but he did run into someone he knew from prior to his days at Auburn. “Kyle Wallace from Georgia Tech was there,” Lindsey says. “I ran into him when we were being recruited. It seemed like we were always taking the same visits. It was pretty weird we ended up in the same all-star game.”

GT vs Wake Forest






Someone over at Stingtalk found this link. This site was in Spanish, so I ran it through the google tranlator. Not exactly a perfect translation. How about this:

It was recruited by the Technological one of Georgia (Georgia Tech) in season 1996-97...........Like the only player in the painting of its equipment, the year was victim of double marks throughout.
In its last season in the NCAA the 2000-2001 played 23 parties and divided equally 20,9 minutes, 8,3 points, 5,4 bounces, 0,7 blockades...

Huh, only 0.7 "blockades" - wonder if the Spanish Armada is involved?

Joe D'Alessandris & Charles Martin

Charles Martin, the former Green Bay defensive end who body-slammed Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon into the turf and ended his season in 1986, has died. He was 46.

Martin, who was from Canton, Ga., and played for the Packers, Houston Oilers and Atlanta Falcons during his five-year NFL career, died Sunday at Memorial Southwest Hospital in Houston, a hospital spokesman said.

"He probably died from complications of his renal (kidney) disease," Dr. Charles Aramburo, Martin's surgeon, told Houston television station KRIV on Tuesday. "We are still waiting for the results from the autopsy which will be definitive."

The link with our current assistant coach?

Joe D'Alessandris, known to his teams as "Coach D," was a coach at Western Carolina when Martin joined the team. When D'Alessandris was offered a full-time position at Livingston, Martin was the first player he recruited.

"What a sensational man. I was fortunate to be able to be around Charles," said D'Alessandris, now a coach at Georgia Tech. "He rubbed off on us and we rubbed off on him."

Football: GT upsets FSU... the 3rd Round of the Southern Region fictional football playoff system. Here's how they did it:

No. 9 Georgia Tech 20 ... No. 4 Florida State 13
Georgia Tech RB P.J. Daniels ran for a 19-yard touchdown with 1:32 to play to overcome a shaky performance from QB Reggie Ball and four turnovers. Florida State's offense struggled as well turning it over three times and failing to do much with the passing game, but Leon Washington was able to run for a nine-yard score and Lorenzo Booker tore off runs of 48 and 33 yards leading to two Xavier Beitia field goals including a 34 yarder to tie the score before Tech's final drive. While Ball had a tough day throwing three interceptions, he also threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson and scrambled for a 22-yard third-and-11 run on the final drive. FSU's last gasp drive stalled at its own 41.
Player of the Game - Georgia Tech RB P.J. Daniels ran 25 times for 110 yards and a touchdown

Fun Stat - Penalties: Florida State 10 for 133 yards - Georgia Tech 1 for 5

4th Round - No. 9 Georgia Tech at No. 1 Auburn

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Where are they now - James Butler

James is not impressing scouts in his early practices for the Senior Bowl:

Safety prospect James Butler had a hesitation to his game and did not appear confident on the field. Butler, out of Georgia Tech, was slow in providing help over the top and even lackluster in some of pursuit of the ball carrier. It appeared that he was not as focused as he could have been in this ever important start to the week.

Elder Out Another 2 Weeks

BJ Elder tweaked his hamstring in practice and will miss another 2 weeks. So the grand mystery of Elder's real value to this team will continue to be put to the test. Story here. Evidently Coach Hewitt was more encouraged than I was watching game-film from the VaTech game:

Hewitt's frustration over the 70-69 loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday diminished slightly after he saw positive signs on the game tape. But he acknowledged that center Luke Schenscher is "capable of better" after scoring four points in 19 minutes against the Hokies. The coaching staff also has encouraged point guard Jarrett Jack to attack the basket more because opponents have keyed on him around the perimeter.

Here's more on the hammy from Macon Telegraph. And yet more from Adam Van Brimmer......The Wake Forest media has picked up on Elder also....... And here are some notes from AJC - time to panic?

Meanwhile, there is whining going on about upsets:

Charlotte head coach Bobby Lutz said there's a double standard when C-USA is compared to some of the bigger name conferences by the national media. Lutz's evidence: Virginia Tech's win over Georgia Tech.

"When Virginia Tech beats somebody it's a great league," said Lutz. "When we have an upset, they say the teams at the top aren't as good. It's a double standard."

C-USA is a combined 15-22 vs. the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC this season.

GT "Stock" is falling in the media, as we all know:

Falling stock

Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets have a built-in excuse -- they've been without guard B.J. Elder (hamstring) for most of January. But a team as talented as Georgia Tech should be able to overcome the loss of a single player, even one as talented and valuable as Elder. A Final Four team last season, the Yellow Jackets have lost three consecutive games and four of their past six to drop to 11-5 overall. Saturday's loss at home to Virginia Tech was stunning.

Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics were practicing at AMC:

The Celts worked out on Georgia Tech's home floor. It's the first NBA gym The Pistol called home -- Pete Maravich and the Hawks played there while The Omni was being built. After practice the C's headed to Charlotte.

I wonder if Jarrett Jack added a few names to his roledex?

Meanwhile, this on Bobby Cremins and Stephon Marbury, in a discussion about an upcoming book on Sebastian Telfair:

AS: So Pitino really didn’t think Telfair was going to go to the NBA? He didn’t recruit him just to have the name “Louisville” written next to every mention of Telfair’s name?

IO: It’s easy for me to say, but at the beginning of the year, Sebastian’s heart was on the NBA. I’d be surprised if Rick didn’t know that. In talking to Pitino, when they played on ESPN2 – they played at Fordham – and Pitino said he was “95 percent sure” Telfair would play one season at Louisville.

There was some upside. A lot of publicity came out of it. I just don’t think you pour that much energy and time into recruiting knowing the kid won’t play a single second. Interestingly, Bobby Cremins has said that amount of the time he poured into recruiting Stephon Marbury to Georgia Tech just to have him one year, it wasn’t worth it. He said the program never fully recovered.

In the "Where are they now", a good article on Matt Harpring. It's about his stock picking prowess. This is interesting:

But Harpring's considerable portfolio is handled by a professional now - a former roommate from the Georgia Tech basketball team, actually - while the seventh-year forward studies game tapes, not earnings reports.

Wonder who that might be???

On the recruiting front, this 7'2" kid, Jared Carter, obviously is still learning about the recruiting "game".

Carter, who wasn't ranked among the state's top 20 players in The Courier-Journal's preseason poll of coaches, averages 15.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and 7.1 blocks.

"He still can't believe people are recruiting him like this," Hicks said. "Georgia Tech called, and he said, `Coach, should I talk to them?' and I was like `Well, yes, Jared. It is Georgia Tech.' He just can't believe all of this."

If you remember, Luke Schenscher was beat out for the Australian Olympic team by Utah center Andrew Bogut. Well, it looks as if they may have made the right choice, based on this year's play (from

SI Player of the Week
Andrew Bogut, Utah. Utah (16-3) has quietly won 11 games in a row. Bogut has not-so-quietly turned into one of the most dominant players in the country. Last week, the 7-foot Australian torched Colorado State for 25 points and 18 rebounds, followed by a 24-point, 20-rebound effort against New Mexico. It's been that way all year for the sophomore center, who's averaging 19.7 points and 12.3 rebounds (including 20 and 10 against Arizona, 23 and 12 against Washington) and generating talk of an NBA lottery selection come spring. Bogut was the Mountain West freshman of the year last season but clearly has taken his game to another level. In a Salt Lake Tribune feature on Bogut, he credited the confidence he gained playing for Australia in last summer's Olympic Games as well as new head coach Ray Giacoletti's guidance.

Over at again, Seth Davis is picking on Luke even more:

I'm sorry to keep picking on Luke Schenscher, but the 7-foot-1 senior center had a measly four points and four rebounds in Georgia Tech's loss at home to Virginia Tech on Saturday. This team can't get B.J. Elder back soon enough -- hopefully in time for Thursday's home date with Wake Forest.

To make you feel better, Davis went on to say this about Randolph Morris:

Kentucky is likely to go undefeated in the SEC, but the Wildcats need a lot more scoring punch from freshman center Randolph Morris if they want to reach St. Louis. Morris played just six minutes in last Wedneday's almost-loss at Ole Miss, and had had just two rebounds in 18 minutes against LSU on Saturday. Morris' biggest problem is his lack of conditioning.

Recruiting - Football

Word is now that Michael Johnson, Taalib Tucker and Anthony Barnes are all 100% solid to GT. Here's AJC's mention of our latest verbals....... Here's AJC's list of commits...... Here's the Rivals listing....... Here's the listing......Here's a free interview with Jake Blackwood, son of former NFL "Killer B's"...

Monday, January 24, 2005

James Butler - Diamond in the Rough looks at recruiting - in particular those guys who were not highly sought after but managed to make a name for themselves in college:

13. S James Butler, Georgia Tech – Playing at Bainbridge (Ga.) High, Butler made local headlines, but never created a national buzz like an Ahmad Carroll or Marlin Jackson. He was a nice prospect, who wouldn’t have caused a furor in Atlanta had he not become a star. However, after two pedestrian seasons as a backup, he began approaching stardom with a breakout year in 2003, and proved it was no fluke with another great season in 2004. Butler ended both years by being named to the All-ACC first team.

Recruiting - Football

Another story on Vance Walker - an interview with his mom.

Recruiting - Football

What goes around comes around. We have Antonio Jones de-commit and go to Baylor, Todd Walker to Texas Tech and Marvin Sapp to SC. Well, the shoe's on the other foot now.

We know we got Jonathan Garner (from Florida), Trey Dunmon (from Ole Miss), Martin Frierson (from Notre Dame), and now the Jackets add two more recruits (offensive lineman) who were previously committed to other schools - OL Will Miller, 6'5" 268 (from UAB) and OL 6'5" 260lb Cordero Howard (from Louisville). I'll have more on these guys later. Neither was highly recruited by the big major schools, but the O-Line is a position that can be developed more effectively than most.

In addition, safety Jake Blackwood has committed. He has some NFL bloodlines which I will cover later when I can get to it.

So it appears we have 17 committments:

2....quarterbacks (one is walk-on)
2....wide receivers
1....tight end
4....offensive lineman

1....defensive tackle
1....defensive end

One note of interest - this will be a fairly TALL class. I show only one guy committed that is less than 6' tall - Jahi Word-Daniel, at 5'11".

In terms of needs, it is glaring that there is no running back, but remember that T.Choice will be joining the team as a transfer and of course we already have some solid depth here for the next couple of years. You might also notice the lack of verbals for the D-Line. My guess is that this is a focus for some of the remaining 'ships. However, also remember that last year may have been the best D-Line class in GT history.

Adding Insult to Injury

This writer thinks he has found a very interesting fact about VaTech's victory over GT:

Virginia Tech won at Georgia Tech, 70-69. It was 23 years and, by my count, at least three conferences ago, when V-Tech last beat a ranked team on the road. Since it won at Louisville on Jan. 23, 1982, I remember V-Tech being in the Metro, A-10, Big East and now Atlantic Coast Conference.

It is one thing for VT to win the ACC football championship in its first year. What is it doing winning basketball games? Didn't anybody tell the Hokies they have no shot in the ACC?

Evidently the folks at ESPN caught this fact as well:

Virginia Tech's Seth Greenberg (18). His Hokies figured to be utter road kill in their first ACC season, yet they're currently riding a three-game league winning streak. Granted, the three wins are by a total of four points, so they're living right, but any underdog that can beat Georgia Tech on its home floor deserves some love from The Minutes. It was Virginia Tech's first road win over a ranked team in 23 years.

Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt (19) gets the equal and opposite reaction from Greenberg. His Yellow Jackets have now lost three straight, and B.J. Elder's injury is not a valid enough excuse for that.

Meanwhile, Boston College has turned their loss to GT in last year's tourney into something special this year.

Here is a look ahead to our match-up with Wake Forest.

GT Hoops: Buy or Sell???

Well, did you know that GT Hoops stock is currently trading at $54.70 per share? Did you know that our stock just split? Here's the proof.... Interesting concept - an all-sports stock trading market. I guess it is for real money. The fine-print says you can sign up for as little as $25.

By the way go to their homepage and the GT symbols are Hoops (BGT) and Football (FGT). The football team is trading at $6.29/share but has been inching upwards recently.

New Coach Gailey website

You should head over to Coach Gailey's website (link on list to the left). Evidently the site is in the process of being completely overhauled by the College of Computing as a semester student project. Well, obviously they haven't had the chapter on "debug before going live" because a lot of it does not work and there are errors all over the place. However, the new look is definitely better, and the addition of audio/video is going to be welcome. Coach might actually be able to use the site as a recruiting tool. The Flash intro is pretty cool - worth watching.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Recruiting - Football

More happenings this weekend - the Jackets lose another recruit - Linebacker Antonio Jones. He decided to stay closer to home and head to Baylor. Jones is a 6'2" 200lb LB listed as a "2-star" by Rivals. He is not listed among the top LB prospects.

In better news the Jackets gain the verbal committment of Defensive Lineman Vance Walker, from Fort Mill South Carolina. He is 6'3" 255lb. This past season he was one of SC's top tacklers with 41 tackles-for-a-loss, 17.5 sacks, 7 QB-hurries, 2 caused fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries. His local paper named him defensive player-of-the-year, and he started in the Shrine Bowl. By the way, in the Shrine Bowl he had 6 tackles, 2 sacks, and another tackle-for-a-loss........ Here's a story on him from a local paper.

Walker was the talk among opposing coaches when it came to Fort Mill, and he was easily a first-team All-Region 3-AAAA pick.

At 6-foot-2, 245 pounds, Walker has good speed. As his stats show, he also has a good nose when it comes to sniffing out the football.

Evidently Walker is a different guy on versus off the field:

That's a lot of words coming from a player who is quiet off the field but makes lots of noise once he steps into his uniform. It's kind of like when Clark Kent steps into a phone booth and Superman comes out.

By the way, his high school mascot - the YellowJackets, so obviously he had time to try that on for size. named him to the All-State SC Second Team... He was also named to the 2nd Team All-Mecklenburg Team....... Evidently Walker was one of those "come out of nowhere kids".....

Enough. Let's get back to football. Each season we seem to have a player that comes out of nowhere. Any this year?

"A couple jump out at you. The first is Vance Walker, a defensive lineman at Fort Mill. That kid can play.

Here's more on Walker.......

Recruiting - Jackets nab another QB

Well, `the Jackets just received a verbal committment from Nick Barwig, a QB from the Alpharetta GA. Here's the deal. Barwig never got a major Div I offer, and he will actually join the Jackets as a preferred walk-on with a chance for a 'ship his sophomore year. Barwig is 6'5" 210lb, ran a 4.7-40, and completed 89 of 152 passes for 1,293 yards and 12 TD's. He has always liked the Jackets but will consider other offers if something big comes along before signing day. He did talk a lot with teams like Clemson, Kentucky (offered), Auburn, Illinois, S.Carolina, Alabama, Colgate and others. The offers just never came through (other than KY & Mid Tenn.). Interestingly his senior year numbers did drop off, partially as a result of a very inexperienced receiving corp as well as an inexperienced O-Line. In essense, he shortened his drop and ended up scrambling more often. For GT, it adds another big, physical QB to the mix. He's probably not a bigtime scrambler, but a drop-back type guy, which fits Chan Gailey's offense.

So, is this a good pick-up? Well, you never really know do you? I'd say that about all our recruits. But Barwig is a kid who did not go to any summer camps last year and as a result was not known by many. He flew under the radar and might have had some other offers had he attended. We all know we need some competition at the QB position, so there is no doubt this cannot hurt. Heck, we all remember a certain walk-on running back that seems to have carved out a nice little career for himself at GT (PJ Daniels).

Buzzing Around

Well, evidently all that time off prior to the VaTech game was spent working on fundamentals.

Sloppy offense has been the Yellow Jackets' biggest problem. Turnovers, poor 3-point shooting and shaky transition decisions have left the high-flying offense sputtering. That's where most of this week's practice time was dedicated.

Hhhmmm. Back to the drawing board....... In the category of dunking I would have to say that Will Bynum has stolen the mantle from Ish lately. They are both athletic freaks based on what they can do, and evidently they both take great pride in dunking. Not sure how "good" this is, but it is what it is.......... In the "fan denial" category it is worth noting that the New York Knicks job is now officially open, as Lenny Wilkens has stepped down. Nobody really believes Coach Hewitt would take that job now, but we all know it is that big pink Elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about..... Here's the full depressing box score of the VaTech game......... Here's the main re-cap.......... Here are the quotes...... Here's the recap of the game. By the way did you know that 2 of the Hokie players did not make the trip because they had the flu? Just trying to add some insult to injury, so to speak........ Jackets losing their sting........ Toronto Raptors - thinking short-term or building for the future with Chris Bosh........ Well, the rose is starting to fall off the bloom:

-- 6. Don't believe the hype. Wasn't it just last week that all the talking heads were touting Georgia Tech as the best team in the country? Now the Yellow Jackets have lost three straight conference games.

It's almost as if I picked them to win it all.

Did you know that one of VaTech's players actually hails from Atlanta, Coleman Collins:

"I've been coming here for years, man," said Tech's Coleman Collins, an Atlanta native who contributed 13 points. "Since I was about eight years old at (former Georgia Tech coach) Bobby Cremins' basketball camp. It means a lot to me to get this win right here on this court.

Well, Coach Hewitt is speaking up again about graduation rates and the new legislation. Good for him:

"I think the intentions are outstanding," Georgia Tech men's basketball coach Paul Hewitt said. That said, he worries that the new rules will one day be considered discriminatory - not by intent, but in practice.

One NCAA staff member, Hewitt said, told coaches in a meeting that they needed to start recruiting kids who looked like graduates. "That's a heck of a statement," said Hewitt, his outrage coming through weeks after the meeting.

Explained Hewitt: "We're talking about recruiting, quote, better prepared student-athletes. We're talking about not recruiting potential early departures for the NBA. When you close your eyes and think about those groups of people, what faces do you see? You see black faces.

"Socio-economically, they may come from a situation that the school isn't as good. If you look at the early departures from college basketball, if you look at the kids who left, 95 percent of them happen to be black. I don't think there's anything wrong with a young man changing the course of his life to better his and his family's point in life. Everybody who works is always looking to advance himself up.

"I worry that we are going to come back in five years and say, 'You know what, the intentions here were great, but these rules proved to be very discriminatory.'"

On the recruiting front, here is a point guard that the Jackets have some interest in - Kalvin Bay. Talk about self-promotion at a new scale. Aside from his own personal website, here's mention of him recently. By the way, he has developed a good relationship with Jarrett Jack..... Around the ACC, this on Julius Hodge sleep-walking through his senior season....

Hey if you wanted to download the UGAg or the Champs Sports Bowl games from the web, they have finally been posted - link here............ Wow, new recruit Jonathan Garner is quite the confident young man:

"I got a good feeling there that we're going to win a national championship," said Garner, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound quarterback from Daytona Beach, Fla.

Nothing like the unbridled spirit of a 17 year old. Just ask Reggie "we're not going to lose another game" Ball. But hey, you have to love the confidence. It's certainly better than the alternative. Here's another story with more detail on Garner. I like what I am hearing......Speaking of recruiting, here's an article about Ohio State recruiting, with mention of Maurice Wells, as Buckeye fans have visions of M.Clarett again (on the field only)......

Wells may be the plum of the 2005 Buckeye recruits, being listed by as the fourth-best all-purpose back available in the country. His high school (Sandalwood) coach Adam Gels said with Wells, "I think it comes down to one word - speed. He blows the door open and nobody can touch him. He's so fast (4.4 40), but built like a rock, so has the ability to run between the tackles and around everybody too.''

High praise for what could very well be the Buckeyes' next Maurice Clarett. But who knows, nothing is official yet and sometimes things just don't work out either

In the sad note, we have to relegate James Butler to the "Where are they now" segment, as he prepares for the 2005 Senior Bowl, to be played in a week......However, there is an all-star game today featuring a couple of GT guys - Kyle Wallace and Andy Tidwell-Neal, the All-American Classic, played today at 4:00........ Here are some LSU recruiting notes, but some GT mentions throughout the listing...... More random recruiting notes with a few GT mentions.... In another "Where are they now", a nice story on former GT player Ken Whisenhunt, who is none-other than the Pitt Steeler offensive coordinator...... Back to recruiting - what if I told you there was an Atlanta area QB who led his team to the Class 5A title game, scored 1450 on his SAT, had a 4.0 GPA? His name is Jeff Witt and he's headed to Harvard. What if I told you Harvard had twice as many Atlanta area committments than GT? Story here.

Did you ever hear the REST OF THE STORY.... regarding Marlon Byrd, the talented player for GT? There's a lot to his story you may not know. This is worth a read.....

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Everybody's Nightmare....

...Down 1 point with Isma'il Muhammad on the free throw line..........and we never woke up. The way we're playing the nightmare will continue Jan 27 when Wake Forest comes to town. The Jackets lose to VaTech, the Hokies, AT HOME, by a final score of 70-69. Don't talk to me about heart, about tenacity of coming back. I don't want to hear it. This was embarrasing. I am not going to break this game down. It was clear to see what happened. I will make one comment:

1. The ACC is the best conference in college hoops, but it is WAY overrated. Miami and VaTech now stand at 3-2 and in the upper echelon of the conference. Slightly embarrasing if you ask me.

2. So is this a case of ACC teams "not as good as advertised"? Or is it a case of teams "not playing well"? For Georgia Tech it is a combination of both. Injuries, poor half-court execution and defensive lapses have taken their toll in the win/loss column. In addition, the Jackets have been given way too much credit based on the run last season.

3. Maybe this will be the wake-up call the team needs. Get it - "Wake" up call? Yeah, funny, I know. We lose to WF and we are staring down 2-4 in the ACC. Ouch.

4. I said earlier in the year that we would lose a game because of free throws. Well, it happened today. Of course what kind of revalation was that?

5. I am to the point that I really HOPE that our problem really is BJ Elder. At least that is fixable - just get him healthy. But I don't believe the answer is so simple. Guess we'll find out...... at some point.

6. Once again the magic number is 70. We have yet to lose when we give up less than 70 and we have yet to win giving up 70 or more.

7. Ummmm.....where did all the post players go? I didn't realize Luke was injured. What, he's not? You say he played? I'll have to go back and review the tape.

8. I'll leave you with this, defensive intensity. I didn't see it for LONG stretches of the game today. How many wide open shots and easy layups can a team get? Well, evidently a lot. This team needs to pick up the passion, the intensity, whatever you want to call it. As BB King used to say - "the thrill is gone". Oh wait, the "Thrill" was the only one who showed up today with bigtime emotion and passion. So Will Bynum's best two scoring games are losses by the Jackets. Are we seeing a trend here with our guards? Same with Jack....

9. One last thing to the fans. Don't get too emotional. This game sucks, but it will only matter if we cannot right the ship and end up on the bubble.

Comment on the Game Here

Since the Chatterbox is down, put your comments here, but please keep it clean - although I know it will be hard.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Interesting Top 100

Street and Smith is attempting to rank the top 100 college basketball programs of all-time. Georgia Tech comes in at #64....... The top 5 - Kentucky, UCLA, UNC, Kansas, Duke. The next 5 are Indiana, Louisville, Arkansas, UConn, Cincy.

The special issue magazine hits newstands soon.

Football Simulation

The folks over at CFN are doing a "mythical" playoff to find a simulated National Champion. There are 4 brackets - North, South, East, West. So far Georgia Tech has won their 1st and 2nd round games, beating Nevada then Arkansas. Here are the brackets. GT was a #9 seed in the Southern region. The simulation includes all 117 Div I-A schools.

Here's their "mythical" Nevada game re-cap:

No. 9 Georgia Tech 24 ... No. 24 Nevada 0
Georgia Tech's defense put on a clinic with nine sacks, five forced turnovers and a James Butler interception return for a touchdown. The offense made a few plays as well with Calvin Johnson catching a 44-yard touchdown pass and Reggie Ball running for a short score and throwing two touchdown passes. Nevada's Air Wolf attack only completed four of its first 17 attempts as the quarterbacks couldn't deal with the constant pressure. Nevada's best scoring chance came in the third quarter, but a fourth and goal chance from the one was stuffed.
Player of the Game - Georgia Tech LB Gerris Wilkinson made 14 tackles, two sacks, forced a fumble and picked off a pass
Fun Stat - Rushing yards: Georgia Tech 201 - Nevada 29

Here's the re-cap of the Arkansas game:

No. 9 Georgia Tech 14 ... No. 8 Arkansas 7
Georgia Tech came out on top of the defensive slugfest with a 15-play, 93-yard drive that took off 8:39 in the fourth quarter culminating in a four-yard P.J. Daniels touchdown run with 1:31 to play. Arkansas couldn't answer as Matt Jones, who was hampered by a hamstring injury, threw his fourth interception of the game on the final Hog drive. Jones got the first score of the day on a 11-yard run, but that was the only Hog offensive highlight as the attack was held to 211 yards and turned it over five times. Tech DB James Butler took a third-quarter interception 39 yards for a score.
Player of the Game - Georgia Tech RB P.J. Daniels ran 23 times for 131 yards and a touchdown with 78 of the yards coming on the final drive
Fun Stat - Turnovers: Arkansas 5 - Georgia Tech 0

Recruiting - Whoops, too late...

...hopefully. Found this link over at the Hive. A brief mention about the fact that Miami just had their star QB recruit back out of his verbal commitment. Sporting News is reporting that Miami will go after a guy who just committed to the Jackets:

Derek Shaw of Oceanside, Calif., one of the nation's top quarterback recruits, has backed out of a verbal commitment to Miami and says he wants to play closer to home. Arizona State and Oregon State were at the top of his list before he committed to Miami. Look for Miami to start working Jonathan Garner of Daytona Beach, Fla., an Elite 11 quarterback who backed out of his verbal commitment to the Gators when Ron Zook was fired as coach.

Too little too late. Hopefully it stays that way until ink hits paper...

Are you ready for some.....beesball?

Well, the ACC coaches have voted and they are picking Miami to win the conference and GT to finish 3rd. Link here.

Where are they now - Dorsey Levens

"Old Dog's New Tricks" - nice article about our former running back, who is one game away from the Superbowl. By the way he says this will be his last season.

A Cautionary Tale

An interesting and somewhat sad story about a dad more interested in his son's sports career than actually having a son.......

For the father who drove his son so hard, the acrimony burns like a knife in the back. "I'm an iron-asshole bastard who made all of his money the hard way, through my own sweat," says Marc, who lives with his wife, Brenda, and 15-year-old daughter, K.D., in Lakeland, Fla. "I invested everything I had in his golf game. I was floored when my flesh and blood, my own son, told me to shove it."

The GT Link? Just a quote from a guy at GT who used to ride with him. But check out this quote from his dad (Marc) on 60-minutes:

"I was in business 20-plus years and I know how to make a profit," he told CBS. "You've got the same old thing - it's material, labor and overhead. He's pretty good labor."

It also sounds like the son is worried about his his dad suing him for earnings. His dad says no - he won't do that. But here's what he will do:

Marc says he has placed 25 photocopies of their contracts and a cover letter into envelopes he plans to mail to media outlets when his son makes a splash on tour.

"As soon as he gets famous, I am going to lower the boom," Marc says. "I am going to show everybody what he did to me. I have no intention of suing him. I intend to crucify him in the media, because what he did to me is not right."

I tell you - I feel the most sorry for their 15-year old daughter, still at home. The last quote of the story:

Meanwhile, as Sean begins his PGA Tour career, 15-year-old K.D. O'Hair is back in Lakeland with an eye on a future in the theatrical arts. The performance of Sean's little sister in a Christmas play staged last month in her hometown was described as "luminous" in a newspaper review, and she belted out the national anthem at an Orlando Magic basketball game a few weeks ago. Both the U.S. and Canadian anthems, in fact.

"We think she has a chance to be something special," Marc says.

Wow. Not much else to say except to decide where your life's priorities really are. Amazing.

Football Notes

QB Jonathan Garner, our latest verbal committment, was named to the 1st team Class 5A All-State football team. Is it just me or does that mean they think he's the best QB coming out of the state of Florida? Nice........... Here's more on the 2005 football schedule from an ACC perspective..... and more on the schedule from a GT perspective..... Here's more background on Ben Roethlisberger's dad Ken, who went to GT........ and even more on the family. Interesting stuff about the Browns passing on Big Ben, being that he was from that area..........

Hoops Notes

Yet more proof that Jarrett Jack is shouldering too much of the offensive burden. When a scouting report for NCST talks about a player's defensive talent by mentioning that he "held Jarrett Jack to 16 points", that's a problem. The way I see it, that should be about his average, and maybe even less.

TURKISH PICK POCKET --Sophomore guard, Engin Atsur, has become a defensive stopper lately. In two recent games, the native of Istanbul, Turkey, held Duke's J.J. Redick to 8 points and Georgia Tech's Jarrett Jack to 16 while recording 5 steals.

Looks like VaTech will be ready for the Jackets:

Tech heads to Atlanta to play Georgia Tech on Saturday with a sense of confidence.

"At first we were in awe of the ACC," Dowdell said. "We were asking ourselves, 'How good are these teams going to be?' But after the Clemson and North Carolina State games, we're obviously on an emotional high and ready for anybody."

For an injury report click here. Elder will be a gametime decision and the bigger decision about Jeremis Smith's future is at least another 2 weeks away.

In my "Where are they now" segment, I found mention of Craig "Noodles" Neal. He's currently the Iowa associate head coach, and had spent the past 8 seasons with the Toronto Raptors.............. Here's an article about a former state of GA PG standout who's dreams of major Div I hoops were ruined by an injury - just goes to show you how fragile things are and should reinforce the importance of an education...

For an interesting look around the ACC, read this story. The bit on John Gilchrist is very interesting - that Gary Williams convinced him to stay. It is also interesting how open they are about the fact that he is listening to outside influences re: the NBA. Not suprising he's doing it, just surprising they're talking about it..........Here's more about how college hoops is not smarting too bad over early entry players......Lastly, talk about an absolute trouncing of the ACC by the Washington Times. Yes they give the league SOME due, but mostly point out why it is completely overrated.....

Football Notes

In the recruiting arena, this on a possible future GT Tight End, Colin Peek.........The troops and GT. Nice support - both ways......More on grad rates and another jab by the AJC to GT.......... "Where are they now" - Keith Brooking, from the USA Today...... More on our newest addition in the QB department, Jonathan Garner......

Like clockwork, things at a major college football program start to break down AFTER Lou Holtz leaves. Six football players were just charged with theft for stealing $15,000 worth of stuff FROM THEIR OWN STADIUM!!! Note to recruits considering SC - don't join the assylum..... Heck, two of the players were their #1 and #2 Quarterbacks!!!!!!!!!!

Hoops Notes

Jackets are looking to get back to their winning ways on Saturday....... Here's "everything you wanted to know about Ra'Sean Dickey"........... Looks like BJ Elder might return for the VT game. Personally, if there is even a shadow of concern I would hold him out or really play him limited minutes. Don't aggrevate anything if there's a chance he can be even more healthy for our next game - Wake Forest............ Here's a re-cap from the Hive from Coach Hewitt's call-in show......... So you hate the Atlanta Journal Consistution coverage and support of our team? It could be worse - if you are a UVA fan...... Over at ESPN their "experts" have compiled their "Power 16" lists. Here they are individually. Amazing how many don't have GT in their 16, but the way we're playing now I'm not surprised....... More on Alade Aminu - The 6-9 senior is averaging 19.5 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots for the Jaguars, who are in contention for their first Region 2-AAAAA championship.............. Here's a "Where are they now" segment with Kevin Cantwell........ HOw about the ties between Jeff Van Gundy and Paul Hewitt - link here.

Van Gundy remembers Hewitt as "a good solid player who was versatile and athletic.

"I always liked him," he says. "What he has accomplished in his career is mind-boggling. I know that one day he will be an NBA head coach if he wants to be because he has the knowledge, personality and communication skills."

Van Gundy also had a big hand in helping get Hewitt's coaching career started. He called Hewitt in 1990 and told his old rival that there was an opening for an assistant coach on Fordham's staff.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

2005 Football Schedule Announced

Well here it is:

2005 Georgia Tech Football Schedule
Sept. 3 at Auburn
Sept. 10 North Carolina
Sept. 17 at Virginia Tech
Sept. 24 Connecticut
Oct. 6 NC State
Oct. 15 at Duke
Oct. 22 at Miami
Oct. 29 Clemson
Nov. 5 Wake Forest
Nov. 12 at Virginia
Nov. 26 Georgia

Another year where anywhere from 1-3 to 3-1 is possible in the first 4 games. It's funny, looking at this entire schedule right at this moment, it doesn't seem so impossible. Road games at Auburn, VaTech, Miami and UVA will be tough for sure. But let's think about this - we lost to VT, Miami and UVA last season anyhow. It cannot go downhill in those games compared to 2004.

Here's more on the schedule and the open with Auburn...... By the way, the annual Thursday night ESPN game this season is Oct 6 in ATL against NCST....

Georgia Tech to offer course in "Gravity Golf" ???

Well, I don't think it would be part of the under-graduate curriculum. But for continuing education, there is nothing better for my marketing career than to learn the basics of gravity golf!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Typing from Snowy Mass

Well, I'm typing this from the small town of Mansfield Mass. It's 7 degrees and snowing. To make it even better, I am trying to work on a 36kb connection - the old fashioned way. So don't expect too much, but I'll try my best. However, I will be covering most topics in this one post. You probably won't see another post until Friday.

So, let's start with recruiting in football. If you want to attend signing day with the coaches in person, click here to find out how.......The good news is that we received a couple of new commitments over the last couple of days. Today, pro-style Quarterback Jonathon Garner committed to the Jackets over Louisville. That's good news. Garner is considered by Rivals as the #19 pro-style QB in the nation and the #42 overall QB prospect by He had originally committed to Florida, but the new hc Urban Meyer told him he didn't fit his style of offense. Their loss is our gain. Here's more:

As a senior, Garner completed 122 of 220 passes for 1,940 yards with 25 touchdowns and four interceptions. He carries a 4.0 GPA and scored an 1120 on his SAT.

At 6'4" 210lb, he is certainly more of a traditional drop-back guy. Sounds like he could end up being a better get at QB than Todd Walker, who was an outstanding athlete, but probably a project at QB (which he realized too). Should be interesting to see how the competition shapes up. Here's more.

In addition to Garner, GT received a verbal commit from a Linebacker named Matt Braman, who hails from Colorado. GT beat out both in-state schools CU and Colorado St, as well as Kansas St.

Braman is 6-3, 240 pounds and was one of the best players for a Niwot team that lost in the semifinals of the state playoffs. He was the anchor in a linebacking group that was considered the best in 3A.

"The sky's the limit for him," Niwot coach Ron Tesone said. "He's a kid with a lot of potential, and I think things just felt right for him at Georgia Tech."

And nice outward signs of hard work by Coach Gailey and staff:

While many people spent the Martin Luther King holiday relaxing, taking the day off, Chan Gailey was taking a trip to Niwot.

The former Dallas Cowboys head coach and current Georgia Tech head coach was there to wrap up a recruit.

Here's a free article on Braman and his choice from

Here's a quick note on another player GT is after:

Even though he remains committed to Florida, Piper defensive lineman Vladimir Richard has Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia Tech and North Carolina State very much in play. ...

Well, evidently Steve Spurrier is doing everything he can to steal recruits away from GT. Upset over past history maybe? He has already swayed LB Marvin Sapp, who had verbally committed to the Jackets & Carlos Thomas as well (which was an academic issue. Now he is trying to sway Taalib Tucker, a talented LB who has verballed to the Jackets.....

Lastly, for some negative comments on GT recruiting after a glowing review of UGA, click here.

In my football "Where are they now", former GT assistant Coach Chuck Bresnahan just got the gig as the Cincy Bengals new Defensive Coordinator.

A native of Springfield, Mass., Bresnahan attended the U.S. Naval Academy, where he played linebacker from 1979-82. He was a commissioned officer in the Navy from 1983-86. He was an assistant coach at Georgia Tech from 1987-91, a stint that included the 1990 season as linebackers coach for a team that won national championship honors with an 11-0-1 record.

Don't ask me why, but Taylor Bennett's mother gets quoted in this article:

"You have to realize that if you're 5-foot-4, you're not going to be a Division I quarterback," said Wendy Jones, the mother of former Lafayette quarterback Taylor Bennett, a redshirt freshman at Georgia Tech.

Here's another story from the same paper, mentioning only Taylor and the challenge of getting a Div I 'ship offer.

Now let's talk hoops. First, the ACC is absolutely nuts. There is plenty of ammunition to defend or tear down the ACC as the dominant hoops conference in the nation - and the ammunition is the same on both sides. Defenders will say look how tough the conference is - GT loses to NCST who loses to Virginia Tech tonight. Amazing. Miami is 3-1 in the conference and giving Duke a game as I type this. GT is crushed by UNC, who is then crushed by Wake Forest, who is then beaten by FSU, who was beaten by Clemson, who was beaten by Duke.......... Are you getting the point? Defenders will say every night is a battle. Detractors will say NCST can beat GT but cannot beat WV and St.Johns??? Well, actually they're right there. Here's the right answer - it is a bear, it is the best conference, and unless you compete in it you couldn't possibly understand. There's no night off and no gimmies......... Here's an interesting article on the love triangle that is Kansas/UNC/Illinois and the interesting ties that bind these teams should they reach the Final Four.

Now, let's talk GT. We've all been concered about the team play, the chemistry, the offensive execution, the injuries. Evidently we're not the only ones concerned. So is the team....... What does Jack say about our road troubles:

"Good teams don't just win when they're on their home court," Jack said. "They have to be able to go into adverse situations and hostile atmospheres and still be able to perform."

What does Coach Hewitt have to say:

"If we're any good, things will happen, the things that we're looking for will happen. If we're not any good, we're not going to get rewarded," Hewitt said. "If we're good, we'll get rewarded, we'll win the games we're supposed to win and move onto the tournament."

Here's another story along those lines......How about a 3rd version.....Personally, I am not overly concerned. I have a role to prompt discussion here, but let's face it - every Coach Hewitt team at GT has had a point in the season where there was struggle. It happened last year and the year before and the year before. What Coach Hewitt HAS proven EVERY year is that he has the ability to have his team playing at their highest level at the end of the season. Because of that Coach Hewitt and the team deserve the benefit of the doubt. The difficulties now are real, but there's a darn good chance things WILL be clicking towards the end of the season. You cannot deny Coach Hewitt's track record here........ Meanwhile, our RPI currently stands in the #17 range...... For a team preview of VaTech, click here. I still cannot believe we lost to NCST who turned around and lost to VaTech tonight. AAAHHHH!!!

On the hoops recruiting front, GT signee Lewis Clinch had a decent night recently, scoring, oh, 54 points!!! That included 6 3 pointers and gives him 91 points in the past 2 games. Let's just say that Lewis Clinch is going to be quite a nice scorer on the flats..........Did you know that Ralph Sampson Jr. has been attending some of the GT hoops camps? Yes, he is the son of the former NBA star. And guess what - he's 6'10" 200lb. Guess what else - he's a freshman in high school. Alrighty then. This per a revent Rivals article......... Miami signee Adrian Thomas (who the Jackets thought they would sign and didn't thanks to the Hurricanes - the real ones) is stepping up his game in high school............. Here's another 6'11" post player considering GT for 2006, Spencer Hawes, who is ranked in the top 10 players of his class by the major services.

In the hoops "Where are they now" segment, Chris Bosh goes for a Raptors team record 9 straight double/doubles. Wow. Story here............ Here's another re-visiting of the Bobby Cremins USC fiasco.

Let's move on to golf and talk about Stewart Cink, the best putter on tour and one of this guy's top PGA pros to watch in 2005.

Lastly, let's talk beesball and Matt Wieters:

Top freshmen including Jared Clark (No. 3 Cal State Fullerton), Joshua Fields (No. 10 Georgia), Chris Jones (No. 13 Texas A&M) and Matt Wieters (No. 19 Georgia Tech) each could see time as pitchers and hitters while they battle to define their roles.

Have a great evening!! GO JACKETS!!!

Chan Gailey comments on Steroids

Found this blurb:

The NCAA testers visit each Division I campus once or twice a year and on each visit test 18 football players and eight players from one other sport.Georgia Tech football coach Chan Gailey said there was "a bunch of" unhealthy drug use in the game when he played college football in the pre-testing days of the early 1970s. Things are better now, he said. "The old anabolic steroid, I think there's hardly any of that," Gailey said. "I don't think there's a lot illegal going on."

Recruiting - Hoops

Alade Aminu, one of our SIGNED recruits for the 2005 class is really coming into his own:

Aminu is averaging 20 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. He is playing only his fourth year of organized basketball. Aminu chose Georgia Tech over Texas, Kansas and Cincinnati.

"Alade is very athletic, very quick, very agile and runs the floor very well . . . which is stuff you can't teach," Sandifer said. "I've coached him for four years and have seen so much improvement. And he's got potential to get so much better. I think Tech got a good one."

On another recruiting note, GT is the top choice right now for Kimmani Barrett:

The 6-foot-6 Barrett, a junior wing who is being courted heavily by Seton Hall, but ranks Georgia Tech as his top choice, scored 19 of his game-high 24 points in the first half when Paterson Catholic built a 38-31 lead. He capped the first half with a last-second three-pointer that caromed off the backboard, giving the Cougars tremendous momentum going into the break.

This on international recruiting.....

Kansas fans don't need to be reminded of foreign influence.

Luke Schenscher, Georgia Tech's 7-foot-1 center and a native of Australia, scored 15 points and helped eliminate the Jayhawks in the Elite Eight last season.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Hoops Notes


Hewitt seemed cautiously optimistic that B.J. Elder could return as early as Saturday, when the Yellow Jackets host Virginia Tech. Elder has been sidelined since straining his left hamstring in the first half of Georgia Tech's 70-68 loss to Kansas on Jan. 1. Hewitt said Elder practiced some this weekend and the coach is hopeful that Elder could return to practice Thursday. Georgia Tech has lost two straight road games without Elder, most recently falling to North Carolina State on Sunday.

"Our decisions in transition are not as good," Hewitt said of his team's struggles.


6. SG B.J. Elder, Georgia Tech: After a 9-1 start marred only by a loss to Gonzaga, the Jackets (11-4) have lost three of five games since Elder (hamstring) got hurt. That includes the loss that started the slide, a 70-68 heartbreaker at Kansas, because the Jackets were dominating Kansas until Elder (13.2 ppg) got hurt midway through the first half. Since then the Jackets have gone from awesome to average, winning the games they should (at home against Miami and Virginia Tech) and losing the games they could (at North Carolina, at N.C. State). The Jackets are obviously an NCAA Tournament team, but they're seed is dropping.


Following back-to-back defeats, the Yellow Jackets get a rare six-day break. Coach Paul Hewitt's first goal is to work on some problem areas - particularly taking care of the ball. The second goal is to get people healthy. Guard B.J. Elder, who has missed three games with a hamstring injury, could return to practice this week.


Williams is about to pass Cremins in ACC victories:

Williams would also move into a fourth-place tie with former Georgia Tech head man Bobby Cremins in terms of wins in ACC conference games. Williams currently boasts 133 wins at Maryland over teams in the ACC, while Cremins totaled 134 from 1982-2000 with the Yellow Jackets.



I don't know why people insist on beating this dead drum. A look at a make-believe top 25 if there was no early entry into the NBA. This guy has GT #1:

1. Georgia Tech can not only beat you outside with its explosive guards, it can beat you up inside with junior Chris Bosh and freshman Dwight Howard.