Wow. The Jackets take on experienced national power Michigan St, and I'll be darned if they didn't almost win that thing. They fall just short on a last second 3-pt attempt by Zam Fredrick and lose 88-86. While there is plenty to improve upon, there was so much to be proud of tonight. Nice effort and way to never give up.
The Jackets went down early and trailed anywhere from 1-to-12 points most of the half. The 1st half defense was a bit erratic. While we contested a lot of shots in the paint, there was just too much dribble penetration by the Spartans on the offensive end. While we pulled it close, we were down by about 10 at the half. The 2nd half was much of the same, with Mich.St trying to put some distance, but they just couldn't do it. The Jackets showed some real gumption and hung in there, but it never appeared they would close the gap.
Then it got really weird. We were down by about 10 with only a few minutes to go. Buck Fredrick turns the ball over twice in a row with under 3 minutes, and you pretty much saw the door shutting. Both teams ran up and down for the next minute missing some shots. But then Morrow hits a 3-pointer with 1:26 remaining...... 81-74.....We foul. They hit both free throws. Morrow comes down and drains another 3-pointer with 1:00 on the clock. 83-77........We foul. They hit both free throws again. Mario West then hits a rainbow 3-pt shot with 41 seconds remaining...... 85-80.......... We foul. They hit 1/2 free throws.......... A-Mo hits another bomb with 25 seconds left........ 86-83.......... We foul. They hit both free throws.......... Ra'Sean Dickey hits a 3pt shot with 6 seconds left...... 88-86..... We foul....... They miss BOTH free throws. With 4 seconds Buck comes down launches a decent 3-pt shot that hits the back rim and game over....... Then everyone breathes............
Well, really mixed results on the defense. Overall Michigan State shot 54% from the field and 47% from long range. The Spartans had many open looks and hit them. Michigan State only turned the ball over 12 times, and honestly, most of those were just careless passes or catches. Many of those had nothing to do with Tech's D. Tech played decent transition defense, but in the halfcourt set, we just got beat off the dribble over and over. Again, there were many contested shots in the paint. Tech had 6 blocks overall, including 4 by Ra'Sean Dickey. But many of those guys should never have been in the paint.
The bottom-line is that this was not ACC caliber championship defense. There were flashes of good D and you can see the possibilities, but these guys have a ways to go. Having said all that, I didn't get a sense it was lack of effort. It seemed to be technique and positioning and help D more than anything. All workable issues.
A decent overall effort on the boards, but we let them have too many really crucial putbacks on the offensive boards. Tech outrebound the Spartans 36-31, including on the offensive glass 14-10. A pretty good effort overvall. Dickey and J-Smith were outstanding on the offensive glass with 11 offensive boards between them. These two guys were really physical in the paint and held their own.
This was probably Tech's best offensive effort of the short season. Now, Mich.St hasn't been playing outstanding D this season, but irregardless, I was more impressed tonight with ball movement, feeding the post, reversing court and the overall halfcourt game. The Jackets shoot 52% overall and 48% from long range. They create some nice open looks and hit a lot of them. The low post-game game was outstanding, as Ra'Sean Dickey was an absolute beast. He finally showed that nice balance of going to the hoop, but also passing it back out at times. Jeremis Smith was the clean-up man, and flashed some nice moves in the paint as well. The Jackets turn the ball over 16 times - not great, but not terrible either. The Jackets tally 21 assists and 36 made buckets - not too bad at all.
Individually, there were some great performances. Ra'Sean Dickey ends the night with a career high 24 points (11-16, 1-1 3pt), 8 boards (4 off), 4 blocks, 1 steal, 4 to's. Just an outstanding night. His post moves and footwork tonight were crisp and he was aggressive. His intensity was high.............. Anthony Morrow followed closely with 23 points (8-17, 7-11 3pt), 6 boards, 1 block, 3 assists, 1 to. If you do the math, he was 1-6 inside the arc and 7-11 outside. His mid-range game was not working, but man - he was dropping bombs................... Jeremis Smith chipped in a double/double with 14/10, and 7 of those boards were offensive......................
Buck Fredrick had a better night tonight. There were stretches where he really ran the team well and setup mates for good open looks. I was really happy overall with his performance. Buck finishes with 11 pts (5-12, 1-6), 5 boards, 10 assists and 6 turnovers. Yeah, that's right - 10 assists, which is great. There were some REALLY careless turnovers, including 2 crucial ones in a row in the waning minutes. But again, let's remember, Buck is basically a redshirt freshman............. Mario West had another solid night with 9 pts (4-7, 1-1), 2 boards, 1 block, 4 assists, 2 steals and 1 to. He played solid and provided defensive intensity.
A GLIMPSE AT THE FUTURE ROTATION?
It was interesting to see Coach Hewitt's player rotation tonight. Remember last season the freshman saw their minutes dry up once ACC play hit. This game against a quality opponent might provide a little insight into how the minutes might get distributed once ACC play arrives. Tonight 5 players play 28 minutes or more (Morrow, Buck, Dickey, Smith, West). The Tarver / Clinch / Bell get between 13-16 minutes each. Paco Diaw and Alade Aminu did not play. This was an 8-man rotation............ It was interesting that Lewis Clinch only played 15 minutes, scored 4 pts (2-5), 2 boards, 1 assist, 1 to. I hardly noticed when he was on the floor.
BRING YOUR CUT-MAN IF YOU'RE GOING TO PLAY US
Between Dickey and Smith we're going raise health insurance rates at college athletic departments. Last game Dickey's elbow opened the flow of about a gallon of blood from an opposing player. Tonight Jeremis Smith splits the Spartan's eyebrow with an elbow on a rebound. These two guys are VERY physical, but especially Smith.
SPEED OF RELEASE
It is interesting to watch the shooting stroke of our players. A-Mo gets his shot off lightening quick. D'Andre Bell's shot is very slow developing. He has nice form, but it's just a slow developing motion. Jarrett Jack has a relatively slow developing jump shot, as did Will Bynum with his odd double-hitch. Lewis Clinch seems to get the ball off pretty quick and he has nice form. Zam Fredrick doesn't have a super-quick release, but his release point is very high, almost behind his head, which makes it very tough to block.
This was a night that will create much optimism for our future. The kids showed offensive skills, flashes of defensive effort (but not complete), and they really showed a toughness down the stretch, on the road against a top 15 team. I give the team a ton of credit. They should be happy after tonight's performance. A lot to learn but the talent is there. Add tonight's experience the bank account. It will come in handy later in the season. This team looks very much like Hewitt's first team, where they started to "get it" the further in the season they went. We may not make the big dance, but that goal is very realistic. Congrats team!!!
December 4th against UVA in the ATL......... An early ACC test.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Wow. The Jackets take on experienced national power Michigan St, and I'll be darned if they didn't almost win that thing. They fall just short on a last second 3-pt attempt by Zam Fredrick and lose 88-86. While there is plenty to improve upon, there was so much to be proud of tonight. Nice effort and way to never give up.
Posted by Scott at Wednesday, November 30, 2005
ACC/Big10 Challenge continues. Night #2 ends with the conferences tied 3-3. Nobody is giving GT a chance versus Michigan State.
Sadness - Brad Honeycutt's season is over. He will have surgury and watch the bowl game from the sidelines........... Frank Beamer is named ACC Coach of the Year, and our man Chan Gailey coming in 2nd place. Beamer got 42/72 votes and Coach Gailey got 12 votes, Coker 7, Clemson's Bowden , O'Brien 5. Good job coach!!! Congrats........... Clemson's James Davis gets Rookie of the year.............
Posted by Scott at Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Well, that powerhouse in Illinois-Chicago managed to lose to Georgia Southern tonight 89-69. Go figure. Sure doesn't instill confidence in where the team might be going, but as always - don't draw grand conclusions this early. It is what it is. Freshman are freshman. Sophomores are sophomores................................ VaTech lost game one of the ACC/Big10 Challenge versus Ohio State. It's going to be a tough year for the ACC to win the challenge. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile............................ You knew that Jarrett Jack was in the ATL last weekend because the Trailblazers beat the Hawks. You also knew that he attended the UGAg game. Did you know that the Trailblazers practiced at AMC while they were there? They did.
The All-ACC team is out, and Calvin Johnson was a unanimous 1st team choice (only C.Barklay was also a unamimous choice). The Jackets also had 4 others, including 2nd team PJ Daniels, Eric Henderson, Gerris Wilkinson and Dawan Landry. Honorable mention went to Brad Honeycutt. Also note that FSU had no 1st teamers. Here's the full list:
QB -- Marcus Vick, Virginia Tech (118)
RB -- Chris Barclay, Wake Forest (144)
RB -- Tyrone Moss, Miami (98)
WR -- Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech (144)
WR -- Chansi Stuckey, Clemson (118)
TE -- Vernon Davis, Maryland (132)
OT -- Eric Winston, Miami (121)
OT -- D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Virginia (101)
OG -- Jason Murphy, Virginia Tech (95)
OG -- Kyle Ralph, North Carolina (85)
C -- Will Montgomery, Virginia Tech (85)
QB -- Charlie Whitehurst, Clemson (46)
RB -- Lance Ball, Maryland (69)
RB -- P.J. Daniels, Georgia Tech (67)
WR -- Will Blackmon, Boston College (39)
WR -- Greg Carr, Florida State (29)
TE -- Jeff King, Virginia Tech (26)
TE -- T.J. Williams, N.C. State (26)
OT -- Jimmy Martin, Virginia Tech (43)
OT -- Jeremy Trueblood, Boston College (42)
OG -- Josh Beekman, Boston College (79)
OG -- Roman Fry, Clemson (63)
C -- Pat Ross, Boston College (36)
DL -- Mathias Kiwanuka, Boston College (142)
DL -- Darryl Tapp, Virginia Tech (123)
DL -- Mario Williams, N.C. State (118)
DL -- Manny Lawson, N.C. State (95)
LB -- D'Qwell Jackson, Maryland (141)
LB -- Stephen Tulloch, N.C. State (79)
LB -- Kai Parham, Virginia (78)
DB -- Jimmy Williams, Virginia Tech (114)
DB -- Kelly Jennings, Miami (107)
DB -- Tye Hill, Clemson (92)
DB -- John Talley, Duke (81)
DL -- Eric Henderson, Georgia Tech (71)
DL -- Brodrick Bunkley, Florida State (64)
DL -- Kamerion Wimbley, Florida State (52)
DL -- Jonathan Lewis, Virginia Tech (35)
LB -- A.J. Nicholson, Florida State (67)
LB -- Vince Hall, Virginia Tech (62)
LB -- Gerris Wilkinson, Georgia Tech (38)
DB -- Brandon Meriweather, Miami (78)
DB -- Josh Gattis, Wake Forest (64)
DB -- Marcus Hamilton, Virginia (53)
DB -- Dawan Landry, Georgia Tech (35)
PK -- Connor Hughes, Virginia (97)
P -- Ryan Plackemeier, Wake Forest (141)
S -- Devin Hester, Miami (82)
PK -- Jad Dean, Clemson (79)
P -- Adam Podlesh, Maryland (51)
S -- Darrell Blackman, N.C. State (50)
HONORABLE MENTION (20-plus points)
OFFENSE: Kyle Wright, QB, Miami (29); James Davis, RB, Clemson (21); Jesse Holley, WR, North Carolina (28); Deyon Williams, WR, Virginia (28); Sinorice Moss, WR, Miami (23); Greg Olsen, TE, Miami (25); Steve Vallos, OT, Wake Forest (33); Brad Honeycutt, OT, Georgia Tech (26); Tony Tella, OG, Miami (52); Tyler McMeans, OG, Miami (47); David Castillo, C, Florida State (31).
DEFENSE: Orien Harris, DL, Miami (31); Gaines Adams, DL, Clemson (26); Tommy Davis, DL, North Carolina (22); Anthony Waters, LB, Clemson (32); Jon Abbate, LB, Wake Forest (27); Ernie Sims, LB, Florida State (23); Roger McIntosh, LB, Miami (21); Tommy Richardson, LB, North Carolina (20); Marcus Hudson, DB, N.C. State (29); Jamaal Fudge, DB, Clemson (23); Jamie Silva, DB, Boston College (23); Milton Harris, DB, Maryland (22); Garland Heath, DB, N.C. State (21); Pat Watkins, DB, Florida State (20).
Brandon Pace, PK, Virginia Tech (21); Will Blackmon, Specialist, Boston College (31); Brandon Tate, Specialist, North Carolina (24).
Surprises from GT? How about no mention of Chris Reis or Kenny Scott?....................... Let's talk bowl updates. How about this - ESPN and CNN project GT to the Music City Bowl. Fox says Peach. CBSSportsline says Meineke in Charlotte. USA Today says we're headed to Boise. MSNBC says Champs Sports Bowl. So don't tell me anyone has a great clue here. Personally, it still sounds like the Music City bowl has the highest odds. Louisville is officially headed to the Gator Bowl. While Miami is the most likely opponent, Larry Coker has come out and said he's not all that excited about playing in the Gator against the 'Ville, since they will be playing next season anyhow. That could possibly leave the door open for Georgia Tech, since there is a general belief that the Gator doesn't want FSU. Boston College is another strong possibility for the Gator, but they won't travel that well. They will not make their decision known until the ACC Championship game Saturday. Now, if FSU wins, then you'll probably see a VT/Louisville Gator match-up. ......................... There are lots of rumors about the possible retirement of Dave Braine. Who knows when that will happen, but it is fairly common knowledge that Bill Curry has interest in returning to Georgia Tech to be the AD. What do you think about that?............................ Good news for Reis, D-Bo, B-Honeycutt - they have been invited Jan 14 to play in the Las Vegas All-American Classic Senior game. Congrats!
Posted by Scott at Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Monday, November 28, 2005
Some Jarrett Jack highlights......... Jarrett was at the GT/UGAg game, decked out in Trailblazer gear....................
Jackets are #24 in all the major polls this week...................... The most likely bowl destination is the Music City bowl in Nashville, although there are many variables still up in the air. Charlotte is a possibility with the Meineke Car Care Bowl, but they are more likely to want a N.Carolina team, which could mean Chuck the Chest and NCST get that bid. The Gator is basically out and Peach is very unlikely but not out of the question. Tech probably will not be invited back to Orlando again and will not head to Boise either. That only leaves the Emerald City Bowl out in SanFran. So here are my odds.
40%........... Music City, Nashville
20%........... Meineke, Charlotte, likely to take NCST
15%........... Gator, Miami, will probably take Miami, but they do not want to be there
10%........... Peach, Atlanta, wants SC-FSU match up
8%............. Emerald City, San Fran,
5%............. Champs Sports, Orlando, been there done that
2%............. MPC Computers, Boise, been there done that
Posted by Scott at Monday, November 28, 2005
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Well, I'm not going to go through the normal litany of game analysis and breakdown. We lost to Georgia again, this time 14-7. It was what we all should have expected - a defensive battle that came down to a few key plays at the end of the game. In this case it was special teams that were the difference. The players played hard. The players and the fans are hurting. I know I am. Let's not dwell on it right now .........................
Posted by Scott at Saturday, November 26, 2005
Friday, November 25, 2005
Posted by Scott at Friday, November 25, 2005
Well, I don't know what else you can call it. The Jackets get run out of AMC in a 73-51 loss to Illinois-Chicago. The Jackets end a 22-game winning streak at home against non-conference opponents. The Jackets were 141-8 against non-conference opponents at home going back a number of years.
The Jackets came out slow, and never sped up. Both teams traded blows through the half and the Jackets trailed by 4 at the break. The 2nd half saw UIC grow their lead, and there was really only one stretch of life where the Jackets cut the lead to 4. Then UIC went on a 28-10 run to end the ball-game, running away with it. It was just a frustrating, life-less game for Jacket fans.
Not good. Not too good at all. Was it just me, or did it seem like players were running everywhere trying to catch-up for missed assignments? UIC was very good at dribble penetration. Also, for a team that wanted to slow down the pace (UIC), they actually found their transition offense very comfortable, scoring many buckets on the break. The Jackets got in foul trouble because of guys coming late to defend. Both Ra'Sean Dickey and Jeremis Smith got into early foul trouble and the team got tentative underneath. UIC shoots 42% on the night, including 38% from 3pt range. Tonight's loss was as much mental as anything. Missed shots and frustration on the offensive side of the ball got to them on the defensive side. Just a life-less night on defense.
UIC had a plan to come in and take over the boards. They succeeded. The Jackets get outrebounded 51-34 and were completely dominated on the offensive glass, as UIC grabs 17 of them. Rebounding is about desire, and it wasn't there tonight for GT. For the Jackets to win some games against tougher teams, we'll have to step up work on the glass. Coach Hewitt talks about talent and depth in down-low, but it sure didn't show tonight. Desire and some basic technique. That's all that's needed.
Yikes. The Jackets shoot 12-40 in the 2nd half and 22-66 overall. That's 33%. That's not good. Was it just "one of those nights"? Not totally in my book. UIC forced some quick shots and tough shots. We did miss a bunch of shots close-in, but I don't know what you do about that. The offensive flow just wasn't there. The Jackets turned the ball over 20 times. UIC threw a variety of defenses at the jackets, including a zone, what looked like a box-and-one once Zam got hot and of course man-to-man. The zone baffled the Jackets the worst,. We were outscored 52-20 when UIC ran a zone-D. Too often we just lobbed the ball around out top until someone took a bomb. They finally started working it into Jeremis Smith at the foul line. He made some good decisions and led the team with 5 assists. But other than than it was not a good night on the offensive end.
Individually, Lewis Clinch, D'Andre Bell and Jeremis Smith combine for 3-26 from the floor. Ouch. Only Buck and Ra'Sean Dickey score in double figures.
Zam Fredrick led the team with 17 points on 7-14 shooting (2-6 3pt). He had 4 boards, 2 steals, 1 assist and 4 turnovers. He was the "Player of the Game" on the post-game radio show. Clearly he had the best offensive night of anyone. But here's the thing - he didn't really run the team. He didn't get his teammates involved. He had a typical Stephon Marbury night - he played the point, took most of the shots, led the team in scoring, and the team lost the game. To take this team to the next level, Zam is going to have to build that assist total and look to help others score first.
Lasly, we hit 4-13 from the free throw line. That ain't gonna win many ballgames. Jeremis Smith goes 0-6. When it rains it pours.
PLEASANT PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT
Theodis Tarver gets a gold star. He had one of the best nights we've seen from him in awhile. He finished with 6 points (2-3), 2-2 FT, 5 boards (1 off), 5 blocks, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 to's, 23 minutes. He played very good defense. He was quick off his feet with his blocks, including one block of a 3pt shot where he jumped WAY out to swat it away. Offensively, his 2 makes looked very solid. It would be great to see Theodis come along this year. We sure need his senior leadership.
COACH HEWITT COMMENTS
"UIC really grinded us out and really attacked the boards, and beat us off the dribble"............. Coach Hewitt took the blame for the loss, saying they didn't spend as much time preparing for their opponent because they were working on Jacket weaknesses they saw in the last game. He was disappointed that the team let missed shots impact their defense and rebounding.
THE REAL OLD BALL COACH
It was nice to see Bobby Cremins calling the game for FSN. The halftime bit on "Point Guard U" was cool with nice flashbacks to our great PG's. Mark Price came down to the press table and did some nice in-game commentary as well.
Hey, learn and move on. This is life with frosh and sophomores. Get used to it. As bad as we lost tonight, there's every possibility we beat top 20 Michigan State. It is just so unpredictable. Hopefully this group can truly take something away from the game tonight. They are certainly capable of a lot better than tonight........... and don't forget, UIC is the team that almost beat our "experienced" Jackets last season. Remember that 1-point squeeker? They are a well-coached ballclub and will probably make the big dance again.
One last thing this club is searching for is a leader. Someone will need to step up and take that leadership position. It is not clear who that is right now.
At Michigan State, ACC/Big 10 Challenge..... Wednesday November 30, 7:00 pm.
Posted by Scott at Friday, November 25, 2005
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Just want to wish you a happy turkey day. Eat well, thank your maker, but save up for more appetizers on Saturday - puppy pate
Posted by Scott at Thursday, November 24, 2005
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
TENUTA PRIORITY #1
Well, we all know the priority is wrapping up Jon Tenuta as the DC for years to come. Not so easy, as Coach T wants his own gig. He said this after the Miami win in a rare post-game interview.
"If I get an opportunity to become a head coach, I'm going to do that. You worry about Coach Gailey and us and you worry about the players. We've still go to play Georgia," Tenuta said.
BOWLING FOR PEACHES?
Check out the Peach Bowl blog, and here's what the Peach Bowl chairman had to say about the Jackets:
What a win for coach Gailey and the Wramblin’ Wreck on the road against third-ranked Miami! This puts Tech in our mix and a win against Georgia this week could cap the deal and give the Jackets their first Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl bid since 2000.
Now, interestingly, he had this to say about UGAg:
If the Bulldogs run into the same Tech team that stunned Miami, and if things don’t go their way in the SEC Championship Game, Georgia could be making their first trip to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl since 1998.
Let me get this straight - we beat UGAg and we're going to the Peach Bowl. If UGAg then goes on to lose the SEC championship game, then the Dawgs would also be in the Peach Bowl, setting up a rematch? On one hand, it would probably sell out. On the other, who wants to play the mutts two times in a row? Do we really think this will happen? I don't buy it........
ACC REACHES DEAL WITH MUSIC CITY BOWL
That's tie-in #7.......
THAT'S EASY FOR YOU TO SAY COACH
UVA Coach Groh:
"You've got the Georgia Tech team that Virginia beat the week before beating the Miami team that soundly beat the Virginia Tech team that beat the Georgia Tech team 51-7 [and later] beat the Virginia team," Groh said.
"Once again, it just pointed out to me, you better be on your game every week, whether it's tactically, execution-wise or emotionally, and you better . . . not have any of those game-changing plays."
COINCIDENCE OR NOT?
Check out the headline of this story on Georgia O'Leary and his coaching at UCF - "O'Leary's UCF vacates winless ranks to go 8-3". Are you kidding me AJC? Is this a joke. "Vacating" happens to be the terminology used by the NCAA to "vacate" our records for many of the years that George O'Leary happened to be there. Coincidence? Some headline writer must have had fun with that one.
MEDIA LINE OF THE WEEK
On the Miami loss
What a tough week for the Miami Hurricanes. First, several current and former players came under fire for recording a lewd rap song. (Lewd rap? Go figure.) Then the ’Canes were upset by Georgia Tech, and now their national-championship hopes aren’t even worth 50 Cent.
Here's another good one:
Tech's romp past U.Va. was eye-popping. Georgia Tech's triumph at Miami was mind-blowing. The Hokies figured to win in Scott Stadium, if not win big. The Jackets figured to go quietly in Dade County. Instead, they made more noise than an 850-horsepower engine at Homestead. The shock waves were felt as far away as Frank Beamer's living room.
Here's what kind of week it'd been for the Jackets: awful. It began when AD Dave Braine announced a five-year contract extension for unloved coach Chan Gailey and put forth the proposition that Georgia Tech "will never" win nine or 10 games consistently.
The coach you're recruiting against says that, you call him a skunk. Your own AD says that, you call him close to retirement.
For the Miami win there were many to go around. Jon Tenuta was given the DC of the week by the Master Coaches Survey, made up of 16 former coaches. Rivals.com also gave him coordinator of the week................. K-Mike Hall gets ACC LB of week......... Ben Arndt gets ACC special teams player of week and the Master Coaches gave him Special Teams POW also ............... The Tostitos Fiesta bowl named us national team of the week................. We know that Stewart Mandel gave us some backhanded team of the week at SI.com.......... USAToday has Philip Wheeler as one of 5 nominees for national player of the week - go vote..... Nice going team - you all deserve awards.
WILL FANS GIVE REGGIE BALL A BREAK?
A Charlotte writer says this:
UP: REGGIE BALL
The final numbers, 162 yards passing and 28 rushing, didn't beat Miami, but his guts did, particularly when his coach made the curious decision to turn the offense into a single-wing in the fourth quarter. Will Georgia Tech fans finally forgive Ball for his past transgressions -- all those interceptions and poor decisions? If not, he should cash in on his newfound popularity in Blacksburg, Va.
FRANK BEAMER GIVES REGGIE A BREAK!!Check it out:
"Talk about Virginia Tech starting to get real tight with Georgia Tech," Beamer said. "We had our strength coach [Mike Gentry] walking around [Sunday] with a Georgia Tech hat on."
In another gesture of thanks to Georgia Tech, Beamer said he may fire off another note to Yellow Jackets quarterback Reggie Ball. While he didn't have a great game numbers-wise, Ball repeatedly found All-ACC wideout Calvin Johnson for key completions against Miami's No. 1-ranked pass defense.
"I just got around last week to writing Reggie Ball a note because I was real impressed for him to come back [from viral meningitis] and play as hard and as tough as he did in our game," said Beamer, referring to the Hokies' 51-7 rout of the Jackets on Sept. 24 in Blacksburg.
"I told my wife [Cheryl] how much I really respected that guy after that and she said, 'you ought to write him.' Well, I finally got around to writing him last week. I think I'm going to write him again this week. Wow!"
Miami fans have a very fascinating discussion about talent versus coaching comparing GT vs Miami. Very spirited for sure, but some very interesting reading.............
JIM ROME LETS COACH GAILEY HAVE IT
In response to Coach Gailey's comment to the media - "None of you thought it would happen. Don't say you did.....", Rome had this to say on his radio show yesterday.........
"Yeah Chan Gailey. You're right. None of us thought it would happen. Why would we? Why would a we think a team that got beaten at home by NCST state, loses to Virgnia and gets rolled up 51-7 by VaTech would beat Miami on the road? Why would we? Why would we think you would ever get the head coaching job with the Dallas Cowboys? We wouldn't.......Instead of blasting the media, why don't you spend your time figuring out how to field a consistent team".
Hey Romie, that take was just phenomenal .............. ................. .............. .............. ........ ....... ................ ................. ................. ................. ................. ................. ................. ................. ................. ................. ................. You're out................. ................ .............. of line.
LET IT GO - GT WAS THE REAL 1990 NC
A Q&A on the 1990 GT/CU controversy:
If Colorado played Georgia Tech in a bowl game in 1990 who would have won? They were co-national champs. Mike Burkart - Boulder, CO.
Mike, let me guess. You are a Colorado fan who wishes it was the good old early `90s again. Long before Rick Neuheisel, Gary Barnett, and Katie Hnida, the Buffaloes were a Big Eight power. Yes, 1990 was one of the three times in the last 15 years that we have had a split national football champion. Back then there was no BCS, but Colorado won the AP title while Georgia Tech took the UPI.
Colorado finished 11-1-1 led by quarterback Darian Hagen and running back Eric Bieniemy on offense and linebacker Kanavis McGhee and defensive back Deon Figures on defense. Still, their 10-9 Orange Bowl victory over Notre Dame is best remembered for a play that didn't even count. The electrifying 91-yard punt return by Raghib "Rocket" Ismail with 35 seconds left that was nullified by clipping penalty
against Greg Davis that wasn't even seen by the two officials closest to the
play. Also in their Oct. 6 33-31 victory over Missouri, the Buffloes scored in
the final seconds on a controversial five down series in what has be one the
most egregious college football refereeing errors in the last 25 years.
The Yellow Jackets didn't lose a game in 1990 going 11-0-1 culminating in a 45-21 Citrus Bowl route over Nebraska. Coached by Bobby Ross and quarterbacked by Shawn Jones, Georgia Tech didn't have the star power of the Buffaloes but seemed to know how to win late in games. Scott Sisson's 37-yard field goal beat No. 1-ranked Virginia (Yes, Virginia was ranked number 1 for a part of the 1990 season) and there was a narrow last minute 6-3 victory over Virginia Tech the following week.
Georgia Tech won an ACC that didn't include Florida State or Miami, which explains how they were undefeated and yet only invited to the Citrus Bowl. Colorado certainly had better personnel, but they had a knack for playing down to their competition that season (see the 23-22 loss to Illinois and the above mentioned Missouri game). I think it would have cost them against the Yellow Jackets.
Sorry, Mike, I'd take Georgia Tech. CU's best team was actually the year before when they went into the Orange Bowl undefeated and ranked No. 1, only to lose 21-6 to Notre Dame.
THADDEUS YOUNG GOING ON TOUR
Well, at least his high school Memphis team is preparing for quite a high profile season........... Check out this interesting quote about why they lost the state championship game:
Top 5? This same Mitchell squad that was ousted from state tournament contention by Brownsville Haywood just a season ago?
Indeed, it's that 91-76 Class AA sectional loss at Haywood last season that still bugs Johnson. After all, Mitchell had won 17 straight games in dominating fashion prior to back-to-back losses to Raleigh-Egypt and Haywood to end the season.
"That's the only tape that I looked at over the summer from all the games we played last year," Johnson said of the Haywood loss, one in which his Tigers were outrebounded, 49-22. "I looked at it over and over again, and I saw that a lot of my players weren't playing the positions they were assigned. It was like they had outside influences.
"The plan was for Thad to be a point guard in the third quarter. Well, he was playing point guard in the first quarter. (Senior post Andre) Thornton was outside. (Senior guard) Brandon (Powell) was trying to drive, and that wasn't the plan. ... (Georgia Tech) coach Paul Hewitt was in the stands, so I guess maybe they were trying to impress somebody or something."
So what you're saying is that the head coach wasn't controlling the positions players played on the floor? Weird story if you ask me.
SHOCKLEY GETTING READY
"Georgia Tech is always going to bring out the best in us," quarterback D.J. Shockley said. "It's an in-state rivalry and we know a lot of guys on that team."
Posted by Scott at Tuesday, November 22, 2005
There have been a few stories this week about UGAg players saying that Georgia Tech is not their biggest rivalry. Tony Barnhardt has a great column pointing out that the UGAg players aren't allowed to decide who their biggest rival is - it's decided over generations and they're only allowed to suit up and participate in for four years.
One of the comments to the column made an outstanding point. Your biggest rival is not necessarily the team you want to beat the most - it's the team you least want to lose to. In that case, there's no doubt - I would trade the Miami victory for one over UGAg if I could only have one. Who cares about ACC standings.... What do you think?
Posted by Scott at Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Monday, November 21, 2005
Tonight the Jackets beat Elon 81-69 in a mix of good and bad. Not the dominating performance of game one, and certainly gives Jacket fans some insight into possible weaknesses.
The Jackets went on a late 2nd half 22-4 run to jump out to a strong halftime lead (53-34). At one point they led by 22. Overall not a bad half of ball. Shooting was good (53%) and ball movement was solid with only 7 turnovers............. However, the 2nd half was very sloppy. The Jackets turned the ball over 13 times in the 2nd half and were outscored 35-28 in the half. Mario West and Re'Sean Dickey have 8 turnovers between them for the game. Elon actually got this down to a 10 point game late in the 2nd half, but could get no closer.
Elon shot 41.7% for the game, 30% from 3pt range, turned the ball over 17 times (which the Jackets turned into 20 points). The Jackets had 10 steals. It was mixed defensive effort, as Elon had a number of open shots they missed. A number of missed assignments and plenty to work on in practice this week.
The Jackets outrebounded Elon 41-30, which you would expect. Not a bad effort on the boards. Ra'Sean Dickey pulled down 8 and Jeremis Smith 7. Anthony Morrow chipped in 4 including 2 offensive. Certainly a better effort on the boards than game 1.
For the 2nd game in a row, 5 players notch double-figures, for a nice overall offensive balance........... Anthony Morrow leads the way with 16 (7-12, 1-3 3pt). Overall he had a nice stat line, with 4 boards (2 off), 1 block, 1 assist, 2 steals, and only 1 to. His shooting was not outstanding but he sucked it up and went and got a couple of offensive putbacks to make up..............Lewis Clinch dropped 14 pts (3-8, 2-6 3pt), and also chipped in 3 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 to's.............. Ra'Sean Dickey was solid with 13 pts (5-8), 8 boards (2 off), 1 block, but 4 to's............... Buck Fredrick did a better job tonight running the team, although his shooting was still off (2-8 FG). However, he consistently got to the line and went 8-10 in FT. That was a typical high school game for Zam in terms of getting to the line..................... Mario West was perfect from the floor (3-3) and scored 11 points. He took his turn at the point, but ended with 2 assists and 4 to's, a bit sloppy at times.................. Jeremis Smith chips in 9/7, and Bell/Tarver/Aminu each score a pair.
The Jackets only scored 2 points on fast breaks. That's hard to imagine on a team people think of as up-tempo and run-and-gun. The truth is that we have primarily run the set halfcourt offense and the few break opportunities that were there, either Elon got back and stopped the break or we didn't know what we wanted to do and were tentative................ The Jackets turn the ball over 15 times, a bit too many considering most of them happened in the 2nd half.
LEWIS CLINCH IN POST-GAME INTERVIEW
"Coach Hewitt is a bit upset with us and says we have to respect the game. I think he means that we were up by 19 and let it slip away".................................. "Chemistry wise we aren't doing too bad. Athletically we have 4 guys on the floor that can shoot at all times."..................."Every night so far feels like the high school playoffs. It's way more physical. I used to be able to score 50 on some guys at times, but these guys are as big and strong as me every night"
Friday night versus Illinois Chicago at 6:30pm in a game televised on FSN South.
Posted by Scott at Monday, November 21, 2005
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Teams develop tendencies and that's a GOOD thing. When Miami sees game film in preparation for Georgia Tech, they should be able to see tendencies. That's your identity. That's what you're good at. If you don't have tendencies, then you haven't run something often enough to get good at it. They'll know all about it, but that's ok. Yes, you want to throw in some wrinkles each week, but you have to have a bread and butter. You have to have a base O-Line blocking scheme. You need a consistent running strategy. You need tendencies on defense, like blitzing every play. It's hard to watch when things aren't working, but it doesn't mean you should ditch everything.
Check out Kyle Wright's quote:
"They were doing things we prepared for. They just did a good job of doing
That means tendencies and that means execution. Run your strategy over and over and over.......... and get good at. Everybody knows Tenuta is bringing the house every play. Doesn't matter. Still works.
Remember that ESPN was providing portable lights for the game because Hurrican Wilma had damaged the existing lights. Turns out the portable system may have played a role in the 3 dropped punts by the Jackets.
ESPN provided the lighting, using four trucks with elevated poles, because the Orange Bowl lights are still inoperable due to damage caused by Hurricane Wilma. The lights, placed at each corner of the field, created a glare that bothered both teams -- particularly on punt returns.
It also didn't help that Miami's punter was left-footed and the spin was opposite than guys are looking for. The ball travels different and catching it is a little different (obviously).
A WEEK OF LOSS
Not only did Dennis Davis lose a cousin in Iraq this week, but Gerris Wilkinson's mother passes away early Thursday morning, and Philip Wheeler lost an uncle. Wow - amazing week.
PAT YOURSELVES ON THE BACK
It's ok to every once in awhile....... Eric Henderson on the defense:
"I'm going to brag about the defense. We're great. Nobody gives us the credit we deserve. We shut those boys out. I mean shut them out. Georgia Tech's defense is for real. We're the best defense in the country."
John Tenuta on the win:
"That was pretty satisfying."
Maybe the understatement of the year.
BOBBY ROSS GETS WIN 100
..... as a collegiate head coach as Army wins their 4th game in a row. Congrats coach....
GO VOTE FOR PHILIP WHEELER AS PLAYER OF WEEK
...... at the USAToday website.......
Posted by Scott at Monday, November 21, 2005
Saturday, November 19, 2005
"The heart of this team is immeasurable."
- Chan Gailey, after a 14-10 victory over #3 Miami on the road
"Everybody else hopes. We believe."
- Chan Gailey
"There was an angel with me this week"
- Dennis Davis, who found out his cousin was killed in Iraq this week. It's the first game his family has missed in his career. Prayers to you and your family. God is good......
"None of you thought it would happen. Not one of you. Don't you ever think you said you thought it might happen either. Those guys in there believed it would happen. That's why it happened out there tonight."
- Chan Gailey speaking to reporters with passion, emotion and furious anger. The man almost shed a tear he was so emotional about it.
Someone try and convince me that this isn't the most memorable week in Georgia Tech sports history. Let's start by extending Chan Gailey's contract for another 5 years just to get the fans going early......... Then why not have a judge ORDER that a player accused of a federal felony must re-join the team............. Then why not have your Athletic Director tell the world that he doesn't think Georgia Tech is the type school that can win 9-10 games consistently................ Oh yeah, why don't you wind up the work week by having your program go on probation, have your win/loss records erased for 7 years, have scholarships limited, etc, etc............
However, just when the darkness sets in...........a ray of light...... A beam that offers a glimpse of hope...... It grows....... It expands........... It shines it's golden rays on YellowJacket nation, as the Georgia Tech YellowJackets beat the #3 Miami Hurricanes 14-10 in Miami for the 2nd signature win of the season. It is the first win against Miami since 1978.
I don't even know where to start.
HEART OF CHAMPIONS
Now let's talk about heart....The heart of a team is not measured by wins and losses, but by effort, the maximizing of talent, the blood, the sweat, the tears. It all showed tonight. "Everybody else hopes. We believe". That's what Coach Gailey said. I couldn't be more happy for a group of guys who evidenlty really believe in one another.
Speaking of heart, don't tell me Reggie Ball lacks heart. That kid has heart, grit, swagger, toughness - you name it. So he doesn't complete 65% of his passes. For yet another game he made plays and didn't make mistakes. He ran like a full-back when it was needed, he aired it out. Reggie Ball represents everything that's right about Georgia Tech sports. He represents the struggle.... the battling of demons...... the suck-it-up mentality that every Georgia Tech graduate had to get at some point to get that piece of paper. He is a microcosm of the Georgia Tech experience. He's not Matt Lienart, but he's the guy I want taking the snaps for Georgia Tech. Way to go Reggie!!!
What can you say? Jon Tenuta is a master. He came up with another gameplan that dazed and confused an opposing QB. Kyle Wright was 14/31 for 208 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. One BIG INT!!! ..................They sacked Wright 7 times. WOW!!.......................How about stopping the run. How about 31 yards on 30 carries for Miami? Yeah, how about that!!!.......... How about 1/13 on 3rd down for Miami. Are you kidding me?..............How about two stops on 4th down? Holy cow, are you still kidding me?......... Eric Henderson now owns the all-time Georgia Tech record for tackles-for-a-loss with 58, as he passes Greg Gathers............. How about the hitting? Ohhhh the hitting. This linebacker group is fun to watch. There were some flat out pops by these guys that I can still hear. As for the secondary, the didn't give up the big play, and Dennis Davis comes through with the big INT to seal the game. The defense was the absolute story of the game. Outstanding gameplan. Outstanding execution. Outstanding effort.
Hey, don't over-analyze these things too much. We're talking about the top defense in the nation. We moved the ball ENOUGH. We scored ENOUGH. You have to hand it to Reggie for making great decisions throughout the game. There were a few questionable throws, but he lived to play another down. Kudos to the offensive line. Reggie had pretty darn good protection all night. He had time to throw and he wasn't on the run constantly. You have to give some credit to the O-Line for that........... Tashard Choice makes good on his first start, with 29 carries for 85 yards. Not a great average per carry, but he made key plays when we needed them. He did enough and gave fans a lot to look forward to in 2006.
Well, talk about Jekyll and Hide. Ben Arndt is just the friggin MAN. Let's see - how about 4 punts inside the 20? How about the most critical open field tackle of the game to prevent a TD? How about his last punt for 78 YARDS, which forced Miami to go the length of the field to try and score.!!! No that is NOT a typo - 78 yards (net 68)........................ Now, I won't dwell on the negative too much, but I will point it out - 2 more missed FG's, and 3 dropped punts. Not one. Not two, but three. How only one of them resulted in a turnover I'll never know. Note to equipment managers - buy "STICK'EM" ..... or tar...... or Elmers....... 3M makes a great double-sided tape. I use it in the office all the time. Buy something sticky......... please.......... By the way - best call of the game - NO punt returner on the last punt.............
Give the coaches their due. The defensive gameplan worked. The offensive gameplan worked well enough. The playcalling was good. The preparation on the field and in their heads was top-notch. Kudos to Coach Gailey and staff on an outstanding effort. I can only hope this is the start of some bigger things. It is certainly a great way to start the 2nd part of the Chan Gailey era.
Understand this - the Jackets started the season by beating Auburn ON THE ROAD....... They just beat the #3 team in the nation ON THE ROAD. Auburn was #16 when we beat them...........These guys are becoming the road warriers.................. well, except in the state of Virginia.......
MAKES YOU SAY HHHMMMMM.
Is it a coincidence that Miami's only TD came on a blow coverage by Reuben Houston? I disagreed with coach's decision to play him, and maybe that was appropriate. He should have never seen the field.
INT........... NOT............... INT.............. NOT
Sometimes you need breaks, like 2 INT's called back for pass interference. Talk about crucial.
CALVIN, HAVE I TOLD YOU THAT YOU'RE PRETTY GOOD?
No, I really mean it. You have some skills. You might just make a good receiver one day. One UNC fan said this about CJ during the game:
Calvin Johnson is the most physically gifted receiver I've ever seen. His body
control is unnatural, his arms hang down to his knees, he's NFL fast with
unbelievable strength. The guy is unstoppable. He doesn't even need to get open,
Ball typically throws the ball 4 feet off target, so it doesn't even matter if
the coverage is good.. he whips out his arm and catches it. The guy is amazing.
HUMOR ON THE NET
On a Miami board. One fan writes " i reallly think the rap thing hurt this team" (referring to the explicit rap song that surfaced on the 'net by some Hurricane Players)......... Another UM fan writes - "The only rap that hurt this team was the rap that GT gave us upside our heads tonight."
MIXED FEELINGS AROUND THE ACC
While VaTech fans are loving us and Miami fans hating us, the rest of the ACC is mixed. There is the contingent that loves to see UM lose, but there is another group not happy that the ACC might not get 2 teams in the BCS now. Don't forget, that could actually cost the ACC some big dough........................ FINE BY ME!!!!!
UUUHHHH, I HATE TO ASK THIS QUESTION BUT....
..... are we officially a football factory now? We go on probation then we beat the #3 team in the nation, a huge football factory in Miami. Have we arrived? Maybe this football factory thing isn't so bad................ KIDDING!!!!! It's a joke folks
Face it - this is a fan base that was prepared for a loss. How many of you typed messages assumming our season would end 6-5? Lot's of you. Many of you flat out said it. A small minority reminded you that the games must be played.......and play they did............. Support the team. Get behind them. They play with everything they have. Sometimes it's not enough............... but sometimes it is....... Just support them win or lose. Question the play-calling, but don't make your love conditional....
24........... errrr....... 36-HOUR RULE
Note to Chan Gailey - please extend the 24-hour rule to 36. Don't let it go so quick this time...... Live it..... Love it..... Savor it......... You deserve it.......
GREAT WIN. If you are a student, celebrate. Go crazy. Word is you already have...........
GO JACKETS !!!!!!!!
in the NBDL, but unfortunately Will the Thrill pulled a hammy and will be out a couple of weeks.
We all know that what Dave Braine said is very dangerous about Tech winning 9-10 games per year. Whether it is true or not is irrelavent. Check out what Ole Miss coach David Cutcliffe had to say about that:
On the radio: Former Ole Miss football coach David Cutcliffe was asked on
790 The Zone about Georgia Tech athletics director Dave Braine's statement that
Tech "will never" win nine or 10 games consistently. "Well, I tell you, if I had
a prospect that I was recruiting against them for, I would probably take that
[statement] and make sure he heard it," Cutcliffe said. "That's a dangerous
Wow. How true, how true. Every assistant coach in the southeast is going to use that one against us.............. Braine may have hitched his wagon to Chan Gailey, but he sure made sure Gailey had a bum hoof..........
Friday, November 18, 2005
It is a new era in Georgia Tech basketball. The faces are fresh, the chemistry is still brewing and the future is bright. In a beautiful way to start a season, the Jackets beat UNC-Ashville 80-52. It is the Jackets 12th season opening win in a row.........A pretty weel balanced offensive / defensive effort against a less talented team. There are some real positive things for the Jackets to look forward to this season.
About 5 minutes into the game, Coach Hewitt orders up the full-court press, and it led to 11 unanswered points and a 23-6 lead. Solid. UNC-Ashville was held to 33% shooting, including 1-14 from 3pt range (7%), committed 25 turnovers and the Jackets stole 16 balls from them. Solid defensive effort, even if some of that was just missing open shots and throwing the ball away. From a young team, this is encouraging, but of course this isn't ACC competition........ but.......... baby steps........... You really can't ask for a lot more than the defensive effort put out tonight. Throw in a slight rebounding advantage (35-32) and that's a winning formula.
Offensively the Jackets were solid and balanced with 5 players in double figures. And make no mistake, this team can score. The issue is not scoring ability. The issue is running the offense to create open shots. If the shots are there, this group of guys will hit them. In addition, the Jackets captalized on their defensive efforts, converting 25 UNC-A turnovers into 31 points. From the free throw line the Jackets were 17-23 - not bad at all..................... Anthony Morrow led the team with 15 points on 6-8 (3-5 3pt). A-Mo also chipped in 4 boards, 2 assists and 2 steals................... Jeremis Smith almost contributed his first career double/double with 14/9. The 9 rebounds is a career high. That's the kind of blue collar work we are going to need this season. He gets the lunch pail award tonight and something tells me he'll be eating from a lot this season. He even knocked in a 3-pointer and had 3 steals. Lewis Clinch was solid with 13 points (6-12, 1-3 3pt), and chipped in 2 boards, 3 assists, 2 steals............ Ra'Sean Dickey knocked in 12 (4-11) and grabbed 6 boards..............
HIS NAME IS RIO
Mario West was outstanding tonight. He added 11 points (3-4), 5-6 FT, 3 boards, 5 assists, 2 turnovers, 3 steals. He was great on defense playing off the ball. He is definitely going to be a key cog on this team. In addition, he is turning into a real leader on this team........... Is it just me or is Mario the "PJ Daniels" of hoops? Walk-ons who work their tails off and earn a scholly and become starters and standout players. It's not a coincidence that Rio and PJ are two of my favorite players.
ZAM HAS A ROUGH GO OF IT
Buck ends his opener as starting PG on a rough note - 6 pts (2-8), 0-3 3pt range, 1 assist, 5 turnovers, 1 steal. He played 29 minutes. We'll just have to be patient with Buck as he adjusts to running this team against live competition. Foks, don't forget that Jarrett Jack was not "Jarrett Jack" as a freshman. Anyone remember those 2 assist, 7 turnover games? There were quite a few of them. But he got better and better and better and ................ NBA...... Patience fans. He'll come around. This entire team is going to require patience. Face it, every single Paul Hewitt team required it, even if out National Championship runner-up season, where we finished 9-7 in the ACC.
BELL / AMINU DEBUT
De'Andre Bell had a rough first half, but settled down in the 2nd half to end with 3 pts (1-5), 3 boards (2 off), 1 steal, 1 to. All that in only 10 minutes........................ Alade Aminu finishes with 10 minutes, 2 pts (1-2), 3 boards, 2 steals, 2 to's...................... Paco Diaw only plays 3 minutes and doesn't register on the scoreboard.
PLAYING TIME?........ THE MINUTES BREAKDOWN
TARVER COMING TO LIFE?
There were a few glimpes of life with Theodis Tarver and Jacket fans want nothing more than to see that young man succeed. Tarver finished with 2 pts (1-2), 4 boards (2 off), 1 block, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 to. If he can contribute on defense and start to fill the stat sheets a little - what a boost!!!
JEREMIS IN THE LOCKERROOM
Jeremis Smith was outstanding in the post-game interview. Very articulate, even a bit humorous. Wes asked him about the fact that they could just keep running and running up and down the floor. He said - "we're young. We have young legs. That's what we're supposed to do. That's the plan - tire out the opponent.".
All in all, a nice way to open the season. Solid offense, Solid defense, balanced attack. Can't ask for a lot more quite frankly. Buck will get better because he understands what he needs to do. Certainly a lot to look forward to with this team.
Posted by Scott at Friday, November 18, 2005
Thursday, November 17, 2005
..... only if you don't like Chan Gailey. I'm kidding. At this point it doesn't matter if you like him or not. This is officially the darkest day for Georgia Tech athletics in modern history............The NCAA has handed down penalties over playing ineligible players in multiple sports - all due to the ineptitude of our management. It's not pretty. The NCAA pretty much pounded the hammer. Here's the report. I'll have more later, but the highlights include:
- 2 year probation
- 79 scholarship limit for 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 (an additional year over self-imposed penalty
- "public reprimand and censure"
- scholarship limits in men and women's track
- our football record will be wiped of all wins/losses for games played with ineligible players. As far as I can tell that basically means no record for a 7-year period (all seasons except 2003). In fact, I'm not sure at this point if Joe Hamilton actually existed.
There's more but I'll have to cover it later. It's a dark day for Jacket fans. A dark day indeed.
UPDATE - Here is the "official" response. They may or may not appeal and have 15 days to decide. They better do appeal..............
Posted by Scott at Thursday, November 17, 2005
Well, it's been a hectic few weeks, thus the low quantity of posting. However, I thought I would bring you up to speed on a few things. I hate to focus on potentially bad stuff, but let's get it out of the way...........
First, on potential NCAA sanctions - we'll know something today at 3:00pm. My opinion is that it won't be "positive". Was this one reason Dave Braine wanted to get Chan Gailey's contract out of the way. Obviously Gailey is not mixed up in this issue from a responsibility point-of-view, but people like to draw inferences.................
SHOULD REUBEN HOUSTON PLAY?
Well, a court ordered Reuben Houston back on the team. Fine. However, he didn't order him back on the playing field. I want us to succeed as much as anyone, but if Dave Braine is REALLY concerned about the court's ruling, then he will "make sure" that Houston never sees the field. Is a court going to prove that he is capable of playing better than existing players with this much of a layoff? Personally, I think there's a little bit of lip-service here by Dave Braine. Here's what Chan Gailey said:
"He seems to be in great shape," coach Chan Gailey said. "He may play more than I thought he would. He knew what was going on. He retained a lot. . . . I believe my obligation is to play the best players. If he's one of the best, it's my responsibility to put him out there."
Sorry, but if the school wants to take a stand on this issue, then he never sees action - period. They have that power. Having said that, this is an ethical decision and the "right" path might involve making a decision that costs us a win. What would you do? I'll say this - it is these types of decisions that come from a fan base that puts winning football games ahead of ethics and morality. The constant pressure to win can "shade" a decision. Is Coach wrong? If we are beating Miami with 2 minutes left on Saturday and a Miami wider receiver beats our current starting corner for the game-winning TD, and Reuben starting would have prevented it, are you ok with that?................ Remember, Reuben has already admitted to knowingly hook up a dealer with a buyer. Maybe he gets charges dropped, but has he violated the ETHICS policy of the school? Are the 9 games he has already missed punishment enough for that? Where is your head on this one?
Meanwhile, here are more details about "similar" cases used to get him back on the team. Here is an old archive on the Cory Collins case referenced by the AJC.............
Posted by Scott at Thursday, November 17, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Recruiting for the 2006 class was just finished for another sport - golf. Looks like Coach Bruce Heppler has signed 4 outstanding players, including 3 in the national top 100. Nice going!!!
Posted by Scott at Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Well, I was sworn to secrecy on this until it became public, but now it's public. Reuben Houston is BACK..................He attended practice today in shorts, while the the rest of the team was in pads. Why?..... Evidently a judge has ORDERED Georgia Tech to reinstate Houston to the team. I mean ORDERED. Now here's the weird part. GT officials are SHOCKED and openly upset at the ruling, since in Dave Braine's words "Playing college football, especially at a school like Georgia Tech, is a privilege, not a right."........................ Has there EVER been such a no-lose situation arise in the history of Georgia Tech sports? A kid makes a HUGE error in judgement, who also happens to be your starting corner and best DB. He's kicked off the team because of it, but now a judge is "forcing" him back on the team. Dave Braine can come out publicly and be outraged (which he has), all the while Houston starts getting ready to help the team for the remainder of the season.
Could Coach Gailey's luck finally be changing? Instead of flunkgate, injuries and eligibility issues, he gets a 5-year contract extension and now a federal court is ORDERING our best DB player back on the field regardless of federal charges against him. I think this just may be the start of something big. Are you sniffing upsets against Miami and UGAg? Are you thinking our recruiting class takes a turn to the top 20? Are you sniffing no NCAA sanctions? Right now, anything seems possible..............................................
Posted by Scott at Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
It looks like the wait is over - is Chan the man or not? Evidently Chan is still the man, because the Georgia Tech Athletic Board approved a new contract extension. Word on the street is that it is a 5-year deal (unconfirmed), but we should know something soon.
From the AJC, here is where he stands with the all-time Tech coaching greats:
Coach Record Pct.
Bobby Dodd............... 30-12 .714
George O'Leary........ 28-18 .609
Chan Gailey*............. 27-20 .574
Bill Fulcher**............ 12-10-1 .543
Pepper Rodgers........ 23-20-1 .534
Bobby Ross............... 23-21-1 .522
Bud Carson............... 21-21 .500
Bill Lewis**............... 11-19 .367
Bill Curry................... 11-32-1 .261
*Has at least two games left in his fourth season.
**Fulcher coached two seasons, Lewis three.
The "Buzz" from Tech fans is along these lines:
1. Many like the decision, a few don't (big surprise there). Most glad it's decided.
2. This will help recruiting BIGTIME (that is, if it hasn't hurt it too much already this season)
3. A few feel that 5-years (if true) might be a bit too long
4. Was this decision made now knowing the odds going into a Miami/UGA final two games?
At the end of the day, you cannot have a coach in limbo trying to recruit talented kids. It's just too much ammo for opposing recruiters and puts too much doubt in an 18-year old's head. If Dave Braine gives Coach Gailey a 4-5 year extension, then it would ensure that a kid would know he would be there until he graduates (barring the good ole buyout clause). However, we cannot ignore the fact that THIS year's class may be hurt because of this situation. ................. In addition, you can debate all day if Coach Gailey is the guy to get us to a 9 or 10 win season. However, you cannot tell me that he's done anything to really deserve a pink slip.
Let's take a quick look at what next year would bring:
- senior QB Reggie Ball
- Junior C.Johnson and very good WR core (JJ, PC, GS, MF)
- An O-Line 1 year older and probably 10-20 lbs stronger per man.
- Mansfield Wrotto finally on the O-Line??????? I say he makes the switch with D.Richard back
- Daryl Richard back on the interior of the D-Line next to J.Anaoi;
- Vance Walker / E.Anyaibe in the DT rotation on the interior.
- A.Oliver / Darrell Robertson / Michael Johnson at DE (key loss with E.Henderson)
- LB core of K-Hall, P.Wheeler, G.Guyton & youngsters T.Chamers, M.Braman, A.Barnes in the wings
- Senior K.Scott - can he become a national star shutdown corner? Jamal Lewis ]takes the next step?
- Tashard Choice carrying the rock. R.Grant / D.Gause backing him up. Junior Cox at FB
- Two senior TE's and a young stud in Peek and a healthy W.Riles
- Key losses - E.Henderson, Reis, Landry, Wilkinson, D.Davis, PJ Daniels, D.Bilbo, G.Tarquinio, B.Honeycutt, C.Woods
There are some big player losses, but there is also a ton of talent coming back and young talent waiting in the wings. The cupboard is NOT bare, the current team is competitive, they have overcome adversity (remember the losses of Reuben Houston, Daryl Richard, Travis Parker this year), losses of Hargrove, Gathers, etc in years past........... All-in-all, I still like the direction we are headed. With the well-documented limitations on any coach at Georgia Tech, Chan Gailey has performed well - not great - but well. Throw in the fact that he's a good man, recruits high-character kids and you've got a good combination of someone with the potential to take things further - all while living up to the standard that we all want Georgia Tech athletics to maintain.
However, I have decided what my expectations of Georgia Tech football are moving forward............ top 25.............. That's it............ That simple............ Top 25.......... If we can stay in or around the top 25 that means we are significant on a national scale. It means we are winning often and we're probably in the ACC race. That's it. Nothing complicated. Just top 25.... in it, or around it................
Personally, I'm glad this is over. I don't know if the timing had to do with recruiting, or getting it out of the way before two TOUGH upcoming games, or getting it out of the way before the NCAA hands down some type of penalty, etc. Bottom-line - I'm glad it's over. I'm glad that Coach Gailey is solid for a few more years. For once, let's just give a guy a real chance to build a program, and not just give it lip service. Let's see if Dave Braine has another Frank Beamer "up his sleeve".
Posted by Scott at Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
Hey Buck Fredrick...............In the immortal words on Marilyn Monroe - "They hate you........ They really, really hate you".................. Check this out..... you were ranked LAST by Jeff Goodman of Scout.com as the worst Point Gaurd in the ACC:
12. Zam Frederick, 6-0, 201, Soph., Georgia Tech
With Jarrett Jack
leaving a year early and incoming freshman Austin Jackson signing with the New
York Yankees and going the pro baseball route, Frederick is realistically Paul
Hewitt's lone option at the point. Going from Jack to Frederick is kind of like
going from Lou Gehrig to Wally Pipp. "He's not really a point guard. He's a
scorer. He'll be overmatched in this league."
Wow, looks like a challenge to me. That even looks like a bit of an attack. "Wally Pipp" is what he called you. Ouch. I'm sure you'll have you answer on the court.
Posted by Scott at Monday, November 14, 2005
On the Thaddeus Young mud-slinging, Coach Hewitt first said this after signing day was over:
"It's awfully irresponsible journalism to print a story like that," Hewitt said. "You have a 3.5 [GPA] student, a model citizen, a star basketball player who has never done anything wrong. His mom and dad are very supportive of him. I find it hard to believe that a story like that has any legs."
Hewitt said pressure on sources to provide proof of those rumors has essentially forced the issue to be buried. Now, Young, who averaged 23.6 points, 12.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game, can enjoy his senior season.
"A lot of the talk has died down now that people have been called on the carpet," Hewitt said. ". . . I know there have been some people who have stepped up very aggressively and said, 'Hey, if you've got proof, let's put it out there or there's going to be some action taken.' Now, all of a sudden, that source has backed off."
Now Coach Hewitt has said some more direct things about Keith Easterwood (remember he's the radio guy in Memphis who USED to coach Young until he left his team to join a new AAU team run by his father Felton Young:
"The guy's disgruntled because he lost out on a great player," Hewitt said, "so he's gonna smear the kid and his father as much as he could."
Well, Easterwood fired back:
Said Easterwood in response to Hewitt's comments, "That's a war I can't win. If Paul Hewitt wants to act like Felton Young is squeaky clean, then shame on Paul Hewitt ... Why he would throw mud at me, I don't know."
Posted by Scott at Monday, November 14, 2005
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Small consolation I know, as the Jackets lose 27-17 to UVA, extending our losing streak in Charlottesville to 15 years. I didn't see the game, as it wasn't broadcast in the upstate of SC, so I won't go into major detail. In fact, I'll let you break things down. Here are some of my comments:
- UVA opened strong and finished strong. You cannot spot a team 14 points early. We're not a "come-from-behind" type team. We've only had 2 quarters all season where we actually scored 2 TD's or more.
- Our defense started bad and ended bad (see #1)
- Our offense did what it always does - score less than 20 points against good teams. However, let's be real - UVA's defense is NOT that good, and it was further depleted. We just didn't have a good plan or good execution against what the Cav's were trying to do defensively.
- Turnover margin was even, which means we're now 6-0 when positive and 0-3 when it's not positive
- Penalties, a big missed FG, bad field position, dropped passes, "little things" weren't there tonight.
- Reggie was Reggie, 20/38 (52%), 1 TD, 1 INT. I'm sure there were some really pretty OB throws (sarcasm). And another wonderful job avoiding sacks. Oh yeah, Hagans completed over 70% of his passes, but that's not important.
- Give the team credit for coming back and tying the game 17-all. For awhile there I was having flashbacks to Blacksburg. But the team really bucked up and showed some grit. I admire that for sure.
- What is the deal with our kick-offs? How hard is it to kick the ball at least close to the endzone?
At the end of the day, there are times in a season when a team has a golden opportunity to "turn a corner", to elevate a season to a level it hasn't been in awhile. Today was that day. A 7-2 record going into Miami / UGAg had such potential. But it wasn't meant to be. Now improving on the consistent 7-win mark will require taking down either the Hurricanes or the Dawgs, neither of which sounds real plausible right now.
Congrats to the team on fighting the good fight. That dang Charlottesville is just a bugger for us. UVA is a physical team and it was their day. 24-hour rule is in effect. Let's get ready for a rebound, which is an understatement of monumental proportions. It's going to take more than a "rebound" to score points on the best defense in the nation in Miami. But get ready - still gotta play the games.
Fans, don't give up on a better season yet. Just think for one second - what if we did win 1-of-2 to end the season, then win a bowl? That's 8 wins. What if we lost to Miami, then beat UGAg? That would be pretty dang satisfying if you ask me. There are lots of possibilities, so don't throw in the towel yet. The team certainly won't, and they don't deserve the fans quitting on them. I'm just as frustrated as many of you are, but at the end of the day, this is a great team.
Posted by Scott at Saturday, November 12, 2005
Enough is enough folks. Somethings MUST come to an end. NCST ended their losing streak to the Jackets, and to find the right balance, another streak must come to an end today - the fact that the Jackets haven't won in Charlottesville since that famous 1990 game on the foot of Scott Sisson. Enough is enough. There is no "Scott Sisson curse". That's just ridiculous......... Let's take a look at how the Jackets are going to win this game.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
1. Containment. If the Jackets are going to win, they are going to have to contain Marcus Hagans. Keep him in the pocket. It was FSU's disregard for his talents that led to their demise against the Cav's (along with some self-destructive penalties and turnovers). However, it was North Carolina's respect for Hagans that led to their victory over the Cav's. Keep him contained and make him pass the ball.
Now, Jon Tenuta will have to earn his stripes today. Mobile, versatile QB's tend to have success against aggressive defensive schemes. Teams like Maryland and BC took containment approaches and it worked. The D will still be aggressive, but Coach Tenuta might have to make some key in-game adjustments.........Look for a few things - the shotgun. UVA used the shotgun against Temple and look for it again today. This will give Hagans more time to go through his reads and make better decisions. Our aggressive defense is designed to force bad decision making, so look for the shotgun to counteract that.......... Look for screens and quick, short passes. If Hagans is going to complete passes, many of them are going to have to be shorter routes where blitzers once were. More decision-making issues............ Running inside/passing outside. The speed of the Tech defense does not allow a lot of outside running. Look for UVA to establish the running game on the inside and establish the outside with the passing game.............. Watch the tight ends. They have the ability to find soft spots in the defense, particularly when most defenders are chasing Hagans around.
Good passing teams have had success passing against the Jackets. The defense will need to be ready.
2. TURNOVERS. Broken record here, but it's true. When the Jackets are positive in the turnover battle we are 6-0. When we haven't had a turnover advantage we are 0-2. Maybe this should be #1.................
3..... 3-4 DEFENSE. While most other teams line up 4 defensive linemen, the typically line-up 3, then add a 4th linebacker. Why? Create confusion. Think of lineman and linebackers with the analogy of walls and missles. The D-Lineman's job is to create a wall and not let the O-Line push down the wall. The LB's job is to be a missle and fire through the gaps in the wall. So UVA runs a scheme that creates more missles than walls. Their hope is that the Tech O-Line gets confused and that there are often unblocked missles that make their way to to Reggie BAll. It gives them additional flexibility to drop more guys back in coverage and it puts more pressue on Reggie Ball to make good decisions as well. This defense has me worried a bit.
4...... Special Teams. We must NOT allow big special teams plays. No blocked punts/kicks, big returns, etc. These are huge momentum plays on the road and REALLY get the crowd into the game - anyone remember VaTech after the blocked FG and return for TD? Need I say more?
Joe Anaoi has been upgraded to probable, which means it could be the first time the regular starting lineup is on the field since the UNC game.......
As I said in a previous post, I just have a good feeling about this one. The Jackets will break the streak. They will win. I predict a 24-21 victory. It should be a grand day as the Jackets win their 4th game in a row.................
Posted by Scott at Saturday, November 12, 2005
Friday, November 11, 2005
Not sure I'll get a game preview up - check back before gametime Saturday, but make your predictions here. Mine - the Jackets WILL win this game. I just feel it like I haven't felt it in awhile.
Final - Jackets 24...... Virginia 21
What is your prediction?
Posted by Scott at Friday, November 11, 2005
On November 11, 1978 Eddie Lee Ivery rushed for 356 yards to lead Georgia Tech to a 42-21 victory over Air Force.
Posted by Scott at Friday, November 11, 2005
Thursday, November 10, 2005
I'm going to leave this at the top for awhile:
Time to do what is REALLY important - send a holiday greeting Tech alumni deployed away from home. OUTSTANDING idea by the alumni association. Take the time and do. Don't forget - these are the men and women protecting our rights to act like complete idiots on the internet and even in person. They are giving up many of their own freedoms to protect ours. They are laying down their lives for the cause of freedom.
Prayers and Thanks to those serving. You are appreciated!!!
Follow-up: I received this note today:
I truly appreciate you mentioning the Holiday Greeting project on your webpage- our deployed Yellow Jackets are going to be overwhelmed by the holiday wishes from everyone! We currently have 57 pages (and counting) of holiday greetings. Thank you so much.
Parent Program Manager
Georgia Tech Alumni Association
It's official - 4 players suspended:
UVa suspends four players
Updated: 12:11 PM
The Roanoke Times
Co-captain Tony Franklin was the most prominent of four Virginia football players suspended today for an undisclosed “violation of team policy.”
Virginia announced that Franklin, Kwakou Robinson, Vince Redd and Ottowa Anderson will not play Saturday against 24th-ranked Georgia Tech in a 3:30 p.m. game at Scott
Franklin and Robinson started at safety and nose tackle, respectively, in the Cavaliers’ most recent game, a 51-3 victory over Temple last Saturday. Redd is a reserve defense end and Anderson a back-up wide receiver.
Franklin, a junior, has started 26 games during his UVa career and is third on the team in tackles this year with 42. Robinson, a senior, only recently returned to the starting lineup after a three-game absence, but his loss follows a decision by former starter Ron Darden to give up football.
Now THIS is what I call interesting stuff - really!
After his senior year at Union County High, Arndt could've walked on at Tech. Instead,he took a scholarship offer at Tusculum, where he spent two seasons and split the punting chores as a sophomore. He also learned his unique punting style there.
Arndt takes 1 steps before kicking the ball. Typically, punters will take one or three.
"When you pick up a soccer ball, usually you just pick up two steps to punt it. I played some goalkeeper in high school and it just seemed natural," Arndt said. "I felt like the third step was a waste, and I could get the ball as far as I needed with just two."
The shorter approach is one reason Arndt has yet to have a punt blocked in 129 career attempts at Tech. If the punter can have the ball away within 2.2 seconds, it is nearly impossible to block, statistics have shown. Snapper Gavin Tarquinio and Arndt have their snap-to-kick time down to fewer than two seconds.
Also, you NEED to read this entire transcript from Coach's latest press conference. TONS of great stuff in there about the UVA 3-4 defense, and other great stuff. Also interviews with Arndt, Honeycutt and Reis. Really great Q&A.............
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the latest slobbering over Calvin Johnson. Although I have to admit, this might be some of the best comments yet from a writer:
To say Calvin Johnson catches passes is to say Norah Jones sings. He plucks
passes from the clouds, collects passes the way others collect rare art,
apprehends passes that escape the grasp of mortal receivers.
He's the best wideout in the ACC..... No. 2 needs to hail a bullet train to
catch up. Johnson also is Virginia's problem come Saturday, not a soothing
notion for a secondary that normally makes gill nets look airtight. Johnson is
good for 18 yards per reception - 40 of them so far this year. He's rung up five
touchdowns to date and a dozen for his 20-game college career, and he's also
drawn 14 holding or pass-interference calls from defenses that can't otherwise
cope with him.
That's what Dave Telep says about the Jackets hoops team:
Better Get ‘Em This Year: Paul Hewitt and Georgia Tech are rebuilding. The
Jackets are going to take their lumps this season but teams better get their
whacks in this year because Hewitt reloaded. Thaddeus Young and Javaris
Crittenton are elite level players at the small forward and point guard
Just another subtle, or maybe not so subtle, slight to the current team. The comment "Hewitt is really loading up for next year" might become a common refrain, but I have the feeling this year's edition isn't so quick to jump ahead. They certainly have something to prove.
It's official - Coach Hewitt and staff have inked a top 10 recruiting class. Scout.com says it's the #6 overall and Rivals.com says it's #7. Hoopscoop says it's #9. Rivals ranks this class as 2nd in the ACC, only behind the loaded UNC class. Bottom-line - it's building on the base established by the outgoing guys like Jack, Elder, Bynum, Schenshcer, T-Mac, Ish. It's a balanced class that fits needs. Oh yeah, and they're talented.
Building a truly elite competitive top program requires a nice balance of 3-4 year standouts with a mix of one-and-done "types". You have to build a strong base of talent that can withstand the departure of exceptional talent. We all saw the fall of Coach Cremins after the Stephon Marbury exit. Coach Cremins wasn't prepared for it. It appears Coach Hewitt is well on his way. The base is built. By adding 2 top 10 prospects in the backcourt and 2 solid 4-year post-players with huge upside, he might have the best Georgia Tech recruiting class since the Kenny Anderson / Malcolm Mackey / Daryl Barnes class. Add that to 2 top 20 recruiting classes on the current team and you are looking at an exciting future for Georgia Tech basketball.
So let's meet the class of 2006:
Javaris Crittenton, 6'4", 195lb, Atlanta, GA
Rivals #1 PG in the nation & #7 player overall
Scout #3 PG in the nation & #15 player overall
HoopScoop #7 in the nation, Street & Smith high honorable mention all-american
Clearly in the mold of Hewitt's ideal PG - big, strong and physical. Javaris has THE most NBA-ready body of ANY PG in this class. JC played with Dwight Howard for 2 years and together they won a state championship. However, without Howard, he still led his team to the state title game as a junior which they eventually lost. As a junior he averaged 28.4 pts, 7.5 assists, 8.2 boards, 3.6 steals. Uh - solid. Early on Javaris was tagged as a scoring guard, a guy who could get to the hoop with ease, but not a guy with a strong outside shot or an ability to lead a team. He has squarely changed that perception. His passing is crisp and effective and he is clearly a team leader on the floor. He works on his shot every day and has become a legit threat from the outside. There is no doubt he will be hard to prevent from taking over the starting PG spot once he arrives on campus. One thing is for sure - he has the potential and credentials to become the next great PG in a line that includes Price, Neal, Anderson, Best, Marbury, Akins, Barry, Barry, Jack. You get the idea.
Thaddeus Young, 6'8", 205lb, Memphis, TN
Rivals #2 SF in the nation & #3 player overall
Scout #2 SF in the nation & #7 player overall
Hoopscoop #14 in the nation, Street & Smith 2nd team all-american
Mr.Basketball AA - state of TN
After a roller-coaster recruitment, he finally chose the Jackets, to the delight of Tech fans and the anger of Memphis fans. He is considered by many to be the most versatile player in the nation. He can play any position on the floor if needed. However, he has a clear goal - roam the wing, fire from long-distance or slash to the hoop. He can bang and battle underneath, but it was the recruitment of guys like Sheehan, Peacock, Aminu, Smith, etc, that ultimately led to picking the Jackets. He sees himself as a 2/3 - period. You know what - that's fine with me. He can really do it all. He runs the floor, has a great handle, slashes, shoots, etc, etc, etc. As a junior he averaged 23.6 pts, 12.2 boards, 6.1 assists, 4.3 steals, 2.3 blocks at Mitchell High. His high school AD has nothing but praise for him. Actually says he's a choir boy. No, I mean really - like, on the choir. Oh yeah - 4.3 GPA, no issues on the academic side. Now, on the reality side of things - Thad is the most likely one-and-done guy of any in the class (in the nation). He's made it clear he would have declared for the NBA had he been allowed (send your thank you notes to David Stern). So don't go getting all huffy when he leaves after one season. You can hope and pray for a couple of seasons, but don't hold your breath. Now, we all know that getting the talent to campus is often half the battle. If you can do that, very few actually leave after one season. In fact, there's only been an average of 2 one-and-done players per year for the past 4 years. Not that common if you can believe it. But again.....don't...... hold....... breath
Zach Peacock, 6'7", 225lb, Norland, FL
unranked by Rivals & Scout.
Hoopscoop #183, Street & Smith high honorable mention all-american
2nd team all-state
(Picture from Scout.com).....Think lunch-pail guy. Think hustle. Think effort. Think double/double...... well at the high school level. He seemed like a double/double lock all summer - didn't matter what event or who he was playing against. Zach is a VERY solid guy who gets after it. He seems to have a knack for being around the ball. He will play well in Coach Hewitt's system that needs long, physical bouncy players. He body is very developed and he has wide shoulders. In other words, he really has a college-ready body. He averaged 17.9 pts, 11.2 boards, 2.8 blocks as a junior. From the video clips I saw, he seemed to have a nice inside game and even a mid-range game out 12-15 feet. Peacock should be an excellent 4-year player, one of those guys you build the base of your program around that allows you to bring in one of those one-and-done guys and not absolutely crash the program. His reported academics weren't exactly top-notch, so hopefully the academic support system will ease him into the Tech culture. I could be making something out of nothing there. Duke was his dream school, but they never recruited him - another axe to grind?
Brad Sheehan, 6'11", 200lb, Albany, NY
Unranked by Rivals & Scout
Hoopscoop #245, Street & Smith high honorable mention all-american
Think Luke Schenscher Part II, only slightly shorter and more athletic. Coach Hewitt reached back to his Siena days in the Albany, NY area to pick-up this center. Syracuse thought they had this guy in the bag, but the Hewitt charms came through. It didn't hurt that Sheehan's mom works at Siena and remembers Hewitt fondly. As a junior, Brad averaged 15.5 pts, 10 boards, 5 blocks. It's going to take some muscle and development before he's a major force inside the paint in the tough ACC, but Sheehan has tremendous upside. He can run the floor very well, can block shots and has a nice little jumper out to 15 feet. He has some decent back-to-the-basket skills which can certainly be developed. He will have to pull a Schenscher and add a good 20-30 pounds of muscle to defend the strong ACC post-men, but the frame is there. During his official visit, he played some pick-up games with the current team and guys like Luke Schenscher. Players were pretty impressed with how he held his own. Consider him a guy that hit the national recruiting radar late in the recruiting process and is seen as having a tremendous upside. Another solid 4-year contributor and adds great depth underneath. He may not have a top 100 ranking, but the potential is high. Great get.
Overall, there is so much to get excited about that you find it hard to remember that we have a brand new 2005/06 season just getting underway. But let's look forward for a minute and think about this:
PG - J.Crittenton (F), Z.Fredrick (Jr)
SG - L.Clinch (So), A.Morrow (Jr), M.West (Sr)
SF - T.Young (Fr), D.Bell (So), P.Diaw (So)
PF - J.Smith (Jr), A.Aminu (So), Z.Peacock (Fr)
C - R.Dickey (Jr), B.Sheehan(Fr)
Wow. I mean wow. There is just so much to think about as a team. Next season will bring talent, experience and depth at almost every position. No doubt Coach Hewitt finally broke through in this class with some truly elite players. He made big headway with many top players, but struck out with many of them the past few years. But this class could change things. The last two classes truly re-build the base. Two years ago coach added 4 top 100 very very good guys, but no truly "elite" players. Lewis Clinch was THE elite player last year, but even he was outside of the truly top elite. With the NBA, Clinch ended up in the elite that actually headed to college. Now Hewitt adds two truly elite players in the first year with an age limit. Are you seeing a trend here? This class is one that could put the Jackets in truly "elite" company next year as a team. WWWAAAAYYY too early to make that call, but folks - that is a stacked roster.
Zach, Thaddeus, Javaris and Brad - welcome to Georgia Tech. We couldn't have been more pleased you chose the ATL for your homebase. You know how we do it in the dirty south. If not, you'll find out soon.
CONGRATS and GO JACKETS !!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
You have to take this with a grain of salt, as no coach wants to create bulletin board material, and they all tend to talk glowingly no matter who the opponent. Having said that - nice words towards Coach Gailey and the team:
“After our preliminary work [Tech] appears to be the best personnel and the
most versatile, scheme-wise, offense that we’ve played against.” - Al Groh
Posted by Scott at Tuesday, November 08, 2005