Thursday, November 30, 2006

Football Coaching Changes

Ok, something interesting rumblings on the coaching staff..

Not going to happen per Chan Gailey

AJC confirmed the note I posted yesterday - he might be interested in the Tulane job, they might be interested in him, but nobody has contacted anyone.............. yet

CURTIS MODKINS TO NORTH TEXAS? has him listed as a possible candidate for the head coaching job at North Texas.

Well, we dodged a bullet with the Michigan State head coaching job, but now there are rumors that Texas wants him as their new DC and are willing to pony up big bucks. I'll break out my thoughts on that later, but bottom-line - it's a higher profile job, but does it get him closer to that head coaching job he wants? Debatable. Very iffy. You can argue either way. I don't think it happens, as he's already one of the highest paid assistants in the nation (highest in the ACC), but Texas can go much deeper if they want.....

So what does all this mean? Well, you start winning and people think there must be a reason, and that usually starts with the coaching staff. If you're winning these things happen.

Now let's tie this in to a recent article................. Bill Curry is one of the most philosophical writers you will find in the sports media market. His articles on are just a joy to read. His latest is an article about how football programs are rewarded for making rational decisions around hiring and particularly firing coachings. As usual, much of the article is well-written, offers excellent perspective and makes many solid points.

Here's how it starts:

John Heisman was the head football coach at Georgia Tech from 1904 until 1919. He moved on to other coaching jobs, eventually landing at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York, where the Heisman Trophy was originated, then named after him upon his death. On Heisman's departure from Tech, Bill Alexander assumed command, and remained until 1944. Bobby Dodd, an Alexander assistant, became head coach in 1945. He remained head football coach until 1966, retiring after his last team played in the Orange Bowl.

Three head coaches in 63 years … three that established a program in which each won national titles, produced outstanding graduation rates, and during which all three earned membership in the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame.


Now, on this article I am a tad bit disappointed. He talks a lot about the Alabama job, but he doesn't relate any personal experience he had while he was there. It would have added to the text.

Lastly, he doesn't talk about the other side of the coin - coaches who taste a little success, but jump at the first chance at the "bigger" limelight. In fact, here's a perfect chance for him to talk about leaving FOR Alabama instead of trying to become one of the legacy of Heisman, Alexander and Dodd at Tech. Don't get me wrong. I don't hold any grudge for him leaving. He did what he thought was best. But he passed up a chance when nobody was running him out of town, and he didn't talk about it in the article. So where is the loyalty? Are all the situations above "rational". Should coaches have a responsibility to stay if the program wants them? Welcome to corporate America, where the "what have you done for me lately" crowd thrives.

I don't really have the right answers. I agree that the sports culture today is too impatient. We live in a world of open 24 /7, instant gratification, round-the-clock, overnight delivery, to-your-door convenience. We want it now, and too many of us aren't willing to invest in the "buy and hold" strategy. But the stock market proves a new generation of day-traders wrong all the time.

The fact is that a head coaching change sets a program back, particularly if it wasn't doing too badly. If Chan had not been given a contract extension and run off, I don't think we're playing for the ACC title. Just an opinion. Stability is of critical importance to success. Do you think it's any coincidence that the Tech recruiting efforts skyrocketed after Coach Gailey got his contract extension? It absolutely played a role! It is important to the kids. Stability is critical.

Now there is a balance. Another 3 years of Bill Lewis would not have benefitted Georgia Tech - and on that we can all agree. There's a reason that his name is typed as B***L**** on the bulletin boards. The answer lies in the direction of the program - which is NOT solely judged by wins and losses.

- Are you bringing in talented kids?
- Are you bringing in high character kids?
- Are you bringing in kids that can do the school work?
- Are you graduating those players?
- Are you developing the kids in football AND if life?
- Are you representing the program with honor?
- Are you a good spokesman for the program and school?
- Are you a leader?
- Are you team builder?
- Are you helping build a better infrastructure at your school?
- How do you deal with adversity?
- Do your teams have a heartbeat?
- Are your teams consistenty competitive?
- Oh yeah............. are you winning?

If a head coach is doing most of these things, then as an Athletic Director, I think you have to sometimes say - hey, the wins and losses will come. We are headed in the right direction, and we will not pander to the instant gratification crowd - the Taz's of the world. We will stay the course. Dave Braine did that with Coach Gailey and Coach has proven that it was the right choice. Oh, there are people on the fringe once again ready to jump off a bridge after a 6th consecutive loss to the mutts. There are people who NEVER liked Chan Gailey as our coach from day 1, and those people's minds won't be swayed no matter what. They are the stubborn few and usually the squeeky wheels.

Stability is important to a program. It's proven. It works............ well, unless you're Chuck Amato, but then there's an exception to every rule.

Stewart Mandel Makes Good?

"Varsity and 790 the Zone are hosting an event onFriday morning from 10am to 11am. They are giving away 600 hot dogs to the first 600 students who come by Varsity. 790 and Varsity are creating thisevent around a Sports Illustrated reporter who picked Chan Gailey as one ofthe worst coaches in the country for the past two years. The reporter is showing up and buying hotdogs to make good on a bet that Coach would not win the division. They plan to dress the reporter up in Tech gear and a wig and get photos of him eating his words, literally. First and foremost though, we'd like the student's support at the team sendoff Friday at 1:30pm. Just wanted to let you know!

This from Jennifer Pierce, Director of Promotions and Events for Georgia Tech athletics.

UPDATE: This the exact wording from D-Rad's latest issue of "The Sting"

On June 28, 2006, Stewart Mandel, a writer for , listed Georgia Tech's Head Football Chan Gailey, for the second year in a row, as one of the top three worst coaches in the NCAA, stating "If Tech wins its division, he's off the list and a round of hot dogs are on me."

This Friday, December 1 at 11:00 AM, Mandel will be on site at The Varsity's downtown location off of North Avenue, where the first 600 Tech Fans will receive a ticket for a free hot dog, courtesy of Make sure to come and be a party of this celebration!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Football Notes

Calvin Johnson is your ACC Player of the Year (and offensive player of the year)............... Patrick Nix is being rumored for the Tulane job if you can believe that, and I'm hearing he might just be interested...............

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hoops - Jackets Win Their ACC / Big 10 Challenge

Well, they finally had one. They finally had their first test to see if this year's edition could finish a game with a lead. Tonight the answer was................... yes................ barely...................... but barely counts. The Jackets beats Penn State 77-73. They never actually trailed in the 2nd half, but it got within a point a couple of times. They held tough and converted down the stretch, even as Penn State kept making shot after shot. Nice effort, but still a lot to work on.............

DEFENSE........... D
What is this defense you speak of? Is this some kind of new concept? ............... Honestly, you can't really know how good the defense was without watching the film, but we know this much. Penn State shot 57% overall and 50% from long range. They had a ton of easy layups and a bunch of open 3pt shots............ and they didn't miss them. On the flip side, the Jackets had 15 steals. That's a lot, and Penn State turned the ball over 20 times. That's a lot........... and they converted those turnovers into 33 points. That was the game right there folks. The rest doesn't matter much. However, we better get better guarding guys off the dribble.

Here are the rebounding efficiency stats for the night:

Rebounding Efficiency

Penn State.....OR 30.4%...... DR 56.5%...... Win
UCLA............. OR 40.6%..... DR 81.8%..... Loss
Memphis....... OR 67.6%..... DR 76.7%...... Win
Purdue...........OR 58.6%...... DR 79.5%..... Win
Ga St..............OR 37.5%....... DR 79.3%..... Win
Jackson St.....OR 52.4%....... DR 70.3%..... Win
Elon................OR 54.8%....... DR 73.7%...... Win

Remember OR% is the percent of the time the Jackets grabbed their own miss.............. DR% is the percent of the time the Jackets grabbed a Penn State miss. Not a super night overall. They were outrebounded overall, both on the offensive and defensive glass. The rebounding efficiency stats don't look great. Work to be done here folks.

OFFENSE.............. B+
Folks, offense is not a problem on this team. We can score inside. We can score outside. Is A-Mo cold? No problem - give it to Clinch. Clinch cold? No problem - give it to Thad. Thad cold? No problem, let Javaris do his thing. Shall I go on? The team shoots 55% tonight, including 42% from long range. We had 15 assists on 28 buckets, which is ok, and only turned the ball over 13 times. That's not too bad. Lewis Clinch led the way with 20 on 8-13 shooting. A-Mo is starting to get his stroke back, as he scored 15, including 4-8 from long range. All-in-all, 4 guys in double figures (JC / JS the others)

I take it back. There is a problem on offense - free throw shooting. That is why I couldn't give an "A" rating. 11-19 from the stripe tonight. Broken record......................

Notes from Coach Hewitt's post-game comments
- Offensively we handled their zone fine (90% of the defense they played)
- Defensively we didn't play well, particularly off the dribble. They had a couple of pet plays they like to run, and we let them happen anyway and that gave them some early confidence.
- We were off track guarding the ball. We were getting lost off screens
- Lewis (Clinch) was great offensively tonight, but he'll be the first to tell you that he was one of the guys missing assignments, particularly a key one down the stretch that gave them a wide open 3.
- Mario West, if he's not on the team, we don't win against Memphis, and probably not again tonight. We don't need guys to do what he does, but we need to play within ourselves better.
- Zach Peacock did a great job all night guarding off the ball. (Coach has said that Zach might be our best off-the-ball defender recently)
- Coach also thought Javaris did a nice job off the ball defensively and he also like how JC talked to his teammates tonight.
- We have time to work on the defense for the opening ACC game Sunday against Miami, but we will get it back.
- Thaddeus Young should play Sunday. He sat tonight mostly for precautionary reasons. Coach felt the season was long enough that the extra rest to Sunday would do some good (code - this is going to possibly be a nagging thing all year). Said Thad was already feeling better today.

Lewis was interviewed by Wes right after the Coach. Here were his comments
- Defensively, a few of us had breakdowns, starting with me
- We have plenty of guys who can score 20 any night. Defense is the key.
- He has no problem with all the subbing that Coach does because everyone on the team is confident in each person's skills and what they bring. Not a problem at all.
- 'Rio is a tremendous leader for the team. Said - "truthfully, most of us are probably on the team based on our offensive skills", but Rio sets the example defensively. He's going to dig deep to play D, dive under the scoring table, etc. He gets us going because we don't want him to show us up being the only guy making things happen.

So there you have it. Coach Hewitt's keys to successful basketball are defense and rebounding, and we probably had our worst effort of the season with both (or close to it)............. and we still won................ Go figure...... A quality win that represents the ACC well as part of our continued dominance in the ACC/Big10 challenge. The team moves to 6-1 with some real quality games so far. You can see the potential. I keep saying that, because it's still potential. But it's there and it's exciting.....................


Hoops - Don't Worry About the Polls

There seem to be a decent number of people upset over the fact that the Jackets went to Maui, made it to the championship game and dropped in the polls. We beat a good Purdue team, a top 15 Memphis team and lost to the new #1 team in the nation. In fact, the teams we played had a record of 6-0 against teams that WERE NOT Georgia Tech.

So how do we drop? I'll tell you how. Our team went to Maui, played three games, but only played two good halves. We played 2 terrible halves, two good ones and one mediocre one. We fell behind early in every game and were playing catch-up the whole time. There wasn't a complete game in the bunch. What does that tell the "experts" who vote?.......... inconsistency........... What does starting 3 freshman tell the experts?............... Inconsistency................. What happens when your head coach tells the media that your team is ranked too high to be in the top 20 (he did)? They start believing him.................. So it all makes sense to me, even though our team can hold our heads WAY high after that performance in Maui.

Now here's part II....................... the polls are meaningless.................... especially now................ I mean, really, are you telling me that this group of people really knows who the top 25 teams are right now? No way. The polls don't mean anything right now and they don't represent anything other than a media gimmick to generate discussion and interest and get people to watch TV and listen to the radio.

What matters is winning as many of these early games as possible before hitting the ACC schedule. What matters is our freshman learning the collegiate game. What matters is this squad developing that chemistry that will matter so much in the post-season.

Don't sweat the polls right now. In February maybe. In November...................... forget about it.

On a separate note, Thad Young will not play tonight as he battles tendonitis in his knee. Not good, as this is probably one of those things he'll battle all year........................ Also, Mouhammad Faye re-injured his wrist early in the game tonight. He's on the bench with ice on it now.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Football - All ACC Teams Announced

Congrats to the Jackets as they had a strong showing for the ALL ACC teams. There were a couple of surprises as well. Let's take a look at the list.

2006 ACSMA/AP All-ACC Football Team
(Total Points) -- 80 Total Ballots / Maximum 160 Points

OFFENSEFirst TeamSecond Team
QuarterbackMatt Ryan, Jr., Boston College (142)Riley Skinner, Fr., Wake Forest (33)
Running BackJames Davis, So., Clemson (149)Tashard Choice, Jr., Georgia Tech (103)

Branden Ore, So., Virginia Tech (134)C.J. Spiller, Fr., Clemson (58)
Wide ReceiverCalvin Johnson, Jr., Georgia Tech (160) #Darrius Heyward-Bey, Fr., Maryland (46)

Chansi Stuckey, Sr., Clemson (94)Greg Carr, So., Florida State (38)
Tight EndGreg Olsen, Jr., Miami (112)Anthony Hill, Jr., NC State (65)
TackleSteve Vallos, Sr., Wake Forest (150)Duane Brown, Jr., Virginia Tech (58)

Barry Richardson, Jr., Clemson (85)Jim Marten, Sr., Boston College (49)
GuardJosh Beekman, Sr., Boston College (142)Leroy Harris, Sr., NC State (57)

Nathan Bennett, Sr., Clemson (114)Andrew Crummey, Jr., Maryland (42)
CenterSteve Justice, Jr., Wake Forest (113)Dustin Fry, Sr., Clemson (96)
Honorable Mention (25 points or more)
QB - Reggie Ball, Sr., Georgia Tech (31); Sam Hollenbach, Sr., Maryland (29)
WR - Chris Davis, Sr., Florida State (36); Kevin Challenger, Jr., Boston College (35); Kevin Ogletree, So., Virginia (27)
TE - Joey Haynos, Jr., Maryland (31); Thomas Hunter, Sr., Clemson (26)
OT - Andrew Gardner, So., Georgia Tech (48); Stephon Heyer, Sr., Maryland (33)
OG - Branden Albert, So., Virginia (34); Cory Niblock, Sr., Florida State (34); Derrick Morse, Jr., Miami (31)

DEFENSEFirst TeamSecond Team
Defensive EndGaines Adams, Sr., Clemson (157)Chris Long, Jr., Virginia (55)

Calais Campbell, So., Miami (105)Adamm Oliver, Jr., Georgia Tech (34)
Defensive TackleJoe Anoai, Sr., Georgia Tech (108)Kareem Brown, Sr., Miami (81)

DeMarcus Tyler, Sr., NC State (98)Andre Fluellen, Jr., Florida State (40) tie

B.J. Raji, Jr., Boston College (40) tie
LinebackerVince Hall, Jr., Virginia Tech (113)Philip Wheeler, Jr., Georgia Tech (86)

Buster Davis, Sr., Florida State (102)Erin Henderson, So., Maryland (64)

Jon Abbate, Jr., Wake Forest (97)Xavier Adibi, Jr., Virginia Tech (55)
CornerbackJohn Talley, Sr., Duke (140) Marcus Hamilton, Sr., Virginia (61)

Brandon Flowers, So., Virginia Tech (88)DeJuan Tribble, Jr., Boston College (59)
SafetyJosh Gattis, Sr., Wake Forest (149)Kenny Phillips, So., Miami (49)

Jamal Lewis, Jr., Georgia Tech (61)Brandon Meriweather, Sr., Miami (48)
Honorable Mention (25 points or more)
DE - Baraka Atkins, Sr., Miami (27); Jyles Tucker, Sr., Wake Forest (26)
LB - Lawrence Timmons, Jr., Florida State (44); KaMichael Hall, Sr., Georgia Tech (27); Patrick Lowery, Sr., NC State (25)
CB - Josh Wilson, Sr., Maryland (35); Duane Coleman, Sr., Clemson (34)
S - Ryan Glasper, Sr., Boston College (38); Myron Rolle, Fr., Florida State (38); Patrick Ghee, Sr., Wake Forest (28)

SPECIAL TEAMSFirst TeamSecond Team
PlacekickerSam Swank, So., Wake Forest (103)Brandon Pace, Sr., Virginia Tech (87)
PunterDurant Brooks, Jr., Georgia Tech (132)Adam Podlesh, Sr., Maryland (60)
SpecialistDarrell Blackman, Jr., NC State (97)Eddie Royal, Jr., Virginia Tech (57)
Honorable Mention (25 points or more)
PK - Dan Ennis, Sr., Maryland (34)
P - Sam Swank, So., Wake Forest (37)

# - Unanimous Selection

-Calvin Johnson the only unanymous choice
-Andrew Gardner honorable mention - could have easily gotten 2nd team, but will certainly be there barring injury next season if he keep it up.
- Joe Anaoi 1st team. Well earned.
- Adamm Oliver - the "machine" - Great for him!
- Philip Wheeler - 2nd team - well deserved.......... but could have been 1st team easily.

-The ACC's leading rusher was relagated to 2nd team (Tashard Choice), while the early season favorite (James Davis) and VT's Brandon Ore rode early season performances but both faded down the stretch. Bottom-line - Tashard was cash-money when it was time to cash-in. He deserves 1st team flat out. I guess "what have you done for me lately" really doesn't apply for sportswriters. I also guess it doesn't matter that he is leading the league in total yards, yards/game, yards/game ACC, you name it. Terrible "Choice".
- Kenny Scott - NOT ON THE LIST!! Are you kidding me? Tell me there is some kind of paperwork mix-up here? That is a complete joke. I guess the fact that when nobody throws the ball your way there are not a lot of stats to look at.
- KaMichael Hall honorable mention. Sorry, he's no worse than 2nd team.

- Jamal Lewis 1st team!!!! WOW! Didn't quite see that coming. Note sure he was the best safety this season, but kudos to JL............. However, is it just me, or does it seem like they might have gotten Lewis and Kenny Scott mixed up on the ballot?
- Reggie Ball honorable mention. I guess this is the "we have to pick someone" slot. Just not a lot of good QB's in this league. But hey, he's been at the healm for a 9-win season. He deserves some measure of credit for that.
- I'm happy for WF's Riley Skinner getting 2nd team. Think about this - his school didn't even submit his name for consideration. He got 2nd team based on write-in votes. Good for him. It should be a close race for ROY with him and Spiller.

Look for Calvin Johnson to win ACC Offensive Player of the Year and the front-runner to win overall POY................. Look for Jim Grobe as COY............................ Look for Gaines Adams as Defensive POY........................ Looks for Rookie to go to Spiller or Skinner. I'm going to guess Spiller gets the nod.

What's Buzzin'

Link here.

Did you know that Travis Bell handled kick-offs during the UGAg game? I sure didn't, but it's true. Actually, the coverage team did a decent job as well. Related?..................... Also of note, Michael Johnson started at DE, Adamm Oliver moved inside replacing Daryl Richard at DT. So, is this an indication of D-Richard not coming back well enough after his injury, or just Michael Johnson's play forcing a switch?


Per the AJC, Jeremis smith will be ok to play Tuesday night. Good news

Turns out they just hired the Cincy head coach. Dodged another bullet. How long will it last keeping the doctor of defense?

Did you know that Bobby Cremins is penning a book on fast break basketball? Not sure of more than that, but could be interesting. I'd sure buy it. I guess he had to do something other than walk on the beaches of Hilton Head the past 6 years....................... By the way, Bobby's CofC team won their first home game, and the crowd started chants of "Bah Bee......... Bah Bee". Cool.

There are still internet rumblings of Chan Gailey as a possible candidate for the Alabama coaching job. While we all KNOW that won't happen, there are rumblings that Jim Grobe's name is getting tossed around. Of course, tell me what job his name won't get tossed around for after what he's done at Wake Forest.

In case you didn't know, Tashard now LEADS the ACC in rushing. Before this week, he led the ACC in rushing for conference games. Well now, it's the whole shooting match, averaging just over 100 yards / game. Wow. What a 2nd half of the season that young man has had.

Chan Gailey made it clear - Reggie is his guy. He will live and die on his arm, and honestly, what other choice is there at this point? Are you going to bench your 4th year starter who has been at the healm during 9 wins this season for a guy who has started one game in his career? The bed was made already.


His thoughts on the Miami head coaching job:
"There's a long, long line of great young coaches that would kill for that job," said Bill Curry, the former coach at Alabama and Georgia Tech. "It's not a good job, it's a great job. Facilities not withstanding, they've been doing pretty well for the past two decades. If you go to Miami, you're going to have great players. And so, you're going to win."
The former Jacket assistant gets called out a bit by his local media.

Ok, you think YOU are taking the UGAg loss hard. Check out what the Clemson / USC fans do to one another. Oh, did I mention they are BEST FRIENDS!! Perspective please.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Stories Behind the Stories

Well, while we're ripping apart our players and coaches in frustration over a game, I want you to watch something.

Click here and watch.

Kind of resets my priorities and my perspective when it comes to a game of football. Hopefully it helps you do the same............... Now, I want you to re-focus your minds. A new challenge is at hand. A new opportunity awaits. We're playing a team this week that is full of real TEAM players. It's the definition of team. It's a classy bunch at Wake Forest with a great coach. We will have our hands full. But we also have an opportunity to make our mark. Get behind your team and get ready for the ACC championship game.................


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Football - We all hurt some

Yeah, I'm hurting too. The Jackets lost ANOTHER heart-breaker to the mutts in Athens, this time 15-12. You know, I was almost totally confident this one was going to be different. The way the football elements work, you were almost certain Tech was going to pull this one out, even if it took some weirdo play. The personal foul on 3rd down on the last series was just what I thought would happen. Oh, I didn't know what it would be. I just knew something like that would happen. A big part of me wanted to believe..............but it turned out to be a cruel hoax. No sooner were we starting fresh with a 1st down with about a minute to go, than the ball was heaved downfield only to be intercepted............ game over

.............. shock............. denial............. anger............... sadness.............. depression............. acceptance............. hope

Where are you in the grief cycle? Honestly, I'm already close to acceptance. It won't take long to begin looking ahead to the ACC championship game. The hurt is still there, but more than anything I just feel for the team. You just don't want a senior class to walk away without a victory over our in-state rivals. Just doesn't seem right.

I tell you - the guy I probably feel the most sad for is Joe Anaoi. That guy has a heartbeat. He plays his guts out. He left it all on the field tonight. I'm really proud of his effort out there and he deserves better. So many on this team deserve better. Tonight will sting.

So how much of the game should I actually discuss? Should I breakdown the dismal performance of our wide receivers and QB and OC? Should I talk about the fact that real players step up to make plays at the most important times in a game, and NOBODY did that tonight? Even our defense, which single-handedly kept us in it all night DESPITE the offense, let UGAg march right down the field at the end of the game and score a TD. Do you just want to single out Reggie Ball, who made poor decision after poor decision? Maybe you want to extend that conversation to bash his entire career at Tech and the legacy he will leave................ Do you want to talk about James Johnson - who looked scared to try and catch the ball? Do you want to talk about the offensive play-calling, which seemed timid, disoriented and ineffective? ...................

Maybe you're a "look on the bright side" kind of person. Maybe you want to focus on how Tashard Choice stepped up and put on a show, rushing for 147 yards on 23 carries. Maybe you want to extend that conversation to the nice play of the offensive line. Maybe you want to once again cannonize Jon Tenuta............ or maybe not.

Tech fans will go through the stages of grief and they'll cope differently. Some will meltdown. many will take it out on their keyboards as they spew venom on the message boards. Some will wax poetic about giving 18 year old kids a break. Some will blow it off and focus on the ACC championship. However, we all have something in common - we are all hurting to some degree. If you say you're not, it just means you're in the denial phase. Keep pushing through............... things will get better.

Here's what I chose to do - focus on next week - the ACC championship. Why? What is my personal gain by dwelling on this loss. It happened. We looked bad. We give up bragging rights for another 365 days. Our lives in offices and family get-togethers will continue to stink when mutts meet Jackets. We can't do anything about it now.

Here's what else I am going to do - let the coaches make decisions about who to play. You can bet your bottom dollar there will be a lot of discussion about whether Reggie Ball should be benched in favor of Taylor Bennett. I would also place 100:1 odds that Chan Gailey defends his honor and continues to rise and fall on the arm of Reggie. I will trust Coach to make the right decision. Why? Because we're about to play for the ACC championship and that is in no small part due to the decision made by Chan Gailey. I will say this - QB is a tricky, funny position. Bill Parcels repeatedly told the media that Tony Romo was not the guy to run the QB spot at Dallas. He continued to play Drew Bledsoe and his team continued to struggle. He finally gets forced to put in Romo, and he looks like the next coming of Troy Aikman. That ain't gonna happen here, but Tech fans sure think it might................... We'll just have to trust coach to make the right decision.

Continue to move through your phases but make sure you get through it. While we are playing for the conference championship, the mutts can watch us on the tube.

Now go to bed.


Hoops Rosters 2000 - 200x

Thought I would quickly update this chart I posted last year. Click on it to make it larger. You can really see the progression of the various Paul Hewitt teams and how the different recruiting classes fit in. The really interesting thing will be next season. If we only lose Mario West then there will be a total of 15 scholarship players. Of course we know the odds of keeping Thaddeus Young are slim and none and even Javaris could potentially make the NBA jump. But what if they don't? Wonder what the contigency plan is then?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Football - Duke Highlights

Here are all the passing TD's from the Duke game. Sorry, but you cannot coach what Calvin Johnson does. We are going to miss him when he's gone.

Hate Week Continued

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thank You Seniors

Just an outstanding video salute to our senior gridiron mates:


Hoops - Jackets Can't Make it 3 in a row

Well, another night, another big half-time deficit. Unfortunately the competition has gotten better each night and UCLA just wasn't going to let the Jackets back in. Not like they didn't try. They got it down to 13 with about 4 minutes to go, but just couldn't get it closer.

However, the real story is Jeremis Smith. He went down with about 2 minutes to go from having his knee bent backwards HARD. It looked very painful. The good news was that he was helped off the court and was putting a little weight on that leg. He was later limping around on his own. However, we'll have to keep our ears open on what the doctors say. My heart absolutely sank watching him pounding the floor with his fist. I had the flashbacks to his freshman season and the dislocation of that same leg. Our prayers are with you Jeremis. You just don't deserve that to happen. But there is no doubt you are the toughest guy on the team.

Well, a nice run in Maui. Three games in three days. and coming out of it 2-1 (5-1 overall). Honestly, you can't ask much more than that. The team really got a clear understanding on what it's going to take to compete at the highest level. the freshmen will benefit tremendously. This experience is going to pay off. Just wait and see.....

Coach, let the boys have some fun before they fly back Thursday night. Nice job team!!!!

Sorry, but it's late and I'm going to bed....

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hoops - Jackets Win #2 in Maui

Well, I don't have time for a full analysis, but the Jackets pull out an improbable win against a tough Memphis team 92-85. The Jackets once again looked terrible early, going down as much as 19 pts in the 1st half. They cut that lead to 16 but things didn't exactly look overly promising. But on the back on their rebounding and the upperclassman, particularly Jeremis Smith and Ra'Sean Dickey, the Jackets roared back and imposed their will.

"We got spanked," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "I can't remember the last time a team of mine got outrebounded 29-9 or gave up 62 points in a half. I will watch the tape and look at 23 offensive rebounds and about 12 loose balls we didn't get and let our guys know that's how we lost the game."

Coach Hewitt said it wouldn't be the freshman that lead this team to success - it would be the guys who have been there before:

"It wasn't their young guys, it was their veteran guys," Calipari said. "They know how you have to play and they got it done."

Here's the boxscore and re-cap. Amazing. Just amazing............

Monday, November 20, 2006

Hoops - Jackets Win #1 in Maui

Purdue proved to be a tough match-up, but the Jackets proved to be the tougher team tonight, pulling away in the 2nd half with a 79-61 victory in round 1 of the Maui Classic. That means a match-up with Memphis and the town that Thaddeus Young said "no thanks" to in order to head to the ATL.

There were two key stretches that decided this game - the last 3 minutes of the 1st half, and a 4 minute stretch almost mid-way though the 2nd half. Early on the Jackets found themselves in a dog-fight, finding it difficult to take good shots with a pressuring Purdue defense. The Jackets took a lot of bad looking shots, and turned the ball over quite a bit. In fact, it was the freshman who committed most of the errors (13 of their 21 total came from Peacock, Critt and Young).

The first key stretch started with the Jackets down 24-17. The Jackets went on an 11-0 run to end the half. Honestly most of that stretch was marked by some bad Purdue shotmaking and excellent transition offense from the Jackets, combined with very solid rebounding. Purdue just couldn't knock anything down as they even missed some wide open looks. While the run was impressive, it only put them up by 4 at the half.

The second half was neck and neck for awhile, until Zach Peacock hit a 3 pointer. The Jackets extended the lead but let the Boilermakers back in it. Then it became the Javaris Crittenton show. Check out this quote from JC after the game:

"My coach told me at halftime to slow down and let it come to you. He gave a boxing analogy, throw a couple of jabs to get your opponent offbalance and then go at him and give him the knockout punch," Crittenton said. "It was almost prophetic what he said. Because he said I would have the ball in my hands at the end of the game and I would win the game for us, and that's what happened."
Umm, does anyone remember another PG being told the same thing by Coach Hewitt and it leading us to a Final Four? Yeah, remember Coach Hewitt telling Will Bynum to be patient, be patient, your time will come and you'll win some games for us. I guess Coach decided Javaris was ready to step up already.

"Javaris Crittenton just put it on himself and he took over that game in the last part and that's really what got us," Kramer (PG) said. "(It was) just high-ball screen after high-ball screen and they just let him go to work."

What happened? Well Javaris took the game over for a 4-minute stretch. He had two of the most beautiful dribble penetration moves, both slicing through multiple defenders and both resulting in acrobatic lay-ups. Pretty indeed. If he wasn't making creating lay-ups he was going to the foul line and knocking down free throws or dishing a great assist for Thad for an easy and-one under the hoops.

The Jackets extended their lead to double digits during that stretch and never looked back.

DEFENSE............... B-
Another solid effort, holding Purdue to 37% shooting and 17% from 3pt range. However, Purdue did shoot 45% in the 2nd half as a result of creating some easier baskets. The Jackets only had 5 steals but Purdue turned the ball over 15 times. While the players were active and moving their feet a lot, there were a number of clear breakdowns that I would characterize as communication problems. The help defense and trapping defense was spotty at times, particularly with guys driving right down the middle from the top of the lane and passing down low to their big man.

REBOUNDING........... A+
The team deserves a good grade tonight. They dominated the overall rebounding 48-29. Let's continue our trend looking at rebounding efficiency:

Rebounding Efficiency
Purdue...........OR 58.6%...... DR 79.5%
Ga St..............OR 37.5%....... DR 79.3%
Jackson St.....OR 52.4%....... DR 70.3%
Elon................OR 54.8%....... DR 73.7%

Bottom-line is that they got the job done tonight. Box outs were more consistent, players positioned themselves more effectively, and there were fewer lapses. Remember rebounding is really about desire, toughness and technique. They clearly showed they have all three. Now can they do it every night?

OFFENSE......... B
The Jackets shot 49.1% overall and 38.5% from long distance. However, it really was the tale of two halves. The first half consisted of a lot of turnovers and a lot of poor shots. The result was only 34% shooting in the half and 25% from long distance. Throw in poor free throw shooting in the half (4-9) and you have to be happy you're up by 4 going into the lockerroom. We have to thank Purdue for pressing a bit at the end of the half and then credit the Jackets for taking advantage.

The 2nd half was a different story with the Jacketts shooting 68% overall and 60% from long distance. Throw in 14-17 from the stripe and you have the makings of a one team putting away another. Better control of the ball and Javaris Crittenton willing his team to a victory proved the be the difference.

Overall the Jackets turned the ball over 21 times and only had 13 assists on 28 buckets. Definitely work to be done here. However, freshman are freshman, no matter how talented they are. Again you can just see the potential in this team.

Four guys in double figures (JC, LC, TY, ZP) #1 Javaris Crittenton - which has already been mentioned. He scores 20 pts, goes 11/12 from the stripe, dishes 5 assists, grabs 3 steals, but has 5 turnovers ..................... Thaddeus Young gets the tough-man award. He got his knee / ankle banged up but wanted back in and toughed it out, making some nice shots and grabbing 10 boards on the night. Thad ended with 13 pts / 10 boards, but did have 5 turnovers........................ Ra'Sean Dickey had another nice night coming off the bench. He had 2 key blocks, grabbed 7 boards, 4 pts.............. Zach Peacock scores 13 pts including a pretty 3pt shot, grabs 5 boards, and turns the ball over 3 times.

Concerns - Anthony Morrow is still not looking comfortable. With the emergence of Lewis Clinch and coming back from injury, he seems to be having a hard time finding his role on the team. He played about 12 minutes and missed two shot attempts. We all know he's a competitor and he's also an assasin from long range, so we'll see how it plays out with A-Mo.

By the way, the rotation tightened up tonight. No D'Andre Bell. No Alade Aminu. No Paco Diaw. TY and JC led the way with over 30 minutes each.

Memphis. Tuesday night at 7:00 EST. Quick turnaround and a tough match-up. Definitely going to be a tough game to get a W, but certainly possible............... by the way, Memphis has a little cloud hanging over their program a the moment.

Hoops Recruiting

Nice blurb on Lance Storrs, who will join the Jackets next season.

Lance Storrs

Columbia guard, Senior

Last year's Class AAAA player of the year is probably the favorite to do it again, and it's pretty clear why. He's experienced, poised, handles the ball beautifully, shoots with the best of them and is solid on defense. A very smart player, it's no coincidence he'll be playing at Georgia Tech next season. For now, though, he'll try to lead the Eagles to their second consecutive state title.

Hoops - the Maui Bracket

Here's the bracket for the hoops tourney in Maui - click on it for a larger version............ Also, here's a good preview on Purdue................

Sunday, November 19, 2006

And so it begins....................

.......... hate week.............. the game that isn't about conference standings.............. the game that is not about polls.............. this week is about pride and bragging rights.................. and so it begins............

Latest ACC Standings

(As Of November 19)
School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Wake Forest 5-2 .714 9-2 .818
Boston College 5-2 .714 9-2 .818
Maryland 5-2 .714 8-3 .727
Clemson 5-3 .625 8-3 .727
Florida State 3-5 .375 6-5 .545
NC State 2-6 .250 3-8 .273
School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Georgia Tech 7-1 .875 9-2 .818
Virginia Tech 5-2 .714 9-2 .818
Virginia 4-3 .571 5-6 .455
Miami 2-5 .286 5-6 .455
North Carolina 1-6 .143 2-9 .182
Duke 0-7 .000 0-11 .000

Whacky Rumor of the Day

Whacky rumor of the day - Steve Spurrier will be named the next head coach of the Miami Hurricanes. Spurrier says no

Called out on date night

Well, I got called out for leaving prior to the end of the Duke football game to go on date night................ First, here's the deal - this was date night with my wife of 8 years. Was it early to leave at 4:30? Yes, but that's when the babysitter got there and that just meant many more hours together without the kids. Got to take advantage of that.......The game was in hand it's been awhile for us having time out together.......... So sorry sports fans, life must take priority over sports......... always.

The Guy Won a Car !!!

Quote of the Day

From Joe Anaoi, when thinking about his last home game ever:

On playing your last game at Georgia Tech:
"I started thinking about it a little bit more after I was done playing. I was sitting on the sidelines looking up in the stands and thinking to myself that it's a very unique feeling to be a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket because our fans are a class act. We don't have fans like most other state schools. They support us. They care about us and they don't down us when things go wrong. They really support us. It was good to go out like this for them."

Huuhhh, I guess Joe never heard of Al Gore's "Interweb". Anyhoww, a very nice thing to say. Congrats to all the seniors on their last home game. You've made us proud for 4 years. Way to go !!!!!!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Football - Tech Rolling

Well, it's the 3rd quarter and Tech is up 35-7 and it's date night for me. Time to go so I'll miss the rest. Barring a total collapse, Tech will continue to roll as the reserves start coming in. Taylor Bennett has already thrown a TD, although he threw an INT as well. More on the game later......................

Football - CJ an Award Finalist

Calvin Johnson was named one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, which goes to the nation's top receiver. The other two finalists are Jarrett Dillard of Rice and Jeff Samardzija of Notre Dame. This should be interesting because everyone knows that Calvin Johnson is the nation's best receiver. Everyone knows that he's a once in a generation type player. Everyone knows he's going to be the first receiver taken in the draft. However, he doesn't have pretty boy Brady Quinn throwing him the rock all the time, so is this award about stats, is it about popularity, or is it about talent? If it's about anything other than talent, the we just may not see 'the truth'........

Speaking of awards, each the media on Thursday was given their ballots for the all-ACC team. Those ballots are based on a list of players that each school submitted to the league office. It containined the players each school wanted nominated for All-ACC consideration.

Now, here's the thing. The media doesn't typically talk a lot about those ballots and who's on them. However, I'm guessing that after this post, you'll see something in the AJC - just a guess. There's nowhere on the web that you can see the ballots, but I have been able to pick up a few things. Some interesting numbers.

How many players each team submitted:
16........ Miami
16........ Clemson
15........ FSU
15........ Maryland
13........ VaTech
12........ Georgia Tech
11........ Wake Forest
11....... Boston College
11....... NC ST
10....... North Carolina
8......... Virginia
2......... Duke

First of all, WHY do schools submit a list of players they want considered? Why don't the writers just pick up their brains and act like they've watched a couple of these games themselves and can figure out something on their own? Why don't their write in THEIR list of standouts and submit that to the league office and somebody who can count tally up the results?

Second, why did Miami submit 16 players and FSU 15? Folks, Miami put Kyle Wright on the ballot. Folks, Will Proctor was on the ballot. FSU nominated Drew Weatherford. But guess what - Wake Forest did not submit Riley Skinner, their QB, who leads the ACC in completion percentage and passing efficiency. What's up with that? Was Reggie Ball on GT's list? I don't know, but I suspect yes.

My pure guess as to Tech's 12 - Calvin Johnson, Reggie Ball, Tashard Choice, Mike Cox, Andrew Gardnew, Philip Wheeler, KaMichael Hall, Kenny Scott, Joe Anaoi, Adamm Oliver, Matt Rhodes, Durant Brooks....................... Still leaves off good guys like James Johnson, Kevin Tuminello and others, but we submitted 12, so that's my guess as to who they were.

Rack'em Boys

Yes, it's Duke, but last time I checked, they were planning on puttin' on their pads and playing. So bring the beat down so we can glide to some serious hatin' against the pups..............

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hoops - Jackets Take Down Ga St, Move to 3-0

Another night and another solid outing for the Jackets as they beat Georgia State 103-74, just missing their 3rd straight 30+ point margin of victory. Honestly, I only see one real valid criticism of the team through three games - free throw shooting. They were 50% tonight and not a lot better the previous two games. Bottom-line - this will cost us some games this season if it doesn't improve. Having said that, is it just me or does it seem like Jacket teams are always doomed to struggle from the stripe. It's probably the one thing that is the hardest to improve.

The Jackets started a little sluggish but went on a 19-0 run to extend to an 24-8 lead. Then they slowly grew the lead as much as 41 points in the 2nd half before backing off and ending with a 29 point victory.

DEFENSE....... B
GA ST shot 43% overall and 29% from 3pt range. The Jackets were very active defensively, forcing 20 turnovers, 15 of which came on steals. That is an impressive number. They scored 28 points on turnovers. I was impressed with the effort of the entire team, particularly in the 1st half. Things got a little lose again in the 2nd half and GA ST shot 46% in the 2nd half, by far the highest number given up so far.......... Ga St did get to shoot 36 free throws, which was partially a result of the aggressive defensive effort, but that's ok in my book........... Now, one thing I always like is to look and see who filled up the stat sheet. Who was the guy who didn't stand out but just seemed to involved in some way all the time. Tonight I'm giving the aware to Mouhammad Faye, who had 8 pts (3-7), 4 boards, 1 block, 5 assists, 3 steals and only 1 turnover. Nice going Muha.

Tech had a slight rebounding edge 35-33, including 12-10 on the glass. Thanks to my astute readers, I'll give you a more insightful stat - rebounding efficiency. "OR" below is Offensive Rebounding efficiency, which says what percentage of the time the Jackets grabbed their own miss........... "DR" is how many times they grabbed an opponent's miss and prevented them from getting on offensive board.......

Rebounding Efficiency
Ga St..............OR 37.5%....... DR 79.3%
Jackson St.....OR 52.4%....... DR 70.3%
Elon................OR 54.8%....... DR 73.7%

So tonight the Jackets did not get on the offensive glass as much as they did in the first two games but protected the defensive glass more effectively. So how do you like this way to look at rebounding?

OFFENSE............ A
Hard to knock anything here. They put another 5 guys in double figures. They shot 56% overall and 54% from long distance. The team had 30 assists on 41 baskets with only 10 turnovers - THAT is very impressive. Nice ball movement and once again - many easy baskets. Things should get very interesting with better competition, but you have to like what you see of the offense so far. There are no shortage of options from inside and out and these guys do finish................ Here's the head scratcher - they shot better from 3 pt range (54%) than they did from the charity stripe (50%). and for the year the team is shooting 58%. That ain't gonna get it boys......Uuuuggghhhh.......... Honestly, this is the only real criticism of this team I can see at this point. And since free throws are one of those weird mental things, it's not a "practice makes perfect" scenario.


Once again, too many to mention. Lewis Clinch led the way 20 pts on 8-9 shooting. Now, Clinch is 21/29 on the year. That's 72.4% on the year. I think "on fire" is a safe way to characterize his performance to date. He is really showing what many Tech fans thought he was capable of last season before getting hurt early. Really amazing. A-Mo, not sure you're getting your starting position back at this point. Having said that A-Mo was scrapping inside tonight and grabbed 5 boards (2 off) and scored 10 pts............. Javaris Crittenton, with the keys to the Ferrari, drove it well. Tonight he had 18 pts on 7-12, including 3-3 from long distance. More importantly he had 9 assists and only 3 turnovers. That's a 3:1 ratio and a stat the you love to see. Oh yeah, throw in 4 boards (2 off) and 2 steals. He is proving to be an excellent rebounding guard, which has been a trademark of previous Tech legends................. Thaddeus Young looked smooth once again, ending with 19pts (7-12, 5-6 3pt), 1 board, 1 block, 4 assists, 1 steal, 0 turnovers. Another smooth night.................. Ra'Sean Dickey led the team in rebounding for the 3rd straight time with 7 and blocked a couple of shots as well.

Coach Hewitt was pleased in the first half but disappointed in our shot selection in the 2nd half as well the fall-off in defensive intensity. Gave Ga.St credit for battling in the 2nd half. However, he had hoped with a 28 pt halftime lead that we would finish stronger than we did. Too many bad shots turned into easy baskets from GaSt, who had "a ton" of transition buckets in the 2nd half...................... Coach was very interested in seeing if we could sustain our concentration tonight. He was concerned the other night because we were a little fatigued with classes and other things. He was hoping we would sustain our concentration and effort in the 2nd half and said we didn't do that................. He liked the way we passed the ball up until the 24 minute mark. At the 16 minute mark he took out Javaris and while he said "I don't want to use the word selfish", we got a "little quick with the trigger", shooting the ball without finding the open man, even forcing things up inside with double and triple teams. Had we passed better to the open guy, maybe our trips to the foul line would have gone up as we forced them to foul us. Their passing in the 2nd half was better than ours..................... Javaris was impressive and any time you can go 3-3 behind the arc, it forces teams to play a step closer, which allows you to exploit through quickness. However, JC would be the first to tell you he has some things to work on defensively and his rebounding has to improve (I did a double take on that one).................. Thaddeus has been working a lot on his shooting form in the gym. He didn't have it going inside tonight. We thought we set him up for some easy baskets and he missed a dunk and a 10 footer, But then he steps back and goes 5-6 from 3pt. He's a talented young man. We need to get him to the foul line more. However, he needs to do better than 1 defensive rebound............................. Ra'Sean is really playing well and maintaining his concentration. Lewis has improved from last year. It presents some good problems for us when you have different combinations you can play. He really like the combination with Ra'Sean and Zachory out there................. All in all though they would tell you that GaSt took it to us in the 2nd half...................... In preparation for Maui, Friday is a travel day, but we're going to go at it pretty hard Saturday and Sunday in preparation for a Monday afternoon game. We have to worry about Purdue and whatever comes after that, so be it.

Jackets win............ move to 3-0............... time to say ALOHA................ hope is alive..........


Coaching Philosophy - Thoughts?

Well, Coach Gailey has made it clear that he's not changing his coaching philosophy even though the Jackets have wrapped up a spot in the ACCCG and Duke is on the slate for the weekend. What do you think about that decision? How would you handle the starters?............ Remember, it is senior day.........

Beesball Recruiting

Coach Hall landed a very highly touted recruiting class. Click here for all the nitty gritty details.

Football - Will we bring the fans

So, will we put our money where our mouth is and show up in Jacksonville?

Jacksonville will have difficulty matching last year's championship game crowd of 72,749 if Georgia Tech plays Wake Forest, Maryland or Boston College. That would seem to hurt Jacksonville's chances of having the ACC pick up the option to let the city host the 2007 and 2008 games. But ACC Commissioner John Swofford probably understands that the teams in this game could draw small crowds anywhere -- including Charlotte.

Football - Wild Rumor of the Day

How about this one -while we all worry about Jon Tenuta leaving, check this out from the Sporting News:

Alabama talk

The Alabama rumors continue to swirl. A source told me today that if Mike Shula leaves the Capstone, that a guy to watch for the job is Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey.

Of course this from a blogger........... we all know how dependable THEY can be............

Hoops - Bad Thad

A cool pic from (Thanks to Jay for the link)

What's Buzzin' in Hoops

Vitale has a few nice things to say about us:

Q Who might be a surprise team this year?

A If you talk about the mid-major level, we say the incredible run of George Mason last year. Who would have believed that a George Mason would beat a Michigan State, a North Carolina and a Connecticut to get to the Final Four. That is an amazing story. Bottom line, I think Hofstra. Watch Hofstra. The team has a big-time backcourt, led by Loren Stokes. Any time you can be great on the perimeter you have a shot to win. From a major, I think a team that can create a lot of problems is a Georgia Tech. They could be a surprise coming out of the ACC. They have Diaper Dandies, headed by Thaddeus Young and they have a solid nucleus coming back with the best 3-point shooter in the ACC last year, Anthony Morrow. I think Paul Hewitt's club can create lots of problems.

An article on what Cliff Warren is trying to do at JU.


Before his team suited up against Georgia State, Bobby Cremins took his team on a tour of the Thrillerdome, probably to remind these kids that he really can coach and can win.


There is no doubt that losing his starting job has motivated Ra'Sean Dickey to earn his respect back. He spent some time getting tutored by former Jacket assistant Perry Clark. Honestly the Dickey / Peacock situation could really work out great - having these guys push one another hard. In fact, I want you to think about a couple of things - Ra'Sean Dickey and Anthony Morrow coming off the bench. I'm not saying it's going to happen to A-Mo, but Lewis Clinch is sure making a statement in his first two games. Think about that for a minute - Dickey and A-Mo coming off the bench. That's incredible. Hey, if A-Mo wins his job back and so does Dickey, think about this - Peacock and Clinch coming off the bench. Bottom-line is that this is probably Coach Hewitt's deepest line-up since his arrival. The potential is amazing.

Ok, make your own jokes on the opening line of this USA Today article about the hoops talent in the state of Georgia:

When Paul Hewitt was hired as Georgia Tech basketball coach seven years ago, he bumped into former University of Georgia coach Jim Harrick on the recruiting trail.

Harrick got right to the point about chasing players.

"Paul," Harrick said, "we don't need to fight. There's enough for all of us."

I guess the 2nd part of that quote was - "Yeah Paul, you take the ones that want to take classes and I'll take the ones who want to take gym. Oh, one last thing, how many points do you get for a 3-point basket?"

Matt Winklejohn had an interesting stat about the Jackets so far - that of the 72 field goals scored by the men in two games, 52 have been dunks, layups or other shots in the paint. Easy to figure out why the shooting percentage is so high with something like that.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Football - Curious Quotes

Ok, here are a couple of curious quotes from North Carolina after losing to Georgia Tech. First, from senior receiver Jesse Holley:

"We pissed in our hats two times in the red zone," Holley explained.

Second from Jesse Holley AGAIN:

"When it rains it pours," wide receiver Jesse Holley said

Sooooooooooo, anyone remember the saying - don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining. There's a joke in there somewhere.

Where are they now - Chris Bosh / Jarrett Jack

Turns out Chris Bosh is becoming a real leader in Toronto, as he was primarily responsible for getting TJ Ford, a fellow Texan, north of the border.

"I wanted to play with him ... we wanted to play with each other, so, I let that be known," said Bosh.

Bosh said that he told President/GM Bryan Colangelo that Ford would be a good fit for Toronto. He didn't make any demands to his new boss. The decision to make a deal with Milwaukee was entirely up to Colangelo. But the GM did consult his All Star forward before officially pulling the trigger on the deal with the Bucks.

"I just vouched for (T.J.)," said Bosh. "A closed mouth won't get fed. That's a saying back home."

And Ford couldn't be happier about the way things have worked out.

"I was excited because Chris and I had talked (over the years) about playing on the same team," he said. "If it wasn't for (Chris), I probably wouldn't be here."

Speaking of former Tech greats, how about this great article on Jarrett Jack.

But when Darius Miles, one of the highest-paid and biggest profiles on the team, went to the sideline and sat on a bench, there came a voice from the other side of the court.

It wasn't from the coach. And it wasn't from a veteran. It was from a rookie, Jarrett Jack. "I just said something to him, basically that it was bogus," Jack remembered. "I said, 'We are all out here running hard. I'm playing with an injured ankle. We are all out here playing hurt. And if what he was doing was the way it was going to be, then everyone should go sit down.' "

It wasn't anything personal, Jack said, and it wasn't anything that caused friction between him and Miles. The two had known each other since Jack was 14. Therefore Jack says he felt comfortable confronting the player whom many on the team viewed as an untouchable subject.

"I didn't think anyone was paying attention, but a couple of people came to me and were like, 'I heard what you said, and you are right,' " Jack said. "For me, I just say what I think is right. I don't do it for attention, or because I think the coach is listening. I do it because it's necessary. Somebody has to do it. And if you are right, then people won't look at you sideways."

It's one reason why few looked sideways at the Blazers this summer after they traded point guards Steve Blake and Sebastian Telfair, leaving Jack at the helm of the latest rebuilding project.

With great size (6-foot-3, 197 pounds) and steady skills, Jack not only showed he can play during his rookie season, but he also showed he can lead.

"He is not afraid of anyone, and that is a key," McMillan said. "He's not afraid to challenge his teammates. And as I told him, basically right now, this is his team. He has to lead this team."

Football Recruiting

Check out GT commit Albert Rocker:

Where are they now - Tony Akins

Evidently Tony Akins got into a scuffle at a nightclub in Europe after a loss, got his jaw broken, then got his pink slip. Not a good week for him.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Hoops - Jackets Cruise to 2-0

Another day, another route, as the Jackets take down Jackson State 100-70.. Again I watched the game online, using my one-month $4 to ACC Live. Again, a nice package that works well with a good broadband connection - although choppy on my wireless...................

The first 7 minutes of the game were just fun to watch. We're talking excellent box-outs, which caused two defensive over-the-back calls, excellent passing, including a nice hi-low pass from Jeremis Smith up high to Zach down low, who had sealed his man off to get a lay-up. We're talking Critty pushing tempo bigtime, strong defense, a nice alley-oop to Thad Young. Zach played out of his mind early, grabbing boards, hitting foul shots, stealing balls. Looks like he's upping the ante for Ra'Sean to win back his starting spot. And no sooner did he have a great first 7 minutes, then he went silent the rest of the half........................ After that opening 7 minute stretch, things slowed down a little, as the Jackets maintained their 20+ point lead the rest of the way. However, defensively, the Jackets held Jax St to 36% and 0% from long distance. The forced 12 turnovers and grabbed 6 steals. They outrebounded Jax St 21-14, although that edge really came on the defensive side.................... Offensively the Jackets were efficient with 12 assists on 22 buckets, shooting 69% from the floor and 33% from long distance. I mean give me a break - they won't keep that up. But this is a clearly overmatched and undersized team they are facing. Tech had 6 1st-half blocks as well......................... The negative - 11 turnovers in the half. Way too many. Way too many, and most of those came in teh 2nd part of the 1st half, when they got a bit sloppy - and quite frankly when Coach Hewitt started changing line-ups a good bit.

A bit sloppy to start things off, and a bit choppy at times, but a solid effort to extend the lead and bring it home. Tech continued their high shooting percentage for much of the half, but Jax St was able to pick things up. Things got more sloppy as Coach Hewitt brought on the "reserves" with Diaw, Bell and Aminu...................... Dennis Scott made a cameo on the broadcast giving Marvin Lewis a hard time in his 2nd official broadcast as color man............................. One scary moment when Critty made a strong runout on a steal and was fouled hard going in for the basket. It looked he had the breath knocked out of him, but stayed in the game, showing his toughness. Of course that makes you realize the thin-line that is our point guard situation.......... and I mean thin line...............

DEFENSE....... B-
I wanted to give a better grade because for a lot of this game the defense was very good. They forced up a lot of bad shots and altered many others. The help defense was pretty good. However, it just was not consistent enough, and it just dropped off in the 2nd half. Jax State's top scorer, Trey Johnson, had a field day, although he did hit some tough shots. He ended with 33 points on 12-28 shooting and 3-5 from long distance. However, he did turn the ball over 7 times so they tried to stay in his face. Give the kid some credit................. They did hold Jax to 39% shooting, forced 23 turnovers, had 13 steals and 9 blocks. Overall that's a very solid effort. You can really see the potential.................... For me a key question is the chemistry of the various units on the floor. You can see certain line-ups as more effective as others. However, the timing in the game plays a role too.

REBOUNDING.......... C+
I had to think through this one a bit. The Jackets outrebounding Jax St 37-30, but this was NOT a big team, so a rebounding advantage should be a given. The Jackets were actually beat on the offensive glass 13-11, which is a key stat. That's just hustle, desire and technique. I thought the Jackets were really cleaning up on the glass early, but then they got sloppy. Again, a consistent effort will be needed.

OFFENSE.............. B
Look, it's going to be hard for me to give an "A" when you play a team like this. So yes, we shot 65% overall, really dominating inside the paint, creating a lot of easy shots. However, we turned the ball over 20 times. That's a lot like last year's team, and will not cut it if we're going to improved on 11-17..................... Against Elon we saw a team assist/to ratio of about 1:1. Tonight it was a little better at 1.1:1. Still needs work.

Too many to go through, however there were some notables. There were 6 guys in double figures.................... Javaris Crittenton had a double / double with 12 pts / 10 assists. Throw in 4 boards, 3 steals and only 4 turnovers and it was a nice night for him. He'll have to keep working on the to's, but a nice effort............... Lewis Clinch continued his hot start with a team leading 16 pts (7-9) and 2 steals................. Ra'Sean Dickey decided that he was going to keep winning his job back and not sulking. He finished with 15 pts (7-9), 8 boards (led the team), 3 blocks and 1 assist.................. Now Zach Peacock had something to say about that with 14 pts (4-6), 3 boards, 1 block, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 to. He played especially good to open the game. Honestly, this Dickey / Peacock thing could turn out to be a great thing watching these guys push each other..........................

He liked tonight's effort. He said this is a big week academically at Georgia Tech and the players have had to miss some classes so considering that, he's happy with what he saw. Yes, they can execute better and they looked a little fuzzy at times, but considering other things going on in these kids lives, he'll take it and move on............ He also talked about how this team really finishes well - how they capitalize on turnovers as well as any team he's been around, which is why the field goal percentage looks so good................ He said Javaris looked good and he'll continue to work on controlling turnovers and also said that Zach's double digit scoring performance is definitely what he is capable of on a regular basis. Also noted that M.Faye was a bit frustrated because he wasn't getting good shots offensively, but he played some great defense to get his head in the game.

Overall a nice night and a lot of positives to build on.......................


Hoops - Tune-up #2

A quick primer of Jackson State from the Macon Telegraph:

About Jackson State: The Tigers are in the midst of a murderous stretch of games. They lost their opener, 96-65, to No. 12 Alabama and travel to Illinois, No. 14 Memphis and Rutgers after leaving Atlanta. Later in the season, they travel to Tulsa and UTEP. ... The Tigers have one of the best returning scorers in the country in senior Trey Johnson. Johnson averaged 23.4 points per game, the fourth-highest total nationally by a returning player. The 6-foot-5 small forward hung 36 points - including six 3-pointers - on Alabama. It is the third-highest single game total in Division I this season. No other player had more than four points against the Crimson Tide. He was picked as the preseason player of the year in the SWAC. ... Coach Tavester Anderson likes to play a small lineup and will likely start as many as four guards. ... The SWAC coaches picked Jackson State to finish first in the conference. ... The Tigers have three Georgians on the roster: Edwin Jarrow (Jr.) from Savannah; Kenny Russell (Fr.) from Atlanta; Garrison Johnson (Fr.) from Smyrna.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Football - Jackets Clinch ACC Championship Berth

Well, it wasn't pretty, but the Jackets get the win, defeating North Carolina 7-0. Yeah, you read right - 7-0. Funny game really. The Jackets dominated time of possesion, 35:04 to 24:56. The defense was really good - and had to be because the offense really wasn't...... minus another Tashard Choice 120+ yard game. Guess who leads the ACC in rushing in conference games? TC is right. Anyhow, it took two redzone INT's for the Jackets to preserve the shutout, including helping overcome a Reggie Ball INT.

Anyhow, I wasn't able to watch the game, so I welcome others to post comments. My main message would be - good teams don't "find" ways to win - they make them. Once again this squad did just that. Give them props. They know they didn't have a great day, but they did what they had to do yet again, this time against an opponent going through a coaching transition where you never know what you're going to get.

Congrats to your ACC Coastal Division Champions. On to Duke then Athens, the Jax baby!!!


Friday, November 10, 2006

Hoops - Jackets Start the Season Right

Well, I watched the game on the new internet broadcast. At first I was really disappointed in the video, but I was trying to access it wirelessly. I went to the base PC, turned off everything draining bandwidth and voila - a solid, nice feed. I was pretty impressed actually. As it turns out my $4 single event pass was expanded to a month long pass to get the service jump-started. Pretty cool as there is ACC stuff on almost every night.

A bonus was that Marvin Lewis was the color man on the broadcast! Pretty cool. At halftime he and the terrible play-by-play guy (who flunked out of GT and finished at Southern Tech as he recalled) talked about the academic support at Tech. Marvin gave a glowing report on the support systems and personal help to get through and get a degree. Marvin also talked about how great it was to have the student SWARM section surround you, particularly when you dove out-of-bounds. Marvin also flashed his NCAA National Championship Game ring. Didn't know they got some bling for playing UConn. Cool though - he was real proud of it. All in all I'd say Marvin did a solid job. Not too many awkward pauses. He just may have a career in broadcasting.

So back to the game. The first half ended with the Jackets firmly in control 38-21. They pushed the tempo a lot, ran up and down the floor and scored a lot of points inside the paint. Defense was good overall, but a bit sloppy at times. They held Elon to about 31% shooting. They forced 8 first-half turnovers, but only had 1 steal the entire half. Need to get those hands up in the lane more effectively. Tech outrebounded Elon 22-14 in the 1st half, including 10-5 on the offensive glass. Offensively Tech shot 50% in the half, 3-8 from long distance and only 3-6 from the charity stripe.s Assist-to-turnover ratio was 1:1 for the half - not what Coach Hewitt was looking for.

Individually, Thad Young led the way with 10 points on 5-7 from the floor and threw in 4 rebounds (3 offensive). Javaris Crittenton controlled the tempo, but did play a bit sloppy, ending the half with 7 pts on 2-7 shooting, 2 boards, 2 assists and 3 turnovers. Jeremis Smith had a couple of man-sized dunks and ended with 6 pts on 3-4 and 6 boards (2 off). Zach Peacock had a solid blue collar half with 5 pts on 2-3, 3 boards (2 off), 1 assist, 1 turnover. Ra'Sean Dickey played 11 minutes, had no points, 0-2, 2 boards, one assist and one turnover.

The Jackets continued to cruise in the 2nd half, finishing off Elon by a final of 83-49 .............. Elon played better ball early in the 2nd half, but the Jackets went on a short run to stretch the lead to 32 points with 6 minutes to play. It was a mix of inside-outside. At about the 4 minute mark, Coach Hewitt started bring out the reserves including Ty Anderson, who seemed to be a quick crowd favorite. Every time he got the ball there were cheers. Lefty would be proud.

I would give the team a B. They held Elon to 35% shooting, 21% from 3pt range, forced 17 turnovers and had 9 steals. It was clear that this long, athletic team can present problems. It was fun watching guys like M.Faye front the guards out on the perimeter. The team probably bit on too many head fakes, but all-in-all a solid effort

The Jackets outrebounded Elon 44-31, including 17-12 on the offensive glass. However, there were too many breakdowns when it came to boxing out. Many of the rebounds came from out-jumping Elon when we were out of position. The numbers paint a good story, but there's much work to be done here.

Offensively the Jackets shot 51% overall and 33% from 3pt range. They ended with 17 assists and 16 turnovers. Not an outstanding ratio, but not too terrible with all the freshman and such a new mix of players. Ball movement was pretty good, although it's hard to tell against a weaker opponent. We did a decent job of feeding the post and moving the ball around the court.

What is this? Toughness, strength, intimidation, flow, chemistry. I don't want to be too hard for game 1, but I'll recap Coach Hewitt's post-game comments:
- The team did well with the concepts he and staff are trying to teach. They did the technical stuff right. However they didn't display enought of the other things, like toughness, and those things will have to come with experience.
- We are not a strong team physically. We get knocked off a lot of balls
- We run the floor well but it's tough when people are muscling you underneath and scoring
- line-ups - comfortable with the 9 that played the bulk of minutes.

At one point in the 2nd half, you had Faye, Aminu, Dickey, Young and West. Think about that for a minute. Think about the length in that line-up. Not an overally practical line-up in many ways, but wild. ........................... Guys who never made an appearance in the first half and didn't show up until WAY late in the 2nd half - DeAndre Bell, Alade Aminu and Paco Diaw. That was a bit of an eye-opener with Bell and Aminu, and it will be interesting to see if they become odd men out as the minutes tighten. It's looking that way............. In his post-game interview, Wes asked Coach about what he learned about line-ups. Coach Hewitt said that they were very comfortable with the nine guys who got the bulk of minutes tonight and how they play together (JC, TY, MF, RD, MW, LC, AM, JS, ZP). I've always like DeAndre Bell, so I really wonder where he fits on this team.

Javaris Crittenton led the way tonight with 17 pts on 6-13 shooting, 5 boards (3 off), 5 assists, 2 steals and 4 to's. A very good overall debut although a typical freshman turnover ratio. He did a nice job pushing tempo and being physical in the lane with his own drives. Not too much critical to say about his game right now............. Thaddeus Young finished with 15 pts on7-14 shooting, 6 boards (4 off), 1 assist, 1 steal and 2 to's. Some impressive open floor moves and dunks................. Lewis Clinch finished with 14 pts on 6-11, 2 boards. So you had 3 guys in double-figures................... A-Mo only played 16 minutes and scored 6 points, but you know he's going to play a lot when he's eased back into things with the back issues........................... Ra'Sean Dickey deserves some recongition. He didn't start and didn't come in for the first 5 minutes or so, but he leads the team with 8 rebounds. He got a few of those off missed free throws so I don't want to paint a super picture of his glass-work, but a nice effort to show that he has heard what Coach had to say. He scored 4 pts........................ Zach Peocock played a blue-collar type game, muscling in for some good glass work and putbacks. You can see the motor running on this guy all the time.............................. M.Faye had an "Anthony McHenry" type night - 7 pts on 2-5, 4 boards, 1 block, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 turnover. It was fun watching him guard on the perimeter. He's got WAY long arms and does need some additional strength, but he's going to be fun to watch.

You can really see the potential in this group. They are athletic, they are long and they can score. Again, it's going to come down to those things that take effort, passion, sweat, blood and tears - defense and rebounding. There are enough guys on this team now that will push each other that it looks like it's going to work. You can see the glimpses. The key will be finding the right line-ups at the right times, the right match-ups, getting stronger, getting tougher and really getting into a groove playing as a team.

All in all, a great opener and a pretty darn decent online broadcast system. If they broadcast all the non-televised games, I just might subscribe.

GO JACKETS!!!!!!!!