Sunday, March 30, 2008

Beesball - Jackets Sweep Boston College

The Jackets go on the road, play a double-header Saturday, then the the finale on Sunday, winning all three games against BC. More strong pitching performances and solid hitting. I'll try to cover the diamond-gang better than I have. Great job by the Jackets!! Other than hitting the buzz-saw in Tallahassee, the Jackets have really played well all season.

Of course if you REALLY want to keep up on GT beesball, this is the site to see - click here.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Football - Progress, one pitch at a time

So Friday the team had another practice, and Saturday was a practice / live scrimmage.

Here are some links to various re-caps, along with my summary below:

33Jacket summary
The Hive 1 (Friday)
The Hive 2 (Saturday)
Nesbit review - AJC
Johnson clearly in charge

Saturday - warm-ups, stretching, some coaching by the individual units, then the horn, the officials, and game-on. Special teams work was kept to a minimum other than FG kickers. Team spent a lot of time in scrimmage situations, with various players shifting in and out.

With this coaching staff it's all about the details. Finish drills, run out plays, interesting training drills ......block, block, block...... stop and teach. Tons of coaching going on........... after every single play.

If you want to draw conclusions by who came out first, you can. Not sure it really means much though. On offense you first had Nesbitt, Evans/Jones as A-backs, Quincy @ B-back (yes Dwyer 2nd team), Earls and Bebe @ WR, and Gardner / Hill / Voss / Smith / Brown down the O-Line.

On defense, the 1st team as Johnson / Walker / Richard / Morgan down the D-Line, Barnes / Jefferson / Jackson @ LB's, Butler / Jahi @ Corners and Burnett / Reese at Safeties.

The offense played in 3 different units, but some guys switched between units, including QB's, WR's and A-backs.

Well, here's the general take on O vs D - the O had their way Saturday. Nesbitt took the offense up-and-down the field seemingly most of the time he was in the game. There were stretches where Nesbitt seemed unstoppable, either by land or by air. He had some pretty incredible improvisation plays, breaking tackles and ripping out gains in 10 yard chunks. He also connected with Bebe on a 50-yard bomb, hitting him in perfect stride (whoops Mario Butler). It's clear that Nesbitt has the means to be the guy in this offense. Dwyer also caught a few passes in the B-Back position as well. Greg Smith continues to look like a natural in the A-back spot.

The first team offense pretty much had their way with the 1st team D. It appears that the D-Line and LB's had a rough day of it, while the secondary did some good things. Calvin Booker had some good plays, but generally didn't play as well as Nesbitt. It is interesting to note that the playcalling shifted towards more passing and 3-4 WR sets when Calvin was in there - clearly tailoring the offense to what the QB does well.

Lucas Cox busted a 50-yard jaunt from his B-back position on one play - right up the middle. How about this - Austin Barrick as an A-Back. Yeah, like a 250lb guy competing against Jamaal Evans. Ok. I guess you could say "flexibile".

We can't forget that the defense is learning a completely new system as well - and what is their reward? - to practice it against an option offense. That's rough, although the defense bowed up a bit towards the end of the scrimmage and played better. In addition, the defense did a fairly good job early stringing out the pitch option and preventing big gains. Makes me wonder how they will line up against more conventional offenses, and how they sharpen their skills against those schemes.
Having said all that, the offense isn't anywhere near PJ's expectations. They made many, many mistakes. Fumbles were common, and not relegated to any one guy. All the QB's made miscues. There were many mis-reads on the dive play, where guys should have pulled the ball out and didn't. There were center / QB snap issues. There were some pitch issues. We all know that one fumble can be the difference between winning an losing, so my tendency is not to get too excited about what we're seeing yet offensively. This group has a long way to go before this thing is truly a well-oiled machine, but they are progressing nicely.


Paul Johnson talked to reporters after practice and made the statement "we're trying to find out who wants to compete". He is personally challenging certain guys, particularly if he thinks they have more to give. Jonathan Dwyer is one of those guys - and he started out on 2nd team Saturday. There were plenty of others.

PJ had no play sheet. He called the plays right out of his head.

Quote of the day from Paul Johnson on Josh Nesbitt:
"He doesn't push through very well mentally," Johnson said. "When he gets a little tired, he goes the wrong way and forgets the play. He's got to push through that. He's got ability. Josh has got a ton of ability.

"There's times when he didn't do exactly what he was supposed to, and he missed some reads. Right now he's going to make us big plays. We're just not sure for who."

Desmond Howard of ESPN Gameday crew. Lots of ex-players (Mansfield Wrotto, Joe Hamilton, Matt Rhodes, A.Oliver,). Lots of future recruits including guys coming in the fall (Jaybo Shaw, S.Sylvester). Lots and lots of coaches of high school teams.

Check out super-freak Michael Johnson. Dude is buff. A 6'7" 260lb DE. I do believe he's poised for a monster year. Also note the knee braces all the DL are wearing. See more pics here.

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Taste of Today

Check this out for more pics from today:

Georgia Tech's Offensive Line Takes Cheap Shots at Knees

by Lennie Mac

You will hear this the very first time a defensive lineman goes down or if we start 2-0, whichever comes first. Check out these quotes:

"It's such a hard job on the inside, people are just nipping at you, and they're always at your feet. It's a nasty game and that's the way Navy likes it. They really try to get you distracted. They cut-block tremendously, probably the best that I've ever seen. You really have to work hard at this stuff."

- Greg Schiano, Rutgers

“It’s probably the most important thing about the game,” Thompson said. “You can’t make any tackles from the ground. They’re really good at cutting players.

“We’ve been working pretty much half of camp and about two weeks now on cut-blocking. Florida State cut a lot, but it’s still no comparison to what Navy does.”

- Jim Grobe, Wake Forest

It will not be long before someone brings up that GT chop blocks. Cut blocking is legal in the NCAA and is designed to knock the defender off his feet.

It also has a psychological effect on defensive lineman and linebackers as well. They start thinking about it all week. If you know that someone is coming at your knees you get timid, thinking about protecting yourself.

Chop blocking is illegal. Under NCAA rules, a chop block is an obviously delayed block anywhere on the field at or below the thigh of an opponent (other than the runner) who is (a) in contact with; (b) in the act of disengaging from; or (c) has just disengaged from but is still confronting a blocker’s teammate. A chop block is delayed if it occurs more than one second after a teammate contacts the opponent. Also, a high/low combination block by two nonadjacent linemen with or without a delay between contacts is a chop block. When in question, an illegal delayed block is at or below the thigh of an opponent and, as such, is a chop block (2-3-3, 9-1-2p).

The one question that I would like asked is how GT is practicing this technique in Spring Practice without getting anyone hurt.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Football - New ACC Bowl Tie-in

Per the Annapolis paper (blogger really), Navy has signed on to play in the inaugural Congressional Bowl in 2008, to be held in D.C. at either RFK stadium or the new Nationals Park. Apparantly the ACC has agreed to be the tie-in opponent and it looks to be a "Service Academy" / ACC bowl moving forward. ESPN has signed on to broadcast the game, which will be held December 20.

Interesting that Navy has already agreed to play the first one, since they're......... you know ............ not bowl eligible yet. I guess when you eat bullets for breakfast and fight wars, we can make a few exceptions. I don't have a problem with that.

Apparantly it's going to be able to payout at least the minimum $1,000,000 per team.

A few questions unanswered:

  • Is the an additional bowl tie-in?
  • Is one of the existing bowls going to be cut (take your earmuffs off Boise-ians)
  • Is this a way to provide a more reasonable lower tier bowl for the more Northern ACC teams whose teams maybe don't travel so well (turns out Eagles don't fly)?
  • Can the service academies play even if none are bowl eligible?

Inquiring minds want to know. What questions do you have?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring Practice - Day #2

(picture from AJC)

Here are the tidbits from around the digital-ether based on today's practice:

Two hour session in shorts and helmets. Again, they started with punt drills, with T.Evans, R.Jones, T.Melton and J.Tarrant fielding punts. Coach Johnson was a little more pleased with the pace today:

"Practice was better and at a faster pace today, but we certainly have a long way to go."

Speaking out "routine" - the defense is changing more than their scheme. Seems their techniques are going more mainstream as well. Less back-pedling. More side-stepping and shuffling. Seems man-to-man coverage is making a return to the flats, which has been clearly absent the past 3 years. The defensive player quotes all seem positive about the changes. It appears that the defense will be easier to execute for the players, but still present plenty of challenges for offenses. We will see.

Offensively, there continues to be a strong focus on the passing game and the QB's looked sharper. Could this be Coach Johnson like a kid with his new Red Rider BB-Gun? As expected, they continued option drills as well. Very much a focus on the basics of the option, not the intracies.

Former players continue to comment on the higher level of intensity of practice compared to the previous regime. Listen to Adamm Oliver's radio show and learn a whole lot about what they have to say. Check out his website at Matt Rhodes said he has been watching the O-Line and thinks the new offense might have been perfect for a guy like him. VERY different type of O-Line play. WAY different. By the way, the D-Line has to wear mandatory knee braces during spring. Why? Well, the O-Line is all about more cut-blocking. Legal blocking mind you, but blocking that is more prone to lead to injury. So need to protect those D-Linemen.

Per various reports, since Jon Tenuta's departure, he no longer corners the market on raising his voice. Encumbant coaches and new ones alike are voicing themselves in much more auditory fashion. Evidently the message is still harsh when it needs to be, but the level of profanity seems to be down signficinatly. So, moms, you can now brings your babies to watch the defense practice.

Mike Knobler tells us that PJ's policy is to let a guy start the spring where he wants to play, then move them later if it looks like it will work out better somewhere else. Guys are trying new things out everywhere................ Greg Smith seems to be embracing the A-Back role............... Lots of experimentation in the secondary. Reese, Word-Daniels, Butler and Tarrant are battling at CB. Tony Clark is back at safety as the experiment at LB is apparently over. Just too many needs back there, as he lines up with Burnett, Reese and Blackwood................ Willie White continues to practice at safety and is happy about the change:

"I've always loved defense," White said. "I've kind of been hinting all along, so I welcome the move. Now, I'm just ready to play."
Paul Johnson specifically mentioned Jamaal Evans as having a good practice today, as "he did some good things". If you'll remember, Evans stood out his first spring as a freshman. Not that rankings mean anything, but don't forgot that one site listed him as the 6th best all-purpose back in the nation coming out of high school.

PJ told Mike Knobler that Josh Nesbitt showed improvement today but it will be weeks before there's a semblance of a depth chart at QB.

Tyler Melton and BeBe have looked good at WR.

Vance Walker was there but did not participate. He has a minor injury per AJC.. Daryl Richard wasn't there - had a class conflict.

Standard media group. Handful of former players - Rhodes, Oliver, J.Lewis............... Also, more local coaches and their staffs attending to watch.

The AJC did a nice story about Jacob Lonowski, who has decided to end his career and save his shoulders. I guess he's decided that picking up his own fork ws important when he's like.... 40. The reality is that stories like this are all too common, and they are the reality in why kids need to really take their collegiate decision seriously - not just for the sport they play. Nice story though.

Turns out Friday will be the first practice in pads and there's a scrimmage Saturday at 9:00am. The Spring Game is set for April 19th at 1 p.m. in Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion

Time for my once every two year post about how you can support this site. I can't even remember the last time I reminded readers that you can show your support without it even hitting your wallets (or you can do it that way too). Obviously there is a financial commitment to maintain this site, although admittedly most of my committment is time, which of course = money too.

So do nothing with what's below, or do something with it. Your choice. I'll continue to bring you the wonderful world of GT Sports either way.

Now, here's something amazing - this site has been active since September 2003. That means we'll hit the 5-year mark this year. The world has changed a lot in that time, and we've seen many GT sites come and go, yet I'm the only one who is apparently a glutton for punishment.

So here's how you can show your support:

On either column you'll find links to stuff at If you buy stuff at Amazon, you can show your support by getting to the Amazon website through the links on this page. You don't have to buy the stuff shown. Doesn't matter what you end up buying, as long as you got to the site from here, and don't close your browser. Magically, Amazon charges you the same amount for the stuff you buy, but gives me a cut of the profits. So if you buy that $50,000 stereo system you've always been wanting, and get to through this site, I suppose I get a nice little payday. Books, videos, whatever. Not much for me, but it's enough to buy my wife dinner every once in awhile when she gets ticked at me because I've been spending too much time here......... you get my drift......... Just know that when you buy from this way, you are chosing to take some profits directly from Amazon and share them with your favorite GT Blogger. :-)

Don't, and I repeat don't, click on the google ad links in the left column unless you are genuinely interested in what they might offer. Google employs literally millions of kids in China who have fancy adding machines that can tell if I'm creating "click fraud". And let me tell you, with the time zone thing, they're up all night while I'm sleeping. Add to that the millions of kids fired from the lead paint factories, and the employment pool is bigger than ever. I don't need that kind of stress. So, check the ads out, and if there's something you're interested in - click on it. If not, keep walking. Heck, even writing this paragraph treads on Google's policies, which basically call for no undue attention to their ad boxes.

If you're just interested in showing support through a good old fashioned donation, you can do that too. There's a "TIP JAR" link and a "Donate" button halfway down the right column. Feel free to toss a small bit of your hard-earned cash to support this site.

Again, it's weird even putting up a post like this. Don't feel obligated. I built this site out of my passion for Georgia Tech sports and that hasn't changed. It will always be a hobby and not about the money............... but a little extra to keep things going never hurts.

In the immortal words of Stephen Wright - "Why is it that it's only a 'penny for your thoughts', but you have to 'put your two cents in'? Somebody's making a penny"............

Some of you may remember my "bare my soul" post last fall about the fact that I hadn't ever bought football season tickets or given to the school financially. While I certainly plead a certain level of financial conversatism with three girls under 5 (I see future weddings, college, etc, etc, etc in triplicate), and my jobs have kept me on the road a lot, I finally turned a corner. I sprung for 4 tickets in the "Jackets Nest", which is basically the west end zone. I ended up with section 218, which is the "overhang" (see my view below). So I bought some cheapies - but that's what the GTAA was after in offering those $150 seats - new blood. They got some of mine for the 2008 season. I hope to see you there. I'll be the big guy with the beard.
(my view for the 2008 football season)

Spring Practice - Day #1

Here are some notes from around the interweb on day 1 practice. This includes, the AJC, discussion boards, and other secret saucy sources:

  • Practiced in shorts and helmets. It appears they'll be in pads by Saturday.
  • Focus was fundamentals and basics of the new offensive and defensive schemes
  • Coach Johnson described the practice as "ragged", but "about what you'd expect".
  • Practice began with punt coverage drills.
  • Fast-paced practice, which was designed to keep participation at a high level. Not a lot of chances to stand around. Players had "extra" work to do when mistakes were made (drills, pushups, etc)
  • Coach PJ worked with offense almost exclusively. Focused on QB's , B-Backs and WR's. Very active in terms of teaching. Very hands-on.
  • Coach B.Bohannon said it will likely be 3-4 weeks into spring practice before the leaders in the QB race take shape.
  • Lots of passing today, although fairly ragged with the wind.
  • QB's worked on all the pitch drills, hand-offs, etc. Per AJC, Josh Nesbitt hasn't taken a snap under center since 10th grade. QB's getting a lot thrown at them, and trying to absorb it all.
  • Coach Charles Kelly worked with the CB's.
  • Coach Wommack worked with the safeties
  • Position changes.......... Dominique Reese practiced at safety, OT AJ Smith practiced at Guard (although partially because of being short on personnel), Greg Smith practiced at A-Back, Willie White practiced at safety, Dan Voss got time at Center (with Dunmon out today).
  • Injuries - Shane Bowen (shoulder), Cord Howard(foot), Jason Davis (foot), Brad Sellars(knee) will likely miss all of spring practice............. Andrew Smith (flu) and Trey Dunmon (flu) missed today.
  • Faces in the crowd...... KaMichael Hall, Gary Guyton, PJ Daniels, Joe Hamilton, Dan Radakovich, misc reporters, a signed recruit or two, and a good number of other coaches trying to learn a thing or two (Mark Richt was not one of them)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Football- Spring Practice Questions

Georgia Tech spring practice officially starts today. It's an exciting time, and the new coaching staff brings a fresh hope in the air. With it come a long list of questions begging debate. Here are the top 10 things I'm going to be looking closely at during the next few weeks.

  • How will the depth chart shake out? Paul Johnson and staff have made it clear that the decks are cleared and that everyone starts with a clean slate. Everyone has a chance to earn their spot. DC Dave Wommack has said that he doesn't have a depth chart going into the spring - he has an "organizational chart", which basically means groups of players for each position fighting with no pecking order..... yet. There are position battles ready to begin all over the place. QB, OL, DE, LB, DB, WR, ABack, kicker, punter. Honestly the most solid 1st string jobs are probably are DT's - Vance Walker and Daryl Richard. But start going to the 2-deep in all these positions and things continue to get murky. Last year's redshirts are primed to make their mark all over the 2-deep. The secondary only returns two guys with game-experience. That's wide open. There are spots to be had on the O-Line, losing three starters. LB is open, and considering Shane Bowen won't be practicing this spring - things are really open. I'll be watching closesly for signs of the depth chart forming. This is where it starts.
  • What position changes will we see? Spring is always a time to be on the lookout for guys switching positions. This year, my guess is that we'll see a good bit of it. Not only do we have a new coaching staff, but we also new offensive and defensive schemes. Throw in the fact that we lose a lot of starters on both sides of the ball, and you have many, many possibilities. Personally, I would be on the lookout for WR / DB switches as the most obvious. Also, look closely for WR's who will get time at the "A-Back" or "Slot" position, like Greg Smith and C.Earls. Look for a guy like Tony Clark, a "tweener", to find his spot on the defense.

  • Will someone emerge in the spring to take the QB job? We all know Josh Nesbitt has the physical tools. So the story-line appears to be the young hot-shot physical standout versus Calvin Booker, the slower but crafty, wily veteran. Can Nesbitt make good decisions? Can Booker run good enough? The fall will see the arrival of both Jaybo Shaw and Tevin Washington, who will get their looks. Can either pull a "Reggie Ball" and take the starting job in mere weeks of work? Hard to imagine, but we've seen it before. In the meantime, it seems to be a 2-person battle in the spring. If Booker actually has a better spring, then what are the implications on PJ's Triple-Option offense? Could be interesting.

  • How much of the new offense will Paul Johnson end up putting in place in the spring? He has said he's going to put in as much as he can, but has no strict regimine. I'll be looking for comments about player understanding of the new offense, comments from PJ about the offensive progress.

  • What is the defense going to look like? We will miss J.Tenuta, but sometimes new blood is a good thing. We think we're going to see more 4-2-5 defenses. We think we're going to see tighter coverage by the corners. We think we'll see aggressive blitzing, just not 85% of the time. We think a lot of things, but spring should provide some clues as to where the defense is headed. This bears watching, as DC Dave Wommack is an experienced guy with maybe a little something to prove

  • Who will emerge as the true team leaders? There are vocal leaders like Tashard Choice. There are quiet guys who lead by their play - like Calvin Johnson. Which guys are going to step up and be the ones the other players look to for leadership, inspiration and motivation when times are hard? Who will be team captains? Should be interesting to see.

  • Who will stay and who will go? DJ Donley is staying. DJ is going. DJ is staying. DJ is going. DJ and mom met with PJ and now they might stay. Obviously DJ is the headliner on the watch list of possible transfers. However, he's not likely to be the only one. So this bares watching through the spring and of course through the summer as well.

  • What is the difference in tone, demeanor and attitude? Clearly PJ wants to instill physical and mental toughness. He has started with challenging early morning workouts the last few weeks. Now, I was at GT during the start of the Bill Lewis era. Bill Lewis wanted to instill toughness and tried to do it through puke-inducing 2-a-days. I remember players coming back to the dorm worn out, aching and tense. It all backfired of course. There's a fine-line between running player's backside's off and having it translate into success. With Lewis it didn't translate. He tried to establish a toughness but did not establish a vision that players bought into. So instead of a 5-star General that players would go to war with, he just became just a jerk trying to show who was the boss. Paul Johnson so far appears to have laid the groundwork for a compelling vision of this program. So far the players seem to be drinking the Kool-Aid. That's important, and I am very interested to see how this attitude and demeanor translate onto the field in spring practice.

  • What is the difference in physicality of spring ball? No green jerseys for QB's. No "light tackling" drills. That's what we hear. PJ seems all about the hitting; all about the full-speed; all about the close-as-reality-as-possible game simulation. He wants to teach Josh Nesbitt and Calvin Booker how to be option QB's by letting them get their bell rung. I am going to be closely watching and listening for how this impacts the players. I am also going to be watching how this impacts our injury situation. Intuition would tell you the possibilities for injuries will go up.

  • How will future recruits perceive spring practice? There will be a LOT of future recruits attending spring practices, so it is worth looking out for comments by possible future Jackets on their perceptions.

Here's the schedule for the next few weeks, per Practices are open to the public:

Georgia Tech Spring Practice Schedule
(All practices at Rose Bowl Fields @ 4 p.m.)
Monday, March 24
Wednesday, March 26
Friday, March 28
Saturday, March 29
Monday, March 31
Wednesday, April 2
Friday, April 4
Saturday, April 5
Monday, April 7
Wednesday, April 9
Friday, April 11
Saturday, April 12
Monday, April 14
Wednesday, April 16 (possible move to Bobby Dodd Stadium)
Saturday, April 19 (SPRING GAME @ 1 p.m.)

Anyone attending practice who wants to send me practice reports will get their notes posted online (send to: gtsports -at- blogspot -dot- com). I'd love to share with everyone.

Football - Spring Practice Schedule

Here's the schedule for the next few weeks, per Practices are open to the public:

Georgia Tech Spring Practice Schedule
(All practices at Rose Bowl Fields @ 4 p.m.)
Monday, March 24
Wednesday, March 26
Friday, March 28
Saturday, March 29
Monday, March 31
Wednesday, April 2
Friday, April 4
Saturday, April 5
Monday, April 7
Wednesday, April 9
Friday, April 11
Saturday, April 12
Monday, April 14
Wednesday, April 16 (possible move to Bobby Dodd Stadium)
Saturday, April 19 (SPRING GAME @ 1 p.m.)

Anyone attending practice who wants to send me practice reports will get their notes posted online (send to: gtsports -at- blogspot -dot- com). I'd love to share with everyone.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Football - No Pain No Gain

The AJC tells us that many players are experiencing workouts like they've never experienced before in spring conditioning. They go into some detail on the workout regimine, which I suspect came from the same Navy discussion board that I found this:

Stretching starts at 0545, standard Coach Brass pre-practice/game routine

The football players all wear practice jerseys, other mids are allowed to come out as well.

There are 7 stations spread all over the whole field. Each station is split up into two lines. There is one coach per line, so two coaches per station

Station 1: Hoops, there are two large hoops (6 or 7' in diameter) laid next to each other, forming a figure 8 shape. Players basically run a figure 8 around the two hoops. The emphasis is on speed while constantly changing direction and staying low.

Station 2: Towels, the configuration of the towels varies, but the idea stays the same. Players put one hand down on the towel and run one full circle around it, then move to the next towel, alternating hands and direction each time. The emphasis is on exploding out of the turn and accelerating to the next towel.

Station 3: M-Drill, 5 cones are arranged like the dots on the mat drill. Players face forward at a top corner and backpedal first to the bottom corner, run forward to the middle cone, backpedal to the bottom corner opposite the starting side, and finally run forward through the final top corner cone (all the way through...or else up downs). The emphasis is changing direction and the all important finish through the line.

Station 4: Pro-shuttle, two players face eachother and essentially race the pro-shuttle drill. Start in the middle- five yards to the right, ten yards back to the left, finish five yards back to the right through the starting line. This is the same drill done by most combines. The emphasis is on change of direction/quickness.

Station 5: Bags, 6 big blocking bags are laid out in a


shape. Coaches have players run through, weave around, jump over in any number of combinations. This emphasizes speed, agility, quickness.

Station 6: Ladders, rope ladders are put down and players run straight through, sideways, hop-skotch, and any other weird step that the coach decides to do.

Station 7: Wave drill (aka Coach Green's drill), three players line up in single file facing the coach, knees chopping. The coach points right or left and the players shuffle that direction to a cone on either side of them then back to the middle. When the coach is satisfied with the trio, he waves them on and they sprint past him. The finish here is half the battle. Bad finish = up downs. The emphasis here is on changing direction/agility, and the finish.

The 7 different groups are organized by position. Other midshipmen are scattered into the various groups. I dont know why anyone would want to come out, but the extra bodies make the lines a little bit longer, and you get a few more seconds to rest. The whole cycle is done through once the first time, generally spending 2.5-3 minutes on each station. Then everyone sprints to the next station (lack of effort leads to everyone going back and repeating the previous station). There is a 4-5 minute break after the first go-through. The second time through is much like the
first, only there is no break, and everyone goes right into the third cycle.

During the third cycle, after each station ends, KN gets a thumbs up or down
from each coach. If all coaches give a thumbs up, 4th quarters are done for the day. If a single coach gives a thumb down, everyone rotates to the next station,
and this process continues until every coach gives a thumbs up. Generally the whole thing is done around 0700, just enough time to shower, grab some breakfast, and go to class.

Finishing my last 4th quarters was the happiest moment of my life...until beating ND, which was pretty cool. "

So we don't know exactly what they're running, but it's safe to say it's some variation of that routine. I was saving that post until the end of the weekend, but the AJC beat me too it. They wrote a good article and it was certainly encouraging if you're a Tech fan. It's all part of the process of building that mental toughness.
Also, the Sporting News tells us about spring by leading with the fact that Paul Johnson ain't gonna give much info at this point.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Football - Depth Chart By Class

Taking a cue from a Tennesse Blog (RockyTopTalk), I thought I would put together a spring football depth chart by class. I slapped it together pretty quickly, but it gives you a pretty clear idea where our depth is hurting and where we are solid for 2008. I took the idea and expanded it a bit, adding a column for "Notable losses", which clearly shows the massive number of starters we lose, and I added a column for current verbal commitments. Let me know if you see any errors. I'm sure there are a few.

As always, click on the picture for the gigantor version:

Where are they now? - Taylor Bennett

by Lennie Mac

The Shreveport Times reported that Taylor Bennett has visited Louisiana Tech to study their master programs. As we all know, he has one year of eligibility left. Although he wasn't too good here (Gator Bowl and Maryland game aside), we wish him the best in his future endeavors.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Where are they now - Jarrett Jack

From last night's game (link from a Hiver). What caption would you put with this one?

Paul Johnson - 790thePWN

Wow, what a contrast. Chan Gailey was just a super nice guy. He never wanted to say a cross word about one of his players. He never wanted to get into arguments with the media, but he also didn't want to really give the media any insight into the program. He gave a lot of coach-speak. Now the media is often guilty of on one hand using baiting tactics to try and create a "moment" and on the other hand being lazy and not doing their homework. They did it with Coach Gailey last year with some Reggie Ball baiting, but he fell into their trap.

Now, are you interested in hearing a contrast? Are you ready for a guy that is going to force the media to do their homework or look like the boneheads that we all like to say they are? Take a listen to Paul Johnson's interview with 790thezone and decide who is going to be the aggressor when it comes to interviews. He comes across as pretty easy-going, very real, confident, and pretty darn open about things. When asked the inevitable question about the Triple-Option and running a scheme that people question, after basically saying he is confident it will work, he threw this out.

PJ: "What offense does Georgia run? What do they run? Does anybody know?

Nick Cellini: "Uhh... I guess they would call it a pro-style offense, for a lack of a better term."

PJ: "Well, it's certainly not a pro-style offense. It's not what the NFL runs. "

It went on, and PJ let up on them. The message - don't mess around too much with PJ. Show some respect. He'll do the unthinkable - ask the questioner a question. uhhh........dddduuuhhh....

To me, the key question was what he wants to see out of his team as the top priority:

PJ: "I'd like to see us get a little tougher, mentally. I want to see guys compete. I've been pleased with our guys so far with morning conditioning - at least some aspects of that. I think when I watch the tape and when I assess the program, that's the one area I really think we need to improve in.......................... I think we need to understand what it takes to get to that next level, and it's not always physical toughness. I think our guys are physically tough. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about being able to mentally fight through when things go bad and those kind of things".

Lastly, every coach has to have some coachspeak, and this was his classic:

PJ: "Football is a pretty simple game. The team that blocks and tackles the best usually wins".

Oh yeah, one more key comment................... spring practice starts Monday!!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Timeline for a new GT President

As you probably know, Wayne Clough announced his departure as President of Georgia Tech, as he takes over the troubled Smithsonian. Here's a good New York Times article on his background and what he's stepping into. Here is an email sent to students today about his successor:


Chancellor Erroll B. Davis, Jr.
270 Washington Street, S.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

March 18, 2008

Dear Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni and Friends of Georgia Tech:

By now you have learned of President Clough's new role as Secretary of the Smithsonian, a position of tremendous international importance. We are thrilled that he was chosen for this post, and while we will miss him immensely, we know that this is a well- deserved honor and fitting recognition of his accomplishments.

Over the last thirteen years, President Clough has helped bring Georgia Tech to a new level of national and international prominence. We shall celebrate his numerous outstanding contributions to higher education over the coming months, as we say

The greatest asset -- the sole asset -- of any college or university is its people. And while the president sets the focus and agenda for the institution, it is those who have chosen Tech as a place in which to exercise their individual talents that perform the work of the university and establish its reputation. Many of you have chosen Georgia Tech because of its growing reputation and in turn, each of
you makes invaluable contributions to that reputation.

Therefore, as the leadership transition moves forward, I just want to assure you that it will be done in ways that affirm and strengthen the importance of Georgia Tech's faculty and staff to the university's continued excellence.

A plan for transition is well underway, and our goal is to choose an Interim President for Georgia Tech within the next several weeks. This process will guarantee a smooth transition for all operations at the university.

In the short term, I will be reaching out to consult with a variety of people to help me decide who shall lead the university during this interim period. But, I would very much like to hear from you as well. Please send confidential nominations for candidates who might serve as Interim President directly to our Chief Academic Officer, Susan Herbst (, before noon on March 24th.

After we have gathered nominations and evaluated the candidates, the name of the Interim President will be announced as soon as possible.

As far as a national search for the 11th President of Georgia Tech, the details will be shared with you over the coming months. Generally, we will begin preparation for the search in the spring and commence formal solicitations for applications early in the fall, so that we have a new President in place as soon as practicable.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Clough on an outstanding career as a scholar, institutional president, policy expert, and a leader in international higher education. We could not be more proud of him and the Georgia Tech community at this moment: A bright future for the University is a certainty.

With warmest regards,
Erroll B. Davis Jr.

Monday, March 17, 2008

ACC Short-changing - an annual spring tradition

Ran across this tidbit that Tech fans probably remember pretty well. This from the former committee chairman Bob Frederick:

Asked to name the source of the toughest grilling he received as chairman of the selection committee, Frederick said, “I don’t remember, probably about the ACC with Billy (Packer, or as Al McGuire used to spell his name: P-A-C-C-K-E-R).”

Then Frederick remembered, and the grilling was inspired by an ACC team being left out: “Georgia Tech. I remember calling Bobby Cremins and talking to him about it. He was great. He didn’t agree, and he still doesn’t, but he was great about it.”

Sunday, March 16, 2008

ACC Jobbed Again?

Well, the #1 RPI conference in the country ends up yet again getting only 4 teams into the NCAA tournament. The Big East, on the other hand, with the 5th best RPI gets 8 teams in. The key team that got left out was of course Virginia Tech. So did they deserve it? You could argue it both ways:

  • Pro - #1 RPI conference
  • Pro - 9-7 record in the ACC
  • Pro - #32 Strength of Schedule
  • Con - they only played UNC, Duke and Clemson once each - and lost every one
  • Con - RPI ~53
  • Con - 1-7 record against top 50 (vs 4-7 Villinova, S.Bama 3-2)
  • Con - 0-6 record against top 25

I'm as ticked as any ACC fan should be. However, the only thing they really had going for them was a strong ACC record - and the Selection committee chairman made it clear that the conference a team played in had no role in their decision. Seth Davis made it clear - mid-majors get a break in this process over the big conference middle teams. It's a fact but the committee would never admit it. Either way, it's a rarity for an ACC team with a winning record to get left out, but here we are.

What role did the make-up of the ACC play in this? A lot in my opinion. Facts are this conference needs more bad teams. Why does the Big East get 8 teams in? There are plenty of patsies. The ACC just doesn't have them. There are two great teams (UNC, Duke), one really good team (Clemson), one good team (Miami), then all the rest are a solid soup of interchangeability. Really, there's not one ACC team that would be a major shocker to upset UNC during the season.

For the ACC to consistently get 5-6 teams in the dance, we need at least three, but preferably four teams every year to lose about 12-14 conference games. We don't necessarily need another dominant team. We just need more crappy teams. I don't know if it's any more complicated.

Oh, I don't know. We dominate the ACC/Big 10 Challenge every year and they get the same number of teams in the dance as the ACC. Go figure.

Here's something I do know. This time of the year really, really, really stinks when GT is not in the field. It's not bittersweet. It's just plain bitter. Adding insult to injury, our arch-rivals win only 4 conference games all year, and manage to win 4 in-a-row to win the SEC and get a bid to the dance (on our own floor no less). At least there is justice in the world though. First, they get shipped out west as a 14-seed. Second, it ensures that Dennis Felton is going to hang around a few more years. Good guy, but I don't see him taking them consistently to the next level in hoops.

It's just the end to one very frustrating season.

So what should we move on to next? Want to talk beesball? Well, GT got swept by FSU this weekend. I'm not up for that either. I think I'm going to bed early. I cannot even get motivated to fill out a bracket.

Don't Blink & Miss Life Pass You By

Thank you David Glenn for this small but oh so important little follow-up after Tech's loss to Duke:

In the final moments of the Yellow Jackets' quarterfinal loss to Duke, senior forward Jeremis Smith and senior guard Anthony Morrow had tears in their eyes as they came off the court for the last time as collegians. They briefly hugged Tech coach Paul Hewitt, then went down the line and embraced each of their assistant coaches, teammates and members of the support staff. At the end, Smith and Morrow turned to each other and came together in a tight, both-arms, full-bodied, tears-flowing bear-hug, holding it for maybe 20 seconds as the game's buzzer sounded.

Smith, a powerful 6-8, 236-pounder with spider-web shoulder tattoos and a gregarious personality, must have left quite an impression — beyond basketball — during his four-year career. As the game ended, ACC officials Mike Eades and Ray Natili approached Smith with smiles on their faces, offered him a few words, and hugged him. (Imagine the reaction if that had occurred with a Duke or UNC player!) In the two teams' postgame handshake line, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski took extra time to speak with Smith.

On an otherwise sad day for Smith, did the details of the final moments of his college career offer him a silver lining?

"I'm glad you asked me that question, because it meant a lot to me," Smith said. "I know most people just see us as basketball players, but we're people first, and that's something I've always tried to keep in mind when I deal with other people, in every area of life. What you saw out there was four years of relationships, four years of fighting through adversity, four years of success and failure and everything in between. That's what life is all about, right? That's what was so emotional about it.

"I'm the type of guy who builds relationships. I love my coaches and teammates, and it's about more than basketball. I don't like every call the refs make, but I always try to remember that they're people, and they have a hard job to do, and I've built good relationships with them. I'm trying to beat those guys on the other team, but they're people, too. You can play hard and try to win and try to beat them and still remember that they're people.

"This is a hard day for me, sort of the end of a difficult but great chapter of my life. That's why you see my eyes are so red right now. But that stuff? The hugs? My teammates? Coach Hewitt? Coach K? The refs? That kind of stuff brings a smile to my face, even though it's a sad day, too."

The message for me - success is not strictly defined by wins and losses. I can't forget the student-athletes and their sacrifice. I shouldn't lament why we "missed" on some kids. Embrace the ones who chose to hook up their wagons to the Ramblin Wreck for four years. Appreciate the effort, the sacrifice, the relationships and don't define the era strictly by the record. This team lost 3 guys to the NBA. This team lost 2 others to transfers. This team lost their best inside player to a medical redshirt. Yet this team was a few key baskets away from an 18-20 wins season. They did well with tremendous adversity, finding within themselves how to translate effort into more consistent winning at the most important part of the season.

So kudos to the seniors, and we look forward to seeing those who remain. While we won't know what next year brings, there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful. It will also be extremely easy to sit back and take pot-shots. It always is for us arm-chair generals.

Anyhow, thanks David Glenn, for reporting about the human side of the game, which most reporters have gotten too lazy to even care about.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hoops - Jackets Fall to Duke

So the 2007/2008 season comes to an end. And in the end, things had a familiar ring. Lose to Duke 82-70. Look marginally competitive. Season over. No post-season.

The Jackets went down big in the first half, which is a death-wish against Duke. However, they managed a big run early in the 2nd half to cut it to 2 points. For a few minutes it looked like it might actually be a game. How did they cut into something like a 19 point lead? First, Duke backed off a bit defensively. Second, GT figured out a nice pick-and-roll strategy to get penetration at the top of the key and exploit some over-playing out high. Third, the Jackets hit a bunch of shots both inside and outside and didn't miss many. Fouth, Duke went cold.

But that was it. Duke turned back up the defensive pressure and that was all she wrote. Really there were two key plays that seemed to be back-breakers. Both were the result of strong aggressive defense by the Jackets, but both resulted in easy, quick transition 3-pt hoops by Duke. Back-breakers.............. whatever.

At the end of the day, the season was characterized by frustration for fans, players and coaches, with a few brief sprinkles of fun and excitement. The highlight was probably the victory on senior day over Clemson. Anyhow, thanks again to Jeremis Smith, Anthony Morrow and Matt Causey. Great having you here.

Looking ahead, it's going to be hard to predict what we'll have next season. Losing those three guys but only adding Iman Shumpert (for now). It's going to take maturation and development, not an influx of new talent.
Guess it's time to move on...............

Speaking of moving on, the beesball team loses 8-7 to FSU in the bottom of the 9th. Rough day.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hoops........... On to Day #2

Day one of the ACC tournament........... and Charlotte continues its tradition of historic kindness to Georgia Tech. A see-saw battle with Virginia for 2/3 of the game turned into a runaway as the senior leadership of Jeremis Smith and Anthony Morrow took over. Throw in some strong coaching by Paul Hewitt, knowing when and how to settle down key guys at key times, and you have the makings of a solid 94-76 victory.

If there is one thing that Coach Hewitt has proven is that he has the capability of designing a defensive scheme that shuts down and keys on one opposing player. Remember Chris Paul having his worst games against GT? There's a history of us doing it. We have been generally successful when we decide to do it, and tonight Sean Singletary was the victim. It's never one guy locking down. It's a team trapping, collapsing scheme that clogs up and blocks penetration. Now, inevitably, the scheme leaves the door open for a guy that's not "the guy". If one or two other guys step up they can typically have big games. In the first half M.Diane was that guy - as he couldn't miss. However, the 2nd half wasn't so kind. Now, Singletary did score 20 points, but was only 4-14 from the floor. Funny how holding him to 20 pts / 10 assists is "shutting him down", but the team really did a great job of taking him out in the 2nd half. He wasn't able to do what he does. He labored just to get the ball. He got tired.

Jeremis and A-Mo clearly want to leave more to their legacy. They're just playing lights out. Jeremis ended with 18 pts, 5 boards, 6 assists, 1 block, 2 steals. Wow. A-Mo ended with 18 pts, 7 boards, 1 assist and 1 steal. So our best long-range shooter leads the team in rebounding and our best interior player leads the team in assists. Can you say versatile?

More than anything I was excited to see those guys having fun and smiliing. They've worked so hard this season and nothing has come easy. There have not been many occassions to smile, but tonight was one of them. A-Mo played in front of his Gramd-mama for the first time ever, along with a bunch of his family / friends in his hometown. You have to be happy for that guy. Jeremis continues to expand his game in the span of weeks, showing us this magic jumpshot all-of-the-sudden. And the free-throws???? 8 of 9 from the line. Where has that been JS? Why'd you wait so long to break it out?

Five guys in double figures. Four guys with 5 or more boards. Six guys with 2 or more assists. Mo Miller was stout - and is sending a message to Iman Shumpert - don't think you're going to walk in and take his job at PG. Alade Aminu was strong, blocking 3 shots, running the floor, altering shots - using his athleticism. A nice game from him tonight with 11pts / 5 boards. Bell playing strong D and scoring with that sweet mid-range jumper. Lewis Clinch continues to find his range. He looked shaky early (offensively), but warmed up from long range. Matt Causey only has one speed and was a bit aggressive at times, but still contributed some important plays. Zach Peacock was solid offensively, although he did turn the ball over 4 times.

Just a solid team effort tonight led by the seniors.

We are not only fans of Georgia Tech. We are fans of good basketball, good players and good student-athletes. We tip our cap to Sean Singletary, who busted his hump for 4 years, leaving everything on the court. The ACC is better for having had him.

Time to face the Evil Empire. Duke will be a challenge. They are a 3-pt taking machine. We need Coach Hewitt to design another effective defense. That will be a challenge, because you can't key on one guy. We need to push the tempo and we need to establish some inside game.

This team can do it. They are capable. They are playing their best ball of the year. Can it continue for one more night? Abso-freakin-lutely!!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Voice Mail: ACC Tournament Expectations?

Tech fan Lee Smith left the following voice mail asking about our realistic expectations to make a serious run in the ACC Tourney starting Thursday:

Also, just before I hit the sack, "Matt T" left a voicemail with his thoughts:

Well Lee and Matt, here's my take

  • You'd be crazy the think we'll win it all
  • You'd be crazy to say it would be impossible.

So we have ourselves a little bit of....... who the heck knows what is going to happen. We have stretches of play this year that would make you think this team can hang with anyone. Then there are other stretches, that...... well..... you know.

So what's it going to be? Well, GT is 0-4 in Thursday games (play-in day) at the ACC tourney. That's not so good. However, Charlotte has been kind to the Jackets, as two of our three ACC titles transpired there. That's pretty good. No ACC team has ever won 4 games in a row to win the ACC Tourney. Not good.... Heck, Tech's longest winning streak this year is three games, and that certainly wasn't 3 days in a row. It's a daunting task.

Well, there are plenty of reasons to think it can't happen. It's easy to sit back and take shots. However, this team is capable. They have enough talent, athletisicm, offensive punch, and face it it - they don't have anything to lose. They need to play lights-out defense, start protecting the boards, continue to protect the ball and do what they do on offense. They can make a run. They can create some magic. They can leave a mark.

At the end up the day I'm going to watch Thursday night with hope. Not so much expectation, but just hope. For me, it's a very different mental approach to a game. I will be rooting for Jeremis Smith and Anthony Morrow to shine. There's a part of me that likes the classic underdog story.... the redemption story...... the feel good story. Having those guys go out on top would be sweet justice. Of course every ACC has their own set of stories. Our first opponent has their own "feel good" story with Sean Singletary, so there's a story on every team. It would just be nice for us to have the happy ending. It's been awhile.

So there it is. I think this famous movie scene about sums it up for me:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Football Recruiting Map (ACC) - 2010

This map shows you where the ACC Class of 2010 is from. You can see how teams recruit various regions. You can actually click right on the map, zoom in or pan it in any direction. Really sweet is that you can zoom in and click on one of the flags and get a bio of the kid. Just as sweet is that their location is actually the high school they play for. So click on "satellite" view and zoom further to see the actual stadium where they play their high school ball. Cool stuff.

View Larger Map

Monday, March 10, 2008

Voice Mail: Your Most Memorable Game

Last week I asked you to leave me a voice mail recounting the most memorable Georgia Tech football game you ever attended. I got some good responses, so let's share.

First up, Todd (aka "T Bone"), tells us that the 1989 whooping of South Carolina 38-0 was his most memorable.

I have to admit, that was a memorable game for me as well. I was friends with one of the USC flag waiving girls and I remember going over there to visit her at halftime trying VERY hard not to gloat.

Next up, my bud Bryan, who was at Tech same time as me, remembers October 17, 1992, for all the WRONG reasons........ yeah, I was at that one too....... very hard to forget.

Next up, "Blue Pants" tells us that the 1988 season opener was his most memorable game. Interesting choice for sure, but for Blue Pants, evidently it was the beginning and end of a potential career in law enforcement

Next we have Lee Smith, who tells us that the famous "coming out" party for Calvin Johnson at Clemson was his most memorable game. Reggie Ball, where are you?

For those of you who have followed the 'Blog for years, you may or may not remember that I didn't attend that game (even though I was offered box seats), for fear that my 8.5 month pregnant wife would deliver the baby stuck on the side of the highway in bad traffic (in other words - she wouldn't let me go). So I watched on the tube............. then a week later delivered my own baby on the side of the road anyway when we could not get to the hospital in time....... memories. I guess you could say that was the most memorable game I did NOT attend.

Lastly, once again - here was my most memorable game:

One last note - I've gotten a few other voice mails with some interesting topics / questions / comments. I plan on sharing those as well.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Hoops - Jackets Take Down BC on the road

The Jackets grab another coveted ACC road victory against Boston College on their senior day. It was a solid performance all-around, led by another eye-popping game from Jeremis Smith. Listen, I'm not going to dare and suggest that this team will win four games in a row in the ACC tourney. Based on the resume this season, it just ain't gonna happen. However, there's a small part of me that won't let it go completely. With solid defense like against Clemson or BC and some respectable rebounding, this team could rip off a small run. They've got the offensive ability. It's entirely possible. Honestly, another factor is our ability to finally win on the road. What have we won - 4 ACC road games? You know, it's kinda, sorta hard to just completely rule out the possiblity that they could do it................... even though they won't.

Here are my keys to winning the ACC tourney:

  • Lights out defense - it's got to be Clemson / BC game caliber D........ can't be the D that has characterized this team most of the year, which is near worst in the conference.

  • Rebounding - somehow we have to get back control of the paint. We won't win four in-a-row if we're outrebounded every game. We give up too many easy offensive putbacks. Gani has to establish himself. Alade has to stop getting pushed around in the lane. Zach needs to spend a little more time in the paint and less time roaming the perimeter. I'd like to see D'Andre Bell be more aggressive going after a few boards.

  • Ball control - this team has shown a solid ability to control the ball and limit turnovers. That will continue to be key. Mo Miller and Matt Causey MUST dictate tempo. They must push the game, but they must limit turnovers and easy buckets for opponents.

  • Stamina - winning 4 games in 4 days. Ouch. I don't think it's been done yet by any team in the ACC tourney (not 100% sure). Coach Hewitt is going to have to balance out playing guys it will take to win versus trying not to wear them out in case they move on.

There's something else. I just can't help but dream and wonder what this team would have been like had Jeremis Smith played this way since he was ... maybe a sophomore. Don't get me wrong. Jeremis has been a workhorse since he got here. I said it yesterday - you can always count on 12/7. However, his game has been 95% in-and-around the basket. Jeremis with a consistent 10-12 foot jumper would change the complexion of the team if you ask me. It certainly did last night. So where has that jumper been? When JS came out of high school, his reputation was that of an all-around player. He WAS an inside-outside guy. He did take jumpers. So what happened? Well, I think it's a combination of things.

  • Coach Hewitt needed him to play a certain role. He was needed inside as a banger. We didn't really "need" his jumper as much as we needed his brute strength. He's been on teams with plenty of decent shooters, but not enough tough, insider enforcers. Jeremis gravitated towards that part of his game. Even though he is clearly undersized, he plays bigger and stronger than this size.

  • Confidence. I can vaguely remember about 4-6 short stretches during Jeremis's GT career where he tried to expand his range. I almost remember one stretch last season where Coach Hewitt specifically commented on giving Jeremis a green light to take more shots. However, I also remember a vast array of bricks. Face it - his jumper never looked great during his career. Those experiments were mostly short-lived.

Why all-of-the-sudden now? Why is that part of his game clicking now at the end of his career? Who knows. Maybe confidence. Maybe an "it'll be over soon" attitude. Maybe just some luck or a hot streak. However, watching it happen just makes me wonder what could have been.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Things are Buzzin....

There's a lot to keep up with in Jacket-land, and there's just not the time to spend giving you all the nitty-gritty. So let's hit the highlights:

  • The baseball team wins another game, this one more important as they are now 1-0 in the ACC. They crushed VaTech 14-1 on the strength of two, count-em two, long balls by freshman Derek Dietrich, one of which was a grand-salami. The freshman has homered in three straight games now. The future seems to bode well for that guy.... and the team. 10-1 record
  • The lady hoops team won on Friday in the 1st round of the ACC tourney, crushing Miami. Unfortunately they couldn't win today against UVA. However, the good news is that they should have a good enough resume to get into the big dance
  • Our indoor men's track coach wins ACC Coach of the Year - as voted on by his peers. Nice going.
  • Tripp Isenhour is trying to counteract the negative pub out there as a result of his eagle shooting spree. The old "I only meant the scare the bird" story. I'm sure that's true, but you know, there is like, you know, a reason you're a professional golfer.
  • Thaddeus Young is starting to make a real impact in Philly. He's now a regular starter and he's impressing his coaches and fans.
  • How's this for a statistical anomoly. It appears that Georgia Tech will be completely shut-out of the ACC hoops individual awards. Nobody will make All-ACC 1st team. Nobody will make 2nd team. A-Mo probably has a 5% chance to make third team. Nobody will win player of the year. Hewitt won't win coach of the year. Neither Gani nor Mo will win freshman of the year - and truthfully, neither is likely to even get on the freshman 1st team. Heck, the ACC just announced the the AllACC academic hoops 1st team, and we didn't even have anyone on it. Honestly I think our only two chances are A-Mo for 3rd team (~5%) or maybe D'Andre Bell for all-defensive team, but folks if Mario West and Ismail Muhammad didn't get voted on, then it's clear that writers don't value good defense. Not that indivual awards really matter, but I find it interesting that we're very likely to get the goose egg.
  • How about this one - Mark Whisenhunt is now a partner in an Augusta area golf club.
  • Bobby Cremins is back on the radar - very nice story here.
  • How about this - the new Offensive Coordinator at West Virginia is Wake Forest's former guy, who knows option football very well, because guess who he learned it from - yeah, that's right - Paul Johnson. See, it all comes back to Paul Johnson. He's frickin' David Carradine my friends.
  • By the way, I did get a good smattering of voice-mails with good recollections of your most memorable game. I'll post those soon. Good stuff.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hoops - Senior Night A Special One

It turns out there is some justice in the world. I was beginning to worry the season was going to end and there just wasn't going to be a signature moment to hang our hats on. Well, there is. Tonight the Jackets held on and took down #21 Clemson 80-75.

What made it special was the fact that it was senior night. Tonight the home fans got their last chance to say good-bye in person at the Thrillerdome. So instead of talking about the great win, let's toast these guys.

Matt, we barely knew you, and nothing could be more disappointing. What we got in your brief stay was energy, excitement, toughness, grit, swagger and a mean streak. You became that guy opposing fans loved to heckle, and it was great to have one of those guys again. You were here two years after sitting out with the transfer, but I have to say that your "one-and-done" was every bit as valuable and impressive as the more highly touted guys to make their pit-stops. If only you had been able to grace us with you high energy game from day one........ but life takes many twists and turns, and things happen for a reason. Bottom-line is that we appreciate your game.

A-Mo. What can I say? The prettiest jump shot AMC has seen since 3D, and there have been some good ones. I love the quick release, the perfect form. I love the attitude. You have been the quintessential team player. You rooted for guys and cheered them on when you were on the bench. You also embraced Georgia Tech. It was clear over the years that you were enjoying your experience here. From winning state titles at Charlotte Latin high school to dropping bombs in the ATL. You seem to enjoy being a true Tech-man, and Tech has been better off having here. From Marvin Lewis to Anthony Morrow to ????..... maybe Lance Storrs is your heir apparent. You have held up your end of the bargain both on and off the court.

Before the game, on the Clemson radio show, one of the Clemson assistant coaches said that you were the biggest bully in the ACC..... in a good way. He talked of toughness and physical play. Jeremis, you always played bigger than your size. You brought a level of toughness and "don't screw with us" attitude that the team needed. However, it wasn't reckless and it wasn't out-of-control. It was focused and unrelenting. You consistently played guys bigger than you and put up the most consistent numbers of anyone the past 4 years. You could always count on JS for 12/7. Let me check tonight's box score.......... yeah... 13/7, 4-5 from the floor, 2 assists, 5-8 from the line....... yeah..... it was a typical blue-collar night for the man from Texas.

You recently said that you wouldn't trade in your time at Georgia Tech for a chance to play on Florida's two National Championship teams. I absolutely believe you. I also believe you're crazy nuts, but that's part of your charm. You brought your lunchpail every game and we're thankful for it. You've been punched, tossed, beaten and had your kneecap twisted 180 degrees. Through it all, you always came back for more. You always put team over self. You always accepted a role that best helped your team win. You always took on those bigger guys.

So on senior night we say "thanks". Your time is winding down to wear the colors on the court, but we sure hope the colors run deep and that we'll see you often. No matter how many wins and losses grace your report cards, you clearly represented the Institute with class. You played hard and you had a great time. Jeremis and A-Mo left everything on the floor for 4 years. Your sweat, blood and tears are forever etched in the hardwood. Matt's time was brief, but worth it.

We wish all three guys a great future, wherever life takes you....................

One last thing....................... you know, the season isn't over. You know, there's a still a chance to give everyone yet another thrill. What do you say?....................


Evidently Tripp has an "eagle-eye"

In the shameful version of the "Where are they now" we have Tripp Isenhour front-and-center. The former Tech golfer managed to shoot down a red-shouldered Hawk with his driver. Oh don't go thinking he did it on the first try. I mean, he wasn't THAT good. The guy actually went searching for the screeching bird to line-up a better shot, and then took shot-after-shot-after-shot until the his eagle-eye hit the mark. Now he's facing charges.

I'm sure Tripp's a good guy, but man that has to be one of the stupidest things I've ever seen or heard. Now, for the "play on words" headline writers, there is a rich pot full of potential here.......... with golfers........ and eagles......... and birdies.................

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Let's Revisit the Voicemail Experiment

Ok, so I put a new feature on the site allowing you to leave a voice message which might have a chance to get posted for everyone to listen to. The result.............. not one person leaves a message. The thing is actually "free" (it calls you), so I'm scratching my head as to why there are no takers. Here are some thoughts

  • The psychology of transitioning from an "anonymous" person typing un-traceable rants on a keyboard is acceptably detached. Leaving a voicemail completely changes the psychology. Maybe it's too personal. Maybe you don't want that level of commitment. The spoken word is just there to judged and maybe you're feeling too vulnerable.

  • The psychology of the internet (and more specifically a blog) as an audio medium. The radio is the radio........ a blog is a blog ........ and never the 'twain shall meet. What I'm attempting is not podcasting either.

  • You need to be alone when you do it and it's just too inconvenient. Get the kids to bed and go hide in a room where your wife or girlfriend can't hear you so you won't get embarrassed.

  • You can't really call from your car because you need to click through the link on the website. A lot of radio show callers call from their cars. Not so practical here.

  • I need to better define the parameters and topics of a message. Just saying "leave you take" is too vague and not worth the brain-power to figure out what to say.

So with that, let's try again. I am going to give you a topic. Think about it, then click the "call me" link. That button will flip over - enter your phone number - and hit call. Your phone will ring....... you will hear a short message.......... then leave yours..................

By the way, I think you get 3:00 minutes - so don't get long-winded or you'll get cut-off.

As usual, no profanity please


What is the most memorable football game you have ever attended?

Tell us when it was, and what made that game special for you (gameplay, outcome, personal moment, family bonding, met a player/coach, great trip, historic, etc).

To get things started, here's my most memorable game:

Hoops - Jackets Lose to UVA

Just a quick comment on the loss last night to UVA. The Jackets ensure a losing record at AMC for only the 3rd season ever:

80-81: 4-12
73-74: 4-10
72-73: 6-7

Disappointing for sure, but my level of emotional frustration with the team has pretty much passed (other than during gametime). That's what happens when expectations are pretty much crushed. Anyhow, I still love this team and the players on it. Good guys who play hard.

At the end of the day, for me, it's mostly a combination of no clear "go-to guy" at crunchtime, inexperienced PG play and focus (which translates to defense and rebounding).

Next year is going to be VERY interesting. How on earth do you predict which way this team will be heading? We lose A-Mo, Jeremis and Causey. We only gain Iman Shumpert (although we could add someone before late signing day). There will certainly be different chemistry, but most of next year's success will seemingly rely on player development, not an influx of new talent. Guys are going to have to step up and play better. Certainly Gani and Mo Miller look like they have bright futures for the young guys.

Once the season is over, we'll look ahead to next year, but trying to predict the Jackets is going to be fairly difficult if you ask me.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Beesball - Jackets take 2-of-3 from Rutgers

The Jackets clinched a weekend series with Rutgers today with a strong 6-0 shutout. Another great pitching performance. They have now doubled the number of shutouts they had all of last season (4 vs 2). Amazing. Other than the Friday night loss to Rutgers where they gave up 10 runs, the pitching has been simply amazing.


In case you missed it - here's the beesball media guide - lots of good stuff in there.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Hoops - Tech Sweeps Wake Forest

Well, there's nothing in terms of a post-season to play for, but it's clear that the team is still putting up a fight. The Jackets get the overtime victory over Wake Forest today. They led most of the game although they lost focus in the 2nd half and gave up the lead.

The guys are clearly playing hard and good things happened today........ Mo Miller continues to develop as a Point Guard. You can see a real future with him................. A-Mo was hitting shots, which is always fun to see..................... Jeremis was Jeremis. Banging... double/double... getting beat up and knocked on the floor multiple times...... Gani continues to have flashes of impressive play.

As far as Wake Forest, they have some nice players and should be formidable next season with the amazing recruiting class they have coming in. That one dude they have though (McFarland?) - I did not like his game. That guy has some nice potential, but the guy just flat out plays dirty. He pushes. He shoves, He pulls jerseys. He goes over the back. He undercuts people. He's the first guy I've seen in the ACC this season where I just thought a guy was a truly dirty player. It's sad because he's got some skills. But evidently he's fouled out of at least 5 games this year, so he's used to hacking.

Anyhow, we move on to UVA on Monday. It would be nice to see a few W's prior to the ACC tourney, then actually make a little bit of noice. Not likely, but it would be nice.