Saturday, May 31, 2008

Beesball - Jackets Advance in Athens

On Friday, the Jackets beat Louisville 8-5. Tonight the Jackets beat Lipscomb 6-3. Sandwiched in between the half-breeds at UGAg lost to Lipscomb Friday, then squeeked by Louisville earlier Saturday.

So here's how it sets up.

Jackets 2-0
Lipscomb 1-1
UGAg 1-1
Louisville 0-2

Sunday at about 2:00pm Lipscomb plays UGAg. Whoever wins gets a double-header and plays the Jackets at about 6:00pm Sunday. Should the UGAg/Lipscomb winner actually beat the Jackets Sunday evening, they would have to do it again on Monday to actually win the regional.

The Jackets, on the other hand, only need to win Sunday night to put a bow on the Athens regional. Danny Hall took a bit of a risk by starting freshman Deck McGuire tonight. However, the gamble looks to pay off, and now he has a fresh cadre of top guys to chose from on Sunday, while UGAg / Lipscomb are going to be down to their #3,4,5 guys in the rotation. McGuire went 6 & 2/3 innings, giving up 3 runs. A solid outing. Jason Haniger went deep and drove home 3 runs on the night.

So there's a chance that the Jackets could win this regional and never play UGAg. I think that would be a shame. I'd love to lay it on 'em one more time before leaving for the super regional.

Nothing's in the bag. Still work to be done, but Danny Hall's gang is in prime position to move on.

GO JACKETS!!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tragedy Revisited


So on day one of the Athens regional in beesball, Georgia Tech fans are informed about the autopsy results for Michael Hutts. The report showed an accidental drug overdose involving heroin. Pretty much what we all expected to hear.
What can you really say? There's really very little good that comes out of situations like this. Maybe Michael's life can be a transforming force for his family and friends. Maybe Michael's life can be a warning signal to the lives of invincible youth who run across his story.
What's the moral here? It would be presumptuous of me to There are many. Drugs are not just "illegal" and they aren't just "bad". They don't just impact lives. They don't just ruin lives. They end lives. It's not a verbal warning. Michael is a dying example.
Life is precious.
Life is fragile.
Here today.
Gone tomorrow.
Rest in peace Michael. May your life help others make the right choices before it's too late for them.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

D-Rad's "Good Word"

Dan Radakovich published his latest "The Good Word". Here are some highlights:

1. Congrats to Amanda McDowell right off the bat
2. Track-and-Field regional coming up
3. Congrats to Danny Hall getting to 15th regional in 17 years
4. WREK broadcasting beesball games
5. CSS airing the games on TV
6. Thirteen weeks to fall football
7. Pushing season ticket sales. Go buy some! (I bought 4)
8. Season opener against Jax St Thursday Aug 28. Kick-off 7:30pm - the revolution will NOT be televised......... as of now. Bummer.
9. Last stop on the Coaches Caravan coming
10. Braves / GT night coming up. Special cross-promotion with a good deal on tickets.

Where are they now - Kenny Anderson

Our man Kenny Anderson wants more. Evidently the head coach of the "Crunk" isn't going to get it done for Kenny. He's looking to latch on as an assistant with an NBA team and pay his dues.

His preference is to get back to the New York / New Jersey. Anderson actually coached Stephon Marbury's younger brother in the CBA. Anderson has been down in Orlando this week coaching one of the 6 pre-draft camp teams.





Evidently Kenny's agent is lobbying the New York media to plant seeds about his guy. One NYC-GT-PG helping another NYC-GT-PG?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Football: The B-Back

In case you weren't quite sure what you might see out of the B-Back in Paul Johnson's offense, here's a reminder.



What's interesting is that Jonathan Dwyer brings the power and speed combo to the position. Clearly PJ saw a lot of potential in Dwyer and was as hard on him as anyone to push himself.

In case that wasn't enough, check out one of Paul Johnson's original B-back's at Georgia Southern - the original Adrian Peterson. Many of you know about "The Run", in the IAA National Championship Game from 1999. If you don't, you're in for a treat. Forget B-Backs. This run is one of the best ever.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tennis - National Champion

Today Amanda McDowell became the first GT tennis player to win an individual NCAA title with a straight set victory over Baylor's Zuzana Zemenova - who one the title as a freshman. She finished the season 45-8 and has won 84 singles matches in her two years here. Wow.

Congrats to Amanda!

Beesball - Jackets in Athens Regional

The Jackets end up as the #2 seed in the Athens regional. No surprise. I imagine that UGAg coaches are none too happy about it. We will be matched up against Louisville to start out. Not too bad, and our chances should be as good as anyone.

Regional info.

Here's some info:
Friday, May 30Game 1: Georgia vs. TBA, 3 p.m. ET Game 2: TBA vs. TBA, 7 p.m. ET
Saturday, May 31Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2, 3 p.m. ET Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 7 p.m. ET
Sunday, June 1Game 5: Loser of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 3, 2 p.m. ET Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5, 6 p.m. ET
*Monday, June 2 (*If Necessary)Game 7: Winner of Game 6 vs. Loser of Game 6, 7 p.m. ET

Happy Memorial Day

As you enjoy your day off Monday, remember those serving around the world in the military. Remember those who have given their life for the cause of freedom. Remember their families.

God bless them and God bless America - the best country in the world.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tennis - One more to go for McDowell


How about this! Amanda McDowell won her semi-final NCAA singles match today. That means she is one of two players left standing. Monday she was play for the ladies singles National championship title. She'll play Baylor's Zuzana Zemenova. Zemenova is a formible opponent. If you can believe it, she won the title as a freshman in 2005 and beat the tourney's top seeded player to get to the title match. McDowell, a sophomore at Georgia Tech, came into the tourney as a 7th seed.


Monday's match will start at 2:00pm in Tulsa OK.


GO AMANDA!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Where are they now - Jason Varitek

Last week, Jon Lester pitched a no-hitter for the Red Sox. It was a feel good story. The guy battles back from cancer, clinches the World Series for the Red Sox last year, and now pitches a no-no. The media got it right by covering that story. In the sea of sports cheating, scandals and embarrassment, it was a ray of sunshine.

There was another smaller, yet important story about that game. It was covered a little by the local Boston media, but really didn't become part of the national story. What is it? It is the fact that Jason Varitek caught the game. That was significant because it was the 4th no-hitter Jason has caught in his career. That's more than anyone in major league history. There were 13 other catches with 3, but Varitek now stands alone.

2001...... Hideo Nomo
2002...... Derek Lowe
2007...... Clay Buchholz
2008...... Jon Lester

By the way, he had a couple of close calls as well:

2000..... Pedro Martinez lost a no-no in the 9th inning with Varitek
2007..... Curt Schilling shakes off Varitek with 2 outs in the 9th... and gives up a single.
2006..... Devern Hansack pitched a rain-shortened 5-inning no-hitter, but only 9-inning complete games are recognized by MLB as true no-hitters.

John Farrell, the Red Sox pitching coach says it's no coincidence:

“He’s got a photographic memory and just a true feel for what the hitter is doing in the batter’s box in a given at-bat,” he said Tuesday in a telephone interview. “Second, third, fourth time through the lineup, he’s well aware of the sequences that he’s called in the previous at-bats. If adjustments are needed with pitch selection, he has the recall to make that on the fly.”

His current mates and former mates think the world of him:

“To have that kind of desire, that kind of preparation, in really making the most of a pitcher — it’s invaluable,” Farrell said.

Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon, a teammate of Varitek’s on Boston’s 2004 championship team, said, “I always thought Varitek was amazing — the way he calls a game, the way he prepares, the way he carries around the luggage.”

His opponents also think the world of him:

"You never want to see a no-hitter go against you like that, but, unfortunately, that situation happened," KC's Jose Guillen said. "I give a lot of credit to the pitcher, but most of the credit I give to Jason Varitek."

"He one of the smartest guys, the smartest catcher," Guillen said. "He's the one that got that pitching staff going that way about [its] business. "

"You want to guess and you're looking for a pitch, it's like Jason is reading your mind. And the pitchers listen to him about the pitch he wants in a certain situation. You think, 'OK, I'm going to take a pitch,' and here you go, he comes with a strike there; and you want to swing, he comes with a breaking pitch."

"He's a big value to this team, and they should be proud of what they have there," Guillen said. "He's a special guy. That's a lot of work to do to be a catcher. It's not just catching the ball and throwing it back to the pitcher.

By the way, in case you didn't know, Varitek is beloved his Boston fans as well. He's the team captain, the leader in the clubhouse and fans adore him. How can you hate a guy that sits in his driveway on Halloween night giving out snickers bars and signing autographs for all the neighborhood kids.

In case you haven't gotten the point yet, read this GREAT article by Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe. For a Georgia Tech fan, it's candy for the ears. When you have guys like Varitek, Garciaparra, Payton, Teixeira, Kevin Brown (maybe) and Matt Wieters going through your program, you have something to be proud of. Varitek is right at the top of the list.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Baseball: Pitching Can't Contain Caines

In the end, it was all about pitching. The Jackets just didn't have it against maybe the best hitting team in the nation. They gave up 6 long-balls including the death-blow 3-run shot in the top of the 9th - with GT leading. That was all she wrote. You just can't keep the ball up in the strike zone and expect to win.

You have to give it to the Tech hitters. They battled and battled, just like in the NCST game. They kept getting guys on base and bringing them home, including 4 in the 6th and another 3 in the 8th. They just couldn't hold the lead.

That means we're out of the ACC championship, although a win Saturday against Clemson would ensure a solid showing overall and maybe give us a shot at a regional. Maybe.

Stay tuned.

Football - Welcome Home Boys

Tired of hearing about all the kids exiting the Georgia Tech program? Well, here's some good news. There are some kids on their way in from high profile programs as well. As you will read, sometimes you have to let kids before before you can truly bring them home.

ANTHONY ALLEN
A big powerful running back that should fit right into the B-back position. He's 6'1 232lb and comes by way of Louisville, where he actually led the Cards in TD's as a freshman with 14. He also rushed for over 400 yards as a freshman. He set a Louisville record against Middle Tennessee State with 275 yards on the ground with a workmanlike 35 carries. Wow.


“He is tough, he’s tough to bring down,” UofL senior quarterback Brian Brohm said. “He was wearing them down and I think by the fourth quarter they were tired of tackling him. He is a big back and he wears on you throughout the game. And in the fourth quarter he is going to pound them.”

Allen is actually a "local" guy, from Jesuit High School in GA. So he's coming home. He was recruited by Georgia Tech heavily but chose UL instead. So just like Tashard Choice, eventually they come home. Allen should have 2 years to play.

MARIO EDWARDS
Edwards is a 6'2" 200lb safety who joing the Ramblin Wreck by way of Virginia Tech. However, he's another hometown kid returning to the nest. He's from the ATL.


An all-state defensive back for Coach Dallas Allen at Westlake ... Also saw action as a wide receiver ... Registered 98 tackles as a senior ... Had four interceptions, six sacks, two fumble recoveries and a blocked punt ... Caught six passes for 123 yards ... Helped team to a region title ... Contributed 12 tackles, an interception, two pass deflections and a forced fumble during a playoff game against Banneker ... An all-city and all-state selection ... Rated the No. 25 safety in the country by rivals.com ... Rated the No. 83 safety in the country by scout.com ... Listed as the No. 27 prospect in the state of Georgia in the rivals.com postseason rankings ... Had 75 tackles, two
interceptions, 10 pass break ups, four forced fumbles and three sacks as a junior.
Personal: Mario Edwards ... Born 7/14/88 in Atlanta, GA ... Son of William and Maudestia Edwards ... As a youngster, won the state of Georgia 200-meter dash for the 11 and under age group.
He was a "3-star" guy on Scout.com, and had some interest in Georgia Tech, but it seems that we never offered him. Here's what I think - if you're a DB and get an offer from Virginia Tech, you've got to be pretty good. If there's one thing Beamer does right, it's DB's. Edwards should have 2 years to play, but he has filed a waiver to avoid sitting out a transfer year and evidently has a good case.


PRESTON LYONS
Another running back - this time a B-back candidate. He comes from Colgate by way of Marist High School. That's right - another hometown kid. He's about 6'1" 200lb. He should have 2-3 years to play.


High School: A 2007 graduate of the Marist School in Atlanta, Georgia … lettered and started three years with the War Eagles … played fullback in his senior season … served as a game captain in his senior year … carried 184 times for 1,451 yards and 22 touchdowns and caught eight passes for 71 as a senior … rushed for a school record 3,707 career yards and 61 touchdowns … had 4,074 career all-purpose yards … his 2006 team was Georgia state runner up in Class AAAA … was first team all-state, first team all-DeKalb County and first team all-Northside Atlanta … set school record of career rushing yards (3,707) and career touchdowns (61) … team’s most valuable back … coached by Alan Chadwick.

Personal: Major is undeclared … parents are Coleman and Joanne Lyons of Atlanta, Georgia … born August 9, 1988 in Greenwich, Connecticut … has one brother and sister … full name is Preston Zech Lyons.

ON THE RECRUITING FRONT
Great news! It's now official - the Jackets land highly touted QB prospect Jordan Luallen. He's a tall dual-threat guy, 6'3", 205lb.


As a junior, Jordan Luallen helped lead his team to a 9-2 record. He completed 60 percent of his passes for 756 yards and 12 touchdowns with no interceptions. He also rushed for 475 yards and 13 touchdowns; bench presses 280 pounds, squats 330 and claims a 31-inch vertical jump.

He had offers from Cincinatti, Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, Maryland and Standford, among others.

Good times!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Beesball - Great Win Today

The Jackets won an exciting, sloppy, dramatic game against the Wolfpack today. It included multiple hit batsmen, multiple errors, multiple lead changes, many runs, a collision at the plate resulting in an ejection and a bench-clearing stand-down, and a 9th inning 2 run rally to take home the win 10-9. You can read about the whole thing here, including video of the post-game. In the other bracket game, Miami downed Clemson 7-1.

In the other bracket FSU beat Wake Forest and the UVA / UNC is in-progress as I write this.

Next game - GT vs 800lb Gorilla (Miami) @ 5:00pm.

GO JACKETS!!!

Hoops Transfer Update

Couple of notes on possible transfers:

JEREMIAH RIVERS
Will likely make his decision in the next week. There are about 4 schools involved, but it is rumored to come down to Indiana or Georgia Tech. Jeremiah is the son of Boston Celtic head coach Doc Rivers.

EMMANUEL NEGEDU
There's a new name on the board, and it's Arizona recruit Emmanuel Negedu. He's a 6'7" Power Forward that went to high school in New Hampshire and played AAU ball for "Team Indiana". He came to the states from Nigeria a few years ago. He's known as one of those "all energy" guys. Hustles, plays hard, good defender, ultra-athletic. Dunks most everything around the basket. Still working on a mid-range game. Gee, sounds a lot like Gani Lawal, only maybe a bit shorter. Maybe a cross between Gani and Jeremis Smith? He's also known to have a very charismatic personality, which would fit pretty well with Gani, since he's a playful guy. Scout.com ranked him as the #71 player overall and 22nd best power forward.

The good news is that Negedu wouldn't be a transfer and would not have to sit out a season. He's an incoming recruit who was released from his LOI, after being disillusioned with all the coaching staff turmoil there.

He just announced that the four teams he will decide between include Georgia Tech, Indiana, Memphis and Tennesse. When he made his initial commit to Arizona he was down to AZ, Indiana and Tennessee.

Here's a good highlight reel of Negedu in action:



THE SHAKEOUT
The interesting thing here is that both guys have ties and interest in Indiana and after the mess there, playing time should be available in droves. However, there are some unanswered questions about any potential probationary status after the mess they created for themselves. However, Negedu played ball with a handful of the Indiana guys in AAU ball, so I see them as a front-runner for both Negedu and Rivers.

Another issue that could haunt Paul Hewitt. Two names - Paco Diaw and Mouhammad Faye. Two international guys that exited stage left. We know there were both on and off the court reasons they left. However, the international aspect of their tranfers in and out could cast a shadow.

Notice another trend here. Coach Hewitt is on the lookout for anyone right now. There's going to be plenty of playing time at Georgia Tech after next year and with the whiff's in this year's recruiting class, he's looking for help this season. While next year's class is loaded with high level guys with some interest in GT, Coach Hewitt really needs help now. He needs a solid season to buy some time to build his program higher. Having a Point Guard next season who actually played last season is a nice start. Haven't had that in awhile.

We should know something on Rivers in the next week and Negedu probably won't decide until after June 1.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Baseball: ACC Tournament Central


With late spring comes the excitement of post-season baseball. Wednesday is the start of the ACC baseball tournament, so I thought I would provide all relevant links and some thoughts on the event.


THE LAYOUT
Here are the final ACC standings:


The top 8 teams got into the tourney (#1 Miami, #2 FSU, #3 UNC, #4 NCST, #5 GT, #6 UVA, #7 WF, #8 Clemson). There are 2 brackets - #1,4,5,8 and #2,3,6,7. You play every team in your bracket in a 3-game round-robin through Saturday. Then the championship game is held Sunday at 1:00pm between the winner of each bracket. There are a whole set of tie-breaker rules in place.


THE JACKETS LANDSCAPE
GAME 1: GT will face NCST on Wednesday at 10:00am
GAME 2: GT will face Miami on Thursday at 5:00 pm
GAME 3: GT will face Clemson on Saturday at 10:00 am

Might be worth somebody checking to see how the Jackets have fared in early games.

OUR CHANCES
I like our chances against NCST and Clemson but don't like them against Miami. Clearly the Jackets can beat anyone on a given day. However, the Jackets were also clearly rocked by Miami in a 3-game beatdown right after the Michael Hutts tragedy. So was that a funk only, or an indication of the superiority of Jim Morris's Miami team? They're #1 in the country for a reason. In general the Jackets played mediocre at best against the best competition they played. Sure, they dominated the non-conference schedule, and took care of the bad and mediocre ACC teams (mostly). However, they were handled pretty well by the best teams they played this season in conference.

We also know that Danny Hall's teams have had rocky roller-coaster post-seasons. What will this year bring to a very young squad? Personally, I give put the odds of winning their 4-man bracket as follows:

60% Miami
20% GT
10% NCST
10% Clemson

FYI - in terms of the NCAA regionals, our strength of schedule should help. We are currently sitting with the #8 RPI from the NCAA, #7 RPI from Boyds Nation and #7 RPI from Warren Nolan

MORRIS RENOUNCES HIS PAST
Jim Morris, Miami's current coach and former Georgia Tech coach was just named the ACC's Coach-of-the-Year. Well deserved for sure. When asked about the award he had the requisite pat-answer - I'm focusing on our team and winning games, blah, blah, blah. When asked about the 3 COY awards he won while at Georgia Tech ('83, '87, '93), here's what he had to say:

"I don't have those plaques anymore," Morris said of the three coaching awards won with the Yellow Jackets. "I'm a Miami guy."

Maybe I'm being a little sensitive here, but it's not like he spent a year here and left. The guy was here 12 years, and did some nice things while he was here. Why on earth would you renounce it, as if it never happened? Why would you get rid of your hardware? ON second thought, maybe he's right. It's not like he ever took us to the College World Series. He won 4 ACC titles in a row, got us to a bunch of NCAA regionals, and that's about it. It wasn't until he left that Danny Hall was able to break-through and make it to the CWS finals.

So Jim Morris, I say good-riddance. You don't want to remember where you came from - fine. Take a hike........... and I hope with a passion that we take you down like the squeeling pig that you are!!

TOURNEY LINKS

ACC PRESS RELEASE
ACC TOURNEY SITE
ACC TOURNEY BRACKET (PDF)
ACC BASEBALL SITE
ACC WEEKLY RELEASE
BEESBALL.COM (THE GT site for beesball info)


TEAM INFORMATION
Atlantic Coast Conference
ACC ReleaseStatisticsHome Page

#1 Miami
RosterSchedule
StatisticsHome Page

#2 Florida State
RosterSchedule
StatisticsHome Page

#3 North Carolina
RosterSchedule
StatisticsHome Page

#4 NC State
RosterSchedule
StatisticsHome Page

#5 Georgia Tech
RosterSchedule
StatisticsHome Page

#6 Virginia
RosterSchedule
StatisticsHome Page

#7 Wake Forest
RosterSchedule
StatisticsHome Page

#8 Clemson
RosterSchedule
StatisticsHome Page

Junction Boys, Mat Drills, etc.

by Lennie Mac

The Orlando Sentinel has done some outstanding work on the death of Ereck Plancher of Central Florida. The latest one comes from a couple of days ago:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/community/news/apopka/orl-matdrills1808may18,0,3450726.story

Although I graduated before the George O'Leary era, enough people have told me about George O’Leary and the way practices were run at GT, and that O’Leary and his staff are firmly planted in the “fear” style of coaching. What the “fear” style of coaching basically boils down to is to implant the fear of what price a player will have to pay if the player does not perform at the level that the coaches expect of him. Any who read Junction Boys (hands down the best book about college football ever written - although hands down the worst performance by an actor by Tom Berenger as Bear Bryant) knows what I mean. Along with this “fear” approach, one almost always finds coaches that believe that personally demeaning and singling out players in front of their peers is a big part of building a championship football players, and thus a strong football team.

I believe that toughness is as critical as talent to success at the BCS level of college football. Part of the problem over the last season of the Chan Gailey era is the lack of toughness in the face of adversity, specifically mental toughness (a few players excluded). All players back from last year have said how much more have been asked of them physically and mentally.

I think Paul Johnson fits the mold of O'Leary, Ross, etc. and will build championship football players very soon. However, I have three questions that I am curious about:

1. Did George O'Leary use mat drills at GT?
2. Does Paul Johnson use mat drills at GT?
3. Are there equivalent drills that can build physical and mental toughness?

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Marion Jones / Georgia Tech Connection


Many of you know that Derrick Adkins was a track superstar on the national scene after his time at Georgia Tech. He won a gold medal in the 400m hurdles at the 1996 Summer Olympics in the ATL.

Many of you also know about the Marion Jones controversy. Turns out there is a tie between them, although not one that's going to end in scandal for Adkins.

The New York Daily News has a story showing the ties. Turns out after his gold medal win, two young track hopefuls came to Adkins for advice, as they were looking for a coach. His coach, Grover Hinsdale (former GT head track coach), apparently only worked with Georgia Tech graduates, so that was out. Adkins recommended a guy named Trevor Graham, whom he thought was a clean coach at the time. Graham had approached Adkins in the past with a proposition to break the world record in the 400m hurdles. Adkins stuck with his own coach at the time, but did pass along the name to the two young hopefuls.

Once the rumors started about Graham, Adkins stopped recommending him. Turns out Graham's star pupils were Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery. Jones is now in jail and Montgomery is on his way. All other runners involved with Graham are now tained as well, including the two that Adkins sent his way. Both are going to testify against Graham in a trial in California.



"I didn't know that Trevor was a dirty coach, and I'm still not sure about
his guilt or innocence," Adkins says. "Duane and Jerome probably think I'm a
drug guy now."


I don't know about you, but I don't think much of the track-and-field or cycling sports these days. I know there are thousands of clean athletes, but there's just been too much corruption at the highest levels for me to get into it any more. Frankly, I feel the same way about baseball. Ever since the 2nd player strike and the steroid scandal, I just lost most of my interest. I don't watch games any more. I don't hardly go to them.


Sure am glad that Adkins decided to stick with his coach and not switch to Graham. I hate that he recommended a tainted guy, but nobody had to stick with the guy once the truth was found out. I guess we all have to make our choices.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Detour to the strange

Not Georgia Tech related.
Not sports related
Not sure what it relates to.

Just ran across it and thought I would share.
I am trying to think about the time it took to do this.
Wild.


MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Where are they now - Camp Edition

Two guys who were standouts at Georgia Tech are giving back to the community.


JAMES BUTLER

James is putting on a free football clinic and camp at Bainbridge High School (correction - he's from nearby Climax GA), where he was a standout in football, hoops, track, and who knows what else. He has been embraced by his community and the feeling is evidently mutual, as he's been giving back since he left. Way to go James!!


On a separate note, James was unsuccessful in his attempt at restricted free agency. No team wanted to give up a 2nd round pick to sign him. As a result, he signed a qualifying offer from the Giants and he'll have to settle for a mere $1.47MM next season. Bring the man some tissue please.



CALVIN JOHNSON

CJ is holding his first football camp, for Wide Receivers in the ATL area. Calvin's Foundation, the "Calvin Johnson Jr Foundation", is also going to be dishing out some dough to some lucky area wide receivers who didn't receiver full rides to the school of their choice.


Only 40 kids are going to be accepted, so act fast:


To receive an application packet, students may email their name and address to Cjjrf@yahoo.com, or mail it to P.O. Box 1015, Tyrone, Georgia, 30290. Applications have to be in by May 19, and the camp is July 19 - for 9,10,11 and 12th graders.


On another separate note, evidently Calvin was hitting the Vicodin bottle twice a game last season to overcome his back pain. His coaches admitted after the season that he never should have kept playing, but CJ insisted. Dr.House would be proud.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hewitt Talks One-and-Dones in USA Today

Coach Hewitt and Thaddeus Young were quoted in a recent USA Today article about NBA one-and-done recruits.

"If the allegations are true with O.J. Mayo, it's unfortunate," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt says. "But do not use that brush to paint everyone who has taken that route."


Georgia Tech lost two freshmen —Thaddeus Young and Javaris Crittenton— to last season's NBA draft. Their former coach is OK with that.

"The rule benefits the NBA and the young man more than college basketball," Hewitt says, but its impact on colleges "is negligible."

Young was in the first class affected by the NBA rule. Had it not been in place, "I probably would have done what all the other guys did and made the jump," Young says.

He's glad he didn't. "I would have been picking splinters out of my butt" in the NBA without the preparation he had at Georgia Tech. "I probably wouldn't have been a major contributor as I am now." Here's what he did for the Philadelphia 76ers: 21 minutes, 8.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in the regular season; 26.7 minutes, 10.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in the playoffs.

Young believes Brand is right that the rule makes high school players take academics more seriously. "It makes a lot of guys keep their grades up," he says.


Here's my take:

1. Sure, the rule makes a lot of guys keep their grades up. However, it doesn't make a lot of guys take their school seriously. Keeping grades up is just a means to an end - getting to the draft. Being serious about school and an education is a whole different matter. It's a survival game in the current setup.

2. Having said that, there are good kids who are smart and will focus on their education, but still want the NBA and will take it - a la Thaddeus Young. A la Chris Bosh.

3. The only real "benefit" for colleges (in my opinion) would be a 3-year requirement, much like college baseball. The current rule hurts the best of the best players, but it also protects those starry eyed kids who have no business going league, but whom some stupid NBA team will take a chance on. Getting all kids into college exposes talent against better talent and protects bling-obsessed knucklehead players from bling-possessing knucklehead GM's.

4. A 3-year rule ain't going to happen, and neither is a 2-year rule..... and the NCAA really has no say in the matter. They will just live with what happens.

5. Paul Hewitt won't stop recruiting guys who might leave after 1 season. He has no choice really.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Football - Opening Night Just Got More Interesting


Jacksonville State. Opening night. The team that has no quarterback (last year's starter kicked off the team, 2 QB's left the team and another graduated) .............. wait........ the team that HAD no quarterback, as in past tense. Guess who's signed up to play for them in the fall - Ryan Perrilloux. That's right - the rumors are true. The former LSU head-case has decided to join up with JSU after getting the boot from Les Miles.

"Basically, I just see this as a second opportunity to be successful," Perrilloux told The Birmingham News.
Wow, he counts worse than Patrick Nix. I think he must mean "a 10th opportunity to be successful".

As if the evening needed more intrigue for Jacket fans. A new offense. A new defense. A new coaching staff. A ton of new players needing to step up. Let's face it - we should still walk away with this thing, but if we don't beat JSU it's not going to be a pretty sight - with or without Perrilloux. However, regardless of the opponent, there are a Titanic boat full of unknowns already.

This does is raise the profile of the game. There is of course keen interest for Jacket fans. Paul Johnson fans and followers will also be watching closely what happens. But now the interest will grow and others will take an even keener interest, watching like a rubberneckers at an accident on the highway (uh, Perrilloux hopefully being the "accident").

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Jackets Take Season Series from Half-Breeds

Well, you scolded me for improper usage of the term "rubber match". No problem. The good news is that the Jackets take the season series 2-1 from the half-breeds in Athens. Unfortunately they couldn't make it a sweep with a close loss at the TED 3-2. Deck McGuire notched his first loss of the season and didn't make history as possibly the only pitcher in the history of the rivalry to beat the half-breeds 3 times in one season.

Oh well. Time to turn to more important matters - a weekend series with UVA. I guess beating the SEC champions 2 out of 3 ain't too bad for one season.

Paul Johnson Quotables


When you have absolutely no on-the-field results to use as a basis for where Paul Johson will take Georgia Tech, you think of other ways to draw conclusions. There's his past record, which is a treasure trove for those wanting to feel good about the possibilities............ There's the tidbits we see and hear around spring practice the recruiting-grinder.

For me, another interesting thing to look at is what other people say about the man, his coaching and his personality. With that in mind, I decided to collect Paul Johnson quotables here on this post. I'm not looking for everything. I'm looking for the keepers.... and when I see keepers, I mean quotes about the man from people who's opinion might be interesting. I'm talking directly from his coaching fraternity, coaches who have played against him, players that have played for him, and even his own family. In addition, there are quotes from the man himself.

There is some interesting stuff out there, so with that, I'll break it down into the following categories:

DIRECT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH
Paul Johnson.......... "This offense is a combination of things I've picked up over the years. It's a little bit of Wisbhone, a little bit of I-formation, a little bit of Veer, a little bit of Run-and-Shoot," Johnson explained. "I've grabbed and took bits and pieces from different sets and gradually evolved it into what we're doing today."

Paul Johnson.........."We've been successful everywhere we've coached with it," said Johnson, who has been coach at Navy and Division I-AA Georgia Southern. "We play the same teams here we played at Navy, or a lot of them. If we don't succeed, I don't think that will be the reason."

Paul Johnson.......... "Navy could run that offense out of it and pass for a "zillion yards," Johnson said. "In fact, this could possibly be the best passing offense ever," he said. "Because when you run the option, it limits what (defenses) can do coverage-wise, and you can get all kinds of one-on-one matchups (against the defense downfield)."


On in-game adjustments............. "I think if you're going to do something, you better know how to fix it when it breaks," Johnson said. "If our offense isn't working for one reason or another, I usually have a pretty good idea why and know how to get it going again."


"We don't have a playbook," Johnson said. "I found that if you have playbooks, they end up on eBay and everywhere else."

“Everywhere I’ve coached, we’ve set attendance records,” Johnson said. “It’s an exciting offense. It’s fun to watch. You don’t know where the ball is all the time. It’s also pretty fast.”

“I think that people have gotten too carried away with the triple-option, because that’s only one phase of the offense,” Johnson said. “If we have 75 plays, we’re not going to run 70 times. There’s a run-and-shoot package. There’s a play-action package. There’s different running plays besides the option. And, certainly, there are all kinds of options — counter option, speed option. We’ve got a sprint-out passing game. We’ve got draws. The key will be to come together with what our personnel here can do best.”


"Bob Stoops has done a great job, but they haven't been near as successful as when Coach (Barry) Switzer was running the option," Johnson said. "Alabama hasn't been near as successful (since it ran the option)," he said. "Auburn hasn't been near as successful. It took Texas forever."


"There's a misnomer that it's 3 yards and a cloud of dust," Johnson said of his unique offense. "Nothing could be further from the truth. That's why I wonder about these schools that jump from one offense to the next. My thing is you try to do something that you know."


“You know what I’ve found? If you win, they like it.”


On being compared to Dodd, Curry, Ross, O'Leary, Gailey.......... “Gosh, I don’t know. I’m probably a little of all of them,” Johnson said, sliding into a smile. “I try to be a teacher, but sometimes you have a lot of intensity if it calls for that, and sometimes it doesn’t require that, and you have to just do what you think needs to be done. Players can tell you [about my personality] better than I can. I don’t know what their perception of me is.”

On recruiting at GT.......... "We have some issues here in recruiting because of the academics," Johnson said. "If we can't recruit such-and-such a kid what are (the recruits) going to say, 'I can't get in at Tech?' They're going to say, 'I don't like that offense,' or 'I don't like the coach,' or 'They didn't do a good job recruiting me.'" ................... "All these rankings are a joke anyway," he said. "We're probably not going to get a receiver who wants to catch 100 balls here. But if catching 100 balls is more important than winning, I don't want him anyway."

When Georgia Tech's leading returning receiver James Johnson said "... we're going to hope that Coach does not do all that much running. We just hope he's saying all that to trick people," Johnson came out firing."He caught 30 balls (actually 25) and they went 7-6," Johnson said. "If something wasn't wrong, if what they were doing was so great, we wouldn't be here. It's not like we're coming in here and dismantling this high-powered machine that was lighting everybody up."


"If I'm at Washington State or Stanford and I'm trying to beat USC, what possesses me to think I can beat them doing the same thing they do," he said. "If I'm at Ole Miss or Vanderbilt or Kentucky, how am I going to beat Florida, LSU, Alabama and Georgia? I'm not going to beat them in recruiting."


Halftime of GT hoops game after being introduced to fans on the court.............. "To Hell with Georgia"


On getting teams to play his Georgia Southern teams.......... "We've called South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia Tech," Johnson said. "Gosh, we've called everybody. We have a hard time getting a game. Georgia has to play us every four years so we'll get them in 2004."


"What I really enjoy is those early games we have," he said. "I like to go home after we're done, take off my shoes, throw on a pair of shorts, get a clicker and watch a zillion games on television. It's just fun to watch them when you don't have to care about wins and losses."


On staying at Navy............. "If I really wanted to leave here, I could have done it a long time ago," Johnson said. "You never say never, and it needs to be the right fit. I haven't had that. These people have been very good to me, and I'm very thankful. Whenever I took a job, I always felt I'd be in that job for the rest of the time I coached. At the same time, if you don't win enough games ... It's always better to be talked about for other jobs than have people talking about who is going to take your job."


COACHES
AZ State HC Dennis Erickson.............. "Without a doubt," Arizona State's Dennis Erickson said when asked if Johnson could get it done at Georgia Tech. "That's what he knows. He'll recruit to that offense and get better players than he ever had at Navy."

Mark Richt on why he thinks PJ will be successful with the triple option.............. "One, it's proven," Richt said. "Two, the coach is proven, too. He's done nothing but win everywhere he's been."



Article on Bill Belichick........."Bill Belichick is a big fan of Navy Coach Paul Johnson, whose run schemes Belichcik has studied in the off-season."


Wake Forest HC Jim Grobe............ "You just don't see anybody doing that anymore, so (Navy is) very unique … and they do it better than anyone we've ever seen," Grobe said. "Knowing things you'd like to do to stop the option is one thing. But being able to prepare for it in a week, getting the scout team to perform at the same speed of a game, is quite another........ "There are so many problems that go into preparing for this offense that knowing what to do doesn't always do much for you. You've got to be able to practice it, and nobody can do a very good job of that."..................... “Nobody’s played good defense against them,” Grobe said. “That’s not that nobody can play good defense, it’s that Navy’s so good at moving the football. And that puts a lot of pressure on you offensively because you feel like when you get the opportunity to go out there that you have to take care of the ball and make some first downs. When you have opportunities to score, you’d better take advantage of them.............. “This is a Navy offense that is a four-down offense. They’re not afraid to go on fourth down anywhere on the field. It could be on their own 20 coming out. These guys don’t like to punt the football.” ................ "He’s been doing this for a long, long time,” Grobe said of Johnson, whom he has known since he was an assistant at Air Force and Johnson was Hawaii’s offensive coordinator. “He’s been one of those coaches that’s stayed true to his belief. He hasn’t wavered with whatever the latest trend is, he’s stayed with what he knows is successful......... "That’s why they run it so well. Paul knows this offense better than anybody who has ever run it. There’s not anything you can throw at him he hasn’t seen. And they coach it as well as it’s ever been coached. That’s the key."


Washington Head Coach Ty Willingham..................... "This man has run his system for so long he knows every heartbeat," said Willingham, who faced Johnson's Navy teams three times while coaching Notre Dame. "He knows where every shoelace goes through every eyelet. He knows all of that. So, therefore, when you move here, guess what he does? He's already moved there."


Rutgers HC Greg Schiano.............. "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.".......... "If you get them down three scores, that's something. One or two scores, they stay in their offense. Again, they're incredible. Fourth down and one or less, past the negative 35 yard line and they're going for it. You're in fourth down territory once they past their 35 yard line, so you have to change your thinking. They are 36-10 over the last 46 games with four straight bowl games. They are doing what they said in the modern day couldn't be done"......................... "I'm thankful that there aren't more [teams] on our schedule that do it. I love the challenge and it is a special week for a defensive coach because it's something different and you get your juices going, but I'd just as soon rather not have to deal with it."


Northern Illinois head coach Joe Novak on Navy................ "Nobody, and I mean nobody, stops them from running the football. They are as good on offense as any team I've ever seen.""It is the best offense we have faced by far," said Northern coach Joe Novak. "This is the kind of offense that runs you out of coaching when you are trying to defend it, it's that good."


Former Duke Coach Carl Franks.............."Navy has moved the ball on every team it's played, including N.C. State," Duke coach Carl Franks marveled. "Paul has put together a very dangerous offense that is extremely challenging to face. I don't think you can completely stop that offense, you just have to try and slow it down."


Tulane coach Chris Scelfo............. "I think every team that plays Navy is worried about that spread. It's something you don't see very often, and they execute it so well," Scelfo said. "Paul Johnson is kind of the guru of option football these days. He's running that style of offense better than any other coach in the country."



Navy Assistant Coach Ken Niumatalolo............."This is Paul's offense. He designed it, he tweaked it, he knows it inside and out," said Navy assistant Ken Niumatalolo, who played for Johnson at Hawaii and has assisted him on three different occasions. "Just like Spurrier invented the Fun-and-Gun, Paul invented this version of the spread. Nobody runs it the way he does."........................... "Not many guys know how to make split-second decisions about what plays will work based on what's happening on the field," Niumatalolo said. "Paul is one of the few coaches who can call a game by the seat of his pants.".............................. "He's a very smart man," said assistant head coach Ken Niumatalolo, who quarterbacked at Hawaii under Johnson and has been on his staff for six years. "He thinks fast on his feet, and I believe that's his greatest strength. He's been doing this a long time, and there's nothing he hasn't seen. People try to throw new wrinkles at him, and he adjusts so fast. I don't know if anybody is better at game management."......................... "He's demanding, but always forthright," Niumatalolo said. "He sets the standards high, but he also gives us the time to get refreshed. You're willing to work hard for someone like that. He's very intense and competitive, but low key off the field."



CSU head coach Sonny Lubick ................. "Navy is going to go triple option nearly 70 percent of the game," CSU head coach Sonny Lubick said. "We're really going to have to be geared up to stop them. You might stop them five plays in a row, but all of the sudden, they get the pitch out there and they get a 60-yard play."


PLAYERS
Roger Staubach................. "He's done a good job of recruiting (at Navy), and he knows how to use the players he gets," said Navy's most famous player, 1963 Heisman Trophy winner Roger Staubach, who later guided the Dallas Cowboys to two Super Bowl titles. "Paul is a really good X's and O's guy, and his teams are always well prepared. He really knows how to use that system, and he gets the kind of players who can make it work............... "Football is not exactly what the academy is about, but it's important for the spirit there. They like to be proud of the athletic teams. It's a tribute to Paul and his staff that they've brought a lot of excitement back by making Navy very competitive in Division I-A."Staubach will toss the coin when the Midshipmen open the season in Philadelphia against Temple Aug. 31........................ "When you're playing for him you don't realize how great of a football mind he has," said Tracy Ham, who was the Georgia Southern quarterback when Johnson was the offensive coordinator in the ’80s. "When you get older, you see how much knowledge he has. He knows what he wants to do and never leaves anything on the sidelines. And he's one of the great game-day coaches.".............................. "He's special to me," Ham said. "He knows what it takes to get the most out of players. A lot of people fear what he does. And he's still running the same stuff now he was then."


"Good enough is never good enough," Candeto said. "He's never satisfied and is a no-nonsense coach. I remember one March we were out there in 40-degree weather, and he ran us around for an hour and a half yelling at us. He expects everything you've got, and you can't fault the results.".............................. "He can tweak that offense a little to adjust," Candeto said. "He's got an answer for everything it seems. We'd like him to stay at Navy the rest of his career, but they're going to be chasing him for the next few years."


Jahi-Word Daniels early in their first spring with PJ.....“We’re still trying to get to know Coach Johnson, but we already can tell that he’s a no-games coach,” said cornerback Jahi Word-Daniels. “He sticks to the rules. He’s all about doing the right thing, and he wants perfection, and he wants to get the best out of us every time we hit the field. I’m sure we’ll learn more about him as the spring, summer and season goes on. But you can tell right now that he won’t accept anything less than the best from us.”


Navy Senior LB Irv Spencer........"Every time you are around coach, you could hear one of those moments. Coach is honest-to-God, gracious in humor and a great guy to be around. His jokes are hilarious and he keeps it real loose. We have a Facebook group that keeps all the best coach (Paul) Johnson quotes.".................. "Our scheme on offense is hard to stop. It's hard for everyone to stop. Then, we got coach Johnson. No matter how you come out defensively, he might run three or four plays and he'll change the way you block it in the middle of the game. He's the reason why we will win, coach Johnson and our coaches."

Navy LB David Mahoney.............. "I really don't know if we understand what he's saying sometimes," said David Mahoney, a linebacker who graduated last spring and is now a coach at the Naval Academy Preparatory School. "But I know he changed the whole mentality and gained the confidence of the players. Everybody was willing to work to put in the effort he expected."



Navy FB Adam Ballard.............. "We probably run the same play over 3,000 times, and our whole offense is based off of one play," fullback Adam Ballard said. "We rep it every day, so we know what's going on."



A Wake Forest DE on game-prep for Navy............... “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.”


FAMILY / FRIENDS

PJ on his daughters reaction to his only losing season as a head coach (year 1 at Navy)........... "It was brutal. I never had a year like that anywhere," he said. "My daughter, Kaitlyn, could barely remember 1995 and 1996 [when Johnson was the offensive coordinator at Navy]. All she knew was Georgia Southern, and she thought we were supposed to win every week. After we won the opener, we went 10 games without winning again, and I'd get in the car after a game and she'd be bawling."


Paul's wife Susan................ So what was it that first attracted Susan to Paul? Was it his Southern charm? Perhaps a fancy one-liner he delivered? ............“I guess it was…he’s always had a high opinion of himself. He’s very self confident – very assured of what he was doing. I was attracted to that,” said Susan Johnson. “He was also very handsome and smart.’................... But what about that Southern charm… “Well, he’ll say I chased him and he finally let me catch him.” ..........But surely, there must have been a pretty impressive proposal? .............. “Actually we just had a little spat, and then, he’s like, here [you go] and he handed me an engagement ring. That’s the way he did it.".......................... “I think the thing with Hawaii was Paul was in a position where he was in charge of the offense because Coach Wagner was a defensive guy. So Paul knew he was calling the plays – calling the shots on the offense. That means a lot when you are an assistant coach and somebody isn’t always second guessing,” said Susan Johnson."............................. “I don’t think it was actually until he heard a few people tell him he couldn’t win at Navy that he changed his mind. That and the fact that Kaitlyn wanted to live someplace where it snowed,” joked Susan Johnson.................. On season #1, a rough one for PJ at Navy - After the SMU game, Navy went on to lose its next ten games by almost 200 points combined. Those losses translated into a lot of long days at work for the Navy coaches............. “He and the staff were at the office all the time, even at the peak of dawn on Sundays, but there was really no second guessing about [the decision] to come to Annapolis,” remarked Susan Johnson................. But with one game, the most important game, everything seemed to change overnight...... “When we beat Army [58-12] to end the year, it gave everyone hope. It almost single-handily wiped out the previous ten losses,” noted Susan Johnson................. On his relationships with players - “He is very loyal to them. He’ll take care of them. I see that with the relationships he has with his former players.” But she cautioned, “They are not going to be able to lie their way out of something. The players need to be honest with him because that is what they will get from [Paul].”.................. “He’s very competitive,” said Susan Johnson. “Even when Kaitlyn was younger and they were playing a game, [Paul] would never let her win.”........ “It’s especially difficult to win an argument with him because he has a memory like an elephant. He remembers everything,” she added.................... “He’s very hard on himself. He’ll talk [the loss] through, but he doesn’t really want us to respond. He’ll say, ‘we should’ve done this,’ and if I say something, he’ll say ‘that’s not the way it was,’”............. On her daughter's reaction to losing - “Kaitlyn will cry, she can’t help it,” said her mom. “Fortunately we haven’t lost that much…but that first year [at Navy] she didn’t know how to act.”



Daughter Kaitlyn on PJ's triple option..................... “Dad never likes people to tell him that he can’t do something,” she said. “[When people say to me] this option won’t work in the BCS, I tell them it’s working at Florida and West Virginia.”.................... Wife Susan on staying at Navy or leaving - “The only reason I would want him to do that (leave) is to prove to the naysayer that he can do it. I know that he can, but does he need to prove it to everyone else? I don’t think so,” said Susan Johnson. “[However] if the opportunity presented itself, I think it would have to be considered. You can’t not listen.”



Wife Susan on her cooking................... “[Paul] doesn’t like to eat my cooking – you can quote me on that,” said Susan Johnson. “I’m the take-out queen of Annapolis.”................ On PJ's favorite take-out in Annapolis - “Fajita nachos from Chevy’s – he’ll order the same thing every time,”
............. On superstitions - “We’re a little superstitious…if we win on Friday (against Temple) then I have to go eat with him again [at the same restaurant] the next week. You have to do what you did the week before.”................. “[Paul] comes home for dinner every night now. That wasn’t the case when we first got here. I think it’s really important to him for his coaches to have some family time.”


Paul's daughter Kaitlyn.................... “I’ll DVR the games and re-watch them on Sundays at least once to see what [the commentators] said. I don’t want anyone trashing [my dad].”............. “Dad is very serious when he is grading film…he’ll write something down for every play,” she added. “He’s really focused on what we did well and what we need to do better for next week.”............... “During games, he does impressions really well…he can mimic somebody – even college coaches,” ....................... Kaitlyn continued by saying that her dad “hates it when coaches look at their clipboards.”.............. In response to her daughter’s comment, Susan Johnson quickly interjected, “He doesn’t hate it.” Mom then added, “But he does make a lot of comments during the games.” Her daughter insisted though that “In the NFL they do it a lot and dad will say, ‘there they go, looking at that board again.’”...................... “If we ever lose a game, and its close, he’ll second guess himself and he’ll have to work through it a lot,” said Kaitlyn Johnson.............


OTHER

From DeepSportsSouth, when evaluating the top proven head coaching prospects (prior to heading to GT)....................... 1. Paul Johnson - Navy - .739 (10 seasons as a HC) - This guy is a no-brainer. He's as safe as the victory formation. Give him the keys and rest easy. (I made this list before last weekend's big win, mind you) Why this guy hasn't been snatched up years ago, I have not a clue. Some folks seem to think it's Paul's "triple option flexbone" that has rundoft potential suitors, but I think that is exactly what makes him a badass.Johnson does what any big-time head coach should do. He evaluates the talent available to him and then he acts/schemes accordingly. If he can't recruit a great passing quarterback, he'll run the option...if one becomes available, then he'll spread the field and pass. Crazy! Johnson, by any measure, appears to be the next great offensive football mind, and unfortunately for you the fan, administrators seem to view him as damaged goods. An autistic, slightly over-weight used-car salesman in sheep's clothing? Naw, sometimes, what you see it what you get: A winner.



Writer Gregg Doyel................. "Navy should never, and I mean ever, beat Notre Dame. Navy isn't as good as it has been under sixth-year head coach Paul Johnson, but Johnson has an excuse. He's been trying to recruit players to the Naval Academy with the country at war. Playing football for Navy today means fighting in a war tomorrow. Playing football for Navy is literally a matter of life and death."....... (Navy did beat Notre Dame in PJ's last season with Navy).

Monday, May 12, 2008

Beesball - Jackets Take 2-3 From Clemson

The Jackets took 2-of-3 from the Tigers, with a pretty poor showing in the finale. Tuesday night is the rubber-match with UGAg at Turner Field. Jackets need to continue winning right to the end to secure their spot. Meanwhile, the team that's 0-2 against GT this year just won the SEC title. We'll see if they can scratch out a win at all against the Jackets Tuesday.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Beesball - Jackets held that Tiger...

.... to only one run as they took the opening match against Clemson 5-1. David Duncan went 8 strong on the mound, giving up only 1 run, six hits, no free passes and struck out 6. Key ACC victory and it very well could shut the door on Clemson's chances of getting in the ACC tourney.

On a separate note, the ladies took care of business in the first round of the ACC Softball tourney, beating UVA 5-3. Way to go ladies!!

Hoops - Transfer on the way?

Evidently Paul Hewitt hinted on the beesball radio show that Georgia Tech would be finalizing a transfer from another school soon.

Not sure who it is, but off the top of my head, here are some prominant players who have recently announced their intent to leave their current schools - and who were recruited by Georgia Tech:

CURTIS KELLY
Kelly had GT on his final cut, but ended up at UConn. Now that the season is over, it's time for Jim Calhoun's annual "push the kids out the door month". This year's recipient is Curtis - who has announced his intent to leave. Kelly is a 6'9" forward in the mold of a Thaddeus Young, only not as polished or smooth. He was the headliner in his UConn recruiting class, which had about 6 or 7 kids in it (including another guy GT pushed hard with - Stanley Robinson).

Also of note is the Kelly's teammate Guard Doug Wiggins has announced his transfer also.

JEREMIAH RIVERS
The son of famous player and Boston Celtic head coach Doc Rivers is the 2nd player to announce he's leaving Georgetown since the end of the season. He's a 6'4" Guard much in the mold of guys that Paul Hewitt likes. Right now word on the street is that Indiana might have an inside track.

VERNON MACKLIN
Some minor involvement in his recruiting process, but worth noting. Macklin is a 6'9" power forward.

SAN DIEGO STATE EXODUS
There are 3 guys leaving San Diego State, but I don't think GT was in the mix with any of them.

OTHERS
Here are some others who have announced their intent to leave, with no resolution yet. There are some repeats.

Justin Tubbs, Alabama
Nate Rakestraw, Arkansas
Daye Kaba, BC
Caleb Patterson, Colorado
Stephen Wood , Duquesne
Jonathan Mitchell, Florida
Jeremiah Rivers, Georgiatown
Matt Pilgrim, Hampton
Brian Carlwell , Illinois
JaMarcus Ellis, Indiana
DeAndre Thomas, Indiana
Tony Freeman , Iowa
Robbie Jackson, Marshall
Jesse Oglesby, Marshall
Ekpe Udoh, Michigan
Zach Graves , Montana
Dave Vanderjagt , Montana
Jay-R Strowbridge, Nebraska
Shang Ping , Nebraska
Jay-R Strowbridge, Nebraska
DeAngelo Jones , New Mexico State
JayDee Luster , New Mexico State
Wendell McKines, New Mexico State
Eric Wallace, Ohio State
Tony Neysmith, Oklahoma
Drew Viney, Oregon
Malcom Thomas, Pepperdine
Cassin Diggs, Pittsburgh
Dwain Williams, Providence
Scott Martin , Purdue
Vinnie McGhee, Sacramento State
D.J. Rivera, Saint Joseph's
Adam Knollmeyer , Saint Louis
Anthony Mitchell, Saint Louis
Marcus Relphorde, Saint Louis
Chris De La Rosa, Siena
Orane Chin, South Florida
Aaron Holmes, South Florida
Amu Saaka, South Florida
Jordan Armstrong, Southern Illinois
Brandon Wood, Southern Illinois
Larry Wright, St. John's
Duke Crews, Tennessee
Ramar Smith, Tennessee
Chace Stanback, UCLA
Bryan Bouchie , Valparaiso
Stephen Sauls , Washington State
John Sexton , William & Mary
Charles Bronson, Xavier

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Classic!!!



Luke Murton - you are the MAN!! Not only did the #5 ACC team beat the #1 SEC for the 2nd time this year, Murton one-upped the half-breed fans. Nice.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Jackets Pound the Half-Breeds

The Jackets take out UGAg on the road by a final of 11-1. Outstanding way to remain undefeated against in-state teams. Deck McGuire pitched a gem of a game and Murton went yard. Much needed elixir in this tough couple of weeks.

Joe Hamilton Resigns

The press release:

JOE HAMILTON RESIGNS FROM POSITION AT TECH
Yellow Jacket Assistant Director of Player Personnel resigned Wednesday

ATLANTA – Joe Hamilton, Georgia Tech’s Assistant Director of Player Personnel for the Yellow Jacket football program since April 28, has resigned his position effective immediately.

“Today, I sadly accepted Joe’s resignation,” Georgia Tech head football coach Paul Johnson said. “I know he has great love and concern for this program and always will. Both athletic director Dan Radakovich and I made it clear to Joe that we would offer any support he requires in the coming weeks and into the future. Joe will always be a part of the Yellow Jacket family.”

Hamilton was a four-year starter at quarterback for Georgia Tech from 1996-99. As a senior, Hamilton was named the ACC Player of the Year, won the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top collegiate quarterback and was a runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.


A class way to handle it if you ask me. This allows Joe to hang onto at least a scrap of dignity, and Paul Johnson makes the statement that Joe will always be part of the family. Well done by all................ as I pound my head repeatedly into the wall.

Where are they now - Troy Matteson

Did anyone realize that former Georgia Tech golfer Troy Matteson is facing DUI charges from an incident last month? For some reason I don't remember that one. Maybe it got drowned out in all the noise of Tripp Isenhour killing that Hawk. All I have to say is that it's a rough time to be a Tech fan. Hamilton, Hutts, Matteson, Isenhour, the Gailey exit, the down year in hoops, blah blah blah. Can we get a grip please.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Per Your Request: Beesball Time

I put the "Skribit" module in the left-hand column so you could offer up your own story ideas and then vote on them. Well, the readers have spoken, and clearly many of you want to see some better coverage of our beesball team. No doubt my coverage of Danny Hall's crew has been subpar, but let's try to deal with that right now.

WHERE WE STAND
33-14 overall
12-12 in the ACC
24-7 at home
9-7 away
21-2 non-conference (Rutgers, Coastal Carolina)
1-8 versus top 3 RPI teams (Miami, FSU, UNC)
Polls: #25 Collegiate Baseball (only ranking)
RPI #9

ACC Standings (As Of May 6)

ATLANTIC DIVISION
School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Florida State 22-5-0 .815 40-7-0 .851
NC State 15-8-0 .652 33-14-0 .702
Clemson 10-16-1 .389 24-23-1 .510
Wake Forest 8-15-0 .348 19-27-0 .413
Maryland 8-19-0 .296 27-24-0 .529
Boston College 8-19-0 .296 24-23-0 .511

COASTAL DIVISION
School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Miami 20-2-0 .909 39-5-0 .886
North Carolina 18-5-0 .783 39-8-0 .830
Virginia 13-11-0 .542 33-15-0 .688
Georgia Tech 12-12-0 .500 33-14-0 .702
Duke 8-14-1 .370 34-14-1 .704
Virginia Tech 4-20-0 .167 20-27-0 .426

KEY SERIES LEFT
May 7 - UGAg - the rematch against Georgie. The Jackets are 10-0 against teams in the state of Georgia, and that includes a 9-4 victory over the Mutts April 9. This one is on the road and is a chance at a moral victory as much as anything.................. as always.

May 9,10,11 - Clemson. The Tigers are reeling and they are going to desparate for some W's to get themselves a shot at the ACC tournament (remember not everyone gets to play). We will need to take that series.

May 13 - UGAg again. Hopefully not the rubber match. Hopefully the Jackets' shot at a sweep.

May 15,16,17 - UVA. Another important series and a chance to finish strong.

May 21-25 - ACC Tourney

May 30 - June 2 - NCAA Regionals

June 6-9 Super Regionals

June 13-23 College World Series


WHAT ARE WE PLAYING FOR?
At this point, the Jackets are really playing to be one of 16 hosts for a Regional series. A strong finish could get us solidly back in the top 20 and our outstanding facilities could give us an edge to host a regional. However, at this point, we're being projected by Baseball America to play in a Regional hosted by UGAg. That would be the worst case scenario for both UGAg and GT.

OVERCOMING ADVERSITY
For the memebers of the 2008 beesball team, the death of Michael Hutts will be felt long after that last pitch is made. What is currently being written is a story of overcoming adversity, of finding that place deep down inside that allows you to go on and rise above pain, hurt and heartache.

After getting decimated by Miami, the Jackets have rebounded. They've won 6 of their last 8 games, batting .340 with 27 HR's and 20 doubles during that time. The offense has been on a tear the last 11 games, hitting .348 with 35 HR's and 34 doubles. In fact more than half of their hits in that span have gone for extra bases.

As a team, the Jackets lead the ACC in HR's with 80, while the pitching staff has limited opponents to a .271 average. This team has a bright future as freshman are playing key roles in their success (Dietrich, Nichols, Rowland, Burnette, Leonida). In addition, a quartet of juniors are playing a key role as well (Murton, Blackmon, House and Haniger). I guess they've stepped up in their "contract year".

CONCLUSION
Who knows where this team is headed. What we know is that this team has a devestating tragedy to deal with. What we know is that they are playing their best ball since that time. What we know is that they have responded. What we know is that their only real struggles this season were against the best of the best.

This story is just beginning. We all hope is has a happy ending after what this group of guys has been through.

Joe Hamilton Arrested

Well, what's the best way to kill your career one week after you joined your alma-mater? Get arrested for:

1. DUI
2. Open container
3. Marijuana possesion
4. Hit-and-run.

Not one of the four. Try four out of four. I think "tragic" is too light-hearted a word to describe this situation.

I don't have time to delve into this one right now, but I think it's safe to say (if true), that we can all say good-bye to Mr.Hamilton as an employee of the GTAA. In fact, I think it's safe to say his future employment at Georgia Tech is all-but-over in our lifetime - at least while Paul Johnson and D-Rad are there.............. and rightly so.

If true, Joe has shamed himeself, shamed his proud institution and hopefully set off a series of personal events that will lead to some necessary life-change. What's really sad about this is that Joe ain't a kid anymore. There's no learning a lesson of youth here. He's been through the ringer. He's paid his dues. He's lived life in the pro's, played his ball in Europe, played his Arena ball, struggled to make his way and came back to earn his degree. The pieces were all falling in place with Paul Johnson giving him a chance as an assistant "to help players", and start him on a path to the coaching ranks............... ka-bloom!! Gone in a flash.

Meanwhile, this will be ripe for the bloggers, jokesters, the rivals and anyone else wanting to pile on. My recommendation - roll with it. We'll hear that Reggie Ball thought it was only 3 things Joe was arrested for. We'll hear that Reuben Houston ain't that impressed. We'll hear that we shouldn't get too worked up, since Joe was never eligible while he was here anyhow. We'll hear about how THAT is what you call "the total person concept".

This is prime material for our rivals. Of course we don't much participate in the rival slamming here at the Blog, and at least 5 of Hershal Walker's personalities agree with that stance............ Most Mutts are good guys. Heck, I heard where Matt Stafford just offered to comfort Joe QB-to-QB in 2 hour spooning sessions once a week during visitation......

This just in............. apparently Quincy Carter ain't that impressed either.

Where are they now - Tashard Choice

Here is Tashard Choice in his Dallas jersey - #29

Monday, May 05, 2008

Give Me Your Story Ideas in Sidebar

As always, I'm willing to be a guinea pig for anything new in the blog world. Some things work. Some don't. I have a new one for you. In the left hand column there's a new section below the Google Ads that says "What should I write about". If you'll click on those words, you can actually submit a story idea, and viewers can vote on it. If you just want to vote on what's there, you can do that also. Just trying to figure out another way to get readers involved and interacting with the site.

So leave a story idea, and vote on one too.................

Where are they now - Matt Wieters

Great article on Wieters. They paraphrased Wieters saying that his 3 years at Georgia Tech were the best of his life. There are great quotes about his leadership, even this early in his career:

“(Varitek) was very impressive,” Thompson (his manager) said. “I think his leadership, what he brings back there behind the plate is something special at the major league level. “I think Matt’s that same type of guy.”

“Like the point guard, the quarterback, he’s the player-coach on the field,” Thompson said. “The players listen to coaches, but some of the best teams I’ve ever played on the players coached themselves. He’s got the right answers and they respect that.”

Current and former teammate Blake Wood had this to say: “He’s one of the best players I’ve ever played with,” Wood said. “He’s going to be a big leaguer in a short time. He’s a great player — whatever he does, it’s not really a surprise to me.”


Aside from all the good in the article, I find this quote interesting: “He’s learning how to call a game,” the manager said. “In college he was programmed being told what pitch to throw and when but not really explained to why. I’m basically giving him the game, but he’s a helluva leader."

I've got to be honest with you. I see that as a bit of an indictment on the current coaching staff. Wieters came to the Jackets with all-world talent, and you sure hope he developed in his ability to call a game while at Georgia Tech - not just through experience, but through instruction and interaction.

Having said that, Georgia Tech is pretty well known as a producer of short-stops and catchers, so I guess we shouldn't worry too much. Just an interesting quote.

Where are they now - Mike Cox

Mike Cox signed a free agent deal with the Kansas City Chiefs to play fullback for the same guy that he played for in college - none other than Chan Gailey. From the sounds of it, Mike already knows 99.9% of the playbook and has stepped right in. Go figure. Gailey always said Cox would be playing on Sundays. I'm sure he just never figured he would be the guy that made it happen.

Friday, May 02, 2008

28 more student-athletes "get out"


When students "graduate" from Georgia Tech, the phrase we all use is "we got out in 1992". I've run into alumni from a number of different eras, and that phrasing is fairly universal. It's more about survival at GT than graduation.

So with that, there were 28 studen-athletes that "got out" last week. Congrats!!!

Men's Basketball
Matt Causey
Anthony McHenry
Jeremis Smith

Football
Travis Bell
Taylor Bennett
Durant Brooks
Joe Gaston
Djay Jones

Men's Swimming
Jacob Kwasnik

Men's Track.Cross Country
Cristan Duvall
David Herren
James Lemons II
Taylor Narewski

Men's Tennis
Scott Blackmon
George Gvelesiani
Eric Molnar

Women's Basketball
Daphne Mitchell
Janie Mitchell

Softball
Savannah Brown
Becky McCraw

Women's Swimming & Diving
Megan Campbell
Elizabeth Stowe
Dana West

Women's Track/Cross Country
Raenard Dillard
Antoinetta McKay
Jennifer Sims

Women's Tennis
Kristi Miller

Volleyball
Laura DeMichelis
Ulrike Stegemann

Kristi Miller is probably the most notable student-athlete to get out. She single-handedly elevated women's tennis at Georgia Tech into a national power. She was the one who set the trend, struck out to break new ground, and create a legacy all her own. After arguably the most successful women's athetic career in Georgi a Tech history, Kristi moves on in life. We wish her and all the graduates nothing but the best!!!