Thursday, March 25, 2004

Daily Swarm

Well they may not be winning like they are used to, but they DID beat the pups today 4-3. It did take a 2-run rally in the 9th inning, but I will take a win over them any way we can get it. (story here)

GT assistant hoops coach Dean Keener has made it to the 2nd round of interviews for the James Madison HC job (story here). Who is he replacing? None other than former GT assistant Sherman Dillard, who coached for 6 seasons at GT. While I would be happy to see Coach Keener get such a great opportunity, there is a selfish part of me that wants him to stay at GT.

In the article linked above Hewitt said - "It's been addressed. It's over with," Hewitt said. "Unless a bolt of lightning comes down from some place, I'll be here next year.". Remember Coach Hewitt saying that as long as Dave Braine is here, he will be at GT? ST.John's fans are actually suggesting hiring Braine and Hewitt as a package deal. Wouldn't that be coup? NOT! That school is a mess and the fans are actually worried about being a laughing stock across the nation if they don't get a high caliber coach. What they don't realize is that most of the nation doesn't think they CAN get a top caliber coach and it is more about pity and shame, not being a laughing stock. I just fell sorry for them more than anything.

This one was a non-televised game (Tenn St)and never made it to air. This version is a video tape of the replay board at AMC so the quality is low, but see for yourself. This is the one that theGooley made the classic 3-shot sequence where he drops the ball down to his knees then back up again for the reverse jam.
Right-click here and save as

In case you missed some other great Ish highlights, click on these two sites (page 1......... page 2) to download others. Thanks to GTDean for the library.

Coach Hewitt is getting more comfortable showing his sense of humor in the media. From the same article above - "When told Nevada coach Trent Johnson had called the Yellow Jackets one of the top four teams in the country, Hewitt didn't hesitate. "He's supposed to say that," Hewitt said. "Just like I'm going to turn them into the '27 Yankees."

Here's some misc notes from, including this blurb on the Jackets - "Despite working with a point guard named Jack, the Yellow Jackets have done quite well. And Jack happens to be a last name. The first name of Tech's floor leader is Jarrett, who may be good enough to ease his squad past Kansas. Much of Georgia Tech's hopes hinge on big Aussie Luke Schenscher. But big things may be required of 7-2 Aussie Luke Schenscher if deep-shot-happy Tech is to reach the Final Four. Just for fun, try saying this guy's name three times fast. And I don't mean Luke, Luke, Luke. Anyway, Tech also suits up perhaps the tournament's most exciting dunker in forward Isma'il Muhammad. This is one Muhammad who floats like an Apache helicopter and stings like a tax audit."............ Dickey V answers questions on hoops (story here), saying while Nevada could win, he thinks GT is a little too strong and athletic............. Another story on graduation rates - it even made Best Damn Sports Show tonight - although no teams were mentioned specifically. They did say 4 teams in the dance graduated ZERO players. Again my question - did Ed Nelson transferring and Chris Bosh going pro count? I think the answer is yes. Evidently Coach Hewitt addressed the question on the "Mike & Mike" radio show this morning. This from "kirbee" at the Hive paraphrasing Hewitt's comments - "The rates are overblown. Basketball misses more class time than anyone else. Hewitt believes the season should begin Dec 21 after fall finals. We have players playing in Europe who are under 10 credits short of a degree making $300k a year. Jason Collier just graduated and he won't count toward our rate. There are a lot of facts lost in the numbers like transfers and people going pro and the difficulty of playing basketball and academics. Greenberg agreed."................. Here's another look at the Jackets and the surging program.

If you want to download the Coach Hewitt interview on Best Damn Sports Show then.... right-click and save as.

This AJC article asks that question. By reaching the sweet 16, that already places them in tight company (only 7 other times have we done that). The 25 wins is the 4th highest win total. I would put this team in the top 10 Jacket teams of all-time clearly - but let's wait until the season is over before we pour on the accolades (just like Coach Hewitt says at the end). The AJC poll in that same article has Jacket fans clearly voting the 1990 team as the best - with over 60% of the current vote total.

Some pretty funny comment on this page2 at A look at Nevada star Kirk Snyder, who looks to be a possible early draft candidate and possible 1st rounder............. Nice article on the Jameer Nelson / Chris Paul match-up, which could be a classic - these guys are players............. Here is a look at the remaining 16 teams in the dance............... Here's a look at some of the mascots in the dance.......... Not related to the tourney, but Clemson's Chey Christie will be transferring in the off-season for his senior year. Looks like he wants to start over. This is the 2nd guy that will transfer from Clemson - not sure if there is something deeper going on with Purnell or if these guys just realize they will not have a place in Coach Purnell's new system.

No doubt JJ has become a student of the game. Interesting that Stephon Marbury was JJ's favorite player. In this story, they even get a quote from Marbury - "He's doing a great job this year," said Marbury, now with the New York Knicks. "The thing I like most about him is he's running the team. He's scoring, hitting big shots, doing all the things that make them win."........... Of course my favorite quote was from Jack himself when ranking himself among great GT PG's. - "Jack isn't ready to proclaim himself one of the greatest point guards in Georgia Tech history. He knows who came before him. "I'm not at that point in my career," he said. "Give me a couple of years and maybe I'll be all right.". Wouldn't it be great if it WAS 2 more years? Of course his favorite player was one-and-done and Anderson was two-and-done. We should have JJ back for at least one more year - two would be fantastic!!

Randolph Morris played in the Roundball Classic tonight - stats were around 10-13 points, 6-8 boards, 1-8 from FT line (ouch) - didn't see it myself....... Here is a story on KY hoops including mention of their recruiting situation. Here's a similar story with slightly different spin.

Dwight Howard's dream was actually to be the 1st kid to go straight to the pro's from high school (story here from NY Times), before Garnett and others started the exodus (actually I think Moses Malone was one of the originals). With all that he still maintains a 3.2 GPA - would have been a good one at GT - oh well.

Here is an updated look at the NFL draft and possible picking order - this simulation has D-Smith still going to the Patsies with the 32nd pick.......... Also here is what Mel Kiper Jr had to say about these guys over at ESPN - "Georgia Tech had mixed results from its Pro Day, as ILB Daryl Smith (6014, 234) and DE Tony Hargrove (6033, 269) improved their stock, while OT Nat Dorsey (6063, 314) and OLB Keyaron Fox (6021, 229) disappointed. Smith, considered somewhat of an undersized inside linebacker prospect, was bigger than expected and still ran impressive times of 4.6 and 4.63 in the 40. Smith also had a 36-inch vertical and ran a 4.21 short shuttle. Hargrove, who missed all of last season due to academics, had a lot to prove at his workout, and he did just that by running 4.68 in the 40 at 269 pounds. Hargrove also impressed with a 39-inch vertical and 30 reps on the bench. Straight-line speed and 40 times aren't all that relevant when it comes to scouting offensive tackles, but Dorsey looked slow and less explosive than expected on his two attempts, running 5.52 and 5.44. Fox also damaged his draft value by running poor 40 times of 4.73 and 4.79." Thanks ZonaJacket for the tip.

He is making a name for himself in the RedSox minor league system. Here is the write-up on Murton - "4. Matt Murton, OF. Murton is the Red Sox big minor league power source of the future. At 6-1, 226 pounds, Murton has the frame and ability to put up big power numbers. A Georgia Tech alum, Murton, like Murphy, represents the type of player Epstein wants. The 2002 Cape League MVP, Murton displays great plate discipline, which resulted in a .374 OBP at his first minor league stop. Despite his size, Murton is surprisingly fast and is an asset on the bases and in the field. In 2002 Murton was 19-for-19 in steal attempts. He covers a lot of ground in the outfield, but he has a weak throwing arm. Murton is ahead of schedule due to his time playing at Georgia Tech and in the Cape League. Murton actually hits better with a wooden bat. He will probably begin the season at Single A Sarasota, and the Red Sox expect him to be ready for the big leagues by mid-2006."

... at the 58th annual Western Intercollegiate. Colorado won with Cal coming in 2nd (story here).

Man, is this encouraging or what (story here)!!! If Ball can truly elavate his game this year, read those defenses better, hit those passes he overthrew, watch out!!

I am absolutely kicking myself for traveling this week in NY - I so badly wanted to go to the dinner with Coach Gailey in Greenville SC. However, "BigOleStinger" and "gtguy96" have provided some great updates. (click here for the full thread). I will take out some interesting points from the dinner:

1. Coach invented a new word "deHumble-ize" - which is what they are trying to do with Reggie Ball. At a recent club meeting (Gainesville I think), Coach said one of the worst things that happened to Reggie Ball was having him carried off the field in the 2nd game of his career.

2. Most improved player is Reshaun Grant, our talented tailback who redshirted last year to recover from a high school injury. Said he really knows how to run North to south and will be a great player - still needs work on his pass blocking skills

3. Two unnamed players are borderline on their academics right now for fall eligibility.

4. The #1 rated HS tailback right now plays for Buddy Geis's son in Florida, so we are hoping to have a foot in the door with him. (his name is Maurice Wells, plays in Jacksonville FL, broke the state single game rushing record with 429 yards. GT is one of his current top schools along with Ohio St, UGAg, USC, FSU and MD).

5. Biggest concerns right now are LB, left side of O-Line and kicker/punter.

6. Taylor Bennett has been impressive and could very well be Ball's back-up.

7. Even thought Pat Nix will take over OC duties, Coach Gailey will still call the plays

8. We will be experimenting with the shotgun (yeah!!!!) to better utilize Ball's abilities.

9. Calvin Johnson is the freshman most likely to help right away

10. GT only goes after about 30% of the kids everyone wants. We want the best athletes from the pool of brightest stundents. If a kid's dream is ONLY to play in the NFL, he's not a Tech kid. You have to sell them on academics - and if it scares them off, then we don't want them.

11. Our facilities are a major plus - rival ANY college or pro facilities in the country.

12. Coach Gailey and Reggie Ball met with a kid with cancer who's favorite player is Ball. Played catch and they spent time with his family.

13. "gtguy" made these comments about Gailey - "Some things I came away with... Gailey is as genuine as they come, brutally honest, and a Christian. He understands the balence between Ga Tech academics and athletics, and will recruit only solid student athletes, and no one he thinks will squeak by. His intent is to win a championship at Ga Tech."

You know, Dave Braine took a lot of heat his first few years here - but now he is starting to look smarter and smarter. Winning will do that - the Hewitt and Gailey hires are looking quite good in retrospect, while many Jacket fans have doubted the strength of those choices. While we haven't yet gotten the football team up to the next level, you can see a progression and Gailey has not let the program slip, which is typical when new coaches come in.