Georgia Tech risks losing No. 1 basketball recruit if coach Paul Hewitt leaves

If a college changes basketball coaches before a recruit finishes high school, is it fair for the recruit to re-open the recruiting process?

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Georgia Tech’s top basketball recruit will ask for a scholarship release and consider other schools if Paul Hewitt is not coaching the team next season.

Milton High’s Julian Royal signed with Tech over Georgia last November. The 6-foot-8 power forward cited his close relationship with Hewitt as a deciding factor. Royal was the coach’s No. 1 target for Tech’s 2011 recruiting class.

Hewitt’s future at Tech is under speculation with his team dwindling near the bottom of the ACC standings.

“If something were to happen, it would only make sense to re-open recruiting,” said the recruit’s father, Charles Royal.

“I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes at Georgia Tech. Personally, I think they’ve got the right man for the job with Hewitt. I don’t think they are going to change coaches and I don’t think they should.

“However, you never know in the coaching business. We get asked about [Hewitt's situation] every day. If Paul Hewitt was no longer there, it would only make sense to open up our options again.”

The young Royal is aware of the rumblings at Tech, but said he is trying to maintain focus on his senior season of high school. Milton (27-2) is the defending Class AAAAA state champion and plays Mill Creek in Saturday’s playoff quarterfinals at West Georgia.

“It’s not a huge distraction, but people do ask what I would do if Hewitt isn’t there,” Royal said. “I tell them I would definitely like to play under Coach Hewitt. I do believe he will be there next year. I just have a good feeling about it.

“Some people say they want him gone, while others love him. If he were to leave, I would re-assess the situation. However, until Georgia Tech actually does anything, I’m not really worried about it.”

Milton SF Julian Royal (No. 25) signed with Georgia Tech over UGA last November. A deciding factor was his longtime friendship with Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt (AJC)

Milton SF Julian Royal (No. 25) signed with Georgia Tech over UGA last November. A deciding factor was his longtime friendship with Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt (AJC)

Royal father explained the reasons behind a possible exit strategy: “We know what usually happens when a new coach takes over a team. He wants players that fit into his system. If Paul Hewitt was no longer the coach, I would hate to think the next guy would be stuck with my kid. That would be a crazy thing to do.

“I’m sure we’d listen to the new [Tech] coach to hear what he would have to say, but we’d still want to open everything back up.”

“Again, this is not something I want to go through. It’s not something honestly that I think we’re going to have to go through. But you never know in the coaching business. Yes, if something were to happen, we would open the doors again, without a doubt.”

Now it’s YOUR turn. What are your thoughts? Please post below. Note: Inappropriate comments will not be tolerated.

170 comments Add your comment

TC

March 3rd, 2011
3:41 pm

TC

March 3rd, 2011
3:44 pm

I guess I’m fine with him possibly decommiting, I just want a new face leading my team.

Jeffgt

March 3rd, 2011
3:48 pm

Would hate to lose this kid but its time to move on. If we lose him in the process, so be it.

jdl2

March 3rd, 2011
3:53 pm

Reckon this kid’s dad doesn’t care if he wins or not? This kind of gets to why Hewitt has so many one and dones, it’s not that the kid wants to play for GT, it’s that he knows that can exit after a year and the coach is ok with it. Would rather have a 6-4 kid that WANTS to play for GT, than a 6-8 who doesn’t.

Milton insider

March 3rd, 2011
3:54 pm

Georgia’s Mark Fox has already let it be known that a scholarship is available. It’s a done deal once Georgia Tech cut ties with Hewitt. Royal is a Dawg!

GT Anchorage

March 3rd, 2011
3:55 pm

Has he not watched Tech play the last couple of years? A coaching change is a must. If we loose a couple of our top recruits, so be it. I would rather have a few more down years than watch Hewitt run the team further into the ground and get paid a ton of money for it.

Gordon

March 3rd, 2011
3:56 pm

I hope Royal stays, but no player is worth another year of Paul Hewitt.

BBall

March 3rd, 2011
3:57 pm

Comes with the territory of any coaching change in any sport (professional/collegeiate/or otherwise). If the player & coach don’t mesh, the player will usually find a way out.

Michael Carvell

March 3rd, 2011
3:58 pm

@jdl2: Thanks for your post. The 6-8 kid does want to play for Georgia Tech. He just wants to do it under Hewitt. What else would you expect a kid to say while Hewitt is coach?

Also, if Hewitt wasn’t there, Royal would still consider Georgia Tech. I guessing here, but I imagine Georgia Tech (with a new coach) would be the team to beat.

The Royals would simply want to re-open the recruiting to make sure BOTH sides are comfortable. Last thing, Royal is no “one-and-done” kid. No. Good player in high school, but still needs a ton of developing.

once'sta gain

March 3rd, 2011
3:59 pm

didnt the kid and parents know this before they made the decision?

TC

March 3rd, 2011
4:00 pm

I agree Micheal, hes defenitly not a one and done.

What's with the father and the "we" stuff...

March 3rd, 2011
4:01 pm

…last I looked only the kid would be playing so it is his decision and his alone – the old man needs to quit living vicariously through his kid…

Left Eye

March 3rd, 2011
4:03 pm

Anyone seen Buzz?

kbrab

March 3rd, 2011
4:03 pm

If he has signed a letter of intent, he can ask all he wants but Tech would have to allow it…which if they are smart they wouldn’t.

Bucket

March 3rd, 2011
4:03 pm

Not wishing anything bad on Tech, but IF Royal has the opportunity to reconsider his options, I hope UGA gets another look. With Price and Barnes leaving and probably Thompkins and Leslie, Royal could be a really nice addition to the Bulldogs line-up.

Pull My Fingers

March 3rd, 2011
4:03 pm

I think I work with that guy.

Pull My Fingers

March 3rd, 2011
4:04 pm

Buzz I mean.

The Bees Nees

March 3rd, 2011
4:04 pm

Well hopefully we bring someone in that can talk Royal into staying. Tech is still a great basketball school with tons of talent on the roster to still be used. Royal I think you will enjoy your experience there no matter the coach.

Paul Johnson

March 3rd, 2011
4:05 pm

Go talk to another school and see what happens to your scholly son! Can you YANK!

Gordon

March 3rd, 2011
4:06 pm

Job #1 for the new coach would be to meet with Royal. I can’t imagine there wouldn’t be a great opportunity for him at Tech. Also, what could the father possibly be thinking when he said “I think they’ve got the right man for the job with Hewitt”? Why would he want his son to be part of what is happening there now?

clark kent

March 3rd, 2011
4:07 pm

So what would you rather have as a GT fan; 2 years of a top recruit along with an extremely mediocre coach, or a brand new coach who can set the team in a new (and hopefully) right direction?

Really

March 3rd, 2011
4:08 pm

Too much local talent current doesn’t consider TECH, if Hewitt leaves maybe Royal does as well. But what other recruits in the area may consider TECH because of his departure.

Goldtimer

March 3rd, 2011
4:09 pm

This sounds like the Cecil and Cam show part two. Time to can Hewitt and move on, if they don’t like it tough.

Milledgeville Dawg

March 3rd, 2011
4:11 pm

Sounds like Julian Royal will be in Athens in the fall. As Flounder said “Boy this is great”

Phoenix Falcon

March 3rd, 2011
4:13 pm

how low does the program has to go before PH is out? why ruin the whole program for years because some kid wnats to keep a BAD coach? if he wants to go because PH is not there, GOOD RIDDANCE!!!!! see ya, would not want to be ya.

GTBob

March 3rd, 2011
4:16 pm

I wish he would stay but getting rid of Hewitt is priority number one as far as I’m concerned. If he transfers then he has to sit out a year in ACC play, right? I could see Georgia snagging him because of that. Or Ohio State.

Dad is like that

March 3rd, 2011
4:18 pm

Most GOOD fathers are involved in ther kid’s life decisions and I am not talking about that scum, pappy Newton. They counsel and advise and when the young man or young lady is ready, the parent can disengage. My son is 27 and pulls down over $100K and he is in Alpha and is ultra succesful we (mom and I) still offer advise IF he wants or seeks it.

It is called parenting for the 79% of you that NEVER knew your dad.

Go Dogs.

TomB

March 3rd, 2011
4:18 pm

Better start opening up the recruitment, Mr. Royal, because there is no way DRAD can keep Hewitt. There would be so much unrest with the AD if he retained Hewitt it wouldn’t even be funny. Its bad enough as it stands now, so count on a coaching change within the next 12 days. I’m confident the new coach will find the right players, and hopefully Julian Royal will be one of them.

The Truth

March 3rd, 2011
4:20 pm

Hmmm Daniel Moore for Julian Royal … I’ll take that trade.

Well

March 3rd, 2011
4:21 pm

If he wants to throws his life away by going to the idiot-farm in Athens then that’s fine, GT has bigger fish to fry.

Amazing

March 3rd, 2011
4:22 pm

To What’s with the father and the “we” stuff… ,

I know Mr. Royal and if you really listen he is simply artilcuating what any parent would concerning thier child’s future. Regardless of how you feel about Hewitt as a coach, Julian bonded well with him of all the coaches that came to see him. It is not only prudent for Julian and his parents to re-consider Tech if Hewitt leaves; it is the right move to ensure he is will stil feel comfortable about Tch under a different set of circumstances. We need to stop expecting that 17 and 18 year old kids have the maturity and experience to consider all the different persepctives of a particular situation. It is the parents role to help them evaulate these different perspectives as they make their life decisions.

Milledgeville Dawg

March 3rd, 2011
4:25 pm

Well what? “Well lets dance” UGA basketball is on the rise, face the facts.

JF McNamara

March 3rd, 2011
4:26 pm

Bye to both.

rduck

March 3rd, 2011
4:30 pm

I hope he stays a Tech commit, but Mr. Hewitt has got to go. If he has any hopes of taking his game up a notch and developing into a more rounded player, then he best hope their is a new coach on the horizon. Love to have you Julian, but Hewitt is not the coach you REALLY want to play under…

JM

March 3rd, 2011
4:31 pm

Milton says there are still Hewitt supporters, based on the attendance I’d say somewhere around 2,000.

I am glad he’s saying that he will listen to the new coach. Tough decisions will be made all around.

We will know by March 15th.

Matt

March 3rd, 2011
4:31 pm

NO, I repeat, NO player is worth having to endure even one more season of the ineptness that is Georgia Tech basketball under Hewitt. If this kid wants to walk, fine. Fire Hewitt now.

Worm

March 3rd, 2011
4:32 pm

Hewitt is a goner, so this should be interesting-Another Marcus Thornton perhaps.

questions?

March 3rd, 2011
4:33 pm

I’m not sure Royal really understands the situation – he is going from a 2 loss team to one with only 3 ACC wins.

Pope UGA XXIII

March 3rd, 2011
4:33 pm

Tech has a basketball team ???

GTBob

March 3rd, 2011
4:39 pm

I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes at Georgia Tech. Personally, I think they’ve got the right man for the job with Hewitt. I don’t think they are going to change coaches and I don’t think they should.

Hewitt really must have some kind of magical voodoo hex that he puts on recruits and their parents. You have to have awfully small expectations to think Hewitt is the right man for the job.

Steve

March 3rd, 2011
4:40 pm

Who cares. A recruit or the worst coach in acc history. tough one
why would this kid even want to play for blewitt. what a dumbass

SuperB

March 3rd, 2011
4:42 pm

Royal needs to just come on over to Georgia. Georgia is going to the NCAA Tournament, Tech is going– nowhere.

Seth

March 3rd, 2011
4:44 pm

“We know what usually happens when a new coach takes over a team. He wants players that fit into his system. If Paul Hewitt was no longer the coach, I would hate to think the next guy would be stuck with my kid. That would be a crazy thing to do.

This isn’t football you doofus. What a dumb comment.

Road Scholar

March 3rd, 2011
4:44 pm

Maybe he thinks he is good enough now to stay with Hewitt. But Julian, what player has Hewitt improved since he has been at Tech? Esp a big man? I understand that you bonded with Coach Hewitt, but will he develop your game? or do you think you have already maxed out your game?

Lil' Barry Bailout

March 3rd, 2011
4:47 pm

Hewitt has recruited very talented players before and done nothing with them.

Screen door, meet Julian Royal’s rear end.

Dacula Jacket

March 3rd, 2011
4:48 pm

See ya Julian. Hewitt better be gone next year. I think just about every Tech fan would agree to swap Juilan Royal for a new coach. Hewitt could sign 5 more Juian Royals this year and we still would be any good.

Reality Check

March 3rd, 2011
4:48 pm

We don’t need this kid. Clearly he doesn’t have the stuff to make it at the next level. I mean, c’mon, he thinks Paul Hewitt is a good basketball coach!!!

Paul in RDU

March 3rd, 2011
4:50 pm

If Paul Hewitt is fired, I would expect GT to allow Royal to decommit and sign elsewhere. If Royal did that he won’t be able to play in the ACC next year but he will be able to play elsewhere. One decision GT would have to make is whether to release Royal to go to UGA.

GTBob

March 3rd, 2011
4:55 pm

SuperB, Royal isn’t playing this year, he is playing next year. Do you think UGA is going to the tournament next year without Thompkins, Leslie, Price, Barnes, and Robinson?

Old School

March 3rd, 2011
4:55 pm

Julian Royal is not an impact player in the ACC or any major conference. He is one step above Glenn Rice Jr with a very limited game He will be a role player at best! He is not a dominating player on the high school level and lacks the strength and avoids contact at all costs. Another all hype, no fundamentals type of player. Daddy ball is over after Milton HS.