Clinch on Shumpert, coaching staff

Lewis Clinch was gracious in his last interview session in a Tech uniform.

While of course he wanted to take the last shot — and was still kicking himself for missing what he called a great look at a 3-pointer with 52 seconds left — he repeatedly said he had no problem with what happened in the last 7 seconds. Though of course he wanted a different ending.

He said he believed Iman Shumpert was going to make the shot from the foul-line area. (Shumpert missed, and Tech lost 64-62 to FSU). Clinch predicted Shumpert will do great things for the program, and said he’d encourage the freshman to start preparing for next season.

“This is just the beginning for him — he’s 18 years old,” Clinch said. “I’m going to tell him to continue to work hard, learn from the great things that he did, build on those, and learn from the mistakes he made. And become the great player he’s going to be.”

Shumpert, for his part, felt horrible for Clinch and Alade Aminu.

“I definitely never wanted to send our seniors off like this,” the freshman said. “With this rocky season, when they needed us to step up, a lot of times the younger guys didn’t do what we were supposed to do at the end [of games]. It’s just frustrating that we had to go through it, they had to go through it, our coaching staff had to go through it…

“We get the big win against Clemson and we get our chance again at a close game and weren’t able to convert,” Shumpert added. “It’s extremely frustrating that we sent our seniors off like this.”

Clinch also defended Tech’s coaching staff, which has come under increasing fire.

“They did a great job working with us,” said Clinch, who averaged 25 points over his last seven games. “I see them getting talked about a lot in the media. They did a great job of getting us prepared. It’s up to us as players to go out there and get it done. That’s a great staff in that lockerroom. And I respect those guys a lot.”

Coach Paul Hewitt, in discussing the 12-19 season, brought up inexperienced guard play and the resulting lack of perimeter scoring. He mentioned the season-long absence of wing D’Andre Bell (who might return next season from his spinal surgery).

“Certain people will call it an excuse and that’s fine,” Hewitt said. “I know that this group of kids gave us everything they had. I know that this coaching staff put everything they could into every single game. We did more motivational tricks this year than I’ve ever done in my life, just trying to keep them upbeat and positive.

“And it worked, they were fired up to play every game. But at the end of the day, basketball is a game of players. It comes to down to players making plays.”

Hewitt was asked what he’d remember from this season. He cited all the close losses, and the resiliency of the seniors.

“I’ve been around this business for a long time and I’ve seen seniors throw in the towel, but they didn’t. Especially Lewis.”

32 comments Add your comment

Buzzeng

March 13th, 2009
8:34 pm

Fitting end to the season – a close loss, but a loss nonetheless. Some good effort to bulid on for next year. Go Jackets! Welcome Mr. Favors!

Todd

March 13th, 2009
10:21 pm

I was impressed by how well the guys ended the season – it showed how much potential and talent this team really had. I think adversity makes good people better, so I’m hoping we’ll kick some butt next year.

GT GRAD

March 13th, 2009
10:42 pm

All of the returning players will be better and more motivated next year. This team (with the addition of the stellar freshman class) will be highly motivated and will develop into a very solid team (Top 20 or maybe even Top 10 team in 2009 as long as Lawal stays in school). GT will have success in the Big Dance next March. I support Coach Hewitt and all of the GT players. Coach Hewitt has shown great poise and represented GT well even during these last couple of years (tough times reveal the true character in a person). I look forward to watching the GT team have consistent success for many years starting with the 2009 season!

Go GT!!

Ben

March 13th, 2009
11:45 pm

I always thought Clinch could be something special, I just wish he hadn’t waited till the last few games of his college career to get there.

Concerned

March 14th, 2009
12:05 am

Groundhog Day!!! 1 winning conference record in 9 yrs…please explain, other than money, why CPH should stay?

Speaking of $$, it will cost the same to fire him today, tomorrow, next month, next year, or in 20 yrs…so fire him now!!!

Groundhog Day!!!

Wreck7

March 14th, 2009
12:56 am

Clinch’s problem wasn’t ability, it was staying healthy and academically sound. Those two things killed his career… Otherwise, he could have been an NBA lottery pick with his ability to create shots and play good defense.

ben

March 14th, 2009
1:53 am

If Hewitt doesn’t figure out how to recruit and coach point guards, next year will be another disappointment. It was sad how Shumpert was allowed to “run and gun” all season with poor shot selection and turnovers.

Carolina Jacket

March 14th, 2009
9:11 am

The kids never quit. They played hard and lost another tough one. Another one shot defeat. Had Clinch’s last three pointer gone in, or if the team’s shots had fallen at even a halfway decent level, it would have been another win — and then the coach would have “done a good job.” It just wasn’t meant to be. Sorry especially for the seniors. Lets see what they can do with the highly talented in-coming freshman class.

Just Do It! Fire Hewitt!

March 14th, 2009
9:14 am

Hewitt keeps talking about inexperienced guard play but fails to remember who recruits these guards and hasn’t had anyone ready as a back up the last few years. Since we can’t afford to fire Hewitt, D Rad should just hire a good group of assistants and let them run the team and have Hewitt just sit on the bench and complain about the refs.

RAMBLE ON!!!

March 14th, 2009
11:21 am

Would have been nice to have one time out to set up a play with 7 sec. left.

Timeouts?

March 14th, 2009
12:42 pm

Come on Ramble….When have we ever had any time outs left at the end of the game? That concept is apparently lost on PH…

dan

March 14th, 2009
12:57 pm

Keith in Midtown

March 14th, 2009
1:01 pm

Hey Guys, I am the Executive Director for the Elton John Aids Foundation based here in Atlanta. As most of you know I am also a huge Tech fan – mainly football. To promote AIDS awareness I have put a request into the Athletic Dept that our football team wear all pink uniforms for the home opener. Please let me know your thoughts.

skeeter

March 14th, 2009
1:37 pm

Not the best place to post this but I had to get it off my chest and this thread has yet to devolve entirely into 12 year old Dogs and Jackets squabbling with each other.

Whats wrong with the ACC? They’re playing in an empty Dome instead of Phillips which they could easily fill, tickets are way overpriced and its nearly unwatchabe on TV because Raycom has the local rights. Right now I have Memphis-Tulsa in HD. Last night I had USC-UCLA in HD and all the Big East games on ESPN. But for the ACC all I get is crappy Raycom.

I thought the ACC was supposed to be the crown jewel of college basketball but they’re acting like the bush leagues. You really have to wonder about the decision makers in the conference office. Yeah, the SEC games are blacked out too on the big boy networks but basketball in the SEC is an afterthought

Keith in Midtown

March 14th, 2009
1:43 pm

Oh and one more thing….GO DAWGS!!!!

You Techie Nerds are going down next year. Pink uniforms and all…hahahah! Matt Stafford threw for 400 yards against y’all losers. What you got to say about that?

Hey Keith in Midtown

March 14th, 2009
1:56 pm

Kind of a sad sad life for you huh? Your team loses to their rival and you sink as low as unfunny AIDS jokes? Gotta be tough to be you. It was November bro…time to move on with your life. You’ll be ok I promise. Try to focus on other things besides Roddy Jones breaking tackles and long runs over and over in your head. A loss is a loss….and with Joe Cox you’ll probably gonna have to get use to this feeling at least for another year. You know the feeling right…..desperation. The real comedy is that you’re on a TECH blog every day. Right Douchebag?

skeeter

March 14th, 2009
1:56 pm

Before this thread devolves entirely into another pointless flame war between 12 year olds:

Whats wrong with the ACC? They’re playing in an empty Dome instead of Phillips which they could easily fill, tickets are way overpriced and its nearly unwatchabe on TV because Raycom has the local rights. Right now I have Memphis-Tulsa in HD. Last night I had USC-UCLA in HD and all the Big East games on ESPN. But for the ACC all I get is Raycom.

I thought the ACC was supposed to be the crown jewel of college basketball but they’re acting like the bush leagues. You really have to wonder about the decision makers in the conference office. Yeah, the SEC games are blacked out too on the big boy networks but basketball in the SEC is an afterthought

ga_tech_92

March 14th, 2009
2:49 pm

Ground hog day –

Good recruits coming in – not quite enough good guard play this year – same problem every year – someone with half a brain would have figured this out and recruited EXTRA guards to offset this constant issue. Additionally, when I say guards, I don’t mean tall guys with slow latteral quickness…I mean the fastest purest PG’s available…guys who can beat you off the dribble and setup easy offense…control turnovers…and pressure the ball on D. Oh…wait…why even mention this…it’s always Ground Hog Day. I see we have ONE pure guard coming in again…so if ANYTHING goes wrong…we are ’short on guards this year’ again. Ground Hog Day. Let’s be honest…PHew is only here because of the MOST ASSININE contract ever issued anywhere to anyone…OK…other than maybe the Obamanation’s bailout plan.

Tom

March 14th, 2009
3:15 pm

92, like it or not Hewitt was not going anywhere after this season, rollover or not.

Only one ’s’ in ‘asinine, btw.

JIM

March 14th, 2009
7:51 pm

I agree they gave it everything they had which proves a change in coaching is needed because it was far from being enough to develop the young men or produce an acceptable program. Paul, you said it all.

BravesFan79

March 14th, 2009
7:55 pm

My hats off to Clinch and Aminu for always hustling and both playing great bball towards the end of the season. For Clinch to say this shows he has alot of class…. and is not the kinda of guy to throw his teamates under the bus. Best of luck to both of ya!

BravesFan79

March 14th, 2009
8:15 pm

Like ive said for years, Hewitts belief that he can do it all alone and groom his own assistants has been a terrible failure. The AD must reach out to old retired coaches, or offer someone else who’s well known and give them a raise to come here.
In fact i think we need 2 assistants. Or 1 assistant, and Mark Price to help with shooting.

Everyother team in the ACC has that older looking guy on the bench who looks like he could fill in for the coach if needed. Wheres that guy on GT’s bench!???

George P. Burdell

March 15th, 2009
1:58 am

Skeeter:

You need to talk to talk to your cable company because all of the ACC games have been available in HD. You have to not only own the remote, you have to know how to use it. Nice try stupid Mutt>

Galen

March 15th, 2009
9:11 am

Enter your comments here

Galen

March 15th, 2009
9:12 am

It is time to get a new coach and coaching staff! Enough said.

William Casey

March 15th, 2009
10:58 am

I just watched Favors and Udofia in their respective high school championships. Both are the real deal and class acts. Udofia has the great advantage of NOT having to be the “savior.” CPH has the luxury of being able to work him into the rotation. He sees the floor well. Favors is a very unselfish player. He scored 38 WITHIN the context of South Atlanta’s offense. The one thing not settled for next year’s Jackets is who will be the 3-point shooter.

skeeter

March 15th, 2009
11:50 am

GP:
Why be insulting? I’m no Dog but wipes like you tempt me to switch. Its blacked out in ACC markets on ESPN. Only way to pick up the games is on Raycom with DishNetwork

texaswreck

March 15th, 2009
1:33 pm

This was a typical ending to a very disappointing season. But let’s face it, Tech is not an ACC powerhouse. We will win about half our games over time, but Duke, UNC, Wake, and Maryland will always own us. Tech takes a lot of one and done players and it does not make for long term success. It does work for other ACC schools; however, there is no substitute for 3 and 4 year players. Next year will be more of the same: Good new players, two will leave after the season, including the point guard, we will win at most 8 ACC games, out of the tournament after one game and 50-50 at best on NCAA bid. So what? That is who we are.

JacketSteve

March 15th, 2009
2:32 pm

Skeeter, DishNetwork sucks. I had it before and had to switch. Raycom is in HD on Comcast. Not that I love Comcast either, but they do have a lot of HD.

As for Hewitt, the fact that the team played much better late in the season and on the tourney shows that there is talent there and that the coaching was lacking. With the group we’ll have next year, moving Shumpert back to the #2, Udofia and Miller at the point with Glen Rice, Jr. backing up, Lawal and Peacock and Favors at the forwards, we should have enough to play .500+ in the ACC. If that doesn’t happen, Hewitt should be gone no questions asked.

I agree with what someone said about the assitants. Rad needs to tell Hewitt that changes need to be made immediately on the bench if he wants to stick around. I’m keeping my hopes up and supporting the team because I bleed White & Gold, but one more year of this and heads need to roll. I was at Tech in the late 80s when we were preseason #1. That’s right #1. Price, Salley, Ferrell, Bruce D. People gave Bobby a hard time about lack of coaching ability, but we won the ACC tourney with 8 players available and a few of those were no better than what’s on the floor now. Remember Petway, Demalik, guys like that? We won A LOT of games with those guys. Hewitt should be able to coach up what we have now and win.

GO JACKETS!!!

yurtle_the_turtle

March 15th, 2009
3:24 pm

Hewitt was asked what he’d remember from this season. He cited all the close losses, and the resiliency of the seniors. Hewitt also cited that every team made every free throw, that the ref’s were agains us all season, that every team hit 75% of their shots, that the planets were aligned against us, blah, blah, blah….Hewitt has a laundry list of ready-made excuses and never once thinks that he is the problem. Hasn’t he ever heard of recruiting more than one PG so that if they don’t adjust well, he would have reserves? Fire him now before he “coach’s-down” next year’s class.

Zach

March 16th, 2009
10:05 am

Hewitt, way to throw the players under the bus. You truly are the CEO of this program. That’s what the players are there for, right? To take your heat?

The GM

March 16th, 2009
11:34 am

DRad simply needs to up the pressure on Hewitt by specifically telling him he can no longer recruit players that are definite one and done see Favors. The team needs stability. Plus Hewitt will have to get Drad’s approval before offering a scholarship, no more of recruiting kids with street ball mentality. The kids have to possess basketball smarts. With enough pressure either Hewitt will learn to coach and recruit solid players or he will leave. Oh yea, these requirements will give Hewitt more excuses but hopefully he will be forced to resign without the $7 million buyout or the team will actually start performing like a team on a consistent basis.