Football and basketball notes

Good morning…

The men’s basketball team will play an early-season tournament in Puerto Rico, officially called the O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-off.

Eight teams will be in the tourney, which runs Nov. 19-22 and airs on ESPN. Each team is guaranteed three games.

Only seven teams were announced Tuesday, and pairings have not been finalized. It looks like a strong field: Villanova (in the Final Four), Dayton (reached NCAA Tournament second round), Indiana, Kansas State, UAB, George Mason and Tech.

In the 2008 event, Xavier beat Memphis for the championship.

This will be the Jackets’ third tournament off the U.S. mainland in the last four years. They didn’t go to one this past season.

On to football….

The secondary will be a lot more experienced this year, with everyone returning except Jahi Word-Daniels. It also will be deeper. Jerrard Tarrant, a 6-foot, 189-pound redshirt sophomore from Carrollton, is one reason why. Tarrant was impressive last spring and would have had a chance to start had he not been suspended. Here’s the background on that saga.

This spring, he’s shown good hands and a little bit of rust.

“He gives us another player who’s got pretty good skills and ability,” CPJ said after Monday’s practice. “He’s a little bit rusty, but you can watch him go through drills and see that he’s a talented kid…We knew he was pretty good last year. We had him in spring.”

In addition to pushing the starting corners, Tarrant is being tried as a returner.

“We’ll take a good look at him as a returner,” CPJ said. “I think he’s got some ability to do that.”

Couple other notes….We wrote the other day about Tyler Melton’s comeback from a knee injury. He could be the solid receiver Tech needs opposite Demaryius Thomas. When I asked about that, CPJ made an interesting point.

“Nobody double-covered [Thomas] last year anyway. With the nature of what we do, it’s pretty hard to double cover.”

CPJ added, however, that having two “weapons” at wideout would be beneficial. “We might not have to go as much to one side.”

Finally, the coach shed a bit of light on the offensive backfield. He was talking about how he decides who plays where. He said he considers the importance of putting people “where they fit” and at the same time trying to “get the best 11 on the field.”

“I don’t know who’s going to be the three backs,” he said. “I know who one of them (Jonathan Dwyer) is gonna be. I probably know who two of them (Roddy Jones) are gonna be, but then that third spot, if Anthony (Allen) is better, or whoever, or Lucas (Cox) might be a better B-back, you’ve just got to move them around.”

Your thoughts?

81 comments Add your comment

Carolina Jacket

April 1st, 2009
7:28 am

There will be a hell of fight for the third running back position, Tech has the best depth there that we have had in years. Now if we can just get one to excel at returning punts and kick offs.

Burdell

April 1st, 2009
7:40 am

[evil grin] We have real problems at Tech. Three running back positions, and 4 or more talented backs. Oh, what will we do?

cleetis

April 1st, 2009
7:58 am

Larry- you guys do a great job- – this has been the best GT sports coverage in many years. Thanks.

BLAZER

April 1st, 2009
8:08 am

does it matter? they all will play as well as peeples, wright

that is at least six running back that have playing time already.

bring it on!!

BravesFan79

April 1st, 2009
8:15 am

Great to see GT in a preseason tourney. With good guard play, they could win it. We already know well have one of the best frountcourts in the nation next year (provided lawal comes back)
Lets start the year off right like in 2003-4 when we beat Uconn!

And its hard to get excited about football, we already know the national champ next year will be from a VERY limited field….(and im sorry but no 1 loss ACC champ is gonna beat out a 1 loss Texas, USC, Ohio State or SEC champ! ). just like every year with the BCS crap system.

If college football fans were smart, thed stop attending these game (especially the meaningless bowls!) and watch how quickly things change to a playoff system!
GT has no better of a shot at winning it all than UTAH. Sad to say cause im a diehard GT fan.
But changes have to take place to make the sport fair again.

RAMBLE ON!!!

April 1st, 2009
8:35 am

Give it up BravesFan79. You are the only one who can’t get excited about football. Your idol Paul Hewitt has destroyed any and all excitement in Basketball.

Our RB situation is a very good problem to have.

RAMBLE ON!!!

April 1st, 2009
8:37 am

Speaking of Basketball Larry. The worst coach in the NCAA Paul Hewitt said there were going to be major changes for next year.

I haven’t heard of any so far, have you?

MinnesotaJacket

April 1st, 2009
8:54 am

I think you have Cox and Allen being that third man with Cox being more of your hard runner, and Allen being a bit more of an athlete who can catch the ball out of the slot and make some moves. This is why I think Wright will be big this year because if he can get in the open field off a little out route he could be dangerous. The best part though is IF and I mean IF Dwyer gets hurt…we aren’t SOL this year. I do like hearing about Melton though as one guy who is stepping up because even though Bebe might not have been double covered last year…doesn’t mean he won’t be this year.

GTinNC

April 1st, 2009
9:13 am

Larry,
What is the convention – when you say “Tarrant…. a redshirt soph.; is he a r/s soph during all of 2009 or is he a r/s soph. this school year and a r/s junior next school year (starting in the fall)?

Tech Wrecked.....AGAIN

April 1st, 2009
9:16 am

BravesFan79..you make some good points. However, on at least one point, you are preaching to the choir. GT fans took your advice long ago…they quit attending these games!

As to the BCS…you complaint has no basis. You get what you deserve. Period! The ACC is at best the 5th best conference in major college football. Look at the ACC’s record in BCS bowls if you have any questions as to why no percieved respect for your weak a$$ conference.

In addition….the brass at GT have only themselves to blame for being in the ACC to begin with. Otherwise your sorry a$$es would still be in the SEC….with 2 teams playing and winning in BCS bowls yearly.

In the meantime…if you are not old enough to remember GT’s last appearance in a major bowl…1966…you can look it up and read about it!

Phildo

April 1st, 2009
9:31 am

Win/win scenario re basketball. Let Ugag sign Hewitt as their new coach, and Tech sign anybody or anything, even a telephone pole as their new coach. Ugag is so pitiful that even Hewitt would be an improvement. Needless to say, a telephone pole would improve the coaching at Tech.

DDT=dumbdogturd

April 1st, 2009
9:34 am

Good one wrecked. Please name the 4 conferences better than the ACC….You are a joke. While the ACC doesn’t have an elite team, we certainly have more “good” teams than any other conference (and many of the youngest teams as well). Christ, UT, Auburn, Miss St. were GOD AWFUL last year. Duke beat Vandy, DUKE FOR CHIRST SAKES!!!!! Before that, plenty of SEC homers were lifting Vandy up as proof of how great the SEC is from top to bottom…..oh yeah, and freakin WYOMING beating UT BWAHAHAHA!!!! GT beat uga, Wake beat Ole Miss (the 3rd best team in the SEC), so please, spare us your “SEC dominance” garbage. Yes, Vandy beat BC, but BC had NO qb in that game, and had no heart for falling to such a crappy bowl. We got stomped by LSU in a bowl game where we read our press more than practice. We still beat you girls though…on senior/dooley/cmr prayer day ;) .

The ACC was very young this past year, and only stands to improve in the upcoming years. Its funny how only the SEC can use the “Oh we are all so great, we just beat up on each other…..We don’t schedule hard OOC games b/c our conference is sooooo superior” GARBAGE. Can’t wait to watch OK State drop 40 on you girls next year. Going to be a great way to start the season.

MinnesotaJacket

April 1st, 2009
10:02 am

DDT HERE HERE are watching Ok State drop a 40 on them…I will drink to that!! Also Tech Wrecked…though I value your opinion (not at all) I guess College Football News (who’s opinion I do respect) put ACC “the weak *** conference” at #2…which if Im no mistaken is 3 spots higher than you have us…and just in case you don’t know how I got that number 3 here is the math for you 5-2=3 and just in case you don’t know what that means Fiv minoos too equills thwee ( since you can’t spell DOG right I figured this might be a better help for you :) )

RAMBLE ON!!!

April 1st, 2009
10:07 am

See there bravesfan79, only loser fleabags seem to like you.

You should go join them, maybe even coach there pathetic Basketball program.

…is this the 3 or 4th year in a row, your motto has been “Wait till next year”. I mean you are the perfect fleabag in that respect.

BobinBuford

April 1st, 2009
10:08 am

Ramble on:

Could the “major changes” CPH is hinting at be Mark Bradley’s nomination for savior of GT basketball, Dean Keener? Looks like CPH will have a vacancy if Coach Young goes to Georgia Southern as it seems like.

The future (at least for one year) of GT basketball will be on display tonight on ESPN when Derrick Favors plays in the McDonald’s game tonight. It will be interesting to see how he looks against national talent as opposed to the 3A talent here in Georgia.

Larry:

Any further word on Gani Lawal’s status for the NBA draft?

Capt B

April 1st, 2009
10:44 am

IT’s great to see backfield depth…but the real issue for GT football success is the OL. Can they develop good OL and the depth needed there…with it Tech can run or pass as they desire,without it the offense is one dimensional…Secondly is the need to develop DL to replace the studs leaving. If Tech can get the lines right this will be a great year!

Larry Hartstein

April 1st, 2009
10:45 am

Cleetis — Appreciate the kind words.

GTinNC — That’s something Ken and I have been grappling with. Tech’s spring roster lists the players as if it’s already the 2009 season. (Which makes sense, in a way). For example, Morgan Burnett is listed as a junior even though he’s finishing up his sophomore year. Tarrant will be a redshirt sophomore during the next school year. Sorry for the confusion.

BobinBuford — Gani Lawal has until Sunday, April 26 (11:59 p.m. Eastern time) to put his name in for the draft. That would allow NBA teams to fly him in for workouts, and for Lawal to be considered for the pre-draft camp in Chicago in late May. The important thing to remember is that as long as he doesn’t hire an agent, Lawal could put his name in and still decide to come back to school.

Last year, 87 underclassmen filed to enter the draft, and 48 withdrew. In 2007, 58 underclassmen filed and 26 withdrew.

This year, the deadline for withdrawing is June 15 at 5 p.m, 10 days before the draft.

Hope that helps….

m

April 1st, 2009
10:58 am

It is so nice to have a real college football coach who knows what he is doing after having the worst coach in the history of the world for 6 long years. You can tell how wonderful it is by how worried the dawgs are. Even after their best team in history got whipped last year at Sanford and Son stadium, they still don’t fully realize just how bad it is going to be when Paul Johnson makes it a point to beat them year in and year out, just like O’leary did. These dawgies are going to keep crying like babies. Thank God and Greyhound that Chan is gone forever, even if these pitiful pups miss him already.

MinnesotaJacket

April 1st, 2009
11:01 am

Capt I agree with about the O and D Lines…especially with the news of Claytor going under the knife and Voss being out for the spring it really shows how thing we are up front…D-line I think will be an enigma until the first game…which I like because it gives me the feeling that the guys are going to work their *** off during the off-season to show the coaches they deserve to be the starter and thus will have a better motivation to play every play as hard as they can!!

MinnesotaJacket

April 1st, 2009
11:02 am

m…seriously man like stop bring up chan…that is literally the 5th time in a row you mention this…STOP acting like a UGA blogger and start acting intelligent

cluett peabody

April 1st, 2009
11:52 am

m
Dont’ ever stop! I look forward to your phrase and hope that one day it will be elevated to an acronym like thwg.
tgag – than God and Greyhound. I like it!

BuzzFactor

April 1st, 2009
11:59 am

yeah, seriously “m”, time to let it go, CPJ is in his second year

MinnesotaJacket

April 1st, 2009
12:10 pm

Cluett if you feel that way FINE…but at least talk intelligently about what the blog is about instead of talking about the past…because when you discuss the past your acting like UGA fans…

Tech Wrecked.....AGAIN

April 1st, 2009
12:13 pm

DDT: Gladly. 1. SEC…BY FAR. 2. Big 12…by far 3. Big 10.
4. Pac 10. Granted the SEC was down last year. The ACC is still the ACC. Which sonce FSU and Miami went in the tank is NOTHING!! You choose isolated games to prove your point…then i guess according to your logic WF is better than Ole Miss. And Ole Miss is better than UF…the NCS winners. Right? Oregon State is better than USC? The division 2 team that beat NC State is better than them right?

And like any GT fan worth their salt…you readily have EXCUSES for why your teams get BEAT. I could say the same thing about Bama being disapointed in not playing for NC and not having their heart in the bowl game. BUT I wont. They got their a$$ whipped…just like GT did against the 5th best SEC team!

Dont guess you want to respond to the mighty ACC’s BCS bowl record….hmmm?
GT…43 years and counting since a major bowl!!!!

PTC Jacket

April 1st, 2009
12:19 pm

Tech Wrecked….AGAIN

Yeah, when’s the last time you got an NC?

RAMBLE ON!!!

April 1st, 2009
12:21 pm

You know you’re talking to a UGAg football fan, when all they want to talk about is the SEC

RAMBLE ON!!!

April 1st, 2009
12:22 pm

not their football team

hem o'roid

April 1st, 2009
12:23 pm

M–Don’t ever go away. I look forward to your posts, just as most people on here do. Nothing wrong with having some fun with this thing. What’s this about Claytor having surgery? I haven’t heard..thwg

MinnesotaJacket

April 1st, 2009
12:35 pm

43 years in counting since a major bowl…WHAT….I am very confused because I am pretty positive that a NC would probably be considered a MAJOR Bowl but thats just me….
hem..go to espn blogs where HD talked with PJ and according to PJ it said Claytor has had surgery…(might have just been a misquote)..and thats fine but no offense we had fun with it the ENTIRE PAST YEAR tho time for some new material…
And to Tech Wreck…sooo according to your logic as long as a conference has a major team then that means there a major conference…jeez i would hate to say to you but you are literally banking on OTHER teams to make your insults because YOUR team that YOU support has NO credibility to support any claim to GT fans…Just remember TECH has NEVER been ranked #1 so we have always EXCEEEDED expectations and very rarely lived up to a “bad season prediction”…UNLIKE UGA who is constantly known to SUCK on the big stage and when the prssure is on fail…

STUCK IN SC

April 1st, 2009
12:40 pm

Shopper

April 1st, 2009
12:47 pm

Do they sell Robot t-shirts? My kid would love one!

panama city beach mike

April 1st, 2009
12:53 pm

maybe Georgia Southern could hire Paul Hewitt.

Supersize that order, mutt

April 1st, 2009
1:13 pm

m, I get tired of your TGAG overkill too. I’m more than happy that chan is gone too, but as far as being the worst ever, sorry, man, but Bill Lewis was the worst ever. Were you not around in those days? I have to give it to you on the “Sanford and Son Stadium” remark though. I had never heard that before. LOVE IT !!!

Supersize that order, mutt

April 1st, 2009
1:16 pm

Minnesota, unfortunately, the Citrus Bowl (as it was called then) was not a major bowl. HOWEVER, it sure produced major bowl results, didn’t it? SMILE
As far as the ranking of the conferences, nobody, and I mean NOBODY, but the media thinks the Big 10 is a great conference anymore. OSU and Mich are the only two who consistently produce, and even Mich has sucked lately.

DDT=dumbdogturd

April 1st, 2009
1:29 pm

lmao @ wrecked. Well, maybe you want to look at conference rankings here (sorry that I actually used credible sources, instead of just giving my opinion)

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/fbc08.htm

And yes, Ole Miss was better than UF on the day they played them…THEY WON! Same with Wake being better than Ole Miss. NO, it doesn’t say anything about Wake vs UF b/c they DIDN’T play each other. And I don’t care if you use that excuse about Bama, it happens, and the mind set of a football team is a factor. If you don’t want to use it, then fine, I can accept the fact that we got blown out by LSU. We still beat you girls, and all you can do is point to injuries, and how you girls overlooked us after the first half. Garbage. The ACC has a terrible BCS bowl record, but VT won this past year, and we will have to wait until next year to see who wins that one. The OOC record (this past year was 37-11, with 3 of those from Bama & UF) is not nearly as bad as the BCS bowl record, and BOTH have to be considered (unless you are a mutt, and then logic isn’t your strong point)

I love watching uga fans live through UF and LSU BCS titles, its gotta hurt doesn’t it girls??? To live vicariously through a team that called 2 timeouts in the final minutes, to RUB YOUR NOSES in the complete whooping that they just put on you!!! Did you cry wreck? Did a little part of you die this past year, when you preseason chumps got BLACKED OUT BY BAMA, DUMPED ON IN JAX, and then RAN ALL OVER by that “highschool” offense on Dooley day?? What a perfect way to end such a disappointing and pitiful season. Sucks to be you girls.

scott

April 1st, 2009
1:42 pm

M stop knocking Chan, we wanted him gone and he is gone.
Chan could have been a great coach but he did some stupid things.
He did recruit well and cpj has benefited from that but chan was qb stupid and
eventho everyone loved jon tenuta (by the way l didn’t) he was stupid there too.
with chan and jon we didn’t cover recievers, all we did was blitz blitz blitz.
With just a few things different chan could have been great but he wasn’t great for us
but we have had a few that were worse than chan.Does anyone remember Bill Curry ?
l use to wonder what people meant when they said Curry turned the program around.
Pepper should have done better than he did but Curry took and make it alot worse and
we just got to hear that he turned it around.
There was something about Curry, no matter how many games he lost people would still
say “he sure is a good man”. l remember getting sick of what a good man he was and all
we were doing was loosing, that good man stuff got real old with me . by the way pepper
was above 50% with us and curry was well below 50% with us however Curry did have one good team at tech in 1985.
Chan was not the worse we ever had.

MinnesotaJacket

April 1st, 2009
1:49 pm

DDT…couldn’t have put it better myself…
Supersize…good point didn’t think about it in that way and I wans’t around for the Bill Lewis days but its still pointless to sit there and talk about it like UGA still talks about Hershey’s chocolates days and how great they were.

Justin Vess

April 1st, 2009
1:53 pm

Tech Wreck
You need to check out 1990.
Roll Tide

Dadgum

April 1st, 2009
2:03 pm

Hey wrecked…you idiot. Get your facts straight. If you are referring to one of the old major bowls do some research. Officially it was the 1967 Orange Bowl against Florida. Dodd’s last game at Tech. Idiot.

The Citrus Bowl took GT because the others had tie-ins. The ACC did not have a tie-in with any of the “major” bowls.

BravesFan79….you are correct sir. College Football takes a nosedive once conference champions are determined. Who wants to wait a MONTH to play a one-off bowl game. Until a playoff system is implemented then college football will be held hostage by a pathetic computer. It’s a shame really. That is unless you like waiting a month to play a game.

Paul Hewitt is a great coach and recruiter. The Jackets will be ranked probably #2 in the ACC pre-season next year. I can see 23 wins or so from that team.

Rock on…..

Supersize that order, mutt

April 1st, 2009
2:18 pm

Scott, I second your opinion about Curry. He WAS a good man, but then, so was Chan from all accounts. Good men don’t always win, and Curry generally didn’t have a clue. 1985 was successful because of Dewberry (whom inexplicably UGAG couldn’t find a use for) and Whisenhunt, and the Black Watch defense, among others. Pepper could have been one of Tech’s greatest coaches, if he had not been such an arrogant as***le. Damn, what an offense he had most of those years; the 1974 DRUBBING of the mutts at Sanford and Son Stadium (thanks again, m—LOL) in the COLD pouring down rain was awesome. But the man never would hire a good DC, and even though we had great defensive talent, they never performed.

MinnesotaJacket

April 1st, 2009
3:03 pm

Hey supersize, what would you say is the best defense GT has ever had on the field? I am a little younger and some of the best days I saw were with Brooking leading the charge wanted to get your ideas upon that?

IE'66

April 1st, 2009
3:22 pm

MinnJacket, Ramble, PTC, I’m back fellas. I took some time off after that horrid bowl performance. I’m still high on our boys, like I haven’t been in years. But I needed some time away.

I lost out on a stupid bet I had with a LSU friend. I agreed to place a drop of Tabasco sauce in my eye for every touchdown LSU scored on us. I was expecting one. Maybe. My buddy had to take a shot of grain alcohol for every run we had over 15 years. I was expected he’d be sick before the half. I was wrong. But it was my fault for making such an assinine bet.

Anyway, it is good to be back and hear about spring practice. I like the fact that we have four good backs. We need to get them on the field at the same time. How can we do that?

IE'66

April 1st, 2009
3:28 pm

Minnesota Jacket, the best defense I ever saw at Tech was young Sarah Ann Griffin. She was an administrative assistant (secretary we use to call them) in the admissions office. She guarded her parts more ferociously than any defense that ever took to Grant Field! Those where the days.

That 1990 defense with Coleman Rudolph and Marco Coleman was pretty stout too.

Chike

April 1st, 2009
3:29 pm

We lost 2 games on fumbles and 1 on missed passing opportunities.
Just having a year under our belts in PJ’s system should make us a better team! I’m ready for the season!

MinnesotaJacket

April 1st, 2009
3:49 pm

Chike I agree with ya….in the end Botched snaps and missed handoffs should be down this year just because the system will be in year 2…so that is automatically points off the other teams side.
Second PJ sais SPECIAL TEAMS will be a focus this spring and WILL BE better…and frankly after that man fulfilled every promise last year I am bettting things will be better.
Third. How do we get the best backs on the field…hard decision on that one but I am going to say that it will almost be a rotation with passing plays having Allen Wright and Roddy most likely, and then running plays with Dwyer, Roddy, and Allen/Cox…but thats just my opinion on it

Ty Webb

April 1st, 2009
4:02 pm

I think the 1990 defense was Tech’s best. That defense was scary. Either them or one of the Black Watch defenses of the early 80’s. Tenuta had some good defenses, too bad our offense was awful.

IE'66

April 1st, 2009
4:06 pm

If I have to sit through another botched snap, I’ll toss a boot at my television. Ladies, that’s a size 13.

And what is this crap about the football team playing a game in Puerto Rico? Outrageous. Who does that support? Is this some handout for the territories? Give them back. Outrageous.

cluett peabody

April 1st, 2009
4:11 pm

Sorry Minnesota but tgag is funny. Lighten up! And I understand from folks that have been Tech fans longer than myself, you should never mention that person’s name that begins with a B and ends with an L.
It is hard to say what the best “D” was at Tech. one can use stats (stats don’t put points on the board) but consider that good offense begets good defense as you will see in the not to distant future from this TEAM. Rest assured Tech will score and score often and the defense will benefit greatly from it. I contend that the best “teams” that Tech has ever fielded will be playing in the next few years.
As to staying on topic: It is great to have such a strong core of running backs but watch the offensive tackles as they are key to what is about to happen when GT has the ball. Or watch the defensive safety’s when GT has the ball and you can almost predict a long gain or touchdown.

GTSS

April 1st, 2009
4:15 pm

Tarrant is going to be good I bet. He was coming on last year and now he is probably playing with a chip on his shoulder.

If we can stay healthy in the trenches we seem to have enough depth in both backfields to make some waves.

And of course, hello to all the Georgia geese who are on this blog trolling, lurking and showing their concern for our program its quite flattering. If we did have you hens on here pecking away we would not be moving in the right direction.. The Alabamas, Floridas and GTs of the world (all the teams that embarrased uga last year) probably have one thing in common on all their football blogs- Nervous dog fans lashing on a blog because they know when it comes to Saturdays in the fall they are going to make a mess of things again.

Also, get some pride and quit riding the conference coat tails of UF and LSU and all the other schools you mention in this blog like the SEC is some type of commune or something. They win titles. You dont. Quit lumping yourself in with them. You are more in the South Carolina, Arkansas tax bracket. Nothing worse than some uga tool squawking about their conference when they cant squawk about their team…..oh yeah…but you were on the cover of SI last August!!!! sick them woof woof.

AN

April 1st, 2009
4:19 pm

Tech Recked.. Again. Ur an idiot. It hasnt been 40 yrs since a mojor bowl. We won the national championship in 1990. You knkow a lot about college football. Jack a$$.