Looking at the ACC after Decision Day decisions

Esteemed colleague Mark Bradley ranked the nation’s top 10 basketball teams for 2009-10 last week here http://tinyurl.com/msqce 

He also had an interesting column about Paul Hewitt and the expectations for next season here http://tinyurl.com/nutco4

So, that ground has been covered very well. 

I thought I’d take a look at how Lawal’s decision, and those made by other players at other schools, will affect the ACC next season.

First, let’s focus on the Flats. 

Lawal’s return gives coach Paul Hewitt many choices for lineups.

The only potential hole is at the 5 spot. There are two centers on the roster: RS Jr. Brad Sheehan and freshman Daniel Miller. Sheehan, a 7-footer, is a rebounder, but doesn’t score or block shots too frequently. Of course, he may only need to rebound with the scoring potential the rest of the roster has. Miller will be an incoming freshman, so the jury’s out on what kind of impact he’s going to have in the ACC.

Hewitt may opt to not play a true center, and go with a front line of forward Lawal, freshman forward Derrick Favors, and wing player D’Andre Bell (whose return may be just as important as Lawal’s). Kammeon Holsey and Zachery Peacock could come off the bench, same for freshman Brian Oliver (that name must seem weird to hear again, Tech fans).

The backcourt situation is just as intriguing. I would guess that Mo Miller and Iman Shumpert will start, with Peacock and Storrs (a good sixth man last year) coming off the bench. Not to forget about Rice Jr. and Udofia…. in short, Hewitt is going to have a lot of choices for next year, a nice problem to have for sure.

But what will this mean for Tech’s chances of competing and winning the ACC? 

As Bradley wrote, UNC is loaded again, but very inexperienced. There are four upperclassmen on the roster, but only Marcus Ginyard and Danny Graves have established themselves in the conference. Of course, that doesn’t mean as much as it used to.

Duke won the ACC tourney, and returns Scheyer, Singler, Smith and Williams, all experienced players. Though Williams needs to prove he’s more than a defender.

Clemson, well what can be said about the Tigers? Tough team, but just can’t seem to reach the next level.

Wake Forest. A ton of talent, but needed more discipline and coaching than they received last year. A boom-or-bust game-by-game team. Either they will win by a lot, or lose by a lot.

So, why can’t Tech step up and win the ACC next season? They have the ingredients: a coach who has been there before, a deep, athletic  team, a mix of experience and youth. A bonafide 3-pointer shooter is needed. But there are enough players who can hit the 3 to help solve that quasi-issue.

66 comments Add your comment

jconservative

June 22nd, 2009
11:45 am

The 1 & 2 spots are again the key to next season. Tech had a pretty good inside game last season – the 1 & 2 spots had no consistency.

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 22nd, 2009
11:47 am

Doug, The coach who has won the ACC is at the College of Charleston.

Out of nine years the best record is 9-7.

This coach won’t no what to do with this much talent. 8-8 maybe 9-7 and a whole bunch of excuses.

The more fans get excited about this team, the more disappointed they will be…unless you like missed f/t and turnovers.

I hope you had a great vacation. Lets talk about football or Chinese checkers please.

BravesFan79

June 22nd, 2009
11:53 am

Udofia will be important in leading this team along with Miller from the pt guard position. With Lawal and Favors that means we should almost always have a good big man in the game. If i was Hewitt id rest one while the other played…. except late in games.
The 2 will be set with Shumpert. They would probably be smart to redshirt Miller.

BravesFan79

June 22nd, 2009
12:00 pm

The most important pickup of the offseason will be a experienced assistant coach! Someone with MORE experience than Hewitt! Do whatever it takes to get Keener back, or hire another older assistant! No more young black assistants!! Yes Hewitt we all know by now you want to promote black coaches, but common man……. your being out game-planned by the likes of Sidney Lowe!?
I want us to keep Hewitt, but he must swallow his pride and admit letting his older white assistants walk was a mistake!
Ramble On: cant wait to see you saying “go GT” when we get past the Sweet 16 this season!

JasperJack

June 22nd, 2009
12:09 pm

The lack of a quality point guard will keep this team from being much above 500. As Ramble On reminds folks Hewitt has had only 1 winning season in the ACC & that was 9-7. Not very impressive considering some of the talent that has come through.

Yurtle_the_turtle

June 22nd, 2009
12:25 pm

I’m still waiting for all the “changes” that Dan R and Hewitt promised at the end of this disasterous season. I’m skepitcal of our chances only because Hewitt is still the head coach.

BravesFan79

June 22nd, 2009
12:39 pm

The people who think GT hoops will barely be .500 this year are probably the same ones who think a sport where 98% of the teams have NO shot at a national title, is the best sport in the US.
Face it, college football blows, and so do your predictions.

Chris W

June 22nd, 2009
12:56 pm

Doug,
This team had enough talent to compete last year. You don’t address any of the issues that really plagued the team last year: long scoring droughts and plenty of turnovers. Three point shooting is not the issue. It seemed like an issue last year because everyone starting hoisting up 3’s when the offense slowed down. What this team needs is a leader and go-to option. When we haven’t scored a point in 3 minutes, who is going to take charge? Lawal, Favors, Shump? Yes, we are a deep team, but I worry that this will just lead to noone taking command.

The Dude

June 22nd, 2009
12:56 pm

Hey BravesFan79, how can Miller be important to the team leading the backcourt and be red-shirted? Not that I don’t agree with you, but it’s completely unneccessary to mention the color of skin of the assistant coaches you speak of. It’s irrelevent.

As a Tech fan, I’m excited for what this new crop of recruits might bring to Tech. As an experienced Tech fan, I’ll try not to set the bar too high.

GT

June 22nd, 2009
1:31 pm

The dude, Mo Miller vs Daniel Miller…

BravesFan79

June 22nd, 2009
1:57 pm

Dude: Daniel Miller and Mo Miller are 2 different people. And your right, skin color dosent really matter, but clearly Hewitt has an agenda as head of the BCA. And experience DOES matter!
I think Atlanta sports overall would be alot better if they were broken down like football. Football has offensive and defensive coordinators. Clearly GT hoops would be in better hands if someone else other than Hewitt was doing most of the coaching, while Hewitt remained in charge of recruiting.
Same thing for the Braves, they should leave Bobby Cox in charge overall, while putting someone else in charge of the pitching decisions/bullpen!
There’s no excuse to use both our closers with a 6 run lead, and then run out Jeff Bennett in the 9th against the Red Sox?? Why Bobby why!?? Just like there’s no excuse why our hoops team has no half court offense!
Hewitt and Bobby Cox both have stubborness in common, the difference? Ones a Hall of Famer, the other came in on the coattails of 2 great assistants and has been mediocure at best since they left. GT’s AD should notice this, and force Hewitts hand to get assistants more experienced than he is. After all, that would be cheaper than firing Hewitt.

E

June 22nd, 2009
2:43 pm

“RAMBLE ON” and “BravesFan79″ do you guys just copy and paste the same emails over and over again. Come with something new once in a while, we’ve read it from you before, we know how you feel about how Hewitt should be fired.., Hewitt and the BCA…, and Hewitt and assitant coaches…etc

gtsux

June 22nd, 2009
3:05 pm

gt is IRRELEVANT..Might as well not even have a team…..Only 35 or 36 people may care overall..

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 22nd, 2009
3:06 pm

E, you’re right…I’ve been saying the same thing about Phewitt for the last 3 years!!!

and as long as the Greyhound keeps leaving without Phewitt, I keep saying the same thing.

I think we just turn the ball over again.

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 22nd, 2009
3:53 pm

That picture of Prez Hilton looks like all the dawg fans after 45-42, no?

gtsux

June 22nd, 2009
4:55 pm

Tech fans…you can keep saying 45-42 all you want…nothing you have will ever touch the Dawgs….If you wanna throw out numbers try this one 51-7,,,,,51-7,,,,51-7, come talk to me when you win by more than 3, you sad sacks of schitt!!

chad

June 22nd, 2009
5:05 pm

People don’t get to excited about the crop of freshmen coming to town. I remember when Jarvis and Thad were coming in. They were going to do great things. We all know what happened that year. Yes another season pissed away by excuses from the head man. The only difference this year is that he has 6 players coming in. He better put up or D Rad will show him the door. It is as simple as that; no more excuses.

gt fan

June 22nd, 2009
6:26 pm

inexperience plus a great coach beats down inexperience and a crappy coach anytime.

gt has a crappy coach that no amount of talent will overcome. nba coaches have seen what phew does with the talent we have. NOT!

what makes any gt fan hopefull that phew could make a run with the lineup he will have next year when we have had way more experienced lineups under phew only to fall flat.

go jackets
to hell with phewitt

edward

June 22nd, 2009
6:33 pm

GTSUX: You might be the dumbest uga fan anyone has ever seen, and that’s really saying something. There is no more Reggie Ball or Chan Gailey to hand you any more games. Paul Johnson owns you, the state, and the rest of the UGAY nation. Want numbers? how bout 2, which is how many more national titles we have than you. How bout 8, which is the longest winning streak in the series that we own over you. How bout 1, which is how many real basketball programs are in the state of GA, since uga has NEVER been relevant in basketball. If you want to talk about the past than know what your talking about retard. Besides, what are you doing on a tech basketball blog? Please, come back with more nonsense so I can make you look like the douchebag you are. CHUMP.

hey gt sux

June 22nd, 2009
6:38 pm

how about eiar,b > siar

how about whomping the preseason no 1 team in the second half by 4 touchdowns in a game played at their stadium with 80,000 screamin tobaco chewing guys n gals leaving after the end of the 3d quarter.

how about all them slober knocking tackles by that ugag d that was going to out athlete us.

tooooooo funny. now who sux?

GT GRAD

June 22nd, 2009
6:44 pm

Face facts: GT basketball will be FUN to watch and Coach Hewitt will have many options this season!

I like the idea of keeping Lawal & Favors on the floor together unless the opposing team has a dominant center which requires a true center in the game for defensive and/or rebounding purposes.

Shumpert will have a stellar season with MANY assists and a number of clutch shots (I just hope he makes all or alteast most of his clutch shots).

Go GT!

Supersize that order, mutt

June 22nd, 2009
7:06 pm

gtsux, since you insist on living on past glories, try this one on for size: 8 in a row, 8 in a row, 8 in a row. Although I’m sure Tech fans reveled in that streak, it has nothing to do with 2009, nor does a 51-7 win by the mutts 8 years ago. The only games that mean a thing are the last one played and the next one. 45 – 42 was the result of the last one; Since Tech’s offense will be improved and UGAG’s defense will still have Martinez as DC, then I think it is highly likely that the Tech end of the score will once again be in the neighborhood of 45 points. The jury is still out on Tech’s defense and UGAG’s offense, but after Ok State and Spurrier’s chickens finish with the mutts, it won’t matter. THWY

Not Disappointed

June 22nd, 2009
8:33 pm

“Wow, sports will be exciting to watch at the Flats the year or the Tube PERIOD!” Exciting times. I do hope more of the Tech Nation will attend with me. Football and then Basketball! Oy! Ramblin Wreck!

Willy

June 22nd, 2009
9:35 pm

Hey gt fan how about because Hewitt took GT to the championship game already, that’s why.

hey willy

June 22nd, 2009
11:07 pm

you need to go back to your pitbull fighting an smoke some more crack bud. you are delusional.

phew has done nothing in 8 of 9 years. even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now an than. the coach for uconn said back than that phew was a flash in the pan. he predicted that phew would never accomplish anything else worth mentioning in basketball ever again. i guess he was right!

speaking of which phew kinda looks like a squirel with them beady eyes of his. when i glance into those eyes i see a huge ego and nothing else.

this guy is an empty suit that is propped up by all the hot air he comes out of his blow hole.

Yo Daddy

June 22nd, 2009
11:17 pm

STICK-EM up!

Mutt

June 23rd, 2009
12:03 am

Supersize, I was going to point out that UGA had won their last 3 bowls, while Tech had lost their last 4, but since you pointed out that the only games that really count are the last ones played, then that would be UGA defeating Michigan State 24-10 and G.T. losing to LSU 38-3

Fromthebleechers

June 23rd, 2009
6:39 am

Paul Hewitt is a pitiful excuse for a college b’ball coach. With all the talent he will have this coming year, he will not win 10 ACC games.

Fromthebleechers

June 23rd, 2009
6:41 am

Tech will be lucky to win 8 ACC games this year due to the poor coaching, ie, Paul Hewitt.

gtsux

June 23rd, 2009
7:58 am

GT STILL SUX…..Irrelevant….but thank you for all of your posts ….all 6 of you, which is only 30 shy from your entire fanbase…. ALL YOU TECHIES NEED TO KNOW IS THIS WE OWN YOU IN THE SERIES SINCE IT STARTED………….we still own florida, which is sad on their behalf considering how much they have dominated the last 19 years!!!!!!

superDawg

June 23rd, 2009
8:33 am

When gt gets pounded and you UGA haters run and hide, we will find you.Don’t run away after your teams one win wonder,guts are a terrible thing to waste.

superDawg

June 23rd, 2009
8:41 am

hey supersize all games are important.UGA owns that record and you can’t handle it.supersize that!

gte268p

June 23rd, 2009
9:00 am

If you all want to talk about history, how about my favorite UGA story. I recall not too terribly long ago reading in the AJC that there were a few UGA frat guys that saw a raccoon acting “strangely”. So what did they do? They shot it, skinned it, and ate it. Then they had to be tested for rabies. Then they got in trouble with the law for cruelty to animals and with PETA.

I find this behavior and intelligence typical of most UGA fans. Man, you guys are brilliant.

William Casey

June 23rd, 2009
10:01 am

IMHO the player who will explode on the scene this year is Shumpert. With Favors and Lawal inside, Shumpert will be shooting lots of open 15-20 foot shots. Mo Miller will be OK at the point backed up at point by Shumpert and as the season progresses, Udofia. Hewitt does need a veteran assistant (of any color) to help him run games. The final play of the FSU game in the ACC tourney is the prime example: both my 17-year old son and I were screaming for the in-bounds defender (think it was Clinch) to overplay toward the baseline! We all know what happened.

Supersize that order, mutt

June 23rd, 2009
10:59 am

gtsux, mutt, and supermutt, I never denied that UGAG has a better record against Tech than vice versa. But the fact remains that the Jackets prevailed last November, and there are all indications that the Jackets will prevail again this coming November. Why can’t you accept that fact as graciously as I accept the overall record, which, incidentally, was in Tech’s favor until a string of inconsistent and often incompetent Tech coaches since Dodd’s retirement. The fact is that UGAG has only “owned” the series since the late ’60s. But that, as I said, earlier, is not important. You might, however, want to look at the overall basketball series record. Talk about ownership……HAHAHAHAHA. And, by the way, yes, Tech lost to an inferior LSU team in our last game of last year, and UGAG beat a pathetic Big-10 MSU team for their last game. Talk to me after the mutts play LSU this year. No, on second thought, talk to me after the Ok State Cowboys stick it to you.

Ramblinwreck1378

June 23rd, 2009
11:09 am

I’ve seen and played against Udofia in high school. He’s the real deal. I think he will end up winning the starting job by christmas break at the latest. I also think he’s going to be successful there, because of the supporting cast. I feel like Shumpert is being overlooked amist all of the hype surrounding newcomer Derrick Favors and the return of Gani Lawal. Shumpert will most likely be the go-to guy next year, and provide some consistency in the backcourt. And while I don’t believe that Hewitt has reached full potential since 2004, I do believe that people should think their decision to fire Hewitt all the way through. If you’re going to fire someone, you’d better have a list of people that you’re going to go after, that would be a substantial improvement from Hewitt. He does a good job of keeping in touch with the fanbase and community, and I’m sorry, but if we’re referring to the saying that a squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.. How many squirrels have found that nut since Hewitt’s been hired? How many different coaches have been to the national championship game since 2001? 15. I mean, out 347 teams.. Not that bad.

And Georgia fans: This is a basketball blog. Talk trash about football on football blogs, but let’s face it, your basketball program is a joke. One of your former recruits came to Tech knowing we couldn’t even give him a scholarship. SEC basketball, top to bottom in general, is embarassing.

TechPhi97

June 23rd, 2009
12:03 pm

BravesFan79, your ignorance of the assistant coaches and your race agenda are sickening. When Keener left, he was replaced by John O’Connor on the coaching staff. Charlton Young was brought in when Cliff Warren left the staff. That was the extent of the coaching staff turnover since the ‘03-’04 season. The racial makeup of the staff has been the same forever, not that it even matters.

While there are a lot of questions about Hewitt’s coaching ability by Tech fans, your blanket statements that don’t agree with the facts and your race baiting only make you look bad. You claim (without facts) that Hewitt hires based on race; ironically, you are the only person advocating for race-based hiring when you call for “white” assistants. You may want to look in the mirror for improvement, rather than on the Tech sideline.

Rob

June 23rd, 2009
12:20 pm

As long as Hewitt is the coach Tech will continue to underachieve!

Dawg Fans on a Tech Blog

June 23rd, 2009
1:02 pm

It can’t be!

What a bunch of douchebags. Go talk about your team. Remember? Or are you to busy spitting hate.

POAD The CHOADE

June 23rd, 2009
1:39 pm

“And, by the way, yes, Tech lost to an inferior LSU team in our last game of last year, and UGAG beat a pathetic Big-10 MSU team for their last game. Talk to me after the mutts play LSU this year”

You mean the LSU team that you got destroyed by last year and that we beat 52-38 in their home stadium, is that the one you are referring to? Yeah, thought so genius!

Supersize that order, mutt

June 23rd, 2009
2:43 pm

No, dummy, a year has passed…duhh. the LSU team you face this year can’t possibly be the same one you beat last year. Just another example of how you jerks live in the past and ignore reality. And speaking of the past, DO YOU REMEMBER 45 – 42 ??? Well, look for more of the same this year. That IS reality. And so what if it was only a 3 point win. Look back at the series and see how many times UGAG only won by 3 points. I guess those didn’t mean anything to you either, huh? I also notice you didn’t address the probablity of the Cowboys sticking it to you this year. Ride ‘em, cowboys. THWG

Howdy Poad

June 23rd, 2009
3:33 pm

If only you were an LSU fan…then you’d actually have the right to talk trash to us THIS YEAR. Granted you beat us quite a bit in the past. Hell my grandma could game plan against Chan Gailey. But with PJ in place this rivalry is set to even up a bit. LSU fans are welcome to talk all the trash they want…they beat us bad in the bowl. Your team unfortuantely not so much. So quit trying to act like since you beat LSU you somehow beat us…it doesnt work that way dumbass…

Good Try Though!

Born2Buzz

June 23rd, 2009
4:37 pm

This blog is about GT basketball, not football or the GT-UGA rivalry. Go somewhere else for that crap.

Obviously Hewitt is on the hot seat this year and he knows it. He survived after last season because of the recruiting class he has coming in. With Lawal coming back, Bell coming back, Shumpert and Miller back, plus the next Carmelo/Lebron in Favors and 3 more solid recruits, Hewitt better produce or all you haters will get your wish and he will be gone. You can bank on that. And I don’t think 9-7 is producing. The ACC will be tough again and we will be lucky to go 11-5, but that might be enough to finish 1st or 2nd.

I will be re-upping my season tickets in the hopes of a great season. I will be very disappointed if all of you Hewitt haters are correct, but I will not be too surprized.

Born2Buzz

June 23rd, 2009
4:40 pm

Oh, and Hewitt also survived because we didn’t have the $6M in the athletic budget to pay him off. We will next year.

IndyGT

June 23rd, 2009
8:17 pm

I’m still concerned about the PG position.. I think that’s the key. I hope Mo improves quite a bit, and Shump can move over to the 2. Which seems to be his natural position. I like what I’m hearing about Udofia, but he is still a freshman. Freshman make mistakes. We’ve got the bigs to compete with anyone.. key is guard play, as always in the ACC. I’m hoping CPH can get us back to the upper echelons of College Bball.

gt fan

June 23rd, 2009
10:50 pm

Ramblinwreck1378… hey ramblin are you related to da braine? he talked just like you.
of course so did all the chan gailey supporters.

‘we will never find a better coach that wants to come to a 7 win school like gt’. well dont look now but not only is pj going to blast that notion to smithereens but he is going to make our football players into student athletes as well.

something that is ignored in all this hoopla… look for gt’s grad rates in fb to increase while pj is our coach. he teaches young men discipline unlike chan…. and phew.

we keep argueing over weather or not phew is a good coach or not but we keep losing site of the fact that not only has he sucked the last 5 years as a coach but we finished dead last. DEAD LAST acedemically. now how the f did he manage to screw that up too. he keeps saying that he is doing things the right way. i guess it the right way in his eyes ONLY!

this guy has been coasting and playing the BCA race card ever since da braine gave him his 7 million forever contract. talk about getting a case of the #$@# ass. phew is the poster child!

he made a comment this year that he has never recruited so hard. again i say ’say wha?’ our team play and record has progressively gotten worse in the last 5 years. so bad that we are back to the win loss records of dwayne morrison almost 40 years ago and he is NOW just recruiting hard? wtf was he doing for the last 5 years? playing BCA president?

phew is a loser and all that matters to him is he agenda. hint gt is not part of his agenda. until gt cans his black bigoted a$$ we will be losers too.

speaking of which….TechPhi97 must be spending too much time trying to defend michael vick and lost track of our phew guy.

i find it ironic that phi97 accuses bravesfan of racial bigotry when the biggest bigot i know at gt is paul ‘i never saw a white player that i liked better than an unknown long tall black athlete from africa’ hewitt.

lets review some of the things our dumbass of a coach has done or said….

- despite being the next best recruiter EVER at gt phew has NEVER recruited and signed a white blue chipper. he certainly has no problems signing black athletes???? why is that? sounds like a bigot to me.

see next for answer…

- phew said more than once that his job is to ‘graduate or get into the nba as many ‘black’ athletes as he can. say wha? if bc had said anything like that re ‘white’ players than he would have been run out of town on a rail and rightly so. if phew had to open his big BCA pie hole he should have removed the word ‘black’ from his comment. sounds like a bigot to me!

-phew has called the ncaa racist on more than one occasion. i personally think that phew is still living in the 60’s mentally. this guy has a huge chip on his shoulder for white folks and its not too far from boiling to the surface. phew is a firing away from erupting like mount vesuvius. sounds like a bigot to me!

phew so reminds me of that racist black coach nolan richardson that got canned at arkansas. as soon as he got in trouble he went pyscho on the white folks and hasnt been heard from since.

i do believe that phew will do that but he will not only take his ‘7 million for doing nothing money’ but he will try an take gt down with him. that is the real reason why drad is treading lightly.

drad is hoping that phew sinks his own ship. after 5 miserable years the rats are getting restless.

for drad to fire phew it will take incontravertible evidence that he is a dimwit of a coach. (i already know this) if we again look lost next year i think that will put things in order and changes will be made. six year of acedemic and athletic failure will make this issue a done deal.

remember that phew has the naacp and reverend al sharpton and the reverend jesse jackson and the BCA on his side. shades of tywanna brawley and the duke 5. gt must tread real carefully and drad knows this.

so does phew! he has licence to do anything or say anything he wants at the moment! wins an losses? who cares! the only issue is the sucess of black athletes.

poor ol paul wonders why no one wants to hire a black coach. all he has to do is look in the mirror for that answer. hiring a black coach is a mindfield of issues that most universities dont want to address. i dont blame them. do you?

so yes phi97 there are more folks than just braves fans who feel that paul hewitt is the real bigot in this scenerio.

matter of fact you should read some of the private replies i get on the blogs that agree with me. there are way more folks who think as i do than there are those that think like YOU do.

its time to take off the pc gloves an call a bigot a bigot.

paul hewitt i think you are a closet bigot!

go gt
to hell with hewitt

superDawg

June 23rd, 2009
11:05 pm

BORNTOBUZZ you must be the inside of a vibrator!buuuuuuzz.

superDawg

June 23rd, 2009
11:08 pm

THATS FUNNY I DON’T CARE WHO YOU ARE!

superDawg

June 23rd, 2009
11:09 pm

hunker down.

superDawg

June 23rd, 2009
11:12 pm

BRING IT NERD STICK-EM UP.THAT WOULD BE RETALIATION ON THE GA.THEATER COMMENTS.