Archive for January, 2010

Stitt will start for Clemson

    Word around the press room is that Clemson’s point guard Demontez Stitt is going to start tonight against Georgia Tech. Coach Oliver Purnell said as much in the Clemson pre-game radio show. That sprained left foot that forced Stitt out of the NC State game Saturday has done quite a bit of healing.

   Stitt practiced on Monday, in a limited capacity, but looked good during Clemson’s shoot-around this morning, according to some folks from the Clemson sports information office, which prompted ESPN announcer Len Elmore to ask – what foot injury?

   So there you have it. Nothing should come easy tonight for the Yellow Jackets and that’s about what you’d expect deep into January and heading into the thick of the ACC schedule. This is Tech’s first home game since the Duke win and the Jackets could use something to prove to themselves they can get a little consistency going.

   It’s no secret Derrick Favors has struggled in ACC play and tonight’s matchup inside with …

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Clemson’s point guard Stitt is questionable for Tuesday

    So the ACC schedule won’t let up for the Yellow Jackets this week, with No. 17 Clemson coming in on Tuesday. (Tech moved up a spot to No. 19 this week in the AP poll, by the way.)

   A lot hinges on the left foot of Tigers’ point guard Demontez Stitt. He sprained his foot Saturday against NC State, left the game with 13:52 left and did not return. He was on crutches after the game and did not practice Sunday.

   Clemson coach Oliver Purnell was non-committal, not surprisingly, on the ACC coaches’ teleconference this morning. He made it sound like the decision would be made based on whether Stitt could go in practice this afternoon. If he couldn’t, he likely wouldn’t play tomorrow. So I’m not sure where that leaves us, since I can’t exactly take a glimpse into their practice court this afternoon.

   I know Tech coach Paul Hewitt said he’ll be taking a “believe-it-when-he-sees-it approach,” preparing for Clemson at full strength.

   Without Stitt on the floor …

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Tip-off vs. the No. 12 Tar Heels coming up

    CHAPEL HILL, NC - OK this is my third blog looking ahead to the Carolina game. Enough already?! Hey, this time there’s actually something coming. In about an hour. It’s called tip-off, and if you care to join me I’ll blog some during the game.

   I’m in the innards of the Dean Dome as I type, wondering if the car I borrowed from an old friend of mine to drive over here will be in the same shape as I left it. The old friend of mine is a Duke grad, and I noticed as I was walking past the back end, that she’s got a “Duke Alumni” license plate holder thing. Let’s hope nobody gets any crazy ideas walking past it, or I’ll some explaining to do when I get back to her house tonight!

   I did notice it’s a little different walking into a game here two hours early than at say Virginia. Fans were lined up out the door as I walked past into the media entrance. I’d expect it to be electric in here today as the fans try to rally their team from two losses in three games (Clemson …

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Tech faces tough inside game at Carolina

 

   We interrupt the defensive coordinator discussion to bring you a basketball blog. Hey, it’s how we roll. And I’ll be brief, since I’m about to pack it up from Richmond and drive down to Raleigh-Durham area this lovely Friday afternoon.

   Oops, I suppose I should say Chapel Hill.

   In the meantime, I’ll use this cyberspace to throw out a few things I think Tech needs to do to beat Carolina. Granted, Tech hasn’t won at UNC since 1996, having lost the last 12 in the home of baby blue. And last year the Yellow Jackets got blown out 104-74.

   But this isn’t quite your national championship caliber Tar Heel team. Gone are Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, and Danny Green – they took 430 career starts and some 8,000 points with them. But the ACC writers group still picked UNC and Duke to finish in a tie for first place in the ACC.

   NC news outlets just reported today that UNC backup forward Tyler Zeller is out four to six weeks with a stress …

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Owens hired as A-backs coach

Lamar Owens has been promoted to coach Georgia Tech’s A-backs in the second hire for the school today.

Owens, who was a graduate assistant at Tech the past two seasons, played quarterback  for Johnson at Navy.

“Lamar has a vast knowledge of the offense, having played quarterback for us at Navy and having been on the staff the last two years,” Johnson said in statement on Tech’s website, ramblinwreck.com. “I am confident Lamar will do an outstanding job for us and that he is ready for this role.”

Owens is a native of Savannah.

“I appreciate the confidence coach Johnson has shown in me and this tremendous opportunity,” Owens said in a statement on ramblinwreck.com. “Coach Johnson is building something special here at Tech and I’m fortunate to be a part of it.”

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Groh to become DC at Tech — updated at 1:29 p.m.

Al Groh has agreed to become Georgia Tech’s defensive coordinator.

Groh most recently finished nine years coaching at his alma mater, Virginia, where he went 59-53 and twice was named the ACC’s coach of the year. However, the Cavaliers went 8-16 the past two seasons and the $4.33 million remaining on his contract was bought out.

He will replace Dave Wommack, who was fired last week after two seasons at Tech. A press conference with Tech coach Paul Johnson is scheduled for 3 p.m. Groh  is expected to sign a contract next week.

“I think any time you can get a coach the caliber of an Al Groh, it is a tremendous plus for your program,” Johnson said in a statement on the school’s web site. “Al has a great deal of expertise. He is considered one of the top defensive minds in the country and has a record to support it.”

Groh said in a phone interview with the AJC on Sunday that where ever he coached next, he wanted to win. He told the AP that’s why he accepted the job at …

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Who’s hungrier now, Tech or UNC?

 

   RICHMOND, Va. – I’m staying on the road since Tech plays up here at North Carolina Saturday, so we’ll just move right along to the next thing.

   The No. 12 Tar Heels (12-5) just got pounded by No. 24 Clemson last night. Two games prior to that they lost to College of Charleston and a familiar shaggy-white-haired guy. So is this a good time or terrible time to play Carolina? Should the Tar Heels be a little shaky in their confidence, feeling vulnerable, or feisty now, with their backs against a wall? You tell me?

   I kind of put that to Tech coach Paul Hewitt this morning, that Tech would be facing a wounded cat in North Carolina on Saturday, and he said so would Carolina. Not a bad point. He also said he thought Tech and Carolina’s teams had a lot of similarities, some youth in the backcourt, a good inside presence.

   Carolina turned the ball over 26 times against Clemson, which matched the most by a Tar Heel team in Roy Williams’ seven years back in NC. …

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Special guest blog from Nick Claytor

A few days after three of my best friends and teammates announced that they are heading to the NFL reality has set in.

If you haven’t read or heard about this recruiting class here’s the scoop: We’re close.

So as a bevy of my teammates and I watched Derrick Morgan, Jonathan Dwyer, and Morgan Burnett declare for the draft emotions swirled in the room. These are our brothers; no one outside of the GT family can understand how proud we are of their accomplishments and how excited we are to watch them take their talents to the NFL.

Families and newscasters were present. During the press conference inside jokes and sly smiles were shared between teammates.

“We are all family,” Derrick Morgan said. “I’m not leaving them behind I’m just paving the way forward.”

This sentiment was true as this year’s team barreled its way to an ACC Championship and a BCS berth.

There has always been an emphasis on the ‘07 class and how important it is for us to be successful. We …

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Tech tipping off in first ACC road game at UVa

    CHARLOTTESVILLE – Greetings from ‘Hoo-ville and the home of the Virginia Cavaliers, where Tech plays its first ACC road game of the season tonight at 7.

   The game is not on TV but will have a live video broadcast on TheACC.com. I’ll try to blog some as we go to keep you updated until my newspaper deadlines start coming into play, so come on board.

   And let me just say, the grounds here at UVa are quite lovely this time of year, with snow still on the ground from a recent storm. And from everything I’ve seen of John Paul Jones Arena, it’s first-rate, right down to – yes, the media work room. Hey, we have our priorities.

   (I’m told, by the way, they don’t call it a campus round here, it’s got to be called the grounds, the students are first year, second year, etc, instead of freshmen, sophomores, etc., and well, they refer to a certain founding father of ours as Mr. Jefferson.)

   I’m a little nostalgic that I didn’t get to see University Hall, having …

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How would the 3-4 work? And will the Chiefs affect GT?

I wrote this on Sunday, but then some news started popping up and it got buried in cyberspace. Since it’s my blog (or our blog, Carroll) I’m going to go all Dr. Frankenstein and resurrect it:

For the sake of fun, let’s assume that Al Groh is hired as Tech’s defensive coordinator and  installs a 3-4 scheme. Note: Romeo Crennel’s decision to go to Kansas City as defensive coordinator could further improve the odds of Groh taking the same job in Miami. Crennel was rumored to be up for the Dolphins’ job, as well.

Anyway, onto the subject at hand.

Who would fit where?

Because we’re doing this as a fun exericse, we will assume that all the injured players are healthy and can play by the fall, so Hall, Anderson, Taylor, Jackson, etc. are back.

All formations can be run differently, but in most 3-4s the defensive linemen are responsible for two gaps, compared to the one gaps that the linemen in the 4-3 are responsible for.

The linemen are usually bigger because they are there …

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