Archive for February, 2010

Though not at combine, Tech’s Howard is still working on pro dream

Cord Howard admits participating at the NFL Combine has always been another step in the dream of becoming a professional football player.

However, despite being an all-conference performer at guard for Georgia Tech’s ACC championship team, Howard wasn’t invited to Indianapolis to participate in front of scouts and general managers for the 32 teams in the league.

No, Howard didn't play football with a watch on.

No, Howard didn't play football with a watch on.

“I understand that everybody doesn’t go,” Howard said. “At the end of the day I can only control what I can control.”

Howard, a native of Phenix City, Ala., said he was told he wasn’t invited because the combine ran out of spots for guards and tackles at the workouts.

But he hasn’t given up on the dream. He’s a part-time student this year while he works out at the Competitive Edge in Gwinnett to stay in shape.

He participated in the East-West All-Star game in January. He said he interviewed with several teams at the game, who told him he was a solid run-blocker who …

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Hewitt talks about tweets, the AJC and his team

Georgia Tech men’s basketball coach Paul Hewitt approved a series of tweets from GTCoachHewitt on Wednesday to fans and  those who have questioned his team:

  • Clearly we are playing our best basketball of the season. Don’t believe what you read from the “experts.” Believe what you see.
  • As we are coming to the latter part of the season, now is not the time to be judgemental. You all need to come out and support this team.
  • Are you a critic or a supporter of this team? Supporters will continue to watch this team fight.
  • To you critics: when athletes say some of the things you say, then you condemn them as quitters. Are you quitting?
  • I believe in this team!

With what many analysts and opposing coaches say is the best frontcourt talent in the ACC, the Yellow Jackets are 18-9, 6-7 this season, which puts them seventh in the ACC this season. Depending upon which NCAA tournament blog you read, they will either safely make the field of 65 for the first time since 2007, or they …

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Hewitt tweets about fans, critics — updated at 12:29 p.m.

Georgia Tech men’s basketball coach Paul Hewitt approved a series of tweets from GTCoachHewitt on Wednesday to fans and  those who have questioned his team:

  • Clearly we are playing our best basketball of the season. Don’t believe what you read from the “experts.” Believe what you see.
  • As we are coming to the latter part of the season, now is not the time to be judgemental. You all need to come out and support this team.
  • Are you a critic or a supporter of this team? Supporters will continue to watch this team fight.
  • To you critics: when athletes say some of the things you say, then you condemn them as quitters. Are you quitting?
  • I believe in this team!

The tweets have divided fans on twitter and various message boards, with some saying they have no problem with him asking for support, and others saying it’s odd that a coach that they say is underperforming would take arguments with “critics” and fans public.

Examples:

  • “I like you, Paul, but teams are judged on wins & losses. …

Continue reading Hewitt tweets about fans, critics — updated at 12:29 p.m. »

Shaw has not filed transfer paperwork

Georgia Tech backup quarterback Jaybo Shaw has not filed any paperwork seeking to transfer as of Wednesday, according to a school spokesperson. Tech coach Paul Johnson, who is out of town until next week, has also not signed a release for Shaw.

Should Shaw transfer, the Yellow Jackets will be without their first- and second-string quarterbacks for spring practice, which starts March 29.

Calls to Shaw’s father, Lee, have not been returned.

Shaw, a sophomore from Flowery Branch, missed the first five games last season with a broken collarbone sustained during practice in August. He appeared in six games, rushing for 51 yards.

As a freshman in 2008, Shaw rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 321 yards and two touchdowns.

He was rated the No. 10 dual-threat quarterback in the country at Flowery Branch High School, and was one of Tech coach Paul Johnson’s first commitments when he was hired in December 2007.

Starting quarterback Josh Nesbitt will miss spring …

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Lawal named Naismith midseason finalist

Gani Lawal was named a mid-season finalist for the Naismith Trophy on Wednesday by Atlanta Tipoff Club. The award is given to the men’s college basketball player of the year.

Lawal, a6-9, 234-pound forward from Norcross, is averaging 13.9 points and 9.3 rebounds a game this season.

There are 30 players on the list, including six from the ACC. The Big East leads with seven players.

Aldrich
Cole
Kansas
Center
Junior

Aminu
Al-Farouq
Wake Forest
Forward
Sophomore

Anderson
James
Oklahoma State
Guard
Junior

Babbitt
Luke
Nevada
Forward
Sophomore

Booker
Trevor
Clemson
Forward
Senior

Bouldin
Matt
Gonzaga
Guard
Senior

Butler
Da’Sean
West Virginia
Forward
Senior

Collins
Sherron
Kansas
Guard
Senior

Cousins
DeMarcus
Kentucky
Forward
Freshman

Downey
Devan
South Carolina
Guard
Senior

Dyson
Jerome
Connecticut
Guard
Senior

Fredette
Jimmer
BYU
Guard
Junior

Harangody
Luke
Notre …

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Tech averaged 4,095 more fans than last season

Tech fans greet the team as it arrives for a game in 2010

Tech fans greet the team as it arrives for a game in 2009

We had a short in Tuesday’s paper that Georgia Tech averaged 51,584 fans last season, which was 40th in the NCAA among Division I-A schools. The entire report can be read here: http://bit.ly/avjbrd

The Yellow Jackets, though, were 12th in Division I-A in increased attendance year-over-year, averaging 4,095 more fans in 2009 than in 2008. Tech averaged a bit more than 26,000 in season ticket sales last year. Tech also took steps during the summer to improve its ticket revenue by contracting with the Aspire Group to outsource some sales. Previously, Tech handled all season-ticket sales in-house. Packages for the 2010 season are now on sale.

In athletics director Dan Radakovich’s state of the athletics association address, he spent some time discussing how Tech hopes to increase attendance in the 2010 season, including steps to get more faculty at games. The video can be watched here: http://bit.ly/cHEFFi

Overall, the ACC …

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Favors named ACC rookie of the week

Georgia Tech’s Derrick Favors was named the ACC’s rookie of the week in men’s basketball for the fourth time this season.

Favors, an Atlanta native, averaged 17 points and 13.5 rebounds for the Yellow Jackets in a win against North Carolina and loss at Maryland. In the loss to the Terrapins, Favors scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds.

It’s the third time in five weeks that Favors has earned the ACC honor.

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Updates on Dwyer, Morgan and Thomas

Some quick hits for you:

Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas had surgery on Sunday, according to his facebook page. He posted on Sunday night/Monday morning that it went well. Thomas broke his foot last Tuesday during  a training drill. He will miss this week’s NFL Combine, as well as Tech’s pro day in mid-March. He’s been steadily rising up the boards of most NFL draft analysts.

If I were a NFL GM or in some sort of talent-evaluating role, I’m not sure I could pass on Thomas if I needed a wide receiver. He’s big (6-3). He’s fast (4.38 in the 40-yard). He can block. He’s strong. And, with two exceptions last year, he can catch. Braylon Edwards drops more passes that in one series. The thing I like about Thomas is he’s physical, but not clumsy.

—-

Jonathan Dwyer said he has lost about 17 pounds since he arrived at Michael Johnson training facility in the Dallas area in mid-January. He’s betwee 220-225 now, which is where he said he wants to be. He said he feels like he’s a …

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Digesting the Maryland loss

OK, let’s see how quickly I can bang out a blog with about 15 minutes to go before I board my flight back to Atlanta. I thought it might be good to clear the air after yesterday’s game and allow you guys to take a deep breath today.

You may or may not want to hear this, but I thought that was a heck of a game yesterday and one that showed many more positive signs for Tech than negative.

The way Tech played earlier in the year, that team goes to Maryland and gets blown out by 20. The fact that the Yellow Jackets just came a last-second shot from beating the team that’s No. 2 in the ACC is legit. Want to complain about the loss at Miami? I’m all ears. Should have figured a way to win one of those game against Florida State? By all means.

But that game yesterday was a sign that Georgia Tech is playing well as a team and making a push to play some of its best basketball heading into March. Derrick Favors was an absolute monster yesterday – season-high 21 points, season-high 18 …

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Tech tries to buck the road trend at Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – It’s “fear the turtle” time for the Yellow Jackets, who are back in a precarious position – on the road. It’s been extremely unkind to Georgia Tech, which is as you know 5-1 at home but 1-5 on the road.

Down to four games in the ACC, Tech (18-8, 6-6) needs to forget about recent road woes and just play well. That’s hard to do against a Maryland team which has great, experienced guard play, and despite a recent blip at Duke, has proven itself one of the strong teams in the ACC.

The Terrapins (18-7, 8-3) are tied for second in the ACC with Virginia Tech, a team the Yellow Jackets have awaiting on March 6, their final regular season game.

Tech is ranked seventh in the ACC, two games behind Wake Forest which in the fourth spot. That is something coach Paul Hewitt made it sound like Tech is eyeing leading into the today’s game. He basically said the Yellow Jackets have to win this game if they want to get that first-round bye in the ACC tournament.

Starting …

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