It’s early but we’re asking, is Tech an NCAA tournament team?

Something compels me after Wednesday night’s loss to Miami to ask the question. It was posed to Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt today and I’ll pose it to you.

Is Georgia Tech an NCAA tournament team?

“If they were giving out bids today, I’d say yeah we’re in,” Hewitt said. “But they’re not giving out bids today.”

He knows things get no easier with three more ACC road games at Wake Forest, at Maryland and at Clemson. (Tech’s home schedule is potentially a little friendlier with games against North Carolina, Boston College and Virginia Tech – but you can’t assume that, either).

But let’s look at things right now. After the loss at Miami, the Yellow Jackets are 17-7, 5-5 in the ACC. They are bunched together with Clemson and Florida State in sixth place in league standings. If the NCAA tournament committee were choosing right now, I think they might have some head scratching to do.

Since the ACC expanded to 12 teams in 2006, the most teams taken in the NCAA tournament was seven in 2007 and 2009. Right now, Tech is hanging on right at the edge in those sixth-through-eighth spots. One of the other spots is held by Florida State, which swept Georgia Tech in two games this season. (The other is Clemson, which Tech beat by 2 but still has to play on the road.)

All that is assuming, too, that the NCAA will take from the high range this year, when currently only two ACC teams are ranked in the Top 25 (Duke at No. 8, and Tech at No. 20), and only three ACC teams are rated in the Top 25 in RPI: Duke at No. 3, Wake Forest at No. 16, and Georgia Tech at No. 25.

(The next highest ACC team in terms of RPI is Clemson at No. 40, based on play through Sunday, according to The Collegiate Basketball News.)

The Yellow Jackets are now 4-1 at home, and 1-4 on the road. If you extrapolate that over the last six games – they figure to do more of the same – Tech would finish the regular season at .500 in the ACC.

Is that good enough?

“You look at our strength of schedule, I think is 14th or 15th in the country,” Hewitt said. “We are right now the second best defensive team in the nation. It’s Kansas, Florida State and Georgia Tech. We’re tied (with FSU) for second in field goal percentage defense at 36.8. There are a lot of positive things going on. I just think unfortunately the way things are looked at these days it’s ‘let’s look at the negative’ and go from there.”

Tech has had impressive wins against Duke and Wake Forest at home. They have some questionable losses on the road – at Georgia and Miami now. The sole road ACC win at North Carolina is looking less substantial these days. You just wonder if Wednesday night becomes a killer.

For anybody who wants to say Tech could still win the ACC tournament and get the automatic bid, I say this: sure, it’s possible to win three games in three days. But winning four games in four days against an opponent that’s likely only played three games in four days is not the same thing. Don’t count on it. And don’t count on Tech finishing in the top four of the ACC to get that first-round bye now, unless there’s a roll coming that I don’t foresee.

Anyway, I’m sure we’ll have plenty of discussion about this going forward. I just thought I’d open the floor today.

ACC forecasters wrong

Just for kicks, and the Duke-Carolina game last night made me think of it, I pulled out the preseason predictions by the ACC writers, who made the mistake of picking North Carolina and Duke in a tie for first place. It wasn’t the only prediction not looking too good right now, and I’m talking about Maryland and Virginia.

Here’s a look at predicted and actual:

Predicted        Current

1. Duke              1. Duke (8-2)

1. UNC               2. Maryland (6-2)

3. Clemson      3. Wake Forest (7-3)

4. Ga Tech      4. Virginia Tech (6-3)

5. Maryland    5. Virginia (5-3)

6. Wake Forest    6. Clemson (5-5)

7. Florida State    6. Florida State (5-5)

8. Virginia Tech    6. Georgia Tech (5-5)

9. Boston College     9. Miami (3-7)

10. Miami                    9. Boston College (3-7)

11. Virginia                 11. UNC (2-7)

12. N.C. State              12. N.C. State (2-8)

McFouland?

I also thought I’d pass along a good read on Chas McFarland, Wake Forest’s Mr. Nasty, that is supposed to appear in ESPN the Magazine. I link to it here for your viewing pleasure. He doesn’t quite have the name recognition as J.J. Redick, but I have a feeling you guys know who he is. And it’s pronounced “Chase” by the way.

http://insider.espn.go.com/ncb/insider/news/story?id=4903927&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fncb%2finsider%2fnews%2fstory%3fid%3d4903927

Oliver watch

And before I go, let me say Hewitt did say today he’s considering giving Brian Oliver the start over Mfon Udofia on Saturday at Wake. He loves Udofia’s defensive contribution and his effort to loose balls, but Udofia has scored one point in Tech’s last three games, while Oliver has 34 in that same time.

73 comments Add your comment

Biff Pocoroba

February 11th, 2010
6:02 pm

Tech won’t win a road game under Hewitt. UNC will finally look like UNC when they play Tech next week. The players are starting to look ahead at the NBA and will quit on the season after next week. We will host a NIT game and 300 people will show up. Tech will lose a lot of money on the game but be forced to pay Hewitt his $5000 bonus for making the NIT and extend his contract another year. Hewitt has decided not to recruit for next year and only has one player signed and not big men. No one else even has us on their radar now so next year will be even worse than last year with no point guard play. Thanks again Dave Braineless.

ND

February 11th, 2010
6:16 pm

Heard a Dook fan and a NCSU fan say on sports radio today (in North Carolina) that they too think Blewitt is killing this team. When other team’s fans start to take notice and actually comment on it then it is time for a change.

1 and done...then none

February 11th, 2010
6:36 pm

GT will be 1 and done in the ACC tournament, then no invitation to the NCAA.

UGA 73 – GT 66

kshizzle

February 11th, 2010
6:40 pm

I just see no real adaption from Hewitt. My take. Mufon has not played well since Iman cam back and started running the point. Hewitt might want Mufon to play the 2 but he looked better playing the one earlier in the year when Iman was out. Therefore he is starting two point guards. Sit Mufon down and start Glen Rice Jr at the 2 or move him to the 3 and Bell to the 2 whatever makes more sense to the guys. Then Mufon is the 1 sub. He doesn’t play him enough now for it to make any sense for him to start. If he struggles then move him down the bench and let Mo Miller be the sub point. This one small change is what I’d like to see Hewitt try. Also D Bell is no longe the throw in guy. Did you all see the NC State game!!! I think even a freshman, Glen Rice could do better at this job. Maybe actually let Favors try simply because of his size alone. We have been the worst inbounding team in the world since Hewitt got here. Why the heck can’t we inbound the dang ball.

Road Scholar

February 11th, 2010
6:40 pm

You’ve got to be kidding! If so, one and done.

It doesn’t take another teams’ fans to tell me what I already know!

Udofia is still out of control!

John

February 11th, 2010
6:53 pm

Somebody please give Taz Anderson a call to pony up the money to buy out Hewitt’s contract the way he brought out Gailey’s.

Gainesviille Dawg

February 11th, 2010
6:56 pm

Tech and it’s “coach” are a total joke.

73 – 66 !!!

LOST to UGA 66-73.

February 11th, 2010
7:27 pm

Turner Field 5-7 Georgia tek Lost again 12 May 2009.

Then

Bounced from Tournament by Southern Mississippi Rusty Old Chandler Stadium

3 College World Series Appearances, 0 National Titles, Georgia tek.

6 College World Series Appearances, 1 National Title, UGA Diamond Dawgs

47-28 UGA Diamond Dawgs in The NCAA Baseball Tournament

195-148-2 UGA Diamond Dawgs over Georgia tek in Baseball All-Time.

We own your butts in this sport too.

1-6 Georgia tek is against UGA Diamond Dawgs at Turner Field

This coming season, as in every other sport, UGA’s Diamond Dawgs feature the

SoS # 8 UGA

SoS # 35 Georgia tek

Georgia tek always plays nothing but cupcakes, and then wonders why it cannot beat UGA

juvenal

February 11th, 2010
7:38 pm

bLabLadaug, need to change name again, have ignored you guys since i escaped high school(sending my kid to private school)..Carroll,glad to here from you, i was worried(even tho’ that’s how you make a living, it’s only a game)-PLEASE, i know what the fans think, can you give some insight(however subtle) what your peers & his peers think?…DRad will fix this, but how?

GT in CT

February 11th, 2010
7:49 pm

Carroll, CPH said that the team is 2nd in FG defense, but it seems to me that other teams are too often able to set screens and get wide open 3’s. Duke killed us that way. I couldn’t see the Miami game, but they built their lead in the first half with 3’s. One of the things that annoys me is that CPH often says on the postgame interview that the team needs to forget about the loss and get ready for the next game. I don’t get that. Don’t you need to examine what went wrong and work on the deficiencies?

Paul in RDU

February 11th, 2010
7:53 pm

Lost to … / BuLLdawg – You posted the same thing on Shultz’ blog under your usual name.
A little early for your ramblings today – don’t you usually post around 2 AM after the meds wear off?

Joe Fan

February 11th, 2010
7:57 pm

GT will slip into the tournament and out in the 1st round. The coaching is just not there to instruct this type of talent. Regretfully it will take one more season before someone firgures out how to change coaches.

Paul in RDU

February 11th, 2010
8:01 pm

Hewitt needs to shake up his starting line-up because going with the same old isn’t working. Go with Lawal, Favors, Shumpert, Oliver and Bell. Rotate Zach with Lawal and Favors, have Udofia in the guard rotation.
We need to remember that with the expansion to 12 teams the ACC regular season schedule is very unbalanced. GT was scheduled for 2 games against the (usually) stronger teams – Duke, UNC, WF, Clemson, FSU. Last night really hurt. 8-8 in the ACC will get them in, but right now it’s iffy. I wouldn’t bet a penny on them making it.

Thrillerdome Forever

February 11th, 2010
8:04 pm

We arent going to win a road game. So the best we can hope for is 8-8. With a team this talented, thats Hewitts fault. Cant blame everything on youth — every college hoops team has that challenge.

BobinBuford

February 11th, 2010
8:07 pm

Ummmm, Lost, I mean BuLLdawg??

This column was about basketball, not baseball. And congratulations on having a stronger SOS before the season even begins!!!!! Seems to me that GT is currently ranked #6 in the preseason polls – where is UGA??

Cupcake?? Let’s see what UGA would do against Miami, FSU and Clemson in baseball.

juvenal

February 11th, 2010
8:08 pm

Paul, honoring your reQuest(fbctweenRoss&o’bleary), his name is “bLabLadaug”, indicative of talk-talk smothering the formerly great usa(the zyprexa cot too much, it was just making him fat{ter} anyway, now his days & nites r reversed, he’s EVEN FORGOTTEN WHO HE IS!)[cost-don't feel like backing up, cost me a psued-1st. already today]…Selah..

Hello BuLLdaug

February 11th, 2010
8:14 pm

I bet you have to ask a tire salesman if you need new tires….

Also, how did that no cupcake thing work out for the daugs last year? I see you guys quickly changed back to a few cupcakes this season–that seems to be the only way the daugs can win ten.

juvenal

February 11th, 2010
8:16 pm

sometimes the host is there…

Paul in RDU

February 11th, 2010
8:26 pm

juvenal – Thanks for the post – made me laugh. Thanks for not filling the gap between Ross and O’L

JG GT66

February 11th, 2010
8:29 pm

The way this team has been coached is a travesty. The talent that’s there should be much farther ahead. The coaching is not fair to them or the fans of Georgia Tech basketball. Hewitt needs to go. No more season tickets for me until someone realizes we need a change.

NoCoach Blewitt

February 11th, 2010
8:35 pm

Get Lost Paul!!!!!

juvenal

February 11th, 2010
8:38 pm

sadly, the top 3 peeps in the usa r as delusional as cph or cmr…

juvenal

February 11th, 2010
8:40 pm

uuugha is a cupcake…

DRC

February 11th, 2010
8:40 pm

Doesn’t matter how good the defense is when you can’t shoot from outside, can’t make foul shots, can’t make inbound passes, commit turnovers, blah,blah,blah,blah. Saw hewitt on wsb this evening talking about last nights game. Don’t recall what he said but was laughing about it. I guess the only practicing he does is that laugh. Getting ready to use it all the way to the bank when we can his a$$.

NoCoach Blewitt

February 11th, 2010
8:52 pm

Forget this year and lets start looking forward to 2011 where this team, sans Lawal – Zack P. – Bell and Favors, will go 0-16 and FINALLY Blewitt will go back to a po dunk conference where he belongs!!!!!

Carroll Rogers

February 11th, 2010
8:53 pm

kshizzle and Paul in RDU, I did ask Paul today about whether he would starting Oliver at the 2 spot like he did in the second half vs. Miami. The answer was yes, he’s considering doing that, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it Saturday night at Wake.

GT in CT, it is amazing they’ve been able to hold that percentage so low, when it does look like teams lately have been burning them from 3-point range. Between Kyle Singler and Scott Wood alone, and then you have the Miami guys.

Paul Hewitt

February 11th, 2010
8:54 pm

Last night was again the most embarrassed I have ever been as a coach!!!!!!! However, instead of COACHING the team up like a normal person with my job title would do, I think I will go shopping for a new designer suit to wear at the next game.

And what are these Free Throws everyone is talking about??

Carroll Rogers

February 11th, 2010
8:55 pm

By the way, didn’t realize my colleague Jeff Schultz had written on a similar subject on his blog today. Hey, I guess both of us had the same reaction to last night’s loss.

Paul Hewitt

February 11th, 2010
8:59 pm

Carroll —— Just be forewarned that the next game we win Schultz will right an article about how wonderful Hewitt and this team is and that they are destined for the Final Four. Still do not think he will make his mind up about this team until they lose in the first round of the NIT.

Paul Hewitt

February 11th, 2010
9:01 pm

* write (d’oh)

GTech

February 11th, 2010
9:40 pm

I’ve noticed that 99% of responses to this blog and Jeff Shultz’s blog on the same topic are not in favor of Hewitt. Personally, I think Hewitt is the root of all this mediocrity. Players have come and gone during his tenure. The one constant through those years is Hewitt. His best record in the ACC is 9-7, his overall record in ACC play is 65-89.

With that said, I’d like to hear from the Hewitt supporters. Yes, we should support the overall Tech program and players as fans and alumni. Aside from the run to the championship game in 2004, why should Tech fans stand behind Hewitt? I love numbers (I am a Techie) because they rarely lie. I’ve thrown out numbers like 65-89 and 9-7.
What do the Hewitt supporters have to say? Really, I want to know.

What say you?

P.S. – Please don’t throw out the excuse “Oh, this team is so young”. That’s BS – look at Kentucky.

Glitchy

February 11th, 2010
9:58 pm

Only Hewitt could go .500 in the Conference with this Team. Wait, I may be getting optimistic.

yellarjacket

February 11th, 2010
10:08 pm

If the season ended today, I’d say we’re in based on our RPI (29) and strength of schedule (20). We have quality wins over Duke, Clemson, Siena, and Wake at home. We also have a quality win over Charlotte (road). We have 5 wins over RPI top 50 teams and we’re 7-6 over top the RPI top 100. We do have bad losses to Miami and UGA and we’re 6-4 over our last ten games. This is what the selection committee uses as their main criteria for evaluating teams. We better hold serve at home b/c like many other posters said, we’re not going to win on the road. That leaves us at 8-8 in conference and 20-10 overall going into the ACC tourney. Win just one in the ACC tourney to move to 21-11 come selection sunday and no doubt we’ll be in as a 7 seed.

Rico

February 11th, 2010
10:08 pm

Team talent is, coach is not.

Jacket Backer

February 11th, 2010
10:18 pm

will probably get in but will be gone after first round…..this is the best it will get until hewitt is gone…

Techfan 78

February 11th, 2010
10:35 pm

Come on everyone, give the poor guy a break! He is making remarkable young men out of these kids. So what if he can only coach a top 5 recruiting class into .500 in the ACC if he’s lucky!! Who am I kidding, Thats BS!!! We need to fire this freakin loser before he TOTALLY RUINS THIS PROGRAM!!! I must admit, when we played for the title in 2004 I was on the bandwagon. Even in 2005 when we got embarrassed by UNLV in the second round of the tourney, but it started to dawn on me about midseason 2006. Hewitt’s teams have no offensive structure, no set plays, no movement, no passing. It looks like a bunch of blind mice looking for cheese when we have the ball on O. He talks about how good we are on defensive field goal percentage but that is just because we force a lot of bad shots down close with our big men. Teams kill us from long distance, plus we cant win a freakin road game. Not even against Miami! Miami for crying out loud! What the heck is Tech waiting on? Get a fresh face on the sidelines, Hewitt is a master of excuses. In 2006 his excuse was Jarret Jack left early for the NBA and he didnt have a point gaurd, he should have recruited one and had a backup plan. In 2007 we made the tournament with Crittendon and Young, two more freshman phenoms,that were well, underwhelming and we were eliminated in the first round against I think Louisville. Oh and guess what those phenoms left and put us in a bad situation going into the 2008 season. Well then he blames his struggles in 08 on them leaving him without a seasoned point gaurd and what happens, another sub .500 season. In 09 he blames Lewis Clinch because he broke an honor code and was accademically ineligible or some crap. Now in the 2010 season he has a top 5 recruiting class, the #1 recruit in America and possibly the most athletically talented team at Tech since lethal weapon 3 and he is still managing to suck it up. Give Roy Williams, Coach K, Bill Self, Rick Barnes, Rick Pitino, or the guy at Kentucky ( brain fart cant remember his name ) or even Mark Fox at UGA and this team already has 21 or more wins this season. We must get rid of Hewitt, I hope we dont make the tournament so that maybe D Rad with CAN his SORRY you know what. Go Jackets!! Just wait until we fire Hewitt!!

collegeballfan

February 11th, 2010
10:48 pm

Tech plays pretty good defense. The problem is offense. They do not have an offensive set they can run.

Making the NCAA will be a miracle.

Buzzsaw

February 12th, 2010
12:05 am

I think you asked the wrong question. It should be:

Is Paul Hewitt an NCAA tournament caliber coach?

This team is definitely talented enough to be there and if Hewitt could coach, we would not even be asking this question. It is now apparent that Crittendon and Young really carried our NCAA runner up team.

Oh well… GT baseball is pre-season 6th. Maybe it’s time to shift gears.

BS Patrol

February 12th, 2010
12:31 am

I’ve sent my 2 cents to DRad. Everyone else should do the same. I actually got a reply.

All Hewitt supporters should raise their hands ( not doggies). I don’t expect many.

BT-FB,FL

February 12th, 2010
3:51 am

This team has no leader or leadership. Yes they have been in most of there games, this only shows me they have the talent to play with any team. Weather it is coaching are player leadership it is hard to say but time will tell. I hate to see the talent level go to waste. With better leadership I think these guys would stay together to make a run at the NCAA’s. A lot of us hoped that the big guys would enjoy playing College ball and want to come back like Florida and NC players did the pass few years. I hope Rad makes the right moves for the Jackets. A lot of schools have one good year but the great teams keep it going year after year. IE: Coach K and NC not to mention the teams UCLA that had the best coach of all time.

LOST to UGA 66-73.

February 12th, 2010
4:14 am

You LOST in men’s basketball (and women’s basketball and football).

Let’s talk baseball…

Turner Field 5-7 Georgia tek Lost again 12 May 2009.

Then

Bounced from Tournament by Southern Mississippi Rusty Old Chandler Stadium

3 College World Series Appearances, 0 National Titles, Georgia tek.

6 College World Series Appearances, 1 National Title, UGA Diamond Dawgs

47-28 UGA Diamond Dawgs in The NCAA Baseball Tournament

195-148-2 UGA Diamond Dawgs over Georgia tek in Baseball All-Time.

We own your butts in this sport too.

1-6 Georgia tek is against UGA Diamond Dawgs at Turner Field

This coming season, as in every other sport, UGA’s Diamond Dawgs feature the

SoS # 8 UGA

SoS # 35 Georgia tek

Georgia tek always plays nothing but cupcakes, and then wonders why it cannot beat UGA

Biff Pocoroba

February 12th, 2010
5:19 am

Buzzsaw, don’gt get too excited about being in the top ten in baseball. We are ranked that high just about every year, but then Danny Hall acts like Bobby Cox in the postseason and pitches guys on two days rest and then we go home early.

Ozzy

February 12th, 2010
6:56 am

buLLdawg/Lost

When you die be sure the obit is in the Atlanta paper. I want to be the first to piss on your grave. I just hope I can beat your wife and kids for the honor.

Run along back to the poodle blog now.

bob

February 12th, 2010
7:18 am

well, at least there’s next fall’s football to look forward to

War Jacket

February 12th, 2010
8:02 am

Tech is not a NCAA tournament team. If it is, this is a indication of just how bad college BB has become. I have never seen less production from such a talented bunch of players. Too many turnovers, too many missed free throws, too many dumb decisions with the BB. Hell we can’t execute a simple pass into the post or inbound the ball against a press. Poor coaching has a lot to do with it, but face it, the vast majority of players couldn’t care less about the fundamentals of the game. They play street ball and want to get on ESPN and have Dick Vitale scream about their dunks and three jacks. Can’t watch it anymore.

MiamiJacket

February 12th, 2010
9:13 am

From what I’ve read, Hewitt has a $8 million buyout which we can’t afford to pay and his contract rolls over every year meaning it never expires. Since firing him is not an option due to financial limitations, can we demote him to assistant coach or make him the women’s coach or something? At least that would allow us to bring in a new head coach who knows what he is doing.

One other question on buyouts. My understanding is that we are still paying Gailey through 2011. Were we smart enough like Virginia was with Groh, to detract any value of a new coaching contract from the buyout total? I seriously doubt Braine was smart enough to do that, but just thought I’d ask. Is it even possible for the Bills to go 7-5 this year? Since I live in Miami, it looks like the Dolphins just got 2 Ws for next season.

Vermont Yellow Jacket

February 12th, 2010
9:18 am

Shultz covered this yesterday. I think the consensus is that IF Tech makes it, we’ll see an early exit from the tourney. Unfortunately, we’ll never see PH’s exit.

George P. Burdell

February 12th, 2010
9:43 am

I feel so much better now that I know Hewitt is impressed with our defensive statistics. Silly me thought that what really mattered was wins and losses so its good to know we rank right up there in defense. That must mean our offense is really horrible.

I’ve been thinking back over the entire Hewitt career and when we got him from Sienna. He has never gotten the effort and free wheeling style to carry over with the upgraded talent that his Sienna teams were known for. I think that probably masked how poor a coach he is on the half-court offense and we are seeing that now. At Sienna, I would guess a significant portion of the offense came off of turnovers. We don’t give a strong enough effort to force the turnovers like that and the half-court offense runs around clueless for 15-20 seconds of every possesion.

We certainly don’t have Hewitt forever and if this team ends up not dancing ( which I would put at about a 50% probability at this point) I don’t think he is around next year. If he is, and we lose a couple of guys to the NBA, with no recruits of note to fill the vacancies, next year could be a train wreck. I would be surprised if behind the scenes DRad hasn’t already started inquiring about potential donors to make that a possibility.

Oh and Bulldawg, you can write under any name you want but we all recognize your writing style. Just look for a list ( usually unbelievably long) posted in the wee hours of short sentences with little coherent thought. Then, skip over it so as to not have any of the stupid rub off on you.

gtfanfrom1951

February 12th, 2010
10:04 am

the basketball program needs at change. If Duke can win why can’t Tech. Its has to the coaching. Sorry to say but it time for PH to go.

RAMBLE ON!!!

February 12th, 2010
10:52 am

Carroll, could/would you pose the question to Phewitt.

If this team doesn’t make the NCAA’s, will you resign?