Archive for March, 2010

Favors, Lawal on futures at Tech

MILWAUKEE - Derrick Favors said after the game Sunday that he hasn’t decided whether he would leave Georgia Tech after one year for the NBA, that he would take time to sit down with his family and people close to him in the coming days.

But he did say the following, which would interest Georgia Tech fans.

I asked him if there was a chance he’d come back to Tech next year.

“There’s a chance,” Favors said. “A 50-50 chance.”

Projected as the No. 4 overall pick by NBAdraft.net, and almost assuredly a lottery pick , you figure it would be a pretty clear-cut decision for Favors and he’d be gone. That he’s not completely ruling it out at this point is worth noting.

Tech has spring break next week, and Tech coach Paul Hewitt said he expected it might a week to 10 days before he sits down and figures out who’s likely to return and who’s likely to leave.

“We’ve just got to have time to decompress a little bit and maybe the following week sit down and start talking about that,” Hewitt …

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Game on: Can the underdog Jackets top OSU?

MILWAUKEE – Game time is rapidly approaching. Today feels special. Eager to see what happens, as I’m sure all of you are. And I’m even wearing a skirt today. Not sure what’s gotten into me.

But days like these are why March is special. And the Yellow Jackets are playing good enough basketball to make you think maybe, just maybe they can get past No. 2 seeded Ohio State.

The odds makers don’t think so, of course. They have the Buckeyes favored by 6 ½, I’m told. But hey, I’m sure they didn’t have Northern Iowa over Kansas either, and after that game last night, you figure, truly, every team in this field has to understand now that you strap up and play, and either team has a shot to win. This one-and-done thing is no-fooling. And it’s interesting as, well, heck.

While we wait it out, I’ll throw out this little factoid. Ohio State is 26-0 this year in games in which it held the lead with five minutes to play.

The Buckeyes are steady and have a great leader in Evan Turner. If …

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Breaking down the Buckeyes, starts with Shumpert vs. Turner

MILWAUKEE – So this is how they celebrate the first day of spring round here? Snow?!

Well, what the heck, might as well have it. Covering an NCAA basketball tournament is all about hotel, arena, hotel, arena. It could be 80 degrees outside and it wouldn’t matter. So no complaints here. It’s Milwaukee, it’s supposed to snow.

Here inside the warmth of the Bradley Center, it’s been a fun day today going back and forth between Tech’s Iman Shumpert and Ohio State’s Evan Turner talking about their history as eighth grade teammates and what they look for in the match-up Sunday. (And yes, this is really just downright shameless promotion for you to click on a story I just finished on the subject of those two.)

But what my story didn’t say is that Turner knows so much about Georgia Tech, from keeping up with his old friend Shumpert, that he could give Ohio State coach Thad Matta a scouting report right after the Buckeyes’ win over UC Santa Barbara Friday night.

For all the matchups …

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Tech will tip at 2:20 Eastern Sunday

No. 10 seed Georgia Tech (23-12) will tip off Sunday against No. 2 seed Ohio State (28-7) at 2:20 p.m. eastern in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Yellow Jackets are trying to make their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2004 when they made their run to the national championship game.

Ohio State and Tech haven’t met in the NCAA tournament since 1991 when the Buckeyes beat Tech 65-61 in the second round in Dayton, OH.

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GT needs to defend the 3-point line

 

Oklahoma State's junior guard shoots in practice in Milwaukee.

Oklahoma State's junior guard shoots in practice in Milwaukee.

MILWAUKEE – Well it’s here. Or almost here. Tipoff in about three hours. And three is the operative number today, if you listen to what concerns the Yellow Jackets heading into tonight’s NCAA tournament first round game against Oklahoma State.

The Cowboys led the Big 12 with 8.4 3-pointers made per game. They were actually only ninth in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 35.2 percent, but they shot more than another other Big 12 team (762), which is almost 24 per game. Wow, so these guys are going to chuck it up there.

The Cowboys actually shot close to 30 3-pointers in their last three games.

No wonder D’Andre Bell said yesterday in the press conference they would shoot it pretty much under any circumstances: “(They take) contested 3s, transition 3s, whether the hand is in their face or not, it goes in for them.”

Obi Muonelo ranked third in the Big 12 by hitting 43.2 percent of his 3-pointers. …

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Brats, basketball, and pre-game banter for you

MILWAUKEE – So Georgia Tech just finished its shoot-around this evening at the Bradley Center in downtown Milwaukee, but the Yellow Jackets got their real practice in this morning at the Al McGuire Center on Marquette’s campus.

Some beauty in that isn’t there? The only thing that would make it better was if James Forrest was in the gym shooting a couple 3s.

There was a gaggle of Tech fans here for the shoot-around. I think it was mainly members of the Tech pep band, but they gave the Yellow Jackets a nice, rousing greeting and then had a funny exchange with Gani Lawal made a free throw attempt in practice.

Hey, if you’re Lawal, a laugh about that probably isn’t a bad thing. Maybe he’s been a little too uptight. He needs to do something to break it up. (Lawal shot 5-for-18 from the free throw line in the ACC tournament. Yikes.)

Lawal actually had the line of the day in today’s press conference. When reporters from USA Today and the New York Times were asking Tech players …

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Will there be more magic in Milwaukee?

I was told late this afternoon (Wednesday) that about 400 tickets remained among the Georgia Tech allotment for Milwaukee. Ramblinwreck.com/tickets says the following:

“Tickets for the 2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament are currently on sale to men’s basketball season ticket holders and Alexander-Tharpe Fund members. Please contact the ticket office via telephone for purchase at 404-894-5447.”

So hey, got a buddy who has season tickets and isn’t going? Want to join me in Milwaukee? Hurry up. It’s not the most vibrant town in the world – it looks a little gray even when I’m up there for Braves-Brewers games in the summer – but the people are beyond friendly, the brats are great, and Georgia Tech is 4-0 in NCAA tournament games at the Bradley Center.

Who can forget “holy mackerel” and James Forrest’s desperation 3-pointer in 1992 to beat Southern Cal? That was in Milwaukee. As a No. 7 seed Tech beat Houston and Southern Cal to get to the Sweet 16 that year. Then, of …

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A few more thoughts from Hewitt

But wait….there’s more. The news story I wrote today on Paul Hewitt reacting today when I asked about his contract rolling over should be updated soon if it’s not already. In the meantime, I have a few more quotes that I didn’t include in that story that might interest you.

Q. I asked if dealing with ups and downs off the court has taken a toll on him:

A. “Believe it or not I’ve had to try to bite my tongue a few times,” Hewitt said, and he laughed then, knowing full well we all saw the tweets he posted a couple of weeks back. “It may not seem like it. People have said to me ‘You’re a coach, you’re in the public spotlight, so you’ve got to understand that’s part of the business,’ and I do understand it’s part of the business. But to insinuate that I’m doing something deceitful or that I’m mismanaging this basketball program or that the only reason why I’m keeping my job is because of my contract, that was wrong. If you have disagreements with baseline out of bounds plays I …

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We’re live at Georgia-Georgia Tech baseball

First, would like to say it’s glad to see that Chance Veazey is in Georgia’s dugout here at Russ Chandler Stadium. For those who don’t know, he was paralyzed from the waist down in a scooter accident on campus in October.

Tech’s baseball team raised money to help with medical expenses at a football game this season.

Second, it’s a beautiful night at  the ballyard.

We’ve got two teams having much different seasons. The Yellow Jackets are 13-1 this season, while the Bulldogs are 8-8. Georgia’s projected infield has yet to start a game together. Subsequently, the starting pitching hasn’t been as strong.

The Yellow Jackets haven’t had many issues. The starting pitching has been strong and some questions marks coming into the season on offense are tagging the ball.

Now, onto the lineups.

For Georgia

12 CF Zach Cone .381

2 LF Johnathan Taylor .333

16 RF Peter Verdin .299

43 1B Robert Shipman .458

26 C Christian Glisson .400

25 3B Colby May .222

10 DH Zach Taylor .250

5 2B Todd …

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Hewitt fires back at criticism

With his Yellow Jackets safely in the NCAA tournament and his contract rolled over for another six years Tuesday, Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt fired off at what he thought were unfair shots taken at him this season in the media.

He said he resents the suggestion that the reason he’s still coaching at Georgia Tech is because it would have cost too much to buy out his contract.

“I think it’s pretty cheap that anybody would make an issue out of it,” Hewitt said. “I think it’s really underhanded. It’s the lowest form of journalism there is. … I really resent the hell out of somebody trying to insinuate that it’s like I’m stealing money from somebody and that the only reason I have my job is because of this contract.”

Hewitt has a six-year deal with an automatic rollover, which is triggered each year 30 days before April 15. Tech would have had to notify Hewitt by Tuesday if it planned to terminate his contract, or it would have cost an additional $1.375 million on top of the …

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