Tech’s Oliver out with broken thumb

Georgia Tech’s Brian Oliver will miss as many as three weeks after suffering a broken left thumb in Saturday’s loss to Clemson. The Yellow Jackets (10-12, 3-6 in the ACC) will host Florida State on Thursday at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

Oliver, a sophomore, had a small fracture in the base of the thumb on his non-shooting hand. He is scheduled to have surgery on Wednesday.

This is potentially a season-sinking blow to a team that has hit a rough patch in losing their past three games. Oliver, who has started 12 games, is averaging 10.9 points and 4.5 rebounds this season. He was expected to provide a third scoring option for this season’s guard-focused team. After hitting 38 percent of his 3-pointers last season Oliver has struggled this year, hitting 29.5 percent of his 3-pointers and 36.8 percent of his shots overall. Partially as a result, Tech is hitting just 28.9 percent of its 3-pointers as a team.

His absence will likely mean more minutes for Jason Morris, Nick Foreman and Lance Storrs as Tech tries to regain the momentum gained after impressive wins over North Carolina, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech earlier in the conference season.

As Oliver leaves Nate Hicks is expected to return. The reserve center has been sidelined for the past few games after having his appendix removed. A freshman, Hicks is averaging 1.6 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.

– Doug Roberson, AJC

40 comments Add your comment

Reality Check

February 8th, 2011
1:37 pm

Stick a fork in em, this team is done and CPH is done on the flats.


February 8th, 2011
1:47 pm

At this point, I think picking up Hicks and losing Oliver is a net gain. We have guys who can take Oliver’s spot (Storrs, Morris), but only having one big man has hurt us.

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February 8th, 2011
1:51 pm

Feel bad for Brian but now Hewitt has another excuse for losing.

home team

February 8th, 2011
2:21 pm

this goose is cooked. Hewitt better reserve the next Delta flight out of ATL after the ACC tourney. Good luck to you, sir. You are a good man, but not a good coach. And shame on GT for signing this horrible contract. Dan Rad- time for you to cut your losses or your gym will remain empty for years to come.

GT Alum

February 8th, 2011
2:21 pm

This team was likely not going to make the NIT anyway. At this point, the only chance they had of making the NCAA’s was to win the ACC tournament, which was highly unlikely. It’s a shame to lose Brian and for him not to have the rest of the season to try to fix his shot and continue his development. However, I think that’s really what the rest of this season will be is building to try to be better next year. Of course, if Shumpert leaves, that will give us another big hole to fill next season.

GT Alum

February 8th, 2011
2:27 pm

home team -

I don’t know enough about him to say he’s not a good man, but I haven’t seen much to justify saying he’s a good man either. He’s been a walking disaster when it comes to dealing with fans and the media, telling both they don’t know what they’re talking about, making excuses and trying to tell us that we should be happy with the results he’s gotten.

Big Ol Stinger

February 8th, 2011
2:41 pm

“This is potentially a season-sinking blow to a team that has hit a rough patch in losing their past three games”.

Uhhh…..I think the season sinking blows were at Kennesaw and Sienna and at home against UGA.

Bring on baseball and spring football.


February 8th, 2011
2:45 pm

I would agree that Hewitt is probably gone. He has lost the faith and support of the fans. And worse, the team has lost the support of the fans.


February 8th, 2011
3:06 pm

“Brian to be a coach on the bench”. That will be one more than we have now.

GT Fan

February 8th, 2011
3:29 pm

It’s over for Hewitt. I was hoping he would pull this out. Now the financial hurt comes. I hope you people that call yourself big GT fans will give some extra money to the Alexdander-Tharpe Fund this year. We are going to need it.

GT Alum

February 8th, 2011
3:50 pm

GT Fan,

A lot of people say they have stopped contributing or at least buying basketball tickets because of Hewitt. If he gets fired, those people need to show their appreciation by renewing season tickets and donating again.

GT Dude

February 8th, 2011
3:59 pm

On the bright side, at least we aren’t Miami with only 700 fans at home games :-)


February 8th, 2011
4:02 pm

@GT Alum: I agree with you. Seems like I’ve read thousands of posts (a little hyperbole there) from people who say they’ve stopped buying/contributing, and if they do re-up the financial hit shouldn’t be as harsh. If Hewitt goes I hope you bring in someone who can re-light the fires.


February 8th, 2011
4:14 pm

come on man give coach hewitt a chance this is just a bump in the road he will get the team to rolling again i wouldn’t be suprised to see him get them to the tourney this year by winning the acc.Hewitt is a great coach remember the ncaa title game ?


February 8th, 2011
4:17 pm

I am a BadSport. I have had season tickets for many years and are costly with my contributions. But, I have not attended one game this year. That is sad for the players because they all seem to be really playing and trying hard. I could not make my 8th grade basketball team but I have loved Tech basketball since Yunkus was my fraternity brother. I could not stand watching the coaching the last three years, but I will continue to support Tech Atheletics.


February 8th, 2011
5:09 pm

All of Hewitt’s teams have had the same problems:
- No half court offense
- Poor free throw shooting
- Poor spacing on the offensive side of the court
- Players that don’t improve
- Recruited players with poor fundamentals

It’s time for him to go. I still have my 4 season tickets to GT BB and cheer for the players,
but not the Coach.


February 8th, 2011
6:47 pm

after the loss @ Miami, I asked if they’d win another road game. Guess I could restate the question: will GT win ANY more games this year?

NC Jacket

February 8th, 2011
8:32 pm

I hate it for the player. But your comment of “potentially a season-sinking blow” is a miss. Even with Oliver, did anyone believe that Hewitt could coach them to a .500 record? They have 7 games left and 4 are on the road. The season was lost over these last 3 losses. I watch every game for any signs of improvement. Hewitt has always been a good defensive coach and thta has improved…but the offense has only gotten worse. Hewitts answer is we will shoot more in practice on Monday. Does that mean they have been shooting well in practice and this was a surprise to him. I doubt it.


February 8th, 2011
10:28 pm

Again, I have it on solid info from someone within the GT community that Hewitt will be relieved of his duties prior to March 15th. This is not without merit you can be certain. Drad I am certain has a short list to replace him already. My guess is it will be someone young and cheap with a strong recruiting side. Mark Price comes to mind.

Fire Bewitt

February 8th, 2011
11:07 pm

Yeller get real..Hewitt is just stinking up the BB program. He has lost respect of fans and some players but they will keep their mouth shut till right time.
Agree will GT alum @ 3:50..they will return.
There are some good Coaches out there and I’m sure Drads has a list already. Now make it happen…Fire Hewitt.


February 9th, 2011
8:12 am

WOW! only 21 comments in ten hours and nothing since 11 PM last night? Apathy is truly worse than hate.


February 9th, 2011
9:04 am

I am one that thought Hewitt would leave after last season. I thought the AD had the integrity to release the agony to Hewitt, the team and to the fans. The fan base has been wounded, how much I do not know. It could be several years before the stands are full again, however, a new vibrant coach might just do the trick.

GT Fan

February 9th, 2011
9:14 am

The Thrill is gone……………………….


February 9th, 2011
10:04 am

This certainly can’t help his shoting woes, even if he does come back quickly.


February 9th, 2011
10:14 am

Lance “I’m gonna come in and shoot a 3 pointer as soon as I touch the ball” Storrs, someone please save us… I don’t think you fire Hewitt this year because we won’t have a gym next year. Next year we can get rid of him after he has a lousy season again and we lose Shumpert. We’ll have a new gym (which looks pretty awesome btw), a new coach, and hopefully some star recruiting. The only way I see Hewitt being fired this season is if a major coach like Bruce Pearl becomes available.

Paul in RDU

February 9th, 2011
10:29 am

GT will win a few more games this season (WF is unbelievably bad and NCSU has Sidney) but it’s over for Hewitt.


February 9th, 2011
10:51 am

Here’s why it is the perfect year to change coaches…
1. No home gym next season so if the new coach struggles, he’ll be given a pass
2. New ACC TV contract. Each school expects7-8 million more from the deal
3. Shumpert leaves for the NBA, so team will need to re-build again.
4. No post-season this year and the fan support at the games is getting worse,

lucille young

February 9th, 2011
11:00 am

CPH should have been shown the door at least 3 years ago. I’m sitting on 4 great seats to every home game in February, and I promise you I cannot even give them away. With all the damage CPH has done to the fan base, it will be along time, if ever, before I spend another dollar on them or GA Tech.


February 9th, 2011
11:08 am

This is not a good shooting team. Maybe with Oliver out, Hewitt decides it is time to stop shooting 3s and start looking for easier shots closer to the basket.

Robert Barron

February 9th, 2011
11:57 am

O’Leary was finally very successful at Tech because he hired Ralph Freigen who ran our offense better than it ever had been run. Lots of football and basketball programs falter when top assistants leave and the replacements are not so great.
My point is the head coach’s difficiency was noticed and corrective action taken in O’Leary case.
I’m thinking both Cremins and Hewitt lost important assistants.
Wouldn’t it have been cheaper to force good hires on them both?
To spend more money there so the head coach gets better applicants for the jobs?
If memory serves, the Freigen hire was forced on O’Leary.
O’Leary probably does not beat Uga without him and gets fired after 5 or 6 years like Gailey.
O Coordinator Gailey and Auburn guy behind the curve during the Gailey years.
Hewitt was supposed to get someone new.
I don’t know if basketball has an O coordinator.
Hewitt does know defense.
A basketball Freigen could have made all the difference.
But then he’d probably want to be the head coach.


February 9th, 2011
12:12 pm

Coach Hewitt needs to shake up his staff this off-season.

GT Alum

February 9th, 2011
12:31 pm

Hope the surgery goes well and you have a speedy recovery, Brian.


February 9th, 2011
1:02 pm

Any surgery proposed for Phewitt’s brain?

Robert Barron

February 9th, 2011
2:02 pm

I am curious how the AD is chosen.
And I am not just unhappy with Dave Braine.
Hiring the ex-player who is too inexperienced to know who to hire as assistants is the easy way out for an AD.
Goff, Curry and Shula were three who left their universities worse off after they left and got more years to prove their worth than the deserved.
Braine was lucky at V Tech and probably got credit for the successful football program that he did not deserve.
Homer Rice improved our facilities?
That took rocket science.


February 9th, 2011
3:30 pm

Oliver out means more PT for Morris and Storrs. Might help Tech if Morris can improve next few weeks. Can’t see how Hewitt cam save his job. A 4-12 finish or something close to that well put so much pressure on Rad to remove him despite all the other considerations.Time for a fresh start. CPH should have taken the St John’s offer. But I bet you they are thrilled he didn’t.


February 9th, 2011
3:32 pm

Robert Barron brings up excellent points. You have a few that can go home like at Va. Tech but no one is going to confuse old Frank with a couple of pretty boys like Curry or Shula either ,which I think is part of his coaching magic. I think it has something in common with second generation wealth, you think you are entitled to something. Curry who left Tech for Alabama stating that he wanted to go somewhere that had a chance to win the national championship, then a few years later,claimed Ross won a national championship with Curry recruited players at Tech, then years later after washing out at two other schools,had the nerve to apply for the athletics directorship at Tech. He campaigned against Dave Braine’s unpopular belief that Tech should be content to just field a competitive team and would never be a winner in the eyes of the national press. Curry said while soliciting for the AD job, he would never settle for mediocre at Tech yet decades earlier had done exactly that. If he has not been a Tech alumni he would have never even been considered for either jobs in the first place, as it was he came dangerously close to being the AD with a resume that was all theater and makeup.


February 9th, 2011
8:41 pm

I think Hewitt has done an excellent recruiting job. Shumpert, Lawal, Favors, Peacock, Rice, Oliver….these are all fantastic players. He can’t DEVELOP them. He recruits great talent, and then the talent flat-lines. He does not make adjustments. CPH is as stubborn as brick…which is fine, unless you’re record is consistently below .500. Great coaches develop strategies that work and change them when they don’t. CPH just makes excuses.
It’s time to bring in a winner. The alumni, students and players all deserve better.
What a stupid contract….


February 10th, 2011
12:09 am

Wow so much hatred for Hewitt, that’s great to read! He needs to go NOW!!!!! I can’t get anyone to attend games with me. They like me are tired of the GT coach getting out coached on a continuous basis. He is one stupid coach; however, he continues to go to the bank with our money whether we like it or not, he’s crying at home from comments made about him needing to leave but he’s laughing all the way to the bank. Find another school Hewitt where you can make the fan base mad with you and be able to fire you with a snap of a finger.


February 10th, 2011
10:03 pm

February 10th, 2011
9:58 pm

Yurtle…..the good word I have is that Hewitt will be fired after the ACC tourney is over. Most likely it will be Monday the 14th but in any case it won’t be later than Tuesday when it rolls over. There is no question my sources are accurate and trustworthy. I was told that when GT decided to go forward with the basketball construction and renovation that sealed Hewitt’s fate. GT needs someone new to lead the team when the new arena is here and the new coach will have a season under his belt by then. Regardless of the cost Hewitt has to leave and the Jackets play is making Rads decision an easy one. New coach, new arena, new enthusiasm. Fans deserve that and so does GT.