Archive for March, 2011

David Sims likes the move to B-back

David Sims is a football player looking for a position.

He has spent the past two seasons playing quarterback at Georgia Tech. However, with Tevin Washington returning and Synjyn Days battling for the No. 1 spot, coach Paul Johnson decided that Sims should try B-back during the spring because he liked Sims’ athleticism and wants to get him on the field. Sims said he was already thinking about asking to move, so he didn’t mind the change. A quarterback at Calhoun County High School in St. Matthews, S.C., he was recruited as a running back by some schools because he rushed for a school-record 2,800 yards in his career.

He said he’s enjoying the change after two days of practicing in the rain in helmets and shorts.

“It’s still a little bit of a learning experience, getting in the stance and getting out,” he said.

Sims said he thinks he can bring a combination of Anthony Allen’s toughness and Jonathan Dwyer’s breakaway speed. They are the former B-backs who rushed more than 1,300 …

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Basketball season tickets on sale

Georgia Tech is offering to new customers a 10-game season-ticket package for men’s basketball games for a starting price of $300. The sale was timed to start during Monday’s press conference to introduce coach Brian Gregory.

The 10 games will all be at Philips Arena and will include the team’s eight ACC games, as well as against Alabama and the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Dates haven’t been announced. Tech will be playing some of its home games at Philips while construction of the $45 million McCamish Pavilion is completed. The new arena is scheduled to open in time for the 2012 season.

Tech’s remaining four or five home games will be played Gwinnett Arena. Associate athletic director Wayne Hogan said there will likely also be a package of tickets for those games. He didn’t have any other details.

Seats for the games at Philips will be selected this summer after the renewal process for existing season-ticket holders is complete. Tech doesn’t have parking details worked out for …

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Q&A with Brian Gregory, part II

New Georgia Tech basketball coach Brian Gregory took some time before visiting a recruit Tuesday night to share a bit more about his thoughts on the Good Word, being a plebe at Navy and Tech’s fans.

This is the second part of a two-part Q&A. Here’s part I.

AJC: Can you sing a few bars of “(I’m a) Ramblin’ Wreck”?

BG: I’ve not been taught that. I’m also looking forward to learning that. How does it go?

AJC: I’m a rambling wreck from Georgia Tech…..[ a bar or two later]

BG: Got it.

AJC: Do you know what the Good Word is?

BG: Something  like [rhymes with few] Georgia.

AJC: [Laughs]. Close. When someone asks, “What’s the good word?” You say “To hell with Georgia” or “THWG.”

BG: OK, got it.

AJC: Do your kids play sports?

BG: My oldest one Isabella plays soccer and Elyse is in basketball. Both are involved in dance.

AJC: Do you coach them?

BG: Noooo. I never say a word about anything. I’m a distant observer.

AJC: At one point at Dayton you seemed to have a different …

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The day after with Brian Gregory, part I

New Georgia Tech basketball coach Brian Gregory took some time before visiting a recruit Tuesday night to share a bit more about his thoughts on recruiting, refs on Tobacco Road and The Varsity.

Part 2 of the Q&A will appear later in the day.

AJC: So, the day after your introduction, what practical issues do you have to work on? What schedules do you have and notes have you taken?

BG: First and foremost, spending as much time as I can with our current players to make sure they have a feel for the things that are important to me as we move forward together basketball-wise and academically as we got out about our daily business

Recruiting, making sure the guys who signed early with us are comfortable with our situation and to make sure that this is the right place for their future.

Try to set up something with the former players in the next couple of weeks so that I can meet all the former guys that live in the area.

In terms of recruiting also, start touching base and get back …

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Iman Shumpert “50-50″ on returning to Georgia Tech

Iman Shumpert said today if he’s projected to be a second-round pick in the NBA draft he will likely return to Georgia Tech.

Most NBA mock drafts have Shumpert as a second-round pick at best. Though he’s an avid social media participant, Shumpert said he doesn’t put much stock in mock drafts on the internet. He was a second-team All-ACC player after averaging 17.3 points and 5.9 rebounds last season. A junior, he led Tech in almost every significant offensive category. He also made the conference’s defensive team.

He reached his decision after spending spring break with his family in their hometown near Chicago. He said his father, mother, brothers, high school coach, teammates and former Tech coach Paul Hewitt helped him. However, he hasn’t hired an agent, which means he can remove his name from the eligibility list.He said he’s known for a while that he was going to make himself eligible, whether or not he had a good year.

The news of his decision broke yesterday when …

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More from new Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory

Here’s a bit more about new Georgia Tech men’s basketball coach Brian Gregory, done in a topic-by-topic format. His answers are from yesterday’s press conference.

In some instances he was asked the same question in different ways, so I’ll list a few of his answers, which have all been paraphrased.

On what attracted him to the job:

  • This is an elite university, one of the most elite institutions in the country. We compete in one of the most elite conferences in the country. It’s my job, to make sure that Georgia Tech becomes one of the elite programs in the country.
  • I’m passionate about this job, I’m excited about this job. No one is going to work harder in terms of doing what’s necessary.
  • Every bit of homework I did I got more fired up about it. Important building blocks, you keep checking it off: Tremendous academics, great players, tremendous league, a league with great integrity.
  • On not having any ties to the South or ACC: There’s some feeling of being a little …

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How much will Georgia Tech pay Brian Gregory?

Here is a copy of the memorandum of understanding between the Georgia Tech Athletic Association and new men’s basketball Brian Gregory. This is a cut and paste version of the document.

Among the things you may be interested in: he will receive a base compensation of $1 million per year, with incentives. Dayton is a private school and not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, but he reportedly had a contract valued between $750,000 that would have eventually totalled $1 million. His annual salary is less than Paul Hewitt’s. Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich said reports that Paul Hewitt’s buyout of $7.2 million hampered their search process were inaccurate. He had a figure in mind for what he wanted to pay for a quality coach and that’s what they agreed to.

Tech is paying $350,000 toward the buyout of his Dayton contract.

There is a buyout in this contract. Unlike Hewitt’s total, Gregory’s would decline by a significant percentage in Year 3 and then again in Year …

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Quotes from Paul Johnson

Because there’s not much else going on at Georgia Tech today (sarcasm people), here is a transcript from Paul Johnson’s pre-spring press conference today, courtesy of Georgia Tech’s sports information department:

Opening Statement

“We are excited about getting started today in spring practice. Last

season was certainly a disappointment to the fans, the people around the

program and us as well. I have been encouraged this offseason by the

work ethic and the way that the guys have approached everything. We have

a lot of young guys and that is always an opportunity to get them out

there and see what happens and I am looking forward to getting started.

I wish the weather was a little better, but it is what it is. The first

couple of days we will be in shorts and helmets so hopefully we can go

out and lay the foundation we will build on this spring and get the

program back to where we want it to be. “

On working harder in the offseason

“I think that the whole attitude is …

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Shumpert puts in for NBA draft

While Brian Gregory was was being introduced as Georgia Tech’s new basketball coach, his best player, point guard Iman Shumpert, tweeted that he is going declare for the NBA draft. He later tweeted that he had made up his mind before meeting Gregory at 4 p.m. Monday.

However, he said he hasn’t hired an agent, which means he can remove his name from the eligibility list. Former Tech player Gani Lawal did the same thing after his sophomore season before he went pro after his junior year. Underclassmen have until April 24 to declare. However, the NBA and the player’s union are facing a collective bargaining situation that could threaten the 2011-12 season.

Shumpert, a second-team All-ACC player, averaged 17.3 points and 5.9 rebounds last season. He also made the conference’s defensive team.

Shumpert didn’t tell Gregory that he was going to put his name in for the draft. Gregory didn’t seem too aggravated afterward, saying that issue will be discussed between he and the …

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Johnson will work more with special teams

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said he’s not a list-maker, but he rattled off several areas he hopes his football team improves during spring practice, which started on Monday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

  • Ball-security on offense: The team lost 20 fumbles during last season’s 6-7 campaign.
  • Return game in special teams: The team averaged 5.8 yards per punt return and 19.9 yards per kick return, both were 97th out of the NCAA’s 120 FBS (formerly Division I-A) teams.
  • Tackle better and play better on defense: The team allowed 25.2 points and 371.6 yards per game, averages too similar to 2009.
  • Throw the ball more efficiently: Tech’s quarterbacks completed 38.1 percent of their passes for 83.9 yards per game.

“There are lots of areas we can improve in,” he said.

But Johnson was upbeat and excited to get to work during a pre-practice media session. He said the team seems to have a positive attitude about the work needed to improve.

“Coming off last season certainly was a disappointment, …

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