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 uncomfortable. But when you look at the product that you are selling and the things that I am passionate about and the things I believe in, it won’t be hard to sell this institution and program. When you feel something from the heart it’s kind of hard to fake it.
On Tech’s history and how it can help the future:
- I want to reconnect and re-engage our former players. We wouldn’t be here without those former players.We are going to get those guys back. Our players will know the rich tradition that this program has. The type of men that Georgia Tech produces.
- When it comes to getting former players involved, I get the feeling they are disconnected and not engaged. One of the guys I talked to was Steve Smith, who lives here. I coached him as a G.A. at Michigan State. He’s excited that I came. Relationships with coaches, we need to get back here.
On their new style of play and the work involved:
- Showing them the things we are going to do, the pace, the intensity. Their work ethic, dedication, commitment and sacrifice are going to set the tone.
- Fast pace, we play with great pace, we do push the ball on every possession, that doesn’t mean we are pivot pass, up and down, out-of-control basketball. It’s a fun way to play. The players will feel good about getting a shot for someone else. We will relentlessly pursue missed shots. Defense, high-pressure team that will try to force low-percentage shots. We defend, rebound, run and share the ball. Do it with unselfishness and do what’s best for the team.
- Our system and style will be alittle different. Their buy-in and trust in me, has to be a blind trust. We played some of these guys two years ago. They remember how hard we played, the defensive intentisty we pplayed with. That gives you some credibility. Everybody says they want to run and play at that pace. It’s hard to do while playing under control. Defensively we need to improve. We need to defend the 3-point shot better and defensively rebound better.
- The NCAA tournament is the goal. To get there we need to focus April, May, June, July and August. Take care of lifting today, take care of books today, get a good night’s rest so you can get a little bit better tomorrow. The difference in talent between teams is very slight. That difference in talent becomes less of factor in one 40 minute game. One NCAA game, for 40 minutes, it’s even less of a factor. Teams that have best chemistry and best leadership are the ones that advance.
- I want to recruit the highest caliber player without comprising. They need to be successful in classroom.
- We have a situation in terms of recruiting where we have tremendous program to sell. It’s a situation where we have great tradition, great leadership, great conference. Great product to sell.
- On players leaving early: You want to give each and everyone of your kids the opportunity if they have the talent to move on the next level, it’s your responsibility to help them get here. It’s a culture you build within your program. It’s not what we might do, it’s what you can do. Guys need to have the option. If they can go, they can go. When they need to go, is when they get in trouble. Have to start that education process early, even during recruiting.
On re-building the fan base:
- In a way there’s a great opportunity next year in terms of reaching out and maybe getting more fans. For Georgia Tech, I need to make a great effort to make a greater impact in the community. To make myself more available in the community. This is our home. It’s more than just fans. This is our city, our fans, our university. It’s important I get out there and make sure our fans know the way we are going to play, how hard we are going to play. This is a hard- working town, with hard-working people who pay their hard-earned money and deserve to see a hard-working team. At the same time, you cant just sit back. You need to be engaged in the community and the city. I believe we have tremendous product to sell, best of the best. We need to get that message out there.
On what’s next:
Building his staff, will guys come from Dayton:
- There are four or five who I need to sit down with in terms of staffing. I want guys who can teach, guys who understand the prestige of the institution, guys who understand the work that needs to be done and are willing to put that work in.
- On the McCamish Pavilion: Look at that as a possible opportunity to touch some different fans, new fans, when we move into the new renovated arena. It’s going to fantastic. I’ve only seen the sketchings and so forth. I want a first-class effort from our guys in everything they do. Our job is to put them in a first-class environment. With the facility, with the academic center, with new arena it gives our guys the tools necessary.
– Doug Roberson, AJC