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 on track with some of the 2012 kids that Georgia Tech was recruiting and see who in the 2011 class might be a good fit.

We have two [scholarships] available but only one available for the next year. Have to determine what’s best.

AJC: If they don’t want to honor their commitment, will you grant them their release?

BG: Yes, it’s a kids life we are talking about.

AJC: Some say the ACC has fallen behind other leagues, what do you think?

BG: Every league has ebbs and flows in terms of how strong it is. Maybe this year it wasn’t as strong as it has been in the past. It’s one of, if not the premier basketball conference in the country.

It’ll be right back up there.

AJC: Tech is obviously tough academically. You talked about embracing that challenge on Monday. But what do you think about competing against some schools in the conference that have easier admissions requirements and academic requirements?

BG At times, what it does is it puts you in a position where you have different requirements in your recruiting and different checkpoints you have to take care of during the recruiting process. With that said, you have to find those recruits where the quality of education they are going to receive and where that degree puts them in is very important to them. You have to know that situation and embrace and find people that share the same value for that type of education that Georgia Tech possesses.

AJC: Did you ever dunk over David Robinson when you were at Navy?

BG: No. absolutely not.

AJC: Did you ever try?

BG: No. When you realize you want a career in coaching, you don’t do something that could get you hurt.

AJC: Lots of coaches come to ACC and get a whiff of Tobacco Road officiating and realize they can’t win, what makes you think differently?

BG: I don’t have any opinion on that because I haven’t gone through it. You are talking about two programs whose teams are very, very good. Teams that are good get the benefit of the doubt. I think it has more to do with how good they are more than anything else.

AJC: The Big 10 has a reputation as plodding, beefcake-type teams in past 10 years. What did you see during your time as an assistant?

BG: The Big 10 is a very physical league and so with that physicalness it’s not so much that the offenses are slow-down offenses, it’s just that it’s so physical and so good defensively it’s hard to score in that league sometimes.

AJC: Sweet tea, Coke or water?

BG: I’m a Diet Coke guy.

AJC: Do you think 68 teams in the NCAA tournament is the right amount?

BG: If you take a look around, this year proved it, over the last two-three years has proven it, it’s so hard to secure those at-large bids. There’s probably enough quality teams that could receive at-large teams.

Expanding it would only make it more exciting. One of the teams in the Final Four was possibly one of the last in. Adding to it wouldn’t dilute the product.

AJC: Been to The Varsity yet?

BG: I drove by it and I’ve heard the rumors.

AJC: What are the rumors?

BG: It’s a landmark. It won’t be too long, I’ll be there.

AJC: I’ll buy you a chili dog and an frosted orange.

BG: You got it.

AJC: During the recruiting process, how do you know when a player might be thinking about being a one-and-done? How do you approach that player at that point?

BG: I think you continue to recruit them. Just because it’s a thought process it doesn’t mean it’ll come to pass. Even those players understand the value of the education Georgia Tech provides. They have to have some desire to attend one of the best institutions in the country because if they are in that situation they will have a lot of different choices. At the same time you hope to build the program where even guys that have the ability to leave, whenever that may be, that you’ve been able to create the desire to achieve that and they’ll come back to work on that degree.

Part 2 will be posted later today.

– Doug Roberson, AJC

78 comments Add your comment

Dollar Bill

March 29th, 2011
9:24 pm

Dollar Bill

March 29th, 2011
9:32 pm

Drink some sweet tea coach. If you are going to recruit down here and you are sitting in the living room and the recruit’s mom asks you if you would like anything to drink? Please do not answer Diet Coke. Go with sweet tea with lemon if they’ve got it.


March 29th, 2011
9:33 pm

It’s a frosted orange, Doug…not an orange frostee. Get it right.

tony romero

March 29th, 2011
9:34 pm

it is a frosted orange, not an orange frostee ajc. dumasssssssssssss


March 29th, 2011
9:40 pm

I really hope Gregory is able to convince the former players to do what they can to help. But other than that, I’m not surprised gregory was saying all the right things.

Even Larry Drew said all the right things when he was hired, and as we found out, its all talk from LD. I hope Gregory is able to stick to his plan and achieve his goals.


March 29th, 2011
9:42 pm

I really like this guy. I’m optimistic about the good vibes he’ll bring to Tech players, students, and fans. Welcome Coach Gregory!

Doug Roberson

March 29th, 2011
9:42 pm

My kids call it a orange frostee. Temporary lapse on my part.

We Hit and Run This State

March 29th, 2011
9:43 pm

It’s an FO dangit!


March 29th, 2011
9:45 pm

Tech Fan Since 1950

March 29th, 2011
9:54 pm

Doug, you continue to go the extra mile in covering Tech. Great question and answer session with Coach Gregory! Nice touch in introducing Tech’s new coach. Journalistic hat aside, I think all Tech fans should be treating you to a round of the best at the Varsity counter.


March 29th, 2011
9:58 pm

Good Q&A, Doug. Ignore the trolls. Look forward to Part 2.


March 29th, 2011
10:00 pm

I’m warming up to the guy. He even has a quirky accent which reminds me of Cremins. He seems truly caring for the student athlete and building a team. Just win more than you lose in the ACC, get us to the big dance at least 3 of every 5 years and to the final four once every 5-7 years and you will be doing great! And also improve the graduation rate and get the former players more involved.

Welcome Coach Gregory!

louisville slugger

March 29th, 2011
10:05 pm

I’m warming up to him, too. Would really like to see him get the alumni players back into the fold more, particularly Price and Dennis Scott.

Jacket Backer

March 29th, 2011
10:18 pm

I like this guy. Welcome coach!

Paul in RDU

March 29th, 2011
10:48 pm

AJC: If they don’t want to honor their commitment, will you grant them their release?

BG: Yes, it’s a kids life we are talking about.

I loved that answer.

Tech Fan

March 29th, 2011
10:53 pm

Doug, I will just apoligize to my earlier posts when this was all a rumor from sportsbybrooks…I like your reporting and want you to keep up the good work.

I did not know much about this guy’s personality going in, like alot of others…but he is growing on me..What about you Doug??


March 29th, 2011
10:53 pm

I had to go over to the Dayton website to see all these negative comments for myself and found this rather insightful comment. Seems like the Dayton fans who were down on BG were so spoiled by their recent success that they became blind to their past. I also think it says something that the “toughest” season under BG resulted in 22 wins and a post season appearance and that before BG they had not won an NCAA game in 20 years!

By Matt

February 12, 2011 8:59 PM | Link to this
I just wish Flyer fans (as a whole) were more understanding. Lost four seniors starters from the best team in recent history. UD has not had stretch of success like the current last 5-10 years in quite a while….yet somehow that is not enough. Chris Wright’s injury in 07-08 cost UD a protected seed bid. They were barely on the bubble out in 09-10. Tournament wins: Gregory (4 bids-6yrs) 1 NCAA, 8 NIT Purnell (5 bids-9yrs) 0 NCAA, 2 NIT OBrien (1 bid-5yrs) 1 NCAA, 0 NIT The last time UD had three consecutive post season appearance with at least one win: 65-66 thru 67-69. First NCAA win in 20 years. First NIT title in 42 years. How’s this for a stat: Most successful 4 year period in UD history (by game wins): 50-51 thru 53-54 with 96 wins Gregory’s last 4 complete years 94 wins. If the team makes it to 19 wins this year, he’ll tie that total again. What the hell are people whining about? You can’t win all the games every year. If you could, no one would watch.

Tech Fan

March 29th, 2011
10:57 pm

As BG said, you know you have done a good job with a program when you have built a expectation of success, which he did. I mean, people were wanting his head after winning 22 games this year…and a win away from the A10 champion…so we got a good one..time will tell though


March 29th, 2011
10:59 pm

1. Please stop covering this lame story.

2. We all know D=Rad is an LSU guy that understands, basketball and baseball are puppet sports, relative to what really matters, which is football.

3. Time for you to grow up, be a journalist, and start offering constructive criticism of what really matters—like Schultz and Bradley do.

4. Major PROBLEMS in Coach Paul Johnson’s lack of recruiting.

5. Tell the truth. You’ll make more $$. You’re not a bad journalist. But even Tech Fans like to know THE TRUTH.

Doug Roberson

March 29th, 2011
11:12 pm

Schultz and bradley are columnists who are supposed to offer opinions. My job is to be a reporter. Opinions are frowned upon.


March 29th, 2011
11:18 pm

Coach Gregory might not have been the spectacular hire all GT fans wanted, but he’s definitely saying and doing all the right things so far. Very impressed with his commitment to the development of the players as students of GT, young men, and basketball players. I also really like that he understands GT basketball is a program built on the sweat and blood of current and former players and he’s making every attempt to bring them back into the fold.

Good luck, Coach Gregory! Can’t wait to see the product on the court!


March 29th, 2011
11:27 pm


March 29th, 2011
11:34 pm

Good answer for GT’98. Would have thought he would know the difference.

I am enjoying learning about GT’s new BBall coach. Seems to have his head in the right place.

I also have my doubts about Coach Johnson long term, both in recruiting and in appearing to be an arrogant know-it-all who ignores passing schemes which include shotgun and thus gets destroyed by teams with good dlines and plenty of time to prepare for his trick-offense. I do hope he proves me wrong, but his first season with 4 future NFL players that he did not recruit proved not a whole lot for the long term.


March 29th, 2011
11:49 pm

GT’98, please stop reading this story if you are not interested. It is March, football signing day is over.
We have a new Basketball coach. I find that interesting, frankly more interesting than Spring Practice.

5150 UOAD

March 30th, 2011
12:29 am

you can’t be a real VARSITY fan if you called it a frosted orange. It is an FO & if the readers don’t know what that is then they don’t need to know. Flossy Mae and Irby Walker want you to get the order right. LOL RIP to the worlds greatest car hop and counter man.
Coach needs 2 chili cheese dogs, order o rings, peach pie, and a PC.
Ask for Gordon Muir. He runs the show now. He married into the Gordy clan. Went to Holy Innocence with him back in the day.

5150 UOAD

March 30th, 2011
12:37 am

WTF do you know about football? Paul Johnson has been the brightest spot in TECH football in a LONG time. 1990 is long ago. In 98 O’Leary was 10-2 and won the Gator but since then what we have now is better or as good as that. You write the check to get Ken Whisenhunt to TECH and I will donate some to the cause, but that ain’t going to happen.


March 30th, 2011
12:41 am

Football fans whining about the lack of a passing game…frankly, I’m glad we ignored it. We didn’t have the personnel to run it successfully at all. The season would have looked a lot worse had we thrown more. Any time we tried to throw, it was either off target, or more likely, dropped. Bey Bey left us a HUGE void that Hill was supposed to fill. He couldn’t catch, much less fill the void of a big time long pass threat. Chill out a little. I believe we have the personnel waiting in the wings as redshirts will play and new guys are coming it. If you want to harp on something, harp on the special teams. Also, basketball IS a big deal at Tech and has been for years. If you don’t know or realize that, then your just plain ignorant.

Looking forward to seeing this dude in action. I think he is going to get more Duke-esk players in here that aren’t the next greats in the NBA, but solid dudes that will stay for 4 years. That is what we need!

GO JACKETS and Congrats Coach Gregory! O yea, I love DIet Coke more than the next guy, but you need to learn to love Sweet Tea or your gonna have a problem down here.


March 30th, 2011
12:42 am

Welcome Coach Gregory…
A few initiation notes: Georgia Tech is not a University…we are an Institute of Techology.
We have a strong work ethic, we have no “professional” students because the school is HARD, we co-op, we take longer to graduate (either because we work through school or drop a class or two…Calc IV was tough on me), and we typically make more than the average person…so to my fellow Alumni…send money to roll-call; the new coach needs our help!
We hate losing…on the court or in the work place…we can’t stand thugs, we look down on “one and dones”, we expect our players and coaches to be the better part of society (great examples; Mark Price and John Salley)…bad examples: UGA
Coach…you look like a great addition. I like your energy. Welcome to the Georgia Institute of Technology!

William Casey

March 30th, 2011
1:05 am

All I knew about Brian Gregory before this week was that his Dayton team beat us with all of our NBA talent in ‘09-10. I’m getting a good “old school” vibe. If Shumpert& Royal stay, we might challenge for third in the ACC. I’ll be at some games this year!


March 30th, 2011
6:44 am

I think this guy can coach. As to his beverage preference, he’s in the right town to be drinking Diet Coke. Wouldn’t have been cool to hear him say Diet Pepsi.


March 30th, 2011
7:38 am

One more yankee in Atlanta just what it needs!!haha
Welcome to Georgia Coach! Beat UGA and it will be all right.


March 30th, 2011
8:40 am

Yep, if he can beat UGA in UGA, that would be a nice statement. Gregory’s saying a lot of the right things, and I feel better about this hire as I learn more and hear more. Apparently he’s very energetic, and a hard worker…even more so than the average coach. Meeting with Royal and reaching out to the current and past players immediately is all good. Still concerned that Dayton didn’t often do better than 7th in their conference. Does sound like their fans have high expectations, so he’s used to that.

GT ‘98 Who peed in your Corn Flakes? Jeeesh.

Everyone making a big deal about F.O., at the V: Yes that’s what it’s called. But some of you are attacking Doug like he just torched your car. Jeesh. I’ll take Doug’s explanation that his kids called it an Orange Frostee. B.F.D.

GT-UT, “Institute” is obviously part of the official name, but GA Tech is technically a University too, so if you just use the U-word in a more general context that’s fine. Yes it does make a good impression to use the word “Institute”. As long as he didn’t call it G.T.U. or something truly wrong like that… THAT would be bad.

And to all of the people hating on Doug: Of course thoughtful constructive criticism and dissenting options are fine, but if you’re just going to hate, beeyatch, and sling petty cr@p, then do us all a favor and go away and just read other blogs instead…something else that you’ll apparently enjoy more anyway.

Mr Low Expectations

March 30th, 2011
8:42 am

I like the upgrade in the coach but he will have a difficult time trying to upgrade this team in year one. Non aggressive big men, dribble happy-trey happy-shooting guards that shoot “free” throws poorly and also make too many unforced TO’s and silly fouls. Did I miss anything?


March 30th, 2011
8:57 am

food? ethics violation?


March 30th, 2011
9:01 am

not the stupid “U” thing again! there is no standard definition in the us, but generally felt to have a college of liberal arts that grants B.A. degrees-Ivan Allen only provides electives-and again, there’s a u in uga, so i don’t want one!(that’s why we have no rhodes scholars, by the way..)


March 30th, 2011
9:11 am

Damn I miss the Varsity.

Doug, good introduction to your new coach. Looking forward to part two. I loved the release of scholarship answer. Sounds like a solid coach who has a plan.


March 30th, 2011
9:18 am

thanks for dropping the Tobacco Road officiating bomb on him early. I hope Gregory talks to some of the other new ACC coaches soon and gets their opinions of it.

Crazy Robert

March 30th, 2011
9:19 am

I just hope the coach will coach, and not try to be all things to all people. A bit of discipline is something that hasn’t been seen at TECH for quite some time! Good luck!!!


March 30th, 2011
9:31 am

7979 — Tech’s average attendance in mens basketball. Heck, lets say it was 9000. 10000…


I’m seriously disappointed we’re spending $1mil/yr on a basketball coach, and spending a lot of money on a stupid new basketball court, when we desperately need a high-dollar defensive coordinator— and preferably one that can recruit!

I used to donate to the AT fund. But quit after I was informed I couldn’t just donate to football.


March 30th, 2011
9:40 am

Doug, not to get you in trouble or anything, but you have occasionally given an opinion, & i thought them insightful-but can’t anyone give an opinion on a blog? how did his talk with Royal go, glad he seems to be making progress with Imam…….

Delbert D.

March 30th, 2011
9:46 am

Back in my youth, you ordered a “big orange”.


March 30th, 2011
9:48 am

I think the question about “Tobacco Road referees” is lame. Sure Duke and UNC are the class of the conference. Notthing new there. The continual gripes about the refs comes off to me as sour grapes. Recruit good players and quality kids. Coach them up. Represent the program in a classy manner. The wins will come, even on “tobacco road.” FYI, Hewitt won his last four games versus UNC

DRad Fan 2

March 30th, 2011
10:04 am

GT98, You can donate to the Alexander-Tharpe Fund for ONLY football if you want to endow a FOOTBALL ONLY scholarship. I am working on doing that now with AT representatives.


March 30th, 2011
10:04 am

poor free throw shooting,dribble happy guards,no impact from big men on offense,good luck GT,that is Gregory’s legacy @ Dayton.

Big Ol Stinger

March 30th, 2011
10:07 am


Damn son get his name right if you’re going to keep blogging about him.
It’s Iman, not Imam. N not M. Get it right. An Imam is a religious leader. C’mon man!

Waffle House Exec

March 30th, 2011
10:13 am



March 30th, 2011
10:16 am

I like the fact that he came through the program at Navy with David Robinson. Discipline and focus is a trait of the academies. Is it any surprise that Johnson also came from the Naval Academy. Both are good hires for Tech and look forward to seeing Gregory bring these kids along preparing them not only for basketball but also for their future.

Supersize that order, mutt

March 30th, 2011
10:16 am

GT98, if you buy season football tickets, you donate to the football program (that is if you want decent seats). If you buy basketball season tickets, you donate to the basketball program.

Supersize that order, mutt

March 30th, 2011
10:19 am

Regarding the use of the term “university,” last year Tech joined the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU, but not the AAU that Hewitt Fan is always harping on). Therefore, in a very generic sense, Tech IS a university, but it is not, never has been, and hopefully never will be Georgia Tech University, or anything like that. And interestingly enough, THUGa is NOT a member of the AAU; it takes a certain level of academic excellence to be able to join, and THUGa doesn’t achieve that level of excellence.


March 30th, 2011
10:23 am

I hated the Tabacco Road referee question which was stupid. This just proves that our previous coach was a crybaby. Why ask this question? Did you take a poll of all the ACC coaches and their opinions on the subject? Where did this idiotic question come from?