Archive for May, 2011

Tech baseball opens against Austin Peay

Despite having the necessary RPI, Georgia Tech didn’t receive one of the eight national seeds in the NCAA baseball tournament field announced on Monday. But the Yellow Jackets coach and players are still happy with their draw.

The Yellow Jackets (40-19), with a No. 8 RPI according to the website boydsworld.com, will open its regional against Austin Peay at 7 p.m. on Friday at Russ Chandler Stadium. Southern Miss, the regular-season winner of Conference USA, will take on Mississippi State at 3 p.m. in the other game. Tim Weiser, whose committee decided the tournament seeds, said Tech’s non-conference RPI and its ACC tournament loss to Florida State, with which it was competing for one of the national seeds, cost it a chance.

In an interview before Weiser’s, Tech coach Danny Hall pointed to Tech’s record in non-conference games (17-9) as a likely factor in the committee’s decision. He also pointed to the strength of the ACC, which like the SEC had seven teams selected, as …

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Joltin’ Jackets win by stealing home in 15th

Georgia Tech’s Mott Hyde stole home in the top of the 15th inning for the game-winning run in a 6-5 victory over N.C. State Thursday in the ACC baseball tournament in Durham.

It was just the second time the Jackets have stolen home since the 1980s, according to Tech’s research department, but the first time they’ve won a game by doing so. They stole home once in the ’80s and again in the ’90s. No player stole home between the 1950s and ’70s.

The game lasted five hours, seven minutes and the number of innings set an ACC tournament record. It ended at 12:32 a.m.

More importantly, the Jackets are still playing.

Hyde reached on a double, and advanced to third on a groundout. Hyde stole home with a 2-1 count on Wolfpack reliever Jonathan Ogburn. Hyde slid under the tag. He had five stolen bases before Thursday’s game.

The Yellow Jackets’ victory was their 40th this season, making it the 22nd year that the team has reached the 40-win plateau.

Matthew Grimes (7-3) picked up his his …

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Tech does mostly well in APR

Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team improved its single-year Academic Progress Rate score from 953 to 960, but its multi-year average of 915 still failed to meet the minimum score of 925 required by the NCAA. Scores were released today. As a result, Tech penalized itself with the loss of a scholarship during the 2010-11 season. Its average was the lowest among the ACC’s 12 teams.

The APR is used to measure how athletes are progressing through school. The scores released today are based on a multi-year rate that averages scores dating back to the 2006-07  academic year. Teams that fail to average 925 are subject to penalties including loss of scholarships.

Because the penalty has been served, new coach Brian Gregory will have a full allotment of 13 scholarships for the 2011-12 season.

Tech’s average is hampered by a single-year score of 840 posted in 2007-08. It also suffered the loss of two scholarships during the 2008-09 season.

The men’s basketball team wasn’t the only …

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Iman Shumpert combine review

Former Georgia Tech guard Iman Shumpert “did fine” in at the NBA draft combine, according to NBA scouting director Ryan Blake. The combine was last week in Chicago. It’s not the most glowing assessment, but the fact is there’s not a lot a player can do to jump off the page.

There’s measurements, physicals and some drill work, as well as interviews with teams. There used to be five-on-five play at the combine, but not anymore. Blake figures that would have been to Shumpert’s benefit. He did what he could.

“He was in great shape, he was competitive, he worked out well,” Blake said.

Blake stood by his previous assessment, pegging Shumpert in the category of “second round to undrafted.” From his research, Tech coach Brian Gregory concluded Shumpert is safely in the draft and should be an early-to-mid second-rounder. The website draftexpress.com slots him as the No. 2 pick of the second round.

A big challenge for Shumpert is that, while it’s not a strong draft, it does have a lot …

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Tech spring sports update

Three Georgia Tech teams were in action Thursday, and two more begin NCAA tournament play Friday.

Men’s tennis

In its first appearance in the round of 16 since 1994, the men’s tennis team fell to Southern California 4-0 Thursday. The Trojans, the two-time defending champions and the No. 2 seed, made fairly quick work of the Jackets. They won two of the three doubles matches convincingly and won three singles matches in straight sets to clinch the victory. Tech’s No. 1 doubles team of Kevin King and Juan Spir registered Tech’s only victory, 8-3 over Jaak Poldma and J.T. Sundling.

“We lost to a better team, USC outplayed us [Thursday],” coach Kenny Thorne said in an article on Tech’s website.

Baseball

The Tech baseball team opened its final regular-season series with an 11-4 win at Virginia Tech. Shortstop Jacob Esch collected four of Tech’s 14 hits as pitcher Mark Pope gave up three runs (two earned) over seven innings for the win. Esch’s 4-for-6 barrage included a double and …

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Jackson could return to Tech football team

Chris Jackson will be re-instated to the Georgia Tech football team if he meets conditions over the summer set by coach Paul Johnson.

Jackson, who left the team last fall and was in considerable academic trouble, met with Johnson last week, according to Rex Robertson, a mentor to Jackson and his offensive coordinator at Henry County High.

“He had to make a lifestyle change and he did that over the last five months,” Robertson said.

Jackson is just shy of the 2.0 GPA he needs to be eligible and is taking summer classes to try to clear that mark, according to Robertson. Jackson was a hotly pursued recruit coming out of Henry County and Alabama, where he played as a true freshman in 2008. He transferred to Tech in 2009 but did not play in the 2010 season after tearing his hamstring and then getting dismissed in November. At the time, Johnson said Jackson was dismissed for a combination of things.

“He and I just didn’t see eye to eye,” Johnson said.

Jackson, who came to Tech as …

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Remembering Josh Powell

Roger Kaiser lost a good friend Monday, as did Georgia Tech.

Josh Powell died after a long fight with multiple myeloma at the age of 70. Powell was a teammate of Kaiser, the Tech basketball legend, and more importantly, a friend from their days at Tech until now.

“I’ll remember him as a great friend and a man with a warm heart that was fun to be around,” Kaiser said Tuesday.

Powell was a man of many gifts. Besides his basketball talents – he was part of Tech’s first NCAA tournament team, in 1960, and captained the team in 1962 – he was an accomplished singer and musician and also a pilot. Most interestingly, he graduated from Emory Law School but within months left an Atlanta practice to start his own summer camp – Josh Powell Summer Day Camp – with his wife in Acworth. Started in 1972, it’s still in operation.

Powell’s passing allowed me to dig into the paper’s online archives to read a typically vivid feature written in 1988 by ex-AJC great Jack Wilkinson. After …

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Tech to play Northwestern in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Georgia Tech’s basketball team will play Northwestern Nov. 29 in the 13th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge. It will be among the first game that the Yellow Jackets play at Philips Arena as their on-campus arena is renovated. The Jackets played the Wildcats last year in Evanston, Ill., with Northwestern winning 91-70. The game will have some familiarity for new Tech coach Brian Gregory. He was an assistant for Northwestern 1997-99 under Kevin O’Neill and also grew up in the Chicago area.

Tech is 4-7 in the challenge. Northwestern is 5-7.

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Both Tech tennis teams in NCAA round of 16

The Georgia Tech men’s team heads to the NCAA round of 16 for the first time since 1994. The women are going back for the sixth time in seven years after an upset in 2010. Plenty of good feeling pervades the tennis program, one of a remarkable nine in the country (including Georgia) that will send men’s and women’s teams to the championships beginning Thursday at Stanford.

“Kenny and I, we’ve been together since we were 13 years old,” women’s coach Bryan Shelton said of men’s tennis coach Kenny Thorne. “It’s special to be in this position with him and his team, his program, and for us to go out there to California together.”

As junior players in Alabama, Thorne and Shelton shared the same coach and then were teammates at Tech before eventually taking over their respective teams, Thorne in 1999 and Shelton a year later. They’ve been two of the most successful coaches in any sport at Tech since then. My former colleague Matt Winkeljohn wrote a great story on them a few days ago …

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Hamilton doesn’t make cut in hall of fame voting

UPDATED, Tue. noon: Joe Hamilton was not voted into the College Football Hall of Fame on his first time on the ballot. Among those voted in: former Georgia safety and Super Bowl MVP Jake Scott and former Falcon and Florida State star Deion Sanders. More here.

Former Georgia Tech quarterback Joe Hamilton is among the 78 players and eight coaches who will find out Tuesday if they’ll be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame this year. Former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr and former Ohio State running back Eddie George were announced today as the first two members of the class.

The final 12 members will be revealed Tuesday. It’s unlikely Hamilton makes it in this year. It’s rare that first-timers on the ballot like Hamilton get in and, on top of that, the ballot is stacked. Just look at a few of the other first-ballot players – Ted Brown (four-time All-ACC running back), Tommie Frazier (two national championships at Nebraska), Sandy Stephens (first black All-American …

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