Archive for January, 2012

Tech sets T-Day game for a Fri. night

Georgia Tech will break from tradition and play its T-Day spring game on a Friday night. The Yellow Jackets will conclude spring practice April 20 at Bobby Dodd Stadium in a scrimmage to be held under the lights. A post-game fireworks show is among activities planned for the event. The game has typically been played on a Saturday afternoon.

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Impermissible texts snag Georgia Tech recruiting

Georgia Tech handcuffed itself in its recruiting efforts with impermissible text messages to a recruit and his father. The NCAA banned the Tech coaching staff from initiating telephone or written communication with the prospect for four weeks, starting in late December, according to an e-mail from Tech compliance director Jerome Rodgers that was obtained through the Georgia Open Record Act.

NCAA rules forbid all forms of electronically transmitted correspondence to recruits or their parents or guardians except for e-mail and faxes.

The NCAA penalized Tech for two of three texts, which were sent in November. The third was a text from Tech coach Paul Johnson, who thought he was replying to a text from a team member, not a recruit. In the e-mail, Rodgers called the violations “inadvertent.”

The e-mail noted that the school sought NCAA permission to divide the four-week penalty into two two-week periods in order to contact the prospect, identified as “Will,” …

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Georgia Tech-UNC wrap

Greetings-

Four thoughts following Georgia Tech’s 93-81 loss to North Carolina Sunday night in Chapel Hill.

1. The talent disparity was considerable. North Carolina took the court with seven McDonald’s All-Americans, which is seven more than Tech had. On the website draftexpress.com, three of the top nine NBA draft prospects (Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller), five of the top 19 (James McAdoo and Kendall Marshall) and six of the top 62 players (Reggie Bullock) dressed in white and baby blue Sunday night.

I believe I noticed a time late in the first half when coach Brian Gregory went to the bench to try Nick Foreman at power forward, giving Kammeon Holsey and Julian Royal a break. Foreman got posted up by Zeller and had to foul.

Foreman is a former walk-on. Zeller will be a lottery pick when he enters the draft.

2. Marshall had a big influence on the game. Gregory’s big concern was North Carolina’s transition game, which is led by Marshall. The plan was to get …

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Georgia Tech-North Carolina live blog

Greetings-

A few thoughts in advance of the Georgia Tech-North Carolina game, starting at 6 p.m. Game is on both ESPNU and online at ESPN3.com.

To watch:

1. Daniel Miller and Kammeon Holsey (backed up by Nate Hicks and Julian Royal) against North Carolina forwards Tyler Zeller and John Henson. Zeller and Henson average a combined 29.0 points and 19.8 rebounds per game.

Brian Gregory: “The thing with Zeller is the guy plays hard every single play. He’s a very physical player. He’s got that left shoulder jump hook down where he can shoot it from two feet all the way out to 14, 15 feet. Sometimes it’s an unblockable shot.” (I’m not sure if he meant that he takes hook shots out to 14 feet. I sure hope so. That would be pretty cool.)

Miller and Holsey are going to have to bang for rebounds. If they don’t, it’ll be very troublesome for the Jackets.

2. Someone’s got to get hot. Guard Jason Morris was 0-for-7 against Miami. Guard Glen Rice Jr. was 4-for-14. Point guard Mfon Udofia was …

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Reports: Tech coach Spencer out

Georgia Tech co-offensive line coach Todd Spencer is not expected back with the team, according to two media outlets, rivals.com and coachingsearch.com.

“We don’t have an announcement (regarding a change),” associate athletic director Wayne Hogan said Saturday.

If true, the timing is not beneficial. Coaching changes typically occur immediately following the season or after signing day. In the days leading up to signing day, which takes place Wednesday, the last thing a team wants to project to prospects is any sort of change or instability.

Prior to last season, Spencer was reprimanded by the school and suspended for the first game of the season by the NCAA for violating its rules about calls to prospects. Apparently acting under a misunderstanding of the rules, Spencer made 14 calls to prospects that were outside of NCAA boundaries.

Spencer was the recruiting coach assigned to Lanier County High defensive end Junior Gnonkonde, whose scholarship was withdrawn Jan. 20. Lanier …

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Tech expects NCAA verdict soon

The school expects the verdict from its NCAA appeal to be returned soon. When Tech made its in-person hearing before the appeals committee Nov. 13 in Indianapolis, school officials were told that it could expect a response in 60 to 90 days. Friday marks 75 days.

Associate athletic director Wayne Hogan said that it probably won’t be until next week, as school president G.P.Bud Peterson is at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, through the weekend. The NCAA typically honors requests from the school to hold delivery if its president is away from campus.

The school appealed NCAA findings that it failed to meet conditions and obligations of membership and failed to cooperate in an investigation into possible impermissible benefits violations involving two former football players, which led the NCAA to strip Tech of its 2009 ACC title. The appeals committee’s verdict will be final.

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Tech to play Virginia Tech on Labor Day

Georgia Tech will open the season at Virginia Tech on Labor Day night, according to a person familiar with the ACC’s scheduling.

The schools and the league had been in discussions trying to organize the game, which will have a national ESPN platform at a time slot with little competition.

The game is a break from Tech’s scheduling pattern, in which the Jackets have opened at home against an FCS-level opponent in each of Paul Johnson’s four seasons. Tech associate athletic director Wayne Hogan had previously indicated concern about playing such a meaningful game in the opener. The winner of the Yellow Jackets-Hokies game has gone on to represent the Coastal Division in the ACC championship game all seven years since the league split into two divisions.

However, the opportunity for national exposure is a considerable temptation. Virginia Tech almost certainly will be ranked in the top 25 in the preseason and Tech could be as well. The ACC is scheduled to release the league …

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Georgia Tech-Miami wrap

Some thoughts from the Georgia Tech loss to Miami Tuesday night.

1. Offense is really, really struggling right now. Effective ball movement isn’t there, and the guards are having trouble creating off the dribble, which means not a lot of easy shots. As I wrote in the game story, Tech’s rate of assisted baskets (if that is the correct term) is lowest in the ACC at 46.4 percent.

“Our margin of error is so small,” coach Brian Gregory said. “You have to make all your free throws. Every shot around the basket, you can’t come away empty. You need to finish all those and then on the other end, you’ve got to get one or two more stops.”

2. Not a great home-court environment, not too surprising given the game time (9 p.m.) and opponent. The announced crowd was 5,009, which wasn’t very reflective of who was actually in the building. Further, Tech wasn’t playing well, so fans were either quiet or getting on Tech players, some of them rather pointedly. At one point, Miami coach Jim …

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Georgia Tech-Miami live blog

Greetings-

Hope all are well. A few thoughts and we’ll get things going.

1. Obviously, getting off to a better start is crucial. Georgia Tech has scored less than 20 points in the first half of the past three games. Miami opponents’ first-half scoring in the past three games – 39 by N.C. State, 39 by Clemson, 40 by North Carolina.

2. Center Daniel Miller and forward Kammeon Holsey have a big challenge in Miami forward/center Kenny Kadji, who is averaging 16.0 points per game in ACC play, and 6-foot-10, 284-pound center Reggie Johnson.

3. Tech’s guards have got to handle pressure and defend better. Clemson guard Andre Young lit up the Jackets for a career-high 29 points. Virginia guard Jontel Evans penetrated with little trouble and controlled the game. Saddle up, Mfon Udofia.

4. It’s 8:52 p.m. and I bet there’s less than 1,000 people here.

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P. Smith to transfer to UCF

Former Georgia Tech offensive tackle Phil Smith will transfer to Central Florida to complete his college career.

Smith, a two-year starter for the Yellow Jackets, left the team following the season after two separate suspensions. Smith will graduate from Tech with a management degree in May and will be immediately eligible to play. Central Florida is coached by former Tech coach George O’Leary and is located in Orlando, about 90 minutes from Smith’s hometown of Tampa.

“I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to play at Tech,” Smith said in a statement. “It has been the experience of a lifetime.”

Smith’s plan is to pursue a health care management master’s degree and pursue his goal of playing in the NFL.

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