Archive for May, 2012

Tech scrambling for NCAA bid

Georgia Tech baseball coach Danny Hall is taking nothing for granted.

Asked if he felt the Jackets had done enough to make a case for an NCAA tournament bid, Hall replied, “I’ll never say that until I hear our name picked on Monday” on the tournament selection show.

The Jackets are in a different boat at the ACC tournament than they typically are. Their 32-24 record is one loss better than Hall’s worst season, record-wise, at Tech (32-25 in 2007). Tech’s 12-18 ACC record is Hall’s first season under .500 in ACC play. Tech needed a win or a Virginia Tech loss on the final day of the regular season to avoid missing the ACC tournament for the first time in school history. (The Jackets got both.)

Injuries on a scale unprecedented to Hall have taken a sizable bite out of the Jackets.

Tech will be the No. 8 seed and is in a pool with Florida State, the top-ranked team in the country, Virginia (No. 17 in Baseball America) and Clemson (No. 24 in RPI). So, certainly, if the …

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Tech spring sports update


A good bit going on with Georgia Tech spring sports over the weekend. A quick roundup:


The Yellow Jackets awoke Saturday morning not knowing if it would be the last day of the season. Tech needed either to beat Miami or Virginia Tech to lose to North Carolina to secure the final spot in the eight-team ACC tournament. It turns out they got both. Cole Pitts shut down the Hurricanes, holding Miami to one run in seven innings on two hits, leading the Jackets to a 2-1 win.

Pitts, a freshman, was named ACC pitcher of the week for his efforts.

Tech earned the No. 8 seed in the ACC tournament, starting Wednesday in Greensboro, and has been placed in a four-team pool with No. 1 Florida State, No. 4 Clemson and No. 5 Virginia.

The Jackets will play FSU Wednesday at 11 a.m., Virginia Friday at 11 a.m. and Clemson Saturday at 11 a.m. The team with the best record in the pool plays for the league title Sunday.

Tech is ranked 28th in RPI, which would seem to be pretty …

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Abdur-Rahim leaves Tech for Charleston

Georgia Tech men’s basketball director of player development Amir Abdur-Rahim has taken an assistant coaching job at the College of Charleston. Abdur-Rahim, a former Wheeler High star, was hired by Tech coach Brian Gregory last May.

“Georgia Tech was a special place that was very near and dear to me,” Abdur-Rahim said in a statement. “The program has made great strides in just one year under the leadership of Coach Gregory. He is someone I know I can always call and go to for advice. He does a great job of building relationships and kids have a lot of respect for him. They are in great hands.”

Abdur-Rahim will be an assistant to Doug Wojcik, who was hired in April as former Tech coach Bobby Cremins’ replacement. Cremins retired in March after taking a leave of absence during the season due to physical exhaustion. Wojcik was fired after  seven seasons at Tulsa.

Yet another tie between the two programs is that Wojcik interviewed for the Tech job eventually filled by …

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ACC sets early-season kickoffs

Georgia Tech fans, your dream scenario is one September Saturday away from being realized.

That would be, of course, the first month of the football season without any noon kickoffs. The ACC released its early-season schedule Thursday, confirming the school’s request for a 7 p.m. kickoff against Presbyterian Sept. 8 and also deciding on a 3:30 p.m. start time for the Sept. 15 Virginia home game. With the Sept. 29 home game against Middle Tennessee State also penciled in for 7 p.m., that only leaves the Sept. 22 home game against Miami as undetermined.

You may remember Tech played noon kickoffs at Bobby Dodd Stadium against Kansas, North Carolina and Maryland in the first half of the season, causing cries of torment and anguish.

The Presbyterian-Tech game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and the UVA-Tech game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

The league also determined a start time for the ACC championship game Dec. 1 in Charlotte – 7:45 p.m. if on ESPN and 8 p.m. if ABC carries the …

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Tech women’s tennis falls in Sweet 16

The Georgia Tech women’s tennis team was eliminated from the NCAA tournament Thursday, losing 4-0 to ninth-seeded California in a round-of-16 match in Athens.

The Jackets lost the doubles point and then No. 2 singles Caroline Lilley fell 6-3, 6-0 to Zsofi Susanyi, followed by Elizabeth Kilborn’s 6-4, 6-1 loss to Anett Schutting at No. 3 singles and the clincher, Jana Juricova over Jillian O’Neill at No. 1 singles, 6-2, 6-2.

The Bears move on to play top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals Saturday.

The Jackets reached Athens by beating eighth-seeded Alabama in Tuscaloosa in the second round, making the Crimson Tide the highest seed to fall to that point. Tech ends its season at 16-12. They won seven of their last nine matches.

O’Neill and Alex Anghelescu will play in the NCAA individual championship May 23-28 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens. O’Neill received a top-16 seed for the singles bracket and will play doubles with Anghelescu.

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Tech’s three best coaches?

Thursday begins probably the biggest weekend of the academic year for Georgia Tech athletics. The women’s tennis team will play Cal at 9 a.m. at the University of Georgia in the Sweet 16. It’s the seventh time in the past eight years that Tech has reached the final 16.

The golf team begins NCAA regional tournament play at Oklahoma, hoping to advance through to the NCAA championships. The Jackets are the No. 2 seed in the Southwest regional. Beginning in 1989, when the NCAA instituted the regional format, Tech has made the regional round 21 out of 23 years and advanced to the national tournament 20 of those times.

The softball team, fresh off its third ACC championship in four years, begins NCAA regional tournament play Friday afternoon against South Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The Jackets have made the tournament every year starting in 2002, the last six under coach Sharon Perkins.

The weekend is also testament to, at least from a pure results perspective, Tech’s three best …

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Tech draws Illinois in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

The Georgia Tech men’s basketball team will visit Illinois in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge Nov. 28. The Yellow Jackets will try to break their four-game losing streak in the challenge.

It will be Tech’s second trip to the state of Illinois in three seasons. The Yellow Jackets lost to Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., in the challenge in 2010 and lost to the Wildcats again 2011 at Philips Arena. The game will also be a homecoming for coach Brian Gregory, who grew up in a suburb of Chicago.

Illinois will be led by new coach John Groce, hired from Ohio following the season. The school fired Bruce Weber after nine seasons. Illinois went 17-15 last season, including a 6-12 record in the Big Ten. Tech is 1-6 against the Illini all-time, the last meeting a 105-66 Tech loss in 2001.

Ken Sugiura, Tech blog

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What ESPN/ACC deal could mean for Tech

A couple thoughts on the ACC’s new deal with ESPN, which has fed the FSU-to-the-Big 12 talk (as deftly blogged by Jeff Schultz).

The background: The ACC last week completed a renegotiation of its deal with ESPN, jumping its per-school, per-year average from $13 million to $17 million.

1. The $17 million number is about what the ACC was expecting going into negotiations. The league had limited leverage, according to the Sports Business Journal. If the two sides couldn’t agree on a deal, the ACC couldn’t go to the open market. Both sides would have gone to an arbitrator. Further, as football teams go, Pitt and Syracuse presumably don’t make television executives do cartwheels.

It’s a nice bump, but it’s not exactly game-changing. Reported numbers vary, but it still leaves the ACC lagging its conference competition. The Pac-12’s contract averages out to $20.8 million per school, per year, and the league is creating its own network. (All numbers are per school, per …

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Tech softball in ACC finals

The Georgia Tech softball team will play for its fifth ACC title Saturday after knocking out No. 19 Florida State in the semifinals Friday with a 9-1 win in Chapel Hill.

The third-seeded Yellow Jackets received 5 2/3 innings of no-hit pitching from Hope Rush and pounded out 11 hits in handing the No. 2 seed Seminoles their most lopsided defeat since early April. Kate Kuzma was 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.

The final will be broadcast live on ESPN at 4 p.m. against Virginia Tech, which beat North Carolina 4-1 in the other semifinal. The Jackets took two of three from the Hokies in the final series of the regular season.

Should Tech defeat the Hokies in its eighth tournament final appearance, it would be the Jackets’ third ACC title in four seasons.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

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Hicks to transfer to Florida Gulf Coast

Georgia Tech center Nate Hicks will transfer to Florida Gulf Coast University. After sitting out the 2012-13 season, Hicks will have two years of eligibility remaining.

In two seasons, Hicks averaged 8.6 minutes, 1.4 points and 2.1 rebounds in 47 games. With the signing of power forward Robert Carter, Hicks’ role seemed likely to decrease. Hicks’ finalists were Penn, Colgate, Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast, a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference. A member of the academic All-ACC team this past season, Hicks said his relationship with coach Andy Enfield, who recruited Hicks out of Panama City Beach in high school for Florida State, was a considerable factor in his decision.

“It just seemed to me like a place I could succeed,” Hicks said.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

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