Archive for August, 2012

Cremins details new role at Tech

The new position created for Bobby Cremins at Georgia Tech primarily involves him talking to his former players. For the gabby basketball coach, now into his first autumn of retirement, this will be something less than toil.

“I’ll play the part, because that’s exactly what I want to do,” he said. “And (coach) Brian (Gregory) will do all the work.”

With an invitation from Gregory, the silver-haired coach who led the Yellow Jackets in 19 seasons to three ACC championships and their first Final Four, has officially returned to the Tech fold. Cremins, who ended his 31-year head coaching career in March after a six-year run at the College of Charleston, will lead a project to bring back as many former players, coaches and managers back to the opening game at McCamish Pavilion Nov. 9. Following that, he has Gregory’s welcome to serve in whatever capacity he wishes.

“We’re going to invite everybody,” Cremins said. “It doesn’t matter. Anybody I kicked out of …

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Days to play ’somewhere’ for Georgia Tech against Hokies

1. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson wasn’t in much of a mood to share details, but allowed this about quarterback/A-back Synjyn Days. He’s in the plans for the opener against Virginia Tech.

“We’ll see where he plays, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t play in the game somewhere,” Johnson said following Wednesday’s practice.

Johnson said he didn’t know if Days, who has spent some of the preseason training at A-back, would play at that position. Coaches want to get Days on the field to make use of his playmaking ability, but he is behind Tevin Washington at quarterback.

Coaches “really haven’t said anything, just that we want the best 11 players on the field and they said I’m one of the best 11,” Days said. “If it’s a special package or something, I’m just trying to do the best for the team any way possible, even if it’s special teams or holding the kick or something.”

Days has worked with the punt return and kickoff return teams in addition to …

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Tech ACC schedule released

The ACC schedule for the Georgia Tech men’s basketball isn’t as front-loaded as it was last season, but it will bring its own peril.

Back-to-back road games at Duke and North Carolina and another stretch in which the Yellow Jackets will play six games in a 17-day stretch appear to be the toughest challenges of the ACC schedule, released Wednesday.

Each team will play 18 league games, a first for the conference. Tech will play home-and-home with Clemson, Miami, North Carolina, N.C. State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. Of those seven, North Carolina, N.C. State and Virginia made the NCAA tournament last season.

Four of the nine home games will be weeknight contests, with two of them (Feb. 5 against Florida State and Feb. 19 against North Carolina) tipping off at 9 p.m.

All of Tech’s ACC games will be televised on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, the ACC Network or the ACC’s regional cable network. The Jackets’ Jan. 17 game at Duke will be broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2, …

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Georgia Tech opponent breakdown: Miami

The next in the series of breakdowns, this one coming from Miami beat writer Jorge Milian of the Palm Beach Post. You can read his blog here and follow him on Twitter here. Georgia Tech plays Miami Sept. 22 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

1. In a nutshell, what are Miami’s strengths and weaknesses?

The Hurricanes lost a ton of talent including their leading rusher (Lamar Miller), top receiver (Tommy Streeter), starting quarterback (Jacory Harris), best offensive lineman (Tyler Horn) and the heart and soul of their defense in Sean Spence. Replacing those guys won’t be easy. (The July dismissal of senior safety and Jim Thorpe Award candidate Ray Ray Armstrong won’t help matters)

The offense has no established playmakers and the defense’s best players are a pair of sophomores, Anthony Chickillo and Denzel Perryman. The offensive line could be pretty good if it gets production from tackles Seantrel Henderson and Malcolm Bunche. Players like receivers Phillip Dorsett and Allen Hurns

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David Scully wins Tech kicking job

1. His girlfriend transferred to Georgia Tech from Georgia over the summer. He was put on scholarship at the start of the preseason. Tuesday, kicker David Scully’s run continued. He’ll be the starting kicker in the season opener against Virginia Tech Sept. 3, coach Paul Johnson said.

“I guess karma,” Scully said. “Hard work pays off. God’s smiling on me, I guess.”

Scully beat out Justin Moore, who handled field goals and extra points last year while Scully took most of the kickoffs. That playing experience guided Scully’s improvement since last season.

“Just becoming comfortable with my body, with my leg, what I can do just kind of made the offseason completely different,” he said.

Last season, Moore made all 56 of his extra-point tries –setting school single-season records for most extra points and most consecutive extra points – but was 11-for-17 on field goals. Scully said he was never told that he’ll start, but has been anticipating it since he …

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Opponent breakdown: Virginia

I started this before camp, and plan to finish it in the run-up to the opener. Sorry for the break. Norm Wood of the Daily Press in Newport News, Va., provided this breakdown of Virginia, which Georgia Tech plays Sept. 15 at Bobby Dodd Stadium. You can check out Norm’s blog here and follow him on Twitter here.

1. In a nutshell, what are Virginia’s strengths and weaknesses?

Despite losing Associated Press second team All-American left guard Austin Pasztor and honorable mention All-Atlantic Coast Conference center Anthony Mihota, U.Va. should still be very sturdy up front. Starting right guard Luke Bowanko spent his offseason rehabilitating from surgeries to each of his shoulders, but he should be ready to go for the start of practice and could slide over to center. Left tackle Oday Aboushi and right tackle Morgan Moses could be one of the best overall blocking duos in the nation.

Last season, U.Va. gave up 16 sacks, which was second-least in the ACC and least among offenses …

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Georgia Tech notes: ‘Unacceptable’ practice for Jackets

1. With preseason camp ending Saturday, Georgia Tech’s first official day of preparation for Virginia Tech did not inspire confidence.

“[Monday] was not very good,” coach Paul Johnson said. “It was unacceptable.”

Asked if the team lacked energy, Johnson said it was “a lack of a lot of things,” then shared responsibility with the coaching staff for not getting the team ready for practice.

“Anytime you come out to practice or to play a game with anything less than [full effort], it’s going to show,” A-backs coach Lamar Owens said. “We’re just trying to get these guys in the habit of (understanding) there is only one speed that you play at. You only play fast. There is no other gear.”

The Yellow Jackets will play Virginia Tech Sept. 3 in Blacksburg, Va. Georgia Tech has 10 more practices before the opener. Johnson said Monday’s practice was “strictly scout-team work.” One of the biggest challenges the Jackets face is stopping quarterback Logan …

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Bobby Cremins to assist GTAA

A Georgia Tech legend has returned to the fold in full. Former men’s basketball coach Bobby Cremins, who retired from coaching in March, will assist the Tech athletic department in alumni outreach and other activities to support coach Brian Gregory’s program.

Gregory has spoken with respect and admiration for Cremins since his hire. The two had known each other prior to Gregory’s hire and Cremins has reached out to him since he became the Yellow Jackets coach in March 2011. The two will speak at a news conference Wednesday to discuss Cremins’ involvement.

Cremins coached Tech from 1981 to 2000, putting together a record of 354-237 while winning three ACC championships and making 10 NCAA tournament appearances. After a five-year sabbatical, Cremins finished his coaching career with six seasons at the College of Charleston.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

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Tech notes: Rod Sweeting sharp in practice

For whatever it’s worth, cornerback Rod Sweeting got a slight promotion on the depth chart last week, going from being a co-No. 1 with Louis Young going into camp to being the sole No. 1 at one of the corner spots. Young had been listed at both corner spots as a co-No. 1, sharing the other spot with Jemea Thomas. (Young still is co-No. 1 with Thomas at the cornerback spot opposite Sweeting.)

Anyway, secondary coach Charles Kelly said that Sweeting’s work over the summer is evident. He has been sharp coming out of his backpedal, quick in his breaks and his man coverage ability has improved from spring practice, according to Kelly.

“I think he just has a better understanding of how everything (in the defensive scheme) works,” he said.

Kelly ventured to say that Sweeting, if given enough practice reps, could play any position in the secondary – cornerback, safety, nickel back or in a substitution package. (Which could be profitable for the Yellow Jackets assuming Young, …

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Tech’s T.J. Barnes kicking it into gear

Of all the testimonials given to Georgia Tech nose tackle T.J. Barnes’ improvement, perhaps none carries more credence than one from a teammate who has spent much of the past two weeks colliding with him.

“T.J., he used to not be much of a threat to rush the passer,” guard Will Jackson said, “but now he’s getting back there and he’s a lot quicker and a lot more explosive off the ball.”

The wait for Barnes, blessed with an easy laugh, quiet personality and immense size, to measure up to his potential may be over. This much is certain – now heading into his senior season, he can’t wait much longer.

“I think he realizes right now he’s got 12 games he’s guaranteed to play,” strength and conditioning coach John Sisk said.

The hoopla over Barnes began soon after his arrival from Enterprise, Ala. He was a terror on the scout team in his redshirt season. It led coaches and fans to imagine what he could do against actual opponents.

“He’s got the ability to …

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