Is Jackets’ season a success, or are you waiting for more?

The Jackets got a lot of people (including themselves) excited with three wins in the ACC tournament.

Georgia Tech created excitement -- and expectations -- in the ACC tournament. (AP photo)

The NCAA selection committee got it right when it made Georgia Tech a 10th seed in the tournament. Higher would’ve ignored the sense of underachievement in the regular season. Lower would’ve ignored the run we just watched in the ACC tournament.

But should just making the tournament field as a 10th seed define success for the Jackets?

What's a successful season for Georgia Tech?

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This is not a fire Paul Hewitt referendum. Fact is, I’m not sure I would’ve supported Hewitt’s exit even if Tech had failed to make the tournament. But this is about grading a season, relative to expectations. Tech’s year is still an incomplete.

In the last four games, we saw the Jackets’ upside. So let’s see where they go from here. It was a great run in the ACC tournament: three wins and a narrow loss to in the title game to Duke, one of the team’s top four teams. But the performances  in Greensboro is what we expected most of this season.

So here’s the question of the day: How many NCAA tournament games does Tech need to win for you to consider this year a success? Or is it already a success?

The Jackets don’t have an easy draw. The first game is against Oklahoma State, which has beaten both Kansas and Kansas State this season. Then possibly Ohio State. Then maybe Georgetown or Tennessee. And the reward for three wins? Kansas.

Given the high ceiling projected for Tech, I personally believe one-and-done would be a disappointment. A let down. Do you agree? I’ve posted a poll, but given Hewitt has been such a lightning rod all season, I’d like to see your reaction to what the Jackets have accomplished. Thanks. I’ll check back later.

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and on Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

159 comments Add your comment

Tigers Wood

March 15th, 2010
6:17 am

Tech is 2nd in ACC

Gordon

March 15th, 2010
6:20 am

He went from an F to a D for this season with the ACC run. He can bring it up to a C with a sweet 16 run. The trouble is, this is his highest grade of the last 5 years.

I truly admire the heart and effort the players have shown all reason. The problem is coaching. In the ACC tournament, Tech set a turnover record, and through 3 games had the lowest free throw percentage of any team in ACC tournament history. That’s 2 records set for 57 years of play.

While it was very exciting, the ACC tournament is the worst thing that could have happened in the long run for Tech: good enough for Hewitt to keep his job, not good enough to hang a banner.

Fuzzy Bee

March 15th, 2010
6:30 am

What a great run in the ACC tournament…I think we saw that Tech has the ability to play with anybody, but it will be tough to get by Ohio State in round 2. That said, I would hope Tech would be able to get past Oklahoma State in the opener, and wouldn’t be shocked to see Tech in the Regional Finals with Kansas.

FalconUGAFan

March 15th, 2010
6:50 am

I don’t follow Tech much, but would have to agree with you that it would take at least one win to call the season a success. They came in 2nd in ACC play which is a good thing as the ACC in BB is very tough. GT seems to get alot of talent looking for a stepping stone into the NBA, so that makes it difficult to have a cohesive squad.

Sam

March 15th, 2010
6:51 am

As an alumnus, Tech’s academic record is more important to me than the athletic. Paul Hewitt and his program are a credit to GT, and he does well enough in the NCAA’s best big-ball conference to keep his job.

Opinion

March 15th, 2010
6:59 am

Unfortunately, this is all we will get…maybe 1 or two wins then next year we have nobody coming back and we will be in the cellar of the ACC again, and again screaming to fire Hewitt….nothing changes

BB's

March 15th, 2010
7:04 am

A three game winning streak, even at a good time, does not make a season successful. This team, perhaps the most talented in the ACC, went 7-9 in league play. They still make every inbound play an adventure. I don’t know when or if CPH can be fired with his “Braineless” contract. But I do not have hope that they will be consistently good under his direction. The young men showed great courage this weekend, literally playing for their coach’s job. But I will be surprised if we win again. Hope I’m wrong. Not one of those pulling against my own team. But the offense struggles so much. It’s painful to watch.

Buzz

March 15th, 2010
7:09 am

uhh, Sam, Gt lst a scholarship for basketball because of graduation rates under Hewitt! Either that was tongue in cheek or you need to get your facts straight.

Sorry, jacket fans and Hewitt bashers...

March 15th, 2010
7:18 am

…but after watching Tech play for 4 days, the problem is not with the coaching but with the players themselves – I have never seen so many unforced turnovers in my life – dribbling off their foot, throwing passes out of bounds, throwing passes to difficult to catch – the first 4 times down the court yesterday against Duke and 4 turnovers – what a nightmare – and none of that is coaching, but pure, physical mistakes by the players.

As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink – the same applies for coaching – you can teach them all you can, but once the whistle blows the players have to play – and the Tech players, if they are as talented as everyone seems to think they are, are really not playing well, even though they are probably coached much better than they play. And yet they play close – which IS coaching!

But still, a new coach would probably serve the team well – but now you are in a UGA situation from 2 years ago, when they won the tourney, which only prolonged the inevitable of firing the coach – though that really did not serve them well, as they still sucked this year, but everyone was happier, even though the results were no better. The same is probably going to happen at Tech whenever they get around to firing/hiring, as the new guy will not be able to recruit as well – but the fans will be happier since they just know it is the coaches fault that the players still make PHYSICAL mistakes.

Jesse Stone

March 15th, 2010
7:29 am

Sorry, jacket fans….- Coach Hewitt recruited those horses that wouldn’t drink. Those guys didn’t just show up on his doorstep. He went out and got them.
PreSeason, I was thinking AT LEAST Sweet 16 with this bunch. Success = Elite 8

A fan

March 15th, 2010
7:30 am

This team coaches and plays DUMB

Glenn

March 15th, 2010
7:36 am

I have had the enjoyment of watching GT basket over the last three decades. This years ACC tournament was enjoyable and I am pround for the young menand their accomplishments. Mr Hewitt doesn’t really understand the pasion of GT basketball, sure we praise him for taking GT to the final four in 2004. What we really want every year is to compete in the ACC, make it to the Big Dance and make a run at the championship. Bobby Cremins made that happen, he built this program now its time to take to a next level.

PoliticalMan

March 15th, 2010
7:43 am

Tech’s B-ball team may be the ratiest, ragged, most undisciplined team I’ve ever seen. I really don’t care if they ever win a game. Just watching them play can make a student of the game sick. Their coach has to be terrible.

gtjet

March 15th, 2010
7:44 am

When a team, game in and game out, season in and season out, leads the world in turnovers, and when a team;s foul shooting is abysmal, and when a team cannot recognize of deliver the ball in to their best players, who do you blame? The players? All of them? Its the coach. He stinks. As much as I enjoyed them in the tourney, its terrible listening to others say they have the most talent (and 7-9)……Sorry, huge Tech fan, and this is not good enough

Tech70

March 15th, 2010
7:44 am

With Hewitt as coach, the cycle of mediocrity will continue. Who is going to replace Lawal & Favors next year ? Guards jacking up 3’s & turnovers will equal a losing season.

F-105 Thunderchief

March 15th, 2010
7:46 am

If Mark Fox was coaching this team, they wouldn’t have lost four games all season.

Smyrna Jacket

March 15th, 2010
8:02 am

Terribly disappointing season. Way too much talent to be so mediocre. Coaching, plain and simple. Yeah, Hewitt recruits some wonderful ballplayers, but he does not coach them up. And all 3 big bodies will be gone next year. Uh-oh.

We’re at the end of the season, and our guys don’t know who is supposed to make an inbounds pass. We can’t get open. I am tired of watching careless pass after careless pass get picked off. And what’s with running down the court to take another ridiculous 3-point shot. We don’t seem to understand that we have 2 of the very best bigs, yet our offense never seems to go through them. Our free throw shooting is awful. All of these shortcomings are on the coach.

Yes, the Jackets played some really inspired basketball at times. But we have not been consistent. Too many issues. And our coach constantly states that he feels that we’re okay. I strongly disagree.

The character of any organization comes from the top down. Coaching is our problem. But who amongst all of us who would like to see the Hewitt era end at Tech has $7MM to buy him out?

Turnt_UP!

March 15th, 2010
8:03 am

While I concede that I have also been disappointed in CPH the last several years, this CPH blame has been become pretty ridiculous. A lot of the errors that I am seeing the team make also come down to the players themselves, some were fatigue induced also. A college coach should not have tell a kid that you cannot step out of bounds unforced. You typically learn that in grade school. Kids who have decent shooting touches, clank at the free throw line. You can try and teach sound fundamentals for shooting them, but the kid has to execute it. A future Hall of Famer in Shaq has played all his life and is terrible from the line. You think he has never had a good coach at any point in his entire career? I love how people talk about “they need to be working on free throws in practice.” Do you have any idea how much time and resources they have put towards that. But then again, I hear people complain, “We are having terrible weather, can’t that Obama administration do anything right????”

Mark Fox

March 15th, 2010
8:04 am

Hey anyone hear what seed we are and what region we are going to. My cell must be broken

Turnt_UP!

March 15th, 2010
8:04 am

Mark Fox has won what exactly?????

Turnt_UP!

March 15th, 2010
8:05 am

Bobby Cremins NEVER went to the national championship game, EVER!!!

Fried chicken skin is greasy and delicious

March 15th, 2010
8:11 am

Paul Hewitt and Mike Woodson, what did Atlanta do wrong to deserve these two?

Turnt_DOWN!

March 15th, 2010
8:12 am

Turnt_DOWN! = the direction of Tech’s program since that national championship game … six, count ‘em, six very long years ago.

73-66

March 15th, 2010
8:15 am

“Mark Fox has won what exactly?????” 73-66!!!!! That, plus Illinois, Tennessee, etc. You know UGA is on the rise, while Tech continues to wallow in mediocrity.

Mark Fox

March 15th, 2010
8:18 am

73-66 is only one game. Tech is dancing and we are drinking

73-66

March 15th, 2010
8:21 am

Tech is one-and-done. Then, because they cannot afford to fire their lousy coach, they will have a losing season next year. Ah, life is good.

Rajesh Koothrappali

March 15th, 2010
8:22 am

Coach Hewitt for President! He is the best thing for Georgia Tech since the invention of the slurpee.

A fan

March 15th, 2010
8:23 am

6-34 on the road in the ACC the past 5 seasons.
1 winning conference record in TEN seasons.
This is not a one year problem, it’s a TREND. Next year will be a great year to start anew with a different coach. All 3 bigs will be leaving.

A fan

March 15th, 2010
8:24 am

UGA, with a LOSING record is on the rise????

pws

March 15th, 2010
8:24 am

Well, as a season ticket holder for many years, I have finally understood what Bobby Cremins said when he said that a team has to have “chemistry” to be a really good team. The only team that has had that kind of chemistry under Blewitt is the 2004 team, and the leader of that team was Clarence Moore, not Blewitt. I like Paul as a person, but sometimes I think that his being a nice guy is part of the problem. Look at how Moe Miller played this weekend, if Paul hadn’t undermined his confidence earlier in the year, we might have been at least 9-7 in the ACC, and not 7-9. Moe is the only guard who tried to take advantage of his two big men inside, he’s the only one who tried to get them the ball. The team does not play as a team, they are playing as individuals, with Shumpert being one of the players with no team attitude. And that chemistry has to come from the coach, the coach has to become the leader of the team when there is no leader among the players, and Paul has not been able to do so. However I did like it when I heard him on tv yell at the ref yesterday that the ref was terrible. It was the same ref who didn’t appreciate the wipe off board I had two years ago with “missed calls” written on it at AMC….

MalibuGT

March 15th, 2010
8:24 am

I think a sweet 16 team would make this year a success (particularly relative to the past several years). a one and done would not.

there were a number of things this weekend that drove me crazy with the coaching and the team, but mainly i’m proud of both. coming to within an off balance 3 pointer of beating a number 1 see and being conference champion was impressive. Maybe our tough luck with losing close games will even out with some wins in the big dance.

Bigger Fish to Fry

March 15th, 2010
8:24 am

We have bigger fish to fry than just the ACC tournament championship, sweet 16, or final four. With Lawal and Favors we better win it all or CPH deserves to be fired, $7 million buyout or not!

Prof. Snape

March 15th, 2010
8:25 am

Of course UGA is on the rise. Only a fool would deny it. Or a bug.

George P

March 15th, 2010
8:26 am

I think the poll misses the mark because the success of a season isn’t measured just by what happens at the end. Tech had a losing record in the ACC and lost to a mediocre Georgia team. With the talent they have they fell far short.

The ACC tournament run helped, and winning a couple of games in the NCAA tournament would be nice, but the season is already a failure.

(This, by the way, is why I am dead set against a football playoff: it will cheapen the real season and encourage people to think of post-season success as the only measure.)

Reality Check

March 15th, 2010
8:29 am

GT is lucky to get in the tournament. The fact is that VT should have gone to the dance before GT, three less conference losses and they BEAT GT at GT the last game of the season. For some reason the Committee threw 3 months of conference games out for one fluke weekend. GT beat the two worst teams in the ACC along with one good win agains Maryland. GT might win a game in NCAA but it is a shame that a team like VT gets the shaft.

ramblingbuzz

March 15th, 2010
8:33 am

The 3 ACC wins were exciting but ugly. You have to give the team credit for an amazing amount of heart, they never quit in any of the games including the final. An opening loss in the NCAA would be a disappointment considering the success in the ACC tournament.

Stuart

March 15th, 2010
8:35 am

If you one and done in the NCAA Tournament the question rises.. “were you ever really there”? Tech has to win at least 2 games in the tourney for this season to be considered a success. For more Tech talk visit: http://www.bbuzzoff.com

Crqacker Jacket

March 15th, 2010
8:35 am

Success is beating Georgia every year!

A fan

March 15th, 2010
8:41 am

Does anyone know what kind of recruiting class is coming in next year?

SMITTYSTHEMAN

March 15th, 2010
8:46 am

Tech’s exceptional talent got them into the Big Dance IN SPITE OF Hewitt’s coaching. With Bell and Peacock graduating, and Lawal and Favors probably going pro, let’s see what Hewitt does with the remaining talent. My bet is they have another coachless down season.

Tony B

March 15th, 2010
8:47 am

Congratulations to the Yellow Jackets on this season. If this were any other coach the description would be “they’re peaking at the right time”. However in this “what have you done for me lately” fan base, we fault the coach for turnovers & ft shooting. In the past 5 yrs CPH has been 20 games under 0.500 in conference play. During that time he’s had 5 different point guards. This is a point guard driven league. The kids (6 Fr. 3 Soph.) played well this year, with 3 different point guards.

Angus

March 15th, 2010
8:48 am

I voted win 2 – Sweet Sixteen.

I had high expectations, but Top 8 in the country? Nah.

Because of a couple of bad losses this year, Tech will struggle to win one and will not win two.

Overall, disappointment.

Chris

March 15th, 2010
8:52 am

You saw their upside? With how many turnovers? If this is their upside then they won’t win more than 1 game this week. Upside is 16 turnovers in a half? Or 24+ in a game? Upside is lazy play at times and missed easy shots? I will give the defense credit. They played hard. If this team could just stop the stupid turnovers then they would win their region or at least give ku a run. But you can’t fix problems this big this late. So they will lose to oh st by 20

BravesFan79

March 15th, 2010
8:53 am

George P: Yea, playing every football season where 95% of the teams (including GT) have NO shot at winning a national title really makes the games Much more meaningful!

Hey… lets cancel the World Series and playoffs this year so the Nationals and Royals can play a bowl “meaningless exhibition” game after the season. It just wouldn’t be fair to those teams not to have the chance to play in front of 5,000 fans one more time. Then after everyone plays a meaningless exhibition game, we can draw straws to see who the champ is! Awsome!!

Bad Coach

March 15th, 2010
8:58 am

GT won 3 straight games this weekend because Hewitt didn’t have as much time to coach them down. They barely beat UNC and then won ugly the rest of the way on talent. They will lose the first NCAA game because he’ll have too much time to prepare the team. Playing everyday actually helped GT over the weekend.

come on

March 15th, 2010
8:59 am

i don’t know where this tech won’t have anyone back next year statements are coming from. we will only lose favors and maybe gani. i think gani is back due to inconsistent play. we will have rice jr, oliver, mo, kam (who is redshirting) shump, mfon, incoming jason morris(who has a 95 ranting). we also have 2 top one hundred recruits from last class that took redshirts. so i think that we have the players there, and these freshman will have been battle tested.

come on

March 15th, 2010
9:01 am

lets remember what tech did last time we lost a great one and done post player to the draft. maybe another run is in the future

GT Supporter

March 15th, 2010
9:02 am

GT got a bad match with OK State..Theyre done in the 1st round.
Paul Hewitt clearly understands GT barely got in the bIg dance.
The tourney committee gave GT “Mercy Hump” this year.

Sadly Paul Hewitt should still be dismissed.
You cant talk a winning program if you cant win!!
Hewitt had ten years to get this right…Isnt ten years enough?

And all GT fans please admit you were on the edge of your seats when you watched GT skim by UNC U OF MD and NC State. Tech didnt look good in any of those games!! Theyre just getting by.

Terrible FREE THROW SHOOTING AND TURNOVERS!!!
Tech still needs major work and improvement!!

What is the prediction for the 2010-11 season with all your “strengths” going to the NBA with Hewitt as coach??

Hopps

March 15th, 2010
9:03 am

I saw a stat during the duke game about half way through that said gt broke the conf record for most turnovers. i’m sure they smashed the record and it will never be broken. If they had a good point guard, they would be a top 10 team.

Tech82

March 15th, 2010
9:07 am

Come On – Most NBA pundits have both Lawal and Favors leaving as first round draft picks and we lose Bell and Peacock to graduation. That will leave Brad Sheehan as the ONLY big man on the roster. You still feeling good about next year?