Bradley’s Buzz: Hewitt delivers least bang for big bucks

Big contract, smallish results

It has been this correspondent’s contention that Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt has underperformed for five consecutive seasons. In three of those he has finished with a losing record, and in the other two — 2004-2005, when the Jackets returned four starters from a Final Four team, and 2006-2007, when Tech had four future NBA players on the squad — he manged to lose 12 games each time. But now Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal has gotten all analytical and determined that, lo and behold, Hewitt is the most overpaid coach in college basketball.

Futterman measures a coach’s contract — Hewitt makes $1.3 million — against his team’s annual RPI to ascertain that the Institute is paying its coach $288,888 for what he calls “each [rating] point beyond the threshold of mediocrity.” Futterman writes that Hewitt declined a request to comment, but Tech publicist Mike Stamus writes in an e-mail that,”Matthew asked to speak either to Dan [Radakovich, the AD] or Paul, and Dan volunteered to speak for us on that subject. We never presented the request to Paul.”

(Here’s what Radakovich had to say in January about Hewitt’s status and his massive contract.)

The WSJ also ran this chart, and it should be stipulated that Futterman ranked only those coaches who have been at their schools for four or more seasons and whose million-dollar contracts could be verified. Meaning: Kentucky’s Billy Gillispie isn’t featured. But Bruce Pearl of Tennessee is rated the best bargain. And now the thrifty Vols have surely pulled off another coup by hiring the crafty Lane Kiffin.

Kidding about the last part.

Capel to Georgia? Um, not so fast

The Bulldogs are reportedly prepared to offer Jeff Capel $2 million to leave Oklahoma and come to Athens, and that might not be such a deal, either. According to Jason Whitlock of FoxSports.com, Capel “simply cannot coach.” And it must be noted that, even with the presumptive national player of the year in Blake Griffin, the Sooners didn’t win either the Big 12 regular-season or tournament title.

Full disclosure: I saw Capel’s Sooners play Louisville in Round 2 of the NCAA tournament last March and wasn’t impressed with his team. Neither were the Cardinals, who won 78-48.

Last week at the ACC tournament I asked Jason Capel if his older brother was UGA-bound. He said he didn’t think so. “I don’t think Oklahoma will let him leave,” Jason Capel said.

And here’s another Georgia semi-update, this from Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald: The Bulldogs might be interested in the Hurricanes’ Frank Haith. Me, I’d rather re-up Pete Herrmann than hire Frank Haith, whose team didn’t even make the NCAA tournament. But maybe that’s just me.

Enough basketball! More draft!

According to Russ Lande of Sporting News’ War Room, Matthew Stafford won’t be the first player taken in the April NFL draft or even the ninth. He’ll go 10th. And Mike Mayock of NFL.com, who famously championed Matt Ryan last year, went on the Dan Patrick Show and said Stafford isn’t worth the No. 1 overall pick and contends, evocatively enough, that “the streets are littered” with big-armed quarterbacks. Why, I believe I saw Ryan Leaf on the corner of Marietta and Spring just the other day!

Also from Lande: Tech defensive end Michael Johnson, who was thought to be cliff-diving out of the first round, is now on the uptick. And Johnson has scheduled a meeting with the Falcons, who could use another pass rusher.

National correspondent fears for your Atlanta Hawks

The partnership of Mike Woodson and Josh Smith, now in its fifth season, is ultimately doomed. So writes Chris Mannix of SI.com. And here’s where I, being just a no-name local guy, step in and say: Wait a minute.

It’s my belief that this Woody/J-Smoove thing has been totally overblown. Yes, Woodson benched him in the second half of a loss at Charlotte 10 days ago. But can anyone really say Smith won’t (or doesn’t) play for this coach?

Let me channel Matthew Futterman and look at the numbers: In the five games since the Charlotte snafu, Smith has averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds. Averaged a double-double, in other words. And he has, wonder of wonders, hoisted only one three-pointer in that span.

Can Smith be capricious? Yes. Can Woodson be obstinate? Absolutely. But I see no reason to believe these two can’t continue to co-exist. And those five games? The Hawks won all five.

And now a word from the Fiasco sponsor (namely, me)

If you haven’t entered the 22nd annual Final Four Fiasco, please take a moment and do so here. You might not be glad you did, but we folks at the ol’ AJC sure will.

Oh, and here’s who I’m picking. More important, you’ll discover who Elizabeth Bradley, who has outdone her dumb dad each of the past two years, is picking.

183 comments Add your comment

StingerSplash

March 16th, 2009
12:51 pm

Bradley, dude, the WSJ thing has been on the stingtalk.com forums for a week. But hey, not all of us had to toil those long hours at the ACC cocktail party, no?

Mark Bradley

March 16th, 2009
12:55 pm

With all due respect, it hasn’t been a week. The article ran in Friday’s WSJ.

Gordon

March 16th, 2009
12:58 pm

Keep in mind the WSJ report is only considering the current year salary – I don’t think it takes into account the buyout. That makes it even worse. Bobby Cremins won 56 games his last 4 years at Tech, and felt with that performance he should resign. Paul Hewitt has won 56 games his last 4 years at Tech.

Born2Buzz

March 16th, 2009
1:04 pm

Geez Mark (and WSJ), just rub it in. I’m just so sick of thinking about Hewitt I’m actually glad our season is over.

GSU

March 16th, 2009
1:05 pm

Tech gets All-American recruits every year, but they don’t produce on the court. I wonder why that is? UGA football does the same, but at least they usually end up in the top 25 every year. Got to hold the coach accountable on this one.

Gordon

March 16th, 2009
1:10 pm

To be fair, I think Hewitt shouldn’t be criticized too much for the year after the final four. Elder, Muhammad, and Smith were are injured much of that year. The year before the final four (the Bosh year), I do think he underperformed. The first (taking Cremins leftovers to the tournament) and second (winning 8 of the last 11 with a bunch of freshmen) years I thought he walked on water. Now I don’t think he can even swim. As I’ve said before, the Midwest regional win over Kansas in 2004 has turned out to be the most expensive in Tech history.

dawgkicker

March 16th, 2009
1:13 pm

Mark bradley cant give any un-biased opinion about tech being the UGA lover he is… its funny he wont publish articles like this about UGA and the extreme low results this year for the NATIONAL CHAMP bullpups. but what can you expect from this paper. and as far as tech recruiting i will use the UGA approach to the situation….. We had injusries and trasnfers that affected our team with unpredictable results. This was also in conjunction with the loss of a core of senior leadership….. Hey that alwasy works for UGA when they fall short……

thom

March 16th, 2009
1:17 pm

Hey, I envy the Dawgs! At least they had the kahunas to step up to the plate and finish the Felton train wreck!

Trouble Funk

March 16th, 2009
1:19 pm

Hewitt is not overpaid. They’re only worth what their boss is willing to pay them. For what he has done at Tech I would say he’s underpaid. Capel can’t carry Felton’s “Jock” If Felton had Blake he would’ve made it to the Final Four. I like Capel but lets wait & see what he does after Blake leaves.

TM

March 16th, 2009
1:21 pm

I totally agree with the WSJ on this. Paul Hewitt has done N-O-T-H-I-N-G at Tech. The Final 4 appearance was a product of Cremins. Not hating on Hewitt, but how long do you have to be mediocre before you realize your coach is mediocre? I don’t think he is a bad coach, just not a great one.

wes

March 16th, 2009
1:27 pm

I used to think “Bark Madley” was just that….a big-time UGA homer.

He’s not. He predicted Tech to make the Final 4 in 2004 and picked UGA to win the NC in football this past year.

He’s equally dumb and smart and not really biased in this regard. However, the whole “I’m from Kentucky” bit really really blows.

RAMBLE ON!!!

March 16th, 2009
1:29 pm

Thanks Mark, keep up the good work. $433,333 for each ACC win, after 9 years.

That is being over paid. That’s a no brainer…or should I say a David Brainer

m

March 16th, 2009
1:32 pm

Paul Hewitt is only half as bad as Chan Gailey…..but that is still pretty bad.

GT Fan

March 16th, 2009
1:34 pm

Enough is enough….Fire Paul Hewitt!!!ASP!

RIP

March 16th, 2009
1:36 pm

Kid, you still don’t get it do you? I’ll be seeing you soon.

GT4Life

March 16th, 2009
1:49 pm

I just wish that the WSJ would write an article titled, “The Most Over-paid Sports Columnist”. I’d like to see if M. Bradley would let everyone know that he tops that list. I doubt he would.

DawginLex

March 16th, 2009
1:58 pm

Rambler, you will think Hewitt is a bargain after a few years of Paul johnson…………………..

Jack

March 16th, 2009
2:13 pm

Mark, I did not need the WSJ to tell me that Hewitt is grossly overpaid. If he had any pride in himself, he would just resign because I don’t think that the Tech AA plans to fire him anytime soon. It really doesn’t matter, Tech BB is irrelevant anyway.

lawzoo

March 16th, 2009
2:14 pm

Didn’t ga. want Dave Odom? He’s available.

Mark Bradley

March 16th, 2009
2:18 pm

TM, I really don’t know how you could say the Final Four was a product of Cremins. His last season was 1999-2000. The Final Four run was in 2004, and most of those players were juniors. (Jarrett Jack was a sophomore.)

Keith in Midtown

March 16th, 2009
2:18 pm

Listen Hewitt is the best dressed man in college so leave him alone.

Mark Bradley

March 16th, 2009
2:20 pm

Vince Dooley always liked Dave Odom and approached him at least twice. But Odom’s retired now. I don’t see him as a long-term answer.

ggodsey

March 16th, 2009
2:24 pm

RIP welcome back! I have missed you so much.

?? dawginlex ??

March 16th, 2009
2:27 pm

DawginLex,
Is your contention that Hewitt will be a bargain after a few years of PJ because, under PJ, that Jackets will lose fewer than 10 games over the next 3 seasons (none of which will be to GA), and he [PJ] will receive another pay raise??

Ty in Sandy Springs

March 16th, 2009
2:28 pm

I think Iman Shumpert is the most overrated player we’ve had since Kevin Morris.

ggodsey

March 16th, 2009
2:31 pm

Im going to get you sucka

Mark Bradley

March 16th, 2009
2:31 pm

I actually think Shumpert is a good player. He’s more a slasher than a shooter, but I like guys like that.

The UNDISPUTED Truth

March 16th, 2009
2:33 pm

To say that Hewitt is only “half as bad as Gailey” is simply ridiculous.

Relatively speaking, Hewitt has had 10 times as many blue chip recruits as Gailey ever had.

And what has Hewitt done with these recruits over the past five seasons? Zilch.

Otto

March 16th, 2009
2:34 pm

Isn’t Paul Hewitt’s agent a UGA grad? Go Dawgs!!! GT can’t afford to dump Hewitt like UGA dumped Felton.

Mark Bradley

March 16th, 2009
2:38 pm

I believe Hewitt’s agent is indeed a Georgia alum.

Ty in Sandy Springs

March 16th, 2009
2:41 pm

Mark, Don’t you think Shumpert is a little aggressive with his ball play?

RedGADawg

March 16th, 2009
2:42 pm

Guess paying PH is the reason high end zone tixs for GA fans are $75.00 this year for football. Do believe that the UGA policy is to charge the same for visitors as they charge UGA fans. Too bad for Yella Bees as there is shortage in Athens and plenty available for all Tech games from their fans who can’t stand the smell of defeat on home turf. Hewiit is proved to be overpaid and a can not get rid of coach. I need his agent.

Tom Davis

March 16th, 2009
2:42 pm

Paul Hewitt doesn’t think he is overpaid. Just ask him. Just like everything else at Tech, especially the women, subpar.

Mark Bradley

March 16th, 2009
2:44 pm

I don’t think anybody in the world believes he/she is overpaid. Not even the folks at AIG.

DawgGirl32

March 16th, 2009
2:45 pm

DawgKicker: “Mark bradley cant give any un-biased opinion about tech being the UGA lover he is… its funny he wont publish articles like this about UGA and the extreme low results this year for the NATIONAL CHAMP bullpups. but what can you expect from this paper. and as far as tech recruiting i will use the UGA approach to the situation….. We had injusries and trasnfers that affected our team with unpredictable results. This was also in conjunction with the loss of a core of senior leadership….. Hey that alwasy works for UGA when they fall short……”

The difference is, when UGA “falls short” they still finish in the top 10 in the nation….

JimG

March 16th, 2009
2:45 pm

So which of Hewitt’s assistants will get the gate? I’d be surprised if Rado hasn’t told him he has to fire some assistants to give the impression of accountability adn “change”…

Mark Bradley

March 16th, 2009
2:49 pm

I’m not sure any of them will, Jim G. But I would be surprised if the topic of changing assistant coaches wasn’t at least raised in-house.

StingerSplash

March 16th, 2009
2:51 pm

Felt like a week. Friday, Saturday …. so it’s been about four days, more than half a week.
Still, Mark, your points are salient and well-taken.
And Memphis is winning it all.

Tom Davis

March 16th, 2009
2:52 pm

When Tech won in the first round of ACC Tournament, Hewitt and the tech fan base acted like they won a National Championship. Steak Shapiro on 790 The Zone was pumping the news too because he thought he could get more people in STATS his overpriced, crap hole sports bar.

JimG

March 16th, 2009
2:53 pm

Do you think Hewitt is a good evaluator of talent and attitude? Seems as though the last 4-5 yrs have seen a number of heralded players who underperformed, and also a number of players who just don’t seem to be ACC material, even with the academic challenges to deal with..

RedGADawg

March 16th, 2009
2:53 pm

Follow up comment, so do the Yella Bugs blame UGA for Hewitt’s contract since a DAWG alum is his agent. Thanks to the agent, great hope for UGA’s BB future as TECH is stuck with PH.

GTgrad'10

March 16th, 2009
2:53 pm

Ty, I wouldn’t say Shumpert is overrated. He was a true freshman this year, so his better days are ahead of him. I have a couple of classes w/ him and have had the pleasure of getting to know him. I think he showed true grit this year considering everything he has gone through in his life. Most of you don’t know that he grew up in the slums of Chicago, and didn’t really have anyone in his family he could count on. His dad skipped town when he was a boy (only to resurface when Iman started getting noticed). Iman worked all through out high school (full time) bagging groceries at a local Super Target trying to help his single mom pay the bills. Iman started to get attention from schools his soph year, and eventually chose us over UNC.

He has the chance to be a 1st rounder in next years draft, so he will have his chance to enjoy -along with his sweet mother- not living on wellfare for the first time in his life.

Iman is a true heroe in my opinion and he deserves our respect. Good luck next year, Iman!

darblue

March 16th, 2009
2:56 pm

Dear Mark Bradley,

As a UGA Basketball supporter, I am intrigued by your blogging that my Doggies are “reportedly prepared” to offer Capel a 2m/yr offer. I know his name is associated with the opening, but if this has truly been reported I would appreciate a link to analyze the credibility of the source.

What does “reportedly prepared” mean? Damon will be presenting him with an offer sheet once OU gets ousted from the tourney? I’m not buying it … yet.

Mark Bradley

March 16th, 2009
2:58 pm

Jim, I don’t know what the problem is. I thought Hewitt did a terrific job in 2001 with Cremins’ players and in 2004 with his own. I think — and I’ve even said this to him — he proved he could coach at the highest level. But he’s one game above .500 since the NCAA title game of 2004. And I think a lot of talent has been left to languish.

And Stinger, I was certain the Tigers were going to win it all last season when they were up nine with two minutes left in the title game. But it didn’t happen then, and I don’t think it’ll happen now.

StingerSplash

March 16th, 2009
3:01 pm

Okey dokey, Mr. Bradley, one challenge for you:
Forget the NCAA Sweet 16. I want to know your picks for the real Sweet 16 to take place this weekend at Rupp Arena.

Mark Bradley

March 16th, 2009
3:02 pm

Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com reported it about two weeks ago. I relayed the link in Buzz last week. http://tinyurl.com/7h4gx6

GT66

March 16th, 2009
3:04 pm

The WSJ article simply confirms with math what we knew and saw for ourselves. Hewitt is a terrible coach and should be fired. He cannot even coach as well as Whack Hyder. Hyder would beat Kentucky. When has Hewitt beaten North Carolina?

Mark Bradley

March 16th, 2009
3:06 pm

Final Four: West Jessamine, Eastern, Holmes and Mason County. Final two: Eastern and Holmes. KHSAA boys’ state champ: Holmes.

ggodsey

March 16th, 2009
3:06 pm

Thats a touching story about Shumpert. The really sad thing is that his uncle was not there for him in high school but suddenly appears when Iman gets some attention. Iman, don’t let hangers-on bring you down. When you go to the NBA remember how Tony just appeared in your life a year before you were to get paid. Good luck.

StingerSplash

March 16th, 2009
3:07 pm

GT grad ‘10,
I’m with you on Shumpert. Kid hits two huge shots at the end against Wake. His late game play against FSU in the tournament left something to be desired, but he wasn’t getting a lot of help, either.
And perhaps it was MB who pointed out the paucity of timeouts for Tech at that critical juncture.
I think Shumpert can be very good. He won’t be Kenny Anderson-Mark Price-Jarrett Jack great. He may not even be Travis Best or Tony Akins. He’s got to work on a few aspects of his game but he has time to do that. I think Moe Miller, even with the time he missed because of his injuries, took a step back, or at least did not progress as much as hoped. You want to win, you better have good guard play. So sayeth a friend of mine who’s won 600 games in Georgia. And The Genius is never wrong.