5 UGA-Tech hoops observations: Favors, Fox and Hewitt

Not a Thompkins trey, but an emphatic deuce. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

This wasn't a Thompkins trey, but it was certainly an emphatic deuce. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

1. Derrick Favors doesn’t look like the Derrick Favors who played for South Atlanta. There’s a reason for that. He’s being asked to play out on the floor; his best work is done down low. The shots he’s getting — he took eight apiece in Georgia Tech’s losses to Florida State and Georgia — include too many face-up jumpers. He’s not a jump shooter. He’s a power player with terrific post moves. Trouble is, Gani Lawal is Tech’s No. 1 post option, and he has developed into a good one. But Lawal and Favors don’t yet mesh. They’re not, say, Horford and Noah.

2. Tech has a history of not always getting the ball to its biggest talents. Chris Bosh averaged 9.7 shots per game his one season at Tech. Then he left for the NBA and was the fourth player taken in a famous draft. (LeBron was No. 1, Carmelo No. 3.) Projected to be the second player drafted in June, Favors is averaging 8.2 shots. When asked Tuesday if there were enough shots for both Lawal and Favors in Tech’s offense, Hewitt said, “I think so.” Asked if the two get in one another’s way, Hewitt said, “I don’t think so.”

3. Such is the level of Georgia’s talent that Mark Fox can barely buy his starters a moment’s rest. There came a sequence in the first half when this was brought into stark relief. He removed Trey Thompkins, Ricky McPhee (a former walk-on) and Dustin Ware at the same time, and the result was that the Bulldogs were left with a lineup that had no hope of scoring. One horrid possession was all it took for Thompkins and Ware to be re-deployed. Ware wound up playing 38 minutes, McPhee 35, Thompkins 32. No Tech player save Lawal worked more than 32 minutes. And the team with no depth won. This guy is doing some coaching.

4. Thompkins is twice the player he was as a freshman. Last season was slowed by an early injury and never got into shape. He’s slimmer and quicker now, and he’s a tough matchup for any defender. (Favors started against him but ran into foul trouble, which can happen to post players who are asked to defend face-up opponents.) Thompkins is big but can shoot from distance and make plays off the dribble. The game’s biggest moment was his driving three-point swoop as the shot clock was down to (almost) nothing and the Bulldogs were leading by a point. As coaches say, he made a basketball play.

5. Hewitt has worked against three Georgia coaches without building a winning record against any of them. He was 1-2 against Jim Harrick and 3-3 against Dennis Felton;  he’s 0-1 against Fox. Hewitt has twice taken ranked teams to Athens and lost to the unranked Bulldogs. The frustration level in the Tech community seems at an all-time high, and the next five games — opponents: Duke, Virginia, North Carolina, Clemson and Florida State — could well determine not just the course of this season but the path of Hewitt’s future.

173 comments Add your comment

captaindave

January 6th, 2010
9:59 am

We Run This State: Part 2

January 6th, 2010
10:01 am

The results speak for themselves

Asheville Dawg

January 6th, 2010
10:02 am

captaindave

January 6th, 2010
10:02 am

I already have a Schultz first.
Someone tell Barnhardt the train’s a’comin.

Chief Nock A Homa

January 6th, 2010
10:03 am

Go Dawgs!

Fox seems to be taking the Dawgs in the right direction, while Hewitt seems to rarely be able to get the most out of the highly regarded talent he seems to always be able to bring in…

Asheville Dawg

January 6th, 2010
10:03 am

3rd & 4th is as close as i can get!

Mark Bradley

January 6th, 2010
10:03 am

You got it, Captain. Kudos.

cattle dawg

January 6th, 2010
10:04 am

Bay Bay needs to get as far as he can from the triple option ! Go pro , one more year in this offense will kill you.

Who Cares

January 6th, 2010
10:04 am

GT BB is irrelevant as long as Hewitt is in Atlanta

Mark Bradley

January 6th, 2010
10:05 am

The race isn’t always to the swift, Asheville. Take it from me, who’s as un-swift as is humanly possible.

Tech Sucks

January 6th, 2010
10:06 am

As always UGA > Tech in everything.

Get a life...who cares who's first, second, third or like Tech, last!

January 6th, 2010
10:07 am

cattle dawg

January 6th, 2010
10:07 am

Could mark Fox be the second coming off paul johnson.

Mark Bradley

January 6th, 2010
10:08 am

Well, Mark Fox does run the triangle offense. And Paul Johnson does run what’s often referred to as the triple option.

Tom

January 6th, 2010
10:09 am

Jennifer Love Hewitt is not a basketball coach, she stars in Ghost Whisperer.

Oh, wait…

cattle dawg

January 6th, 2010
10:10 am

Good points mark. Maybe Fox can lure in some big recruits .

Peadawg

January 6th, 2010
10:10 am

Ga beats Tech in something else…are you shocked?

captaindave

January 6th, 2010
10:11 am

Mark:
Your Hewitt comments are right on.
Your honest opinion: year in and year out, who has more ACC BB talent than GT (behind UNC and Duke)? GT finished last last year with arguably the fourth-most talent (UNC, Duke, and probably Wake).
A losing record 3 of 4 years with talent in the top third of the conference? This is a better indicator of coaching ability than one miracle run to the NCAA finals.

Andy Taylor

January 6th, 2010
10:11 am

Why those GA Tech hoopsters just ran into a mighty fine team. Fine, Fine, Mighty Fine Bulldog Team. They played their little hearts out and just can take heart that the Bulldogs are a mighty fine team. That Georgia Coach he done coached them Bulldogs up. Travis Leslie played one Whale of a game, and I just believe he could start for them there Yellar Jackets. i know that there Thompkins fellar would be the bestest player on the Yellar Jackets if he had made the decision to matriculate at that big city school.

It was a fine day for the Yellar Jackets, they played in a fine bowl down there in Miami. They played a mighty fine game, didn’t give up that many points and almost won that there game. They are going to use that outstanding, I tell you outstanding performance, as a spring board for the National Championship next year. They played a fine, fine, mighty fine team from up there in I Oway. them boys was used to all that cold weather they had in Miami and the poor Jackets forgot their jackets and got cold mighty cold and just had problems everwhere. They were playing hard and trying there best but the I oway boys just whopped them a little bit. All together a mighty fine day for the Georgia Tech Yellar Jackets yesterday. Mighty fine athletic program, I tell you mighty fine.

Wow, just Wow

January 6th, 2010
10:12 am

What a tough day for UGA athletics! That is 2 years in a row that the “new sheriff” got his head handed to him and his high school offense – that is 10 points in 2 very high profile games that that offense has scored in those 2 games.

And, then, to have the “trade school” lose to UGA at the same time, what with all the Tech Mickey D players and the poor UGA guys who just lost by 28 to a non-ranked team???

All of this just boggles inquiring minds!!! What is next – UGA having more Rhodes Scholars than Tech? Oh yeah, they already do have more – silly me!!!!

Mark Bradley

January 6th, 2010
10:12 am

That will be the test, Cattle Dawg. Recruiting, or the lack thereof, undid Dennis Felton.

Who is Derrick Favors?

January 6th, 2010
10:12 am

One and done? Really? Looks like he picked the wrong school at which to accomplish that goal. Based on what I saw, he’ll get eaten up in the NBA.

Dawg Stephen, and his Little Blog too

January 6th, 2010
10:13 am

Having the pleasure of meeting Coach Fox at SEC media days was something I will never forget. I dont want to jix him or put any expectation on him that he doesnt deserve, but I got a feeling interviewing Coach Fox before he had ever coached his first game at Georgia that made me feel good to have him as head coach.

I got the same impression from him that I got from talking to Coach Richt in early 2001 before he had yet to take the field at Sanford Stadium. I got that sense of leadership, and quiet confidence that he COULD do the job.

I have been very impressed with Coach Fox so far, the way he has embraced the glory that is Athens, Georgia, and the way he goes about his everyday business as the coach. I hope he is very successful and stays for years to come.

http://dawgstephen.blogspot.com/

Asheville Dawg

January 6th, 2010
10:13 am

As I switched between football and basketball last night,I was intrigued with UGA’s bball team. They were supposed to be really bad, but seemed to be tough enough to stay close or, lead in the game. Which means:

1. Coach Fox is really good with what he has.
2. Coach Hewitt is really bad.
3. Less is more @ UGA
4. The vaunted recruits at GT can’t mesh well together( is that not #2?)

StockDog

January 6th, 2010
10:13 am

I am a Dawg fan but when Cremins was at Tech I found myself watching Georgia Tech basketball. I hate to say this but Hewitt needs to go at the end of the season if Tech wants to relevant in basketball again. The question is whether the Jackets will want to eat that Coach for life contract that they gave him a few years ago.
As for GA, Mark Fox appears to be the right choice. His players are focused and play within themselves, not trying to make plays that they can’t make. Given a few years GA basketball will surpass Techs if Hewitt is left in place.

Mark Bradley

January 6th, 2010
10:13 am

Captain, I consider this Tech team at worst the third-most talented in the ACC.

Dawg Stephen

January 6th, 2010
10:14 am

yes i realize I have a typo above. I see it. Its spelled JINX, not jix. Go dawgs

Paul in RDU

January 6th, 2010
10:14 am

Mark – after the FSU game you were of the opinion that Paul Hewitt will be at GT next year (and certainly the contract makes it very difficult/expensive to replace him). If GT goes under 0.500 in the ACC (and with 1 loss already and 4 games against Duke + UNC it is a possibility), do the lawyers sit down and work out a parting of the ways?

Wow, just Wow

January 6th, 2010
10:14 am

Mark Bradley

January 6th, 2010
10:17 am

I think we’ll have to wait to see how the season plays out, Paul in RDU. But I think missing the NCAA tournament would definitely reshape the dynamics. Now, do I think the Jackets will miss the NCAA tournament? No, I don’t.

Eastside Jacket

January 6th, 2010
10:17 am

For all I know Mark Fox could be the next coming of John Wooden. But I wouldn’t get too excited just because he outcoached Paul Hewitt. The woods are full of coaches who’ve outcoached Hewitt.

Congrats to UGA on the win.

Hey, Paul in RDU...

January 6th, 2010
10:19 am

…there is nothing for the lawyers to “work out”. Tech either ponies up and pays him his $11mil buyout, or keeps paying him as the contract rolls over (dang, that UGA educated agent really did a number on Tech!) to continue to produce mediocre teams. Sounds like your classic “lose/lose” scenario!

Dawgrulz

January 6th, 2010
10:19 am

Georgia Tech Basketball=Overrated. There is no doubt that Georgia Tech has underacheived and been horrible the last several years. Below 500 in ACC, losing to UGA every other year. At least we had the gumption to change coaches this year and we are now on the rise. GT basketball is on the decline and no rationalization in the world can change that.

30-24, 8 of 9, WE RUN THIS STATE

73-66, WE NOW OWN THIS STATE in both major sports.

Mark Bradley

January 6th, 2010
10:20 am

The buyout is $7 million.

Mark Richt and Mark Fox

January 6th, 2010
10:20 am

To all the GT fans out there: WE RUN THIS STATE!!

Ozzy

January 6th, 2010
10:20 am

They’re going to have to eat that contract at some point. There’s way to many empty seats. Hell, even the students don’t show up.

Tech basketball was a tought ticket when Cremin’s had it going on.

Tech losing to Georgia in football? That’s expected. Tech should NEVER beat Georgia in football.

Basketball? That’s different.

Hewitt must go!

Arthante Lafleur

January 6th, 2010
10:20 am

Egad, there are a lot of boodawg fans who need jobs. At least you all seem to have internet next to the cash register at the 7-11 now, though. So, there’s that…

Scott

January 6th, 2010
10:21 am

FIRE PAUL HEWITT !
Being a lifelong Tech fan and having watched Hewitt during his career, it’s easy to see….the man simply cannot coach.
I don’t care what Tech owes him contract wise, eat the money and let’s get a coach that can handle this level of basketball.
We have the talent on the floor with no one to lead them.

Gordon

January 6th, 2010
10:29 am

There is just nothing left to say about Paul Hewitt. It’s amazing how talent, depth, and experience can all be overcome by a bad coach. If I never again see him yelling “Motion! Motion!”, or giving that quizzical look to a ref with his palms up when there is a call against Tech, it will be too soon. I have season tickets and have for years, occasionally go to away games (I was there last night), and will to to the rest of the home games this year, but after that I will not attend another game while he is the coach. He is incapable of coaching a half court offense, and too proud to admit it. I have better things to do with my time and my money.

Paul in RDU

January 6th, 2010
10:29 am

Hey, Paul in RDU…

January 6th, 2010
10:19 am

It is not as simple as “there is nothing to work out”. Hewitt has plenty of years ahead of him and has his reputation to think of and what he wants to be doing down the road. Do you think anyone would have hired Bobby C if he had tried to stick it to GT?

Without-a-clue

January 6th, 2010
10:29 am

This just in: The Techies want to schedule a Dungeons & Dragons game with the Dawgs. Problem is: The Dawgs don’t have a team. But, as usual, walk-ons should be adequate. Bring ‘em on!

Cuz

January 6th, 2010
10:30 am

$11 million, $7 million, Matt Stafford has that as walking around money. Ask him for a loan.

Cuz

January 6th, 2010
10:32 am

Without, the Tech fans tell me that it is World of Warcraft these days. Old D&D days are over at the institute. Even great jokes die someday.

INSULT TO INJURY ALERT!

January 6th, 2010
10:33 am

(((73-66))) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Artie

January 6th, 2010
10:34 am

Perhaps Tech would like to reconsider the firing of Cremins?!?!

coachx

January 6th, 2010
10:35 am

I hope all the HS basketball talent in Ga took note of that game last night.

Go to Tech and your talent will be squandered.
Go to UGA, get real coaching, and your talent will be maimized.

JB

January 6th, 2010
10:37 am

Hewitt is a real problem for Tech……He can’t really coach a lick and does not have a clue for any kind of game management skills. What would Fox do with that Tech roster?

The University of Georgia Tech

January 6th, 2010
10:38 am

hire bobby knight cmpaign should start now ofr GA Tech

yellarjacket

January 6th, 2010
10:38 am

Tech’s guard play is pathetic. Everyone keeps talking about this stellar recruiting class and still we have no guards. Well, no ACC caliber guards that is. They can’t pass, can’t shoot, and dang sure can’t run a half court offense or fast break. Peacock is the only guy on the team with a decent jumpshot and he should be playing in the post.

We haven’t had a decent guard here since Jarrett Jack (possibly Crittenton). Honestly, I think Hewitt should have been fired on the spot after losing last night to an overmatched UGA team. Don’t want to take any credit away from UGA, b/c their guys played hard and deserved to win, but we should have dominated this team with all the so called McDonalds All American talent on this team.

Watch what happens when a well coached group of white boys from Duke come in to Atlanta this weekend and play all of these McDonalds All Americans. We’ll get beat by 20. Mark it down. We have no guards and definitely do not have a coach!

Jake

January 6th, 2010
10:41 am

Mark, as a very long time Tech hoops season ticket holder, I think it comes down to arrogance. He SHOULD be calling every great coach he knows to ask them their advice. But he would never do that. He THINKS he can coach his way out of a paper bag, but doesn’t even realize it’s plastic.

GO TECH!