Tech falls to KSU: The Wizard of Techwood dazzles us again

The Wizard of Techwood: New year, same image. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

It's a brand new season, but it's the same old outcome. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

If Paul Hewitt isn’t the worst basketball coach in the country, it’s only because ours is a mighty big country. And now, having said that, I ask: At this late date, who needs convincing?

There are no real Hewitt defenders. There are a few excuse-makers, but nobody seriously believes this is a first-tier coach anymore. I could cite his record yet again, but here’s all anyone needs to know: In the spring of 2004 he won five NCAA tournament games in 15 days; in his other nine seasons at Georgia Tech combined, he has won two.

On Monday his Jackets took a ride up I-75 and showed us they aren’t even the best team in Metro Atlanta. They lost 80-63 to Kennesaw State, which has only recently become a fully vested member of the NCAA’s Division I. Tech never led. It trailed by 20 points after 15 1/2 minutes, by 15 points at the half. It was one of those games that was shocking and yet not surprising at all.

Afterward Hewitt was his usual serene self, noting that KSU “out-toughed us” and trotting out the boilerplate: “It’s just a matter of showing more maturity.” And thus did the Owls join the list of Hewitt conquerors, a n array that includes IUPUI, Winthrop, UNC Greensboro and Illinois-Chicago (twice).

Tech made nearly as many turnovers (19) as baskets (21) Monday. This from a team that essentially starts four guards. This from a team that lost two McDonald’s All-Americans to the NBA early but still boasts one more McDonald’s All-American than Kennesaw State will ever sign. (Although the Owls do employ what coach Tony Ingle called “our Wendy’s offense — get it to go, cheese on the fries, let it fly.”)

Afterward Ingle was asked if Tech had recruited any of his players. He said, “No.” But somehow the Owls, who were 13-20 last season when Tech was underachieving its way into the NCAA tournament, were much the better team. They didn’t have the better players, but they were the better team. Which is the story of post-2004 Georgia Tech basketball.

The biggest excuse for Hewitt — I heard it from longtime acquaintance Charles Barkley last spring — is that he’s always losing players early to the pros. And that’s true: S ix Jackets have left eligibility on the table to declare for the NBA draft, Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal most recently. But it’s not as if Hewitt has accomplished much with his one-and-dones: Chris Bosh, Thaddeus Young, Javaris Crittenton and Favors managed a total of one NCAA tournament victory.

And it’s not as if the guys who stay fare any better. Hewitt had Anthony Morrow for four seasons, after which Morrow wasn’t able to persuade an NBA team to risk even a second-round pick on him. He landed with Golden State as a free agent. This summer he signed a three-year contract with the Nets for $12 million.

This month Alex Raskin of the Wall Street Journal wondered if Morrow is the greatest shooter in NBA history. (Not just in the NBA now. In the NBA ever.) And here was a quote from Steve Kerr, the former Phoenix general manager whose status as the league’s all-time leading three-point shooter is being threatened by Morrow: “I saw him a couple of times in college and he didn’t really light it up. He got a little lost on his team. It just didn’t seem like he really blossomed there.”

Who does blossom under Hewitt? Bosh and Favors didn’t get the ball enough. Apart from Jarrett Jack, no point guard has ever really directed a Hewitt team. (Moe Miller, who saved last season after being relegated to the end of the bench, is again not starting.)

But enough. You know what’s going on. Hewitt is a lousy coach, but his golden contract makes him untouchable. Dan Radakovich, the Tech athletic director, sat behind the bench at the KSU Convocation Center last night and looked pained. The man with the $7 million buyout was losing to a school based in the county where Radakovich lives — by 17 points.

Oh, and if you haven’t seen my take on Kennesaw State and its coach … that post can be found here.

496 comments Add your comment

[...] Oh, and if you’re interested in my thoughts on Georgia Tech and its coach … well, they’re here. [...]

Saint Simons

November 16th, 2010
11:11 am

(((((80-63))))) hahahahahahahahaha!!!!!! (First!)

@DanWeiner

November 16th, 2010
11:13 am

Boom, roasted.

#FireHewitt

November 16th, 2010
11:14 am

No, seriously. Time to Fire Hewitt.

Hewitt Fan

November 16th, 2010
11:14 am

Enter your comments here

MagnaCarterGT

November 16th, 2010
11:15 am

Hard to believe this team is actually worse than the product we put out on the field last year… but there it is. It’s last year’s team, only now instead of just committing 20 turnovers a game, we also can’t shoot the ball or get rebounds.

Paul Hewitt’s gotta be fired. He’s a “good recruiter,” but all of these NBA-caliber recruits stagnate under his leadership. It’s time to start over.

Glory Glory

November 16th, 2010
11:15 am

I am in no way a basketball fan…. but I THOROUGHLY enjoyed watching the itty bitty school from Kennesaw, Ga dismantle the MIGHTY ACC team from Atlanta last night.

This blog is about to be full of Techies pointing out the struggles of UGA football, and unproven basketball…….

but let me be one of the first to revel in an EMBARRASSING loss last night to a program full of pompous nerds.

HILARIOUS!!!!!!!

Glory Glory

November 16th, 2010
11:15 am

StraightJacket

November 16th, 2010
11:17 am

Mark, you could have shortened your blog to this:

“But enough. You know what’s going on. Hewitt is a lousy coach, but his golden contract makes him untouchable.”

It renders all else irrelevant. The “evergreen contract” are like eternal handcuffs: DRAD has no recourse.

GT basketball is NOT GT football: Nobody’s going to dig into their wallets to dig us out of this.

Like Dante’s Inferno …. GT Basketball: “Abandon All Hope, all ye who enter here … “

Beellligerent

November 16th, 2010
11:18 am

Second.
Just pathetic. Please let this be the last year we underachieve with Hewitt at the helm.

Hooty Hoo

November 16th, 2010
11:19 am

Tech needs a few more assistant coaches on the bench. That may help. They all look like they’re dressed for their own funerals.

Lil' Barry Bailout

November 16th, 2010
11:20 am

Ouch. Right on the money, Mark.

Remember last year, when DRAd said he heard the fans, but had confidence in Hewitt?

How’s that confidence level so far this season?

Prediction: either Hewitt or DRad are gone after this season.

Glory Glory

November 16th, 2010
11:21 am

Come on Techies!!!!

Remind UGA how their football team is struggling and how their basketball team is unproven!!!!

Come on!!!! It may make this EMBARRASSING loss disappear!!!

Hewitt Fan

November 16th, 2010
11:21 am

Mark

Here we go again..we lost one game,and now you are calling for his head, he went to an Acc championship game(the refs put Singler on the line 25 times) and won a game in the Ncaas with a team with 2 nba players,1 was drafted on the second round..and starting 3 freshman and a soph..He is not a bad coach, if he was a bad coach, schools would not be waiting for him to get out of the worst sports city in America, and coach their program..St johns is a better job than Tech…you are a prime example why Atlanta teams will never win anything, ever!!!Oh yeah how about complaining about the awful officiating in the Acc…

GT Alum

November 16th, 2010
11:21 am

So, you going to keep writing these articles bashing Hewitt again this season, then turn around and say does Tech really think they can find anyone better, like you did last season?

Buzz

November 16th, 2010
11:22 am

If you don’t fire CPH today then you will never FIRE HIM!!! FIRE CPH FIRE CPH!!! What’s worse is that last night I wasn’t even surprised or shocked that we lost!!! R U KIDDING ME!!! FIRE HIM TODAY!!!!!!!!!

greenjacket

November 16th, 2010
11:22 am

just tell me how much to write on the check and let’s be done with it

KevinM

November 16th, 2010
11:22 am

Mark, I am not sure if I have ever heard you so convincingly call out a coach like you have here. Only if there was enough interest in basketball by either major institution.
Obviously, Hewitt thought it was going to be a cakewalk after overwhelming the Owls last year at AMC.

So many examples as to why Hewitt just doesn’t cut it…I would think his continued losing streak in the ACC would be enough for Radakovich to cut his losses and bite into that 7M hoagie that he was saddled with when he joined on.

If Hewitt has smiled this year, it will probably be one of the few times going forward. Even Wes can’t make this one any easier to take.

JROLL1

November 16th, 2010
11:22 am

SAME OL’ SAME OL’…MORE TURNOVERS THAN MADE BASKETS…HEWITT HAS NOT MADE THE ONE AND DONE’S BETTER. THEY WERE GOING TO THE NBA IN SPITE OF HIM….TIME FOR RAD TO BITE THE BULLETT…GIVE UP THE 7 MIL…..AND GET A REAL COACH.

Hooty Hoo

November 16th, 2010
11:23 am

It’s not Hewitt’s fault, it’s the ref’s!!! That is hilarious..

Ryan

November 16th, 2010
11:23 am

Please hire Josh Pastner away from Memphis!!!!!!!! He’s young, great ties to alot of big time aau programs, can bring in top ten classes every year and can coach! We do not need a low level mid major type guy. We need a home run with the next hire. It’s Atlanta, the ACC, and well at one time we were a big time program. With the right hire it can be turned around quickly.

Tony

November 16th, 2010
11:24 am

I say that it’s time to give Mark Price a chance.

greenjacket

November 16th, 2010
11:24 am

glory glory it’s easy. we all think you s**k. that’s why we say THWG anytime we talk about anything. but we have our own issues to deal with here.

glad to see your team sux so bad that you spend time on the GT – Kennesaw State basketball discussion. i’m guessing you don’t spend as much time on the florida, auburn, south carolina blogs (i guess pretty any sec blog apart from vandy)

Buzz

November 16th, 2010
11:25 am

That photo is PRICELESS!!!! They all looked CLUELESS!!!! FIRE THEM ALLLLLLLLL!!!!! What’s funny I wasn’t even surprised or shocked we lost last night!!!! FIRE CPH!!!!!! FIRE CPH!!!!!!!

BuzzMan

November 16th, 2010
11:25 am

How many years left on his contract? I’ve been a supporter up until now, but this is gonna be ugly…………..

droopydawg

November 16th, 2010
11:25 am

Buzz

November 16th, 2010
11:25 am

PRICELESS PHOTO!!!!!! FIRE THEM ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GT Alum

November 16th, 2010
11:26 am

Glory Glory -

Are you really so sad about your pathetic football team that all you can do is wait for Tech blogs to come up so you can take shots at Tech athletics. Or are you just such a pathetic loser with no job and no life that you don’t have anything better to do?

alum78

November 16th, 2010
11:26 am

The CanChan was a great thing,just long overdue.Now they must “Do it to Hewitt” now!

Michael

November 16th, 2010
11:27 am

Mark, is Tech really stuck with him? Can they not come up with the money needed to pay his buyout? And, can they sue Dave Braine for criminal negligence for agreeing to that stupid contract in the first place?

Lil' Barry Bailout

November 16th, 2010
11:27 am

Tech’s NBAers never leave any fingerprints on the program.

Gordon

November 16th, 2010
11:29 am

In November 2007 Matthew Stafford raised his arms to quiet the crowd…in Bobby Dodd stadium. Tech was on its way to its 6th loss in a row under Chan Gailey. Radakovich said to himself, “this must change”.

On December 7th of this year, with about 2 minutes left in the basketball game between UGA and Tech, long after the Tech fans have left, the thousand or so UGA fans who are there will be chanting “just like football”. Radakovich will say to himself, “this must change”.

And it must.

Glory Glory

November 16th, 2010
11:29 am

(((((30-24)))))

(((((73-66)))))

(((((35-10)))))

(((((80-63)))))

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

alum78

November 16th, 2010
11:29 am

Drad’s head is on the line this year.No reason to wait

GT Alum

November 16th, 2010
11:30 am

BuzzMan -

You must’ve avoided all the Hewitt bashing to not know how terrible his contract is. His contract never ends. It automatically renews. It’s going to cost us $7M to get rid of him regardless, so we might as well end the pain ASAP.

Between this contract and the way he threw money at his old buddy Chan, Braine should’ve been run out of Atlanta with torches and pitchforks.

Buzz

November 16th, 2010
11:30 am

Hewitt Fan are you CPH’s wife or mother???? You have to, to believe the crap you blogged!!!! Fire him TODAY!!!! FIRE CPH!!!!!

**** Was anyone really surprised or shocked we lost last night??????

Hope and Derange

November 16th, 2010
11:31 am

Hewitt’s $7 buyout is like a federal bureaucrat’s eternally guaranteed pension and health care benefits in that you get the same quality of indifferent output and results from both parties.

Buzz

November 16th, 2010
11:31 am

FIre him TODAY!!!!!!!! FIRE CPH!!!!!!!!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bill Voth, Mark Bradley, ajc sports editor, Michael Rothstein, ACC Sports and others. ACC Sports said: Warning: he pulls no punches RT @ajcsportseditor: Mark Bradley weighs in on the Wizard of Techwood aka Paul Hewitt http://bit.ly/dm9unR [...]

Buzz

November 16th, 2010
11:32 am

Was anyon actually shocked or surprised we lost last night??????????? I sat there and laughed for 21/2 hours!!!! What a joke!!!!! FIRE CPH!!!!!!!!

Buzz

November 16th, 2010
11:33 am

Was anyone actually surprised or shocked that we lost last night??????? I got to have 2 1/2 hours of laughter last night!!! Thanks CPH!!!!!!!! FIRE HIM TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Augusta Jacket

November 16th, 2010
11:34 am

I’ll say it again…don’t email D.Rad, send him a check that says “For Hewitt’s Buyout”. Or maybe tech fans can have a telethon…kinda like the one’s on PBS.

GT Fan

November 16th, 2010
11:34 am

Mark, thanks for having the fortitude to say what *needs* to be said publicly. I know it is hard to criticize the hand that feeds you, but Hewitt needs to be run out of town.

Buzz

November 16th, 2010
11:34 am

Was anyone shocked or surprised last night?????? I wasn’t and I got 2 1/2 hours of laughter out of it!!!!!! FIRE HIM TODAY!!! FIRE CPH

Techie Boy in a Techie Man's World

November 16th, 2010
11:35 am

FIRE CPJ!!!!

FIRE CPH!!!!

HIRE C3PO!!!!!

UGA Athletic Department

November 16th, 2010
11:37 am

$7 Million?? That’s all????

We make $7 million every time we have a home football game.

$7 Million???? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

GT Fan

November 16th, 2010
11:38 am

Mark, thanks for having the fortitude to say what needs to be said here. Paul Hewitt needs to go. Needed to go several years ago.

Lowcountry Bulldawgs

November 16th, 2010
11:39 am

WOW! That is harsh words MB. I must admit I did not anticipate reading a article with such an honest and critical assessment of a local team. I imagine CMR is thankful Kennesaw embarassed Tech as it saves his staff a day of floggings on the AJC blogs.

Hewitt Fan

November 16th, 2010
11:41 am

Mark,
When GT is in the NCAAS this year, please do not jump on the bandwagon like you did last year…

Fuzzybee

November 16th, 2010
11:42 am

Mark,

You are on the money. There is no amount of talent that Hewitt couldn’t squander.