Yet another chapter in the bleak tableau that is Tech hoops

The Tech student section Wednesday just before pregame introductions. (Photo by M. Bradley)

The Tech student section Wednesday just before pregame introductions. (Photo by M. Bradley)

College basketball is supposed to be fun. What’s happening at Georgia Tech is not fun. It’s sad.

After Virginia beat the Jackets 62-56 Wednesday, players from both teams spoke of the difficulty in playing before such few fans. (Attendance was announced at 5,537. It seemed rather less.)

It didn’t feel like a basketball game between members of the conference that takes basketball the most seriously. It felt like one of those September games back in the middle ’80s when the Braves were in last place and there were 5,000 folks in the old stadium and you could sit anyplace you liked and you wondered, “Is anybody in the world watching this on TV? If so, why?”

As for this game: Tech didn’t play all that horribly. It outscored Virginia from the field and took 13 more rebounds. The Jackets made only 10 turnovers. There was no reason to lose, but they did. They led 46-43 with seven minutes left. When next they scored, the basket came inside the final two minutes and cut the visitor’s lead from nine to seven.

To its credit, the Jackets made a little rally. They usually do. Glen Rice Jr., who hadn’t played much due to a disciplinary intervention, stole the ball on the press and fed Moe Miller for a three-point play. Rice scored — his only hoop — to cut it to three. With fiveseconds left Mfon Udofia picked up a loose ball and hoisted a wild three-pointer while drawing a foul, and if the shot had dropped he’d have had a chance to tie the game. As it was, he had three free throws. He missed all three. (Only the last, presumably, on purpose.)

And so: Another Tech loss, this in a game in which it was favored. Another Tech loss, this to a team no more talented than the Jackets. (Virginia had lost eight of 11 games.) Another Tech loss, and at its end there came no cascade of boos. There was only more of the numbness that has come to enshroud this once buoyant program.

I feel for Tech fans. I feel for Tech players, who are trying hard with not much to show for it. I feel for everyone involved in this bleak tableau. There’s nothing fun here.

By Mark Bradley

285 comments Add your comment

Buck Commander

February 24th, 2011
10:49 am

In the Danger Zone!!

Buck Commander

February 24th, 2011
10:54 am

The blog today kind of feels like being at a Tech ballgame, lonely.

Mark Bradley

February 24th, 2011
10:55 am

Kudos, Buck Commander.

I’m here for you.

@wbarker

February 24th, 2011
10:57 am

Buck Commander

February 24th, 2011
10:57 am

Thanks Mark, I knew I could count on you in a time of need.

EXASPERATED

February 24th, 2011
10:59 am

More of the same, and it won’t change until change is made. And you know what I mean. Reminds me of the Tech games back in the early 70’s. One could show up at any time and pick a seat. Of course, there is much more talent now than there was in those days, but, well, I’m tired of saying it.

Chuck Sheen

February 24th, 2011
10:59 am

I was watching. Only because I took the moneyline and UVA. Cash money. Thanks Blewitt

Coach

February 24th, 2011
11:02 am

GT basketball has hit a new all-time low. Paul Blewitt is terrible. He has to be the worst coach when it comes to using timeouts. Glen Rice Jr. has the worst shot selection of any individual to ever suit up for GT. Its to the point where I just want the season to end. Sorta like UGA football this past season!

Larry

February 24th, 2011
11:02 am

Booing is an expression of anger, and anger, in this context, is an emotion expressed out of care and interest.

What you are now seeing by GT students and fans is apathy and indifference, and this lack of care and interest is lethal to a program.

Someone at GT had better get off their duff…soon!

D A DoubleU G

February 24th, 2011
11:02 am

Mark,

Is that picture taken at Alexander Memorial or Bobby Dodd??

I truly cannot tell the difference.

9-1

JIm

February 24th, 2011
11:04 am

Weird, isn’t it? But it is such a mess with the next year’s plan. What do you do if you just don’t have the money? You keep the coach another year. Fun, fun, fun.

D A DoubleU G

February 24th, 2011
11:06 am

At least Georgia Tech will do their second favorite activity tonight (second only to Magic the Gathering), and vicariously live through Florida as they play the Dawgs.

Florida will almost surely beat UGA tonight, as they should, and then it is quite entertaining to come on these blogs and read the Techies pretending like it was them instead of the Gators.

Ahnald

February 24th, 2011
11:06 am

GT at this time is a disgrace to the ACC…Hewitt, poor coach..recruits to many “one year and gones”…and this year Rice and Iman S shoot 50% of their shots per game, and blowing a lead to UVA and getting beat in front of at best 3,500 people is the low point for GT and the ACC

As a Maryland grad and proud fan, we have “been there,done this too”, when Len Bias died, Lefty got fired, and then Bob Wade was hired, things were bad…fortunately, Gary williams was hired, an alumni, and well he led a very successfull program and he can coach. What GT needs is Mark Price, case closed, not an “outsider”…this formula works.

We need GT back, what is happening now is plain terrible

rduck

February 24th, 2011
11:08 am

Buyout or no buyout, Paul Hewitt has to go. DR knows this. The school knows this. The fans and anyone paying attention knows this. Paul Hewitt has long over run his stay at Tech. The fanbase has let it be known that the Hewitt type basketball (whatever that may be) that is on display is no longer to be tolerated. The 7 mil buyout will be nothing against the lost revenue the program is gonna see if the change is not made. I used to love watching GT basketball. Now I can’t stand to watch any of it because of the sloppy and undisciplined play he puts on the court night after night. D Rad, I hope you are planning a move on this one because the fans have spoken in numbers…

Duckafawg

February 24th, 2011
11:08 am

Couldn’t have been more than 2,500 there….the lack of ticket sales is outweighing the buyout…i dint think Chan Gailey was costing the AA $$

Larry

February 24th, 2011
11:09 am

Oh for the days again of Price, Dalrymple, Salley, Hammonds and later Oliver, Anderson and Scott.

Never saw a photo like the above in those days!

Desperation on the Ave

February 24th, 2011
11:09 am

At least we get to vicariously live through the Florida Gators tonight……..

DawginLex

February 24th, 2011
11:10 am

I don’t get why Mark Price is not the answer for Tech. I understand he has no college head coaching experience but this program needs a dose of excitement.

He is an alumni
He played in the NBA
His name is recognized

I don’t get why he would not be looked at first.

After him, I honestly would hire wojo or the other duke assistant since duke owns the conference anyway.

Dollarbill

February 24th, 2011
11:11 am

High level coaching is like riding a wave. Stay out in front of it and all is great – but you gotta know when to break it off. I cannot believe that there are not conversations for Hewitt to exit on his own. Take home a good chunk of money – NOT the total – that is not deserved and ride off and coach somewhere else down the road. That is the professional thing to do.

rduck

February 24th, 2011
11:12 am

DA Double U G: I see your obsession with Tech articles continue. Have to admit it was a funny line though…

GTBob

February 24th, 2011
11:13 am

It really has been sad this year. I used to love going to games, and watching games on TV. For me GT basketball has always been about equal to football in excitement. It seems like that excitement has just died this year. For a while now, angry Tech basketball fans would talk about firing Hewitt all the time. Now the anger is gone and we don’t really talk about basketball much at all. Apathy is in full force.

fs-really

February 24th, 2011
11:13 am

Really Sad! I went to Tech in the late 70’s and last night’s attendance was what it was like when I was there. As a student, you didn’t have to wait in line to get a ticket- you just showed up.

The program has dropped so far it’s embarassing. I would terminate Hewitt now. If Dan does not, he needs to exit as well.

We need to hire someone who will rejuvenate the excitement that once was there under Bobby Cremins as an ACC baseketball school

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

February 24th, 2011
11:16 am

Have always watched and enjoyed Tech basketball and last night was horrible i think I heard a lot of cheering when UVA took the lead and thats terrible for a road team to get a boost from the crowd.
I hope tech finds a coach to bring them back to the top but first Hewitt has to go

Desperation on the Ave

February 24th, 2011
11:18 am

rduck,

When I talk trash it’s “obsession”, but for some reason when Tech talks trash it’s “the good word”???

Go get on Wikipedia and look up “Rivalry”, son. I hate your athletic teams and you hate mine. That’s what makes college sports so special.

Herschel Talker

February 24th, 2011
11:21 am

MB:

The whole thing with Tech and this onerous contract is that they have never been able to afford to get rid of it since it’s always a 7-year contract. I hear all your arguments that they need to because revenue is decreasing and that they’re in a death spiral, but the bottom line is that cash is king, and does Tech have the cash on hand to get this done and to simultaneously pay someone competent to replace Hewitt?

Oh and by the way, good thing that we have Mark Fox and that they don’t.

Mark Fox > Paul Hewitt

HT

Dawg Lover

February 24th, 2011
11:22 am

I hate seeing Tech basketball down. It’s a lot more fun to go out and argue with people at bars when Tech has something to hang its hat on. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want Tech to win any national titles, but seeing them in the tourney always gave me a guaranteed round 1 or 2 upset pick. Also, most Dawgs look at Tech as the little brother (see football), you never want lil bro to do better than you, but you are proud of him when his accomplishments don’t diminish yours.

ormewood

February 24th, 2011
11:23 am

Ahnald, the Mark Price-Gary Williams analogy is a poor one. When your Terps hired Gary, he had been a successful head coach at three places, including stops in the Big Ten and Big East. Mark Price? No experience as a head coach anywhere. Hiring Price would be akin to NC State hiring Sidney Lowe. How’s that one turning out?

rduck

February 24th, 2011
11:23 am

I don’t have to look up “rivalry” to know what it means. I also know that you have to have genitalia to have a “son”. Just find it funny how one has to set and wait for the next Tech article to make themselves seem clever. Good luck with that disorder…

misterwax

February 24th, 2011
11:24 am

Go ahead and do the racist thing…. it’s OK….fire Hewitt…..A day without racism just isn’t a day in America anymore….

RAMBLE ON!!!

February 24th, 2011
11:28 am

Herschel Talker,

Fred Sanford > Paul Phewitt.

It’s a sad, sad, situation, and it’s getting more and more absurd.

GROUND HOG DAY will soon come to an end.

Dawg Lover

February 24th, 2011
11:28 am

I’m lost misterwax, why is it racist to fire Hewitt?

gtfanfrom1951

February 24th, 2011
11:32 am

Either fix it or drop it! There is no other choice now. Augusta State plays better basketball than Tech! Is it baseball season yet.

RambleOn84

February 24th, 2011
11:33 am

So DoubleU has at least one other alias…I wonder how many more.

Maybe he is trying to beat the guy who goes as “FirePaulJohnson,” “WnE,” “Genius Jacket,” etc. for the Most Aliases on the AJC (AKA Biggest Loser) Award.

gtfanfrom1951

February 24th, 2011
11:34 am

misterwax is that only card you have? get a life you must be racist.

RambleOn84

February 24th, 2011
11:36 am

misterwax,
Get a life.

Born2Buzz

February 24th, 2011
11:37 am

It’s really not even worth discussing anymore. 4 more games and it will be over.
Looking forward to seeing who DRad brings in.

And ormewood is right. Mark Price, while a great player and one of the all-time GT favorites, is not the answer. I don’t think he would even put his hat in the ring, he’s too smart for that.

3stripes

February 24th, 2011
11:41 am

I think the title of this blog is a mixed metaphor. Other than that, Mark, I can’t argue with you.

Innocent Bystander

February 24th, 2011
11:42 am

Unfortunately, I’m not so convinced that DRad is going to can PH this year. Lots of rumors swirling around that he doesn’t have the finances to do it right now. He also could be holding out for something odd to happen (see St. John’s last year), though I’m afraid nothing will.

eggguy

February 24th, 2011
11:43 am

BEAT THE RUSH…….FIRE COARCH BLEWITT NOW!

juvenal

February 24th, 2011
11:43 am

Dodd has no roof, only empties there at the top, like in athens…….

Tech who?

February 24th, 2011
11:44 am

I have no dog in the fight, but maybe you see if Mr. Cremins wants to come back to his court. Take a look at what he has done down in Charleston. They are 22-7 right now and more than likely heading to the Big Dance, they lost to Maryland by 1pt at Maryland and beat Tennessee at Tennessee.

Last year Cremins was 22-12, year before he was 27-5

I am sure the Tech fans would much rather see that than the current product, and Bobby was always tied in to the New York kids.

HEWITT FAN

February 24th, 2011
11:47 am

after this season, you all will get your wish, but here are a couple of facts i want to share with everyone…

1.GT has only won 1, i repeat 1 ACC championship ever.Gt has never been a power..so lets be honest, will the new coach be able to at least get to the ncaas every other year in the ACC…
2.Paul Hewitt too GT father then any coach in Gt history..including Cremins..GT has had one winning season in the ACC since Marbury left..
3.GT will never ever get another ATLANTA CELTIC..THIS A DONE DEAL..

Angus

February 24th, 2011
11:48 am

Assuming Hewitt is indeed done this year, I say it’s a mistake to not do it now.

If he were fired today, I’d join you Techies March 6 vs. Miami to help make a statement – especially to potential recruits.

The longer you wait, the worse it’s going to get. And it sucks for those guys who’ll be playing their last game in AMC going out with nil support.

This also makes me wonder if he is indeed gone or not.

GIVE ME A BREAK

February 24th, 2011
11:49 am

Tony

February 24th, 2011
11:49 am

I’m for mercy and second chances, but the bleeding has to stop! It’s time for a change. I think Coach Hewitt would gladly welcome a change of scenery. It’s tough!

Mark Bradley

February 24th, 2011
11:50 am

Tech has won two regular-season ACC titles — in 1985 (tied for first) and 1996.

It has won three ACC tournaments — in 1985, 1990 and 1993.

GT nut

February 24th, 2011
11:54 am

Drads has no choice anymore..the fan base is lost and Hewitt is dead in the water, so to speak. Its time GT improves are quits..Pray for GT basketball program..it needs it.

HEWITT FAN

February 24th, 2011
11:56 am

More Facts

1.Due to the ACC being so pro Duke and NC, GT will have a hard time finding a coach..No one wins on the road in the ACC..Coaches around America have took notice..
2.Mike Anderson will not leave Mizzou for GT..No way he leaves the big 12 for the coach K conference
.GT will have to hire a mid major coach just like UV,WF, and Bc did..they all had trouble finding a coach..And now the whole country knows that the GT fan base lets MARK BRADLEY dictate how they feel about their coach, it will be hard to fill the job…

Ahnald

February 24th, 2011
11:56 am

Ormewood…Agree with you part way, but things cannot get much worse at GT, as is pointed out, when apathy sets in, that is the bottom….Price would be a positive, key would be to have some good assistants….I am pulling for GT to make a good decision, the present situation just tears down the ACC.

and, Roy Williams has done fairly well at UNC

Mark Bradley

February 24th, 2011
11:57 am

Could have sworn Virginia won on the road last night.