Hoops insider: So which is the bigger dud – Tech or UGA?

"Why aren't we better? You're asking ME?" (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

"So why aren't we better than this? You're asking ME? " (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

Hoops Hysterics

1. Georgia is tied for last in the SEC. Georgia Tech is dead last in the ACC. Which team is more disappointing? Georgia, and not just because the Bulldogs managed to lose to Tech in Athens. (The Jackets are 3-9 since.) A team in Year 3 under its coach, as Georgia is, should be much further along than a team in Year 1, as is the case with Tech. If the Bulldogs don’t win a big game or two the second half of the league season, the advances of last season will be canceled out.

2. How many NCAA tournament bids will the ACC command? How many for the SEC? The ACC could get stuck on four — North Carolina, Duke, Florida State and Virginia — if North Carolina State continues to slide and Miami doesn’t make a big push. The SEC has four almost-certains — Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State — but Alabama lost four in a row and, its RPI of 33 notwithstanding, could be overtaken by Ole Miss. There’s a chance the SEC could get six, but five seems more like it.

3. Will Bobby Cremins return to the College of Charleston next season? The guess is no. Although technically he has taken only a leave of absence for the rest of this season, the (unspecified but said not to be life-threatening) health issues that forced him to step aside don’t augur well for a comeback at age 65. His Cougars beat Clemson and Tennessee early in the season but have suffered a run of injuries and lost seven of the past nine games. It has been reported that Cremins offered to resign Friday but agreed to the leave of absence instead.

My Super Sweet Sixteen

1. Kentucky: With Tennessee and South Carolina upcoming, this stands to be another ho-hum week. Next week, however, will bring games against Vanderbilt and Florida.

2. Ohio State: The surging Buckeyes only play once this week, but their date at Wisconsin on Saturday stands to be one of the Big Ten’s biggest games of the season.

3. Syracuse: Those seeking the worst call (or non-call, in this case) of the year need look no further than Baye Keita’s blatant goaltend against West Virginia on Saturday.

4. North Carolina: Only eight more days until the Tar Heels face Duke in the Dean Dome. Possible trap game: Carolina must play at Maryland on Saturday.

5. Missouri: All season folks have wondered if Mizzou is for real. This week should help provide an answer: The Tigers play at Texas, then face Kansas in Columbia.

6. Duke: Only eight more days until the Blue Devils face North Carolina in the Dean Dome. Possible trap game: Miami in Cameron on Super Bowl Sunday.

7. Baylor: For the Bears, this is the week before the week. They face Texas A&M and Oklahoma State on the road. Next week brings Kansas and Missouri.

8. Murray State: The Racers are still undefeated, and at 21-0 Steve Prohm is tied with Lou Rossini of Columbia for the third-best start by any first-year coach ever.

9. Kansas: Can’t carp overmuch about the Jayhawks’ upset loss at Iowa State. The resurgent Cyclones are pretty good, and Kansas hadn’t lost since before Christmas.

10. Michigan State: This is a prove-it week for the men of Izzo. They play at Illinois on Tuesday, then face Michigan, which just beat State by a point,  in East Lansing.

11. Florida: The latest contender for second-best-team-in-the-SEC will be identified Saturday in Gainesville when the hot Gators face almost-as-hot Vandy.

12. Creighton: The Bluejays’ winning streak stands at 10 in a row. The name to know: Forward Doug McDermott, who averages 23.5 points and 8.4 rebounds a game.

13. Saint Mary’s: The Gaels’ winning streak stands at 11 in a row. The name to know: Australian guard Matthew Dellavedova, who averages 15.4 points and 6.4 assists.

14. Florida State: The game to determine the ACC’s third-best team comes Saturday, when Virginia visits Tallahassee. First up for the ‘Noles: Georgia Tech on Wednesday.

15. Marquette: The Golden Eagles have risen to second in the 16-team Big East but have beaten only one conference opponent — Louisville — of real consequence.

16. Virginia: A narrow escape at North Carolina State lifted the Cavaliers to 15-3, but they still must play North Carolina and Florida State twice each.

Dropped out: San Diego State, Georgetown, Mississippi State.

By Mark Bradley

127 comments Add your comment

honest_abe

January 30th, 2012
12:44 pm

whatever. tech is SUPPOSED to be good at basketball. uga not so much.

trevinb

January 30th, 2012
12:47 pm

I agree that UGA is bigger dud, but I still believe in Mark Fox’s program. I don’t think this year will put him on hot seat. What is your opinion? Does McGarrity start looking around?

ChopAttack

January 30th, 2012
12:47 pm

I realize that Georgia isn’t a basketball school, but wow what an embarrassment. With UGA’s resources there’s no excuse for how horrible they are at basketball. Georgia has had as much success in basketball as UNC-Charlotte over the last 12 years. Think about that.

Outside Observer

January 30th, 2012
12:49 pm

Abe, no program is supposed to be good in the first year under a new head coach, especially with the lack of talent he inherited. Tech has been competitive in most games, and hopefully they can win a few games they shouldn’t, as well as provide some extra motivation going into next season with the new recruits and all of the returning guys.

KCTheTruth

January 30th, 2012
12:52 pm

GT beat UGA… UGA = biggest dud. They have a McD’s burger boy on the roster and they still suck. Sounds like a Paul Hewitt coaching job.

GT lost Iman, Oliver, Mo Miller, etc. We were expected to have a tough season. The guys play hard, play to a system, and we have major help on the way in Marcus Hunt, Rob Carter, and Bolden. We’ll grab a PG in April also. We’ll be tough to deal with in 2012/2013. UGA will UGA again.

Mark Bradley

January 30th, 2012
12:58 pm

I don’t think McGarity goes shopping anytime soon, trevinb. But it would behoove Mark Fox to prove he can win with players he recruited.

Tech Fan Since 1950

January 30th, 2012
1:01 pm

No contest. UGA is aways the biggest dud. BUT, neither one of us have “dream teams”.

reebok

January 30th, 2012
1:06 pm

Both teams are bad, Tech gets the mulligan only
because they beat Georgia in Athens.

OkieDawg

January 30th, 2012
1:06 pm

Georgia can’t recruit the the top talent to play basketball at UGA. Georgia has the same problem in basketball that GT has in football. Kids want to play for schools that can compete year in and year out. Georgia’s lack of ability to recruit good basketball talent doesn’t have anything to do with academic requirements. Likewise, Tech’s inability to recruit good football talent doesn’t have anything to do with academic requirements. It’s just an excuse Tech uses to not have to face the real problems that exits within the football program.

wes

January 30th, 2012
1:06 pm

UGA just getting what they deserve.

Remember when Bob Knight expressed interest in the job? Instead of hiring maybe one of the best basketball coaches of all time (you know…the guy who mentored Coach K?)….they went with some balding guy from Nevada.

Gordon

January 30th, 2012
1:07 pm

It’s just too early to tell if Gregory will work out at Tech. I am pulling really hard for him, but there are just too many things working against him now to show what he can do, the biggest of which is very little offensive talent. We’ll start to get an idea after the next game against FSU. I would like to see some progress over those last 8 or so games where we should at least be competitive.

Cremins first 4 years at Tech he won 10, 13, 18, and 27 games. I expect a similar trajectory with Gregory if he is to survive. Year 3 we should be on the bubble, year 4 we should get in comfortably. If not, Hewitt will be almost paid off and it will be time to look around. But I hope that isn’t the case because I really like Gregory a lot.

reebok

January 30th, 2012
1:07 pm

Different issue, I hope Coach Cremins does whatever is best for his health…I used to run into him frequently when he coached the Jackets, and he was always friendly and approachable…seemed like a really good guy.

Ted Striker

January 30th, 2012
1:09 pm

I concur with you. UGA is the greater disappointment.

(Is that even possible to say “greater disappointment” unless one is Switzerland? In these parts one man’s disappointment is another individual’s pleasure.)

As for your sweeter 16….okay….I didn’t read that far. Not that I don’t think your columns are pure literary gold. However if papa needed new shoes and they were dependent on a choice in anything to do with NCAA basketball bracketing results i’d query you this.

WHO DOES YOUR DAUGHTER PICK?

Mark Bradley

January 30th, 2012
1:10 pm

Can’t speak for Lizzie for sure, but I’m pretty sure her Final Four will include the Kentucky Wildcats.

Hankie Aron

January 30th, 2012
1:11 pm

Well said OkieDawg

Hankie Aron

January 30th, 2012
1:13 pm

Alright I’ll say it Mark, you UK Wildcat homer! you. It’s not like you graduated from there or anything.

GTBob

January 30th, 2012
1:17 pm

Tech’s inability to recruit good football talent doesn’t have anything to do with academic requirements.

That’s true. Tech has never had to turn away a long time commitment because he couldn’t meet academic requirements. They also sign tons of JUCO players because it is so easy to get them into Tech. Academics definitely have no influence on GT recruiting at all.

ChopAttack

January 30th, 2012
1:17 pm

Kentucky has yet to beat a good team away from Rupp. You can say that about a lot of other teams as well…. I don’t think this UK team makes the Final Four. They’re not as good as last year’s team. The PG isn’t good enough.

UNC, OSU, Kansas, Syracuse

1eyedJack

January 30th, 2012
1:18 pm

Ok, I’ll say it. Who cares. It’s basketball!

Mark Bradley

January 30th, 2012
1:20 pm

Talent-wise, this Kentucky team is much better than last season’s. Not even close.

And I believe Kentucky did beat Kansas in Madison Square Garden. But I do take the point. The big SEC road games — Mississippi State, Vandy and Florida — still await.

UGA Insider

January 30th, 2012
1:20 pm

Mike Adams could care less about BBALL. That’s all you need to know.

Mark Bradley

January 30th, 2012
1:22 pm

I would disagree very much about Michael Adams’ feeling for basketball.

Ryan

January 30th, 2012
1:23 pm

Thompkins and Leslie leaving the program a year early completely derailed anything Fox had building. Great players leaving early is the number one issue any upstart coach/program has in trying to become an elite basketball program. Name me one school in the last 10 years who has gone from below average to top tier and sustained it. There aren’t any. UGA is what they are; a program who will have blips on the radar every once in awhile but as a whole just mediocre.

ChopAttack

January 30th, 2012
1:23 pm

Yeah, UK has a good stretch. If they mow those teams down I’ll be a believer. I’m a UNC fan and I went to the the game at Rupp. Amazing atmosphere and great game.

DawgJones

January 30th, 2012
1:24 pm

Hey Mark..didn’t McGarity give Fox a raise and extension last year?? Someone explain this to me

Mark Bradley

January 30th, 2012
1:24 pm

How about Baylor, Ryan?

Pitbull

January 30th, 2012
1:25 pm

Which is the bigger dud- Bradley or Schultz. Its close.

ChopAttack

January 30th, 2012
1:27 pm

Ryan,
Gonzaga? Bulter?

GTJeff

January 30th, 2012
1:28 pm

The bigger question is, do Bulldog or Yellow Jackets even care about basketball? Answer, hell no. Nix basketball & sink that money into the football program. WE need it over at tech. To hell with BB. Leave that to Puke.

Mark Bradley

January 30th, 2012
1:28 pm

Yes, McGarity did redo Fox’s contract, DawgJones. And it seemed appropriate at the time.

I still say, though, that Georgia should have done better with the talent it had last season. Lost nearly every lose-able game.

Pensacola dawg

January 30th, 2012
1:31 pm

Has to be tech, no real expectations in Athens, tech claims to be a basketball school.

Alabama | MrSEC

January 30th, 2012
1:33 pm

[...] RPI boost by sweeping Ole Miss and Mississippi State last week.8.  Is Georgia’s hoops team a bigger disappointment than Georgia Tech?More to [...]

UGASlobberknocker

January 30th, 2012
1:37 pm

Great to see college basketball from Mrak Bradley..his best stuff every year..

on this, though, I disagree with Mark . While both are duds for sure,to me, Georgia is the lesser dud because

a/ we lost a ton of talent and had no big men coming back.
b/we expect pretty much to suck every yr anyway ..so how big of a surprise can it be really?

Tech on the other hand, thinks they are a basketball school. ‘Nuff said.

dawgman

January 30th, 2012
1:40 pm

What’s new? UGA is disappointing in all sports. Have you looked at the football team lately?

GT Dude

January 30th, 2012
1:41 pm

This deserves a “Well Duh”
Everyone knew that the Jackets were going to be poor to down right bad this year and to their credit they are doing a darn good job of being bad.
Now over in Athens there were expectations of a middle of the pack season, which just isn’t going to happen.
So UGA is the bigger disappointment!

Admiral Obvious

January 30th, 2012
1:48 pm

Neither is surprising.

Georgia is rebuilding because they lost two darn good players to the NBA. They’d be scary in the East if those two players had stayed.

Tech’s downfall is not surprising at all. This program has been sinking for several years then they hire a coach that was about be fired from Dayton. You get what you pay for Nerds…

Ryan

January 30th, 2012
1:51 pm

@ Mr. Bradley: Baylor has made the NCAA tourney twice in the last 10 years. Heck UGA has done that. Need to see more but they are creating an excellent foundation for a top tier program.

@ChopAttack: Gonzaga has been an elite program since the early 90s. Butler is the perfect example of a blip team. Two unbelievable runs to the title game with elite talent and now this season they are mid pack in a mid major conference.

kdubble

January 30th, 2012
1:53 pm

UGA is a bigger disappointment…..in year 3 a coach should have recruited veteran players who could step in and make a difference…we have some of the best high school basketball talent in the country but no kids want to play there….Our college coaches need to do a better job of keeping our kids in state….

Ted Striker

January 30th, 2012
1:53 pm

Hard for this humble observer to diagnose the root cause of the Athens issue.

But since I’m getting paid as much as the next commenter, I’ll try.

1) Coaching? Solid B. Not much more; not much less.

B+ for year one, C+ for year 2, jury is out on year 3. Lefty Driesell would’ve done better with year two talent. Jim Donnan would’ve gotten the tax id numbers off of year 3 talent and who knows what would happen if one of them had been a lottery pick in 2016.

2) Recruiting? Easier to pronounce a disappointment at this point yet harder to know for sure. Results are sometimes apparent 2-3 years down the road.

What it looks like? C+ Needed one/two more blue chippers. Or one more blue collar guys to become a difference maker in the clutch.

3) Neither here nor there

Has anyone else noticed how the term ‘blue chip prospect’ is less in favor over the more specific RIVALS.COM or ESPN top 25 or USA TODAY or SCOUT.com player of the millennium?

Coastal Dawg

January 30th, 2012
1:53 pm

Totally disagree about the Dawgs. Not sure what one could expect with the loss of the big men and Thompkins and Leslie going pro. Dustin Ware and Gerald can’t play the post. We get killed rebounding and the shooting percentage is because we can’t get those high percentage baskets inside. As long as I see hustle, attempts at defense, and slow improvement, I think the program will still develop as it appeared before. CMF is in the conversation with a lot of recruits that before would not even have considered us.

Hal

January 30th, 2012
1:58 pm

I am suprised Tech is hanging in there in some of the games they have played. I prediced no wins in the ACC for them. The previous coach left the cupboard bare.

GTBob

January 30th, 2012
2:00 pm

GT should be much better next year. This year has been pretty awful as most expected. I’m not sure what to think of UGA’s program at this point. They aren’t very good and they will lose at least two of their top 3 scorers next year. If Caldwell-Pope goes pro then they will lose all three. Things are bad now, but may get worse.

PT Barnum

January 30th, 2012
2:09 pm

Georgia should be further along than this, imho. We know what Pewitt did to our program here in Atlanta. So give us two years to regroup. Lets talk year after next, and we will see. I figure both programs should be MUCH better then. If not, heads SHOULD roll in both schools.

Ted Striker

January 30th, 2012
2:10 pm

Coastal – You don’t write in much however i always remember who you are. As always your points are excellent.

Please allow me to say this. Thompkins & Leslie going pro was not unexpected. That’s something college coaches just have to deal with whether you’re red and black or big blue.

Always good to read your viewpoints.

bruce mac

January 30th, 2012
2:13 pm

Who cares, it is all about Wednesday and the final recruting ratings for UGA. And really if you both are really bad what difference does it make if you are less bad? So, Yech fans are excited about what? Golf, no, tennis, no, swimming, no, football, no, basketball, no. No no and double no.

keepinitreal

January 30th, 2012
2:16 pm

Neither team has been what I would call “disappointing.” I fully expected both UGA and Tech to suck this year. As a Dawg fan, I’ve come to terms with the fact that Georgia will never be much of a factor in basketball. Aside from the occasional Caldwell-Pope, the elite prospects just don’t give UGA much of a look.

RCB

January 30th, 2012
2:21 pm

How do you know its basketball season? Mr. Bradley is setting up Mr. Fox to fall instead of Mr. Richt.

UGA BBALL DAWG

January 30th, 2012
2:21 pm

It’s hard to turn over when you lose your best two players and have 7 Freshman or RS Freshman opposed to 4 Seniors, two of which are RS as well. Fox has some solid recruits coming in next season with Charles Mann, Kenny Gaines, and Brandon Morris. If they can manage to land Charles Mitchell as well…and keep Caldwell-Pope from going pro for no reason….I think they will be able to build a team to contend. Of course with Kentucky annually getting half the Top Ten recruits (who then go pro) and then replace them with more Top Ten recruits (who then go pro) and so on…it will be hard for any team to really contend for an SEC Championship.

You can doubt me but I think UGA and GT both reach the Big Dance again between now and 2015. Seems like a long time but it’s only 3 seasons considering 2012 is over for these two teams.

Dawg in Sewer

January 30th, 2012
2:24 pm

WE`s bigger dudsie. We is always are bestes in everythings. We is lotsa bigger thanes the maggots.

Rioffs, Ruffgs goes Serwers dawgssss

crackbaby

January 30th, 2012
2:25 pm

College basketball is almost unwatchable. The game has fallen so far since the 80s and 90s.

It’s not simply that the best players leave early for the NBA. Coaching is mediocre and the inconsistency in officiating leads to games that are practically different sports. Guard play is lacking on most teams.

Best game this year was FSU’s domination of UNC. Captured the emotion and spirit of on-campus basketball.