Brian Gregory’s name alone is probably not going to have bluechip prospects lining up at the door to sign with Georgia Tech. But his work ethic and evaluation skills eventually will win them over.
That’s the opinion of Dave Telep, senior basketball recruiting analyst for ESPN.com.
“Brian is a classic grinder,” Telep told me Monday. “He’s not afraid of hard work and prides himself on evaluating. Expect him to establish a brand and recruit to it.”
That formula worked for Gregory at Dayton, where he was 172-94 (70-58 Atlantic 10) since 2003. It certainly helped him land Chris Wright, one of the A-10’s best players the last four years.
Gregory and longtime assistant coach Billy Schmidt out-worked Illinois, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Texas and Xavier for the 6-foot-8, 220-pound, four-star forward from Trotwood, Ohio. Known for his rim-rattling, highlight-reel dunks, Wright recently completed his career with Flyers with a 13-point, 7.2-rebound average.
Wright typified Gregory’s recruiting profile in that he tended to do his best work locally. Many of the best players on this year’s Dayton team were recruited from in-state, including former four-star point guard Juwan Staten of Dayton, 6-6 wing Chris Johnson of Columbus and 6-9 forward Matt Kavanaugh of Dayton.
If Gregory can do the same in talent-rich Metro Atlanta, he’ll have the Yellow Jackets back on top in no time.
Gregory and his staff did well outside the state as well. They went into the treacherous recruiting ground that is Detroit and pulled out 6-4 guard Paul Williams.
Not all was hunky-dory in Dayton, however. It was recently reported that Staten is planning to transfer. And, no, he’s not likely to come to Atlanta with the former Dayton coach.
Staten told the Dayton Daily News:
“I like Coach Gregory as a person. I respect him. But I just don’t feel like I got any better this year. I don’t feel like I could reach my full potential if I stayed at Dayton. When Coach Gregory recruited me, as heavily as he recruited me — it started when I was a freshman in high school ’til I stepped on campus — I felt there were certain things that defined me as a player, and I don’t feel like he let me do those things. I don’t feel my talent was used as good as it could have been.”
Staten went on to say he didn’t like being utilized mainly as a ball distributor, even through he led the A-10 in assists. Rumor has it that Staten is headed to West Virginia.
Staten’s opinion is counter to most observers of Gregory’s work in Dayton. His reputation there was as a strong developer of talent.
Gregory was officially hired by Tech AD Dan Radakovich last night. After a meeting with President Bud Peterson this afternoon, he’ll be introduced as the Yellow Jackets’ at a 5 p.m. news conference today.
Gregory, a 44-year-old native of Illinois, succeeds Paul Hewitt.
By Chip Towers, The College Recruiting Blog