New Tech basketball coach Brian Gregory ‘a classic grinder’ in recruiting

Brian Gregory (lower right) beat out numerous major programs to land high-flying four-star forward Chris Wright at Dayton. (Photo provided by University of Dayton)

Brian Gregory (lower right) beat out numerous major programs to land high-flying four-star forward Chris Wright at Dayton. (Photo provided by University of Dayton)

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

59 comments Add your comment

james

March 28th, 2011
2:45 pm

BYRDDAWG

March 28th, 2011
2:51 pm

Interesting….

The Real YellowJacket

March 28th, 2011
3:06 pm

Wait and see…

RomeDawg

March 28th, 2011
3:06 pm

Tech fans, who know this is a bad hire, will want to spin this that he is a great recruiter, however, I guarantee he is not as good of a recruiter as Hewitt was. Average coach for an average program.

HelluvaEngineer

March 28th, 2011
3:08 pm

He won’t have an issue recruiting talent at an ATL based ACC basketball school.
What we have lacked is player development, hope Gregory does well in this area….Oh and is a good game day coach.

BigTimeTECHFan

March 28th, 2011
3:10 pm

Notice the GT fans in the photo, (yellow shirts).
Great hire.

RomeDawg??clueless?

March 28th, 2011
3:12 pm

Are you that clueless, everyone knows Hewitt was a great recruiter (judged by QTY of stars recruited).
No one is going to “spin this that Gregory is a great recruiter”….
But he does not have to be to get great talent at Tech, he just needs to develop his players and coach.
Can he? Guess we’ll see.

BigTimeTECHFan

March 28th, 2011
3:21 pm

Agree – RomeDawg

Key will be getting some of the good player from Georgia that are not high profile recuits mixed in with a solid recruit, that by the time they are JR’s are impact players in ACC. Hewitt did a fine job recuiting.

gt baby!

March 28th, 2011
3:22 pm

Welcome Coach BG to GT…..now kick some a@@..

Proud-dawg

March 28th, 2011
3:45 pm

This is a great hire by Tech. The guy is a good coach. For all my UGA friends, please show some class!

JV

March 28th, 2011
3:48 pm

Have fun with him. The guy recruits great athletes, but not so much great basketball players. Yes, he landed Chris Wright who was a top recruit, but he was from Dayton and wanted to stay in town. This can’t miss prospect however never developed over his 4 years. He was suppose to be a can’t miss 1st round NBA guy, but now he probably won’t get drafted. Says something about the coaching. Also, watch out for Bill Schmidt making all of the substitutions.

Ga Tech 92

March 28th, 2011
3:53 pm

Let’s go Jackets!

Dannyboy

March 28th, 2011
3:56 pm

Thanks, Chip. Great angle in tying your writing coverage to GT’s new hire. Are you going to do a separate piece on how the local recruits/coaches feel about this hire, specifically recruits that were interested in GT before Hewitt was fired? Thanks!

GTBob

March 28th, 2011
3:59 pm

If Gregory recruits half as well as Hewitt (not that hard) and coaches twice as well as Hewitt (also not that hard) then we will be in good shape.

BullDawgRick

March 28th, 2011
4:13 pm

Good Luck to the “New Coach on the Block”…

He could be a Diamond in the Rough.. Like the Coach we have in the Classic City!

VentingDawg

March 28th, 2011
4:21 pm

LOL Tech downgraded there head coach! He couldn’t handel the presure at Dayton what makes D-Rad think he can deal with the stress Tech & the ACC will bring?

GPBurdell

March 28th, 2011
4:24 pm

Let’s give him 4 years and see if at least some of his recruits have made it to at lest a “Junior” status. If he can’t improve on Hewitt’s winning percentage I hope he can at least improve on Hewitt’s graduation percentage.

Goldenrod

March 28th, 2011
4:42 pm

As a GT hoops season ticket holder, I’m gonna be honest with you – this hire makes me SICK. D-Rad did NOT accept mediocrity when he brought in Coach Paul Johnson as the new sheriff in town, yet he goes out and get an unproven mid-major coach to lead the Jackets in the premier conference in college basketball. Absolutely pathetic hire.

ormewood

March 28th, 2011
5:23 pm

Chip, “back on top in no time”? When exactly has Tech been on top?

LOL

March 28th, 2011
5:35 pm

RomeDawg must be a comedian! Since when has UGA ever been anything but below average in basketball??? Like football you’ll point to ONE good year (83 basketball and 80 in football) and both were before the majority of Americans were even born and certainly before many others crossed the border. Tech has become average to below average and it is time to right the ship. Get your own house in order first. This year you had two NBA talents and lost the first round. Sounds familiar with what we fired to get away from and you call that a Great season. LOL

Chip Towers

March 28th, 2011
5:47 pm

DDPO: You’re right! Oops.

Coach Johnsons Paul

March 28th, 2011
5:54 pm

Yep that “Recruting Thing” worked out well for the guy who’s tail got hit by the screen door didn’t it!!!
Coaching has to fit in the equation at some point…just ask Butler and VCU.

Nate the Great

March 28th, 2011
6:02 pm

LOL – How was that trip to the NCAA tourney this year? Our house is getting in order, thats why we fired Felton and hired Fox. Besides now you guys are way behind in this upcominbg recruiting class. LOL

PS We still woop your asses in football year in and year out. Congrats on winning in baseball though. (Thats a house we DO need to get in order)

ignition

March 28th, 2011
6:23 pm

Dayton fans are jumping for JOY right now..
Player development issues..
Stagnant offences…
How about NO Offences..
2 players transfering..
Mediocre IN CONFERENCE record..
No NBA drafted players..
8 years only 2 NCAA appearances…
I’m Baffled.. What a terrile hire..

RomeDawg

March 28th, 2011
6:51 pm

LOL – simple pointing out that when it came to recruiting Hewitt done a fine job. If you done any research on Gregory you will see that he is basically a white Paul Hewitt, just not as strong of a recruiter. Major player development issues and a boring brand of basketball. When you realize you guys missed on Martin, Anderson and Rooney (2 to SEC jobs and one to stay at Richmond, yes Richmond over Tech) you realize just how far down the ladder the Tech basketball job has fallen. I just think DRad sold himself horrible short on this hire. I honestly though the Tech job was a “wanted” job in a power conference, but clearly I was wrong.

Mick

March 28th, 2011
6:53 pm

Coach Gregory is awesome.

Vertical Training

b

March 28th, 2011
7:21 pm

goldenrod, the acc is NOT the premier conference.
NOT even close. Two great programs and the rest of the conference
is nothing but mediocrity. The expansion has really hurt the conference.
The acc is now just plain average.

aubrey

March 28th, 2011
7:57 pm

Hewitt was such a great recruiter that this year’s team had 8 guards and 3 big men. He recruited 1 and dones and then couldn’t coach them as players or on game day. Am neutral on Gregory but more than willing to give him a chance.

icallbs

March 28th, 2011
8:00 pm

You guys need to give the guy a chance. I don’t know who you expected but this guy seems solid. He can’t be worse than what you had. TECH will be back, at least in b’ball. I hope he does well and TECH once again becomes a factor in the ACC.

Frankly

March 28th, 2011
8:02 pm

Congrats gtu, any hire has to be better than what you had.

THWGT!!!

Delbert D.

March 28th, 2011
8:18 pm

Staten’s comments say a lot. He didn’t buy in, and he was quite obviously primarily interested in himself, the individual. Like this one: “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.”

Dayton Man

March 28th, 2011
9:34 pm

Thank you Georgia Tech for taking our coach off of our hands. We had been wanting to get rid of him for several years and owe you a BIG THANK YOU.

Techy

March 28th, 2011
9:53 pm

I couldn;t care less what people with all the time in the world to spare spend typing gibberish on this site says, I support this coach being a Tech fan. I know he did things for Dayton they will probably never have again as far as winnning tradition. I hope he takes us to another level that Hewitt couldn;t do since 2004. I am not sure why AJC can’t maintain their blogs better and not let losers, basement dwellers on these posts.

Loganville Tech Fan

March 28th, 2011
9:55 pm

Before we hang the guy I would like to see him coach a few games first. If memory serves me we didn’t like the previous coach. The ACC isn’t what is was when Cremins was at Tech. Its really gone down. Everyones is right about high school basketball in Georgia…..but can they do good enough in school?

JP

March 28th, 2011
10:14 pm

b…you are right on…the ACC is just average…results of NCAA tournament prove it!

LMAO…what an idiot, where do these people come from…have you ever played sports in your life…oh wait, I’m sure you were the starting QB and PG for the state champs in 1970 and had a college scholarship but broke your pinky toe over the summer and never was the same!! still LMAO!!

Lifetime Jacket Fan

March 28th, 2011
10:21 pm

Shumpert announcing his intention to enter the NBA draft on the same day as GT introduces their new coach is a perfect example of what has been wrong with GT hoops. If 5 star recruits only come with a ‘me first’ selfish attitude, then I’d rather have a bunch of 3 star recruits who appreciate the opportunity they have been given and understand the meaning of team and community.

Rodney Dangerfield

March 28th, 2011
11:26 pm

UGA the Wisconsin of football and Missouri of basketball. Think about it.

Rodney Dangerfield

March 28th, 2011
11:34 pm

Sixty players get drafted to the NBA each year. Lets see, that is 60 kids from a pool of colleges, high schools, and foreign countries, and someone is complaining that Dayton hasn’t had a kid drafted in the past few years. Dayton? Really. Dayton has had 2 players selected in the first 2 rounds since 1979. You people will complain about anything. We are not talking about Ohio St here.

gt baby!

March 28th, 2011
11:44 pm

ignition=Hewitt fan =not GT fan = BS shooter.

mike

March 29th, 2011
12:17 am

Tech Fan for life but should of waited for Shaka Smart if you want a guy you know can coach and recruit.. Plus you could of got him cheaper than you would later.. He will get a elite job in the next 2 or 3 years watch..

GT is a 4th rate high school team

March 29th, 2011
12:29 am

GT needs a cheap hire. They have no money. LOL

GT is a 4th rate high school team

March 29th, 2011
12:30 am

And will remain so.

Gt

March 29th, 2011
2:46 am

Romedawg…atleast were not below avg as uga is as a program as a whole. Lmao

Paddy

March 29th, 2011
6:46 am

Oh,so Staten didn’t want to pass the ball in Dayton’s offense. He wanted to score with the ball. Selfish and you can’t win consistently with that kind of mind set. You will never hear from him again.

kudzu

March 29th, 2011
7:15 am

Well said “Lifetime Jacket Fan”… I say recruit “character” guys first, then coach-em UP…Need to change the way things are done…and yes, change is slow and painful sometimes…Over night splashes are just that, over-nighters, one and dones…

Football will have to be the same way, especially running this non-pro-style offense.

Establish an outstanding recruiting program…not a begging for players patrol…begging quite often comes with promises…which quite often invokes illegal activity.

The promise to play atheletics at Georgia Tech…is a free education. Players are dumb to miss this opportunity. So survey the ranks for the dumb players, avoid them, and move on…

Got to build and maintain a quality program…

RomeDawg

March 29th, 2011
8:25 am

GT – Do I respond to that by saying:
1) Atleast UGA sells out of football tickets to a stadium of more thatn 50,000 by not having to have a rap concert before it.
2) Our profits from athletics are one of the best in the country.
3) We OWN Georgia Tech in football.
4) We have won the last two years in basketball and 3 of the last 4 if memory serves me correctly.
5) Our football coach’s boobs are smaller than his wife’s.
6) Last time I checked you guys didn’t even make the NIT basketball tourney.
7) The basketball coach you coveted chose to stay at Richmond. That one hurts.

So lets be clear, UGA is head and shoulders above Tech when it comes to athletics.

RomeDawg

March 29th, 2011
8:26 am

GT – If you are still laughing it is simple to stop your self from crying about the sad state of affairs at Tech.

Bob Marley

March 29th, 2011
8:40 am

Me thinks you Tech fans be smokin something quite frequently. You people need to chill out and quit getting all butt hurt cause your team is a joke. Its just the facts mon.

Who cares (the original)

March 29th, 2011
9:24 am

He was able to get some good recruits for Dayton, interested to see what he can do here.

Upstate Jacket

March 29th, 2011
9:36 am

Most UGa fans making fun of this hire are just sad to see Hewitt go. They were probably willing to pay his contract if Tech would have kept him around.
If Gregory can manage to get the ball inbounds regularly and save at least one timeout for the last 5 minutes of play then it will be an improvement over what we had.
I do wish Hewitt well.