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

reebok

March 29th, 2011
9:39 am

hewitt was a great recruiter, for all the good THAT did us. we had a ton of McDonald’s all-Americans who were one & done on their way to the NBA. atlanta is loaded w/ hoops talent…coach gregory is going to have to show that he can develop them once he gets them. players never seemed to improve under hewitt.

UGA clueless

March 29th, 2011
10:58 am

For more of an apples to apples comparison, look at Gregory’s recruiting at Dayton vs Hewitt’s at Sienna. Gregory was better.

Hewitt is an overrated recruiter. Is he a good recruiter – yes. Is he a great recruiter – no. For another apples to apples comparison, compare Cremins recruiting to Hewitt recruiting. Cremins was better.

TECH '11

March 29th, 2011
3:09 pm

The bottom line — all dawg comments on Tech’s new Coach are inherently irrelevant; while all reck comments outside of good wishes are inherently premature. Give it a rest and concentrate on spring football and top-twenty baseball.

HoopsGuru

March 29th, 2011
4:26 pm

Dear RomeDawg….you can jump on Tech all you want…You can brag on the UGA and the classic city all you want. But, at the end of the day, you still have to leave the garage and go home and sit down for supper in Rome, Georgia. The only good thing that has ever come out of Rome, Georgia is the Coosa River. Go jump in it, your overalls will keep you afloat.

ud grad

March 29th, 2011
9:09 pm

The joke was that Staten couldn’t shoot and didn’t like the part of being a point guard that involved passing and ball distirbution. He was good at passing but still had an AAU hot dog self centered mentality. In a nutshell–he did not play well with others. Spearman was his roommate and was poisoned by Staten and his Dad. Spearman also had delusions of grandeur. Both hope to play in the NBA, like most 10 year old boys….

GOGTBB

March 29th, 2011
9:12 pm

Paul Hewitt was lazy,& taking advantage of GT money. I would take my chances with a HS coach vs. P.Hewitt. I’m proud of Tech cutting the cord with Mr.Lazy,wow is me I lost another player to the NBA.

Mike

March 29th, 2011
11:37 pm

Shaka Smart would of been the right guy

dawgboy

March 30th, 2011
7:56 am

Rumor is that NC State has asked for permission to talk with Coach Fox and have talked with his agent about doubling his deal! He is on their short list.

Mick Moroney

April 2nd, 2011
1:34 am

Hewitt was a great recruiter!!!

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