Archive for the ‘Tech / ACC’ Category

To Braves, Hawks, Falcons, Thrashers: Good is for losers

Editor’s note: This is Terence Moore’s last column for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Terence has decided to take a voluntary buyout, ending a stellar 24 years as a sports columnist. Terence sums up his time this way: “My objective was to get people to think, not to agree or disagree, just to get people to think.” We thank him for making all of us think and wish him the best as he moves on to new endeavors.

Can we talk? There’s a question I’ve asked myself for 13 years and counting, especially with the Hawks becoming the latest Atlanta team to operate as a tease.

That question: Will anybody around here join the Braves as the only professional sports franchise with a world championship? I mean, will the Braves even do it again? And the 1968 Atlanta Chiefs don’t count. Well, unless you’re a little goofy and consider the famously wobbly North American Soccer League something worth mentioning.

I’m referring to whether the Hawks, the Falcons, the Thrashers or the Braves can …

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Before Paul Johnson, there was Homer Rice, and guess what?

I’ve chatted with Homer Rice off and on for more than 30 years. He’s always been riveting. In fact, just when I think I’ve heard it all involving this caretaker of sports wisdom, I discover something else.

Did you know Rice has a Jackie Robinson connection?

We’ll discuss that in a moment, but let’s start with this: Rice is the former Georgia Tech athletics director. So this is interesting with the Yellow Jackets holding their spring football game Saturday: Coach Paul Johnson has spent the past dozen years, spanning from Georgia Southern to Navy to the Flats, perfecting the triple-option offense, but guess who invented the thing about six decades ago?

Yep.

Take a bow, Mr. Rice.

I’m guessing Johnson and Rice huddle often about the inner workings of B-backs, A-backs and the such. “I’ve been down there to meet with Paul a couple of times, and I went to practice [this week] to talk about the needs and that sort of thing, but we don’t talk football too much,” said Rice, 83, …

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Jackets ready to “spring” forward, make foes fall back

Last spring, when Paul Johnson was installing his triple-option offense and no-nonsense principles into Georgia Tech’s football psyche, the Yellow Jackets were listening to their new coach, but they weren’t comprehending.

Instead, they were rumbling, stumbling, bumbling. Courtesy of youth and inexperience everywhere, they had a frequently ghastly spring of botched handoffs, fumbled pitches and more than a few players running left when they should have been running right.

It didn’t matter. The Jackets still won nine of 13 games. They also whipped their Great Satan from Athens, and they did so between the hedges. I mean, if you’re the rest of the ACC or into barking, this is pretty scary when you think about it.

Camp Johnson II opens Monday with a slew of returning starters and several others who actually understand their coach’s wishes this time around.

“The main thing we discovered after last spring is that all [Johnson] wants from us is effort and consistency,” said Tech …

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Bobby Cremins: “We could have won the national chamionship”

   So you think you’re into March Madness, especially with the dribbling starting Thursday from Portland to Kansas City to Philadelphia? Well, you should move to the back of a growing line that is headed by the famous owner of floppy white hair in Charleston, S.C.

  There, you’ll find Bobby Cremins, the basketball coach at the College of Charleston via Georgia Tech. He prefers four play-in games to the NCAA tournament instead of the current one. He also would like to have the winner of the National Invitation Tournament receive an automatic bid to the Big Dance the following season.

  “I’ve thrown that around, and people laugh at it,” said Cremins, who nevertheless shrugs and says of this time of year, “I love everything about it. I love to watch, and I really love going to the games.”

  All you need to know is that Cremins has missed just one Final Four in person during the past 34 years. “And that was when I was going through my mid-life crisis with South Carolina,” he said, …

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Saint Bobby finally has wings clipped

  Oh, this is a shock: Florida State officials are totally embarrassing themselves over yet another scandal involving their football program. It’s the same old drill around Tallahassee. It involves doing whatever it takes to protect the likeable Saint Bobby, no matter how silly you look.

  This time, those Florida State officials say it is unfair for the NCAA to unleash penalties that will strip away 10 victories from Bobby Bowden in his quest to become college football’s all-time winningest coach at the Division 1-A level.

  Those Florida State officials are contemplating an appeal.

  Puhleeze.

  According to an NCAA investigation, a slew of Bowden’s players were among the 61 Florida State athletes in 10 sports who cheated on an online test from the fall of 2006 through the summer of 2007. That’s right, 61! The cheating involved staffers in the Florida State athletics department providing athletes with answers to the test and typing their papers.

  Come to think of it, those …

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Why Johnny can’t shoot (free throws)

   The Hawks can’t make free throws. They are next to last in the NBA at 73 percent, and that is disgusting. First, it will kill them in the playoffs. Second, how can anybody not make free throws? Worse, their shooting consultant is Mark Price, the NBA’s all-time leader in foul-shooting percentage.

  This really bothers me.

  “Well, it definitely bothers me. No question about it,” said Price, chuckling to keep from sighing.

  Price sank 90 percent of his foul shots during his dozen NBA seasons, mostly with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Before that, he was a splendid point guard at Georgia Tech, and speaking of the Yellow Jackets, they can’t make free throws, either. They are last in the ACC at 62 percent, which makes me wonder about the other two men’s programs in the area at the Division I level.

  Georgia State is last in the Colonial Athletic Association at 61 percent, and Georgia is 10th out of 12 teams in the SEC at 64 percent.

  What’s going on here? “During the past two …

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