I am a baseball guy. I really don’t know too much about what I’m going to be writing about, but I intend to get much better and learn. A short introduction.
I just got back from the Orange Bowl. It was a great trip, despite a not-so-great game. On top of that, the Yellow Jackets men’s basketball team managed to lose to Georgia. I understand it’s only one game and I understand that Georgia has plenty of advantages with respect to recruiting football players (huge boosters, inferior admissions and academic standards, bigger student body, bigger budget, more NFL attention, etc..). If their school’s administration gave 10% as much attention to basketball as they did football, a loss to Georgia on the basketball courts wouldn’t bother me nearly as much.
Their program has been a joke since the Jim Harrick scandal. Perhaps the most notable thing for the program since then was a surprise SEC Tournament win in 2008, in which (according to the University of Georgia Official Athletic Website: http://www.georgiadogs.com/):
Georgia’s 4-game run through the SEC Tournament 1) matched its entire win total for the whole 16-game regular-season conference schedule, and 2) represented the Bulldogs’ longest winning streak of the 2007-08 season.
Not exactly a memorable year outside of what their own official fucking website basically calls a fluke tournament run.
The Bulldogs won their last regular-season conference (SEC) championship in 1990. The best player to play for them since then is probably (actually, without a doubt) Jarvis Hayes. Jarvis Hayes is an NBA regular, but he’s certainly no player that a child dreams of becoming (such as, oh, I don’t know, Chris Bosh or Javaris Crittenton or Thaddeus Young or Derrick Favors–that’s just since 2003). Additionally, Jarvis Hayes comes with an added degree of embarrassment because he was recruited by (most undoubtedly in some dubious fashion) and played for the aforementioned Jim Harrick–a regime everyone wants to forget entirely.
My point is simply this–their program is a joke. Their memorable moments are few and far between, their memorable players are even more so. Their fans don’t care, their administration doesn’t care, their athletic department probably doesn’t even care. It’s a joke. Even internally, it’s a joke.
Georgia Tech, on the other hand, plays in arguably the best conference in the nation. If the ACC isn’t the best in the nation, it was the best not too long ago. We won’t get into the merits of various NCAAMBB conferences at this point because I have virtually no idea how to quantify it and summary opinions without evidence are bullshit, but the ACC is a highly respected basketball conference, I think that’s something we can all agree upon (if the only thing…).
Georgia Tech currently has 4 players–Derrick Favors, Mfon Udofia, Iman Shumpert, and Gani Lawal–on their roster that are good enough to play in the NBA. These four players would most likely (well, I really don’t know enough about it to be able to say, like I said, I’m not used to this sort of thing, though I do intend to get better. In the mean time, a little help?) be drafted if every eligible player entered the NBA draft tomorrow. Basketball is considered the premier sport at Georgia Tech. Sure, with Paul Johnson’s revolution football is more popular these days, but I’m not so sure that was the case as recently as a few years ago. The team was in the national championship game not seven years ago and the fans and administration expects the team to be competitive anually. They support it, devote resources to it, and they’re emotionally invested in it.
I mention these things to point out the fact that Georgia Tech doesn’t just have a slight advantage over the University of Georgia when it comes to basketball, they’ve got a tremendous advantage. They play much tougher competition with much better players and are supported much better while UGA goes un appreciated as they generally continue their role as their own weak conference’s punch line. Hell, UGA didn’t get off of probation from the Jim Harrick scandal until last year.
Simply put, a loss to the University of Georgia in basketball is unacceptable. I realize that one loss isn’t nearly a sufficient enough sample size to call for a man’s job, but that’s not what I’m saying for two reasons. One, Paul Hewitt is 4-5 in regular season meetings with Georgia since coming to Tech. It’s not just this game, it’s the man’s entire body of work, which has been marred with one theme since his induction as the team’s head coach: under achievement. Two, I’m not really calling for his job, I just like this name. Such questions that the contents of this site will attempt to answer include: What, exactly, is the impact a coach has? Should Paul Hewitt be fired? And so forth and so on. It’s an attempt to take an objective look at the Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball coaching situation.
To be honest, I have no idea if Georgia Tech should fire Paul Hewitt or not. I don’t think anyone who has much of an opinion really knows. As I mentioned, I’m a baseball guy. One of the themes in my baseball writing is to not believe anything without evidence, to always ask the question “is that true”, et cetera. I intend to apply the same principles here.
All in all, we really don’t know, but the evidence points strongly in the direction of blog’s title.
Objectively, I’m going to attempt to determine if the title of this blog is true. That is the purpose of this space. The “mission statement”, if you will. Hopefully I entertain a few folks and learn a thing or two along the way.
To that end, I need to get a lot better at this. There are several categories of things I need to learn about. First of all, I need a crash course in NCAA Basketball saber-ish stuff. I think it’s called “tempo free statistics” or something like that. I need links to blogs that deal with that sort of thing as well as links to Georgia Tech and other ACC basketball blogs. Basically, I’m jumping head first into a project without doing much research, trying to learn on the fly. Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you for stopping by. Any input is always appreciated.
Until next time, follow me on Twitter @FirePaulHewitt.