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It used to work.Â Bobby Cremins used to be able to go out and get one or
two great players a year, promise them a lot of time and turn them loose.Â
But it broke down with Kenny Anderson and the whole thing fell apart when
Stephon Marbury left after just one season. Tech has chewed through point guards and never really recovered. The
cycle of talent following wins has reversed, as it tends to do, and poor seasons
have found recruits less interested in Tech than before.Â There are
whispers now that Cremins, who put Tech on the map, for basketball anyway, is
running out of time.
Certainly it won't be easy. However, there are some reasons for hope. For
one, Bobby has finally started to garner some depth, a notorious failing.Â
For another, the talent may be better than expected.
Certainly Jason Collier showed his ability (and also made Bob Knight seem
pretty dumb for chaining him to the low post), at least offensively, and Alvin
Jones is a wonderful defensive center, though he struggles with maturity.Â
And Jason Floyd has turned out to be pretty good, and Jon Babul is a competent
Beyond that, there are some question marks.Â For one, how fast will Tony
Akins develop? He had some horrible games last season.Â Yet at Cameron we
were surprised at how quick he is.Â The potential is there. And he is
backed up by T.J. Vines, a kid we admire.Â Also new to the backcourt are
Shawn Fein and Clarence Moore (we're not counting the traditional Tech scrubs
who never play).Â Stephon Marbury was reportedly very impressed with Fein,
saying he was an NBA level player, and Clarence Moore may - may be able to take
over some of Deion Glover's roles.Â Moore is reportedly a very good athlete
whose grasp of basketball is not yet refined.
Tech also picked up Michael Isenhour, a 6-8 transfer, and Russ Chouest came
with Moore from Louisiana.
Bobby also made a wise move and hired Mark Price as an assistant. Fresh off a
long and productive NBA career, Price could be an excellent teacher and should
be a significant recruiting weapon as well.
So to break it down: Collier is fine on offense but slack on defense.Â
Jones is a superb defender but his offense is awful.Â Floyd is erratic but
a capable athlete and sometimes a streaky shooter.Â Babul and Isenhour can
back them up, and perhaps Moore.Â
The backcourt is the issue, really.Â They can mask the frontcourt
problems to an extent.Â Between Akins, Fein, Vines, and Moore, Tech
actually has some depth.Â If they can hold on to the ball, then distribute
it, and play some defense they might make some noise.Â Fein is supposed to
be a red hot outside shooter, and Floyd and Colllier will help, Collier not
least of all because he's lookng at the NBA next year and wants to maximize his
The only senior is Collier, meaning if he can get through this season, Bobby
might survive and get this train back on track, though Alvin Jones is almost
certain to flirt with the NBA again (he was hooted down last time).
There's potential here. The key player, though, in many ways is Mark Price:
if he can get Akins, Vines and Fein to play point competently, Tech has enough
to compete. But it's going to be close.