In Atlanta, everyone knows that Brian Gregory may be on thin ice. We've wondered for some time why Tech kept him with such a mediocre record. As it turns out, his players are 100% loyal to the man and say incredibly nice things about him.
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We told you recently about Charles Mitchell, who raved about his coach.
Now it's the turn of Marcus Georges-Hunt and Ben Lammers who are similarly passionate about their coach.
It can't be the last word for Georgia Tech A.D. Mike Bobinski, but one hopes he counts it as a factor. Any athletic department has to generate money, but players should be a factor too. You want to please them.
Not like Louisville though!
Rick Pitino is still dealing with the fallout over the scandal there and will be for some time yet.
However, he sort of tossed some logs on the fire Tuesday when he said this to Mike and Mike on their radio show: "We didn’t need this to get recruits," Pitino told the show. "You know we’re not Kentucky where we’re recruiting the one-and-dones."
He went on to laud guys like Russ Smith and Gorgui Dieng: "Well I’m going to tell them that — and it will sound a little bizarre to them — I’ve been a believer in these rules for over 30 years. As a matter of fact, people call me a little bit of a micromanager. We’ve had the highest GPA now in three different conferences every year … we run an extremely disciplined program so there’s a tremendous contradiction of this going on. And to say it breaks my heart would be putting it mildly … if I could just get Andre McGee in a room for 10 minutes I’d say ‘why? why would you do this? What purpose did it serve? We didn’t need this to get recruits. You know we’re not Kentucky where we’re recruiting the one-and-dones. We’re recruiting the Russ Smiths of the world. He’s a two-star athlete who becomes a first team college All-American. Gorgui Dieng, starting for the Minnesota Timberwolves wasn’t ranked in the top 75 … so we have a different way we recruit and it didn’t make any sense what was going on. How these women infiltrated our program was very disturbing to me."
Well okay. But don't forget that when Pitino himself was at UK, he pioneered and mastered the two-year-and-done system.
And you can bet Kentucky fans won't forget this either.
In yet another coaches note, former Wisconsin coach Dick Bennett says that this could be son Tony's best Virginia team yet.
"They had to find their way through that. I thought, even though they didn’t win a championship, this was their best season. I thought Tony, in my opinion, did his best job. I would have liked to have seen them win that last game [against North Carolina], but it was a superb game. I think they were tired. They had a tough road to get there. You could see the legs just weren’t there down the stretch. I was very pleased. I’m very hopeful for them in the [NCAA] Tournament. "I think they’ve developed some depth. I’m really excited about Mike Tobey’s play and I think he can be a factor in the tournament. I see them in a good place right now."
At Wake Forest, two transfers, neither consequential: Andre Washington is leaving, along with guard Rondale Watson.
Washington is a senior and Watson a junior.
Wake has now lost 19 players in the last eight classes, but these departures are fairly trivial, with the possible exception of chemistry and leadership. Most of us would have no clue about that, but you'd think if they were that invested they'd stick around.
However, the good news for Danny Manning is that he now has almost all his own guys now.
Dan Collins is clearly depressed about this and thinks Wake is significantly low on talent.
We're not so sure. Clearly they're not getting elite recruits. But look at next year's roster. It's really not that bad:
|42||Gilbert McGregor||Forward||6-4||210||RS SR|
|11||Greg McClinton||Forward||6-7||200||RS JR|
Wake's young big men showed plenty of potential this year. Konstantinos Mitoglou may be limited defensively but he can shoot.
But best of all Manning is putting together a team with an athletic core and some pretty solid guards. This is something that Jeff Bzdelik never managed.
Keyshawn Woods, who started at Charlotte, will also be eligible, so essentially it's a class of five new players.
Most importantly though, Manning is done with all of Bzdelik's headaches except for McClinton (who has never shown any signs of being a headache).
He could really use an athletic forward or a nice wing. Maybe he'll end up running a three guard offense.
However he does it, it's all his now.
Worth mentioning: Wake lost a game to Xavier the Deacs should have won. Louisville won by eight, Virginia Tech by two, Virginia by one, Georgia Tech by five, lost to Pitt in double overtime, lost to Duke by eight, at Duke, and lost to State by three.
Flip six of those into the win column and Wake would have finished 17-14 - hardly great but an improvement. Next year?