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Tech Wreck Update

Things are a bit calmer for Georgia Tech but still iffy for UCLA.

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NCAA Basketball: ACC Media Day
All things considered, Josh Okogie might be happy he had to miss Georgia Tech’s trip to China.
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday was a wild ride for Georgia Tech. While the Yellow Jackets were in China dealing with a bizarre shoplifting situation that ended up restricted to opponent UCLA, a former friend of Josh Pastner laid some very specific accusations about how he ran his Memphis program and how he’s running his Georgia Tech program.

Wednesday was reaction day.

In the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, both Mark Bradley and Steve Hummer agree that this scandal won’t be enough to bring down Pastner - provided that nothing more damaging comes to light.

Meanwhile, the China saga rolls on. According to Margaret K. Lewis, a Seton Hall professor who specializes in Chinese law, “If formal charges are brought against the basketball players … the conviction rate in China is over 99%. What’s important in this early stage is what charges are brought, because once they are brought it becomes an issue of what the sentence will be, not whether they will be found guilty or not.”

All things considered, there’s a lot to be said for an independent judiciary.

For a change, LaVar Ball has kept his trap shut which helps.

Back stateside, #1 son and Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball had his first taste of the legendary rivalry with the Boston Celtics.

Perhaps somewhat distracted by events, or perhaps outmatched by former Blue Devil Kyrie Irving, Ball didn’t have a great game. Irving finished with 19. Teammate and former Duke star Jayson Tatum only played nine minutes after an ankle injury.

Ball’s teammate and also former Duke star Brandon Ingram finished with 18.

Wednesday morning, Ball said this at a shoot around: “I am letting my people over there handle it. I am over here taking care of business.”

After the game, he said, “It’s still my little brother, but I’ve got to come out here and play.”

Hummer’s question was who was having a worse time, Pastner or UCLA coach Steve Alford. So far, despite the mess, it’s Pastner by a nose but Lonzo, who is a pretty quiet guy, is having a bad few days himself.

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