Tech under Gregory: Still waiting on winning

Brian Gregory and his Jackets await the breakthrough. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Brian Gregory and his Jackets await the breakthrough. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Brian Gregory and his Jackets await the breakthrough. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Brian Gregory and his Jackets await the breakthrough. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

The details of a Monday conversation with Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory are available on myajc.com, our premium site, but I offer this summary: Gregory believes his program has improved in the three years since he took over from Paul Hewitt, even if the developments of Year 3, when the Jackets are 13-16 and 4-12 in ACC play, have made progress difficult to spot.

“We’ve done some important things for the program that we really stress,” Gregory said. “There’s no question how hard we play, no question about the intensity and resolve of the guys. In a season like this, things could have splintered and gone really wrong.”

That said, very little has gone right for these Jackets. They’ve lost four in a row and six of seven. They’re tied with Boston College for 13th place in a 15-team conference. (To be fair, Tech has beaten BC twice.) Going by RPI, their two best victories came against Georgia and Illinois, teams not expected to qualify for the Big Dance.

Yes, some of this — probably much of this — has to do with injuries. Robert Carter Jr. and Trae Golden have missed significant time. Travis Jorgenson and Jason Morris have been lost for the duration. Solomon Poole was dismissed from the team in January. Still, there’s no denying that this season has been a reversal: Tech was 16-15 last season, and a March road upset of Miami, which would go on to win the ACC, augured brighter tomorrows.

Said Gregory: “The margin of error when you’re rebuilding (is small). You try to put yourself in the position where you want to be successful, and in so many areas we’ve made unbelievable strides. The one next up is in success on court. I understand that and guys understand that.”

It would be wrong to suggest that Gregory inherited a program poised for greatness. The Jackets were 47-48 in their final three seasons under Hewitt. For the record, they’re 40-51 in nearly three full seasons under the new man. And the ACC, which has seen the additions of Syracuse, Pitt and Notre Dame and which will welcome Louisville next season, only gets tougher.

 

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75 comments
39Concepts
39Concepts

with that lucky win over syracuse, he keeps his job another year and makes more excuses next year

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

You should have watched the Jackets take out #7 tonight Bradley!

That a big enough win for you? @GT Dude.. You don't see it and just

don't get it either..Any effort out there dude? lol

GTRay
GTRay

Earlier this season Mark Bradley (I think it was him) commented about the team's relatively good free throw percentage.  But since then, there have been several games when just a play or two, or a free throw or two, would have made a huge difference in the outcome.  Despite all of the injuries, we could easily have won 3 or 4 more games, and a 17-12 record at this point of the season, with all of the problems this team has had to face, would feel pretty good to me.  If next year's team has to deal with the same amount of injuries (not to mention dismissals), then a believer in karma might agree we have to get rid of BG because he must have done something horrible in his previous life.  However, I don't believe that.  Let's see where we're at two seasons from now.


And I feel that comparing the W/L record with PH's last year is apples & oranges -- PH lost control of that team.


Besides, if BG were fired, who would be beating down the doors to be our coach, if BG continues to do things with integrity -- academics, etc., but was fired because he didn't get the team into the NCAAs in four years?  I guarantee you, coaches who might otherwise be interested, who believe in ethics/academics, would look hard at that.  It would send the message that wins are more important.  Do we want another Jim Harrick?  Now, if he loses control of the team, if they give up on him, that's a different story.


Whoa, sorry about the rambling -- I totally lost control over my typing fingers.

MikeS777
MikeS777

How is the overall talent level of the team though?  The most successful teams at Tech actually had the talent to win the ACC and be successful in the NCAA tournament.  Gregory needs to get a couple of top level talents in to turn this around and get recruits looking at Ga Tech again.

TechTroll13
TechTroll13

2012 class was ranked 19th in country

Robert Carter Jr. - 5 star

MGH - 4 star

Solo Poole - 4 star

Jackson - 4 star (signed for next year)

Royal - 4 star

Poole & Royal didn't work out, but he has recruited well, but when you're not getting Top 25 recruits it takes time .  Cremins didn't make the NCAAs until Price & Salley were juniors and he had Dalrymple and Ferrell and Joseph on the team.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Mike......Bingo!!

Hewitt, at the very least, had GT as a prime destination for top notch recruits.

BG's recruiting is worse than CPJ's......and it's much easier to recruit elite talents to a tougher academic Institution like Tech in BB than FB.

GTBob
GTBob

@BigCrimson75  It's amazing how people make the same exact posts for basketball as they do for football. Now I guess we are going to spend years talking about how great Hewitt was in an effort to make Brian Gregory out to be the devil.

GTBob
GTBob

@TechTroll13  Not to mention getting Stacey Poole and Trae Golden to transfer. Also we are currently leading for one of the best players in the country.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@TechTroll13

Julian Royal signed with GT while Hewitt was coach - and he came in a year ahead of Carter and MGH..

CBG is doing a good job but he needs a few breaks - and he didn't get any this year.

Techmate
Techmate

I think Coach Gregory has done a good job. Without the injuries this year, the team would've won at least 5 or 6 more games. They play hard under this coach ad they didn't under Hewitt. Also, I am over the one and dones - keep them away from the program. Gregory is re-building and that takes time. He will get shooter or two and then his defense will be that much better. Will Tech be Syracuse or Duke? Probably not but I want a competitive clean program. I'm sick of the pampered, "look at me" type players at many of the schools. There are way too many of the "me-first" non-student athletes playing today. Let them find a minor league overseas.

TechTroll13
TechTroll13

After their 3rd season:

Coach K .309 winning % in ACC - zero NCAA or NIT appearences

Cremins - .309 winning % in ACC - zero NCAA and one 1st round loss in NIT  (Price & Salley were sophs)

Gregory - .280 winning % with no home court in first year and multitude of injuries this year.

Too early to tell if CBG is good coach.  Those who want to fire him would have fired Coach K & Cremins before their success.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@TechTroll13

Heck Gary William's went 6-8, 5-9, 5-11 and 2-14 his first 4 years at MD - should have fired the bum

BearCasey
BearCasey

@AntoineFord "You never open your mouth that you don't subtract from the sum of human knowledge."

GuyOnThisSite
GuyOnThisSite

I figured Gregory as a no more than 5 year transition coach. We came from crap, and because of the buyout required to get rid of the last guy, we couldn't afford a great coach. So we got a coach who at least wouldn't make things worse. And after a few years the buyout will no longer be an issue, and we can find a coach that costs money but also wins.


That said, I'd love it if Gregory could turn things around and make me want him to stay at Tech. He seems like a good guy, I'm just not sure he's ever going to get it done.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

@Mark

The time span between the end of football and the beginning of baseball is one that I don't envy anyone whose job is covering sports.  I have no idea how basketball ever became popular.  I'd rather watch bowling. 

GTBob
GTBob

While I think the play this year has been inexcusable at times, to say that the future looks bad is a bit short sighted. This isn't football. Young players can make a major difference, as well as hopefully having a healthier team. Tadric Jackson has been looking great in the playoffs this year. He should be a pretty big contributor immediately. We also currently lead for Jaylen Brown, a 5 star top 15 player. That would be a huge get for CBG and could turn the team around completely. We also have Lammers coming in and likely someone else. There is no telling what the makeup of the team will be next year but there is no reason to think we cannot possibly get better than this year.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Get better than this year!!

You can't be any worse Bobby.

Yes, it would nice to add a superstar like Brown, problem is Duke, UNC, NC State, Syracuse, Pitt, FSU, Louisville etc., aren't waiting for Gregory to play catch up.

He's overmatched Bob, actually far more overmatched than CPJ is on the FB Field.

GTBob
GTBob

@BigCrimson75  He might be, but id rather let it play out then fire him because an Alabama fan on the AJC message boards wants to fire everyone all the time. And yes. This season could have been much worse. Hewitt's last year was much worse than this season.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@GTBob  ". . . get better than this year."

"Than" this year; see, you can do it.

MikeS777
MikeS777

@GTBob  Young kids can make immediate impacts in CFB too, you just need to be able to recruit the ones that can.  UGA's "Dream Team" class and then the additions of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall had immediate impacts on the field.  Johnson was able to upset UGA and have a good first year with mostly Sophomore playmakers.

GTBob
GTBob

@MikeS777 Not nearly to the same extent that a great basketball player can transform a basketball team. A great basketball player can take over a game by himself on both ends of the court. That simple isn't possible in football. When we got Derrick Favors we went from 11-17 (2-14 in the ACC) to 23-13 (7-9 in the ACC). There isn't a football player in the country right now that could make an impact similar to that on the gridiron. 



EmoryEagles
EmoryEagles

In Gregory's defense, he really only has one of his recruiting classes in there right now (the sophomores).  Since Royal left and Jorgenson is out, Quinton Stephens is the only other guy he recruited (leaving out transfers like Golden).  I'll be interested to see what next year brings since he'll have more of his players in there.  


That said, if they can develop a consistent outside shot, it'll work wonders.  I've had season tickets for a few years now and I haven't seen a consistent outside shooter since Anthony Morrow.  They have good plays that get people open but they don't have the players to hit the shots.


Nevertheless, I feel the team has gotten better since Gregory arrived.  They play with effort, which is not something I saw in Hewitt's last few years.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Effort??!!

No, your team doesn't play with much effort.

They make countless blunders & mental mistakes.

They have no talent to compete with the ACC elite.

Right now, GT is maybe the 10th best Program in the conference(that's being really nice on my part).....and big bad Pitino is coming next year!

You don't win gun fights bringing a switchblade. :(

GTDude
GTDude

Where have we gotten better? I don't see it

Have we recruited better players? I don't see it

Does the future look brighter? I don't see that either.

IMHO  GT should give Gregory one more year then make the decision on whether to make the change, because at this point I have just become apathetic to GT basketball

BearCasey
BearCasey

@GTDude Fundamentals, i.e.- hedge and recover defense, maintaining spacing in press offense; in-bounds lay defense, staying low on post-ups, rubbing off screens on offense, free throw shooting, and more.

BobsUrUncle
BobsUrUncle

I remember when  GaTech Basketball was worth watching,of course that was when The Great Cremins had teams that challenged every team that hit the court and recruited guys who could play basketball!!!! Paul Hewitt despite his overall record he did recruit guys that could play at he next level, this guy Gregory has ran his course!!!!!

Eustis
Eustis

GT needs to be looking at Ron Hunter from GA State.

BobsUrUncle
BobsUrUncle

@FoSho u ain't never lied about that, we don't have the type of athletes to compete in the conference yet alone the ncaa tournament!  He has taken kids confidence & outta their games with his bs style of coaching!!! stick a fork in him he's done!!!

juvenal
juvenal

FIFA needs to pull the 2018 World Cup out of Russia!

TheOldGuy
TheOldGuy

On the bright side the girls team is doing well :)

39Concepts
39Concepts

time to make a change--this guy can't coach---spend some money and bring in a big time coach who can win in the acc

BigTimeJacketFan
BigTimeJacketFan

Neither of the Pooles have panned out; Jorgenson out (I believe he will start next year); Stephens needs weight and spends too much time around the three point line (status as front line ACC player not confirmed at this point).  Basically got no new help this year, and the three sophomores plateaued.  I thought Dollar was supposed to bring us all kind of folks (?).  The way we do it in Jacketland, Gregory has at least one, and probably two more years, which frankly he deserves, given what Hewitt did to the program (for some levity, check a G. Mason box score sometime for the number of turnovers).  Like I told my son, being a Tech fan will teach you patience, whether you want to learn it or not. 

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@BigTimeJacketFan

The 3 SO's plateau'd???  You did notice that Carter missed half the season with an injury, right?

Gregory will get to coach his first recruitimg through their final 2 years.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@BigTimeJacketFan

The 3 SO's plateau'd???  You did notice that Carter missed half the season with an injury, right?

Gregory will get to coach his first recruiting  class through their final 2 years.

Robert300
Robert300

This was a cheap hire that hasn't worked. It's time for a change. Gregory was about to be let go at Dayton because the program was going nowhere at Dayton. Craig Neal or Mark Price would have been better choices. Tech has pumped a lot of money into facilities and it's not working under Gregory. With the few comments here you can see interest in bball at Tech is declining. When the AD says he's excited about a victory over BC that shows how ole the program has sunk. Under Cremins at this time of the year we would be worrying about where Tech was headed in the NCAA 's. It's not gonna happen with Gregory. He's not recruiting well and it will get harder next year when Louisville comes into the league. It's time for a change.

SvenOttke
SvenOttke

@Robert300 Mark Price has no desire to be a head coach and doesn't have the personality.  This has been stated over and over.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

What is it with Tech fans wanting to fire everyone?   Sheesh.

GTBob
GTBob

@GeorgeStein  It is amazing isn't it? There are already people calling for Bobinski's head. The guy has barely worked a year.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Ahhh, poor pitiful defeatist. :(

What's amazing Bobby?.........People actually have fore-sight about these horrific hires on the Flats. People want their Program to achieve. People want their Program to improve. Is that really amazing?

Brian Gregory is more over-matched on the BB Court than CPJ is on the Grid-Iron.

You know for being the supposed "smart guys in the room" y'all sure do make a lot of head-scratching blunders when it comes to coaching hires.

Chan, CPJ & Gregory were all bad hires. Not to mention Hewitt's extension.

When you make poor decisions like this, how do you expect different results?

Gregory is a mess. He's the worse decision GT has made. The guy was on his way out the door at Dayton. They hated the guy. GT once again bid against themselves for his services! Of course, y'all top it off with a contract extension outta left field!

Defeatist, Defeatist, Defeatist.....and you two have the nerve to actually criticize people who are sick of losing, sick of mediocrity, sick of bad decisions.

GTBob
GTBob

@BigCrimson75  The guy hasn't finished his 3rd year yet. Do you really want to start firing coaches every three years? You want to have more coaches on the payroll that aren't coaching then are? Sometimes after you make a hire you have to stick with it for a while. There is nothing defeatist about not wanting to fire your coach every year. Doing that hurts our program far more than it helps it.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Yes, I understand that rationale. However when it's plain to see this guy was a mistake, don't you agree keeping him around only for the sake of not firing him is a bigger mistake.

You can't keep compounding these mistakes by keeping them around.

It's clear Gregory will never have GT amongst the better Programs -- whack him before it gets worse -- Before significant damage is done.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@BigCrimson75  The Hewitt extension looks bad in hindsight, but at the time most people thought it was excellent.   We had a coach that took us to the biggest game in the sport and had opportunities to go anywhere he wanted.   If he had left, people would be griping about us not paying him.   

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

George....It pained me to mention Hewitt's extension with the much bigger mistakes GT has made in regards to coaching hires.

I liked Hewitt. At least he got GT at the dinner table with 5 star recruits, something BG has failed miserably at doing.

GTBob
GTBob

@BigCrimson75  Im not sure that is clear at all. In Coach K's third year he went 11-17 and 3-11 in the conference. Duke had gone to the final four 2 of the 3 years before he got there and he looked like he was running the program into the ground. There were probably some know it alls saying that he was out of his league and should be fired. Do you think Duke regrets keeping him?

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@BigCrimson75  I liked Hewitt, too.   I saw him at the Whole Foods at West Paces & Peachtree last summer, and he could not have been nicer.  His wife and kids went to Christ the King on occasion, and I'd see them at Mass from time to time.   They were always nice.   


The business of sports is difficult, because we all have the benefit of hindsight.   I think it's only fair to analyze decisions with the information that the people had at the time.  

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@BigCrimson75  I also remember when we were recruiting Derrick Favors.   I saw Hewitt at a football game and asked him whether we were going to get him.   He smiled and winked.   His confidence was terrific.   I wish he could have been a more successful coach.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

George.....It's not emotion of the game.

This GT BB Team is terrible. It was bad last year. & not very good the year prior.

Gregory is not the right man for the job.

---

Bob....Comparing BG to Coach K is not being rational. Different time, different era. I get the argument not all coaching tenures start out on fire. K is a great example.

I just don't see BG making GT a major player.....and life in the ACC is only gonna get tougher in years to come.

GuyOnThisSite
GuyOnThisSite

@GeorgeStein  Ever looked at the UGA boards? They want to fire Richt every other day. If they lose a game, they want to fire him. Then they win a game, they want to build statues of him. Then they lose a game and Richt is the world's worst coach and should have been fired years ago.


If a school keeps losing, doesn't it make sense that fans would want to fire the coach? How many years do you let someone fail before you're allowed to talk about firing them?

GTBob
GTBob

@BigCrimson75  Robert Carter Jr was a 5 star from some sources and we currently lead for a 5 star who is one of the top 15 players in the country. How exactly is he failing miserably at it?

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Guy.......We've completed year 6 of the CPJ tenure -- these guys are in no rush!!

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@GuyOnThisSite It's not a black and white question, GOTS.   You have to consider the tools given to the coach (in Gregory's case, he has a beautiful new arena to sell) and the relative expectations.   I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a tournament bid two out of five years.   He's in year three on a pretty large rebuilding process.   He's graduating his players.   I think if he struggles again next year, it would not be unreasonable to start to think about other options.   


I freely admit to being slower to the trigger finger than others may be.   I am that way in my own business, and it's unlikely to change.

GTBob
GTBob

@BigCrimson75  I guess we will just have to disagree on this. I might change my tune if he can't get anything going next year but im not that big of a fan of running coaches off before they really even get started. Not only will it cause us embarrassment and financial trouble it sends a clear message to any prospective coach that you have limited time to completely turn the program around. Not many coaches are going to want to buy into that.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

His coaching record is a failure Bob.

His wins/losses stink.

He doesn't have top notch talent.

How much longer will you give this guy?

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@GTBob It's silly, dude.   In general, I get that a lot of people are emotional and not rational about sports.   But it seems like it's gotten worse.   Maybe it's just that blogs give the lunatic fringe an outlet.   

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@BigCrimson75  They have played with as few as seven or eight scholarship players for several games this year.   He could be a poor coach (I acknowledge not being a hoops savant), but I don't know that we have enough information to make the decision yet.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@GTBob People want to run off Danny Hall, too, GTBob.   That should provide some indication of the type fans we have.   He beats UGA, wins consistently, gets us to the post-season, puts players in the big leagues, and people still want him fired.   

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@BigCrimson75  Tom Crean's first three years were 6-25, 10-21, and 12-20, and he's at one of the six or seven most famous programs in the country. 

GTBob
GTBob

@BigCrimson75  I already said that if he doesn't show some considerable improvement next year then we may have to consider our options. Again though, we are in year 3 right now. It isn't even finished. We have had many bad injuries this year and had to kick a guy off the team who was expected to contribute significantly. It has been a mess for CBG this year. I am perfectly fine letting him try to stabilize things and bring in some new guys to help out. I really don't see how firing him now is beneficial to GT basketball in any way. You think blowing everything up and starting over is the sane solution to every problem. I don't.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@GTBob @BigCrimson75  

". . . that aren't coaching then are?"

_______________________

"then" are?

You really don't get it, do you?