Pre-Fiasco follies: Tech and Gregory need to part

This wouldn't appear to be a signal for a timeout. (John Barash/AP photo)

This wouldn’t appear to be a signal for a timeout. (John Barash/AP photo)

This wouldn't appear to be a signal for a timeout. (John Barash/AP photo)

This wouldn’t appear to be a signal for a timeout. (Jon Barash/AP photo)

Our weekly look toward March Madness and Bradley’s Bracket Fiasco begins with a team that won’t grace the Big Dance. That’s Georgia Tech, which authored another in its series of come-from-ahead losses Monday and prompted this correspondent to write that coach Brian Gregory needs to go.

As faithful — and perhaps unfaithful — readers know, I’d been leading up to this. (Here’s what I wrote after Tech lost to North Carolina State, and here’s one after the loss at Virginia Tech.) But what tore it for me was watching Louisville, which trailed by 13 points with nine minutes remaining, outscore the Jackets 11-0 while Gregory called no timeouts.

OK, he did get the under-8 media timeout in the midst of the Cardinals’ surge, but still: He had four remaining, and this was clearly the key point in a game the Jackets had nearly locked away. At such a moment, a coach cannot wait. He has to do what he can to change the dynamics. When finally Gregory got around to calling his first timeout, the Cardinals were within a point.

And then, for reasons unclear, Gregory spent his second timeout after the Jackets had scored to make it 45-42 — so his players could “calm down,” he said. Got that? It was OK for them to run around without rhyme or reason while Louisville was scoring, but an actual Tech basket — the Jackets would make four over the final nine minutes, the last with 1.6 seconds remaining and the game all but gone — was cause for pause.

I’m sorry, but that’s terrible coaching. If you wonder why Tech is 3-11 in games decided by five or fewer points or in overtime, look only to such brain-freezes on the bench. (There’s also this: After Timeouts No. 3 and 4 were burned in the span of 20 seconds — Gregory spent the first to set up a play that didn’t work, and Charles Mitchell called the last to save a held ball — the team that had four timeouts remaining with 5:33 to play had none over the final 1:14, which was kind of a major deal.)

Afterward, Louisville coach Rick Pitino proclaimed Gregory one of the 15 best coaches in the nation, which was sweet of him to say but demonstrably untrue. Here, off the top of my head, are 30 better: Pitino himself, Krzyzewski, Bennett, Williams, Boeheim, Brey, Calipari, Donovan, Izzo, Ryan, Beilein, Matta, Crean, S. Miller, Altman, Fisher, A. Miller, Smart, Self, Hoiberg, Kruger, Huggins, Mack, Wright, Ollie, Marshall, Few, Amaker, Jacobson and L. Brown. (I say again, that’s off the top of my head, and not in any order.)

I have nothing against Gregory. He’s a nice guy, and he has always been straightforward with me. But he has been on the job four years, and his fourth Tech team can go 5-13 at best in the ACC. His first went 4-12. Is that tangible improvement? And here, at least to me, is the chilling part: The Jackets are 1-3 against fellow bottom-feeders Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Boston College, all of which are in Year 1 under new coaches.

As for Louisville: If you’re looking for a brand-name team to pick against come March, the Cardinals would be it. They had 28 points in the first 31 minutes against Tech. The 17-point first half marked the third time in six games they hadn’t broken 20 in the first 20 minutes. (They had 13 at Virginia, 19 against Miami.)

They can’t shoot a lick, and Chris Jones, their third-leading scorer, was booted from the team Sunday after it was learned, according to the Courier-Journal, he’d sent a threatening text to his girlfriend. Pitino’s a great coach, but this is among his lesser teams.

As for Georgia: The vital overtime win at Alabama on Saturday stopped the rot after home losses to Auburn and South Carolina. If the Bulldogs can split their final four regular-season games, they should make the NCAA field with room to spare. (ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has Georgia a No. 9 seed in his latest Bracketology.)

As for the team Georgia plays on March 3: Kentucky is still unbeaten and looking stronger with every week, and it’s a mark of the Wildcats’ depth of talent that the national player of the week is Kyle Wiltjer of once-beaten Gonzaga, who played two seasons at Kentucky before being deemed superfluous. Wiltjer scored 45 points against Pacific last week.

Reader Comments 0

145 comments
usjacket
usjacket

I was hoping Gregory would succeed at Tech because he is such a decent person.I'm afraid I have to agree with Bradley on this one, it just ain't working.

usjacket
usjacket

I was hoping Gregory would succeed at Tech because he is such a decent person. Im afraid I ave to agree with Bradley on this one, it just ain't working.

RBR
RBR

Let's pull a Kansas St (football program hiring Bill Snyder) and hire back the man who put our program on the map...Ask Cremins to come back for one interim season until we can afford to hire a coach.  At least he will fill some seats in an otherwise, empty MC Pavilion.  Otherwise, pour lots of sand and water over this dumpster fire.  

Jim70
Jim70

Top Row Dawg - noticed that as well but didn't want to comment or maybe the floodgates would open.  I occasionally glance at a dawg article and may have even posted, but never negative.  too much of that and when I read those and they are full of them, I go to another page.


y'all got a chance for the NCAA, so maybe that'll be one of our highlights - beating a team that goes (unless Miami also makes it). they are blowing their chance right now vs UNC.

John Kilpatrick
John Kilpatrick

tech basketball has been too painful to watch. Its time to let Gregory go!!!

The Bob
The Bob

I did not read this article. Fire Mark Bradley. That was easy. I could be a sports writer.

Top Row Dawg
Top Row Dawg

Wow, over 100 comments and not one single Georgia troll. Wish the Georgia Blogs could be like this. You guys should police tojacket better.

Not sure what to think about Gregory. He certainly has our number. Y'all got to taste a sweet double dip over us this year. Good luck whatever you do.

Mark Price should be involved in program in some way, assistant coach or recruiter.

See, a Georgia fan can comment without a demeaning jealous quip.

Jacket Detective
Jacket Detective

@Top Row Dawg

I do not like your fans or ours who go to the arch-rival site just to aggravate. If I could police both of the groups I would. And yea that was a pretty good comment by you. Thanks.

crackbaby
crackbaby

MB,

You deserve credit.  It isn't easy for someone in your position to say a coach or manager should be let go or "that's terrible coaching."  It is certainly true in the case of CBG.


You would likely admit that such declarations aren't made after a single or even a handful of critical mistakes.   The mask is off.  The emperor has no clothes.  Tech basketball remains in the dumpster.


Time for the GTAA to cut their losses.  Thank CBG for his service, the guy IS trying, and let him go.  Name an interim coach for the rest of this season.  That would be fairer to the players and fans.

upwithwhiteandgold
upwithwhiteandgold

there's  always GOFUNDME.COM, set up an account to raise fund for this fiasco,  


Side note:  I remember Mark Bradley not giving his approval when several bloggers thought Mark Price would be a good coach or even assistant.  Price even said he would assist under Craig Neal.  (iMark, if you think Calipari is the way, truth and life who has wins vacated by the NCAA for his cheating crap.  And Petino is one to talk.  There's all kinds of stories why he really left Kentucky to go coach in the NBA and we all know about his crap at Louisville.  

RD77
RD77

He's got to go! Figure the money thing out somehow. We have good enough players to compete in the ACC. The problem with that IZZO coaching tree is you get great defensive teams but you better have some shooters. We don't have shooters per say. We need motion and speed on offense and pressure on D. Wear these teams out with 7 to go in each half. You won't get that with CBG. So either deal with the mediocrity and don't complain or can his butt. I say can him! and do it NOW! I don't expect a championship team every year but there should be no reason we cannot make the dance every year.

BillHaley
BillHaley

We can only hope for mediocrity at this point. It's worse than that!

Jim70
Jim70

hopefully the next basketball contract has an out for each side.  If the coach goes to the final four, he can leave with no penalty, but likewise, if he doesn't make the NCAA once every three years (pick the NIT? or percent making) and the coach can be let go with no penalty.


win win for both sides, especially if the coach thinks he can win.  if he doesn't like the terms, not sure I would want him.


Also agree with the financial comments - we don't know where we stand. don't think we are going to hire a Calipari type, but should be able to get an up and comer or Noodles.  Not sure what Tech's concern is with him (and I have to admit I have not followed his coaching career).

GTBee
GTBee

I agree 100%.  That they gave him a contract extension after his 2nd year is just laughable. He is the worst.   I feel badly for Bobby Cremins who built such a great program at GT.  Now this.  Aargh!

upwithwhiteandgold
upwithwhiteandgold

@GTBee the shame of it all was that there were several former GT players and NBA GREATS under Cremins that offered their services as an assistant but BG wouldn't have anything to do with it,  shame on DRAD and the GTAA for allowing this nobody to run the show...this is the truth check it out, not some asst. played or had any acc experience.  

TechTroll13
TechTroll13

@GTBee While I think a lot of Cremins and what he did at Tech, to call it a "great program" is revisionist history.  He only won 47% of his ACC games.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@south eastern criminals 

Yep - you need to have an ex ACC player to have any success.  Imagine how bad an ACC team would be if they hired some guy who played at Army or at Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Guyon
Guyon

Radakoviitch screwed Tech and then left. He borrowed lots of money and now Tech has an annual debt burden of about $15 million. ADRad could not afford a big name coach. Tech cannot now afford to hire an expensive coach, at least until Hewitt is paid off. Hewitt's contract was a huge mistake with lasting effect.

Gregory's players play hard, but have yet to learn how to finish. I don't understand why they can't make free throws. I think Tech has to stay with Gregory one more year due to finances. If his team doesn't have better results next year, he should be replaced.

khd713
khd713

@GTBob @Guyon You make an excellent point. I agree, and would also add that while contract buyouts can hinder an athletic program, the single most damaging situation for an athletic program, financially speaking, is a half-filled arena. Lagging attendance tends to have an even bigger influence on a coach's fate than even a losing record, although they tend to go hand-in-hand. Presumably, a new coach can reinvigorate the program and boost attendance and the bottom line, which makes the buyout a non-factor.

GTBob
GTBob

@Guyon People keep talking about the financial situation but no one really knows. The debt from the new facilities does exist but right now it is essentially loan payments. Not exactly something that will cripple an athletic department. The Hewitt contract does still need to be paid off but there are rumors that the buyout was negotiated over a longer period of time to ease the financial burden. We also have more money coming in from the renegotiated TV contracts and the college football playoff. On top of that we have no idea if Bobinski is possibly securing private donations for this particular change.

Outside of the upper level members of the Athletic Department, no one really knows the full financial picture. I am fairly certain new are not broke though and we will have plenty of money for the next coaching hire. We are in a much better position than we were when Gregory was hired.

Peachs
Peachs

Worse shooting team in my memory not only at Tech but I can’t remember a high school team less offensive. I think the idea with Gregory is to win ugly but to lose ugly is just ugly. Watching the UNC, Duke game the other night and the announcer saying it was a pleasure to watch two teams trying to score each time down the court, think he was talking about Tech being ugly.

PalmBeachFalcon
PalmBeachFalcon

CBG came from Dayton.  Dayton blew us out.  I remember Dayton fans coming on our message board thanking us for hiring him away.  At the time I thought it was sour grapes.  I was wrong.

GTBob
GTBob

@PalmBeachFalcon They were sour grapes. If his results at Tech were similar to his results at Dayton then no one would want him fired. 

Jim70
Jim70

Lowcountryjacket, good points. 


Rozier would have been left on the game same as Dennis Scott or mark price would have.  they can shoot their way out of a slump.  our shooters cant.

GT71
GT71

Not gona happen - Tech wants to NOT pay 2 coaches NOT to coach more than getting a WINNER.  We wait 2 more years....and perhaps turn it around, but probably not.

Tech management, top to bottom, from Prez to AD to coaches, has screwed up basketball on the Flats for years to come.

Jacket Detective
Jacket Detective

What has Tech basketball done for me this year?

It's reminded me of one of my favorite experiences.

That would be Three Dog Night at Chastain Park on a beautiful spring day.

Performing my favorite song at that time, "Eli's Coming".

And the cards with Gregory say "a broken heart" game after game.

Gregory is not a players' coach.

That why Reid and Carter Jr left.

Well that's my take on it but also why I left after first year in McCamish with season tickets.

Tech doesn't have shooters because they do not want to play for this guy.

Rozier would have been benched were Gregory their coach before he could win the game for Louisville for the unpardonable offense (as far as Gregory is concerned) of making the head coach look bad by missing shots.

He was 6 for 16 before he took the game in his hands and whipped Tech almost single-handedly.

Once he got hot - and his coach gave him the time - Tech had no one to counter.

Especially without a coach to call time out and calm his own team down (not the opponent's).


CoachB247
CoachB247

@GTQBdefender You've spoken to Reid and Carter? I'm sure Carter leaving has nothing to do with his AAU coach and Under Armour. U of M wouldn't be an Under Armour school would it? 

By "..not a player's coach." do you mean, he expects them to be more than just "players?' 

What shooters have you spoken to that do not want to play for him? 


Jim70
Jim70

Gregory, Hewitt, back to whack hyder.  only Cremins has done decent at tech and his record  really isn't great.


As with many, can't understand why they can't recruit better.  not really academics, especially for a star who isn't staying around long.


Amazing to look in the stands - pro scouts, NBA head coaches.  what kid wouldn't want to audition in front of them.  and these guys aren't going to travel to Athens , auburn, Gainesville, etc.  with Atlanta being a major hub, they will take in a game when either here or flying through.


Atlanta has got to be a place where a majority of good players would like to be.  so what is it that GT is missing?

Not to be racist, but an African American coach didn't attract them even after going to the NCAA finals.  but something is wrong someplace and until we find out what it is and fix it, it doesn't matter who we hire as coach.

Lowcountry Jacket
Lowcountry Jacket

@Jim70  I saw an article not long ago online about the decline of the inner-city pickup basketball scene played on the asphalt.  Young and old players alike were involved in this for years.  These games would draw huge crowds.  Many college standouts developed their skills here.  Part of the decline may have to do with electronic distractions & being more sedentary in addition to the prevalence of street crime.  But it's not confined just to a particular race... For example, kids don't play football out in the yard nearly as much as they did when I was growing up.  And pickup baseball games, a staple of '50s America, is all but gone.  Back in the '70s our cul-de-sac always had a kickball or stickball game going on during the week.  Our mailbox served as home plate, and the manhole was the pitcher's mound.  This was all extracurricular... on top of all the organized sports most of us already played.  It seems fewer kids are developing ball skills at a time when so many colleges are competing for elite athletes.


A school like FSU or even Georgia Tech has a much easier time recruiting for football over a school like Wake Forest.  But because basketball teams are so small and use fewer resources, a school like Wake or LaSalle or Richmond can do very well against the big schools.  A shrinking pool of trained athletes being recruited by a growing host of schools means more parity and more difficulty sustaining success.  The Dukes, Kentuckys and UNCs of the world might be able to do it now, but from what I've read it's harder to sustain a top-tier basketball program in today's environment than it was in years past.

khd713
khd713

Craig Noodles Neal is the answer. Should have hired him instead of Gregory, but it's not too late to atone for that error.

buzzgolf14
buzzgolf14

@khd713 Why would Neal come now, especially since Tech passed him over before?

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@buzzgolf14 @khd713 

In 2011 CBG was hired after being HC at a mid-major for several years.  At the time, Craig Neal was an assistant to Steve Alford with zero experience as an HC - he was hardly "passed over",

buzzgolf14
buzzgolf14

@PaulinNH @buzzgolf14 @khd713 Last time around, he wanted the job, but Tech didn't choose him.  Whether you call it "passed over" or not, why would he want the job now?

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@buzzgolf14 Because it's one of 15 head jobs in the most prestigious basketball conference in America?

wreckbone
wreckbone

@GeorgeStein @Sonic The HedgeHog That is funny PAC whatever and SEC best in Hoops.  You know we are talking about basketball now.  The SEC does have the best program money can buy now but that is it. Tech would not be 3-12 in the SEC.  They would be with UGA about a bit over .500.  Even before all the hoops teams came the ACC was up there always.  but after poaching from the Big East and them having to split to not take Boise State, the ACC is by far the best conference in hoops. And we competed there for 12-13 games this year with lots of talent that left.  Retaining talent is a problem.  Who is the "Reid" you guys mentioned I don't remember him or did he just no show up?   Louisville and Syracuse having an off season and still Duke, Carolina, Notre Dame, are great teams. Even Pitt has been down since joining.  I thought UCONN would have been a better fit for the ACC than PITT.  Who does the SEC have after UK, Florida or Vandy?  Hardly a Duke or a Carolina.  and that again is with 3 teams losing more often than usual.  Its funny how the AC is shaking out.  Beginning the season Carolina was below these other great ACC schools but UNC is rising to the top.     

grh0317
grh0317

Gregory may not be long for GT, as I recall however as I

recall they did beat the Dogs. The Dogs are certainly no

NCAA tourney team!.

Sonic The HedgeHog
Sonic The HedgeHog

@grh0317  They beat UGA when they had a sick Kenny Gaines and the team was very out of sink. They would never beat them again even if they played in Atlanta again. Tech is terrible.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@Sonic The HedgeHog Out of "sink?"  Were they on the counter?


And we play once a year.   You can keep winning hypothetical games.   I'll take the real ones.

SportsTopFan
SportsTopFan

Georgia Tech has the potential to have a TOP basketball team yearly  !!!


Mr. Gregory is not the Head Coach to keep the Yellow Jackets on TOP.


We agree with your assessment Mark.

jamesatl
jamesatl

Gregory's a good guy but he's a FCS level HC or an assistant. He'll never win at Tech.