Tech’s season ends not because of bad luck but bad coaching

Tech coach Brian Gregory during Tuesday’s loss to Boston College. (Gerry Broome/AP photo)

Tech coach Brian Gregory during Tuesday's loss to Boston College. (Gerry Broome/AP photo)

Tech coach Brian Gregory during Tuesday’s loss to Boston College. (Gerry Broome/AP photo)

I apologize in advance for belaboring a point. By now, you know my feelings about what should happen with Georgia Tech basketball. But I do want to make this observation.

The Jackets’ season ended with a loss to Boston College in the opening game of the ACC tournament. The Eagles scored the winning basket with 10.6 seconds remaining when their leading scorer — Olivier Hanlan, long a swatter of Yellow Jackets — shot over Robert Sampson after being isolated.

The Jackets’ final shot was taken by Corey Heyward, who was Tech’s 11th-leading scorer on the season and the ninth-leading scorer available today. I’m not sure if that was the designed play — I’m not sure Tech has designed plays — but Heyward made a good move to the basket only to dribble his way into a contested layup.

It would have been a tough shot for Chris Paul to spin home. Heyward’s try glanced off the front rim and was swatted out of bounds by Boston College as time expired. The cameras then cut to the anguished faces on Tech’s bench, where we saw …

Charles Mitchell.

Mitchell was Tech’s second-leading scorer and leading rebounder this season. On Tuesday, he scored 14 points and took 11 rebounds. For reasons unknowable, he wasn’t on the floor when a 2-point basket would have won the game. (And we all know Tech’s best hope of generating points is to hurl the ball at the goal and hope one of its big men can follow it home.) But Corey Heyward, who’d made eight baskets this season including two this day, was.

Much has been made over how unlucky Tech has been to have gone 0-11 in ACC games decided by five or fewer points or in overtime. I’m sorry, but not deploying your best available offensive player and best rebounder at the end of a one-point game isn’t luck. It’s coaching — or, more precisely, the absence thereof.

I cannot imagine any scenario in which Georgia Tech keeps Brian Gregory.

Reader Comments 0

83 comments
Maggot_Man
Maggot_Man

GT should leave D1 sports and just focus on academics. From football to swimming....well, it just seems like a big waste of time and resources.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Maggot_Man After that whooping back in November.............I can understand your concern?

GT71
GT71

Bad coach.

Bad hire.

Bad news, because that's now 2 in a row in the 'bad coach hire' column. A school can make a bad hire every 10 years or so and remain viable, but not 2 back-to-back.

So now, the thinking goes, 'Let's fire the guy and pay TWO guys to not coach at Tech'.

Yes, Bobolicious must go too if Gregory goes.

If not both, neither...and let them both stew in the broth they made.  You knokw, suffering the yammering-blathering of the likes of Bradley et al at the infamous AJC, alums, faculty, students.

Punish them while paying them through their contracts.  And then SLAM THE DOOR.

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

Send Bobinski out the door with Gregory. Both are completely inept.

Ponte Vedra Jacket
Ponte Vedra Jacket

The BC game came down to bad coaching. Everybody in the building knew Hanlan was getting the ball on their final possession and he easily got to the corner to be isolated. A good basketball coach could've schemed a defense to prevent their top scorer from getting off a good shot. And as Bradley noted, Tech's best scorer was on the bench for the last shot.

AntoineFord
AntoineFord

Gregory . . . The Bill Lewis of GT basketball.

AntoineFord
AntoineFord

Thanks, Mark, and Adios to the worst coach we've ever had!

rallo
rallo

Gregory is out I hear.  Bradley is right.  you put the bigs in to rebound because we CAN'T SHOOT!  therefore you get the chance for a rebound.  as for our point guards, they belong in mid-level comp. I mean seriously, jorgenson?  heyward may not can shoot but he can play d.  that little j can't jump, can't shoot, and isn't quick enough.   ACC is too quick for them.  apparently no one wants to come to GT.  personally I believe some of it has to do with the city and some of it has to do with that GT seems to be satisfied with mediocrity in football as well.  if GT can assist with NASA then why can't we assist with a commitment to win consistently?? as for local talent not staying in atl, THEY GREW UP HERE.  THEIR FAMILIES WANT THEM AWAY FROM THE IDIOTS THEY HUNG OUT WITH IN HIGHSCHOOL. 

moboman
moboman

Tech can't win the close one because CBG hasn't recruited the ACC quality players required to win in the ACC.  And Tech sits in the midst of a basketball hotbed.  If you can't get takers, you aren't doing your job as a recruiter.  Ability to coach is secondary to ability to recruit.

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

Not sure Brian Gregory or GT fan base cares what you thin Bradley!

Go root for your lame dogs and enjoy the ride. How bad did

the dogs beat GT?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@LOGS1973

Bradley doesn't look all that thin to me.

How bad did the dogs beat GT? Which season?

-OBrien-
-OBrien-

I think the Brian Gregory hire was about 5 years too late.  That's when he was a very hot name.

And yes, you can say he had a tough season,  but the fact is his ACC record in 4 years is 19-51.  Why would his record in year 5 be significantly different than what it has been the last 4 years? 

Jmonty
Jmonty

Doubt any coach would want to come to GT.  Plus were stuck paying Hewitt and this guy.  Don't see GT boosting money to magically hire another coach,... Only because of financial reasons, does he keep his job.  Sadly GT will suffer from bad choices for a few more years.  

GTBob
GTBob

@Jmonty There are plenty of up and comers at smaller programs who would love a nice pay raise to coach college basketball at the highest level in a talent rich state. We aren't going to get a huge name but there are plenty of solid choices out there.

GTBob
GTBob

@-OBrien- I like him. He has turned the Ga State program around in a short amount of time and he had a decent track record at IUPUI too. I like the press conference he had as well when he talked about his son. The guy has heart and a good track record. You can't deny that. Whether he is truly ready for this level of play, well that is up to Bobinski. I wouldn't be opposed to his hiring though. He would probably triple his salary if he came here.

PalmBeachFalcon
PalmBeachFalcon

GT hires Dayton's coach.  Dayton gets better.  Dayton blows out GT.  

juvenal
juvenal

same player misses 3 straight 3 pointers before they get the ball inside, lose by 1.nobody even guards the 3, other coaches have better plan.........

gt51
gt51

what about the guy down the street. hunter?  he must be able to coach and recruit.  he wins at gsu.  no one has done that in a while.  someone will give hunter a chance very soon, maybe this year.  why not tech?  im not a basketball guy but i can tell when a team isn't being coached well.  guys shooting under 30% from 3 pt range taking 3 pt shots early in shot clock.  no offensive flow at all.  cant inbound ball under pressure.  

gt1995
gt1995

When Brian Gregory took over, the program was a shambles. No home court. Single digit scholarship players. The program relied on recruiting 1 or 2 NBA level players, having a good season and then sliding back to mediocrity or worse.


Compare that with the current situation. The kids are tough. The kids play hard. The kids play defense. The kids rebound. IMHO, the recruiting has actually been better, top to bottom, than Coach Hewitt.


It was a tough season. We all want to lay blame. But before lighting the torches and getting the pitch forks, ask yourself this question... Is there a better option? I wouldn't want an NBA coach coming here. They are not experienced or adept at the top two thing coaches at the college level need to do... Recruit and Teach. I'm not thrilled about another mid-major guy coming in and starting over. I also don't like the idea of a retread or an assistant.


I feel very good that our current AD came from a basketball school and will make the right decision (he did with Sean Miller right?). Personally, I believe he has a name or two in mind and will reach out to gauge interest. If it's there, I believe he will pull the trigger because this team has the talent and mix of players to be very, very good next season. If it's not there, Gregory will get one more season to finish what he started with his first set of recruits.


Here's the thing though... I am a Jacket through and through... I bleed White and Old Gold... I will support the team no matter what...


GuyOnThisSite
GuyOnThisSite

@gt1995 When Brian Gregory was hired away from Dayton, Tech got worse. And Dayton got better, and has now beaten Tech both times they've played since Gregory came to Atlanta.


Sorry, that's not a sign of a good coach. I'll support the team no matter what, but the coach is not the team.

Mulk
Mulk

@gt1995


I like Coach Gregory and if he stays, I'll be fine with that. But, please do not tell me that when you look at these bodies out there, you see good players.

RichardKPE
RichardKPE

@gt1995 Is there a better option?  Let's ask this in another way:  are there worse results?

BravesFan79
BravesFan79

@gt1995 Your the typical foolish fan who wanted Hewitt fired.   I can tell you don't know much about basketball just by saying we have the talent to be "very very good" next season.  
No... if all the chips fall in line, and GT has a miracle season with this roster, they would be a fringe NIT team at best next season.  

JacketTime
JacketTime

@gt1995 Don't listen to these bitter haters '95 you're exactly right. These are good players who hang with the best in the league. We've had close games with top the teams in the nation. Mark made it pretty clear when he explained the fact that Mitchel wasn't out there for the final shot.

I'm afraid CBG has everything but the x's and o's down, but these players are damn good together and play hard. Especially when you consider all the negativity surrounding them. They just don't give up and that is a very hard to find characteristic that was lacking in the Hewitt teams I saw. 

Because of how he has developed these kids, I'm willing to see CBG finish what he started. I'm hoping he gets an assistant who can compensate for his weakness and has the x's and o's down path. We just need a little bump and then we win all these close games against top teams. We're so close.

Let's just look at football for an example of why you can't give up on your coach too soon. We lost a lot of close games and it seemed like these same pple were calling for CPJ's head. Now look at them...

mdet
mdet

Does anyone know why Dian Toscano is not playing at spring training?

BravesFan79
BravesFan79

I notice alot of posts talking about what Hewitt would of done in the last minute of the game.  Truth is if Hewitt were still coach GT would of likely had a All-American to take over yesterdays game, and it would not of been that close at the end.  
Yall wanted a coach who didnt recruit NBA level players... and u got your wishes.  You wanted "4 year players", and u got your wishes.  You wanted to replace a great recruiter with a solid coach, and u got your wish.

In the future if we have a great recruiter as HC, SUPPORT HIM, and if he struggles at times then push for new assistants. 
The issue was not only Hewitt, but the fact that his entire coaching staff looked like they were 25 years old.  
In football when the defense struggles for a few years you don't fire the face of your program, you bring in a new DC.

I predicted years ago on this very blog that with some of your desires (all 4 year players) GT would fall to the level of Clemson, Florida State, Wake Forest... etc.   Teams whom in the very best seasons might make the tourney, but were no threat to make the Final 4.  I was wrong, were even worse than predicted!    

Coaches like coach K, Calipari or Patino are very few and far between.  (Great coaches and recruiters).   
Should of thrown 3 or 4 million on a 2 year deal at a ex-NBA coach with great offensive knowledge like a Don Nelson to come in as a special assistant.   
Owell, 2 late now.  I know one thing tho, it would of made Hewitt look like a better coach, and damn sure would of saved alot of $ compared to what the programs going thru now.  

Home Team Critic
Home Team Critic

The worse thing about pointing out Hewitt's annual renewal contract, Mark, was in also not pointing out he was underpaid all the years after 2004 that he stayed at Tech. What was he being paid? 1.3 mil. While others in the ACC with a NC game resume got what? It was more. It was a bad contract because it removed incentive but not as bad as most make it out to be. Hewitt was a hot coach in 2004. He could have left us for more money and at that time, most Tech fans would have been very upset with Braine for not finding some way to keep him. The annual renewal contract was what he found with Tech's evidently limited funds.

BravesFan79
BravesFan79

@GTQBdefender Going above Hewitts head and bringing in a ex-head coach as assistant would of also either A).  Made Hewitt mad so he resigned.  or B).  Made Hewitt a much better in-game coach.    

It was a risk worth taking for a program that needs to think outside the box to be successful.  

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

@GTQB- Wrong! Hewitt was making around $3m/yr in a 3 year guaranteed contract that renewed every year for 3 MORE years. Crap contract for a crap coach.

Home Team Critic
Home Team Critic

@GeorgeJetsen

The renewal amount was 1.7 million dollars and renewed annually to provide him 5 years. If you didn't like Hewitt, you should not have run off Cremins though I realize most Tech fans are in denial about that.

Home Team Critic
Home Team Critic

Mark or Ken,

Is there a buyout clause in Gregory's contract?

If fired, what will Tech "owe" him?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@GTQBdefender

Isn't it wonderful how responsive AJC writers are to their readers' questions?

Of course, it's been only 13 hours.

TechForever
TechForever

How about this scenario?  Tech still owes Hewitt $1.3M a season for the next two and then would owe Gregory $1M over the next thee seasons should they fire him.  That's $2.3M going to coaches to NOT COACH at GT when $2M is about all Tech can afford to begin with to pay a coach to actually coach at GT.  Listen carefully....GEORGIA TECH DOES NOT HAVE BIG MONEY....PERIOD.

Tech has no choice but to keep Gregory for at least one more season if not 2.  Thank you Dave Braine.

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

@TechForever pretty sure the revenues and ticket sales they will be losing for keeping Gregory will outweigh the cost of firing him and getting a coach who can actually produce a competent team.

Chuck_UGA
Chuck_UGA

Charles Mitchell, you chose Tech over Georgia. Who is playing in the post-season?  Nice move.  Other players considering Tech over Georgia take note. Yeah, Tech beat Georgia the fist game of the season. Imagine how bad Tech would lose to Georgia if they played today!

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

@Chuck_UGA Imagine what Georgia's record would be if they were in the ACC. I would guess 0-31. You got beat by the worst team in the ACC. Thats how bad you are. Let that sink in for a minute idiot.

GTBob
GTBob

I'm fairly certain that Tech would beat UGA again if they played tomorrow. As bad as we are we still haven't dropped to UGAs level.

bpgt
bpgt

@Chuck_UGA  Yeah man, Georgia has just been crushing those powerhouse SEC teams all year!  Like someone else said, your team would probably finish dead last in the ACC.

PalmBeachFalcon
PalmBeachFalcon

@Chuck_UGA Silly SEC fans.  Just like in football you can't see outside the Bible Belt.  Better basketball is played in every major conference in the country.  SEC (minus one team) will be exposed soon.

Mulk
Mulk

@Chuck_UGA


The other players may be busy making note that Tech has beaten UGAG the last four times that they have played them. If a team makes the NCAA tournament, does it mean that they are a good basketball team? Does it mean that they are better than a team that didn't make the "post season"? Wouldn't it be better to compare them while playing them?

1980-was-so-long-ago
1980-was-so-long-ago

@Chuck_UGA  Good point, ha, with that rationale, perhaps the uga football team would have had a better chance against the Jackets earlier in the season.


Didn't realize the basketball win by Tech was sticking in the craw of the dog fans as well.

Slack104
Slack104

@Chuck_UGA  UGA would not be anywhere close to going to the NCAA if they played in the ACC.  The same argument SEC football fans give for their teams' records can be thrown right back at them when it comes to basketball.  Try playing Duke, UVA, UNC, Louisville, and Notre Dame.  The SEC is Kentucky, a couple decent teams and the rest of the pack.  Uga's 20-10 record would be more like 14-16 in the ACC.