1.) Brian Gregory…you knew this would be the first question. Let’s get all eharmony on this shit. What are your likes and what are your dislikes about BG? Also, what is the pulse of the rest of the fan base on our former lover?
Coach Gregory is rather beloved by us here at the institute, but it would be hard not to considering the act he followed. Paul Hewitt took us to the 2004 NCAA Final and as such former Athletic Director Dave Braine(less) signed him to a non-expiring contract which guaranteed him a $6 million buyout if we fired him without cause. Things death spiraled from there. Attendance approached zero, and things finally broke with an awful 13-18 2010-11 season that was lowlighted by a single road win. In fairness to Coach Gregory, he’s done a fantastic job and we’re all very proud of this year’s team.
What do we like about CBG? His commitment to fundamentals. Ever since he was hired he’s never stopped talking about things like rebounding and free throw shooting and as you observed, these things have improved greatly this season. This great love comes from a place where everyone (EVERYONE) was fed up with Paul Hewitt and his “screw it, you’re going to be in the NBA next year anyways so do whatever you want out there” style of play. I also like his personality, having been in countless press pools/postgames with the man. He’s very honest about the team’s play and practices less coachspeak than some other guys out there, which I appreciate.
2.) The Yellow Jackets are 3-0 with wins over a CYO team, a team from Delaware, and Blackburn’s beloved UGA Bulldogs. What has impressed you so far from this 3-0 start?
Y’all have a writer that cheers for the DWAGZ? Maybe we chose to do a Q&A with the wrong Dayton blog! I’m like a few things about this year’s team. Our ability to score in transition has greatly improved, allowing Tech to push the pace if need be. We’re also shooting FTs at a 78% clip, which is great compared to last year’s 63% effort. This will likely go down as we get deeper into the season, but it’s a good place to start. We’re dominating the defensive boards, this is due in large part to the play of Daniel Miller and Kammeon Holsey, our all-ACC Center and all-ACC 6th man. Perhaps what I like most is that all these areas that we are strong in are the fundamentals of basketball; which mean that this team’s ceiling is only determined by the player’s attitudes. This has not been a problem under Gregory, so I see bright things come March.
3.) I’ll admit, I am so focused on football right now that I know nothing about GT (or any school for that matter). Stats don’t lie, or do they? Tennessee transfer Trae Golden is leading the way with 15 ppg. Is he showing you a lot from this small sample size? It appears he was a decent player at UT. Let’s say Dayton stops Golden, who else is going to hurt them?
Golden is a hell of a player, and will stop at nothing to get to the basket. He’s like a bull in there, he just puts his head down and goes on in like no other player I’ve seen at Tech. This will be crucial for us when we need some late-game fouls and can get our opponents in a lot of trouble. If Golden does go down, we’ve got a capable stable of guards to replace him, most notably Marcus Georges-Hunt. MGH is scoring 13.3 PPG to complement 7 RPG. However, he is already a consistent presence in the lineup, so he’d have to step up big if Golden got hurt. I’d say his true “replacement” would be Chris Bolden, who is coming off a 3-game season-opening suspension for a DUI that occurred in August. He scored 7.3 PPG last season, but really came into his own in the last few games scoring at a much higher rate than that.
4.) I would think it wouldn’t be too far fetched to say this team’s strength is rebounding. Holy smokes! Four players averaging over 7 boards a game? That’s pretty damn impressive. Am I reading too much into this stat or is this team full of Dennis Rodmans? Subquestion, what is this teams main weakness?
We are weak on the offensive boards. 74% of our rebounds are coming on defense, so this team doesn’t get many second chance shots. This can hurt us on those fast breaks I talked about earlier, but we’ve got several guys who can beat you down the court (freshman Quinton Stephens and Travis Jorgenson come to mind) so I don’t anticipate this being TOO much an issue. We’re also pretty bad from 3-land this year, shooting at about 25%. So my advice to Dayton is to get up early with threes and make Tech play it’s way back running the half-court offense.
5.) Lastly, let’s get a prediction from you. Be as blatant a homer as you want!
Given the Flyer’s ability to shoot threes and hold on to the ball, I’m gonna say this one stays close. But Tech wins in the end, 67-60.
Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o' D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.