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[title type=”fancy-h3″ color=”#ffffff”]Dead Man Walking[/title]
If you ask Flyer fans, especially ones that attended the U back when it was essentially
a community college (aka The Prider Years), they will tell you, insistently, that Brian
Gregory was a nice guy, a good representative for the school. This isn’t a bluff, it’s a
When a man was tasked, and paid rather handsomely, to win basketball games
and the best his supporters can do is point at what pleasant fellow he was — well, it
pretty much says it all. It’s like starting an eulogy by telling the assembled what a
good driver the deceased was (“He never raped anyone!”).
If Oliver Purnell did more with less (he did), Brian Gregory did just the opposite,
recurrently failing to live up to expectations. What if I told you BG only had three
winning seasons in A10 play during his eight year stay in the Gem City? What if I
told you the Flyers finished above seventh place in the A10 just three times under
Gregory’s lead? Don’t let anyone tell you differently, the University of Dayton
basketball program was stuck in neutral before Georgia Tech charitably, miraculously,
paid to relocate BG on the North Avenue Trade School’s campus.
Distance does make the heart grow fonder, but let’s not recreate history for
sentimentality’s sake. The UD basketball program is in better hands. Less
virtuous hands, sure, but better nonetheless.
So what’s BG’s future look like at Tech? The consensus in Atlanta seems to be
that Gregory has this season to either put up or shut up. The fact is Tech
simply hasn’t won enough under BG’s helm to allow him off a very short leash.
The Jackets are 51–54 overall under Gregory’s leadership, just 16-36 in
conference play. Gregory has yet to get Georgia Tech to the postseason, not
even an appearance in the NIT — Gregory’s muse. Another sub-par season may
put Gregory on the street looking for a new gig (or at least calling up Tom Izzo).
I’d like to think a loss to UD would assist Tech’s AD, Mike Bobinski, in his
decision-making at the close of the season.
[title type=”fancy-h3″ color=””]A King Needs His Queen[/title]
Had to laugh at this post by Swampy, not so much for its message — but for the spirit in which it was written. There are only three sentences, but so much subconscious reveal. There’s some idolization, a bit of humblebrag, a handshake mention, even a call to arms. This terse post is quintessential Swampy, it’s perfect in every way. It’s his opus.
[title type=”fancy-h3″ color=””]Overview[/title]
The Jackets are actually off to a decent start, entering Tuesday’s game with an 8-2 record. Of those eight victories, just one comes against a current RPI top 50 team (Rhode Island) and two of the losses come against teams with less than stellar postseason prospects (Marquette and USC-Upstate). So Brian Gregory is feasting on the marrow of college basketball’s cellar dwellers and then likely gets completely exposed in conference play? This sounds familiar.
Gregory basically turned into a GM this past off-season, picking up a total of four transfers to add to his roster, three of which were eligible immediately. This is purportedly Tech’s most competitive team since BG took the reigns, a team that has plenty of depth and experience (albeit not a lot of experience playing together).
It’s business as usual for a Gregory coached team, as the Jackets are a terrible free-throw shooting team (319th in nation), an inefficient three-point shooting team (GT gets just 17% of its points from behind the arc, connecting on a horrendous 24.5% on their attempts this season) and a team that plays at a moderate pace — averaging around 68 possessions a game.
What the Yellow Jackets do well are rebound and make you work for every shot on offense. Slow, plodding, methodical. Like an aging ox, Brian Gregory can’t change what he is or what he does.
An under-the-radar player, pretty much does it all for the Jackets. Was invited to try out for the USA’s U19 team last summer.
Seems like a nerd to me, guys. I could push this kid around.
A undersized shooting guard, Jackson is tough with the ball in his hands and has decent range.
Transfer from Maryland, a wide body, active around the rim. Very wide body.
Graduate transfer from Ole Miss, Cox is another big ol’ boy playing up front for the Jackets. A lane clogger, and likely toilet clogger, he will team with Mitchell to challenge UD inside.
Transfer from East Carolina, a talented garbage man. If that makes sense.
Heath transferred from South Florida after his father, Stan,was fired as coach of the program. Leads the team in assists.
[title type=”fancy-h3″ color=””]Numbers Game[/title]
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[title type=”fancy-h3″ color=””]Prediction[/title]
On paper I’d think you’d have to give the advantage to Georgia Tech. But this is the Sweater Centre, and this is Brian Gregory coaching on the road. An undermanned and undersized UD wins a tight one, giving us all an early Christmas present.