Why can't we recruit anymore?

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Aug 22, 2021
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GT Basketball was apparently hot öööö in the 80's, 90's, and 00's. We pulled 10-star PG's out of NYC like it was nothing, got Bosh out of Texas, got Shumpert out of Chicago, signed Favors, and so on. We were a legitimate NBA factory program. By any metric of NBA recruiting, there's basically the blue bloods, GT and Wake Forest, and then the rest of the field.

What the öööö happened? Full disclosure, I didn't start following Tech until the mid-10's when I started going there, so I don't know a lot of the nuance. GT and Atlanta have gotten significantly better since the Kenny Anderson and Marbury days, but now we recruit like öööö. What exactly is missing? Pastner could recruit at Memphis. Is there more to the story?

Honestly, as a new blood fan with no other ties to Georgia, I'm perfectly happy to tell college football to go öööö itself, but my question is why we can't be a basketball school? Instantly, all of our Disadvantages that everyone obsesses over in football are magically wiped away in basketball, and yet we have a goddamn Nebraska-tier basketball program. A gorgeous arena in a cool place for a basketball player to play, with an elite pedigree for sending people to the NBA, and we're poaching 3-stars from Clemson. Can someone make this make sense?
 

Liberty

Kayar hunu bhanda marnu ramro
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You’re posting on a GT message board that doesn’t even have a dedicated section to Men’s Basketball & you’re wondering why we can’t recruit? GT basketball is like none of the programs we want to be. We have an extremely small fanbase due to a full decade of misery, 2 decades of relative futility, 3 decades since we’ve really been relevant. People have grown up, attended GT & now have kids that are almost teenagers since we were a top program.

Our AD sits idly by and watches our 2 premier programs go to hell & a lot of people think he’s doing great because women’s tennis is flourishing. Yeah that’s great & volleyball is cool with the dude flipping the ref the bird, I like golf and they’re a top program, women’s basketball seems to be on fire, etc. All wonderful, but football & basketball get national attention and we’re sucking hind tit in a major way. We’re not on a good track & nobody that matters seems to care.
 

BrentwoodJacket

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The last two coaches cannot recruit even though we are in an excellent recruiting area. Pastner was able to get local Memphis kids because of the reputation and the low academic bar. He was beginning to mess that pipeline up so Memphis was relieved when our incompetent AD hired him away. Pastner supposedly has AAU connections but it has not helped his recruiting.
Cremins was fantastic in every way and especially effective recruiting in the New York area. Hewitt was a lousy coach but he could recruit which gave us a chance. Hewitt benefited from the reputation Cremins had established. That reputation is long gone now.
 
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That reputation is long gone now.
That's what kills me. I'm an oldhead Michigan State fan, and I remember when GT basketball was this intimidating thing, sort of like a modern-day LSU football. Maybe not the best-coached bunch ever, but enough talent to blow you out by 30 if you're not on top of things. I actually don't think Tech people realize how much of a legit brand the basketball program had before it withered away. I think most general CBB fans could name Luke Schenscher more readily than GT fans could. I just hate it because there's no actual reason for it. If Kansas can have a top-flight program, I don't ööööing understand why we can't.
 

77GTFan

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Why the decline? It started with Bobby Cremins leaving for South Carolina, his alma mater, for a few days, and then returning. He lost credibility with top recruits with that decision. He also used his NY connections to get a point guard to replace Marbury that did not work out. He took some heat for that and the NY pipeline dried up.

We started focusing on in state recruiting plus nearby states and got good players - Harpring, Maddox, Akins, then after Hewitt arrives Elder, Jones from Florida, Muhammad, McHenry from Alabama. They had a great run. But, overall the talent went from elite (84-96) to good (97-06). In the later Hewitt years he seemed to lose some fire and passion and the talent dropped further.

The biggest reason for the decline was conference expansion. Cremins recruited players who wanted to play in the nation’s best conference (the Big East was 1A). A large group of elite players wanted to play in the ACC and there were only 8 or 9 schools competing for their services. Expansion has diluted ACC talent. Fifteen teams competing for recruits and titles is so much more difficult than nine.

In this new context the ACC has lost a lot of its advantage. Hiring quality coaches is harder. Brian Gregory was a very mediocre hire. He recruited poorly. Pastner was a little better. But, his unfortunate association with a creepy bag man hurt recruiting. I am disappointed in his lack of recruiting energy.

Through this 25 year decline we have gone from a great AD in Homer Rice to AD’s that seemed ill equipped to pump life into the program and demand recruiting excellence from our coaches. ACC basketball’s brand has declined. Only the “battle of the blues” gets much national attention. Wake, NC State, Clemson and the departed Maryland would join us in lamenting that their programs are not what they once were in the glory days of the conference. Recently, FSU has had success as a veteran coach gets enough athletes with size to be good, and UVA has been good as they hit a home run hiring Bennett.

It is sad that the ACC brand and Georgia Tech brand in basketball have been in great decline. The hill to climb for us in 2022 is much steeper than what Cremins faced in building the program in the 80’s.
 

BrentwoodJacket

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Why the decline? It started with Bobby Cremins leaving for South Carolina, his alma mater, for a few days, and then returning. He lost credibility with top recruits with that decision. He also used his NY connections to get a point guard to replace Marbury that did not work out. He took some heat for that and the NY pipeline dried up.

We started focusing on in state recruiting plus nearby states and got good players - Harpring, Maddox, Akins, then after Hewitt arrives Elder, Jones from Florida, Muhammad, McHenry from Alabama. They had a great run. But, overall the talent went from elite (84-96) to good (97-06). In the later Hewitt years he seemed to lose some fire and passion and the talent dropped further.

The biggest reason for the decline was conference expansion. Cremins recruited players who wanted to play in the nation’s best conference (the Big East was 1A). A large group of elite players wanted to play in the ACC and there were only 8 or 9 schools competing for their services. Expansion has diluted ACC talent. Fifteen teams competing for recruits and titles is so much more difficult than nine.

In this new context the ACC has lost a lot of its advantage. Hiring quality coaches is harder. Brian Gregory was a very mediocre hire. He recruited poorly. Pastner was a little better. But, his unfortunate association with a creepy bag man hurt recruiting. I am disappointed in his lack of recruiting energy.

Through this 25 year decline we have gone from a great AD in Homer Rice to AD’s that seemed ill equipped to pump life into the program and demand recruiting excellence from our coaches. ACC basketball’s brand has declined. Only the “battle of the blues” gets much national attention. Wake, NC State, Clemson and the departed Maryland would join us in lamenting that their programs are not what they once were in the glory days of the conference. Recently, FSU has had success as a veteran coach gets enough athletes with size to be good, and UVA has been good as they hit a home run hiring Bennett.

It is sad that the ACC brand and Georgia Tech brand in basketball have been in great decline. The hill to climb for us in 2022 is much steeper than what Cremins faced in building the program in the 80’s.
Great summary! It is steeper than before but it is still much more achievable than the Football challenges. Basketball can change quickly with a good coach and a few recruits.
Unfortunately our AD just gave a three year extension to a mediocre coach who cannot recruit effectively. We are in this mess because we continue to hire poor AD's who seem to be especially bad at managing our revenue generating sports.
We are headed towards going from ACC champ to finishing last in the conference.
 

gtfan088

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Why the decline? It started with Bobby Cremins leaving for South Carolina, his alma mater, for a few days, and then returning. He lost credibility with top recruits with that decision. He also used his NY connections to get a point guard to replace Marbury that did not work out. He took some heat for that and the NY pipeline dried up.

We started focusing on in state recruiting plus nearby states and got good players - Harpring, Maddox, Akins, then after Hewitt arrives Elder, Jones from Florida, Muhammad, McHenry from Alabama. They had a great run. But, overall the talent went from elite (84-96) to good (97-06). In the later Hewitt years he seemed to lose some fire and passion and the talent dropped further.

The biggest reason for the decline was conference expansion. Cremins recruited players who wanted to play in the nation’s best conference (the Big East was 1A). A large group of elite players wanted to play in the ACC and there were only 8 or 9 schools competing for their services. Expansion has diluted ACC talent. Fifteen teams competing for recruits and titles is so much more difficult than nine.

In this new context the ACC has lost a lot of its advantage. Hiring quality coaches is harder. Brian Gregory was a very mediocre hire. He recruited poorly. Pastner was a little better. But, his unfortunate association with a creepy bag man hurt recruiting. I am disappointed in his lack of recruiting energy.

Through this 25 year decline we have gone from a great AD in Homer Rice to AD’s that seemed ill equipped to pump life into the program and demand recruiting excellence from our coaches. ACC basketball’s brand has declined. Only the “battle of the blues” gets much national attention. Wake, NC State, Clemson and the departed Maryland would join us in lamenting that their programs are not what they once were in the glory days of the conference. Recently, FSU has had success as a veteran coach gets enough athletes with size to be good, and UVA has been good as they hit a home run hiring Bennett.

It is sad that the ACC brand and Georgia Tech brand in basketball have been in great decline. The hill to climb for us in 2022 is much steeper than what Cremins faced in building the program in the 80’s.
Agree with some of this, but I don't think the talent really dried up under Hewitt... at least not until the writing was on the wall that he was being fired. There weren't more than a handful of teams in the country with a trio more impressive (on paper) than Shumpert, Favors, and Lawal, who were all McDonald's All-Americans coming out. That team just vastly underachieved, as did most Hewitt teams outside of his first season and '04.

It's really only been the past decade that we've been unable to get the top tier talent to come to Tech.
 

gtphd

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sit back and let me tell you a tale about this man.

It involves Armani suits, no inbounding, and a contract that bankrupted GT basketball for over a decade, leading to terrible coaching decisions and poor performance.
 

clapper

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sit back and let me tell you a tale about this man.

It involves Armani suits, no inbounding, and a contract that bankrupted GT basketball for over a decade, leading to terrible coaching decisions and poor performance.
IMO there wouldn't have been a problem, if he was able to keep his original assistants here. CPH got his contract extension in '03. The fall started immediately after Dean Keener left in '04 and Cliff Warren followed him out the door in '05. He was never able to adequately replace them adequately.
 

BrentwoodJacket

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IMO there wouldn't have been a problem, if he was able to keep his original assistants here. CPH got his contract extension in '03. The fall started immediately after Dean Keener left in '04 and Cliff Warren followed him out the door in '05. He was never able to adequately replace them adequately.
Was Hewitt given the money to hire the best assistants available?
 

gtphd

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IMO there wouldn't have been a problem, if he was able to keep his original assistants here. CPH got his contract extension in '03. The fall started immediately after Dean Keener left in '04 and Cliff Warren followed him out the door in '05. He was never able to adequately replace them adequately.
gtphd (Georgia Tech’s Paul Hewitt disaster) wouldn’t have happened without that contract. The reason we got CBG was because we had no money, and CJP was hired for the same reason.

we don’t know if Tech would have made a good hire or not with money, but the odds are that it would have been better than Gregory and would have given the program at least some momentum following the final 2 run.
 

Vespidie

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Great summary! It is steeper than before but it is still much more achievable than the Football challenges. Basketball can change quickly with a good coach and a few recruits.
Unfortunately our AD just gave a three year extension to a mediocre coach who cannot recruit effectively. We are in this mess because we continue to hire poor AD's who seem to be especially bad at managing our revenue generating sports.
We are headed towards going from ACC champ to finishing last in the conference.
It’s almost as though our athletic department is working inversely to what one would typically think one should operate. We have relatively successful non-revenue sports that the athletic department hopes via osmosis will have a positive effect on the revenue generators. We’re working to break the mold.
 

Wrecked

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Why the decline? It started with Bobby Cremins leaving for South Carolina, his alma mater, for a few days, and then returning. He lost credibility with top recruits with that decision. He also used his NY connections to get a point guard to replace Marbury that did not work out. He took some heat for that and the NY pipeline dried up.

We started focusing on in state recruiting plus nearby states and got good players - Harpring, Maddox, Akins, then after Hewitt arrives Elder, Jones from Florida, Muhammad, McHenry from Alabama. They had a great run. But, overall the talent went from elite (84-96) to good (97-06). In the later Hewitt years he seemed to lose some fire and passion and the talent dropped further.

The biggest reason for the decline was conference expansion. Cremins recruited players who wanted to play in the nation’s best conference (the Big East was 1A). A large group of elite players wanted to play in the ACC and there were only 8 or 9 schools competing for their services. Expansion has diluted ACC talent. Fifteen teams competing for recruits and titles is so much more difficult than nine.

In this new context the ACC has lost a lot of its advantage. Hiring quality coaches is harder. Brian Gregory was a very mediocre hire. He recruited poorly. Pastner was a little better. But, his unfortunate association with a creepy bag man hurt recruiting. I am disappointed in his lack of recruiting energy.

Through this 25 year decline we have gone from a great AD in Homer Rice to AD’s that seemed ill equipped to pump life into the program and demand recruiting excellence from our coaches. ACC basketball’s brand has declined. Only the “battle of the blues” gets much national attention. Wake, NC State, Clemson and the departed Maryland would join us in lamenting that their programs are not what they once were in the glory days of the conference. Recently, FSU has had success as a veteran coach gets enough athletes with size to be good, and UVA has been good as they hit a home run hiring Bennett.

It is sad that the ACC brand and Georgia Tech brand in basketball have been in great decline. The hill to climb for us in 2022 is much steeper than what Cremins faced in building the program in the 80’s.
Very good summary, but no way anybody faced what Cremins did in building our program. We were 4-23 the year before he came. I am one of the few who wishes we would really throw some of the football money and resources into basketball and make it a premier program, we have proven we can compete at the highest levels in BB.
 

JoeCakeEater

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The Hewitt years were wild. He recruited well, but the teams struggle with basic fundamental things. We had a few good teams, mostly driven by one and done type players like Thad Young, Crit, Favors, Bosh, etc. However, the players who didn't have NBA talent never developed into quality ACC contributors...so without stars we flat sucked. His contract really put us in a bad spot, because firing him would put a major strain on the program no matter when we did it. We finally did and have never recovered.
 

gtphd

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It also seemed like Hewitt gave up after getting that contract. I don’t blame him for accepting it (we were idiots to offer), but I do blame him for a perceived lack of effort. It’s like he realized he was set for life and took his foot off the pedal.
 

ricejacket

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The beginning of the end was the practice in October 1998 when Dion Glover tore his ACL. There were some highly ranked recruits attending, and apparently we were in good shape with them but none came, and it just screwed up the season. Glover said he might come back but the Hawks took him in the first round of the 99 draft. While 1997 was a down year but 1998 looked to be better with Glover leading the way if he had come back. I can't remember who the recruits were but Glover's injury just sent everything into a tail spin and Cremins was gone after the 99-00 season.
 

BrentwoodJacket

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Very good summary, but no way anybody faced what Cremins did in building our program. We were 4-23 the year before he came. I am one of the few who wishes we would really throw some of the football money and resources into basketball and make it a premier program, we have proven we can compete at the highest levels in BB.
Prior to Cremins we used to buy tickets for a couple of dollars. Once in you could sit where ever you wanted on the bench seats.
I arrived at Tech in the fall of 1971 the year after we were the runner up to UNC in the NIT back when the NIT meant something We signed 10 or 11 players. None of them were eligible for the 71-72 season and none of them panned out. We went downhill quickly. We had limited success under Morrison in the Metro conference period. The transition from Metro to ACC was drastic although the Metro had some good teams at times.
Cremins was by far the greatest coach in Tech history.
 
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Why the decline? It started with Bobby Cremins leaving for South Carolina, his alma mater, for a few days, and then returning. He lost credibility with top recruits with that decision. He also used his NY connections to get a point guard to replace Marbury that did not work out. He took some heat for that and the NY pipeline dried up.

We started focusing on in state recruiting plus nearby states and got good players - Harpring, Maddox, Akins, then after Hewitt arrives Elder, Jones from Florida, Muhammad, McHenry from Alabama. They had a great run. But, overall the talent went from elite (84-96) to good (97-06). In the later Hewitt years he seemed to lose some fire and passion and the talent dropped further.

The biggest reason for the decline was conference expansion. Cremins recruited players who wanted to play in the nation’s best conference (the Big East was 1A). A large group of elite players wanted to play in the ACC and there were only 8 or 9 schools competing for their services. Expansion has diluted ACC talent. Fifteen teams competing for recruits and titles is so much more difficult than nine.

In this new context the ACC has lost a lot of its advantage. Hiring quality coaches is harder. Brian Gregory was a very mediocre hire. He recruited poorly. Pastner was a little better. But, his unfortunate association with a creepy bag man hurt recruiting. I am disappointed in his lack of recruiting energy.

Through this 25 year decline we have gone from a great AD in Homer Rice to AD’s that seemed ill equipped to pump life into the program and demand recruiting excellence from our coaches. ACC basketball’s brand has declined. Only the “battle of the blues” gets much national attention. Wake, NC State, Clemson and the departed Maryland would join us in lamenting that their programs are not what they once were in the glory days of the conference. Recently, FSU has had success as a veteran coach gets enough athletes with size to be good, and UVA has been good as they hit a home run hiring Bennett.

It is sad that the ACC brand and Georgia Tech brand in basketball have been in great decline. The hill to climb for us in 2022 is much steeper than what Cremins faced in building the program in the 80’s.
I can believe this as the story of the decline. To me, the decline of GT Football is pretty much fine, big time CFB is pretty gross and unenjoyable at this point. GT basketball being totally irrelevant annoys me a lot more. We all thump our chests over how clever we are, and yet here we sit with a program with plenty of basketball strengths that can't even make the field of 64 but once a decade. It's a much higher priority for me than fixing our moribund football program.
 

gtphd

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I can believe this as the story of the decline. To me, the decline of GT Football is pretty much fine, big time CFB is pretty gross and unenjoyable at this point. GT basketball being totally irrelevant annoys me a lot more. We all thump our chests over how clever we are, and yet here we sit with a program with plenty of basketball strengths that can't even make the field of 64 but once a decade. It's a much higher priority for me than fixing our moribund football program.
Step 1 is to get rid of CJP. But for some reason we keep extending his contract unnecessarily.
 
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