11/7 Mailbag Questions

Josh D. Weiss-USA TODAY Sports

Here are my responses to the questions from the Mailbag yesterday.

What should I know about Trae Golden and what should I expect from him?

Trae has taken over the large weight of leading the team from Mfon Udofia and will be the Jackets' go to point guard. He played for U. Tennessee for his first three seasons before his father became sick and was waived to play with the Jackets without sitting out a season. He averaged 12.1 points last season, with 77.8 FT percentage and a 38.3 FG percentage. He averaged over 30 minutes for Tennessee.

As for expectations, I hope he becomes the leader that I want him to be. He has an opportunity to teach these younger guards how to carry themselves on and off the court.

What tier does Georgia Tech fall under for the ACC?

So I did not have time to type up my ACC Preview article. I hope to get it out on Saturday. I have us ranked middle of the pack, 7th or 8th. Unfortunately most "basketball experts" project us from 9-12. There is a lot of variability and unknown that must be answered about this team before people buy in to their success. If we have a strong OOC showing, I think we will start to gain some respect. However, as we saw last season, the real test will be the ACC play. The ACC has gotten even harder this season so it will be a real test for this unexperienced team. I am hopeful that we will land in some post season play in March.

Is Louisville coming into the ACC this year?

Louisville will replace Maryland at the end of this season in all sports.

Does winning 20 games get us intot he NCAA Tournament?

Coming out of the ACC, yes. If we win 20 games this season we will see the NCAA Tournament. This is the hardest conference in college basketball. You will see a lot of close games. We have to win the close ones to make 20 wins.

Is a high seed in the NIT a successful season?

I have to say yes here, but I will be disappointed if that is the outcome. I think the team will be too. When they look back on the season in May/June they will be happy, but I have higher expecatations right now so I don't want this to be our metric of success. I don't want to simply say "make post season play", I want the dance! Nothing less. This team is focused and driven. I think they can get it done.

Does the strength of the conference help us or hurt us?

My belief here is that it helps us, hurts the top teams- Duke, UNC, Syracuse, etc. We have nothing to lose and get to compete with the top in the nation. A few marquee wins and we can make a name for ourselves. The competitive losses that the top teams will have will look worse on them than the ones that we "competed against the top teams in the nation and fell just short".. Does that make sense? We are going to be tested by the time we see post season play- that is what all ACC teams can say at the end of the season.

What is a reasonable number of wins to expect for this team? Number of ACC wins?

We are projected to go 17-13 and 8-10 in the ACC, so I'll go with that. We would have to "upset" these projections a few times to see post season play in my opinion. Again, we are under the radar in the nation. I see most projections as being wrong and an underrating of this team.

What is the toughest stretch of our schedule?

I think it will be the four straight away games that we enter the ACC gameplay with. We play Vanderbilt, Charlotte, Maryland, Duke. These are all legitimate teams. We then follow that up with three home games though.

Concerns about Brian Gregory? Evaluation?

I really am impressed with his strategy. You can go onto YouTube and see him teach at coaching clinics throughout the nation. He has a high basketball IQ and think he cares about his players successes both on and off the court. He was brought in to rebuild and get interest back to the court. He has spoken to Tech students all over the place to get people to the games. He spoke twice to our Interfraternity Council meetings and I know he visits other organizations.

As for my concerns, I hope that he knows what he is doing with this recruiting class. We will be losing Kam and Daniel to graduation and I wouldn't be surprised if we see a transfer out of a player and maybe even some early departures to the NBA draft in the near future. We need to replace our skill with more skill. With a rebuilding program you can't take a year off in recruitment or you start back at square one.

Will we return to a "dominant big" play?

With Gregory's schemes, we don't need it in my opinion. One player won't win a game anymore in the nation anyway. He stresses teamwork way too much to rely heavily on one player. Granted, players take the game into their own hands at times, but this is never a necessity.

As for the "7 foot guy", we are actively recruiting Asa Osama Mahmoud from Egypt. He is 7'1" and weights 210lbs right now. I will write up something about him in the future. Honestly I don't think he is priority #1 right now in recruiting. If he came to Tech we would lose a few guys that we care more about. That is just my opinion though. I will look into recruiting more and get back to y'all on this.

That's all I got, but feel free to comment with more questions. I can answer them in the comments. Hope I didn't forget anyone!
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