1/13 Mailbag Responses

Jason Morris dunking on Jabari Parker. #yamcity - Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

So I answered a handful, but I need to clarify what I can and cannot say about recruiting so we have to wait a bit for that discussion.

Basketball:

Where do you see our basketball team panning out this season? I saw one of our guys got hurt just a game or so ago. How does this impact us?

So that guy was Robert Carter Jr., and up until that point he averaged (and still leads the ACC in rebounding with) 9.3 Rebounds/Game (also leads the ACC in Defensive Rebounds/Game with 7.2). He averaged 10.3 ppg, shooting 50% from the field and averaging 26.2 mins/game.

The way this impacts us is that we no longer have two reliable threats in the paint. You could argue that we have players that come off of the bench that still can dominate down low, however the truth is when Robert and Daniel get the ball, they know what to do. Unfortunately, Kam Holsey still hesitates in the post when he is fed the ball. He doesn't have a truly dominating move to get to the basket and plays more of a Pro #3 instead of a #4.

While I say that we are losing a lot in Robert Carter Jr., I have to say that there is nothing in his game that cannot be replaced. It will force Kam to step up, as well as Quinton and Stacey to come off the bench and produce in games. Robert is a pro-caliber player don't get me wrong, and he will see the NBA one day, but for now the Jackets will have to go back and figure things out without him. We will be fine.

We haven't seen this much of Jason Morris in quite a while. Can you provide a refresher on his skills and the value he brings? That'll probably also shed some light (from his side) on why he's starting over Chris Bolden.

Jason has honestly been plagued with injury for most of his time at Tech, causing most people to not really know much about him. Two years ago he was able to contribute and averaged about 8 PPG and recorded 28 threes. Most recently he had plantar fasciitis and it required surgery in October. Before that he had hurt his toe playing pick up ball in the summer of 2011.

Morris came into Tech highly regarded, with Scout, Rival and ESPN all ranking him as a 4 star. ESPN had him as an overall ranking of 67 and a position ranking (SF) of 15. He was one of the top prospects out of Georgia, originally playing in Augusta.

Honestly I have never held Morris to a very high standard due to the fact that I really never watched him play all that much. I think he has great potential to be a savior from our injuries, and this is his opportunity. I know he is itching to get out on the court and you can see the hunger and excitement when he plays.

Pitt just suffered a player loss. I think he is one of their bigs and a productive player off the bench. Is there any good way for Tech to capitalize on this development?

This would be comparable to losing Kam Holsey last season for us -- if we were a 13-1 high caliber team. Durand Johnson has to have reconstructive surgery on his ACL and meniscus. He is their reliable 6th man, averaging 19.8 min/game. He is shooting well from the field, recording 22 3-pointers as well as averaging 8.8 PPG.

Honestly, this isn't a crazy big deal. I mean sure they are without a key bench player, but they have a quality team that I don't expect to lose much steam. This team is lead by Lamar Patterson, who was just recently named ACC Men's Basketball player of the week for the second time this season. He has averaged 23.0 points, 5rbs, and 4 assists per game and is shooting 62.1% from the field and 55.6% from behind the arc. This is who we need to worry about today.

Do we have a solid shot at Jaylen Brown in 2015 for BB and are we gonna add another big this year?

For those of you that do not know, Jaylen Brown is a 5 Star recruit from Wheeler HS. He is currently ranked 14th on ESPNs TOP 60 and is 6-6, 220lb and is the state of Georgia's top recruit. He has offers from Arizona, Kansas and Louisville just to name a few top ranked teams. Georgia Tech has also offered him a scholarship and I know that being local helps a lot. I know that Wheeler has spent a lot of time as a team playing down at Georgia Tech in camps and whatnot. I think there is a chance, but honestly I have to be realistic and say that Jacket fans should not hold their breath.

As for this year, you are correct, we need another big. We currently have Tadric Jackson to play a guard position and Ben Lammers to play a C position. We are also looking at the 7-1 Anas Osama Mahmoud originally from Egypt.

I have also seen recent developments of a 6-7, 205 lb PF from Houston, TX named Melvin Swift. Go YouTube this guy, he's crazy exciting to watch.

All of that said, Georgia Tech is working to get someone to replace our graduating seniors. Expect another big to be signed.

What is our single biggest area of need?

We need to play hard for 40 minutes. If you watched the game on Saturday you realized that the Jackets play typical college basketball, full of runs and streaks. Unfortunately, this does not usually end well for Tech. In order to be successful, we have to play our game and not let other teams dictate our playing style, and have to do that for 40 minutes.

We have the caliber. These guys know how to play and score and rebound, etc. We have seen this team grow tremendously on the defensive side and on the boards due to Gregory's stressing last season. This is a work in progress, and Gregory is slowly developing this program back to where it needs to be.

Could we use one more really good shooting guard, or do we need one more athletic forward who can score, or what exactly do we need if we only had one more player?

At the current moment, we need a forward and a backup PG. We cannot allow Solomon Poole to handle the ball for more than 5 minutes in a game if we want to win in my opinion. If we had a post player, we could take some pressure off of Daniel Miller who is forced to play a TON of time and get beat up every time down the court.

We currently have bodies to fill the SG position, however I do not see a few of these players continuing their careers with the Yellow Jackets. I wouldn't be surprised if you saw two transfers at the end of this season.

So to answer your question, right now we will need forward. In the future, we will need both.

Where do we stand financially with ex-coach buyouts?

So the Hewitt buyout stated that we had to pay him $7.2 million over 5 years. If I did my counting correctly we have paid him nearly a full 3 of those years (he was replaced in March of 2011), so we have paid him over half of what we owe him. We will pay him just shy of $3 mil over the next two years to be completely finished.

Chan Gailey was to be paid off at $1 million per year for 4 years after being fired in November 2007. His payoff was completed in 2011.

Football:

What position is our single biggest area of need?

We need key defensive positions filled. I know that the linebacker core sort of underperformed this year and I think there is some quality there. My biggest concern, and I think most people can agree, is on the defensive line and in the secondary. If we want to be competitive, we need skilled big bodies in the box and players that can make a play in the open field in our secondary.

Do we need one really top notch defensive lineman or do we need one top notch A-back or what do we need?

I will take a lesson from the Matt Mills playbook here and quote him saying that our offense is doing just fine. I don't want to misquote him so I won't try. All I know from listening to him rant about this is that we have quality players on the offensive side of the ball. Our defense is awful and will be our achilles until we can figure something out.

So that being said, we need a top notch defensive lineman.

Pre-signing day rundown?

Coming on Friday.

Any new ACC opponents in 2014?

NC State replaces Syracuse.

Who replaces Sewak?

I don't know and probably wouldn't be able to say right now anyway.

1.What positions are we lacking for recruiting? Do you see any change in our staff in the offseason, either by design or by allure from other places?

2. Do we have a shot at Malkom Parrish with UGA losing Graham? Is Autry still a strong lean and how about Michael Sawyers, Jesse Burkett, Cole Hardin and Grant Haley?

I want to clarify some things with Joey before I answer these questions. I do not want to get FTRS in any more trouble with GT or the media gods. Look for a recruiting article by Friday with these questions answered as best that I can as well as some in-depth analysis in what we can expect on Feb. 5th. I'm sorry to tease y'all. I have answers to these I just don't know what can be said just yet.

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