The Yellow Jackets' season has come to a close, giving us a nice opportunity to look ahead at the future of the program. First, we'll take a look at who's leaving before taking a look at who's coming in.
C Daniel Miller, Senior - Graduated
Miller has been outstanding as a four-year starter, and will not soon be forgotten by Tech fans. His presence down low was felt most on defense, where he was a dominant defender in one of the best conferences in the league.
C/F Kammeon Holsey, Senior - Graduated
Holsey was a career sixth man, rarely making the starting lineup but providing a solid presence inside on both ends of the floor.
G Trae Golden, Senior - Graduated
Golden only played one year at Tech, but was a clutch, dynamic player for the Yellow Jackets. He did a nice job of what will hopefully end up as bridging the gap between Mfon Udofia and Travis Jorgenson at starting PG.
G/F Jason Morris, Senior - Graduated
Morris was a really good player that rarely was able to make it out of the training room. Under Gregory, Morris saw plenty of game action in between frequent injuries, ending in low impact and contributions.
G Solomon Poole, Sophomore - Dismissed
Poole was a player with high potential and a need to refine his skills, but also with a lot of off-court baggage. There has been no word so far on if he'll be enrolling elsewhere, or where that might be.
G Tadric Jackson, Tift County, GA, 4-Star Rating (ESPN, Scout, 247, Rivals)
Jackson is an athletic, dynamic, playmaking guard who will give Travis Jorgenson a run for his money in competition for the starting point guard role next year. There is a chance that whichever does not win the spot at PG will start at SG.
C Ben Lammers, San Antonio, TX, 3-Star Rating (ESPN, Scout, 247, Rivals)
Lammers is built similarly to how Daniel Miller was coming out of high school, but will need to put on weight to be considered a player with considerable post presence in the ACC. At 6'10", 220lbs, he's 8 inches taller and only 20 pounds heavier than Jackson. Barring position changes (particularly referring to whether Robert Carter, Jr switches from PF to C), Lammers could be starting at center for Georgia Tech at the beginning of next season.
Projected lineup for 2015
|PF||Robert Carter, Jr||Jr|
(Other option is sliding Carter to C, and putting about 50 pounds on Quinton Stephens to play PF. Quick! Someone go get the Oreos!)
Frankly, it's not encouraging. An already thin team is replacing two imposing, experienced big guys with a slimmer, younger player who will have to adjust quickly to the intensity of ACC play. They'll look to replace a talented senior point guard with either an exciting incoming freshman or an equally exciting redshirt freshman coming off of a knee injury -- in either case, there's no real experience to speak of, which will play a big role in a league like the ACC.
Perhaps most importantly, a team losing 5 of its 12 scholarship players only has two people signed up to come in and replace them. If injuries were to rear their ugly heads again next year, depth could pretty immediately go right back to being a major issue. Look for Gregory to add one or two more players either by recruiting or transfer before next fall tips off, and look for that to happen in the very near future. From there, the Jackets will need to put in some hard work this offseason and some luck next year to avoid injuries if they are to turn it around and right the ship this fall.
Am I just being a Negative Nancy over here? Is there a lot of reason for optimism that you can see here? Can our four seniors be effectively replaced?