There's been a lot of speculation and projection with Brian Gregory and the status of the Georgia Tech basketball program. We found someone who was close to the program when Gregory was around who was willing to give us their perspective on what the new coach brings to the ACC table.
1. There seems to be a division about the Brian Gregory hire. Fans are either neutral about it or happy, while the media gives it a positive spin. Who should Tech fans be paying attention to and why?
Media. First things first, Gregory is a great recruiter that isn't just going to run out and grab a guy because he happens to have a lot of hype. He'll pull in great talent, but also talent that fits his system. He's a product of Izzo's system, and Tom Izzo has made a living of this method. Former Point Guard Brian Roberts was a great example of what Gregory can get. His game isn't the most exciting, but it's designed to win. Gregory has had one losing season at Dayton, this that speaks volumes of his ability.
2. What is your perception of a Brian Gregory? Is he an X's and O's kind of guy? Or does he focus on recruiting and managing good assistants to get the job done?
If I had one gripe about Gregory, it would be his ability to X and O in games. Sometimes you'll see situations where you're wondering if he's trying too hard to outsmart his opponent. That being said, it happens everywhere. We just saw Billy Donovan and Sean Miller do it this past weekend.
3. Fran Fraschilla likens Gregory to the most Izzo-esque of former Tom Izzo assistants. Is this comparison accurate?
Absolutely. Much like Izzo, Gregory uses much of Izzo's philosphy in his teams. You'll see a defensive focus, guys not afraid to mix it up in the front court. Guards willing to suffocate the perimeter trusting the front court players behind them will pick up the slack type stuff. His offense can be exciting, he likes to push the ball after aggresive defense. It's not the And-1 tour or anything, but it's exciting. A lot of pro-set type stuff.
4. What are the pros of Brian Gregory? What are the cons?
Brian Gregory has a great personality. He's friendly. He's smart. He has a military background, and so he's not afraid to make his kids work. I always seemed to feel like he was able to mix that "player's coach attitude with the grind it out style he likes to run his practices at. His con? Maybe he works his players to hard at times. (This is contrary to what most Dayton fans would tell you). In today's look at me world of high school and AAU hoops, it's tough to be hard on kids and expect all of them to accept it. Naturally, there are going to be guys who want out because it doesn't come easy. It's not necessarily a con, but when you lose talent like Juwan Staten, it's going to hurt a program. Finally, remember this. The Dayton program is awesome. They have great facilities. They have some of the best fans in college basketball (thus the reason they won the rights to the "opening round" and later the "First Four.") That being said, Dayton, Ohio, is Dayton, Ohio. It's not a college town. It's not a big city. It has had it's heart ripped out by Delphi and NCR shutting down shop. It's hard to recruit there when you've got Ohio State, Cincinnati, and Xavier about an hour or less away. Still, he got talent there. Brian Gregory in the Metro Atlanta area? He'll have a much easier time getting the guys he needs to win. It will take time, but I really believe Brian Gregory is going to have Tech back in the ACC discussion.