Happy Fourth of July!
With the season's recruiting cycle now in the past, Brian Gregory's next daunting task will be figuring out a way to arrange Tech's group of new faces and youth into a cohesive squad that could hopefully win a good amount of games in 2014. The roster will feature just four regular contributors from last season in Marcus Georges-Hunt, Chris Bolden, Quinton Stephens, and Corey Heyward, making this season's Jacket squad one of the biggest question marks in recent history. No one has a clue what to expect at the start of the season, but chemistry issues could be a recurring theme throughout the campaign -- only the four players mentioned above have even played a game together (five if you count Travis Jorgenson's four games last season). That could obviously be problematic when playing against the veteran, talented teams of the ACC; I foresee a boom-or-bust season for Tech.
B-Back Zach Laskey is ready to prove everyone wrong with a breakout season in 2014, writes The Good Word. Laskey, Tech's third leading rusher in 2013 behind David Sims and Robert Godhigh (both graduated), is set to be the go-to guy for the Jackets this season. He should take on most of the workload coming out of the backfield for Tech, especially now that Travis Custis will not play in 2014, and has the potential to be one of the most prolific rushers in the country, maybe even notching a 1,000 yard season along the way. If the offensive line improves this season, the outlook for Laskey as a running back could be quite good -- he is extremely talented despite being one of the most underrated rushers in the ACC.
Speaking of Tech running backs with the potential to have a big impact in 2014, B-Back-turn-A-Back Broderick Snoddy could be in line for the best season of his career by far. Snoddy is one of the some of the best pure speed in the entire nation, good enough to crack this ESPN list of fastest players, and is just dripping with unfulfilled potential coming into 2014. His past numbers are hardly indicative of what the future could hold for a guy with his talent -- he was playing B-Back in a crowded backfield that included players like David Sims and Zach Laskey -- and he has the opportunity to take a lot of snaps at A-Back this season, potentially as the team's starter.
Oh look, more NCAA lawsuits and attempts to unionize by colleges. That was totally unexpected! I could go on and on about how I feel regarding college athletes getting paid, but I'll go ahead an cut to my point of view: athletes get paid PLENTY (as in PLENTY!) in the form of scholarships (which could very well be six digit numbers if they weren't on scholarship), room, board, and FREE FOOD. FOOD IS EXPENSIVE AND THEY GET UNLIMITED AMOUNTS FOR FREE! Not to mention that they get all of this for playing a game, a fun game. Yes, I know how much work is involved. Yes, I know the commitment. Yes, I know it's hard. The problem? All of those statements are true for every job, most of which don't get you a free ride to a top-tier college.
For Discussion: Will chemistry prove to be the biggest challenge for the 2014 basketball team that lacks both veteran leadership and familiarity among players? What other unforeseen obstacles could arise during the season?