After missing last week's match-up against the Hokies with a lower leg injury, Georgia Tech A-Back Charles Perkins is thought to be ready to go for next week's match-up against the Miami Hurricanes, writes the AJC. Bye weeks, while they are depressing from a fan's standpoint, are at least positive in the sense that they give players like Perkins some extra time to get healthy before having to take the field again; the Jackets will have to be as close to 100% healthy as possible if they hope to continue competing in 2014. As I mentioned yesterday, the Tech A-Backs really struggled to produce without Perkins in the lineup, rushing for single digit yards and getting dropped for a loss more often than not against Frank Beamer's annoying "shut down the perimeter" strategy. Perkins' return will be a huge help for the Jackets going forward, especially if he can stay healthy -- he is a bonafide play-maker when at 100%.
With an influx of new players making their way to the Flats in time for the 2014 basketball season there will be plenty of new faces to learn for Tech fans. If you ask me, none of these new players will be as easy to remember as freshman PF Abdoulaye "A.D." Gueye, who hails from Senegal and measures in at 6'9" with a massive 7'3" wingspan. I'm no expert, but I'd say that any time your wingspan is 7'3" you'd have a pretty easy time messing with some shots. Heck, he might even be able to close both doors of a car at once while sitting inside. At any rate, A.D. is going to be a critical part of Tech's 2014 success and hopefully a fixture on the Flats for seasons to come.
Georgia Tech's 2013 basketball season was, by all accounts, one to forget for Jackets fans. The team once again struggled to win in the ACC, mustering only one signature win against Syracuse in Carrier Dome on their way to a 16-17 finish, including a 6-12 mark in the conference. If the Jackets hope to improve upon their win total this season, a key part of their success will be perimeter shooting, which was, for lack of a better term, hot garbage last season. Part of the reason for these perimeter struggles in 2013 was Chris Bolden's spontaneous decline following a suspension to start the season -- he will absolutely need to get his shooting percentage up or else he could see his minutes evaporate again just like he did last season. In my opinion, the reason for Bolden's struggles last season was that he became such a one-dimensional player -- he stayed camped on the perimeter and had no real ability to drive and score whatsoever. If he can add a second dimension to his game, I think we will see him become effective from the floor once again.
Yesterday, we all had a fun time discussing the ECU invasion of the ACC Coastal in recent years. Today, the Pirates decided that it would be funny to troll UNC fans with a clever billboard up in Carolina, and they were absolutely right -- the sign produced maximum hilarity for everyone not related to UNC. Maybe Georgia Tech should consider putting up a sign like that somewhere in Athens. That would be a really cool idea, but it would be a waste of money since no one could read it. And then there is the fact that the uga engineering program hasn't yet found a way to create and support a structure as tall as a billboard. It's a struggle, folks. Maybe they need to take a page from UNC's football team -- sources indicate that they had their personal nerds read the sign to them to avoid actually learning anything in college. Oh, UNCheat. You just never fail to amaze.
Which players will be key to the basketball team's success in 2014?
Have a great Thursday!