Georgia Tech just can't catch a break: first was a double overtime loss to Notre Dame, then came a 1 point loss to Syracuse. These events make today's game with Wake Forest a virtual must win as the Jackets look to get back on track.
I was able to speak with Robert Reinhard from Blogger So Dear and get some answers to burning questions I had about the upstart Demon Deacons basketball team.
This is the first season for coach Danny Manning, who replaced Jeff Bzdelik. What are your early impressions of him?
I wasn't sure what to expect of Manning coming in because he had only been a head coach for two seasons prior to coming to Wake, but I've been extremely impressed. He came in and salvaged what was going to be a so-so 2014 recruiting class, and has turned that into a number of key contributors for us this season. He has also signed an outstanding 2015 recruiting class, and has us in position to have an exceptional 2016 class. He's also getting much more out of the players on this year's roster, and has excellent aspirations for the program.
Wake's program is always in the shadow of a couple of nearby dominant blue blood programs. Is there a possible path toward relevance in the future and how do the Demon Deacons get there?
I definitely think so. Historically, Wake Forest has been a Top 20 to 30 program in the country and has produced a lot of NBA talent, much like Georgia Tech. I think our path to becoming a consistent NCAA Tournament team is by becoming a big man factory with Danny Manning, playing excellent defense, and consistently recruiting four-star players with the occasional five-star. Duke and Carolina perennially recruit mostly four and five-star prospects. I believe every scholarship player on Duke's roster was a McDonald's All-American. I don't think we can recruit at that level, but I do believe we can consistently recruit four-star prospects and land the occasional five-star. If Wake does that, then we'll be relevant again and producing pros.
Wake, like Tech, has a very young roster with virtually everyone returning next year. Do you see a big improvement next year and can they compete for the postseason tournaments?