High-quality frontcourt play has always been a staple of Brian Gregory's Georgia Tech teams, but that isn't stopping the coach from reinventing the way he coaches the position and expects it to operate in advance of the 2015 season. Big men in Gregory's system have, in the past, been tasked with taking down rebounds and immediately passing the ball off to point guard before heading down the court in a position-specific running lane during fast break opportunities. Both of those requirements, once staples of Gregory's offense, are now gone and have been replaced with newer, more free-flowing measures to encourage aggression. The changes seem simple but should have a huge impact on Tech's offense, which has always struggled mightily to convert on fast-break points under Gregory. If nothing else, they will allow for the skilled frontcourt to have better opportunities to score and play to their individual strengths. I can't wait to see everything implemented.
Scoring points on Bud Foster's Virginia Tech defense has always been a tall order for Paul Johnson just as it has been for nearly every coach. Countless hours of practice go in before each Virginia Tech game as the Jackets try to perfect the art of the triple option before Foster and the Hokies try to stop it. Equally great, however, are the hours that Virginia Tech puts in as they attempt to prepare for the option -- the Hokies need a whole new level of focus if they hope to prepare properly ahead of Thursday's game at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Georgia Tech is once again favored in the game for whatever reason, but that hasn't worked out too well so far -- the Jackets are 0-5 when favored against quality competition.
The University of Missouri has been in a strange struggle with racism and bigotry ever since its founding back in 1839, but a recent string of incidents involving racism on campus has the school exploding at the seams. The problem has gotten so bad, at least in the eyes of the students, that every black player on the school's football team is now on strike, putting the Tigers' upcoming game against BYU in question. That coupled with a now four-day-long hunger strike by Missouri student Jonathan Butler has all eyes trained on Columbia and president Timothy Wolfe, whose resignation has been called for by his own students and faculty. My first thought when I heard about the football team protesting was wondering how head coach Gary Pinkel and his coaching staff would react, and it now appears that Pinkel has fully embraced the strike and his players (who refuse to rejoin the team until Wolfe steps down). That, to me, is an admirable move that most coaches wouldn't have the guts to make. The fact that all of this has to happen is sad, but the way that Missouri students, student-athletes, faculty, and coaches are responding is extremely impressive. All that remains to be seen is whether or not Wolfe is forced to resign.
(Note: Please don't set the comment section on fire with scalding takes about race. I urge you to instead remark on how the students and faculty have unified to solve an issue that they find to be prevalent on their campus and to keep inflammatory thoughts to yourself.)
Georgia Tech will play Virginia Tech this Thursday at Bobby Dodd Stadium. While I can't guarantee that the outcome will be rosy, I can guarantee that last year's result was more than worthy of watching again. That result, in case you've forgotten, can be found right below.
What do you expect from the Georgia Tech frontcourt and the offense as a whole this season?