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Mailbag 3/17

In which we talk about basketball things that didn't happen.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Who do you think showed up well enough at Tech's pro day to get an NFL invite who previously might not have gotten one?

First, I'm going to eliminate the players who (in my opinion at least) were already being considered for roster spots: DeAndre Smelter, Darren Waller, Shaq Mason and Synjyn Days. From what I heard and saw, each one performed remarkably and will (again, in my opinion) get roster spots.

As for any others that I saw that stood out, I'm going to take a guy from each side of the ball. On defense, I'm going to go with linebacker Quayshawn Nealy. Because of his size, he'll likely move to outside linebacker, but according to our very own Tyler Duke, Nealy's better-than-expected speed boded well for both his ability to get to the quarterback and to drop into coverage.

On offense, I'm going to go with B-back Zach Laskey. He plays with a chip on his shoulder, no matter where it's at. When he first arrived on campus, I wasn't his biggest fan. I honestly didn't think he would amount to much. He was determined to prove everybody wrong, and he did. Even with Synjyn Days coming on strong at the end of the season, Laskey was still able to put up 140 yards (and the game-winning touchdown) on the dwags.

Reading the tea leaves, what direction is Tech going to go with regard to the next basketball coach? and Who would you like to see as our next head BB coach?

Since these two are pretty similar questions, I decided to go ahead and put them together.

In my untrained eyes, there are two different styles of coaches: those who can recruit really good players that can fit into really any system desired and those who run a system that takes the players that may not be recruited as highly and finds ways to make them fit into the scheme (ie scheming around the players you have or using a scheme to get the best out of the players).

For me personally, I would prefer to see the second kind of coach. Atlanta is a hotbed of recruiting and in all honesty, Tech does not really need to be "the best" in recruiting. Do they need to be better? I believe so, but I also don't think we're as far away as others do, in terms of success.

To help illustrate this, I'm going to use my high school's football team as an example. All throughout my high school experience, our football team absolutely sucked. We were pretty small and didn't bring a whole lot of speed, which was bad since we tried to run a spread offense. In my four years of high school, we won a total of about 15 games.

Fast forward three years to this past year. The head coach from my four years was still there and decided to resign, allowing for a new coach to come in. This coach brought in a new work ethic and a new system without really changing a whole lot of the talent (save for his son who quarterbacked the team this season). They started out the season 7-0 before losing three straight and then going to the second round of the playoffs.

I believe that Tech, in the same way, doesn't need much more talent. Our propensity for playing close games in nearly all of our ACC match-ups shows that we are pretty darn close. We just need a coach who can bring in a better work ethic and a new system that fits the style of players we have better.

Now who is that coach? I don't have a whole lot of knowledge about the current coaching landscape right now, so I'm probably not the best person to answer this question

NOTE:  I answered the previous question prior to news breaking about Brian Gregory's return.

Does Brandon Gold come back to earth anytime soon?

Man, I sure hope not. He has been gold (again, not sorry) for us since we started using him as a pitcher. Just take a look at these stats: in five games (three starts), Gold is 3-0 with a 0.61 ERA. He's also struck out 27 batters in a team-leading 29.1 innings, while only walking five. That doesn't even include his .158 opponent's batting average.

Unfortunately, these numbers don't seem sustainable. I'm not sure when he'll return back to earth, but I hope and pray it isn't any time soon.

Based on your preseason expectations, how do you feel about the season so far?

The pitching (with the exception of Brandon Gold) hasn't been quite where I wanted it to be. I thought Devin Stanton and some of our sophomore pitchers would have continued to develop into a very formidable staff this season, but it's lacked a little bit, with the staff only maintaining a 3.82 ERA.

The offense, however, has far exceeded my expectations. The team is currently hitting .306 right now and is already just four home runs shy of last season's team total of 21, thanks in large part to freshman phenom Kel Johnson, who is hitting .367 and already has six home runs.

Which bracket pick that you have made was your favorite of all time?

That would definitely have to come from a game that busted nearly everybody's bracket last season: Mercer vs. Duke. That will forever be my proudest pick until I make one better than that.

This year will definitely be interesting though. Each and every one of my picks was decided by the flip of a coin, and yet somehow, I still have a 1-seed winning the whole thing.