Though last season featured some rough outings from Georgia Tech's normally reliable rotation of A-Backs, the 2016 campaign figures to feature much more success from the third options. Two of the biggest reasons for that potential increase in productivity will be the new(ish) faces of Qua Searcy and J.J. Green, two of the most talented and explosive players on the team, who weren't able to play much (or at all) last season due to injury and NCAA transfer rules. In the case of Searcy, a ferocious start to the season was silenced by a season-ending ankle injury sustained in the game season's third game, at Notre Dame. At the time of the injury, it certainly appeared that Searcy -- a redshirt freshman at the time -- was Tech's best option at the perimeter in terms of both blocking and carrying the ball. For Green, the 2016 season will be his first and last on the Flats as a transfer from UGA. Ideally, he and Searcy will form the best one-two punch at the position since the glory days of Orwin Smith and Robbie Godhigh a few years back.
Georgia Tech baseball continued its hot hitting on Wednesday night, toppling the in-state rival Georgia Southern Eagles by a final score of 6-1 at Russ Chandler Stadium. With the victory, No. 18 Tech improved to an impressive 19-5 on the season with a relatively easy stretch of ACC opponents still to come. It may not seem like all that much right now, but the Jackets have already won roughly 60% of the games they won last year with a bit over half of the season remaining. That's an impressive feat for any team, but especially for a team as young and inexperienced on both sides of the ball as this one. Hopefully they can find a way to leverage this momentum and ride it to a long winning streak. Tech will be back in action this weekend when it takes on Duke for a three-game homestand at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Georgia Tech quarterback Matthew Jordan's road to becoming Justin Thomas' heir apparent hasn't been as smooth as many assumed it would be, but that certainly doesn't limit his value to the team -- head coach Paul Johnson has a lot planned for his sophomore backup quarterback during the 2016 regular season. Ideally, Johnson would like to be able play Jordan in every single game this year for Tech, apparently in relief of Justin Thomas for a series here and there. That plan, though it may throw off some momentum once in a while, seems like a splendid idea overall. Thomas' durability has been thoroughly tested since his firs start at Tech, so having a guy to spell him should be beneficial for all parties.
Though half of the Final Four being made up of ACC schools is unquestionably a benefit for the conference, the current reputations of the two participants -- UNC and Syracuse -- are murky at best. The New York Times piece that I linked to probably says it best: there will be no lessons learned by either Carolina's Roy Williams or Syracuse's Jim Boeheim from their teams' experiences in the tournament. In fact, these two teams being present on basketball's biggest stage is somewhat of a failure for the already much-maligned NCAA. It shows that, once again, the system has been designed to benefit those who attempt to abuse it, or at least those who seem to be immune to it. Academic fraud is a serious thing, something that any school would be hard-pressed to get away with. Unless the school is UNC, of course. They get the kid gloves and a Final Four appearance instead.
Have a great weekend!