Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Ted Roof is pleased with the progress made by his unit so far but still recognizes the need for more work as we await what should be an interesting 2016 campaign from a defensive perspective. Tech's defense, though it was (ironically) much-improved last season when compared to the 11-win year of 2014, faces the daunting task of replacing key players at just about every single position. Players ranging from safety Jamal Golden to cornerback D.J. White to defensive tackle Adam Gotsis, three longtime starters, are gone; Ted Roof's new challenge is to find suitable replacements. It's unlikely that 2016 will be the strongest defensive season we've ever seen, but I wouldn't put a surprisingly good year past some of these guys. The talent is surely there for a successful campaign.
If you just can't wait to see that defensive unit take the field, be sure to come out and join the team for the 2016 spring game tomorrow. The festivities officially begin at around 10 AM with face painting, food trucks, and other activities to enjoy prior to kickoff at noon -- entry is free! We may even get some halfway decent weather for the first time in a few years; the forecast is currently calling for sun, though storms are expected today. Anything besides the monsoon-like conditions of 2014 would be a welcome sight at this point. Haven't we earned some sunlight?
On the offensive side of the ball, guard Shamire Devine is just one of many potential contributors who could play an absolutely critical role this season. Devine, who has struggled mightily with conditioning since he first arrived at Tech, is likely going to have to play whether he's ready or not; injuries to fellow guards Jake Whitley and Chris Griffin have all but thrust him into the spotlight. Though being "thrust into the spotlight" is generally a negative phrase, it could potentially do Devine a world of good. His ceiling is immensely high, likely as high as that of anyone on the roster, and he has a shot at being a truly great player. Maybe a couple of injuries to guys around him will provide the kick in the pants that he needs to get everything clicking.
Canada may have set a new world record for oldest man being allowed to play high school basketball when it was revealed yesterday that Jonathan Nicola, a 30-year-old Sudanese refugee, was a arrested after spending months on end playing center for a local high school's team. I don't know what's going on up in Canada, but how do you miss a 30-year-old man playing high school basketball? How did Nicola even get involved with a high school team in the first place? That's just too much. Sorry, buddy.
Have a great weekend!