It's been a minute or two, but I'm back! Thanks a ton to everyone who filled in for me during my absence over these past weeks.
Grass is green, the sky is blue, and we have absolutely no idea what is going to happen in the ACC's Coastal Division this season. In fact, the 2016 Coastal will likely be more wide open than it has been at any point this decade, if that's possible; let's call it the crapshootiest of all the crapshoots. That truth is only extrapolated when you consider the unprecedented amount of coaching turnover within Tech's division alone, where the
fossilization retirement of Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech, the frost(y) end of Al Gold(en)'s time at Miami, and the Brexit of Mike London from UVA have combined to create one gigantic question mark over the Coastal. If there's anything we know for sure, it's that the hype surrounding the subsequent new hires -- Justin Fuente, Mark Richt, and Bronco Mendenhall, respectively -- will have Tech's preseason expectations right where the team likes them: low. Perhaps that was the missing part of the formula last go round.
Newly-anointed head basketball coach Josh Pastner knew exactly what he was getting into when he took the job at Tech, but hasn't let high expectations and a depleted roster diminish his characteristically high spirits. Pastner has even gone into relatively uncharted waters for new coaches, addressing the possibility of a last-place finish for his Jackets this season:
Pastner volunteered that a last-place finish in 2016-17 is a distinct possibility. "I’m OK with all that," the coaching wunderkind said of rekindling the Tech torch. "My thinking is, it’s a great opportunity. This is a rebuild."
That's the kind of attitude you need to bring when you're staring down a potentially horrific season. I'm all for building guys up and whatnot, but the reality of the situation is that the Jackets are not now and will not be contenders for a while. It's a full-on rebuild, as Pastner suggests, and calling it anything else would be an injustice to the path the Tech Athletic Department has elected to take. We won't know whether it was the correct path for some time, but Pastner is inspiring confidence so far.
Today marks decision day for one of Tech's biggest targets from the 2017 football recruiting cycle, offensive lineman Demetris Harris of Jacksonville.
Announcing my commitment at 4 o'clock tomorrow— Demetris Harris (@Meech64_) July 24, 2016
Tech is one of three finalists for Harris' services along with South Florida and Wake Forest. If he does commit to the Jackets today, Harris would be in line to fill a major need on Tech's offensive line as we progress into the 2017 season. Hopefully we get some good news this afternoon.