2007 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Basketball Preview
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (20- 12 overall, 8- 8 ACC) tied for sixth in their conference and then lost in round one of the NCAA tournament to UNLV 67- 63. The Jackets’ head coach, Paul Hewitt (127- 95 in seven years at GT, 193- 122 in 10 years), has lost three key players—two to early NBA exits. But that doesn’t mean that this club is in trouble. Hewitt’s a master at building March Madness capable teams.
Last season, the Yellow Jackets were third in the ACC in scoring, averaging 78.6 PPG, and placed second in rebounding margin, going plus-5.8 RPG. Defense was average, and so were the NCAA basketball odds, as they allowed opponents 69.4 PPG, and ball handling was sub-par with the Jackets turning the ball over 15.7 times per game.
In the front, first-year power forward Gani Lawal is expected to have an immediate impact for the team and our NCAA picks. He’s big and tough with a sound work ethic and massive energy. It’s hoped that center Ra’Sean Dickey (8.1 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 59.6 FG%) will finally have a big year, while swingman Alade Aminu (5.4 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 58.3 FG%) showed late last season that he has the athleticism to play large. Sophomore Mouhammad Faye (3.9 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 40.7 FG%) possesses long arms, making him a threat inside and out.
Senior guard Anthony Morrow (9.9 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 42.6 FG%) has a devastating three-point shot and junior guard Lewis Clinch (13.2 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 53.2 FG%) is a sharpshooter. Matt Causey, who sat last season as a transfer, enters his senior year with a reputation for smarts, ruggedness and determination. Talented freshman Maurice Miller will be groomed as the team’s future point guard.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have depth galore despite losing 28.8 PPG with the early departures of guard Javaris Crittenton and forward Thaddeus Young. Still, it was hoped that the two would stay long enough to really help establish the team as an ACC and NCAA contender and included in the March Madness odds. Coach Hewitt likes to use up to 12 guys a game, but he may need to use fewer as he tries to create a dynamic and collaborative team.