On Selection Sunday 2009, I sit pondering the future of my beloved Yellow Jackets. 13-19. Often, this would appear to be the depressing harbinger of things to come, but upon further review there appears to be a silver lining. And while it may appear that it’s just a fan drinking the hometown Kool-Aid, there are a few things to really note underneath the numbers.
When pondering a 13-19 record, it is key to look at those losses to see what they say:
- 2 losses were in overtime.
- 2 losses were by 1 point.
- 2 losses were by 2 points.
- 2 losses were by 4 points.
- 1 loss was by 5 points.
That means that 9 losses were EASILY within the “winnable” category. It indicates that this team knew how to compete, just not how to finish opponents off. In addition to those losses, there were 3 losses against the RPI Top 10 and another 2 losses were against RPI Top 26 opponents. That leaves us with 14 of 19 losses that don’t look terrible. So were there any wins of significance? Yes. 2 wins were against Top 25 teams and Top 26 RPI teams.
So, one could argue that hope should spring eternal based on how close they were and that one more year of experience could take them over the hump. However, the team’s highest scorer is a senior. So where do I get my hope?
The Rivals.com #4 recruiting class in the country. 4 players in the Rivals 100 Top 80 and the 5th is 124th. And there is an incoming freshman at all 5 positions. Oh, and let’s not forget that Paul Hewitt is not an inexperienced coach. He lost the best player to play at Tech in decades (Chris Bosh) and the next year’s team made the National Championship game. Coach Hewitt knows what it takes to get the job done. This is how a team can go from last in the ACC to an NCAA tournament bid in one year. Confident? Yes I am. And just remember that you heard it here first.