Georgia Tech Men's Basketball 2000-Present

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Georgia Tech Basketball coach Paul Hewitt

In 2000, Paul Hewitt, formerly coaching at Siena College, took over coaching the Georgia Tech men's basketball team, in place of Bobby Cremins (after he retired). [1]Bobby Cremins had placed Georgia Tech on the map, leading to a Cinderella story in 2004 where Tech made it into the National Championship Game, in addition to other notable accomplishments during the season. The Paul Hewitt era produced many future NBA players, including many who left college before graduating for the NBA (a new trend that was emerging).



The Jackets went 17-12 with a convincing 11-3 home record in the 2000-2001 season, the first one under new coach Paul Hewitt. Tony Akins led the team in scoring, averaging 14.5 points per game. Tech made it to the NCAA tournament, and paired up against St. Josephs in the first round.[2]The Jackets would lose 66-62 in the first round. [3] In the 2001-2002 season the Jackets posted a 15-16 record with an 8-7 home record. The leading scorer again was Tony Akins, this time averaging 17 points per game. The team included some new faces such as Marvin Lewis, BJ Elder, Clarence Moore, Muhammad Isma'il, and Luke Schensher, each going on to have great successes with Tech Basketball.[4]. 2002-2003 was the season of Chris Bosh, who averaged 15.6 points and 9 rebounds per game, leading Tech to a 16-15 record and an amazing 13-2 home record. Tech again made it to the NCAA tournament, defeating Ohio State and Iowa before losing to Texas Tech in the third round.[5]

2003-2004 Campaign

The Georgia Tech Men's Basketball team during the 2003-2004 season won the Preseason NIT tournament, beginning a litany of succeses. Tech ended Duke's 41 home game winning streak, made it to the Final 4 and then lost in the national championship to a strong Connecticut team by only 9 points. Duke hadn't lost at home since it lost to Maryland 91-80 in February 2001. Georgia Tech used high pressure defense to beat Duke for the first time since the 1995-1996 season. Tech point guard Jarret Jack commented on the win stating, "Over the years, Duke's been the elite team in the conference, especially winning the tournament five years in a row...". "Coming out and beating them on their home floor is a big statement."[6] Georgia Tech entered the NCAA tournament as the Number 3 seed in the Midwest Region and defeated Northern Iowa, Boston College, Nevada, and Kansas en route to the Final 4.[7] Georgia Tech was matched up with Oklahoma State in the Final 4, where Oklahoma State made a three-point shot with under a minute remaining to tie the game. Will Bynum proceeded to drive to the right side of the basket and make a layup with one second left, sending Georgia Tech to the National Championship. [here] Georgia Tech played against Connecticut in the championship, losing by 9 largely due to a dominant performance by Emeka Okafor, who had 24 points and 15 rebounds during the game.[8]


Thaddeus Young rises for a dunk

In the wake of the Jacket's first appearence in the National Championship, Jarret Jack led the team in scoring with 15.5 points per game leading to a 20-12 record, with a 12-3 record at home. The Jackets again made the NCAA tournament, but lost to Louisville in the second round after beating Georgie Washington in the first round.[9] The 2005-2006 season was a challenging one for the Jackets, as Jarret Jack had gone to the NBA, so Anthony Morrow now led the team in scoring, averaging 16 points per game and an impressive 42.9% shooting average from the three point line. Georgia Tech failed to make the 2006 NCAA tournament.[10]New young talent Javaris Crittenton and Thaddeus Young led Georgia Tech in the 2006-2007 season, each of them averaging 14.4 points per game. The team posted a 20-12 overall record including 16-1 at home before losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament to UNLV 63-67 in the first round.[11] The 2007-2008 team missed the NCAA tournament and posted records of 15-17 and 6-7 at home, led by Anthony Morrow's 14.3 points per game.[12] Lewis Clinch led the 2008-2009 team in scoring averaging 15.5 points per game while Gani Lawal added 15.1 points per game and 9.5 rebounds. The team, however had a down year and went 12-19 and again failed to make the NCAA tournament.[13] The 2009-2010 Georgia Tech basketball team went 23-13 with an impressive home record of 14-2, led by Gani Lawal's 13.1 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game. Freshman Derrick Favors added 12.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game in his only year at Tech to lead the Jackets to victory against Oklahoma State in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Jackets would later lose to Ohio State 66-75 in the second round.[14]

Notable players

Georgia Tech basketball after 2000 had many notable players include Chris Bosh, Derrick Favors, Jarret Jack, Mario West, Luke Schenscher, Thaddeus Young, Javaris Crittenton, Will Bynum, Anthony Morrow, and Ghani Lawal.[15] Chris Bosh recently joined the Miami Heat in a sign and trade deal from the Toronto Raptors. Bosh holds the Toronto franchise's records in nearly all the major statistical categories, and was a large part of the most coveted free agent class in NBA history. Derrick Favors is currently a rookie for the New Jersey Nets, and was the third overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft, an astounding feat for a 19 year old that only spent one year in college. [16] Jarret Jack was a member of the 2003-2004 Georgia Tech basketball team and a point guard for the Toronto Raptors for years, until he was very recently traded to the New Orleans Hornets.
Former Georgia Tech star Chris Bosh with teammate Dwayne Wade
Mario West walked on the Georgia Tech basketball team as a freshman and worked his way up to team capitan status, before Paul Hewitt got him a tryout for the Atlanta Hawks. West went undrafted but was signed by the Hawks, and is now playing for the Maine Red Claws, the Boston Celtic's developmental league team. [17] Thaddeus Young is currently averaging 11 points per game for the Philadelphia 76ers, who drafted him 12th overall in the 2007 NBA draft. [18] Javaris Crittenton was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 19th overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft, and is currently a member of the Charlotte Bobcats.[19] Crittenton, however, was involved in the Gilbert Areans gun scandal, and was sentenced to a year probation for carrying a pistol without a license in Washington D.C.[20] Will Bynum is a point guard for the Detriot Pistons, while three point shooting specialist Anthony Morrow plays for the New Jersey Nets along with fellow Georgia Tech alum Derrick Favors. Ghani Lawal was drafted by the Phoenix Suns with the 16th pick of the second round in 2010 NBA draft and currently plays in the NBA developmental league.[21]


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