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March 23, 2010

Paul Hewitt to St. John's?

The AJC now reports that St. John's University has formally asked for permission to speak with Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt. The New York Daily News quotes Hewitt gushing about the St. John's job opening saying:
"Do you remember what it was like in New York when the Yankees finally won the World Series again in 1996, the way it electrified the city? St. John's could definitely do the same thing," said Hewitt, who grew up in Queens and Long Island. "I remember going to the building they call Carnesecca (Arena) and seeing huge crowds embrace the team. I remember going to the Garden and seeing it full. And I remember the winning.

"The right coach could do all that again and it would be a sight."
For those who struggle with nuance, let me translate..."Get me the hell out of Atlanta." (ht - Mark Bradley)

If SJU were to hire Tech, it would be the equivalent of a $7 million bailout for the future of their basketball program. The upside for Georgia...if Tech were to hire poorly or at least a weaker recruiter than Hewitt (who is exceptional in that area), it could help us in state for 2011 recruits and beyond.

The downside...many high quality candidates will see the Tech job for what it is...a program with the potential to be Top 3 in the ACC almost every year on the court due to the recruiting base. However, it lacks the financial clout to invest in the facilities or coaching salaries to match that potentially elite status. In other words, an enigma of a job. But one with tremendous upside. It's also unlikely that Tech will hire a worse floor coach than Hewitt.

If I were ranking recruiters and UGA and Tech over the past 30 years, it would go something like this:
    1. Paul Hewitt
    2. Bobby Cremins
    3. Hugh Durham
    4. Ron Jirsa (Ezra, DA and Jumanie were big timers)
    5. Tubby Smith (inherited great talent. Recruited average at best)
    6. Dennis Felton (maybe higher than Tubby. Just couldn't retain his best)
    7. Jim Harrick (worst recruiter I've ever seen unless you count transfers)
    TBD Mark Fox
If I were to rank floor coaches over that period, I'd go:
    1. Jim Harrick (and it's not even close)
    2. Tubby Smith
    3. Bobby Cremins
    4. Hugh Durham (early in his career he was great, but not the end)
    5. Dennis Felton
    6. Paul Hewitt (Yes. Hewitt is a worse floor coach than Felton)
    7. Ron Jirsa (Totally inept)
    TBD Mark Fox
It would be difficult for a competent Athletic Director like Tech's DRad to do worse than Hewitt on the court. But surpassing him on the recruiting trail will be very, very tough. This is an interesting development to watch for UGA fans. Tech could be losing a coach that had a losing record (4-6) against UGA despite us spending 7 of those 10 years navigating some of the worst seasons in UGA basketball since the late 1970s.

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Anonymous said...

It seems like Hewitt is to Tech bball what Donnan was to UGA football, great recruiter, marginal coaching. I dont think JD himself was inept, but his collective staff seemed weak overall.


Ball-U-Dawg Triangle said...

What would be great would be for the St. John's AD to get some push-back from St. Johns's fans and contributors regarding hiring PH, causing St. John's to drop the idea, and making the PH/GT relationship even more uncomfortable. But I don't know if the good Lord would be THAT good to us.

Kanu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PTC DAWG said...

If you think UGA's success rides on GT being a failure in basketball, you're just nuts.

There is more than enough talent in the ATL area for BOTH to be in the top 2-3 teams in their respective conferences...I'm of the opinion, that neither school is all that worried about it.

Anonymous said...

There is no upside to Hewitt leaving Tech from UGA's standpoint. They won't have any difficulty hiring a quality coach based on playing in the ACC and having tons of elite players in the metro ATL area. The new coach will be able to recruit at or close to Hewitt's level and will be a helluva lot better coach. That is almost guaranteed.

Hobnail_Boot said...

Except for Julian Royal, it looks like UGA and Tech are going after different in-state players for the monster '11 class.

Whether that would change if Hewitt left or not is unknown, but right now I like the fact that most of our big targets (Marshall, Caldwell, Dixon) are not showing much interest in GT.

Earl said...

I don't know about Harrick being the worst recruiter; I mean, he got Lamar Odom to go to Rhode Island!! I'd put him higher with an asterisk*

*will cheat to get players

Bill M. said...

It is definitely still TBD on CMF's recruiting abilities but as a floor coach he's easily top 3 or 4 already. I think that was pretty apparent. The jump this team made from 2009 to the 2010 season was remarkable.

all school said...

Tech fans are like the girl who's a 5, but thinks she's really a 9.5; they looooooved Hew?tt just a little while ago. Now? He hasn't won the national title they think they should have in the bag. If Hew?tt bails on them, they'll claim they can do better easily...just like in football when O'Leary bailed. Paul Johnson better freshen up his resume.

Anonymous said...

Tubby above Cremmins? Really? I never thought Tubby did ANYTHING in the last two minutes of a game to help our team win.

HVL Dawg

Anonymous said...

Cremins a better floor coach than Hugh? Were you watching?

FisheriesDawg said...

I saw Hewitt at Flip on Monday night with his entire family (kids, wife, either his or his wife's parents). I wonder if he took them all out to dinner to talk about the possibility of moving?

Michael said...

Apparently he is staying according to

Taylor said...

haha some tech fans are actually excited about this. Why would you be happy about a guy who has a losing record in the ACC, and it's not even close to a winning record. He also has a losing record against UGA

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