Heading into the 2015-16 season the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are once again losing the local recruiting battle.
It’s bad enough that Georgia made the NCAA tournament this past March and that their best players – Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines from Alpharetta and Atlanta respectfully – are from the metro Atlanta area, but the Bulldogs have signed two more of the state’s top 25 high school seniors according to 247Sports.com.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Mark Fox and his staff signed Willie Jackson, a 6-foot-4 guard from Athens Christian, and Derek Ogbeide, a 6-foot-8 forward out of Pebblebrook High (Mableton, Ga.).
Both players will be expected to contribute to the Bulldogs next season, but enough about them, the Jackets need to reload and fast.
That said, at this very moment all I can say that Coach Gregory and his staff (which in my opinion one of the best staffs in the ACC) are doing is chasing transfers.
A previous article by yellowjackedup.com’s James Fitzgerald made note of potential transfer that can help solidify the Yellow Jackets’ frontcourt.
Do you know what else could solidify the Yellow Jacket frontcourt and backcourt for that matter? Recruits.
Former Wheeler High School standouts Jaylen Brown (the nations No.1 or No.2 rated player depending on what scouting service you trust) and Daniel Giddens are headed to Cal and Ohio State respectively.
The fact that two of the top three players in the state and Top 25 in the nation are not coming to play at Tech is more than understandable.
The fact that none of the Top 25 players in the state of Georgia will be wearing the White and Gold is the problem.
Here are some example: Teammates at St. Francis High School (Alpharetta, Ga.) Malik Beasley, a 6-foot-4 guard and Kaiser Gates, a 6-foot-7 forward, were in Georgia Tech’s backyard and now are en route to Florida State and Xavier.
Neither of these schools should be recruiting for basketball players on the same level as Georgia Tech.
There was a time not too long ago (see Paul Hewitt era circa 2000-2011) that they wouldn’t have.
That has got to stop if Tech is ever going to finish over .500 in the ACC.
Players on the current roster such as Marcus Georges-Hunt, Charles Mitchell (another transfer, a quality transfer, but a transfer all the same) and Quinton Stephens have all shown All-ACC caliber levels of play throughout their time on the Flats but they are not enough.
The cupboard will be bare after next season with Georges-Hunt and Mitchell graduating, I don’t believe Cory Heyward and Travis Jorgenson are the answer. Do you? Don’t answer that.
All-State players like Kejuan Johnson, another Wheeler High player, could be plenty useful to Tech right now.
The 6-foot-5 wingman is on his way to Rutgers to play his college ball–Rutgers!!! Who in their right mind choses New Jersey over Atlanta unless they feel there’s a much (much) better basketball opportunity up north?
Tookie Brown of Morgan County High School (Madison, Ga.), a 5-foot-10 Bulldog of a point guard (no pun intended) signed with Georgia Southern.
More from Basketball
- Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball: Yellow Jackets find out opponent for Big Ten-ACC Challenge
- Michael Devoe gets workout with Los Angeles Lakers
- Georgia Tech basketball: Top transfer portal targets for the Yellow Jackets
- Georgia Tech Basketball: Round one preview of the 2022 ACC tournament
- Georgia Tech Basketball: Yellow Jackets fall short to Clemson
Full disclosure: I covered him and his high school squad while I was the Sports Editor (and sole full-time sports reporter) at the Lake Oconee News in Greensboro, Ga. and knew he’d be a Division I player.
He might not have been an automatic academic qualifier at Tech due to the school’s justifiable standards. But even as a Prop 48 recruit, he’d be on track to be the team’s best point guard in a couple years.
There is going to come a time during this upcoming season that the lack of bench depth and overall talent will come back to haunt the Yellow Jackets the same way it did last season (see North Carolina game at McCamish Pavilion) and Robert Carter, Jr. won’t be available to help them.