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Paul Hewitt to St. John’s?

Georgia
Content provided by Georgia Sports Blog.

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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Please don’t go! – DawgSports

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