Rebuilt Jackets ready to regain contender status
We're not going with a typical, run-of-the-mill top 25 rundown each day. Instead, we'll cut to the chase and tell you who will be left standing at the end of the year in the Elite Eight.
Can't wait for the college hoops season to start? We get you ready for 2009-10 with
We'll hit on one each over an eight-day span — in no particular order. Then we'll unveil my complete bracket just prior to the start of the season on Nov. 9. I had the championship game right last year, but incorrectly picked Michigan State to beat North Carolina.
I have a good feeling about my bracket this time around.
Worst to first.
That's what Paul Hewitt and the Yellow Jackets are hoping to do this season.
One year ago, a thin and depleted Georgia Tech team finished the ACC slate with just two victories. However, with the return of Gani Lawal and Iman Shumpert and the addition of a big-time recruiting class that includes big man Derrick Favors, there's no reason the Yellow Jackets can't make a deep run in March.
1. Derrick Favors: Simply put, he's the elite freshman big man in the country. Favors is big, strong and athletic and knows his role — which is to rebound, score in the post and defend. He's the complete package and will also make life easier for his frontcourt mate, Lawal.
2. Experienced point guard play: Shumpert had too much on his plate a year ago as a freshman floor leader, but now he's got a year under his belt and has some help with the ball-handling duties from freshman Mfon Udofia.
3. Depth: Hewitt's bench has gone from a weakness to a strength after bringing in Favors, Udofia as well as freshmen Brian Oliver and Glen Rice Jr. He also has veteran guard D'Andre Bell returning after missing all of last season.
4. The big three: I'm not sure too many teams have a trio that can stack up with Favors, Lawal and Shumpert. They are three McDonald's All-Americans and all are future pros.