Georgia Tech Wrapup
SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ Jarrett Jack pulled off his jersey, rubbed his bald head
and stared quietly at the floor. No one in the Georgia Tech locker room had much to say _ the expected
reaction when a team has just lost the national championship game.
But don't expect these Yellow Jackets to be down for long.
They had the greatest season in school history, winning five nail-biting
games in the NCAA tournament before an 82-73 loss to Connecticut in Monday
Easing the sting of the last game: Four starters and three key reserves will
be back next season, joined by a recruiting class that could be one of the
``Pretty much all our top guys, our nucleus, are coming back,'' Jack said.
``I think we'll be even more deadly next year.''
Georgia Tech (28-10) reached the championship game for the first time, only
to get overwhelmed by UConn.
The Yellow Jackets trailed by 15 at halftime and the margin grew as high as
25 before a late flourish made the score respectable. They picked a bad time to
have one of their worst-shooting games of the season _ 38 percent from the
field, 12-of-21 from the foul line.
Of course, the Huskies had something to do with all those errant shots. They
were clearly the better team, blowing it open with the combination of
All-America center Emeka Okafor and stellar guard Ben Gordon.
UConn started the season as the top-ranked team in the country, and they
fulfilled that promise at the end.
Now, it's Georgia Tech that likely will have to deal with high expectations.
The Yellow Jackets, picked to finish seventh in the Atlantic Coast
Conference this season, will be much better regarded the next time they take
They'll have three returning seniors from their starting lineup _ guard B.J.
Elder, 7-foot-1 center Luke Schenscher and forward Anthony McHenry. Jack, the
point guard, will be a junior.
Not a bad place to start.
And there's more.
Guard Will Bynum and forward Isma'il Muhammad, who played key roles off the
bench, will be seniors, as well. Also returning is 6-9 forward Theodis Tarver,
who gives the Yellow Jackets another big body in reserve.
Coach Paul Hewitt, who agreed to a new contract before the Final Four,
already signed four recruits in November. The Yellow Jackets also are favored
to land 6-11 center Randolph Morris, one of the top high school players in the
``I definitely feel good about things,'' said senior guard Marvin Lewis, the
only starter who won't be back. ``We wanted to put this program back in good
position. Now, it's up to the rest of the guys to keep it up.''
Being a team with no real superstars has its advantages, too.
While Jack has heard rumblings that he might enter the NBA draft, he's
``definitely coming back'' for another season. No one else is expected to leave
Schenscher, the team's most improved player, hopes to play at the Athens
Olympics this summer. He'll try out for the team from his native Australia, an
experience that should give him a chance to hone his game even more.
``I definitely like the situation we have here,'' Jack said. ``When you get
to this point, you want to take it all the way. We'll have even more incentive
Many of Georgia Tech's former greats _ including Mark Price, John Salley,
Dennis Scott, Duane Ferrell, Travis Best and Chris Bosh _ turned out in San
Antonio, hoping to celebrate the school's first national title.
It didn't happen, but at least they know the program is in good hands.
After tailing off badly in the late 1990s, the Yellow Jackets are again
positioning themselves to be one of the nation's top programs on a regular
``It's good to know that we're the team that put Georgia Tech back on the
map again,'' Schenscher said. ``I definitely think, with all the guys we have
coming back, that we can keep it going.''