Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Three Reasons Why Paul Hewitt Will Return To Georgia Tech Next Season

Since the loss to UGA, I have been tracking Georgia Tech's home attendance and estimating the amount of revenue leaving the building due to a dissatisfied fan base.  

The Atlanta media is finally catching on to the idea, six weeks after I first presented it.

With the idea catching on, most are calling for Paul Hewitt's exit after this season due to the lack of attendance.  I orginally thought that would be the case too, but after reviewing the situation I highly doubt a business savvy guy like Atheltic Director Dan Radakovich will make that call this year.

Here are three reasons why Hewitt will return as head coach next season

1. Tech will have a renovated coliseum for the 2012-2013 season that has to be filled with paying customers. That means Alexander Memorial Coliseum will be closed next year and Tech will be playing most of its home games at Philips Arena downtown with the remainder at Gwinnett Arena in the northeast suburbs. Crowds are going to be below what they should be for next year anway because the team will be playing off campus in a new venue. This makes it very hard to attract a new coach if his first season is a dead home schedule. The first season for a new coach is largely an exercise in exciting the fan base which will be very hard to do if they don't have an arena to cheer in.

2. IF Iman Shumpert returns next season, this team has a chance to be pretty good. At the beginning of the season when I watched Tech scrimmage I said the Jackets will go as far as Shumpert takes them.  Look at how he has played in Tech's losses versus their wins. 

The only key loss after this season is Mo Miller (20 pg, 5.6ppg) at guard.  The Jackets will add a top 150 player in Julian Royal out of Milton HS who brings more inside depth. Tech could possibly sign two more players.  If one of those is a consistent outside threat this team could be dangerous.

However, Radakovich will likely not know Shumpert's decision on the NBA before he has to make the call on Hewitt when the contract rolls over again sometime around March 16.

3. If the 2011-2012 team cannot make the Tournament and win at least 1 game then Hewitt is gone.  The fans will not want to pay what is likely to be higher ticket prices to pay for the state of the art arena after what would be another disappointing season. 

I see it highly unlikely Hewitt is removed this year unless the rest of the ACC season is a complete disaster (i.e. only 1 or 2 more wins)

Part I: Atlanta Media Finally Catches With Georgia Tech Basketball Attendance

Tracking Georgia Tech's Attendance

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