Georgia Tech Basketball 2006-2007: <center>As Practice Begins, Tech works on chemistry</center>

Monday, October 16, 2006

As Practice Begins, Tech works on chemistry

It's that time of the year again, and for this years Georgia Tech basketball team, chemistry is what it may take for the Jackets to reach the Final Four. A stellar recruiting class and a National Top 20 selection in everyone's pre-season predictions, makes this years Yellow Jackets a team to watch. Chemistry is probably the most important aspect of a championship team, and it seems as though Paul Hewitt already has that taken care of. Mario West, who will be the loan survivor from Tech's National Championship run in 2004 may have his minutes drop with the talent surrounding the team, but that doesnt seem to bother him.

To a man, Tech's returning players (freshmen were not available Thursday) all but guffawed at the possibility that jealousy will be an issue, even point guard Mario West, the only senior on the team and a player whose minutes may drop.

"That's a good question," West said. "When I made the decision to come back, it was both to get another degree in economics [to go with the degree in management he earned in May] and to win. I'm going to have an effect on this team. I'm the Last Mohican, sort of, from the [2003-2004 season's] Final Four team. I remember the atmosphere and what it takes."

Hewitt said he spent little or no time massaging egos in the offseason. He certainly admits, however, that Crittenton represents ground zero for his team, yet without being its foundation.

"The returning guys know that if this team's going to be a good team it's going to be on the strength of Lewis Clinch, and Anthony Morrow, Jeremis [Smith], Ra'Sean, Mario — those are the guys who are going to make up the core. Certainly, the [new] guy who'll have the chance for greatest impact is Javaris, because he's our point guard.

It seems like the players have also worked very hard in the offseason to not allow another dissapointment like last year from happening.

"Nobody in America wants an incoming freshman to take their minutes or share their minutes," junior center Ra'Sean Dickey said. "So working on your weaknesses in the offseason, that's kind of what everybody did."

In the coming weeks, i will break down Tech's chances in the ACC and in the NCAA Tournament. We have big expectations from this years team because of the recruiting class and the talent we have on this team. In my opinion, this years team is more talented than our 2004 team that went to the Final Four. I really think Paul Hewitt has this team under control, and it seems like we are saying all the right things in practice regarding chemistry. It's only 2 weeks away from the tip-off guys, and this year is going to be exciting. Stay tuned for more updates.


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