The Georgia Tech basketball team opened its season Friday night with an 80-73 win over Georgia, its fourth win in a row over the Bulldogs. The Yellow Jackets continue with a home game Tuesday night against Alabama A&M. Prior to last week's game, I posed the same questions to four team members. The answers were interesting in their uniformity in some cases and also helped to identify two of the biggest personalities on the roster.
1. Who’s going to surprise on the team?
Demarco Cox: I’ll answer myself. Not too many people know me, but as the season goes on, I think tey’ll have a chance to get to know me. … They’ll find out I’m a pretty tough player.
Marcus Georges-Hunt: I feel like everybody’s going to surprise. Our fans haven’t seen any of these faces, or (players haven’t played significant minutes). I feel like it’s going to be a shocker to all the fans and students.
Charles Mitchell: Demarco (Cox) and Tadric (Jackson).
Quinton Stephens: I think the whole team, really. We don’t have any great superstars, I would say. We just have a team that, when we play together, a lot of people can be successful.
2. How many points is Marcus Georges-Hunt going to average?
Cox: I’m thinking about 15 or 16 a game because we have a lot of weapons. A lot of pretty good scoring weapons.
Georges-Hunt: I can’t say. I just want to do whatever it takes to make my team win.
Mitchell: Hopefully between 15 and 20 points a game. That would probably help us a lot.
Stephens: I hope he stays consistent. I think he was around 12, 13 points last year, maybe. I always want him to do better. I hope he does well if we all do well.
3. Who’s going to throw down the nastiest dunk?
Cox: Gotta go to me also. It has to go to me. I’m going to throw down the nastiest dunk. I try to get at least one a game. That’s my goal in my head. I’m always thinking I’ve got to get at least one dunk a game.
Georges-Hunt: I have a lot of athletic teammates, so I guess whoever gets the opening first, the opening lane. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s Tadric (Jackson). He’s real athletic, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was DeMarco, either.
Mitchell: I’d say me. I’ll probably catch somebody slipping.
Stephens: I think Demarco will have a lot of facials just because he gets up so quick. Tadric, he’s an athlete. He might be on some (ESPN SportsCenter) Top 10’s if he leaks out (for fast beaks).
4. Brian Gregory in one (or two) words:
Cox: Great coach.
Mitchell: Intense. And determined. Two words.
5. This will be a successful season if:
Cox: we stay together as a team and keep a good team chemistry.
Georges-Hunt: we stick together as a team, buy into Coach Gregory’s system and do everything he says and just be able to put everything we have on the line. Together is a big word for us.
Mitchell: we all play our roles and we all bond to Georgia Tech basketball and (are) willing to win for the team.
Stephens: If we play together and we’re tough and we’re disciplined.
6. A successful season will be:
Cox: first winning the ACC championship and then going to the big dance.
Georges-Hunt: “Making it to the postseason. Playing as long as we can until the season’s over with.
Mitchell: Winning it all (ACC championship). To me, it feels like if we do what we’re supposed to do, we can be a successful team and we can make it to the NCAA tournament and be one of the best teams in the ACC. I feel like we have the talent, we have the coaching and we can do it.
Stephens: That means we make the tournament. I would say making the tournament and going very far in the ACC tournament as well. That’d be good for us.