I had a really nice, long, well thought out piece planned on the absolutely atrocious ineptitude of Paul Hewitt, but all that did was annoy me, so I decided to make it shorter, and hopefully sweeter.
In short, Paul Hewitt can return to Georgia Tech for a 12th season. He just can’t. Not if we are to believe Georgia Tech athletics actually care about winning something besides football.
Sure, Paul Hewitt coached this team to a national final, a chance at a national championship. But in reality, we all know the truth, Jarrett Jack and Will Bynum took that team to the final. Looking back on that team, they should have been better than they were. There were a lot of games lost during the regular season during their two year run that better coached teams don’t lose.
The year following the magical run to San Antonio, remember, Tech started the year ranked third in the nation, then went on to finish just .500 in ACC play and lose in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Yes, a team that just a year ago was playing for a national championship, and returning most of it’s key contributors, and was arguably MORE talented found a way to lose MORE games.
Of course it should be noted, the Final Four team managed to barely finish above .500 themselves in league play, at a pedestrian 9-7.
Take for a minute, will you, and examine the number of regular season wins in ACC play for Paul Hewitt’s Yellow Jackets during his tenure, leading up to this, his 11th season. Beginning with the 2000-2001 season, Tech’s ACC win total reads as follows: 8, 7, 7, 9, 8, 4, 8, 7, 2 and 7. Ten years, only once did Hewitt finish above .500.
Perhaps Hewitt should ask Chan Gailey what a bunch of .500 ACC seasons did him. Ask Mark Richt what one or two .500 or worse conference play years did for his place in the eyes of Georgia faithful.
Think about that again, TEN years, one time above .500, and even then, it was simply 9-7. And yet this man is still employed? Tech’s listless performance in Blacksburg gave this year’s squad their seventh ACC loss, ensuring their 10th year in 11 where they will fail to win more than they lose in ACC play.
And again, this man is employed? 67-93. Just let that soak in, 67-93. That’s a winning percentage of .419. Who in the world of sports today keeps a job with a winning percentage of .400? Who keeps a job anywhere with a track record like this? We aren’t talking about a blip of two bad years where the winning percentage drops. This is over ten years.
In ten years he’s had six full recruiting classes come and go. And he’s got a .419 winning percentage. We aren’t looking at a small sample size here. Paul Hewitt is actually one of the longer tenured coaches in the nation outside of the holy trinity of coaches of guys like Calhoun, Boheim, Izzo, and Krzyzewski.
And it’s not been for a lack of talent, either. Chris Bosh? You heard of him? He played for Georgia Tech. Didn’t even play in an NCAA tournament game.
Jarrett Jack and Will Bynum have both gone on to play in the NBA, and Anthony Morrow has become one of the NBA’s best three point shooters, yet together they couldn’t win more than eight ACC games in 2005.
Point guard Javaris Crittenton and forward Thaddeus Young were both selected in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft. NCAA tournament wins? Zero.
Derrick Favors just went third in the NBA draft, fellow forward Gani Lawal was also drafted. Yet, despite being teamed with guys like Brian Oliver, Glen Rice Jr, and Iman Shumpert, they couldn’t finish above .500 in the ACC.
Shumpert will surely be drafted, as he’s quite possibly one of the most underrated players in college basketball. Unfortunately he’s trapped in the obscurity of playing for Georgia Tech, and he’s even worse, hampered by the inability of Paul Hewitt to create any type of offense that is able to work consistently.
But Paul Hewitt is still employed. He loses 60% of his games, and now the school wants to make $45 million renovations to the arena in which he does his wretched work? How do you sell that to a fan base and alumni? I know we really stink, and I know we are keeping the man responsible for our futility, but we need $30 million dollars so we can give him a better place in which to work. Yeah, sounds like an excellent plan.
There can be an argument made that Paul Hewitt is the worst division one college basketball coach in the nation, and very little argument can be made that’s he’s not at least in the bottom 30. Besides, anyone who is deemed a bigger failure than Hewitt surely has not been employed for over a decade.
And it’s not as if there’s any reason to believe things are going to get better. As of today, over the last three plus years, Tech is an atrocious 16-42 in ACC play. Yes, you read that correctly.
Remember that winning percentage of .419 I was talking about for his career? Well, that’s a shining mark considering what he’s been in the last third of his tenure. The number has dropped to .276, and with the way this current team has been playing, it’s going to continue to drop.
I wonder how long Paul Johnson would have his job if over four years Johnson went 8-24 in ACC play, which would be a similar mark to what Hewitt has compiled. My guess is, not very long. In fact, my guess is that Johnson wouldn’t be around long enough to compile such futility.
It’s also probably worth noting, Bobby Cremins, now at College of Charleston, is 63-27 in conference play since taking over in 2006-2007, with only one fewer NCAA tournament victory than Paul Hewitt in that span.
If Georgia Tech cares anything about basketball, and anything about not asking for money to support a program they clearly don’t support themselves, Paul Hewitt needs to go, the day after his team makes a quick exit from the ACC tournament.
Wow, it appears my Hewitt rant went as long as his career has gone.