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Basketball Pre-season Preview: Georgia Tech

Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:41am
By: Accsports Staff

November 11, 2002

Track Record

Year ACC Overall Postseason
1993 8-8 (6x) 19-11 NCAA 1st Round
1994 7-9 (5) 16-13 NIT 1st Round
1995 8-8 (5) 18-12 None
1996 13-3 (1) 24-12 NCAA Sweet 16
1997 3-13 (9) 9-18 None
1998 6-10 (6) 19-14 NIT Elite Eight
1999 6-10 (5) 15-16 None
2000 5-11 (8) 13-17 None
2001 8-8 (5) 17-13 NCAA 1st Round
2002 7-9 (5) 15-16 None

x — won ACC title

2002-03 Roster

Name Ht./Wt. Pos. Class
Robert Brooks 6-8/220 BF Jr.
Marvin Lewis* 6-4/208 WG Jr.
B.J. Elder 6-4/215 WG So.
Anthony McHenry 6-7/220 WG So.
Isma'il Muhammad 6-6/228 WF So.
Ed Nelson* 6-8/250 BF So.
Luke Schenscher 7-1/255 C So.
Chris Bosh 6-10/210 BF Fr.
Jarrett Jack 6-3/198 PG Fr.
Jim Nystrom 6-4/200 WF Fr.
Theodis Tarver 6-9/230 C Fr.
  • — returning starter

Building Blocks
Ed Nelson, last year's ACC rookie of the year, is back and equipped with more of a face-the-basket game. He's worked hard at improving his ball-handling, footwork and shooting, which now extends beyond 15 feet. Marvin Lewis, the team's top returning scorer, will play more of a wing position in the Yellow Jackets' three-guard offense. A junior and the team's top three-point shooter, he is being counted on to be a leader of the young squad. B.J. Elder, an ACC all-freshman selection last year, should start at wing guard. He also will have to play some point guard, as Tech struggles with depth at that position.

Other Key Returnees
Isma'il Muhammad blossomed over the summer and impressed Tech coach Paul Hewitt in early 2002-03 practices. The team's best pure jumper, he's pushing for a starting position. Robert Brooks will handle a lot of this team's dirty work, rebounding and playing tough defense. Luke Schenscher spent the summer playing with the Australian national team, including a matchup in China against top NBA pick Yao Ming. Schenscher was vital to the team last year, and he's the lone true center this year. He's bulked up, putting on about 40 pounds, to better handle the pounding under the basket. Anthony McHenry, a 6-7 swingman, is being tried at the point. He most likely will see time as a reserve forward, but his length can create problems for opposing guards.

Some Introductions
Two freshmen likely will be in the opening day starting lineup: Jarrett Jack and Chris Bosh. Without a true returning point guard on hand, the 6-3 Jack quickly established himself at that position in the preseason. He's a pure distributor with a solid body and a decent shot, although Hewitt has had to goad him into shooting more. Bosh, a McDonald's and Parade All-American regarded by some as the best freshman in the country, is 6-10 with silky moves inside and outside. He'll have to bulk up to play on the interior, but he can match floor games with anyone his size. He also has a high basketball IQ, a sign he should be able to contribute heavily right away. Jim Nystrom, a late signee considered one of the best shooters in Sweden, could develop into a key reserve. Power forward Theodis Tarver isn't expected to be a major factor this season.

Also Worth Noting
The Yellow Jackets won eight of their last 10 games last year, jelling behind point guard Tony Akins. Without Akins, the team lacks a go-to player in the clutch. … Forward Clarence Moore, the team's second-leading scorer behind Akins, decided not to play this season — a disappointment to Hewitt. … Reserve forward Halston Lane transferred to UNC Wilmington. … Tech has had nine players named ACC rookie of the year, more than anyone in the league. Bosh could make it 10. … Tech has no scholarship seniors on the roster. Walk-on guard David Ewing is the team's lone senior. … Bosh, Jack and Tarver played for the U.S. team in the Global Games in Dallas in July. Bosh was named MVP.

CHART BY: THE TECH INSIDER