Gregory gives Izzo ‘everything’ on Tech’s game plan vs. Georgia

Wonder if Mark Fox will be laughing when he hears Brian Gregory has been talking to Tom Izzo. (Curtis Compton, AJC)

Wonder if Mark Fox will be laughing when he hears Brian Gregory has been talking to Tom Izzo. (Curtis Compton, AJC)

Brian Gregory has his share of doubters in the Georgia Tech fan base, but there’s one thing he doesn’t have to convince anybody about: He knows how to beat Georgia, going 4-0 in the rivalry.

He also didn’t have to convince Michigan State coach Tom Izzo.

Not surprisingly, Izzo phoned Gregory, his close friend and a former Michigan State assistant, for insight on Georgia as he began preparations for Friday’s NCAA tournament opening game between the Bulldogs and Spartans in Charlotte.

When asked Tuesday if he had been contacted by Izzo, Gregory laughed and said, “Oh yeah. Sunday night.” The phone call came soon after the tournament brackets were announced.

“You can quote me on this: I gave him everything,” Gregory said.

“I like (Georgia coach) Mark Fox. Once or twice a year we don’t like each other during recruiting, but otherwise we’re friends. But there’s a lot of green blood in my veins.”

And, with punctuation that is sure to go over well in Athens (not), Gregory said: “There might be debate on a lot of things. But there’s no debate on who I want to win that game.”

Tech won the regular season opener for both teams 80-73 at McCamish Pavilion, which brought the Jackets’ record to 4-0 against Georgia under Gregory. The rest of the season wasn’t nearly as successful for Gregory, as the team finished 12-19, including 3-15 in the ACC.

Gregory said Georgia “is a really good team,” and referenced seniors Marcus Thornton (whom he tried to recruit when he coached Dayton) and Nemanja Djurisic, and guards Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann.

“We just went over what we’ve done the last four years that I thought was successful,” Gregory said of his conversation with Izzo. “But coach Izzo really doesn’t need any help from me. They’re playing exceptionally well. They might’ve won the Big Ten Championship if not for a missed call by the officials.”

When asked about specifics he shared regarding Georgia, Gregory said, “One thing we’ve been able to do is we didn’t put them at the free throw line. Mann and Gaines can can control games at the free throw line. And then for us, to take away their set plays was key. Get them out of their comfort zone with their sets.”

There it is, direct from the Sparty fan base.

Some recent ramblings from the digital jukebox
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— AJC: Tech expected to keep Gregory, but former coach (Hewitt) fired again
— MyAJC: Column on Quinn, Dimitroff defending moves, philosophy
— AJC: Exclusive: Q&A with Quinn, Dimitroff on Falcons’ moves
— MyAJC: Tech’s candidate pool may be thin if Gregory fired
— AJC: Tech’s decision on Brian Gregory tougher than you might think
— MyAJC: Georgia erratic but ceiling high in tournament
— AJC: NCAA tourney: Dogs should be in, Panthers must do a little more
— MyAJC: Georgia State at center of state’s hoops’ rebirth
— AJC: Jim Boeheim’s arrogance catches up to him
— AJC: Erving says Hawks should do better job embracing their history
— MyAJC: Hank Aaron knows exactly how Dominique Wilkins feels
— MyAJC: Despite loss, Fox has Georgia pointed in right direction
— AJC: Mark Fox deserved contract extension (which he finally signed)
— AJC: Falcons, Ndamukong Suh and waiting on fake noise penalty
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— MyAJC: Will Gonzalez be given some latitude during Braves’ rebuilding?
— MyAJC: Falcons’ roster gutting could have big names
— AJC: Data show Falcons got least (10-22) from most ($279.3 million)
— MyAJC: Georgia shows why we still can’t assume success
— AJC: Are Hawks getting Ray Allen? Odds site makes them favorite
— MyAJC: Private agendas still at play in Hawks’ offices

 

Reader Comments 0

61 comments
Guyon
Guyon

Gregory should ask Izzo for tips on how to beat UVA. Tech scored 28 points against UVA.

Aikendawg
Aikendawg

Losing to Tech was pooh pooh. Fox played everybody including the water boy to get everyone loosened up for the season. If Izzo uses Tech's scouting report he's in trouble.

Graybeard Jacket
Graybeard Jacket

@Aikendawg  You are delusional if you think Fox didn't play to win that game, but if that makes you feel better...

heeldawg
heeldawg

I'm sure Hall of Fame Coach Tom Izzo needs scouting help from the coach of a team that ended the season on an impressive 4-16 run. 


Tech was 10-2 before losing to eventual ACC tournament champion Notre Dame 83-76 in double OT on January 3.  The Georgia win was part of that season-opening record.  After that, the team imploded.


Clearly, Brian Gregory is one hell of a coach.

Graybeard Jacket
Graybeard Jacket

@heeldawg What happened was GT went on to play in the ACC and the mutts went to play the cupcakes in the SEC (UK excluded).

Wes 1948
Wes 1948

@heeldawg  Gregory needs to be replaced and Tech needs to hire Sam Mitchell, a real basketball coach!

robinhood999
robinhood999

Ga to win-State won't rebound against us and can't hit free throws.

Even have a chance against Va.

Graybeard Jacket
Graybeard Jacket

@robinhood999 Anytime you show to play "you have a chance"..  Right now you're winning the rebound count by 7, but you're losing by 7 points.  

escapeplan
escapeplan

that alone is reason to bring him back.  THWG

GTMan1949
GTMan1949

Greg should be asking Izzo how to keep a lead and who should take the last shot to win the game

GTDude
GTDude

Well, there you have it, UGA will come from behind and take the lead in the last minute then win the game when Mich State can't get off a last second shot

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@GTDude uga is 0-4 against GT under Gregory.  That's the one game he knows how to win.

Get The Picture
Get The Picture

From the looks of things Gregory needs a little more yeller in his veins.

GTMan1949
GTMan1949

Gregory needs to get pointers from Izzo on how to hold a lead, and put right players on court in last minute to take a last shot to win a game ........

he_of_stinky_wind
he_of_stinky_wind

omg, Izzo won't have to watch film  @ 11:00


What a nothing story.

KBP
KBP

As a Dawg fan, Coach Gregory has pointed out a weakness that has plagued my Dawgs for the last 3 years and that is "get them out of their comfort zone with their sets". That is because as much as basketball is a team game, you still need players who can create off the dribble when your sets are defended. Only Mann creates effectively off the dribble and therein lies the problem.  Brandon Morris would have helped but . . .


Coach Fox, are you listening to your competitors? Recruit better.


Go Dawgs!

awbuzz
awbuzz

talk about making a mountain out of NOTHING!

What else do you expect him to have said.   The double secret message he told Izzo that the key to winning was scoring more points than UGA.


For those moaning and groaning about it.... get real.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@awbuzz 

He probably told Tom to make sure that MSU played strong D, rebounded well and kept a good eye on Gaines and Mann.  Must have taken at least 10 mins for his "scouting report" before they got on to asking about each others families.

Carl Elias
Carl Elias

Gregory needs to say the heck with helping out his former boss, he needs to have his behind out RECRUITING for GT to try to upgrade our talent level.

Gregory KNOWS he's not long for the GT HC job, so he's trying to build bridges to set himself up for an Asst. job with a Major Program WHEN he gets fired after next season.

This bush-league move by Gregory is WHY MBob should have eaten the financial loss and FIRED Gregory after our 1st round exit from ACC tourney.

Does anyone believe that Gregory has time to "help out" former bosses with scouting reports for their NCAA Tourney run?

When you are as bad as GT MBB has been under Gregory, you don't have the TIME for such trivial activities.

MBob giving this guy another chance is an embarrassment if he is going to use his 2nd chance to do crap like this!

MouthBreathingClown
MouthBreathingClown

@The Wiener I know it's a foreign concept to you but, they are "friends".  

Carl Elias
Carl Elias

@GTBob

That's not my team!

As poor as our Talent level is Gregory should have told him I'm too busy breaking down tape of potential recruits to help you.

Instead he wastes time to yuk it up with a former boss.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Carl Elias 

Gregory spends 30 minutes talking to Izzo on the phone on Sunday night and you come unglued???

Mulk
Mulk

@Carl Elias


I'm sure the report didn't last as long as your post. There is nothing bush league about helping your mentor.

Get real.

GTBob
GTBob

@Carl Elias Don't worry. Gregory doesn't have some magical code. Your team will still have a decent chance at beating Michigan St.

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

@Carl Elias @GTBob

So what you're saying is that on Sunday night when Gregory answered the phone, and realized it was his friend and former boss calling, he [Gregory] should have responded somewhat along the lines of, "sorry, can't talk.  I'm busy breaking down tape of potential recruits,"  then hung up?  

Wes 1948
Wes 1948

@Carl Elias  Maybe MBob needs to be fired right along with Gregory!  To give an extended contract to a loser is unacceptable!  It does not happen in the business world!

LoyaltotheG
LoyaltotheG

definitely a black eye that fox is winless against this guy, but even as a dawg fan I can admit....if beating uga's basketball team is the crown jewel of your career over these last 4 years at tech, you are probably on borrowed time.  acc is definitely superior to sec in basketball, but I thought Gregory would move the jackets up to the middle of the standings.


Wes 1948
Wes 1948

@LoyaltotheG  Gregory can't recruit, can't coach, and is a loser!  And MBob is right in there with him!

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

Football, basketball, baseball, golf, US News & World Report.   We're gonna have to start paying property taxes on Athens, GA soon.  At least they still have equestrian.  

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@Carl Elias When the domination is as comprehensive as ours is over Georgia, I see no reason not to toot our own horn.  Plus, like I said, you still have equestrian.  Oh, gymnastics, too!  Of course we don't have a gymnastics team.   If we did, we'd probably win that, too.

Carl Elias
Carl Elias

@GeorgeStein

You think that 2-12 is "owning" an opponent to the level that you wanna brag about us paying property taxes in Athens?

Really?

Please enjoy the win from last November and stop embarrassing us reasonable, true GT FB fans.

Lowcountry Jacket
Lowcountry Jacket

@Carl Elias @GeorgeStein Rather like to think of it as 2-4 (under Johnson).  Not a great record, but if Chan could have won a couple here and there -- like at least Pepper Rodgers and Bill Curry did -- people wouldn't be talking about 2-12.  In 2013 Tech should have won, but couldn't hold a 20-point lead, and it still went to 2OT.  Last year it went to OT at Sanford and Tech won. This year should be a whale of a game, too.  And I think Tech is way overdue for a win at Grant Field.  So, while we may not win the majority of games against UGA, the days of 5-, 6-, and 7-year losing skids is probably over for a while.

Carl Elias
Carl Elias

@Lowcountry Jacket

Johnson is 2-5 vs. UGA.

He won the first game, got smug then lost 5 in a row and then he won last year.

This yr. is critical, won one, lose five is not what we need vs. the mutts.

heeldawg
heeldawg

@Lowcountry Jacket @Carl Elias @GeorgeStein I wouldn't bet the farm (or the laptop) on Tech winning this year--or any other year. The last two years have indeed gone to OT--but Georgia would have won handily in 2013 had an ACL injury not knocked Aaron Murray out prior to the game. Georgia would have won the 2014 game straight up had its head coach not elected to pooch kick the kickoff after what should have been the game-winning score--and that was with the most successful team of Coach Johnson's Yellow Jacket tenure.  Tech will take a step back this year with all of the losses at the skill positions. Georgia's defense should continue to improve, and the offense should pick up right where it left off last season, making Georgia the favorite to pull off a victory on the Flats in 2015.  I've never been one of CPJ's detractors--he does a great job with the talent he has to work with, and usually wins a few games he shouldn't, which is the mark of a good football coach. But the excessive exuberance of the Yellow Jacket fan base after last year's win reminds me of the same jaw-flapping commentary after Johnson's first win over Georgia--and we all know what happened after that. Will there be another long run of Georgia wins? Who knows?  But I think it is safe to say that as long as Richt is at Georgia, the Dawgs will win the majority of those games--and that Tech will be a likely underdog this year once again.


Since 1964, Georgia is 38-13 (0.745) against Tech, with win streaks of seven games (twice), six games and 5 games (twice) during that span. When Georgia is ranked, the win discrepancy is even more striking, with Georgia carrying a 24-7 (0.774) majority in those games. Georgia has been ranked 10 of the 14 times the two teams have played during Mark Richt's tenure in Athens--and they have beaten Tech 8 of those 10 games (interestingly, when Tech is ranked, Richt has a 5-2 record against them--including a 2-0 record when Tech is ranked higher than Georgia).


Paul Johnson is a good coach, and he's done some good things with the Yellow Jacket program--but the odds are pretty high that the 3:1 win ratio for Georgia will continue as it has for the last half century.  And some multi-game Georgia win streaks will likely be in that total.



Lowcountry Jacket
Lowcountry Jacket

@heeldawg @Lowcountry Jacket @Carl Elias @GeorgeStein Thanks for the compliments on CPJ.  There was a time during the Chan years that many Tech fans were jealous of Coach Richt being at UGA.  Over the years most Tech fans have really come to like Coach Johnson and are happy to have him representing the program.  No longer jealous of another team's coach.  (What he could have done at UGA, if things were switched. He coached under June Jones and knows the pro offense).  


I agree with most of your points...  Optimistically, I think Tech wins about 30% of future matchups at best. With Murray healthy and playing during the 2013 game, it's probably a clear UGA win without needing OT.  But Hutson Mason played a great game, and the win is largely on him.  I don't think UGA really anticipated Vad Lee making those deep throws early on which accounted for the 20-0 start.  (The Georgia players on the sidelines looked shell-shocked until Gurley made that TD before the half).  UGA made the adjustments in the 2nd half and was prepared.  Vad didn't run the option well, so that advantage was taken away from Tech.


I do think a lot of UGA fans have selective memory concerning last year's game and the "If only Coach Richt hadn't...".  At several points during the game, the TV announcers mentioned that the two teams were evenly matched, which is rarely the case in a Tech-UGA game.  Tech completely dominated the 2nd half, with Georgia's defense looking like they were out of gas.  Couldn't stop Tech's offense.  Hutson Mason put together a great drive at the end -- looked like one of Murray's drives -- but it took a 4th-and-goal play to get the go-ahead touchdown.  Remember, Tech was putting the game away with just over two minutes remaining, and if Justin Thomas doesn't make that mental error and drop the football, then no one's even talking about a squib kick!  There's no go-ahead TD with 00:18 left.  If Thomas simply throws the football out of bounds, it looks like Georgia might have held the Jackets to a field goal.  If Tech makes the kick, it would have meant a desperation drive to tie the game with about a minute less time to work with on the clock than they had when Justin fumbled.  


2015 should be similar.  The new guys filling in the A-Back and B-back positions are reportedly very good, and Broderick Snoddy is coming back.  Justin Thomas is back, and his backup Tim Byerly, though not as fast, is a more physical athlete and runs the option well.  Mark Bradley noted some time ago that Tech's victories over UGA seem to come in clusters.  Since 1984 this has been the case, the lone outlier being 2008.  Tech hasn't won at Grant Field since 1999, and barring the Jasper Sanks episode, you'd have to go all the way back to 1989 for a win against Georgia.  26 years for a decisive win at home.  Tech is long overdue, and I think the numbers break in their favor.  If only Tech's season ticket holders don't sell their tickets to Georgia fans like in 2013.  No wonder Vad Lee was nervous... It was like an away game!