CLEMSON, SC -- They call Georgia Tech's Jason Collier, who stands seven feet
tall, and Alvin Jones, who is 6-feet, 11-inches, the twin towers.
Nothing against either player, but maybe they're called that because in the
current era of college basketball, you would have to trade both for a good
It's a guard-dominated game and there's not much arguing against which means
more to a team, especially when you're Tech coach Bobby Cremins, who brings
Tech (9-10 overall, 2-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) into Littlejohn Coliseum
to face Clemson (7-13, 1-6) tonight at 7 p.m.
"They're kinda rare," said Cremins of the big men that have dominated the
game in the past. "The kids today that are like that, they're going to the
NBA. They don't hang around very long."
Neither do Cremins' guards, who have been the key to his success at Georgia
Tech. It started with Mark Price in the early 80's and continued with Kenny
Anderson and Stephon Marbury. Cremins lost Anderson and Marbury early to the
NBA along with Dion Glover, who left despite being injured all of last
Cremins didn't see Glover, who would have been a sophomore this season,
leaving so soon. "I think the key to Duke's success has been Mike
Krzyzewski's foresight," he said. "You've got to see ahead a little bit. I
think Mike had great foresight. The greatest challenge of coaching
superstars is that they can leave early."
Krzyzewski found a superstar, Jason Williams, to replace Corey Maggetti at
point guard and Duke is back on top of the ACC. "If they didn't get Jason,
it would be interesting to see who would play point for them," said Cremins.
Meanwhile, Cremins is fighting off speculation that this will be his final
season at Tech.
"I've always said that if I ever field I was not the right person for
Georgia Tech, I would do what I had to do," he said. "I love Georgia Tech
that much. I've also said I wouldn't live in the past. It's my goal to turn
this program around. At this point, that hasn't been accomplished. But
there's still some time this season."
Cremins, who led Tech to the Final Four with Anderson, Brian Oliver and
Dennis Scott in 1990, has seen the impact that guards have on the game.
While he's had a revolving door at guard, his team has been stable inside.
It hasn't produced success.
Tech forward Jason Collier leads the ACC in rebounding and is second in
scoring. Center Alvin Jones is second in the league in blocked shots.
However, Tech is ahead of only Clemson in field goal percentage in the ACC.
Tech is also just above Clemson in the standings.
"We're trying to get it back," said Cremins. "We've got to turn it around in
the second half of the conference season."