As they sometimes do for promising young clubs, injuries short circuited last season's hopes of a post season berth for GT, and they stumbled to a 6-12 mark in the ACC and 16-17 record overall.
Perhaps their best overall player, Robert Carter Jr. (one of those who missed time last season hurt), transferred to Maryland. But the Jackets brought in 4 transfers of their own this season, and will have a completely different look.
Will it lead to more success?
Only if the new players find the right chemistry with the returners, and Brian Gregory's squad can stay healthy as well.
As if they made an NBA deadline trade, Maryland and GT exchanged PFs, with former Terrapin Charles Mitchell coming to Atlanta to take the place of Carter Jr. Mitchell will be counted on for points down low, and while his upside may not be that of Carter's, he may bring more toughness. Alabama transfer Nick Jacobs, and former Ole Miss big Demarco Cox,will also help down low. Cox in particular will be key. Incoming 6'10 235 pound freshman Ben Lammers, is an intriguing prospect who should see early minutes as well. Marcus Georges-Hunt is probably GT's best returning player, and can fill it from the wing when on. At the point it will be a competition between incumbent (another oft injured player) Travis Jorgensen, Sophomore Corey Heyward, and yet another transfer Josh Heath. One of the three needs to emerge as the leader. Streaky shooter Chris Bolden, and freshman slasher Tadaric Jackson will man the 2 guard spot. There are some nice pieces here, especially up front, but will they get good enough guard play to improve as a team?
G/F Marcus Geoges-Hunt - 6'5 219 Jr
F Charles Mitchell - 6'8 260 Jr.
F Demarco Cox - 6'8 276 Sr.
G Chris Bolden - 6'3 216 Jr.
What to Expect in 2014-15:
Call me crazy but I like the depth down low and the make-up of the roster. Can Gregory get them to gel? And can the trifecta of PGs take care of the ball? If so, they might surprise some folks. NIT is more likely than NCAA, but they should be improved.
How they match-up with the 'Canes:
With the multitude of BIGs they Jackets have, they might give the thin front court of UM trouble. Miami holds a huge edge at the guard spots and I expect Sheldon McClellan to be a much better version of Georges-Hunt. Ditto Deandre Burnett and Bolden. But if GT pounds the glass against the 'Canes, they won't be an easy out by any means.
Stay tuned for more ACC Team previews as we count down to Tip Off