GT Basketball Pro Prospects- Marcus Georges-Hunt

Now that the basketball season has come and gone, it’s time to look at a few players who have NBA potential on Tech’s roster. Brian Gregory has done a tremendous job of bringing in talent in his first two years on the job, which makes these posts easy. The second player we’ll take a look at is Marcus Georges-Hunt.

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Omoregie Uzzi Scouting Report- Part 2

As many of you hopefully saw, I did Part 1 of Omoregie Uzzi’s scouting report a couple of weeks ago. If you missed it, here it is. For Part 1, I used the Clemson tape from last season and highlighted many of his strengths and weaknesses. This time around I’ll be using the game tape from Georgia Tech’s ACC Championship Game contest against Florida State. This game should be more telling of Uzzi’s ability since they have more talent along their DL. Below is the video I will use for reference in this scouting report and Uzzi is #77 at RG like usual.

Strengths

Uzzi’s first strength I pointed out from the Clemson game was his ability to dominate DL and push them back at the point of attack. Although it isn’t as noticeable in this game (given the increased competition), he is still able to control his blocks and get leverage on the DT. If you look at 15:20 in the video, Uzzi gets off the line well and pushes the DT back. He holds his block, which keeps the DT from arm tackling the B Back. Throughout the game, Uzzi shows the strength to play in the NFL and it should help him see some playing time early on.

In the Clemson game Uzzi didn’t get a chance to show his pull blocking and pass protection abilities, but luckily he was asked to do this more against FSU. At 27:50 in the video, Uzzi gets out of his stance and pulls to the left side of the line. He gets a block on the defender and takes him out of the play, opening up the field for the A back. Another example of his pull blocking is at 1:01:00, when Uzzi gets out of his stance and gets to the defender. He isn’t able to cut block the defender because the DE makes a better play to avoid the block. In this instance however, we are just looking at his ability to get out of his stance and pull with good footwork. He has impressive athleticism that helps him quickly get off the line and get into position to finish the block.

After watching the Clemson game, I had Uzzi’s pass protection down as an unknown, purely since he never had to in that game. Almost all of Tech’s passes were short routes where the ball was out of the QB’s hands in 2-3 seconds. In the ACC Championship game however, Tech was forced to pass the ball against better CBs, which means longer blocking for the OL. At 24:55, Uzzi stays in front of the DT by using his quick feet. He keeps his balance and maintains the block through the play. He does it again at 51:45, where he dominates the DT and holds his block. He did a great job of pass blocking during the ACC Championship game and he projects favorably to the NFL.

Weaknesses

Much like the Clemson game, Uzzi played well against FSU. There isn’t much to critique after watching the tape, but there are a few minor issues he needs to work on. At 29:15 in the video, Uzzi gets thrown to the side by the DT, who ends up getting a tackle on the play. This is another example of Uzzi getting caught off balance. It could certainly be a problem going against NFL caliber DTs, but it doesn’t happen consistently enough to be a major concern. He also whiffed on a few cut blocks during the game, but he has all the ability to fix this problem (check out 26:40 and 51:10). In both plays, he completely eliminates the defender from the play, which is ultimately what you want all of your OL to do. Again, after watching the FSU video he doesn’t have many weaknesses in his game, which is why he is a two time First Team All-ACC guard.

Overall

Omoregie Uzzi is an extremely athletic OG who has the ability to become a starter in the NFL. He has been a successful football player at every level of competition so far in his career and I don’t see him slowing down. Had he not been injured for the combine, I believe he would be a 3rd or 4th round pick in the draft. Since he wasn’t able to perform for scouts, however, other players have risen ahead of him and he is now a 4th or 5th round pick. What also hurts Uzzi’s draft stock is the depth at the OG position this year. There are three or four potentially elite OGs in this year’s draft along with a few potential starters, which makes it harder for him to stand out. In the end, Uzzi dominated some of the best DL in the country throughout his career and I don’t see any legitimate reasons why he won’t succeed in the NFL.

Omoregie Uzzi Scouting Report- Part 1

Now that we are through the two major parts of the pre-draft process(Combine and pro day), it is time to look at another Tech draft hopeful, Omoregie Uzzi. Uzzi was considered Georgia Tech’s best NFL prospect back in January, but his stock has slowly slipped after missing the combine due to injury. When scouts go back and look at his game tape, however, they will see an impressive prospect who is undervalued heading into the draft. This scouting report will be divided into two parts because the only game tape I could find is full games against Clemson, Florida State and Virginia Tech. It would be very difficult to complete one scouting report with 5-7 hours of youtube video, so the first part will be based off of the Clemson game. Below is the video I will reference throughout the scouting report and Uzzi is playing RG in the video.

Strengths

Uzzi is 6′ 3″ and weighs 300 pounds, which is ideal size for an NFL offensive guard. Along with his size, he shows the strength to physically dominate DL at the point of attack. At 1:16:07 in the video, Uzzi completely consumes the DL and uses his strength to push the defender back. Throughout the game he shows the strength necessary to compete as a rookie in the NFL. He has clearly spent time in the weight room and it shows on tape. What helps Uzzi along with his strength is his ability to bend his knees and get leverage on defenders. At 20:50 in the video, he shows he is able to maintain proper form throughout his block and gets good leverage to keep his ground. Throughout the game, I very rarely saw Uzzi give up ground and get pushed back by Clemson’s DTs. This is directly related to his ability to win the leverage battle in the trenches.

Another one of Uzzi’s strengths is his ability to hold his blocks and take defenders out of the play. At 50:51 and 1:02:30, he holds his block and drives the Clemson player back. The second time I just mentioned was an exceptional play by Uzzi as he completely removes the defender from the play, which is what scouts look for in OG prospects.

All of the above strengths show that Uzzi is a very capable run blocker, which would be expected coming out of a triple option system. What was more of a surprise when watching the game was how he projects as a pass blocker. At 22:20, Uzzi uses his footwork to stay in front of the DE and keeps him out of the pocket. Sine he is an excellent athlete, he is able to quickly slide and use his feet to keep his balance. Tech’s offensive mentality during this game was to utilize a lot of quick out passes though, which makes it hard to determine how he’ll hold up when he’s required to hold blocks for longer periods of time in pass protection. Right now I see his pass protection projecting favorably to the NFL, which will help him see more playing time early on.

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Weaknesses

Let me first clarify, Uzzi had a very good game against Clemson. He was able to create holes and did a great job of keeping defenders away from the plays. Therefore, these weaknesses are more consistency issues than they are actual problems with his game. The first weakness I saw was at 33:20, when Uzzi gets caught off balance and is thrown to the side by the defender. Throughout much of the game, he was able to dominate the competition and showed good footwork, so I am chalking this up as a consistency problem. The next weakness I saw was at 52:45, where Uzzi completely whiffs on a cut block and the defender blows up the play. This happened multiple times throughout the game, so it is certainly something he needs to work on. When college teams play Georgia Tech though, they know they are going to get cut blocked throughout the game, so it is easier to avoid them when you’re expecting it. NFL teams don’t use the cut block as often, which means he should be more effective at it at the next level.

Another big question scouts will have regarding Uzzi’s game is his lack of film on pull blocks. Pull blocking is a very important part of an OG’s game and I don’t recall seeing Uzzi attempt one in the Clemson game. He certainly has the athletic ability and quickness to become successful at it, but it is still a mystery.

Overall

Omoregie Uzzi is an extremely athletic OG who has three years of excellent production in the ACC. He is an experienced player that shows the skills required to translate his game to the NFL. Prior to the combine, he was considered a third or fourth round prospect. After missing the combine due to an injury however, he now projects to go in the 5th or 6th round. I believe he will wind up going somewhere in the 4th round because he has the talent level that teams won’t want to pass up on. If he goes to a strong running team, he should see some playing time as a rookie in a bench role. He has proven, with three years of All-ACC performances, that he can dominate some of the best players in the country and should be a very solid player in the NFL.

For Part 2, I am either going to use the Virginia Tech game or the FSU game in the ACC Championship. Do you guys have a preference? If so, let me know in the comments and I’ll try to use whichever one is favored. Thanks!

Men’s Basketball Team Gains Valuable Experience In Gregory’s Second Year

Georgia Tech’s season ended with a dramatic game yesterday against Boston College in the first round of the ACC tournament. It was full of excitement and disappointment, which really exemplified our season as a whole. Now that we are out of the tournament and will miss out on postseason play, it’s time to look back on the team’s season defining moments and how they are set up for the future.

Coming into this year, Tech had 7 new faces on the team. It was extremely important for Brian Gregory to have a soft schedule at the beginning of the year and give the players time to adjust. Early in the season, the team surprisingly managed to out perform many fans’ expectations, going 10-2 in non conference play and beating UGA and Saint Mary’s. Once conference play started, however, the team showed their youth and inexperience by losing close games. They lost their first five games of ACC play and had some bad losses. As they got deeper into the conference schedule, however, they played much better and looked much more competitive. In the last 13 games of the season(excluding yesterday’s loss), Tech went 6-7, with four of the losses by four points or less. Although those numbers aren’t great, they show that the team settled down and started playing better after gaining some experience. This was quite evident when Tech fought back against #6 Miami on the road and Marcus Georges-Hunt tipped in a missed shot at the buzzer to seal the win. That was Tech’s biggest win in quite some time and proved that Gregory has the team headed in the right direction.

Over the course of the season, there was clearly improvement in almost every player’s game. All of the freshmen showed development and the upperclassmen learned their roles on the team. A successful team in college basketball has defined roles for it’s players and knows how to play together. Daniel Miller turned into one of the best shot blockers in the country while Chris Bolden and Marcus Georges-Hunt turned into effective scorers who the team trusted to take big shots. Brandon Reed became an important 3 point shooter and Kammeon Holsey turned into a scoring big man off the bench, earning ACC 6th Man of the Year honors from multiple media outlets. Each player started to show their strengths on the court and played to their advantages, which shows coach Gregory did a great job with this team.

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Looking ahead to next year, the biggest question mark heading into next season will undoubtably be at the point guard position. We are losing both Mfon Udofia and Pierre Jordan (our only two seniors), which means it will be up to Solomon Poole, Corey Heyward, and Travis Jorgensen to lead the team. In the few minutes Poole played this year, he looked overanxious to make plays and confused in the offense, but transitioning from high school to college in the same season is an incredibly difficult task. Corey Heyward, who will most likely be Poole’s back-up, suffered a torn ACL before the start of last season, so it is unclear what he can even do on the court. The third player on the depth chart, Travis Jorgensen, is an incoming recruit from Missouri who will obviously have no college experience heading into next season. That’s three players who will all have to gain serious experience early in the season next year for Tech to move to the next tier in the ACC.

When Brian Gregory was hired by Georgia Tech, many believed his job was a three or four year rebuilding effort based on the state of the program at the time. After Gregory’s second year here at Tech, I am very optimistic about the direction we are headed in. He has brought in young players who have different strengths and can compliment each other on the court. Even more importantly, he is not afraid to bench experienced veterans (Jason Morris and Kammeon Holsey) in order to give freshmen immediate playing time if they deserve it. The big wins and heartbreaking losses that our program went through this season were incredibly important for the team’s future success and helped our team develop the experience necessary to hopefully compete and win against upper tier programs next year.