Agree with all of this. The bolded part is the big piece.Except for the academics, which I'd call manageable for the appropriately motivated players, everything is fixable. The appropriately motivated players, willing to meet the academic standards, is a smaller overall pool and being able, doesn't mean wanting to.
The will & investment to fix that which is fixable has been lacking significantly, dating back to Hewitt's firing or a bit earlier.
The lack of will & investment has created a long-standing view that the GT job is not a good one. Investment has long been needed in staff salaries, staff positions, bag dropping (now NIL), recruiting budget (better travel, database & scouting access, etc.) facilities (locker room, trainings, etc.; Not McCamish where we watching games).
Net net - perception is reality. The GT job is difficult and viewed as lower tier among High Majors. That said, it has plenty of potential to be elevated with the right vision, will, and investment.
Seems we may be at that inflection point to head towards good job status (it will always be difficult to a degree), but let's see if it comes through.
The pool GT can recruit from is smaller than the pool that most of its competitors recruit from. That's just a simple fact and has been the case since post-Stephen Marbury, whose lack of academic interest left a sour taste in some mouths. It is also unlikely to change.
I've talked to multiple coaches over the years and generally they have a database of prospects they are interested in. Once they get the first official transcripts from high schools - generally at the end of Jr yr - they drop 40-50% of the prospects in the database.
Academics also impact the transfer portal for GT. Given how GT applies credit from other schools, transfers sometimes get less credit and/or credit not applied to majors than a transfer will get at other schools.
It feels like GT is looking to put more investment into fixing the program and that will hopefully help. Stoudamire building a winning program will help more than anything else.