When does Pastner feel heat

Root4GT

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,546
Pastner has had his issues with recruiting no doubt but they are exaggerated sometimes unintentionally and sometimes disingenuously by ignoring the new realities of transfers being key.

Lets go by his classes.

2017 - Brought in Jose, Moses, Evan Cole and Curtis Haywood. At the time it looked like a solid PG, a solid wing, and two projects. In retrospect it was an ACC PoY, ACC DPoY, an okay depth piece for a couple years. HE also brought in Brandon Alston who gave us a solid depth guard which we needed. Overall this was a great class at identifying hidden talent, the thing a lot of people constantly point to needing.

2018 - Brought in Devoe, Sjolund, Khalid Moore, and James Banks as a two year transfer. At that time Devoe was a highly thought of prospect, Moore a solid wing guy, Sjolund a project, and Banks a high potential player at a position of need that was unproven. As it turned out Devoe was great, Moore was basically what we thought (role wing player), Sjolund a bust, and Banks a great defensive big with okay offensive tools. Also brought in Phillips to provide us with a little PG depth but it didn't really pan out for him here.

Those two years were solid recruiting years. People remember otherwise because our roster was in such a bad situation we were hoping for absolute home run classes. But the classes themselves each brought in two multi year high level performers and another player that was a multi year depth piece.

2019 - Didenko and Price with Usher and Parham as transfers. This was the big swing and miss class, and even at the time it was seen as bad. Neither the recruits gave us anything. But Usher was a huge get who was a 2.5 year contributor and Parham gave us two good years of depth at guard despite not living up to billing that he had at VMI. Bad HS recruiting, but good additions out of the portal.

2020 - Gigiberia, Maxwell, Meka from HS and Howard and Sturdivant out of the portal. At the time Gigiberia committed he was a 4* while Maxwell and Meka were both good prospects (I believe Maxwell was mr basketball in Carolina). Gigi never panned out while Maxwell and Meka both had injuries early and often that hindered them. Wasn't a phenomenal class but it had solid potential pieces. In retrospect the injuries to Maxwell and Meka leave it the most what if class to me. Howard was an okay depth piece, but at the time it seemed the idea was to have him try to help bridge the gap while Gigiberia got experience. However, Gigi didn't develop, and Howard was just missued . I don't really know how much I would chalk those two to bad recruiting vs misuse and a lack of development. Either way it lands on Pastner. Sturdivant was the cream of the crop having already given us two solid years of production, and returning next year having finished the season strong.

2021 - Kelly, Coleman, Moore and bringing in Smith with 4 years of eligibility. Easily Pastner's best class at time of signing. 3 four stars and Moore was borderline iirc. And all four have them have shown potential already each averaging over 7.5 with Coleman and 9.5 and Kelly at 14.4 as a soph.

2022 - Martynov brought in as a reclassify and Bagatskis as a project. Franklin and Terry out of the portal. Weaker recruits from HS, but too early to see if they pan out. After the 2021 class that isn't terribly surprising as early playing time, for anyone that wasn't a big, wasn't likely to be available. Transfer portal targets were straight up successes. 2nd and 3rd leading scorers, and leading rebounder. Ultimately Franklin being a one year player limits how much he helps the program overall, but we needed someone who could contribute down low right away and he gave us that.

2023 - Blue Cain is a great get. As of right now we only have one more opening and should be, and appear to be, saving it for the transfer portal. Some will argue we should be expecting two or three transfers out and go ahead and lock in another recruit or two, but Pastner isn't the type to run off players to get under cap, nor would I want him to be, and it's possible we're planning to go heavier in the portal. One of the new dynamics is it's probably ideal to have some players go spend their first year or two somewhere else and then transfer in. That way you're getting the more productive years without spending the scholarship on the development years. In any case, we'll have to see how it all plays out.


Overall, the two middle years of 19-20 weren't good for different reasons (19 just not good overall, and injuries hurt 20 a good bit) and that is hurting us as we move into the years they would have been upperclassmen. Otherwise, when you're considering both highschool players and transfers, the classes have in general been good enough to be competitive but not spectacular, and not good enough to overcome the 19/20 classes so far. IF Pastner can continue to bring in the type of classes that have 2 or 3 multi year contributors (either starters or even depth pieces) then we should be able to get back to being competitive most years. The caveat to that is he has to figure out his big man use.


The reality is unless we up our NIL game the level of recruiting, regardless of coach, probably won't go that much higher. Maybe switching coaches brings a bit more consistency, or maybe a bit better fit in regards to bigs, but I wouldn't expect classes of four 4*s or any five stars to be the norm without NIL improvement even if we make a great hire. Then the question is would an improved NIL be enough to get Pastner to where he needs to be in terms of recruiting. There's no way to know, but perhaps with a better NIL program we could have convince Jose and/or Moses to come back one more year. Maybe not but we don't know. Maybe with a better NIL program we could have landed a second impact big out of the portal that could have made a difference this year.

Pastner may or may not be the answer long term, with odds are that he isn't. If we fire him I would wager that his replacement, that we would get this year, likely wouldn't be either. What we do know is we need to improve our NIL competitiveness. Do that and maybe Pastner is the guy. If not we're more likely to land a coach who is. So If we have to chose just one, I'd rather fix the NIL deal first then make the coaching change, if needed, rather than forcing the coaching change now without the NIL situation in place that the better names would probably want. Of course it isn't strictly an either or and it's possible a new coach could themselves help the NIL situation, but that's something I would expect the AD to be considering.
Good analysis. You make a lot of good point for sure. I don't agree on your recruting assessments but you make a well laid out case. In my view the 2021 class with the 3 sophs and Smith is the only really good recruting class that didn't rely on real longshots. In my view classes similar to that one are necessary annually, not necessarily 4 players, but at least 2 of equal caliber if GT is to be an above average ACC team.

Clearly NIL is an issue going forward. GT has not been competitive for 5 stars since Hewitt brought in Favors. GT is not likely to be getting 5 stars going forward. Getting 1 or 2 solid 4 stars or guys who have blossomed in college should be the norm if we expect to have a competitive BB program. NIL can clearly help.

What role does the coach have with regards to NIL is a fair question. NIL is obviously new and evolving. Coaches can play a significant role in NIL now in year 2 of NIL. Will CJP be active in developing GT BB's NIL program? I don't think any of us know. In my opinion he needs to be heavily involved or he is letting others determine his fate unnecessarily.
 

daddee724

Georgia Tech Fan
Messages
93
Excellent post lvgt.. I would only add 1) the assistant issue. Is his loyalty to these hampering our recruiting ? 2) his stubborn refusal to abandon the princeton offense, and 3) his consistently poor early season success.
Right @57jacket and those things has nothing to do with NIL money. How does it take you 2 seasons to figure out that offense needed to be scrapped. Coincidentally the main focal point of the offense has not even played major mins since the switch to go small ball. I still think he should've have created some playground offense that could've made Rodney relevant in aspects on court. They have not officially bagged b/c the last 7 mins of game yesterday showed glimpses of it which is why there wasn't much ball movement. Last 7 mins look like GT that was on the 9 game losing streak.....
 

lv20gt

Helluva Engineer
Messages
5,573
Excellent post lvgt.. I would only add 1) the assistant issue. Is his loyalty to these hampering our recruiting ? 2) his stubborn refusal to abandon the princeton offense, and 3) his consistently poor early season success.


There are certainly other factors to consider. Not sure how much loyalty to assistants is an issue. Feels like we've had a good amount of assistant turnover. But it's certainly worth looking at assistants as well and wouldn't be surprised to see changes there. The princton is my personal biggest gripe. I think he fell in love with it after year 1 and should have scrapped it for good when we made the change in year 4 mid year. He needs to decide if he wants that to be the base or not and if it is then he has to absolutely make sure he has a big capable of filling that role. Martynov could develop into that, but I doubt he'd be ready next year, and even so I don't really think we've ever been that good at running the Princton. It was a good catch them off guard offense for a year but even then there were things about how we ran it that weren't really good. IMO he needs to abandon it unless he gets an assistant who really knows it inside and out.

The early season thing is something that is partially true but I think people get hung up on it because it's an easy talking point but its more effect than cause and the causes aren't consistent.

Year 1, I'd argue given the circumstances we got off to a fast start. We didn't end the year strong with the NIT run but prior to that we had gone 3-7 in our last 10. Considering the transition from the coaching change and the new systems, I wouldn't consider this an example of that.

Years 2,3, and 6 were just bad years and you could argue we started slow, but it isn't really the same dynamic as some of the others.

Year 4 we certainly had a big change in quality, but that was the year that Jose got hurt and Usher has to sit the first half so I'm not sure how much that year projects into the future. The former isn't really something you can coach to prevent, and the latter shouldn't be an issue with the rule changes.

Year 5 and 7 (this year) are the most clear examples of that, but they aren't really the same issue but rather had the same, kind of, effect. Year 5 we lost to State and Mercer but even by decemeber we were playing well (5-1 with the lone loss @ranked FSU). I think the staff and players were not mentally ready to start the year and took for granted the first game, and then fatigue (mental and physical) played a part the next night. But from an approach to the season aspect that group was fine. This year we approached the season wrong. We tried to force the issue with Howard at the high post, and with our guards/wings forcing the ball down low to back down opponents. I haven't looked at the stats, but I would be willing to be we took a significantly higher number of 3 pointers over the last 10 games than we did early in the year. Both of those are issues we need to avoid, taking the opposing team for granted and not having a system that fits to our players skills, but it's separate issues. FWIW I'm more worried about the latter as we had a similar issue in year 4 even if injuries were the bigger deal.
 

Techwood Relict

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,153
Excellent post lvgt.. I would only add 1) the assistant issue. Is his loyalty to these hampering our recruiting ? 2) his stubborn refusal to abandon the princeton offense, and 3) his consistently poor early season success.
I vote number 2.
Shatter Number 2 GIF by Dot Com
 

Augusta_Jacket

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
7,976
Location
Augusta, Georgia
I think the definition of recruiting has changed greatly in the past few years. People who were great at paying players before NIL aren't necessarily going to thrive under the new recruiting paradigm.

Actually, those guys will thrive. Now it's legal and they aren't having to scramble to build the financial support networks. They already have them in place.
 

Root4GT

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,546
There are certainly other factors to consider. Not sure how much loyalty to assistants is an issue. Feels like we've had a good amount of assistant turnover. But it's certainly worth looking at assistants as well and wouldn't be surprised to see changes there. The princton is my personal biggest gripe. I think he fell in love with it after year 1 and should have scrapped it for good when we made the change in year 4 mid year. He needs to decide if he wants that to be the base or not and if it is then he has to absolutely make sure he has a big capable of filling that role. Martynov could develop into that, but I doubt he'd be ready next year, and even so I don't really think we've ever been that good at running the Princton. It was a good catch them off guard offense for a year but even then there were things about how we ran it that weren't really good. IMO he needs to abandon it unless he gets an assistant who really knows it inside and out.

The early season thing is something that is partially true but I think people get hung up on it because it's an easy talking point but its more effect than cause and the causes aren't consistent.

Year 1, I'd argue given the circumstances we got off to a fast start. We didn't end the year strong with the NIT run but prior to that we had gone 3-7 in our last 10. Considering the transition from the coaching change and the new systems, I wouldn't consider this an example of that.

Years 2,3, and 6 were just bad years and you could argue we started slow, but it isn't really the same dynamic as some of the others.

Year 4 we certainly had a big change in quality, but that was the year that Jose got hurt and Usher has to sit the first half so I'm not sure how much that year projects into the future. The former isn't really something you can coach to prevent, and the latter shouldn't be an issue with the rule changes.

Year 5 and 7 (this year) are the most clear examples of that, but they aren't really the same issue but rather had the same, kind of, effect. Year 5 we lost to State and Mercer but even by decemeber we were playing well (5-1 with the lone loss @ranked FSU). I think the staff and players were not mentally ready to start the year and took for granted the first game, and then fatigue (mental and physical) played a part the next night. But from an approach to the season aspect that group was fine. This year we approached the season wrong. We tried to force the issue with Howard at the high post, and with our guards/wings forcing the ball down low to back down opponents. I haven't looked at the stats, but I would be willing to be we took a significantly higher number of 3 pointers over the last 10 games than we did early in the year. Both of those are issues we need to avoid, taking the opposing team for granted and not having a system that fits to our players skills, but it's separate issues. FWIW I'm more worried about the latter as we had a similar issue in year 4 even if injuries were the bigger deal.
This is copied from a post on the Hive. I haven't double checked but I suspect the numbers are correct and they clearly say GT under CJP does not play well at least until Mid February:
Tech's record on Feb. 15th in each of the past 7 seasons...
2023: 9-16/3-13
2022: 9-15/3-11
2021: 10-8/6-6
2020: 11-13/6-8
2019: 11-14/3-9
2018: 11-15/4-9
2017: 14-11/6-7
 

lv20gt

Helluva Engineer
Messages
5,573
This is copied from a post on the Hive. I haven't double checked but I suspect the numbers are correct and they clearly say GT under CJP does not play well at least until Mid February:
Tech's record on Feb. 15th in each of the past 7 seasons...
2023: 9-16/3-13
2022: 9-15/3-11
2021: 10-8/6-6
2020: 11-13/6-8
2019: 11-14/3-9
2018: 11-15/4-9
2017: 14-11/6-7

Data without analysis isn't all that useful.

For example in 2021 we were 6-6 in conference having played 4 games against the teams that would be #1 and #2 in conference, as well as @Duke, @ Clemson (we had played them twice as well) and @UL on one nights rest as a make up for covid. It's not that we only started playing well in mid february. We were playing well most of the year, after the first two games, but schedule was front loaded very heavily. We had games during that time against Pitt, NCSU, and UAB canceled.

18/19/22 are what I said. It wasn't that we played significantly different later in the year. Sure we dind't play well early. That's not usually what people mean when they refer to slow starts. We weren't looking back at the end of those years and thinking "why couldn't we play this way earlier in the year".

20 and 23 were slow starts, but the why is the important thing, which is what just presenting data without deeper analysis doesn't give you.

In 17 we were 3-7 after February 1st before the NIT so it's hard to argue that we were a slow start that year when it was better than the end, prior to the NIT run.
 

Root4GT

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,546
Data without analysis isn't all that useful.

For example in 2021 we were 6-6 in conference having played 4 games against the teams that would be #1 and #2 in conference, as well as @Duke, @ Clemson (we had played them twice as well) and @UL on one nights rest as a make up for covid. It's not that we only started playing well in mid february. We were playing well most of the year, after the first two games, but schedule was front loaded very heavily. We had games during that time against Pitt, NCSU, and UAB canceled.

18/19/22 are what I said. It wasn't that we played significantly different later in the year. Sure we dind't play well early. That's not usually what people mean when they refer to slow starts. We weren't looking back at the end of those years and thinking "why couldn't we play this way earlier in the year".

20 and 23 were slow starts, but the why is the important thing, which is what just presenting data without deeper analysis doesn't give you.

In 17 we were 3-7 after February 1st before the NIT so it's hard to argue that we were a slow start that year when it was better than the end, prior to the NIT run.
There is a real consistency to GT BB being out of the picture by mid Feb. we had one year where we were just average out of 7. Spin how you want but that’s a clear and obvious pattern.
 

57jacket

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,082
Data without analysis isn't all that useful.

For example in 2021 we were 6-6 in conference having played 4 games against the teams that would be #1 and #2 in conference, as well as @Duke, @ Clemson (we had played them twice as well) and @UL on one nights rest as a make up for covid. It's not that we only started playing well in mid february. We were playing well most of the year, after the first two games, but schedule was front loaded very heavily. We had games during that time against Pitt, NCSU, and UAB canceled.

18/19/22 are what I said. It wasn't that we played significantly different later in the year. Sure we dind't play well early. That's not usually what people mean when they refer to slow starts. We weren't looking back at the end of those years and thinking "why couldn't we play this way earlier in the year".

20 and 23 were slow starts, but the why is the important thing, which is what just presenting data without deeper analysis doesn't give you.

In 17 we were 3-7 after February 1st before the NIT so it's hard to argue that we were a slow start that year when it was better than the end, prior to the NIT run.
Yeah, the slow start this year is damning. He should have seen Franklin was our best option in PRE SEASON. And the offense should have been changed after the 1st few games. These are really poor coaching errors. Program killing type.
 

leatherneckjacket

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,960
Location
Atlanta, GA
Look, we can argue the causes and effects of slow starts, but it is clear that Pastner does not set his teams up for success at the beginning of the season no matter how you wish to explain it. Everyone on the staff should have known/seen that running the offense through Howard was a horrible idea. Yet, not only did the staff go into the season with this plan as the primary offensive strategy, but they continued with it for far too long despite horrendous results. If this was a single data point, I might be more forgiving. But it is a clear trend that he struggles with lineups, rotations, offensive scheme, and adjustments year in and year out before finally putting it all together far too late in the season to salvage anything. The exception was when we had Jose who could will ourselves to wins in spite of the early struggles of the team.
 

YlJacket

Helluva Engineer
Messages
3,233
Yeah, the slow start this year is damning. He should have seen Franklin was our best option in PRE SEASON. And the offense should have been changed after the 1st few games. These are really poor coaching errors. Program killing type.
IMHO the bigger mistake was setting up an offense that focused on a weak link at the 5 spot instead of the strength of the team that are the guards/wings. Even when Franklin played the 5 in the original offense he was generally swallowed up by bigger/longer 5's in a crowded lane. It wasn't until we put the ball in the guards/wings hands and put him in space that we saw the results with Franklin.
 

Root4GT

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,546
Root do you, have you ever admitted making a mistake? LOL. We would all faint.
Sure but you must admit GT being a poor BB team by mid Feb is clear and obvious.

Sturdivant became a better player by season’s end than I had said he was. Missed that one and am glad I did.

I thought CGC was a solid hire when the hire was made. Couldn’t have been more wrong on that one.

There are other times as well. But when the record shows a losing record as it does than I don’t think I am wrong.

Now can you answer the same question. LOL
 

UgaBlows

Helluva Engineer
Messages
6,492
My answer is that recruiting a kid to come to GT for $0 is hard when Duke is offering $300K.

If we want that kid, it’s more prudent to try raising $300K for him as opposed to $10M for a new coach (payout CJP + payout new coach school + pay salary for an upgrade) AND $300K for the kid.

I’m being cavalier about the numbers, but generally they’re directionally accurate for a High Caliber 5 and the coaching costs.
Hell lets spend 2.5 million on a couple of one and done blue chip NBA prespects
 

lv20gt

Helluva Engineer
Messages
5,573
If this was a single data point, I might be more forgiving. But it is a clear trend that he struggles with lineups, rotations, offensive scheme, and adjustments year in and year out before finally putting it all together far too late in the season to salvage anything.

You say this is a clear trend but that doesn't really hold true unless you include the years where we were just bad from start to finish so the bold isn't applicable. It wasn't true in 17 because that team didn't really put it together late. It caught teams off guard early to get big wins, and actually struggled later in the year until the NIT.

It was various levels of true for 20,21, and 23 but grouping them together is like trying to pretend any illness that features hair loss as a symptom is the same. This year's early season issues were a direct result of the coaching decisions regarding our offense, both in terms of scheme but also emphasis on who should be the focal point. In 2020 the biggest issue was not having two starters for most of the early season which is a very different dynamic. And in 2021 we didn't have the same extended period of bad play (and the bold isn't true again because we clearly put it together in plenty of time to salvage something) as we did in the other seasons. We had two days of bad play, and then immediately beat Kentucky and Nebraska by double digits and went 3-1 in conference to start with the lone loss being @FSU. We went on a bit of a slide when we hit the hardest stretch of the schedule, but that isn't unexpected. Those three seasons aren't nearly as similar in terms of what happened as "we started slow" would try to indicate.
 

57jacket

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,082
You say this is a clear trend but that doesn't really hold true unless you include the years where we were just bad from start to finish so the bold isn't applicable. It wasn't true in 17 because that team didn't really put it together late. It caught teams off guard early to get big wins, and actually struggled later in the year until the NIT.

It was various levels of true for 20,21, and 23 but grouping them together is like trying to pretend any illness that features hair loss as a symptom is the same. This year's early season issues were a direct result of the coaching decisions regarding our offense, both in terms of scheme but also emphasis on who should be the focal point. In 2020 the biggest issue was not having two starters for most of the early season which is a very different dynamic. And in 2021 we didn't have the same extended period of bad play (and the bold isn't true again because we clearly put it together in plenty of time to salvage something) as we did in the other seasons. We had two days of bad play, and then immediately beat Kentucky and Nebraska by double digits and went 3-1 in conference to start with the lone loss being @FSU. We went on a bit of a slide when we hit the hardest stretch of the schedule, but that isn't unexpected. Those three seasons aren't nearly as similar in terms of what happened as "we started slow" would try to indicate.
Hell of a memory there. lv20. I can hardly remember my middle name.
 

Root4GT

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,546
You say this is a clear trend but that doesn't really hold true unless you include the years where we were just bad from start to finish so the bold isn't applicable. It wasn't true in 17 because that team didn't really put it together late. It caught teams off guard early to get big wins, and actually struggled later in the year until the NIT.

It was various levels of true for 20,21, and 23 but grouping them together is like trying to pretend any illness that features hair loss as a symptom is the same. This year's early season issues were a direct result of the coaching decisions regarding our offense, both in terms of scheme but also emphasis on who should be the focal point. In 2020 the biggest issue was not having two starters for most of the early season which is a very different dynamic. And in 2021 we didn't have the same extended period of bad play (and the bold isn't true again because we clearly put it together in plenty of time to salvage something) as we did in the other seasons. We had two days of bad play, and then immediately beat Kentucky and Nebraska by double digits and went 3-1 in conference to start with the lone loss being @FSU. We went on a bit of a slide when we hit the hardest stretch of the schedule, but that isn't unexpected. Those three seasons aren't nearly as similar in terms of what happened as "we started slow" would try to indicate.
As I recall I said we had one year where we were not bad in mid Feb. That would be the year you went into detail about. Thanks for reinforcing my point.
 

leatherneckjacket

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,960
Location
Atlanta, GA
You say this is a clear trend but that doesn't really hold true unless you include the years where we were just bad from start to finish so the bold isn't applicable. It wasn't true in 17 because that team didn't really put it together late. It caught teams off guard early to get big wins, and actually struggled later in the year until the NIT.

It was various levels of true for 20,21, and 23 but grouping them together is like trying to pretend any illness that features hair loss as a symptom is the same. This year's early season issues were a direct result of the coaching decisions regarding our offense, both in terms of scheme but also emphasis on who should be the focal point. In 2020 the biggest issue was not having two starters for most of the early season which is a very different dynamic. And in 2021 we didn't have the same extended period of bad play (and the bold isn't true again because we clearly put it together in plenty of time to salvage something) as we did in the other seasons. We had two days of bad play, and then immediately beat Kentucky and Nebraska by double digits and went 3-1 in conference to start with the lone loss being @FSU. We went on a bit of a slide when we hit the hardest stretch of the schedule, but that isn't unexpected. Those three seasons aren't nearly as similar in terms of what happened as "we started slow" would try to indicate.
Well, outside of 2020-21, we seem to always play poorly at the beginning of the year and outside of 2018-19, we seem to always to start playing better at the end.

2022-23: Started out at 117 in Kenpom, dropped to 213 in early February, finished at 167
2021-22: Started out at 54, dropped to 171 in mid February, finished at 156
2020-21: Started out at 72, moved up to 62 in mid February, finished at 37
2019-20: Started out at 66, dropped to 92 in early February, finished at 64
2018-19: Started out at 90, dropped to 103 in mid February, finished at 115
2017-18: Started out at 44, dropped to 140 in late December, finished at 119
2016-17: Started out at 107, dropped to 154 in late December, finished at 77
 
Top