Originally created 03/15/05

Tech: Jack's expected back in time



ATLANTA - Jarrett Jack got plenty of special attention Sunday night at Washington's Dulles Airport.

Georgia Tech's star point guard sprained his ankle in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament title game, and Tech's training staff pushed him through the large airport in a wheelchair as a precaution.

"He got a lot of sympathy from people," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said.

Jack won't need any assistance getting around the rest of this week. The junior had little soreness in the ankle Monday morning and is expected to fully recover in time for the Yellow Jackets' opening-round NCAA Tournament game Friday in Nashville, Tenn., Hewitt said.

Isma'il Muhammad will play as well, Hewitt said. The senior forward suffers from knee tendonitis and underwent shockwave treatment eight days ago to alleviate the pain.

The injury forced him to sit out the ACC Tournament. The rest has helped, Hewitt said. Muhammad will practice this week and will likely start against George Washington.

Muhammad's return could prove crucial for the Jackets. He is their best on-the-ball defender and second-leading rebounder.

Jack called his injury the most painful of his career. He suffered it in the second half of Tech's loss to Duke when he landed on the foot of Duke guard Daniel Ewing during a jump shot.

"That's the worst injury I've ever experienced," Jack said. "I didn't know what to think, I just knew it hurt."

Jack walked off the injury and limped back into the game with approximately seven minutes to go. He scored seven points after his return, sparking a comeback from 13 points down.

"There was no way I was going to miss the rest of that game," Jack said. "My adrenaline was really going."

HEWITT BLASTS CALL: Georgia Tech's coach broke his silence Monday over a controversial call late in Sunday's ACC championship game.

The Yellow Jackets trailed Duke by one point with 24 seconds to go when referee Larry Rose called Jack for a foul on Blue Devil guard J.J. Redick while the Devils were attempting to inbound the ball.

Jack and teammate Will Bynum were double-teaming Redick, a 94 percent free-throw shooter, on the play to prevent him from getting the ball.

Several replays showed little contact between Jack or Bynum and Redick, prompting criticism from ESPN commentators Mike Patrick and Dick Vitale.