Originally created 02/05/06

Fading Jackets will get shakeup



ATLANTA - Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt promised changes Saturday following his team's seventh consecutive defeat, a 70-53 loss to Miami.

Yet the Yellow Jackets coach admitted there's no guarantee putting Mario West back in the starting lineup, altering his halftime speech or changing anything else will break the Jackets out of a funk rarely seen on The Flats.

"It's not a thing where this is going to be some magic formula," Hewitt said, "but we've just got to make some changes to shake things up."

Desperate times have arrived in the Georgia Tech locker room. The latest loss - the third in a row at Alexander Memorial Coliseum - dropped Georgia Tech to 9-11 overall and 2-7 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Yellow Jackets' current losing streak is the longest of the Hewitt era and dates to the end of the 1996-1997 season. That drought included a postseason loss, though. The last time the Jackets lost seven regular-season games in a row was the 1980-81 season, when Dwane Morrison was the coach and the Yellow Jackets went 4-23 overall and 0-14 in ACC play.

Georgia Tech won't match that futility this season, but the current lack of success is grating on the players. Saturday's loss included a rare emotional outburst from guard Anthony Morrow, who became so enraged when teammate Ra'Sean Dickey was whistled for a foul Hewitt spent part of a timeout trying to get his star to refocus.

And after the game, Dickey said the frustration is beginning to divide the locker room.

"You can tell how people react to little comments. People will go crazy and it's not even a big deal," he said. "All teams go through that, though. We'll get through it."

The Yellow Jackets have four days to find an answer. They face Florida State on Thursday. West will start the game in Tallahassee, Fla., Hewitt said, and there could be other lineup changes as well.

Morrow scored more than half of Georgia Tech's points, finishing with a game-high 27.

Reach Adam Van Brimmer (404) 589-8424 or adam.vanbrimmer@morris.com.