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Countdown to Tipoff - 16 Days

Oct. 30, 2008

Georgia Tech’s men’s and women’s basketball teams begin their 2008-09 campaign on Nov. 14 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. In the days leading up to tipoff, the Yellow Jackets players will offer observations about the upcoming season and their teams. Today – Ty Anderson.

Ok, I know most of you reading this are probably wondering, “Who is Ty Anderson?” It’s okay – you’re in good company. For those that watch most of our games, I’m sure you’ve seen the bald guy jumping up and down who looks older than most of our coaching staff. Well, that’s me. So now that you have a face (or at least a bald spot) with a name I can talk to y’all a little bit.

The main questions I’ve been getting from people right now consist of: “What’s the team look like without Dre?” and “Who is going to be the one to step up and replace Dre?” Whenever you lose someone like that, their spot is rarely filled by one player. Dre was so valuable to our team on both ends of the floor and added an experience factor that is very important. It is unfair to ask one player fill those roles, so my apologies for the cliché, but it will take a collective effort to fill the void. Our coaches preach team defense every day in practice, so if we can be disciplined (especially on that end of the floor), then we can be very successful.

I hope you guys are as excited about this season as we are. We really felt like we were right on the cusp last year, and it showed in all of the one-possession games in which we came up short. As a fan I know, those last possessions really stand out in your mind as they do for us, but we’ve been focusing on the possessions within the body of the game that make a difference. Our coaches have been stressing the importance of every possession and competing to try to “win” every possession. A “win” on the offensive end means getting a quality shot, and a “win” on the defensive end means either forcing a turnover or a contested shot. I spoke earlier about team defense and one of those team defensive principles is to contest shots with your feet on the ground. We’re trying to break the habit of leaving our feet on shot fakes and staying on the floor. Keep this in mind as you watch this year, because it will be a good barometer of our defensive discipline in that particular game.

I come from a basketball family, so ever since I was a little boy running around in different gyms, I’ve always loved the competition that comes with the game. Recently I’ve become enthralled by a higher level of competition, politics, and more specifically the presidential election. I’ve really become interested in the whole election process and the different campaign strategies. To me, it’s the highest level of competition in the world, and the cut-throat nature that turns most people away has grabbed my attention more so than in the past. I voted for the first time yesterday, and I had an overwhelming sense of fulfilling my responsibility as a citizen. I was surprised to find that some of my coaches share this passion for politics with me. I’ve had some heated discussions with Coach Hewitt during the course of this election, and he even made sure that all of us were registered to vote weeks ago. I’ve got to tell you, though, it’s difficult arguing with someone who controls how much you run in practice! Haha!

Well, that’s a wrap for me. I know I’ll see you guys at the Thrillerdome this year, and we’re really looking forward to that place rockin’ night in and night out. We have great fans, and that’s a huge advantage for us at home.

Hugs and handpounds, everybody. I’m out.

–Ty Anderson


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