June 26, 2011
By Matt Winkeljohn
It wouldn’t be right to say that the big grind is coming for the Georgia Tech basketball staff because new coach Brian Gregory and his staff have known little more than grinding since their respective hires.
There’s a lot going on in assistant Josh Postorino’s life, for example.
He and wife Jennifer have a young son, and like fellow assistants Chad Dollar and Billy Schmidt – and of course, Gregory – he has been at it while meeting hundreds of high school coaches, working camps, buying houses, moving families . . . really, really grinding.
That’s not about to change in July.
There is no month on the college basketball coach’s calendar like it as NCAA rules allow them on the road for recruiting purposes for two separate 10-day periods.
The Tech staff will be hop-scotching the U.S. like barnstormers.
“July is tough. We’re gone 20 out of the 31 days,” said Postorino, who was hired April 15. “I love the recruiting, it’s right at the top for me. You’re also trying to juggle being around our players on campus because our whole team is here, but we can’t do anything with them right now on the court.
“Our slower times [as coaches] are usually May and August, but when you change jobs . . . not so much. We’ve been trying to get this thing going.”
Postorino, 34, was coach Oliver Purnell’s first recruit at Dayton. Oliver found him in Clearwater, Fla., and although medical issues cut short his college playing career, his passion for the college game was never short-circuited. Purnell had Postorino on staff at Dayton, twice at Clemson, and last year at DePaul.
Between Postorino’s stints at Clemson, he was an assistant at Marshall.
Postorino has already done the summer hop-scotch several times.
NCAA rules allow just three of a Division I staff’s four coaches to be on the road at the same time, and with so many AAU tournaments and camps, and so much talent, he, Gregory, Schmidt and Dollar are about to rack up some air miles.
“On July 6th you can be on the road through the 15th. Then we’re off through the 21st, and then from the 22nd through the 31st we’re back on the road,” Postorino said. “Every college coach in the country is out. We’ll be anywhere from Augusta, to Las Vegas, to Phoenix, to Minneapolis.
“To start off, some of us are going to be in Indianapolis, some of us will be at the LeBron James camp in Akron. After that, the Peach Jam in Augusta is one of the best events, if not the best event, in the whole summer. We’ll rotate some with Coach Gregory probably being out every single day.”
To a great degree, the Tech coaches have targeted the players they’re hoping to sign to letters of intent in 2012, although there is some wiggle room in that. They’re also casting a wide, wide net for the class of 2013.
“For 2012, we know the kids, but you’re going to see a bunch of kids that you haven’t seen before – maybe from different areas of the country,” the coach said. “There’s a guy in the summer who blows up every year.
“Jeremy Lamb a couple years ago . . . was at Norcross High School and in his junior year he was the seventh man, hardly playing. After . . . Peach Jam, I think he had 60 offers. Now, he’s one of the best players in the country at UConn.”
Despite being allowed by the NCAA to attend these many tournaments and camps, college coaches cannot speak with prospects during the events, nor can prospects make unofficial visits to campuses in the month of July. One an event or camp is over, college coaches can engage the players.
Coaches can speak with current players, but NCAA rules do not allow on-court instruction right now. Tech players are working with newly-hired strength and conditioning coach Mike Bewley. He previously was on Gregory’s staff at Dayton.
If all this seems like a lot, it feels that way at times, too. Postorino said basketball coaches know what they sign up for when they choose the profession.
“I think in any profession you sometimes think what if I was doing something else?” he said. “The hours are all day at certain times of year. I have a special wife, a 3-year-old boy at home, and a little girl on the way in October so you do have to find a way to balance between your family and what you do.
“We try to include our families a lot. Coach Gregory wants to have a family atmosphere. He wants players to look up and see good husbands and good fathers. That’s a big part of running a total program. Recruiting high-character kids is a big part of that; you want these kids around your family.”
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