Player Expectations: De’Andre Hunter

De’Andre Hunter was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 4th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Hunter led the Virginia Cavaliers to an NCAA Championship with his immaculate defensive ability.

Hunter will immediately take over the role of Taurean Prince for Atlanta. I expect De’Andre to start the majority of his rookie year. Last year, the Hawks lacked perimeter defense. Hunter will provide a much needed help in that area. Hunter can guard four different positions effectively. He will probably guard the opposing team’s best wing player almost every night. This will be a tough task for a rookie. He is already one of the team’s top defenders.

On Atlanta, De’Andre probably won’t carry much of an offensive load. We drafted him for his size and defensive ability. That is why he will probably average around 10 points per game. With Trae, Huerter, and Collins carrying much of the offense, Hunter won’t need to attempt to create his own shots even though he can if need be. He will average around 6 rebounds and 2 assists per game. On the defensive end of the court, we could see Hunter average about 1 steal a game or even more and maybe half a block per game. That probably won’t tell the whole story though. He will cause the offense to take tough, contested shots, giving us a better chance to win ball games.

I know it is really early and kind of a long shot, but there have been some comparisons to the Klaw, Kawhi Leonard. They are both very talented and lengthy defenders that have a very laid back personality. I could see De’Andre Hunter making any of the three NBA’s All-Rookie teams.

What Is Georgia Tech’s X Factor This Season?

Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Georgia Tech has made headlines for their shift from the triple optional to a more traditional spread offense. Those headlines, half the time, failed to mentioned the change on defense as well to a more blitz driven, man coverage attacking defense.

Regardless of how you look at the team, there is talent everywhere. The running back room is stacked. The wide receivers have plenty of talent headlined by Jalen Camp and Malachi Carter.  While the starting QB has not been named, you could not go wrong with any of the four battling for the job.

On the defensive side of things, the linebackers look solid as David Curry is the leader there and Bruce Jordan Swilling has transformed his body this offseason and is poised for a breakout year. The secondary is filled with talent as they are led by Sophomore Safety Juanyeh Thomas, who is also an elite return man for special teams. Tariq Carpenter and Christian Campbell(who actually has the most sacks for returning players) are battling it out for the other  safety spot but both will see the field. The other part of the secondary, the corners, are poised for a big year and look for the other Swilling, Tre Swilling, to have a breakout year as well.

This leads me to the X factor for the team, the trenches. Like I said, the leading sack returner on defense is a safety. The pass rush has to come from somewhere, and after the tragic loss of Brandon Adams, somebody has to step up and be a big run stopper up the middle. Sophomore TK Chimezda is a candidate to become that big force up the middle and Jaquan Henderson is a guy that I really like to step up and be that sack monster that this team needs, although guys like Kelton Dawson and Justice Dingle will contribute off the edge.

The other side of the trenches, offensive line, is a question mark, mainly due to the depth. In the open scrimmage, with a couple expected starters out, the depth did not impress as the blitz packages the defense was bringing out gave them trouble. If this group can stay healthy, they can hold their own, but that will be the big key.

Georgia Tech can win 3 games this season or they could win the Coastal. The talent on both sides has to come together, but it all starts in the trenches.

Atlanta Hawks 2019 NBA Draft Recap

Atlanta moved up to the #4 pick in the draft in a trade with New Orleans. With that pick, the Hawks selected De’Andre Hunter, the 6’7″ guard/forward out of Virginia. Hunter is most known for his outstanding defense.

Atlanta acquired their 10th overall pick in the draft night trade last year with Dallas which also involved the exchange of Trae Young and Luka Dončić. With that pick, Atlanta selected Cam Reddish, the 6’8″ guard/forward from Duke University. Reddish is known for his ability as a knockdown three point shooter.

The Hawks got the 34th overall pick in the draft in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. That pick turned into Bruno Fernando, the 6’10” forward from Maryland. Fernando averaged a double-double in his sophomore season with Maryland.

Players Who Stood Out at The Spring Game: Jahaziel Lee

 (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Throughout spring the two main question areas for the 2019 Georgia Tech football are the offensive and defensive lines. After losing, not only a great person, but a fantastic player in Brandon Adams, the defensive line questions have grown. While the coaching staff searches for pieces to build the defensive line, there is one player taking advantage of the “position flexibility” that has been preached by the coaching staff all spring.

Jahaziel Lee has seemed to make the most of getting reps on the defensive side of the ball. Since Lee got on campus, he has pretty much been a plug and play tackle for the offense, he even got some time at center last season. With the change in scheme, his mean streak, and the chip he plays with, Lee seems to be better suited on the defensive line more than the offensive line.

He played both in high school. He showed us some of his defensive skills running with the gold team defense in the spring game. In the time he got, he managed to get a couple sacks, and also force a fumble on a scramble from James Graham. Lee will be a player to watch as the team heads into summer workouts, then into fall camp. He looked like a veteran defensive lineman out there on Friday and he will only get better with more reps there. Lee could be one of the surprise position flips that actually ends up sticking with the opposite side of the ball from where he started spring.

By: Jordan St. Clair.

Jalen Johnson Gets Rookie Mini Camp Invite From Falcons

http://www.ramblinwreck.com

Georgia Tech hybrid Safety/LB, Jalen Johnson, has gotten his chance in the NFL. According to the AJC, the former Yellow Jacket has accepted a rookie mini camp invite with our own Atlanta Falcons and will join Desmond Branch, who accepted an invite from the Falcons yesterday.

Each will be trying out and hope to perform well enough for the team to sign them as UDFA.

Congrats to Jalen! We wish you the best!

By: Bret Anderson

TaQuon Marshall and Desmond Branch Receive Mini Camp Invites

Danny Karnik/GT Athletics The White and Gold

TaQuon Marshall and Desmond Branch both took a step towards their NFL dreams late Saturday night as they each received, and accepted, invitations to rookie mini camp. Marshall will attended the Ravens camp and Branch will stay right here in Atlanta and attended rookie mini camp with the Falcons.

We all know Marshall for being a an option QB but he will look to follow the same steps that Keenan Reynolds, former Navy QB who turned WR in the NFL, did when he was drafted y the Ravens. Marshall is one of the hardest working individuals and he just needed a chance and he got one and it would not surprise me one bit to stick on the Ravens roster.

Desmond Branch was a force for the Jackets DLine as he was a two year starter and he hopes to make his mark for Coach Quinn and make the roster. I certainly believe he can, and he’s going to a Falcons team that desperately needs help on the DLine.

We wish the best to both Marshall and Branch as they begin their NFL journeys!

By: Bret Anderson

Georgia Tech Caps Off A Special Day

http://www.sportsonearth.com (USA Today Sports)

Georgia Tech had their annual spring game tonight and you could feel the energy. There was a different vibe buzzing around and the record breaking spring game crowd of 21,194, was all for it. Recruits flooded the are stadium, former players like Calvin Johnson, and former basketball stars like Josh Okogie were walking the sidelines. A culture change has certainly began at Tech.

The game started with a tribute to Paul Johnson’s triple option scheme as the gold offense led by Lucas Johnson and the offense started off in the triple option set and then spread out and dropped back into a five wide reliever set that ended with a quick pass out to the tight end. The whole play created a big roar from the crowd from start to finish.

Overall, both offenses looked spectacular. The white offense was led by James Graham and he capped off his first drive with a down field strike to Adonicas Sanders for a 39 yard score, who looks amazing in this new offense.

It really is hard to judge defenses in a spring game because you aren’t really using your full scheme, but there were some things of note. You can see the new blitzing schemes and the press coverage which is big time news for Georgia Tech fans. The defense was flying all around, and the 30-20 is kind of padded because there were no punts in this game, no matter the distance to go or spot on the field.

Back to the offense, there were several positives. Both Lucas Johnson and James Graham looked comfortable in the new offense(Tobias Oliver was out with injury). The running backs looked spectacular as they were hitting the holes hard. The wide receivers really stood out. There is so much speed and the one that really jumped out was true freshman, early enrollee, Ahmarean Brown. He is going to be a name to watch going into the season.

The games wasn’t all about current players. Former Georgia Tech star QB got in on the action as he caught throwback pass but was “sacked” before getting the throw off. Coach Collins was trying to keep the players as loose as possible and this was a cool way of doing that, while including a Georgia Tech legend.

We will have a, players who stood out article, coming out later on, but one who stood out to me was definitely Ahmarean Brown, who I just mentioned. His speed is going to take this offense to a different level.

A few players saw action on both sides of the ball and a couple of them were Tariq Carpenter and Bruce Jordan Swilling.

Outside of the game, the Jackets landed a commit today from Savannah,  DE Akelo Stone. We are also expecting a 12th commitment at any time if you have been keeping up with was recruiting coordinator, Patrick Suddes, on twitter.

Away from the football field, the 13th ranked, Georgia Tech baseball team, beat Clemson 8-7 in game one of their series.

All in all, it was a great day on The Flats! Go Jackets!

By: Bret Anderson