MaChelle Tech's Belle

By Jeff Lippman - September 18, 2007


Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph has the Yellow Jackets rolling along like - fittingly for the Ramblin' Wreck - an engineer on a locomotive.

Entering her fifth year at the helm of the Yellow Jacket program, and her fifth year as a head coach, Joseph has amassed a record of 62-56, including last season's NCAA Tournament opening-round game-winning 21-12 season that saw the Jackets fall to Purdue in the second round.

For her efforts, Georgia Tech has awarded Joseph with a two-year contract extension that will run through the 2010-11 season.

Georgia Tech's program is on the rise and much of it is due to Joseph.

The 21 wins last season was the program's most since 1978 and the first-round NCAA Tournament victory was the program's first in its history.

Even more impressive than their tournament win over the 10-seed DePaul, was their February 1st win over then-No. 4 Maryland, 77-72, in Atlanta.

And I expect the Jackets to get even better next season and complete another first in program history - the first back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament.

Any team that can take down that Terps team, has the talent and ability to do extremely well over the course of a season.

Tech loses leading scorer from last season Stephanie Higgs, but brings back two players who averaged double figures scoring in senior forward Janie Mitchell and senior guard Chioma Nnamaka. Mitchell was the team's leading rebounder and Nnamaka is a long-range threat - in fact, she needs just 65 three-pointers to break the school record of 241.

Now, with an incoming class considered the most highly touted in Tech's history, the future is sunny for the Buzz. The team needed a center with height, they picked up 6-foot-5 Sarah Ivester from Canton, Ga.

They also picked up two big-time five-star rated recruits in Iasiah Hemingway and Alex Montgomery - two players highly coveted by all in the ACC.

Hemingway, a Newark, N.J. product who has been called "mini-Barkley" because of her tough inside play at the small forward position, was plucked from Rutgers' grasps when Tech implored her to come down to Atlanta.

Montgomery, from far away Portland, Ore., is a 6-foot-1 power forward who was recruited by schools like Tennessee, Vanderbilt and UCLA.

They will co-exist nicely with returning junior guard Jacqua Williams - also from the Pacific Northwest - who is a national-level sprinter with a huge wingspan, and 6-foot-2 Tiffany Blackmon, a sophomore center whose minutes will skyrocket next season.

Yes, the Ramblin' Wreck are primed to have another big season down in HOTlanta, and I can't help but point out that it is predominantly due to their coach, MaChelle Joseph.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 11:10 AM on September 18, 2007
Comments (1)

Comments

I have been telling people for two years to keep an eye on the Jackets, they are going to surprise people and create some havoc in the NCAA tourney.

They did that last year and I'm looking for them to do alot more this year. ACC watch out. The former cellar-dwellers are moving up the ACC rankings!

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