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All good things must come to end sometime

By Doug Gorman

All good things have to come to an end.

So, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets shouldn't feel as if they need to hang their heads over Monday night's sound defeat at the hands of UConn in the national title game.

Simply put, the Huskies were the better team, at least on that night.

One thing is for certain, the Yellow Jackets are now back among college basketball's elite, and a ticket to a Georgia Tech game is again a prized possession.

This current Georgia Tech team isn't loaded with superstars, just a collection of talented basketball players who are going to play hard at both ends of the floor for 40 minutes.

Tech doesn't look like a team full of players auditioning for a spot on a NBA roster, but a squad enjoying the college experience.

Add coach Paul Hewitt to the equation and the future is bright.

As a sports fan, and somebody who knows something about Tech's basketball past, I find it refreshing the way Hewitt has embraced the Yellow Jackets' rich basketball history.

His decision to invite former head coach Bobby Cremins and many of Cremins' former players to share in the Final Four experience was a class act.

John Salley and Dennis Scott were even asked to address the current collection of players.

Often times in sports, players have little knowledge of their sport's history or team's past legacies.

Hewitt is obviously interested in keeping Tech's past alive.

And a rich history it is. It was Hewitt's idea to name the court at Gerogia Tech after Cremins.

Before the Braves went on their long playoff run, Atlanta was an awful sports town.

Tech made living in Atlanta and following sports in the 1980s and early 1990s somewhat tolerable.

When Hewitt came to Georgia Tech four years ago, the basketball program had fallen on hard times. Cremins could no longer work his magic. His days of landing top-flight recruits seemed long gone, still he was, and always will be, a legend.

Whoever thought Cremins could convince a skinny kid, who looked more like the team manager, to come all the way from Oklahoma to help revive dormant basketball team, but when Mark Price showed up on the Flats, it was history in the making.

Teamed with John Salley, from New York, the tandem took Tech from the ACC cellar to basketball powerhouse as part of Cremins' first great recruiting class.

When Salley and Price guided Tech to the ACC title in 1984-85 season, the Jackets started a trend of making it to the NCAA tournament for nine straight years, including the school's first Final Four in 1989-90.

By the time they finished their stay and moved on to solid NBA careers, the two men had helped rewrite the Tech record books. Their jerseys have long since been retired, and to make matters even more special, they both proved to be true student athletes, exiting Georgia Tech with college degrees

Players such as Bruce Dalrymple, Tom Hammonds, and Duane Ferrell were some of the other Tech players I always enjoyed watching.

No Tech basketball list is complete without the names of Dennis Scott, Kenny Anderson, and Brian Oliver. These men kept the "Thriller Dome" rocking during Tech's first run to the Final Four.

Of course, Stephon Marbury came to Tech and stayed one year, leading the Yellow Jackets to its last great season under Cremins with an ACC title and a trip to the NCAA tournament in 1995-96.

Jarrett Jack, Luke Schenscher, B.J. Elder Isma'il Muhammad and Will Bynam are among the players returning to a Tech team that should be very good again next year.

This current teams is just adding to some already great memories for Georgia Tech basketball fans, and with Hewitt now on the sidelines at Tech, fun times could just be getting started.

(Doug Gorman is sports editor of the Daily. His column runs on Fridays. E-mail at dgorman@news-daily.com)