Georgia Tech

Not doing anything? Paul Hewitt wants you at AMC

Are you...

Bitter about the state of Georgia Tech basketball?

Angered about the program's head coach?

Threatening to stay away from Alexander Memorial Coliseum until someone else takes his place?

Well consider these words from the still-in-place head man himself:

"For whatever reason, if you have a good legitimate reason for why you don't want to come to the games, that's fine, people understand that.  

"But if you're not doing anything, these kids would really appreciate your support."

Regardless your beliefs about his program, Paul Hewitt still wants you to help fill his arena's seats.

During a media session Tuesday afternoon, Hewitt took a stand for his players, suggesting that fans who have been threatening to boycott his program by not showing up for games, reconsider.

"We need that," he said. "I keep saying, these guys are hard-working guys; they're part of this school community. They do deserve the support of our students and our fans, in general."

Although Hewitt never actually addressed the boycott issue, it is clear that he and his staff are aware that such plans are in the works by segments of the fan base.

Many of those threatening such action and even executing it are upset -- in part -- about what they perceive to be a lack of overall success during Hewitt's 11-year tenure at Georgia Tech. Only once in that stretch, as they accurately argue, has the team reached the Final Four.

The Yellow Jackets made it to the NCAA tournament last season, losing to Ohio State in the second round.

On Sunday night, following Georgia Tech's 78-58 home win over North Carolina, Hewitt requested his players walk over to the behind-the-baskets student sections of the Coliseum to thank their peers for showing up. As student attendance goes, more attended that night than for any game this season. It should also be noted, this was the first at home game since classes resumed from winter break.

"That was important to see students out there and that was the least they could do was to thank them," Hewitt said.

While the students were, so was the Carolina blue. The Coliseum appeared to be at least 30 percent full of Tar Heels supporters. More than 8,100 people attended the game.

Having visible and vocal support is important, sophomore combo guard Brian Oliver said.

"You can feed off of the crowd. Just that atmosphere, you notice that when you go other places. Like Clemson, they had a lot of their students there (on the road last Wednesday) and it's just a hostile environment for the other team -- for us.

"I did see a lot of North Carolina fans (Sunday)..."

Georgia Tech's next game is at 7 p.m. Wednesday, as it hosts Wake Forest.