ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE
"RAGS TO RICHES"
THE RAMBLING WRECK
(COACH: BOBBY CREMINS)
To see how far Georgia Tech basketball has come, take a look at senior John Salley. When he came to Atlanta from Brooklyn in 1982, Salley was a 6'9", 185-pound forward, and Tech was excited about reaching double figures in wins. Now Salley is a 7-foot, 230-pound center-forward who may well be the No. 1 pick in next year's NBA draft.
But listen to what coach Bobby Cremins has to say about Salley. "On a scale of one to 10, John, after last season, was a seven-and-a-half or eight. Now all of a sudden people are saying that he's a 10. He's skipped a stage. It may affect his confidence somewhat because he's going to have a bad game or two. He's not the greatest player in the country right now."
Cremins worries. He loved sneaking up on the rest of the basketball world the past four years, but Cremins knows he can't sneak up on anyone when he's in front of everyone.
Yo, Bobby, relax. Says All-America guard Mark Price, "People are going to come after us anyway, so why not be number one?"
Georgia Tech has everything any coach could want in its top seven players. It has a big lineup, a small lineup, a power lineup and much of Atlanta lined up to watch. Start with the core group of Salley, Price, junior guard Bruce Dalrymple and sophomore forward Duane Ferrell. You want big? Move Salley to forward in tandem with 7-foot sophomore Antoine Ford. Speed? Send third guard Craig Neal, back after a bum wrist forced him to miss all but the first four games of last season, to the scorer's table to give Ford a blow, and depend on the 6'4" Dalrymple to get his usual five or six rebounds per game. Power? Replace Neal and Ferrell with Ford and 6'8", 220-pound freshman Tom Hammonds, who should start answering to the nickname Rambo any day now.
Nonetheless, Cremins says it's not that easy. "There is a lot of potential," he says. "But it will take time to come out. We'll get beat because of the inexperience of Ford and Hammonds, unless they develop right away."