This chart shows the issue for Tech basketball

Georgia Tech can't get better in the ACC until it starts getting better players. That's why recruiting should be the No. 1 consideration for AD Mike Bobinski as he looks for his new coach. That's likely why Bobinski covets Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel, according to Zach Klein of WSB-TV.

Capel is an ace recruiter for Mike Krzyzewski—a recent ESPN poll of college coaches ranked him as the best recruiter among assistants. Capel obviously wouldn't be able to attract the kind of talent to Atlanta to play for him at Tech as he's lured to Durham to play for Coach K. But there's a good chance he could do better than Brian Gregory, who didn't do well at all.

Related headline: Sadly, still no buzz for Tech basketball

I went through the ACC rankings for the past five recruiting classes at Here’s how they stack up:

Team 5-yr rank
2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
Duke 1 1 1 3 9 1
2 2 2 1 12 2
3 10 3 6 1 3
Syracuse 4 3 7 2 10 6
N.C. State
4 4
3 14
FSU 6t 4
Virginia 6t 8
Notre Dame
7t 7 10 5 8 11
Va Tech
5 5 11 15 5
Pittsburgh 10
14 13 7 6 4
Ga Tech
11 15 9 13 2 10
14 12
7 13
Miami 13 13 6 8 14 15
Clemson 14 12 12 14 11 9
15 11 15 15 13 12

Note: Syracuse, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh began ACC play in 2013 and Louisville in 2014. Their rankings before those seasons represent how their classes compared to ACC schools at the time.

Source: composite rankings.

These rankings can fluctuate from year-to-year because the number of recruits in a class are a factor in the grade. Teams have more scholarships open in some years than they do in others. Recruiting rankings also can overrate some players and overlook others. Some recruits don’t make it to campus and some don’t last long.

But over a five-year cycle those factors tend to even out and true trends emerge. Clearly the Jackets lately have been a bottom-tier recruiting program in the ACC. That has to change if Tech has any hope of making being a regular in the NCAA tournament.

It’s not realistic for the Jackets to recruit on the same level as Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, and Syracuse. But the right Tech coach should be able to equal N.C. State, Virginia and Notre Dame on the recruiting trail. And the Jackets should recruit at a higher level than the rest of the ACC, even accounting for the academic challenges at Tech.

Tech has some recruiting advantages. Georgia turns out more Division I basketball players per capita than every state except four. Metro Atlanta is among the top producers of NBA players. Apathy has set in among Jackets basketball supporters but I'm guessing they'd be immediately rejuvenated by a new coach who recruits better players.

That should be the main focus for Tech. The first order of business for the new Jackets coach will be to keep Wheeler star Romello White, the best player Gregory signed since Robert Carter and Solomon Poole. And then the new coach needs to attract more players like White.

Recent Mike Checks