Tech's Postorino likes hoops talent from Gwinnett

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Based on the recent success on the recruiting trail in Gwinnett County, you can expect to see coaches from Georgia Tech's men's basketball program spending more time in the area.

That trend continued on Thursday as assistant coach Josh Postorino was the featured speaker at the Rotary Club of South Gwinnett hosted at Northwood Country Club.

Coming in on this year's recruiting class are Shiloh's Robert Carter, North Gwinnett's Chris Bolden and Peachtree Ridge's Corey Heyward.

All three are on the Georgia Tech campus as classes get ready to start on Monday.

"We just pulled in a Top 25 recruiting class and three of the players are from Gwinnett County," said Postorino, who is in his second year with head coach Brian Gregory at Georgia Tech. "There are great programs, great players and great coaches here and we have to maintain that presence."

Carter and Bolden both led their respective teams to the Class AAAAA state playoffs last year.

Meanwhile, Heyward signed with Morehead State (Ky.) in 2011, but elected to spend the 2011-12 academic year at Hargrave Military Academy (Va.) before coming to The Flats for 2012-13.

Heyward is the son of former Atlanta Falcons running back Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, who passed away in 2006. Heyward is also the brother of former Peachtree Ridge and Ohio State football star Cameron Heyward, who is on the Pittsburgh Steelers' roster.

"As good as these kids are basketball players, they are better kids," said Postorino. "Robert has been on campus and there is no laziness in him. Chris is an excellent kid. Wherever he goes, he wins. And Corey got hurt and he would've had a big impact on our team. But he will work hard and come back better than ever."

That is a good thing for Georgia Tech, which hasn't posted a winning season since 2009-10 when the Yellow Jackets went 23-13 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Postorino recruited the metro Atlanta area during his two different stints as an assistant coach under Oliver Purnell at Clemson. So knowing the talent level in Gwinnett County alone is no shock to the Clearwater, Fla., native.

"We know the importance of keeping these kids in-state," said Postorino. "We know so many programs from around the country come in here and recruit. So we have to work hard just to keep the best players in the state here. That includes Gwinnett County."

On the preseason 2012-13 roster, 13 of the 14 players listed claim Georgia hometowns, with nine from the metro Atlanta area. Only Stacey Poole lists Jacksonville, Fla., as his hometown.

Now Gregory, who took Dayton to four straight postseason appearances before coming to the North Avenue campus, will look to lead Georgia Tech back to prominence as the beginning of the 2012-13 season sits just three months away.

But Gregory also seeks to build a program at Georgia Tech that is filled with pride.

"Coach Gregory recognizes the tradition and success of the program," said Postorino. "But he also recognizes that we need to reconnect with alumni of the program. There are so many great names out there who had great careers at Georgia Tech and a lot of them went on to the NBA. So we not only want our current players to take pride in the program, we want our former players to come back and take that same attitude."

Georgia Tech will open the new McCamish Pavilion on Sept. 17 with the first game set for Nov. 9 as the Tulane Green Wave comes to town.