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Ga. Tech's Shumpert likes new coach, still mulling NBA

Photo by Mike Phillips

Photo by Mike Phillips

ATLANTA' -- Iman Shumpert said Friday he is impressed with Brian Gregory's first week as Georgia Tech's coach and believes he would become a better player if he returns for his senior season.

Even so, the 6-foot-5 Shumpert told The Associated Press he hasn't changed his mind about testing his NBA options.

"I'm confident I could be a late first- or high second-round pick, but it's up to the NBA to tell me that," Shumpert said.

The shooting guard led the Yellow Jackets with his 17.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game as a junior. He was named one of the Atlantic Coast Conference's top defensive players.

He is only the fourth player in ACC history to lead his team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals. He said he is working on his 3-point shooting after making only 42 of 151 (27.8 percent) of his attempts this season.

"Everybody has been telling me to work on the consistency on my 3-point shot," he said. "Since the season ended I've been back in the gym shooting from the pro line and also the college 3. I'm just working on my range. I see an improvement right away. I'm happy with that."

Shumpert hasn't hired an agent, so he could still return to Georgia Tech for his final year.

Shumpert said Gregory, the former Dayton coach who was introduced at Georgia Tech on Monday, has been so busy "I don't even think he's slept yet."

Shumpert said Gregory already is working with the team.

"He's running on fumes but he still smiles," Shumpert said. "You've got to appreciate a guy with energy like that."

Shumpert says players are embracing Gregory because they want to improve on their 13-18 record this season.

"I think that change is good," Shumpert said. "You have to embrace change. I feel myself and my teammates are ready to do that. Nobody wants to go through another losing season."