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A cell phone ban has helped Georgia Tech communicate better

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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If Georgia Tech falls to Oklahoma State in its first-round NCAA tournament game on Friday night, it won't be because of any outside distractions.

Yellowjackets coach Paul Hewitt had his players fork over their cell phones after practice on Thursday in Milwaukee and they won't get them back until after they're done playing this weekend. It's the second straight weekend Georgia Tech players will be without their phones because Hewitt implemented the same policy during last weekend's ACC tournament.

"You just see them talking more," Hewitt said Thursday. "You see them interacting more. And I'm not sure how significant it is. I mean, maybe it helped last weekend, maybe it didn't. I feel better. Maybe it's just my paranoia, I feel better that they're talking to each other a lot more and really getting to know each other more."

For a Georgia Tech team that has experienced issues sharing the ball and getting it to their big men throughout the season, drastic measures may have been necessary. Players begrudgingly voted to surrender their phones before the ACC tournament after Hewitt suggested the idea at practice one day.

"It can be very tough," senior D'Andre Bell said. "I mean, we're in a technology-driven world. We're very used to Internet and just all the functions of a PDA. So it's tough. But I like it a lot, not having my phone ring every two seconds and just being with my teammates."

So will Hewitt's policy extend to other forms of technology? iPods? TV? Laptops?

"I can't take everything away, the technology age we're in here," Hewitt said, chuckling.

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