Georgia Tech/Duke Pre-Game Notes

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Georgia Tech (11-11, 3-6) vs. Duke (18-3, 9-1)
February 12, 2000 * 4 p.m. * Alexander Memorial Coliseum at McDonald’s Center

TV: ESPN2 (Mike Patrick, Larry Conley); WATL (Bob Rathbun, Dan Bonner)

Radio: WGST (640 AM) in Atlanta, flagship for the Georgia Tech Radio Network (Wes Durham, play-by-play; Randy Waters, color)

Tech Record: 11-11, 3-6 ACC
Home: 9-2; Away: 0-6; Neut.: 2-3

Tech vs. Duke: Duke leads 44-20
vs. Duke under Cremins: 16-28

First Meeting This Year:
1-12-00, Duke 82-57 (Durham)

Last Year’s Meetings:
1-6-99, Duke 99-58 (Durham)
2-25-99, Duke 87-79 (Atlanta)

vs. Duke at AMC: 11-13

Nat’l Rank: Duke ranked No. 3 by AP & USA Today/ESPN

Cremins Record: 452-301 (.600), 25th season
Cremins at Tech: 352-231 (.604), 19th season

Last Tech game: Feb. 5, defeated Florida A&M, 89-57 (home)
Next Tech game: Feb. 19, at Maryland, 7 p.m.

Probable StartersF   52 Jason Collier    7-0  Sr. 16.6 ppg  9.9 rpg  leads ACC in rebounding, double-doubles (11)F   42 Clarence Moore   6-4  Fr. 5.1 ppg   3.5 rpg  16.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 4.0 spg in two startsC   4  Alvin Jones      6-11 Jr. 11.0 ppg  8.3 rpg  4th in ACC in rebounding, 1st in blocks (2.8), 7 BS vs. UVaG   10 T.J. Vines       5-10 Jr. 4.3 ppg   2.2 apg  14 pts, 8 assists and 3 turnovers in two startsG   11 Shaun Fein       6-3  Jr. 10.6 ppg  3.3 apg  6 steals vs. FAMU; 4th in ACC in A-TO (1.57)Top ReservesG   3  Tony Akins       5-11 So. 10.8 ppg  3.9 apg  6th in ACC 3-pt. FG per game, 9th in 3-pt. FG pct. (.331)F   34 Jason Floyd      6-6  Sr. 9.7 ppg   3.5 rpg  Ranks sixth in Tech history in career 3-pointers (158)F   23 Jon Babul        6-7  Jr. 4.1 ppg   4.2 rpg  Missed last 6 games with strained right quadricepsG   13 Darryl LaBarrie  6-3  Jr. 1.3 ppg   0.2 rpg  6 points vs. FAMUF/C 44 Michael Isenhour 6-8  So. 1.2 ppg   1.0 rpg  Avg. 2 pts, 2 reb last 6 games with Babul out

Jackets Top Cavaliers

Playing its best game of the season, Georgia Tech defeated Virginia, 68-47, Wednesday at Alexander Memorial Coliseum at McDonald’s Center. Freshman Clarence Moore led Tech with 15 points, a career-high 10 rebounds, and five steals, while Alvin Jones had 14 points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots, his career best against an ACC team. Tech played excellent defense, holding the Cavaliers to a season-low 27.6 percent from the field.

Tech’s 21-point win was its largest margin of victory against an ACC opponent in 72 games, since a 21-point victory over Florida State on Jan. 27, 1996. In holding Virginia to 47 points, Tech allowed its fewest points in an ACC game since a 48-43 victory over Maryland on Feb. 19, 1985.

The Series With Duke

Six Duke players scored in double figures, led by Shane Battier with 19 points, as the Blue Devils defeated Georgia Tech, 82-57, last month at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Alvin Jones led Tech, which trailed just 38-33 at the half, with 19 points and 13 rebounds.

In last year’s meeting in Atlanta, Tech held the Blue Devils to their smallest margin of victory all season in an 87-79 defeat. The Jackets led 40-35 at the half and maintained the lead until 7:45 remained in the game. Jason Collier scored 26 points and Jason Floyd added 19 for Tech.

Duke has won seven in a row to take a 44-20 lead in the series. Tech’s last win over the Blue Devils was a 73-71 overtime victory in Atlanta in 1995-96. Duke leads 13-11 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum and 16-13 in all games on Tech’s homecourt.

Shooting Improves

After shooting just 31.1 percent (56-180) from the field in losses to Wake Forest, North Carolina and Clemson, Georgia Tech improved to 39.5 percent against Florida A&M and then 47.7 percent against Virginia, the Jackets’ season high in a conference game. Beginning with the second half against FAMU, when the Jackets hit 18 of 35 shots (.514), Tech has shot 49.4 percent (39-79) over the last three halves.

Lineup Changes Pay Dividends

After using the same starting lineup for the first 20 games of the season, head coach Bobby Cremins made two changes against Florida A&M, adjustments that have paid dividends in the last two games, wins over FAMU and Virginia. Freshman swingman Clarence Moore and junior point guard T.J. Vines moved into the starting five, replacing Jason Floyd and Tony Akins, respectively.

Moore has averaged 16 points, nine rebounds and four steals in his first two starts. Vines, who started 11 games last year, has averaged seven points and four assists while committing only three turnovers in the two contests.

Tony Akins has averaged 10 points in a reserve role. Against Virginia, Akins and Floyd combined for 17 points off the bench.

Moore of a Good Thing

Clarence Moore is making the most of his opportunity to start for the Yellow Jackets. The 6-4 freshman from Norco, La., has averaged 16 points, nine rebounds and four steals in his first two starts. He has hit 11 of 16 shots from the field (68.8 percent) and eight of nine from the free throw line (88.9 percent).

In his first start against FAMU, Moore responded with 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists. The 6-5 freshman hit six of eight shots from the field, was 5-for-5 from the free throw line and also contributed three steals and a blocked shot.

Moore was even better against Virginia, recording his first double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds, five steals and one block. Before Florida A&M, Moore’s highs were eight points against Morehead State and seven rebounds against UNC Greensboro.

Tech Players vs. Duke

Player   G FG    3FG  FT    RB Avg  A  Bl St TP AvgAkins    3 9-28  3-15 5-8   9  3.0  11 0  5  26 8.7Babul    4 2-17  1-4  0-3   17 4.3  6  1  1  5  1.3Collier* 4 25-44 7-11 11-17 28 7.0  6  2  1  68 17.0Fein     1 1-8   0-4  0-0   5  5.0  1  0  1  2  2.0Floyd    7 12-52 6-23 6-7   26 3.7  6  4  1  44 6.3Jones    5 19-37 0-1  13-29 44 8.8  8  13 4  51 10.2LaBarrie 3 3-10  1-4  1-2   5  1.7  2  0  1  8  2.7Moore    1 2-7   0-1  2-2   2  2.0  1  0  0  6  6.0Vines    5 4-14  3-6  0-0   6  1.2  5  0  2  11 2.2* Includes one game at Indiana in 1996-97 (6 points, 1 rebound)

Fein Steals the Show

Junior guard Shaun Fein grabbed six steals against Florida A&M, the most by a Yellow Jacket this season and just two away from the school record. Fein leads Tech with 27 steals on the season.

Fein averages 10.6 points and 3.3 assists per game and is fourth in the ACC with an assist-turnover ratio of 1.57.

Cremins Moves into Third in ACC Wins, Earns Win No. 450

With Georgia Tech’s 69-68 win over Maryland on Jan. 15, head coach Bobby Cremins moved into third place among Atlantic Coast Conference coaches in career wins while coaching in the ACC. One game later against Florida State, Cremins earned his 350th victory at Georgia Tech and his 450th career coaching win. His record now stands at 352-231 in 19 seasons at Tech, and 452-301 in 25 seasons overall.

Cremins, now in his 19th season at Tech and 25th overall, passed former Maryland coach Lefty Driesell (348) for third place in ACC history. Only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, 486 wins, and retired North Carolina coach Dean Smith, with 879, have won more games than Cremins.

Collier Enjoying All-Round Season

Jason Collier leads Georgia Tech in both scoring (16.6) and rebounding (9.9), ranking sixth in the ACC in scoring and first in rebounding. One of 30 candidates for the John Wooden Award, he is eighth in the ACC in field goal percentage (.483) and 10th in free throw percentage (.732), joining Maryland’s Terence Morris as the only players to rank among the league’s Top 10 in all four categories. The seven-foot senior is also eighth in blocked shots (1.2) while leading the league with 11 double-doubles, including six of the last nine games.

The Springfield, Ohio, native is shooting fewer threes than he did last season but has been effective from beyond the arc, hitting 21 of 56 (.375).

Babul Doubtful

Junior forward Jon Babul is doubtful for the Duke game with a strained right quadriceps. He has missed the last six games after aggravating the injury in the first half of Tech’s win over Florida State on Feb. 19. Earlier he missed games against Wofford (Dec. 22), Kentucky (Jan. 5) and Virginia (Jan. 8) with the same injury.

Tech’s top frontcourt sub, the 6-7 Babul averages 4.1 points and 4.2 rebounds per game and is the Jackets’ best and most versatile defensive player.

Home Sweet Home

Alexander Memorial Coliseum has been a friendly place for Georgia Tech this season, especially when it comes to shooting the basketball.

The Yellow Jackets, who are 9-2 in their on-campus home this season, have shot 38 percent (94-250) from three-point range at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Contrast that with games away from home, in which the Jackets have hit just 29 percent (76-265) of their threes. Overall, Tech shoots 42.8 percent from the field at home and 38.9 percent away from home.

The home court advantage is most pronounced for Shaun Fein, who has hit 46 percent (35-77) of his threes at the Thrillerdome, versus 24 percent (16-67) away from home. The 6-3 guard is averaging 13.5 points in Tech’s nine home games but just 7.6 points in other arenas.

Jackets Cashing In At The Line

The Yellow Jackets have made a significant improvement as a team in free throw shooting this season, ranking third in the ACC at 69.8 percent. Last year’s team shot 62.1 percent.

Tech has been able to handle the pressure of close games with even better free throw shooting. Against Maryland, the Jackets hit 11-of-12 free throws in the second half, including two charity tosses by Shaun Fein with 53 seconds left that helped seal the win. Jason Collier nailed two with 16 seconds left to preserve the victory over Florida State.

The Jackets were 17-of-21 against Lafayette, including 10 straight in the final five minutes. Tech canned 10-of-10 in the final five minutes of its Dec. 22 win over Wofford, and 8-of-8 in the last five minutes against Morehead State.

In its 11 victories, Tech has hit 58-of-67 free throws (87 percent) in the final five minutes.

Tech from Beyond the Arc

Georgia Tech is second in the ACC in three-point field goals per game. The Jackets, who hit 12 treys against Florida State (12-26), nine versus Maryland (9-17) and eight against Virginia (8-14), average 7.7 treys per game. Four Tech playersShaun Fein (51), Tony Akins (41), Jason Floyd (31) and Jason Collier (21)have hit more than 20 treys, while T.J. Vines has added 17.

Fein is second in the ACC treys per game (2.3) and sixth in percentage (.354), Tony Akins ranks sixth (1.9) and 9th (.325), respectively.

Fein Leads Tech to Wins Over Maryland, FSU

Shaun Fein put together the best two games of his Georgia Tech career to lead the Yellow Jackets to back-to-back victories over 16th-ranked Maryland and Florida State. The 6-3 guard, who had gone 4-for-23 from the field in the previous three games against Kentucky, Virginia and Duke, led Tech in scoring in both wins with 17 points against the Terrapins and 18 versus Florida State. He hit 10-of-17 three-pointers in the two contests.

A transfer from Stonehill College, Fein nailed six treys in 10 attempts against the Seminoles, along with five assists, three rebounds, two steals and no turnovers in 33 minutes.

Against Maryland, he hit four of seven three-pointers, scoring 15 points in the first half to help the Jackets pull within 39-35 at the intermission after falling behind 16-5 early in the game. Although he scored just two points in the second half, he hit two crucial free throws with 53 seconds left. Fein also contributed four assists, three rebounds and a steal while playing 36 minutes against the Terps.

Wes Durham Named Georgia Sportscaster of the Year

Georgia Tech radio voice Wes Durham has been named Georgia Sportscaster of the Year for 1999 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

Durham, who has called play-by-play for Tech football, basketball and baseball since 1995, will receive the honor at the NSSA Convention May 1 in Salisbury, N.C. The award is voted on by the NSSA membership in the state of Georgia.

It is the first time Durham has been so honored, though his father, legendary North Carolina radio voice Woody Durham, has received the award for North Carolina 10 times.

Since August of 1997, Wes Durham has worked as Georgia Tech’s Director of Broadcasting. He originally came to Atlanta in July of 1995 as the Jackets’ radio play-by-play announcer. Prior to that, he served as the radio voice at Vanderbilt, where he was a 1995 finalist for the Tennessee sportscaster of the year award, Marshall and Radford.

Akins Streak Ends at 27

Tony Akins had his streak of consecutive free throws snapped at 27 when he missed his fourth attempt against NC State. Before that, Akins’ last missed free throw occurred Nov. 27 against Kansas. He has made 40 of 47 free throws on the season (.851).

The Tech record for consecutive free throws is 33 in a row by Drew Barry during the 1995-96 season, and Tech assistant coach Mark Price, the NBA career free throw percentage leader who has been instrumental in improving the Jackets’ at the line this season, hit 31 straight in 1984-85.

Collier Makes it to 1,000

Jason Collier went over the 1,000-point mark for his career in Tech’s win over Wofford, and his career total now stands at 1,201. The 7-foot senior has scored 795 points for the Jackets, following 406 at Indiana.

Collier is the second Georgia Tech player to reach the career plateau this season. Shaun Fein reached 1,000 points with his first score in Tech’s game against Washington. Fein now has 1,204 career points, including 971 (19.7 per game) in two seasons at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass.

Senior Jason Floyd, with 947 career points, has a chance to become the 30th Tech player to score 1,000 points in a Yellow Jacket uniform. The 6-6 swingman needs to average nine points per game this season to reach the mark.

More Than a Shooter

Shaun Fein has a reputation as a shooter, but the 6-3 guard is also providing the Yellow Jackets with solid passing and floor play. In his first season of eligibility after transferring from Stonehill College, Fein ranks fourth in the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.57-1). He averages 3.3 assists per game, which ranks eighth in the league, and he leads Tech with 27 steals.

No Hack-A-Shaq Here

If opposing teams want to foul Alvin Jones when he gets the ball inside this year, they may have to pay. Assistant coach Mark Price, the top free throw shooter in NBA history, has made improving Alvin Jones’ free throw shooting his project, and the results have been promising.

In his first two seasons at Tech, Jones hit 53.5 percent of his free throws. This season, he has connected on 95 of 155 from the stripe (61.3 percent), shooting 43 more attempts than his closest teammate. Jones shot 73 more charity attempts than anyone else on the Tech team last year.

Jackets Spread the Scoring

Georgia Tech has had at least four players score in double figures in 10 of 21 games this season, including four games in which five players reached double figures, most recently against Florida A&M..

Four Tech players are averaging at least 10 points per game, ranging from 16.6 points per game for Jason Collier (5th in the ACC) to 10.6 for Shaun Fein, while Jason Floyd is just under double figures at 9.7. The last Tech team to have five players average double figures for a season was the 1991-92 quintet that featured future NBA players Travis Best, Jon Barry, Matt Geiger and Malcolm Mackey.

Jackets Hitting the Boards

Jason Collier leads the ACC in rebounding with 9.9 per game. Alvin Jones is second on the team and fourth in the ACC at 8.3 per game, followed by Jon Babul at 4.2.

Jones, the ACC’s career rebound leader among active players with 704, grabbed 16 against Michigan, the best for a Jacket this season, 15 against Stanford and 13 versus Duke.

Jones (3.05) and Collier (2.91) rank second and fourth, respectively, in the ACC in offensive rebounds per game.

The Yellow Jackets are outrebounding their opponents collectively, 39.7-36.4, a +3.3 margin.

Tough Slate

Georgia Tech played the 19th most difficult schedule in the nation last season, according to the RPI, with twenty of Tech’s 31 games against teams in the NCAA or NIT. Seven of Tech’s losses were to teams seeded third or higher in the NCAA Tournament.

This year’s slate is no easier, with as many as 11 games against teams currently in the nation’s Associated Press top 25. Outside the conference, the Yellow Jackets played Stanford, currently No. 2, Kansas, currently No. 11, and No. 18 Kentucky.

Three ACC teams are in the top 25, including No. 3 Duke, No. 22 Maryland and No. 25 NC State.

From the Left …

It has to be a rarity, if not unique, in college basketball. Georgia Tech features three left-handed players among its top eight.

Jason Collier, Tony Akins and newcomer Clarence Moore all shoot lefthanded, which is believed to be the most ever on one Tech team. According to Moore, shooting is the only thing he does lefthanded.

The Yellow Jackets have had other famous lefties on its roster, including point guard greats Kenny Anderson and Travis Best, who have both taken their southpaw success to the NBA.

Rejection Record

It took only 60 games for Alvin Jones to become Georgia Tech’s all-time leader in blocked shots, breaking the record late in his sophomore season. Jones, who surpassed the record of 243 set by John Salley from 1983-86, now has 309 rejections in 86 games, including eight in the season opener against Mercer and seven against Virginia.

Jones, who had 107 blocks in 31 games last season (3.5 per game), also continues his climb up the Atlantic Coast Conference career lists for blocked shots. After becoming just the seventh player in league history to reach 300 blocked shots, his next target is former Clemson Tiger Elden Campbell, who ranks sixth with 334 blocks.

Jones career average of 3.59 blocks per game is third best in ACC history. The ACC record is 4.07 set by Clemson’s Tree Rollins (1974-77).

Dialing Long Distance

Georgia Tech owns the third-longest active streak in the nation for consecutive games with at least one three-point field goal. Tech’s streak has reached 403 games. The last team to hold the Jackets without a three-point field goal was Virginia in the 1987 ACC Tournament.

UNLV held the longest streak with 416 games entering the 1999-2000 season, followed by Vanderbilt at 412 games.

Jackets Look for Depth, Balance

No Yellow Jacket has played more than 38 minutes in any of Georgia Tech’s games thus far, and that includes Tech’s overtime game with Stanford. Jason Collier lead the Jackets with 31.8 minutes per game. None of the Yellow Jackets ranks in the ACC’s top five in minutes played, contrasted to last year, when three did.

Tech’s top eight players all average at least 15 minutes per game. Tech has not had eight players average more than 10 minutes a game for a full season since 1988-89.

Jackets Reach Alaska Shootout Final

For the second straight year, Georgia Tech reached the final of a Thanksgiving week tournament and lost in the championship game.

The Yellow Jackets finished second in the Great Alaska Shootout, defeating Grambling State, 100-88, and Washington, 82-65, before falling to 11th-ranked Kansas in the final, 84-70. Last season, Tech fell to the Huskies in the title game of the Big Island Classic.

Jason Collier recorded a pair of double-doubles and averaged 20.7 points and 10.7 rebounds in the three games, earning a spot on the all-tournament team. Alvin Jones also made the all-tournament team after averaging 13 points and 6.3 rebounds. All five Tech starters averaged in double figures for the tournament, including Tony Akins (11.0), Shaun Fein (10.7) and Jason Floyd (10.7).

Tech Signs Three Early

Georgia Tech signed three players during the November early signing period. Joining the fold will be 6-4 shooting guard Marvin Lewis of Montrose Christian School in Rockville, Md., 6-2 point guard Brendan Plavich of Dalton (Ga.) High School, and 6-7 small forward Halston Lane of Oak Ridge (Tenn.) High School.

Price Has Number Retired Again

The No. 25 worn by Mark Price as a player has been retired twice. Georgia Tech retired the all-America point guard’s number in his final home game in 1986. The Cleveland Cavaliers, the team for whom he played for nine seasons in his 12-year NBA career, retired his number in November.

Price, in his first season as an assistant coach at Tech, scored 2,193 points in his four-year Tech career, still the third-best all-time total, and led Tech to the 1985 ACC championship and two NCAA Tournaments.

An NBA all-star at Cleveland, he finished his NBA career as the league’s top percentage free throw shooter and helped build the Cavaliers into a perennial playoff team. His was the sixth jersey retired by the Cavaliers.

Non-Conference Foes Beware

Georgia Tech is 112-4 against non-conference opposition at Alexander Memorial Coliseum during the Bobby Cremins era including the last 11 in a row. Tech’s third-round NIT loss to Penn State to end the 1997-98 season, its last home loss to a non-ACC team, snapped a 24-game home winning streak against teams outside the conference.

The other non-conference teams to win at the Thrillerdome during Cremins’ tenure are Richmond (Dec. 22, 1987), Louisville (Jan. 15, 1989) and the College of Charleston (Jan. 16, 1993).

Freshmen of Influence

Freshman swingman Clarence Moore is the latest rookie to join the Georgia Tech starting lineup under Bobby Cremins. Last year, Tony Akins was the 22nd rookie to join a season-opening starting lineup for the Yellow Jackets, and he started every game of 1998-99.

In all but three of Cremins’ 19 seasons at Tech, at least one freshman has been in the starting lineup. Eight of them have earned ACC Rookie of the Year honors, and three others have been runner-up.

The list of freshman starters under Cremins includes seven rookies who have started at point guard,including Mark Price (1983), Kenny Anderson (1990), Travis Best (1992) and Stephon Marbury (1996).

Southern Comfort

Georgia Tech’s basketball roster, which for the third consecutive year is without a player from New York, has taken on a very home-state and Southern look.

Of the 15 players on Tech’s pre-season roster, eight are native Georgians, all from metropolitan Atlanta. Freshmen Clarence Moore and Ross Chouest are both from Louisiana, while Alex Luyk, a native Spaniard, prepped in Mobile, Ala. Jon Babul (North Attleboro, Mass.), Jason Collier (Springfield, Ohio) and Shaun Fein (Centerville, Mass.) are the only Jackets not from the Southeastern United States.

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