Georgia Tech/NC State Men's Basketball Pre-Game Notes

Live TotalCast! Tech vs. NC State

Georgia Tech (9-7, 2-2) at NC State (12-3, 3-2)
January 22, 2000 * 9 p.m.
Entertainment & Sports Arena * Raleigh, N.C.

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

Tech Record: 9-7, 2-2 ACC
Home: 7-0; Away: 0-4; Neut.: 2-3
Tech vs. NCSU: NCSU leads 38-27
vs. NCSU under Cremins: NCSU leads 21-19
Last Year’s Meetings: 1-2-99, NC State 75-69 (Raleigh); 2-2-99, NC State 51-50 (Atlanta)

vs. NCSU in Raleigh: 7-20
Nat’l Rank: Neither team ranked
Cremins Record: 450-297 (.602), 25th season
Cremins at Tech: 350-227 (.607), 19th season
Last Tech game: Jan. 19, defeated Florida State, 65-62
Next Tech game: Jan. 27, home vs. Wake Forest, 8 p.m. (RJ)

Probable StartersF  52  Jason Collier  7-0  Sr.  17.9 ppg  9.9 rpg  2nd in ACC in scoring, 1st in rebounding, 4th in FG% (52.5)F  34  Jason Floyd    6-6  Sr.  11.6 ppg  3.8 rpg  Averaging 12.7 ppg in ACC gamesC   4  Alvin Jones    6-11 Jr.  11.7 ppg  8.1 rpg  5th in ACC in rebounding, 2nd in blocks (2.8)G   3  Tony Akins     5-11 So.  10.9 ppg  4.3 apg  4th in ACC in 3-pt. FG pct., 4th in 3-pt. FG per gameG  11  Shaun Fein     6-3  Jr.  10.9 ppg  3.6 apg  10-17 3-pt FG in last two games; 3rd in ACC in A-TO (1.87)Top ReservesG    10  T.J. Vines       5-10  Jr.  4.4 ppg  2.3 apg  11 pts (4-5 3-pt FG), 5 ast, 1 TO in last two gamesF    23  Jon Babul        6-7   Jr.  4.1 ppg  4.2 rpg  Out with strained right quadricepsF    42  Clarence Moore   6-4   Fr.  4.2 ppg  3.3 rpg  7 pts vs. Kentucky, 6 pts. vs. DukeG    13  Darryl LaBarrie  6-3   Jr.  0.9 ppg  0.3 rpg  Six points vs. MercerF/C  44  Michael Isenhour 6-8   So.  0.7 ppg  0.2 rpg  May see more playing time with Babul injured

Jackets Win Second in a Row
Shaun Fein scored 18 points, including 6-for-10 from three-point range, and Jason Collier recorded his third straight double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead Georgia Tech to a 65-62 win over Florida State at Alexander Memorial Coliseum at McDonald’s Center. Tech led the entire game, but after FSU pulled within one point with 28 seconds left, Collier sank a pair of free throws with 16 seconds on the clock to seal the win.

The win was Tech’s second straight ACC victorythe Jackets knocked off No. 16 Maryland, 69-68 after a three-game losing streak that saw Tech endure a grueling road stretch with losses at No. 24 Kentucky (L, 80-71), at Virginia (L, 83-65) and at No. 6 Duke (L, 82-57).

The Series with NC State
NC State has won six in a row over Georgia Tech to take a 38-27 lead in the series, which dates back to 1925. NC State’s last four wins have all been by six points or fewer. Prior to the Wolfpack’s current six-game winning streak, Tech had won seven in a row.

NC State swept last year’s meetings, winning 75-69 in Raleigh and then 51-50 in Atlanta.

The Yellow Jackets, making their first appearance in the new Entertainment and Sports Arena, have a 7-20 record against NC State in Raleigh. Tech’s last win at NC State was a 76-71 decision in 1995-96.

The Jackets are 19-21 against NC State under Bobby Cremins, including an 18-16 record since 1985.

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.

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, 483 wins, and retired North Carolina coach Dean Smith, with 879, have won more games than Cremins.

Tech Players vs. NC StatePlayer  G       FG      3FG     FT      RB      Avg     A       Bl      St      TP      AvgAkins   2       4-13    1-6     2-3     8       4.0     12      0       3       11      5.5Babul   5       6-13    0-2     5-10    7       1.4     4       2       2       17      3.4Collier 2       12-22   2-6     2-4     8       4.0     2       0       2       28      14.0Floyd   7       13-30   8-18    4-5     16      2.3     6       0       1       38      5.4Jones   4       14-20   0-0     16-26   22      5.5     2       20      5       44      11.0LaBarrie2       0-2     0-1     0-0     1       1.0     1       0       0       0       0.0Vines   4       4-15    1-7     1-2     4       1.0     4       0       3       9       2.3

Fein Breaks Out Shaun Fein has put together his 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 against the Seminoles, going 6-for-10 from beyond the arc, 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.

Jackets Cashing In At The Line
The Yellow Jackets have made a significant improvement as a team in free throw shooting this season, ranking second in the ACC at 70.7 percent. That’s almost 10 percentage points above last year’s average (62.1).

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 nine victories, Tech has hit 49-of-55 free throws (89 percent) in the final five minutes.

Vines Gives a Lift off the Bench
T.J. Vines, Georgia Tech’s backup point guard, averages 19 minutes off the bench, contributing 4.4 points and 2.3 assists per game. He also has 14 steals and is a good perimeter defender.

Vines has put together two solid performances in Tech’s wins over Maryland and Florida State. Against the Seminoles, he hit two key three-pointers, scored eight points and had two assists and no turnovers in 19 minutes. Vines played 23 minutes against Maryland, when starting point guard Tony Akins was saddled with foul trouble, and he had six points (2-for-3 three-pointers), three assists and just one turnover against the Terps’ pressure defense.

The 5-10 junior also contributed seven points and four assists versus Kentucky. Earlier this season, he enjoyed one of the best games of his career in Georgia Tech’s win over Washington in the Great Alaska Shootout with season highs for points (13) and assists (6).

Akins Has Hit 24 Straight
Tony Akins has hit 24 straight free throw attempts to improve his season percentage to 90.3 (28-for-31).

His last missed free throw occurred Nov. 27 on his final attempt against Kansas with 2:30 left after making his first four attempts of the game. The streak began in Tech’s next game against Michigan.

Akins has some work to do in order to reach the Tech record, however. Drew Barry hit 33 in a row during the 1995-96 season. Current 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 Paces Tech in Scoring Column
Jason Collier leads Georgia Tech in both scoring (17.9) and rebounding (9.9), ranking second in the ACC in scoring and first in rebounding. The 7-foot senior is fourth in the ACC in field goal percentage (52.5), 10th in free throw percentage (72.6) and ninth in blocks. He leads the league lead with eight double-doubles.

Although Collier has been held to 12.7 points over the last three games, he has had three straight double-doubles, averaging nearly 13 rebounds in the three contests.

The Springfield, Ohio, native is shooting fewer threes than he did last season but has been effective from beyond the arc, hitting 16 of 37 (.432). He hit three-of-four treys against Kentucky and two-of-four against Florida State.

Floyd Heats Up
Forward Jason Floyd has increased his scoring of late, scoring in double figures in nine of the last 10 games.

The senior from Hampton, Ga., turned in a 21-point performance (including 4-of-7 three-pointers) against Virginia, his high in an ACC game. His previous top scoring effort against the ACC was a 19-point outing last season in Tech’s eight-point loss to Duke.

Floyd is Tech’s third-leading scorer at 11.6 points per game, shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 84.6 percent from the free throw line.

Floyd Still Likes Thrillerdome
Jason Floyd continues to demonstrate his affinity for Alexander Memorial Coliseum when it comes to shooting the basketball. The 6-6 senior went 5-for-5 from three-point range in the first half of the Dec. 28 win over UNC Greensboro, accounting for all of his 15 points, and finished the game 5-for-7.

In six home games this season, Floyd has shot nearly 50 percent from the floor (32-69), 43.3 from three-point range (14-34) and averaged 12.9 points. Compare to overall marks of 45.6 on field goals, 35.1 on threes and 11.6 points per game.

The disparity between home and away for Floyd was even sharper last season, when he shot 50.4 percent overall and 46.2 percent at home, vs. 38.5 and 32.8 overall.

Tech from Beyond the Arc
Georgia Tech leads the the ACC in three-point field goals per game. The Jackets, who hit 12 treys against Florida State (12-26) and nine versus Maryland (9-17), average 8.6 treys per game and rank fourth in the league in percentage (36.1). Tony Akins (38.9) and Shaun Fein (38.9) are tied for fourth in the ACC in three-point percentage. In addition, 7-0 forward Jason Collier shoots 43.2 percent (16-37) from beyond the arc.

Three Tech players rank in conference top 10 in three-point field goals per game in Fein (2.6), Akins (2.2) and Jason Floyd (1.7).

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 1,123. The 7-foot senior has scored 717 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 1,145 career points, including 971 (19.7 per game) in two seasons at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass.

Senior Jason Floyd, with 918 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 third in the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio. (1.87-1) His backcourt mate, Tony Akins (1.56-1) is sixth , while Akins (4.3) and Fein (3.6) rank and sixth and seventh, respectively, in assist average.

Akins Remains Steady
Point guard Tony Akins has made definite strides as a sophomore, averaging 10.9 points and 4.3 assists while ranking sixth in the ACC in assist-turnover ratio (1.56-1). He has hit 35 of his 90 three-point attempts (38.9 percent).

Akins currently ranks fourth in three-point field goals made per game (2.2), fourth in three-point percentage, and sixth in assists (4.3).

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 73 of 116 from the stripe (62.9 percent), shooting 32 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 nine of 16 games this season, including three games in which five players reached double figures, most recently against UNC Greensboro.

All five Tech starters are averaging at least 10 points per game, ranging from 17.9 points per game for Jason Collier (2nd in the ACC) to 10.9 for Tony Akins and Shaun Fein. The last Tech team to have all five starters average double figures for a season was 1991-92 quintet that featured future NBA players Travis Best, Jon Barry, Matt Geiger and Malcolm Mackey.

Jackets Hitting the Boards
The Yellow Jackets are outrebounding their opponents collectively, 40.0-36.0, a margin (+4.0) that ranks fourth in the ACC. Only five teams this season have outrebounded Tech.

Jason Collier has paced the Jackets on the boards with 9.9 per game (first in the ACC), including 38 boards in the last three games. Alvin Jones is second on the team at 8.1 per game (fifth in the ACC), followed by Jon Babul at 4.2. Tech averaged 35.8 rebounds per game last season.

Jones, the ACC’s career rebound leader among active players with 652, grabbed 16 against Michigan, the best for a Jacket this season, 15 against Stanford and 13 versus Duke. He leads the ACC in offensive rebounds per game (3.44).

Last Season to This SeasonStatistic                      98-99   99-00Scoring Average                 67.3    75.6Field Goal Percentage           41.1    42.7Three-point Percentage          33.0    36.1Three-point FG per game         7.1     8.6Three-point attempts per game   21.4    23.8Free throw attempts per game    21.4    20.6Free throw percentage           62.1    70.7Assists per game                13.2    16.7Assists as a pct. of FG         58.1    63.7Rebounds per game               36.9    40.0Offensive rebounds per game     12.4    14.2Turnovers per game              17.2    17.0Pct. of offense from 2-pt. FG   48.8    46.7Pct. of offense from 3-pt. FG   31.5    40.0Pct. of offense from FT         19.7    19.4

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. 3, Kansas, currently No. 8, and No. 18 Kentucky.

Two ACC teams are in the top 25, including No. 5 Duke and No. 21 North Carolina.

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 293 rejections in 80 games, including eight in the season opener against Mercer.

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. He just passed Sharone Wright of Clemson (288) for seventh place against Maryland. His next target is another Tiger, Elden Campbell, who ranks sixth with 334 blocks.

Jones career average of 3.66 blocks per game is not far off the ACC record of 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 397 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.

Tech Bench Deeper
Georgia Tech’s bench may be the deepest of the Bobby Cremins era with 5-10 junior T.J. Vines (Woodstock, Ga.) in the backcourt, 6-7 junior Jon Babul (North Attleboro, Mass.) in the frontcourt and 6-4 freshman Clarence Moore (Norco, La.) on the wing. The trio averages between 15 and 19 minutes per game and has combined for more than 13 points per game.

The Jackets can also call upon 6-3 junior guard Darryl LaBarrie (Decatur, Ga.), who played in all 31 games a year ago and scored in all but six, and 6-8 junior center Michael Isenhour (Lawrenceville, Ga.), a transfer from Air Force.

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 32.5 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.

T.J. Vines, Jon Babul and Clarence Moore are getting significant minutes off the bench, ranging between 15 and 19 minutes per game.

Tech has not had eight players average more than 10 minutes per 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).

Jackets Return Everyone, Sort Of
Georgia Tech returns all of its players who played significant minutes on last year’s NIT squad with the exception of 6-7 senior Ashley Kelly, who averaged 7.8 minutes per game as a key reserve on a thin team. Tech lost guard Dion Glover to the NBA, but Glover missed all of last season with a knee injury.

NC State is the only other ACC team to return all five starters, and only the Wolfpack, with 13, and Wake Forest, with 11, return more than Tech’s 10 letterwinners.

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.

Freshmen of Influence
With Tony Akins in the starting lineup at the point guard position for Georgia Tech last season, head coach Bobby Cremins continued his long-standing practice of giving freshmen prominent roles on his Yellow Jacket teams. Clarence Moore, a 6-5 freshman from Norco, La., has made an impact as a reserve this season.

This season marks only the fourth time in Cremins’ 19 seasons at Tech that a freshman not been in the starting lineup. Akins was the 22nd rookie to join a season-opening starting lineup for the Yellow Jackets. Eight of them have earned ACC Rookie of the Year honors, and three others have been runner-up.

Of those 22 freshman starters, Akins was the seventh freshman to start at point guard, joining a list that includes Mark Price (1983), Kenny Anderson (1990), Travis Best (1992) and Stephon Marbury (1996).

Non-Conference Foes Beware
Georgia Tech is 111-4 against non-conference opposition at Alexander Memorial Coliseum during the Bobby Cremins era including the last 10 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.

Florida A&M is the only non-conference game left on Tech’s home schedule.

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).

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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