Feb. 22, 2016
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech (15-12, 5-9 ACC) plays its second straight home game and its second straight re-match as Clemson (16-11, 9-6 ACC) comes calling for a 7 p.m. contest Tuesday night at McCamish Pavilion.
Tech, winner of three of its last four games, is looking to extend its first two-game ACC winning streak in two seasons, having beaten Florida State and No. 19 Notre Dame since the first meeting with Clemson. The Yellow Jackets are 3-4 at home in ACC games this season, 11-5 overall.
Clemson has split its two games since defeating the Yellow Jackets, 66-52, on Feb. 13. The Tigers lost at NC State Saturday, 77-74, following a 65-54 win over Boston College. Clemson is 4-5 since starting the conference schedule 5-1.
Tuesday’s game will be televised regionally on the ACC’s Regional Sports Networks (Fox Sports South in Georgia) and will be streamed live on ESPN3. Radio coverage of the game is provided by the Georgia Tech/IMG Sports Network, and can be heard in Atlanta on 680 the Fan (680 AM and 93.7 FM). The game can also be heard nationally on satellite radio (Sirius ch. 106, XM ch. 193).
Georgia Tech has won back-to-back ACC games for the first time since March 4 and 8, 2014 when they closed the regular season with wins over No. 7 Syracuse and Virginia Tech. The Jackets have not won three straight regular season ACC games since the 2007-08 season, but have won three in a row counting a tournament game three times in that period.
Tech is in 11th place, a half-game behind Florida State and one game behind Virginia Tech, in the ACC standings. The Jackets must leap over one of those teams to avoid playing on Tuesday at the ACC Tournament. They hold a tiebreaker over FSU, but lose a potential tiebreaker with Virginia Tech.
Tech is 11-5 at home, percentage-wise its best home record under Brian Gregory, and the 11 wins match the 2012-13 team for most under Gregory. The Jackets have not had a better home record since going 14-2 in 2009-10.
Clemson has won 12 of the last 13 games in the series, but the one Tech win occurred last season in McCamish Pavilion.
Tech’s 14 ACC games have been decided by an average of 5.9 points, only one by double digits (66-52 at Clemson).
Tech’s ACC wins this season have come by an average of 4.6 points, while its ACC losses have come by a total of 60 points, an average of 6.7 points per game.
Tech’s overall strength of schedule is the 15th strongest in the CBSSports.com RPI rankings (through games of Feb. 21). The Jackets’ non-conference schedule strength is rated No. 102.
ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI) has Tech No. 49 with an overall schedule strength of No. 4. ESPN has projected the 48 teams above Tech as “in” the NCAA Tournament.
Dating back to the 2014 ACC Tournament, 22 of Tech’s 26 losses to ACC teams in that period have been decided by nine points or fewer.
According to KenPom.com, Tech has the ninth most experienced roster in the nation, with an average number of years experience at 2.37.
Still relentless on the boards – Tech is out-rebounding its opponents by 6.9 per game, which ranks 26th in the nation and No. 4 in the ACC. Tech has out-rebounded 22 of 27 opponents this season with two ties. Tech is No. 4 in the ACC and 21st nationally in offensive rebounds per game (13.6).
Turnovers down – Tech is averaging 10.4 turnovers this season (5th in the ACC, 19th NCAA), down 2.3 per game (12.7) from last season. Tech has averaged 10.3 turnovers in ACC play, the fourth-lowest figure among the 15 teams.
Scoring up – Tech is averaging 74.4 points per game, more than 10 points per game higher than a year ago. The Yellow Jackets have scored 71.4 per ACC game, also more than 10 points per game better than last year’s average.
Outside threat – Tech’s 34.7-percent success rate from three-point range is up eight percent over last year. The Yellow Jackets have hit 33.3 percent against the ACC.
Tech is No. 2 in three-point percentage defense, giving up 31.3-percent from beyhond the arc and a league-low 150 total threes. The Jackets have yielded 30.6 percent in conference games.
Tech has shot 70.2 percent from the free throw line this year, its best figure since the 1994-95 season. The Jackets are converting 69.5 percent in ACC games, best since 2006-07.
However, Tech has been outscored from the free throw line 11 times in 14 ACC games, and by a total of 252-185. In the second half of those games, the difference is 177-110.
Four Georgia Tech players are averaging in double digits – Marcus Georges-Hunt (16.6 ppg), Adam Smith (14.1), Nick Jacobs (10.8) and Charles Mitchell (10.8). Tech has not finished a season with four or more players averaging in double figures since 2008-09.
Tech has used seven different starting lineups this season. Marcus Georges-Hunt is the only Jacket to start every game.
Tech has started Georges-Hunt, Smith and Quinton Stephens on the perimeter, Jacobs and Mitchell in the post in each of its last two games and won both. The Yellow Jackets are 3-2 in Stephens’ five starts.
Georges-Hunt ranks ninth in the ACC in free throw percentage (80.4) and third in free throw attempts per game (7.0). Only Cat Barber of NC State, Grayson Allen of Duke and Michael Young of Pittsburgh also rank in the top 10 in both categories. Georges-Hunt is attempting 7.4 per ACC game.
Nick Jacobs has scored in double figures in eight of Tech’s last 12 games, averaging 12.1 points (50 pct. FG, 22-of-28 FT) and 5.9 rebounds over that stretch.
Charles Mitchell has recorded 14 double-doubles this season. He is bidding to become the first Tech player to average in double digits in points and rebounds since Alvin Jones in 2000-01. Only Jones and Malcolm Mackey (1991-92 and 1992-93) have done so since Tech joined the ACC.
Mitchell is tied for second in the ACC in rebound average (10.2 per game), having led the conference for most of the season. He ranks No. 2 in offensive rebounds (3.89 per game). Mitchell ranks 20th in the nation in rebound average and 13th in offensive rebounds.
Adam Smith leads the ACC in three-point field goals made (2.89 per game, 34th in NCAA) and ranks eighth in percentage (39.8). He has averaged 2.86 three-pointers in ACC games and has made 36.7 percent of his tries.
In 27 games, Smith has made more three-pointers (78) than Tech’s leader in each of the past seven seasons and the most for any Tech player since 2007-08.
ONE THOUSAND TIMES THREE
Georgia Tech now has three career 1,000-point scorers on its roster, and could soon have one more.
Charles Mitchell reached the career milestone Saturday when he scored 12 points against Notre Dame, improving his career total to 1,010.
Nick Jacobs is within reach as well, with 972 points after Saturday’s game.
INSIDE THE SERIES WITH CLEMSON
This is the oldest and longest-running series the Yellow Jackets have with an ACC member. The 128 all-time meetings are 33 more than Tech has played with any other ACC opponent. The series dates back to the 1912-13 season, when John Heisman coached the Tech basketball team.
Clemson is one of two permanent home-and-away opponents on Tech’s schedule each year (Notre Dame is the other).
Clemson has won 19 of the last 22 meetings in the series, and had won 10 straight games in the series until Tech captured a 63-52 win on Feb. 16, 2015 at McCamish Pavilion. The Tigers have won twice since, once at Littlejohn Coliseum and the teams’ first meeting this season, which was played at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C.
The Yellow Jackets trail 45-32 to the Tigers since joining the ACC.
Tech has an all-time record of 41-24 against the Tigers at home, including a 27-15 record at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The Jackets have won 22 of 32 against the Tigers at home since 1983.
Clemson head coach Brad Brownell is 11-1 vs. Tech, while Brian Gregory is 1-9 vs. Clemson. In the 12 meetings with the Tigers and Brownell, the Yellow Jackets have averaged under 56 points per game, never scoring more than 65 in any one game.
TECH PLAYERS VS. CLEMSON
Marcus Georges-Hunt has averaged 11.8 points in eight career games against Clemson, hitting 40.3 percent from the floor and 6-of-16 from three-point range. He has scored in double digits in seven of the eight meetings, including a career-high of 20 in an overtime loss last year at Clemson. He scored 11 in Tech’s win at McCamish Pavilion last season.
Charles Mitchell has averaged 6.7 points and 9.0 rebounds in three games against Clemson as a Yellow Jacket, including a double-double with 11 points and a career-high 19 rebounds 10 days ago at Greenville. He averaged 7.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in two career games while at Maryland.
Josh Heath was a key figure in Tech’s win over Clemson last year at McCamish Pavilion, scoring a career-high 14 points. He hit 4-of-5 from the floor and had three assists with no turnovers. He added eight points in the later meeting at Clemson.
Tadric Jackson scored 12 points in Tech’s overtime loss at Clemson last year and has averaged 6.7 points in three career meetings.
Adam Smith scored 12 points but missed all three of his three-point attempts 10 days ago in Greenville. He averaged 7.5 points and went 2-for-8 from three-point range in two chances against Clemson while at Virginia Tech.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is beginning its fifth year under head coach Brian Gregory. The Yellow Jackets have been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB).