Jackets Close Regular Season With Virginia Tech

March 4, 2010

Complete game notes
Raycom TV affiliates carrying the Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech game
ESPN360.com online live video streaming

ATLANTA – Looking to finish off the regular season on a high note for its senior class, Georgia Tech plays its final game of the regular season at 4 p.m. Saturday against Virginia Tech at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The game is being regionally televised on the ACC’s Raycom television network and broadcast on the Georgia Tech/ISP Sports Radio Network.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (19-10, 7-8 ACC) vs.
Virginia Tech Hokies (22-7, 9-6 ACC)
Date:
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Tipoff: 4 p.m. Eastern time
Site: Alexander Memorial Coliseum at the Henry F. McCamish, Jr., Basketball Complex
Television: Raycom – Tom Werme play-by-play, Dave Odom color
Radio: Georgia Tech/ISP Sports Network, live on flagship station WQXI-AM (790 the Zone) and WYAY-FM (106.7). Wes Durham play-by-play, Randy Waters color.
Satellite Radio: XM 191, Sirius 220
On the web: Audio and live stats available at Ramblinwreck.com. Live video streaming on ESPN360.com.
Tickets: available at www.Ramblinwreck.com/tickets
Series History: Virginia Tech leads, 9-3
Tech at Alexander Memorial Coliseum: Tech is 546-188 all-time in its home arena, 14-1 this season.
National Rankings: Virginia Tech is receiving votes in the Associated Press writers and the ESPN/USA Today coaches polls. Georgia Tech is unranked.

Georgia Tech, 19-10 overall, 7-8 in the ACC, is within a victory of winning 20 games in the regular season for the 13th time in its history. A win would put the Yellow Jackets in line for the sixth seed in next week’s ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C., while a loss would lock Tech into the seventh seed. Either way, the Yellow Jackets would play in the evening session in Thursday’s opening round (7 or 9 p.m.).

Virginia Tech (22-7 overall, 9-6 ACC), which features the ACC’s leading scorer in Malcolm Delaney (20.5 ppg), snapped a three-game losing streak Wednesday night with a 71-59 win over NC State and is in a three-way tie for third place in the ACC with Clemson and Florida State.

Saturday’s game is the only scheduled meeting between the two teams this season. The teams met just once last year, a 76-71 Hokie victory in Blacksburg, and the teams split the regular-season series in 2008. The Hokies, who have won on three of their four prior trips to Atlanta, are 5-5 on the road this season, 2-5 in ACC games. The Yellow Jackets are 14-1 at home this year, 6-1 in ACC games.

Georgia Tech currently holds seventh place alone at 7-8, one game behind Wake Forest (8-7), which hosts Clemson Sunday at 6 p.m. If the teams finish the regular season tied at 8-8 and Duke remains the No. 1 seed, the Yellow Jackets would gain the sixth seed based on its victory over the Blue Devils.

Next Up for Tech

If Georgia Tech is the No. 6 seed, it would play the No. 11 seed, currently Miami or NC State, in the final game of the opening round of the ACC Tournament Thursday night. If Tech is the No. 7 seed, it would play the No. 10 seed, currently Virginia or North Carolina, in the 7 p.m. game Thursday night.

Georgia Tech has won its final regular-season home game – i.e. Senior Day game – 11 years in a row. The Yellow Jackets’ last Senior Day loss occurred at the end of the 1997-98 season, the class that included Matt Harpring and Michael Maddox

Tech to Honor Senior Class

Saturday’s game will be the final regular-season home game at Alexander Memorial Coliseum for four senior members of the Georgia Tech basketball team – guard D’Andre Bell, forward Zachery Peacock, and managers Brad Hamilton and Tysor Anderson.

Bell, from Los Angeles, Calif., has been a key reserve and starter for the Yellow Jackets for four years, earning a reputation as a staunch defender. He missed last season after discovering a congenital spinal condition and having surgery to correct it, and has returned to start every game this season and average 6.4 points a game. The 6-6 guard has played in 117 games in his career, starting 62, and earned his bachelor’s degree in Management last May. He has also served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Boards for Georgia Tech, the ACC and the NCAA.

Peacock, from Miami, Fla., started every game of his junior season but mostly has been a key frontcourt reserve for the Jackets, playing in 115 games and averaging 8.4 points and 3.9 rebounds for his career. The 6-8 forward, called the best sixth man in the ACC this year by many, is 34 points shy of 1,000 for his career.

Hamilton, from Tampa, Fla., is a legacy in the managerial ranks at Georgia Tech, following in the footsteps of his father, Hoyt, a manager from 1977-80, and older brother Drew, who served in the same capacity from 2005-08. Hamilton will graduate in May with his degree in Management.

Anderson, from Watkinsville, Ga., who may be better known as a grandson of the legendary coach Lefty Driesell, played three years as a walk-on for the Yellow Jackets before a back injury forced him to the sidelines last year. The aspiring coach has worked this year as a manager and student assistant and will graduate in August with his degree in Science, Technology and Culture.

Series History with Virginia Tech

> Virginia Tech has won nine of 12 all-time meetings with Georgia Tech, including five of seven as a member of the ACC. The Hokies won the first three games played in Atlanta before the Yellow Jackets captured an 81-70 decision on Jan. 19, 2008.

> Georgia Tech won the teams’ only ACC Tournament encounter, a 73-54 victory in the first round of the 2005 tournament in Washington, D.C. Tech, which outscored the Hokies 43-29 in the second half and shot 54.9 percent from the floor in the game, went on to reach the tournament finals.

> Georgia Tech has lost all five previous meetings with Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, including a 76-71 decision last year. The Hokies, led by future NBA star Dell Curry, held off the Jackets and their future All-Americans Mark Price and John Salley, 77-74, in the teams’ first meeting at Cassell Coliseum in 1984. It was Georgia Tech’s first post-season game in 13 years and a precursor to the ACC Championship season a year later.

> Georgia Tech’s first victory over Virginia Tech occurred on Dec. 27, 1962, a 73-72 overtime triumph at the Gator Bowl Tournament that was part of an 11-0 start for the Yellow Jackets. Tech went on to finish the season 21-5. Both teams were ranked in the UPI poll at the time, Georgia Tech at No. 18, Virginia Tech at No. 14.

> Both teams were members of the old Metro Conference, but not at the same time. Georgia Tech was a member for three seasons from 1975-76 through 1977-78 before leaving to join the ACC. Virginia Tech joined the league for the 1978-79 season.

Paul Hewitt Quotes – March 4

On Virginia Tech’s Malcolm Delaney:

“He’s had a great year. They put a lot in his hands and I can see why after watching the tape. He takes a lot of shots and they play pretty much exclusively through him.”

On the Clemson loss:

“They shot the ball extremely well. The first half, we contested almost everyone one of the three’s they took. Obviously, that last play of the half was a tough one. I don’t think it was a travel, but still with 2.6 seconds to go for that guy to hit a 40-footer was a real momentum shift. If we could’ve gotten out of there with a tied score, I think it would’ve done a lot for our guys’ confidence. The last thing we see is that kid hitting a big shot. Not that it would’ve changed the result of the game, but it certainly would’ve made the game a lot closer because they had a big run out of the locker room. We had our run to cut it to 10 and Brian [Oliver] hit a shot to cut it down to eight, but if that run isn’t as big, maybe it’s not a 10- or 11-point lead. We contested their shots well. It wasn’t like Boston College. I didn’t think we contested well in the second half, first half we contested well. [Trevor] Booker hits [a three] and he was shooting 11 percent [in the ACC from three] and there were a couple of other guys who stepped up who we didn’t expect. So, it was tough.”

On Derrick Favors’ injury:

“It’s a little sore, but I think he’ll be fine for the game. He may be limited today in practice, but he’ll be fine for Saturday.”

On if Saturday’s game is a must-win in terms of NCAA Tournament chances:

“Let’s put it this way, if we win, it makes things a lot better. I said after the game on Tuesday, you don’t know what’s going on around the country, and what I meant to say was you don’t know what’s going on day-to-day, night-to-night. I start paying attention to this stuff in the middle of February, and pretty much all the projections I’ve seen still have us in the [NCAA Tournament] field. I don’t know if I should be surprised, but the bottom line is we have a game on Saturday.”

On if there is a sense of urgency around the team:

“I think there would have that sense of urgency if they weren’t playing well. I think they’re confident and they’re doing all the right things. We just haven’t had some things fall into place. I think they want to get back out there and play. The feeling they had after the Maryland game wasn’t panic or dread, it was let’s go play.”

On the seniors D’Andre Bell and Zach Peacock, who will be playing their final games at home on Saturday:

“Obviously D’Andre and Zach are model college student-athletes. D’Andre has already graduated and if Zach doesn’t finish in the spring, he will finish shortly afterwards. I don’t think we’ve ever had an issue with those guys at all, in any shape or form. D’Andre had the injury last year, and it’s been great to see him comeback and enjoy his senior year. Zach has been somebody that we’ve come to rely on over the last four years. There are sides of him that people don’t understand. They see this big, strong, burly guy and don’t understand that he is a real sensitive kid that takes things to heart. I know he will be very, very emotional on Saturday. He’s a great kid and obviously I’m going to miss him. He and D’Andre deserve to go out with a win.”

On if the team can put together a run in both the ACC and NCAA Tournament:

“Yeah, no question. Anytime you have a young team like this that is starting to play its best basketball and got beat on a couple of buzzer beaters in its last four or five games, that has maybe changed the perception a bit outside the locker room, but internally, these guys know what we’re sitting on. If you’re a horse racing trainer, you know when your horse is ready to run a big race. You know you just need to get that clear trip one day and if we get that, then I think we can go on a big run.”

On losing at the buzzer to both Miami and Maryland earlier in the year:

“It’s just unlucky. You can’t contest a shot any better than we had in both cases against Miami and Maryland. But, at the same time, there is some things we know we need to do put ourselves in that position. I sincerely feel at some point, if you play enough games, those things will come back around and we’ll get some breaks down the road. .”

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