Feb. 7, 2012
By Jon Cooper
Georgia Tech looks to make it two straight at home and complete a season sweep of North Carolina State when it welcomes the Wolfpack to Philips Arena Thursday night. Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m.
The Yellow Jackets are coming off a 51-47 victory over Boston College on Saturday afternoon at Philips Arena. Glen Rice, Jr., had a team-high 11 points and Daniel Miller and Kammeon Holsey each added 10 for the Jackets, who used a dominant inside game in beating the Eagles. Tech held a 30-14 edge in points in the paint. The Jackets limited BC to 34.7 percent shooting for the game and held them to 29.6 percent shooting from three.
The Wolfpack have begun to hit their stride, as they have won two straight and five of their last seven in ACC play, and have won three of their last four on the road. State topped Wake Forest, 87-76, on Saturday afternoon at the RBC Center. Scott Wood had a season-high 23 and nailed 6-of-10 three-point attempts to lead the Wolfpack, who used an 18-2 run late in the first half to overcome a seven-point deficit and never trailed again.
The game is the 89th in a series that dates back to 1925. Tech trails, 51-37 in the series, but has had success of late, having won three of the last four meetings and six of the last nine. The Jackets have had success at home, having won 22 of 36 home games.
Thursday’s game can be seen on ESPNU with Anish Shroff and Adrian Branch calling the action. Of course, fans can listen to Wes Durham and Randy Waters on Georgia Tech/ISP Sports Network’s flagship stations WQXI-AM (790 the Zone) and WYAY (106.7 FM). The game also can be heard via satellite radio on Sirius (Channel 92) and XM (Channel 190). Tech fans can always follow the game and get live stats on Ramblinwreck.com.
And now, the starting five for Thursday’s game.
The Last Time We Met: Glen Rice, Jr., had a game-high 22 points on 7-for-10 shooting and Mfon Udofia added 17 as the Yellow Jackets topped State, 82-71, on Jan. 11 at the RBC Center. Trailing 26-21 with 7:01 left in the half, Tech closed on a 19-3 run to take an 11-point lead into the half. The Jackets shot 57.9 percent in the first 20. The Wolfpack closed to within five, at 45-40, but the Jackets went on an 11-0 run to put the game away. The win snapped a four-game losing streak and was only the second in 11 games at the RBC Center.
The Bounce-Back Kid: Point guard Mfon Udofia more than made up for shooting 0-for-7 from the floor against Boston College, handing out a game-high six assists and not committing a turnover, his second clean game this season. Coincidentally, the last game Udofia had as many as six assists came on Dec. 29 at Fordham, when he shot only 1-for-10. After that game, the junior heated up, making 14 of his next 24 shots (58.3 percent), including hitting six of his next nine tries from three.
Feelin’ February: A new month has been a good thing for redshirt sophomore Brandon Reed. Reed has shot 50.0 percent (8-for-16) in two February games. The eight FGMs are three fewer than he made in January and matched his total in seven January ACC games. Reed also is shooting 41.6 percent from three, having made five of 12 attempts. The five three-pointers matched his total for January. One area Reed has remained hot is at the foul line, where he has 20-for-22 in 2012 and has made 12 in a row heading into Thursday’s game.
Big Double-Double: The sight of forward Kammeon Holsey and center Daniel Miller scoring in double figures on Saturday was a welcome one for Georgia Tech and was one the Jackets hadn’t seen in a while. The last time the two bigs both scored in double digits in the same game was on Dec. 7 in the 68-56 win at Georgia. That night Holsey had 12 on 6-for-9 shooting, and Miller added 10, shooting 5-for-5. The pair shot 9-for-13 Saturday (Holsey 5-for-7, Miller 4-for-6).
If It’s Three, It’s for We: Look for the three-point shot to play a role in Thursday’s game. The Yellow Jackets and Wolfpack rank second and third in the ACC in three-point shooting, with Tech converting at 35.6 percent (52-for-146), and State an eyelash behind at 35.5 (50-of-141). State’s Scott Wood is second in the conference in threes made, sinking 3.0 per game and he’s fourth in three-point field goal percentage (40.9 percent). The Jackets are getting it done by committee, as Rice leads the team with 14 3’s in conference play. Udofia is right behind him with 11.
The Sixth Man: A win Thursday would give the Yellow Jackets their first regular-season sweep of NC State since 1996 and would mark the first time both the Tech Men’s and Women’s basketball teams swept season series from State.
TECH LEADING SCORER: Glen Rice, 13.0 ppg
LEADING SCORER (ACC): Glen Rice, 13.8 ppg
NC STATE LEADING SCORER: Scott Wood, 13.5 ppg
LEADING SCORER (ACC): Scott Wood, 15.1 ppg
TECH LEADING REBOUNDER: Glen Rice, 6.6 rpg
LEADING REBOUNDER (ACC): Glen Rice, 6.3 rpg
NC STATE LEADING REBOUNDER: Richard Howell, 9.4 rpg.
LEADING REBOUNDER (ACC): Richard Howell, 8.6 rpg.
TECH PPG/ACC: 62.3/60.1 ppg
OPP. PPG/ACC: 63.3/68.8 ppg.
NC STATE PPG/ACC: 74.9/70.9 ppg
OPP. PPG/ACC: 67.8/65.9 ppg.
NC State Player to Watch: Lorenzo Brown: The sophomore guard is hard to handle for opponents on either sides of the ball, as he’s second in the ACC in assists (7.0 apg), is third in assist-to-turnover ratio (plus-2.0) and is seventh in steals at 1.7 per game (he and teammate C.J. Leslie have 15 steals). Brown had 13 points and six assists in the first meeting with Georgia Tech this season.