Starting Five: Tech at Tulane

Dec. 4, 2015

By Jon Cooper | The Good Word

Georgia Tech will try to put another notch in its non-conference belt as it travels to the Big Easy to take on Tulane in its first true road game of the season. Tip-off at Fogelman Arena is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET.

The Yellow Jackets are coming off a solid 77-61 win against Wofford Tuesday night at McCamish Pavilion. Adam Smith scored a game-high 16 points and Charles Mitchell added a 10-point, 15-rebound double-double as Georgia Tech used a big defensive second half to break open what was a two-point game at the half. Smith hit 6-of-9 and went 4-for-5 from three-point range to lead the Jackets, who shot 44.4 percent from three, 8-for-18, but 8-for-13 (61.5 percent) while the game was still in doubt. Quinton Stephens and Travis Jorgenson each shot 2-for-3 from downtown. Defensively, the Jackets held the Terriers to 33.3 percent shooting in the second half, 1-for-10 from three. They also dominated the boards in the second half, out-rebounding Wofford, 23-7.

The Green Wave won their third straight game and fourth in five on Wednesday night, but did it the hard way, surviving a furious second-half rally to defeat University of New Orleans, 64-62, at Fogelman Arena. Dylan Osetkowsk’s layup with 33 seconds remaining put the TU up for good, then they held off the stubborn Privateers. Osetkowski finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Jernard Jarreau added 10 and 13, the 13 boards were a game high. Tulane led 33-24 at the break and by as much as 13 early in the second half. But New Orleans put together a 17-3 run to surrender the lead and the game would see three ties and three lead changes the rest of the way, including two lead changes in the final minute. Tulane shot only 36.7 percent for the game and made only two of 17 three-point attempts. They also turned the ball over 16 times, 11 in the second half.

Saturday’s game will be the 70th meeting between the schools with Georgia Tech holding a 36-33 all-time series edge. Tech has struggled against the Wave on the road, however, as the Jackets are 9-21 all-time and have lost five of the last six meetings. The schools were both charter members of the SEC — Tech left following the 1963-64 season, Tulane exited two years later — then were together in the Metro Conference beginning in 1975 until Tech left after the 1978 season to join the ACC. Tulane left after 1985 to join Conference USA. The schools have met twice in the Brian Gregory Era, splitting the games, with Tulane winning, 57-52, at Fogelman Arena on Dec. 3, 2011 and Tech winning Nov. 9, 2012, 79-61, in the opening game at McCamish Pavilion.

The game can be seen on CBS Sports Network with Ari Wolfe and Pete Gillen calling the action. It also and can be heard on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, WYAY (93.7 FM) and 680 The Fan (680 AM), with Brandon Gaudin and Randy Waters on the call and on satellite radio on Sirius Channel 108 and XM Channel 201. Tech fans also can get up-to-the-minute stats on Ramblinwreck.com and the GT Gameday App.

And now, the Starting Five for Saturday’s game.

The Last Time We Met: Georgia Tech opened McCamish Pavilion in grand style, blowing out Tulane, 79-61, on Nov. 9, 2012. Forward Kammeon Holsey came off the bench to score 18 points and grab seven rebounds, and freshman Marcus Georges-Hunt added 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting, 2-for-2 from the line, and seven rebounds in his first career start. The Jackets never trailed by more than a bucket, grabbed the lead three minutes in on a Daniel Miller layup and never trailed again, taking a 39-30 lead into the half and extending the lead to 21 in the second half. Tech dominated the boards (47-23), and were especially effective on the offensive glass, winning that battle, 16-7, resulting in a 17-8 edge in second-chance points. The Jackets swatted away six shots (three by Miller, two by Robert Carter, one by Jason Morris) and had a 36-5 edge in bench points.

Faster, Yellow Jackets! Kill! Kill!: Three is a magic number for Georgia Tech when it comes to defense, as every time they put together three consecutive stops, they register what they call “a kill.” They’ve been especially good at registering kills in the first four minutes of a half. Over their first seven games the Jackets have recorded 14 kills in the first four minutes of the first or second half. They’ve recorded kills in 10 of their 14 halves thus far, with only Green Bay avoiding being killed in the first four minutes of either half. Eight of the kills have come in first halves, which is important, as getting off to a good start has been crucial to success under Brian Gregory. Under Gregory, the Jackets are 48-21 when leading at the break, 5-1 this season.

Tech Trivia: Georgia Tech held Wofford to 17.6 percent shooting from three-point range. Which team had the lowest opposing three-point field goal percentage against the Jackets last season?

Seven and Counting: Charles Mitchell’s double-double against Wofford (10 points, 15 rebounds) was his seventh straight to start the season (his eighth overall). The double-double against the Terriers extended MItchell’s school-record streak, as will every double-double along the way. The record for consecutive games with a double-double since Georgia Tech joined the ACC in 1979 had been five, set by forward Malcolm Mackey, during the 1991-92 season, then was matched 17 years later by forward Gani Lawal.

He’s Bad, He’s Nationwide: Mitchell headed into the season listing being the best rebounder in the country as one of his goals. He’s off to a good start to that end, as the 6-8, 256-pound forward heads into Saturday’s game leading the ACC in rebounding, with 12.9 rpg. That’s good for fifth in the country. He also leads the ACC in field goal percentage (62.5), good for 30th in the nation. Heading into the season, Mitchell had never grabbed more than 7.0 rebounds per game and never shot higher than 52.1 percent — the numbers for his junior season and his first at Georgia Tech.

The Sixth Man: Saturday’s game will be the third time Brian Gregory has coached against Tulane, all with Georgia Tech. He never faced the Green Wave while with Dayton…Travis Jorgenson’s pair of three-pointers against Wofford were a season-high and matched his career-high, set four times previously, the last time coming Jan. 31, 2015 against NC State, as well as his total for the season. Jorgenson hopes that will lead to a breakout of his early season slump, as came into the Wofford game having made 2-for-15…Trivia Answer: Charlotte shot .077, going 1-for-13 on Dec. 30, 2014…Ben Lammers has become a big-time rim-protector. The sophomore forward has seven blocks on the season and has at least one in five of the last six games. With a block against Tulane he can match his career-high three straight games with a block…Georgia Tech is proud of its depth this season and has played at least 10 players in each of its seven games this season. In fact, Tuesday’s game against Wofford was the third time that all 12 players got court time (they also did against Cornell and Green Bay).

GEORGIA TECH SCORING LEADER: Charles Mitchell 14.6 ppg
TULANE SCORING LEADER: Louis Dabney, 12.8 ppg


GEORGIA TECH REBOUNDING LEADER: Charles Mitchell, 12.9 rpg
TULANE REBOUNDING LEADER: Dylan Osetkowski, 9.3 rpg

GEORGIA TECH ASSISTS LEADER: Josh Heath, 4.6 apg
TULANE ASSISTS LEADER: Malik Morgan, 3.5 apg
GEORGIA TECH PPG: 81.7 ppg
OPP. 2014-15 PPG: 71.0 ppg
TULANE PPG: 70.1 ppg
OPP. PPG: 65.4 ppg

TULANE Player To Watch: Louis Dabney: The 6-3, 210-pound senior guard is a big-time scorer. The 35th player in school history to go over 1,000 career points, Dabney has picked up where he left off last season when he was second-team All-American Athletic Conference. The hot-shooting New Orleans, native, is shooting 38.5 percent from three (15-for-39) and is almost automatic at the foul line, where he’s converting at 88.0 percent. Dabney played only four minutes against Georgia Tech as a freshman and will look to shoot himself out of a rut that has seen him shoot 4-for-18 over his last two games and make only two of his last nine attempts from three-point range, including a 3-for-12, 1-for-6 from three against UNO.

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