Jan. 23, 2012
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech completes a stretch of three games in six days Tuesday night, hosting Miami in a 9 p.m., nationally-televised Atlantic Coast Conference game at Philips Arena. Both teams are coming off weekend losses and looking to reverse tough starts in conference play.
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Tickets are available at the main box office for Tuesday’s game, which can be seen nationally on ESPNU. The Tech radio broadcast can be heard in Atlanta on flagship station 790 the Zone (790 AM) and True Oldies 106.7 FM. The Clemson broadcast can be heard nationally on Sirius satellite radio channel 92, and XM satellite radio channel 192.
In its first year under head coach Brian Gregory, Tech (8-11, 1-4 ACC) has been competitive in conference play for the most part. The Jackets played Duke within two points inside the final minute of an 81-74 loss, defeated NC State by 11 points in Raleigh, were within four points of Maryland on the road within the final three minutes, and fell at Clemson Saturday by two points after a furious late rally. Still, the Yellow Jackets have lost seven of their last eight games overall.
Miami (10-7, 1-3 ACC) has played one of the more difficult schedules in the nation this season, but has gotten off to a rough start in ACC play, losing at North Carolina and Virginia, and dropping a 78-73 decision at home to NC State Sunday. The Hurricanes’ lone conference win came at home over Clemson last Wednesday.
Tech has yet to win on its “home” court of Philips Arena this year, going 0-4 (4-7 all-time). Miami is 1-5 in road games this season, the only win coming at Charlotte on Dec. 22.
Tech’s primary goals this season have been to play solid team defense, win the rebounding battle, and be efficient on offense. The Yellow Jackets have allowed only six teams to score as many as 70 points and two to shoot 50 percent from the floor. Tech has a +4.8 edge in rebounding for the season and has won that battle in 12 of 19 games.
The Yellow Jackets rank No. 4 in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (39.2 pct.) and fourth in scoring defense (62.4 ppg). Tech has held 11 opponents under 40 percent from the field, and have held eight teams under 60 points.
Offensively, Tech is averaging 63.1 points a game, 11th in the ACC, and hitting 44.3 percent of its field goal tries (6th). The Yellow Jackets have shot 50 percent or better from the floor seven times, and are at 41.5 percent in their conference games.
Miami ranked in the upper half of the ACC in scoring (71.4 ppg) and is one of the conference’s better three-point shooting teams (36.2 pct., 7.4 3s per game). Tech has held its opponents to 32.1 pct. from bonus range.
Whom to Watch
Two Yellow Jackets are averaging double figures in scoring, led by 6-5 junior Glen Rice, Jr., of Marietta, Ga., who is scoring 13.7 points (10th in the ACC) and grabbing 6.5 rebounds per game (10th). Mfon Udofia, a 6-2 junior from Stone Mountain, Ga., averages 10.6 points per game.
Both players got off to good starts in conference play – Rice has averaged 16.4 ppg while hitting 49.1 percent of his shots from the floor, while Udofia has averaged 11.8 ppg while hitting 46.3 percent. Both have scored in double digits in the same game three times.
6-11 sophomore center Daniel Miller ranks 13th in the ACC in rebounding (6.4 pg) and 2nd in blocked shots (2.5 pg).
6-8 sophomore forward Kammeon Holsey is hitting 62.7 percent of his shots from the floor, but has not taken enough shots to be listed in the ACC rankings.
After winning the first two meetings with Miami after the Hurricanes became members of the ACC, Tech has dropped five of the last seven. The teams split their regular-season meetings in 2010-11, each team winning at home.
Miami was the opponent for Tech in its last game at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, a game the Yellow Jackets won 66-57 to close out the 2010-11 regular season. Tech won four of six games against the Hurricanes in the building.
The last seven meetings have all been decided by 10 points or less.
The last meeting between the two schools prior to Miami’s joining the ACC occurred in December of 1997 as part of the Orange Bowl Classic doubleheader at Miami Arena, the Hurricanes’ home court until the team moved into the on-campus Convocation Center last year. The Yellow Jackets, led that year by senior forward Matt Harpring, won that game, 69-61.
Tech played Miami twice under former head coach Whack Hyder, losing the first-ever meeting in the series by 22 points in 1953, then taking a six-point homecourt victory in 1967. That was the only pre-ACC visit by the Hurricanes to Alexander Memorial Coliseum, and the 90-84 Tech win has been the highest scoring game in the brief series.
Former Tech coach Paul Hewitt was 3-6 against Miami, and former Hurricanes head coach Frank Haith was 6-3 against the Yellow Jackets.