March 2, 2013
THE FLATS – Finishing out its home schedule with Senior Night, Georgia Tech looks to win its second straight Atlantic Coast Conference game and even the season series with NC State when it hosts the Wolfpack in a nationally-televised game at 6 p.m. Sunday night at McCamish Pavilion. It will be the final regular-season home game for Tech seniors Mfon Udofia and Pierre Jordan.
Tech (15-12, 5-10 ACC) snapped a two-game losing streak with one of its best performances of the year Wednesday night in a 78-68 victory over Maryland. The Yellow Jackets, who have not won two straight ACC games since the end of the 2010-11 season, have made measurable progress this season that has been reflected in its overall and conference records, and enter the weekend tied for eighth place in the conference standings.
Sunday’s game can be heard over the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network (790 AM, 106.7 FM in Atlanta), as well as satellite radio (Sirius Ch. 92, XM Ch. 191). The game is being televised on the ESPNU Sunday Night Hoops package, and is also available online via the WatchESPN app.
NC State (20-8, 9-6 ACC) is alone in fifth place in the ACC standings following its 82-64 win over Boston College Tuesday. The Wolfpack, 2-6 on the road in the ACC, have won four of their last five games and rank second in the ACC in scoring offense (78.3 ppg).
Following Sunday’s game, the Yellow Jackets will finish the regular season on the road next week at Miami (9 p.m. Wednesday) and Boston College (12 noon Saturday).
Final Game in McCamish Pavilion for Udofia, Jordan
Udofia, an all-state player in Georgia at state champion Miller Grove High School in Stone Mountain, was part of a stellar recruiting class of six players who enter Tech for the 2009-10 season and helped the Yellow Jackets reach the finals of the ACC Tournament and the second round of the NCAA Tournament. After struggling through his first two years, the 6-2 guard has developed into a solid point guard and leader with career-best numbers this year.
Jordan, who graduated from Dunwoody High School in 2008, played two seasons at Florida State and graduated in three years, leaving him with two years of eligiblity to complete while enrolled in the Building Construction and Facility Management graduate program at Tech. He has been Udofia’s primary backup for most of the past two seasons and will complete his master’s in the spring.
Georgia Tech is tied with Clemson and Wake Forest for eighth place in the ACC standings, two games behind Maryland and Florida State, who are both 7-8.
Tech currently holds tiebreakers over Maryland and Wake Forest, while FSU and Clemson hold tiebreakers over Tech, based on head-to-head record this season.
Tech is 22-15 against NC State all-time at home, but lost to the Wolfpack at Philips Arena last year. The Jackets won three of the last four meetings in Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
Tech’s 15 wins are its most since the 2009-10 season, when the Yellow Jackets went 23-13 (18-11 in the regular season, 7-9 in the ACC).
With its win over Wake Forest, Georgia Tech accomplished its first season sweep of an ACC opponent since the 2010-11 season. The opponent then was Wake Forest.
Tech is six games ahead of its 27-game mark from a year ago and has surpassed its conference win total (4) from 2011-12.
Tech captured its second ACC road win at Wake Forest, the most for the team in one season since 2007-08, when the Yellow Jackets went 4-4. Tech was 3-29 in the four seasons in between.
Tech has improved its record in each month of this season over the corresponding month last season (see chart on page 6).
Tech coach Brian Gregory is approaching 200 career victories as a head coach. He has 198, including 172 in eight seasons as the head coach at Dayton.
Tech needs one more victory to secure a winning season (through the ACC Tournament) in year two under Gregory. No Tech coach since Dwight Keith in 1945 has had a winning record in his second year on the Flats.
Tech has led at the half in eight of its 15 ACC games. Tech’s biggest halftime lead has been 23 over Wake Forest (Jan. 26), and its largest deficit was 12 at Virginia (Feb. 24).
Four of Tech’s conference losses have come by five points or less – 56-53 to Clemson, 56-54 to Florida State, 63-60 at Clemson and 70-65 (in overtime) to Virginia Tech.
Tech continues to be ranked high in the nation in scoring defense (39th) and field goal percentage defense (23rd) as of Feb. 24, and ranks fourth in the ACC in each of those categories.
Tech is 11-5 at home in its first season in McCamish Pavilion and has averaged 7,288 in attendance with three sellouts.
Tech has led wire-to-wire in three games – Georgia, The Citadel and Wake Forest. Tech has never led in two games this season, Feb. 14 against Clemson (there was one tie, 30-30 in the second half), and Jan. 23 at North Carolina (no lead, no tie).
Five of Tech’s losses this year have come against teams currently ranked in the top 50 of the CBSSports.com RPI rankings including ACC foes Miami (3), NC State (27), Duke (1) and North Carolina (18). The Yellow Jackets have lost only three times to teams outside the top 100.
Tech’s non-conference losses came to teams with a combined 37-18 record. Illinois is No. 33 in the current CBS RPI rankings, while California is No. 46. Saint Mary’s (24-5, No. 43) has the best overall record and highest ranking among the opponents Tech has beaten.
After getting outrebounded in its first three ACC games by an average of 9.3, Tech has outrebounded eight of the last 12 teams it has played (one tie).
Head coach Brian Gregory utilized seven different starting lineups last season. Two players – Kammeon Holsey and Daniel Miller – started every game. This year he has utilized three different lineups, and three players – Carter, Jr., Miller and Udofia – have started every game.
Tech’s lineup for 15 of the first 16 games had been Mfon Udofia and Brandon Reed at the guards, Marcus Georges-Hunt and Robert Carter, Jr., at the forwards and Daniel Miller at center. Chris Bolden replaced Reed in game 16 at Duke and has started the last 10 games.
Series Notes vs. NC State
NC State won the teams’ first meeting of the year, 83-70 on Jan. 9 at the PNC Arena in Raleigh.
Tech and NC State split their regular-season series in 2011-12, each winning on the other’s home court, the third time that has happened in the history of the series and the first time since the 1987-88 season.
The teams have split their last six meetings, and Tech has won 6 of the last 11 following a seven-game skid in the series.
Fourteen of the last 17 meetings in the series have been decided by 10 points or less.
Tech is 22-15 against the Wolfpack in Atlanta, including one home-court meeting that was played at the Omni in 1986 and one at Philips Arena in 2012.
Since it joined the ACC, Tech is 29-39 against NC State, including regular-season and tournament.
The Jackets are 9-30 against NC State in Raleigh, including a 2-10 mark at PNC Arena.
Tech is 3-3 against NC State in ACC Tournament games, the last meeting occurring in 2003, a 71-65 Wolfpack victory in Greensboro. The Jackets won first-round games in 1996 in Greensboro (88-73) and 1990 in Charlotte (76-67).