Feb. 3, 2012
ATLANTA – Like General Beauregard Lee looking for signs of an early spring at the beginning of February, Georgia Tech starts the second half of the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule at 1 p.m. Saturday against Boston College, the first of two straight home games.
The first of two scheduled meetings between the two teams this season will be televised 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, as well as across the country on satellite radio (Sirius Ch. 93, XM Ch. 192).
Tickets are $30 and available at the box office or by calling 888-TECH-TIX.
In its first year under head coach Brian Gregory, Tech (8-14, 1-7 ACC) has stumbled to losses in its last six games, and 10 of its last 11, winning only at NC State, 82-71, on Jan. 11. The Yellow Jackets dropped a 68-54 decision at No. 21 Florida State in their last outing Wednesday night.
Tech has five of its eight remaining regular-season games at Philips Arena, site of the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. One of two off-campus home venues this year while the McCamish Pavilion is being readied for next season, Philips Arena has not been friendly to the Yellow Jackets, who have lost all five of their games in the downtown building.
Boston College (7-15, 2-6) has struggled in its second season under head coach Steve Donahue after earning a berth in the NIT last year, utlizing a roster that includes nine freshmen. The Eagles come to Atlanta on a five-game losing streak after starting the ACC schedule with two wins in their first three games. BC has yet to win a game on the road in four tries.
Tech/Boston College Update
Georgia 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 seven teams to score as many as 70 points and three to shoot 50 percent from the floor. Tech has a +4.1 edge in rebounding for the season and has won that battle in 13 of 22 games.
The Yellow Jackets rank No. 5 in the ACC (66th nationally) in field goal percentage defense (40.7 pct.) and in scoring defense (64.1 ppg). Tech has held 11 opponents under 40 percent from the field, and have held eight teams under 60 points.
The Yellow Jackets have had difficultuy scoring of late, averaging 55.7 points a game during their six-game losing streak (including an 81-point effort at North Carolina). Tech has shot 50 percent from the floor in the second half of its last two games, but 38.7 overall during these six games.
Wednesday night at Florida State, Tech lost a game in which it led at the half for the first time this season. The Yellow Jackets used an 8-0 spurt to lead 25-24 at intermission, but the Seminoles came out and shot 61.5 percent, taking advantage of 14 Tech turnovers, in the second half to win.
For all of Tech’s troubles, Boston College has struggled even more, averaging just 59.9 points per game this season, 56.5 vs. the ACC, and has shot 41 percent from the floor.
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 13.1 points (13th in the ACC) and grabbing 6.5 rebounds per game (11th). Mfon Udofia, a 6-2 junior from Stone Mountain, Ga., averages 11.0 points per game.
Both players got off to good starts in conference play – Rice has averaged 14.1 ppg while hitting 37.5 percent of his three-point shots, while Udofia has averaged 12.7 ppg while hitting 44.2 percent from the floor. They have scored in double digits in the same game four times.
Rice sprained his right toe (turf toe) in a practice preceding the North Carolina game, and aggravated the injury late in that game. He missed Tech’s game at Florida State and hopes to play Saturday against Boston College.
6-11 sophomore center Daniel Miller ranks 12th in the ACC in rebounding (6.3 pg) and 2nd in blocked shots (2.4 pg).
6-8 sophomore forward Kammeon Holsey is hitting 61.4 percent of his shots from the floor, but has not taken enough shots to be listed in the ACC rankings.
Boston College does not have a player averaging in double figures for the season, but has three – Matt Humphrey, Dennis Clifford and Ryan Anderson – averaging between 10 and 11 points per game in conference play.
Tech-Boston College History
Boston College won the only meeting between the two teams last year, an 86-75 decision in Chestnut Hill, and the Eagles have won three of the last four games in the series.
Ten of the games in the short series have been decided by less than 10 points, seven of them by four points or less, and two in overtime.
The four meetings in Boston have been played at three different venues. The Jan. 29, 2005 game was Tech’s first visit to the Conte Forum, BC’s current home court. The first game in the series on Dec. 31, 1946, was played at Boston Arena, and the teams also played in the Boston Garden on Jan. 19, 1980.
Prior to BC’s entry into the ACC, the teams met four times on neutral floors, including one outside the United States, a 65-62 overtime win for the Yellow Jackets in the 1986 Suntory Ball in Tokyo, Japan.
The teams have met twice in NCAA Tournament competition, both of them won by Tech. The Yellow Jackets downed the Eagles, 103-89, in the 1996 Southeast Regional second round in Orlando, and eliminated the Eagles two seasons ago, 57-54 in the second round in Milwaukee.