Tech Tests 2-0 Start at Charleston Classic

Nov. 16, 2011

Game notes

Charleston, S.C. – Georgia Tech’s basketball team will attempt to extend its 2-0 start under new head coach Brian Gregory this weekend in the 2011 DirecTV Charleston Classic presented by Foster Grant, starting with an 8 p.m. game on Thursday against Saint Joseph’s at the TD Arena in Charleston, S.C.

The bracket-format tournament will feature 12 games in three days (Nov. 17, 18 and 20) with an off day on Saturday, Nov. 19. Each team will compete in one game per day, with the two teams that remain undefeated facing off in a championship match Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU. Five games in the Charleston Classic will be televised on ESPNU, with the remainder airing on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS).

The Yellow Jackets have begun the “BG Era” on the right foot with a 92-59 victory over Florida A&M last Friday and a 70-52 win Monday night over Delaware State, both at the Arena at Gwinnett, one of two off-campus venues serving as Tech’s home courts this season.

Saint Joseph’s, under 17th-year head coach Phil Martelli, won their opener Friday, 72-61, over Western Kentucky, which is one of the eight teams playing in Charleston this weekend. The Hawks are coming off an 11-22 season in 2010-11, including a 4-12 mark in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

If Tech wins Thursday night, it will move into a winner’s bracket semifinal game against either Seton Hall or VCU at 6 p.m. If Tech loses, it will face one of those two teams in a loser’s bracket game at 8:30 p.m. Friday.

Tech hired Gregory, who enjoyed a successful eight-year run as the head coach at Dayton, as its head coach last March. The new Yellow Jackets’ skipper compiled a record of 172-94 at the Atlantic 10 institution, guiding the Flyers to two NCAA Tournaments and three berths in the NIT, which they won in 2010.

Tech vs. the Charleston Classic Field

Saint Joseph’s defeated the Georgia Tech, 66-62, in the first round of the 2001 NCAA West Regional at Cox Arena in San Diego, the teams’ only previous meeting.

Tech and VCU have met once previously, an 86-65 Yellow Jacket win in Atlanta on Dec. 29, 2003, the 12th win in a 12-0 start that helped propel the Jackets to the National Championship game later that season. Tech has a 2-1 record against Seton Hall, most recently defeating the Pirates, 88-78, in the first round of the 1998 NIT at Alexander Memorial Coliseum in Atlanta.

Among the four potential opponents for the final round, Northwestern is already on the Yellow Jackets’ schedule this season. The Wildcats come to Atlanta for an ACC-Big Ten Challenge matchup at Philips Arena on Nov. 29, a rematch of the Jackets’ 91-71 loss last November in Evanston, Ill. LSU has a 20-14 lead in the all-time series with Tech, but the Yellow Jackets have won the last two meetings, including a 94-91 decision over a Tiger team led by Shaquille O’Neal, Stanley Roberts and Chris Jackson in the second round of the 1990 NCAA Southeast Regional in Knoxville, Tenn.

Tech has never met Tulsa or Western Kentucky in basketball.

Season Recap

Georgia Tech is off to a 2-0 start with a pair of home-court victories over teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference – 92-59 over Florida A&M and 70-52 over Delaware State.

Brandon Reed had 16 points and Georgia Tech beat the Rattlers on Friday night in Brian Gregory’s first game as the Yellow Jackets’ coach. Mfon Udofia had 15 points and Daniel Miller had 12 points and seven rebounds for Georgia Tech. Freshman Julian Royal had 10 points to give Georgia Tech four scorers in double figures.

In game 2, Tech’s big men took over as Miller had career highs of 14 points, 15 rebounds and 6 assists for his first career double-double, and sophomore Kammeon Holsey scored a career-best 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting in the Jackets’ victory over Delaware State.

Reed, a transfer from Arkansas State who sat out last season, joined Udofia and Jason Morris in Gregory’s three-guard lineup for Tech’s first two games. Kammeon Holsey and Miller, a 6-foot-11 sophomore center, completed Gregory’s first starting lineup.

Tech shot better than 50 percent in each game after not ever reaching that mark in 31 games last season, and outrebounded the two foes collectively by more than 2-to-1.

Tech dominated without its junior swingman, Glen Rice, Jr., who was suspended for the Yellow Jackets’ first three games this season, which includes Thursday night’s game against Saint Joseph’s.

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