ATLANTA (August 5) — Georgia Tech’s first visit to the Great Alaska Shootout, as well as a pair of prominent non-conference games in Atlanta with Michigan and Stanford headline Tech’s 1999-2000 men’s basketball schedule released Thursday.
Tech, which has enjoyed four trips to Hawaii, as well as jaunts to Japan and France under head coach Bobby Cremins, will be taking its first trip to the nation’s 49th state Nov. 24-27, playing in the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage.
The Jackets, who finished 15-16 a year ago and earned a berth in the National Invitation Tournament, will face Grambling in the Alaska Shootout opener, then will meet either Washington or host Alaska-Anchorage in the second round.
Cremins’ crew will also make history by hosting the first collegiate basketball game in Atlanta’s new state-of-the-art basketball facility, the Philips Arena, facing perennial Big 10 power Michigan on Dec. 1 as part of the ACC-Big 10 Challenge which will be nationally televised on ESPN.
The Michigan game will be one of a minimum of nine appearances for the Jackets on ESPN or ESPN2 this winter. That includes a Dec. 11 date with Stanford (12 p.m.) in the opening game of the Delta Air Lines Classic for Kids, which will be played this year in Philips Arena.
Also, for the first time this year, Tech will meet Kentucky in Louisville at Freedom Hall, instead of playing at Rupp Arena in Lexington. The Jackets are no strangers to Freedom Hall, though, having played there six times over the last 12 years in a recently-concluded series with Louisville.
In all, Tech is slated for 19 television appearances, 10 of them national, including a CBS-TV exposure on Feb. 27 at Wake Forest.
Tech will also appear on the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Raycom/Jefferson-Pilot package six times and on Fox Sports Net South three times.
The Jackets, who return all five starters from last year’s team, led by 7-0 senior forward Jason Collier (Springfield, Ohio), 6-11 junior center Alvin Jones (Lakeland, Fla.) and 6-6 senior guard Jason Floyd (Hampton, Ga.), could play as many as 19 of their 29 scheduled games against teams which earned invitations to the NCAA Tournament or the NIT last year.
Collier, a second-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference choice, is Tech’s leading returning scorer, who averaged 17.2 points a game. Jones, the all-time leading shotblocker in Tech history after just two seasons with 248 rejections, also averaged 12.7 points and a team-high 9.7 rebounds. Floyd was Tech’s second-leading scorer last winter, averaging 13.5 points a contest.
Joining this talented trio as returning starters are 6-0 sophomore point guard Tony Akins (Lilburn, Ga.; 11.3) and 6-7 junior forward Jon Babul (North Attleboro, Mass.; 5.3), as well as reserve guards T. J. Vines (Woodstock, Ga.), a 5-10 junior who averaged 6.6 points a game, and Darryl LaBarrie (Decatur, Ga.), a 6-3 junior who averaged 3.5 points a game.
They will be joined by a pair of transfers in 6-3 junior Shaun Fein (Centerville, Mass.), who averaged 19.7 points a game for Division II Stonehill College in 1997-98, and 6-8 sophomore forward Michael Isenhour (Lawrenceville, Ga.), who lettered at the U.S. Air Force Academy two seasons ago. The schedule:
2-ATHLETES IN ACTION, 7:30 p.m.
9-CALIFORNIA ALL-STARS, 7:30 p.m.
19-MERCER, 7:30 p.m.
24-at Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, Anchorage, Alaska vs. Grambling, 10 p.m.
26-at Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout vs. Washington or Alaska-Anchorage
27-at Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout vs. Georgia, Kansas, Louisville or Xavier
1-Michigan (Philips Arena) (ESPN), 7 p.m. in ACC-Big 10 Challenge
8-at Georgia (FSNS, SS), 7:30 p.m.
11-Delta Air Lines Classic for Kids, vs. Stanford (Philips Arena) (ESPN), 12 Noon
18-MOREHEAD STATE, 1p.m.
21-WOFFORD, 7:30 p.m.
28-UNC-GREENSBORO, 7:30 p.m.
2-LAFAYETTE (FSNS, HTS), 3 p.m.
5-Kentucky at Louisville, Ky. (Freedom Hall) (ESPN), 7 p.m.
8-at Virginia (RJ), 1:30 p.m.
12-at Duke (ESPN), 7 p.m.
15-MARYLAND (RJ), 8 p.m.
19-FLORIDA STATE, 7:30 p.m.
22-at N. C. State (ESPN), 9 p.m.
27-WAKE FOREST (RJ), 8 p.m.
29-NORTH CAROLINA (ESPN), 12 noon
2-at Clemson, 7 p.m.
5-FLORIDA A&M, 1 p.m.
9-VIRGINIA, 7:30 p.m.
12-DUKE (RJ), 4 p.m.
16-at Maryland (ESPN), 7 p.m.
21-at Florida State (RSN), 7:30 p.m.
24-N. C. STATE (ESPN2), 7 p.m.
27-at Wake Forest (CBS), 2 p.m.
1-at North Carolina (RJ), 9 p.m.
4-CLEMSON (RJ), 1 p.m.
9/12-at ACC Tournament, Charlotte, N.C.
Home Games in ALL CAPS; FSNS-Fox Sports Net South; SS-SunshineNetwork; HTS-Home Team Sports; RSN-Regional Sports Networks (FoxSports Net South, Home Team Sports and Sunshine Network) RJ-The ACCRaycom-Jefferson-Pilot TV Network.