March 15, 2016
By Jon Cooper | The Good Word
– From Day One of the 2015-16 season, Marcus Georges-Hunt has been on a mission to finish his career on a high note. His goal hasn’t changed.
On Wednesday night, Georges-Hunt will have a chance to extend his season and his Georgia Tech playing career by doing something he’s never done, play in post-season.
Georges-Hunt, who is fifth all-time in school history with 127 games played and tied for second with 126 starts, will lead the Yellow Jackets (19-14, 8-10) into their first postseason game in six years when they play the University of Houston (22-9, 12-6) of the American Athletic Conference in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament. Making the night even sweeter is that the Jackets will play the game on their home floor.
It’s a just reward for the Jackets’ stretch run of six wins in eight games, and is the perfect cap to Georges-Hunt’s career. He made no effort to hide his excitement about this opportunity, and made no apologies for being in the NIT vs. the NCAAs.
Marcus took time out prior to the start of Monday’s practice and the Jackets’ first look at the Cougars to talk about his first time playing in post-season, his first time seeing Tech coach Brian Gregory coach in it, and what the first time Tech brings a 20-win season to the Flats in six years would mean.
THE GOOD WORD: What did you know about Houston prior to the announcement of seeding on Sunday night?
Marcus Georges-Hunt: I watched them play. Flipping channels I stopped and watched them. I know a couple of people. I played against a couple of those kids in high school. So they’re familiar faces.
TGW: What kind of emotion do you feel going into this game?
MGH: I’m thankful to be able to make the post-season being that this is the first time ever for me. It’s better than sitting out and watching other teams play. People are still watching you and your team perform against great teams. Just because you don’t make the NCAAs doesn’t mean you’re a bad team. [The NCAA Tournament is] the objective, but there are some great teams in the NIT, so it should be fun. Everybody wants to play. I feel like it would be a great accomplishment to win the NIT. [Houston] is a great team. There’s some great competition in this tournament.
TGW: Having seen the team play for its seniors for three years, how does it feel being a senior and knowing that the team is playing for you?
MGH: It’s real important, but I think it’s more than just us. They want to win as well. They want to make it to the next game between South Carolina and High Point. So it’s more than just the seniors. I think everybody wants to win for each other.
TGW: A win on Wednesday would give the Jackets 20 wins on the season. What would 20 wins mean to this program?
MGH: It would mean a lot. Especially the history of this program. That would leave a great mark being that they haven’t won 20 games in a long time.
TGW: Have you watched the NIT in years past?
MGH: Actually, I have. I remember watching it when Coach B.G. was at Dayton. As a matter of fact, I remember Dayton was running people out of the gym. I think they played North Carolina in the championship and they beat them! (The Flyers beat the Tar Heels, 79-68, in the 2010 Final). So I remember the NIT. The NIT is great competition, great basketball to watch as well.
TGW: Do you remember who won last year?
MGH: Miami lost in overtime to Stanford. So I watched it. (laughs) (He’s right again! The Cardinal beat the ‘Canes, 66-64 in overtime).