Dec. 27, 2016
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech concludes the non-conference portion of its schedule Wednesday night with a 7:30 p.m., contest against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference member North Carolina A&T at McCamish Pavilion.
Tech (7-4), in its first season under head coach Josh Pastner, is playing its fourth straight home game since a nine-day hiatus for exams, having defeated Wofford, 76-72, Dec. 22 in its last game before the Christmas break. The Yellow Jackets are 6-2 at home this season.
North Carolina A&T (1-11) is playing for the first time since Dec. 22, when it lost at Kennesaw State, 66-60. The Aggies have lost 11 straight games since a season-opening win over Greensboro College.
Wednesday’s game will not be televised, but will be streamed live online on ACC Network Extra, available through the WatchESPN app. Radio coverage is provided by Tech’s flagship station, 680 the Fan (680 AM/93.7 FM).
• Wednesday night’s game is the fourth of five straight home games coming up for the Yellow Jackets, who begin ACC play at noon Saturday against North Carolina at McCamish Pavilion.
• Center Ben Lammers leads the ACC in blocked shots (3.9 per game) and offensive rebounds (4.36 pg), ranks fourth in rebound average (10.4 per game), third in field goal percentage (59.8) and second in double-doubles (6). He has more blocks per game than 224 teams in college basketball.
• Georgia Tech has hit 63.5 percent of its free throws in its wins, 73.2 percent in its losses. However, the Jackets have outscored their opponents 17.4-10.6 points per game from the line in their seven wins, and have been outscored 12.0-10.3 per game in four losses.
• Tech has limited its last three opponents to 37.7 percent shooting from the floor, forced an average of 16.0 turnovers and averaged 8.0 steals per game.
• Ten Yellow Jackets earned a grade-point average of 3.0 or better during the fall semester, and Tech’s cumulative fall GPA of 2.85 is the highest on record for the team. All four seniors are among the group with 3.0+ GPA’s, including Josh Heath, Corey Heyward (fifth-year because of an injury red-shirt in 2012-13), Rand Rowland and Quinton Stephens. Rowland graduated last Saturday, and the other three are scheduled to graduate in May.
• Georgia Tech and North Carolina A&T are playing for the eighth time, and for the second time in McCamish Pavilion, where the Yellow Jackets rallied late for a 78-71 victory during the 2013-14 season (see below).
• Tech has won all seven previous meetings between the two schools. The first six were all played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum between 1984 and 1995, with Bobby Cremins as the Yellow Jackets’ head coach.
• Tech won the first six meetings by 12 or more points, but won the last two meetings by four and seven points, respectively.
• This is the first meeting for each coach against the other team.
• Tech is 29-0 all-time against members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Aggies have been the Yellow Jackets most frequent opponent from that conference; Florida A&M is next with six meetings.
PASTNER ON TECH’S DEFENSE
“Listen, they came in as the (third)-best team in the country at 43.2 percent and we held them to (26.7) percent in the first half. We’re guarding … we’re flat-out guarding. Our defense hasn’t been the issue.”
• Georgia Tech made a change in its starting lineup for the Wofford game, inserting Tadric Jackson for Corey Heyward. It was the fourth different starting lineup head coach Josh Pastner has used this season. It was Jackson’s first start of the season, and Heyward had started the last seven games. Three Yellow Jackets – Ben Lammers, Josh Okogie and Quinton Stephens – have started every game this season.
• Tech placed five players in double figures for the second time this season (Sam Houston State).
• Tech shot 51.9 percent from the floor, the third time this season the Yellow Jackets have exceeded 50 percent (Tennessee Tech, Sam Houston State). Tech has shot 49.4 percent from the floor combined in its seven victories this season.
• Tech held Wofford to 39.7 percent from the floor, the fifth time this season that the Yellow Jackets have limited an opponent to under 40 percent. Tech is 4-1 in those games. The Jackets have limited their last four foes to 37.7 percent from the floor combined, and rank No. 71 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency (KenPom.com).
• Tech surrendered a season-high 11 threes from Wofford, eclipsing the 10 made by Ohio on Nov. 18.
• Tech had a slim 38-35 edge on the boards, winning the rebounding battle for the seventh time this season. Tech is 5-2 in those games.
• Tech went 5-for-11 from three-point range after hitting just 3-for-21 in the previous two games.
• Tech used 11 players in the game against Wofford, six for double-digit minutes.
• Tech went 17-of-22 from the free throw line, hitting more free throws than Wofford attempted (11-of-12). Tech is 5-0 this season when making more charity tosses than the opponent attempts.
• Tech assisted on 17 of its 27 field goals (63 percent), above the team’s nightly goal of 60 percent, and stands at 57.5 percent for the season.
• Tech’s 10 turnovers against Wofford were a season low. The Jackets had averaged 16.7 miscues over their previous seven games.
• Tadric Jackson made his first start of the season against Wofford, his eighth career start and first since last Feb. 10 vs. Wake Forest.
• Jackson reached double figures for the sixth time in nine games, finishing with 14 points, all in the first half. He connected on all four of his three-point tries in the first half and was 5-for-9 overall.
• Ben Lammers kept alive his streak of scoring in double digits in every game this season (19 points, 7 rebounds), hitting 9-of-12 shots from the floor to improve his season success rate to 59.8. He also had a career-high six assists, doubling his previous high of three he had last time out against Georgia.
• Justin Moore scored a career-high 12 points (5-of-11 FG), his first career double-digit effort. His previous best was nine against Sam Houston State.
• Quinton Stephens posted his fourth double-digit rebound game of the season with a career-high 12 boards. His other three came as double-doubles against Sam Houston State, Tulane and Penn State in consecutive games.
• Josh Okogie returned to double figures in points for the eighth time this season with 10 points. He went 4-for-4 from the free throw line and is 14-for-14 in his last three games (75 percent for the season).
• Since a three-point, 13-minute game at VCU in which he shot no free throws, Okogie has gone 14-for-14 from the line in Tech’s last three games. Okogie has made 18 straight free throws dating back to a first-half miss at Tennessee.
• Josh Heath enjoyed his best game of the season, scoring a season-high 12 points to post his fifth career double-figure game. He added three assists and went 6-for-8 from the free throw line, matching career highs in those categories. Two of those free throws came with five seconds left to clinch the game for Tech.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its first year under head coach Josh Pastner. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram.
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