Feb. 3, 2017
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech tries to salvage the back half of a two-game road swing this Saturday when the Yellow Jackets visit Wake Forest for a 3 p.m. regionally televised game at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Tech (13-9, 5-5 ACC), which has continued to defy pre-season projections in its first season under head coach Josh Pastner, dropped a 74-62 decision Wednesday night at Clemson on the heels of a pair of homecourt wins last week against top-15 ACC teams. The Yellow Jackets, 2-6 on the road this season, enter this weekend’s games tied for eighth place in the ACC standings with Virginia Tech.
Wake Forest (13-9, 4-6 ACC) is coming off an 85-80 win at Boston College Tuesday night, completing a season sweep of the Eagles, and has also defeated Miami and NC State. The Demon Deacons, in 10th place in the ACC standings, are 7-3 at home this season.
Saturday’s game will be aired on the ACC’s Regional Sports Network (Fox Sports South in Georgia, and will be streamed live online on the ACC Network Extra. Radio coverage is provided by Tech’s flagship station, 680 the Fan (680 AM/93.7 FM), and is available via satellite radio (Sirius ch. 81, XM ch. 81).
STARTING FIVE (PLUS ONE)
In the first half of its ACC schedule, Georgia Tech has faced, in order, teams ranked No. 9, 8, 9, 16, 6 and 14. The Jackets have one remaining opponent currently ranked in the top 25 (Notre Dame again).
At 5-5, Tech has its best ACC record through 10 games since the 2009-10 season, when the Yellow Jackets stood 6-4.
Georgia Tech is 5-7 against teams in the top 50 of CBSSports.com’s RPI rankings as of Thursday (2-3 vs. 1-25, 3-4 vs. 26-50).
Three keys for Tech – The Jackets are 13-1 this season when they shoot a better percentage from the floor than their opponent, are 11-0 when scoring 70 points and 12-1 when attempting more free throws than the opponent.
Georgia Tech is No. 2 in field goal percentage defense (40.1 pct.) vs. ACC teams (Louisville is 40.0 pct.), and ranks third in scoring defense (69.1 ppg). Nationally, Tech ranks 21st in field goal percentage defense and 58th in scoring defense.
Ben Lammers’ +11.5 per game scoring average increase over the 2015-16 season is the best in the ACC, No. 7 nationally. But Tadric Jackson (+6.2) and Quinton Stephens (+5.6) and also have posted impressive increases over last season. Josh Heath (+2.9) has more than doubled his 2015-16 average.
COACH PASTNER AUDIO FROM FRIDAY
Georgia Tech has a 41-38 lead in the all-time series and a 40-36 lead in games played since it became a member of the ACC.
Tech has won six of the last seven meetings between the two teams, and won the only meeting between the two teams in 2015-16 (71-66 at McCamish Pavilion).
Tech has won its last 11 games against Wake Forest at home, dating back to an 80-76 Demon Deacon win on Feb. 22, 2004 when both teams were ranked in the top 20. The Jackets won the last seven meetings in Alexander Memorial Coliseum, a 69-62 decision at Philips Arena during the 2011-12 season, and all three meetings so far at McCamish Pavilion.
Tech made a sweep of the season series in 2010-11, setting school records in each game for margin of victory in an ACC game (74-39 at home on Jan. 19) and for margin of victory in an ACC road game (80-54 on Mar. 3). The Jackets also swept the Demon Deacons in 2012-13.
The home team has won 34 of the last 45 regular-season games in the series, with Wake Forest winning four times in Atlanta during that span, and Tech winning seven times in Winston-Salem.
Tech has lost 12 of the last 17 meetings at the Joel Coliseum, but has one of its better records in an opponent’s building at 8-18. Tech is 12-25 against Wake Forest on the road, including a 2-3 mark in regular-season games played in Greensboro and a 2-4 mark in games played in Winston-Salem prior to the opening of Joel Coliseum.
Tech started Josh Heath, Corey Heyward, Ben Lammers, Josh Okogie and Quinton Stephens for the fourth time this season. Three Yellow Jackets — Lammers, Okogie and Stephens — have started every game this season.
Tech trailed at the half (32-24) for the fifth time in conference play and is 1-4 in those games. The Jackets trailed at the half for the eighth time overall (1-7 record).
The 74-62 loss to Clemson was almost the exact score in reverse of the teams’ meeting in Atlanta (Tech won 75-63). Eight of Tech’s 10 ACC games this season have been decided by 10 or more points.
Clemson’s 44.4 percent shooting from the floor was the best against Tech since Virginia shot 45.8 percent on Jan. 21 and the third-best against the Yellow Jackets in ACC play. Still, Tech is yielding just 40.1 percent in conference games (No. 2 in the ACC).
Tech did not reach its magic number for points (70), and fell to 2-9 this season when scoring less than 70. The Yellow Jackets are unbeaten (11-0) when reaching that number offensively.
Clemson outscored Tech in the paint, 34-31, the first opponent to do so since Louisville on Jan. 7, and only the third to do so in 10 ACC games
Tech was out-rebounded 36-34, the sixth time in 10 conference games the Yellow Jackets have come up short.
Tech blocked only two shots, one off its season low. The Yellow Jackets came into the game with an ACC-leading average of 5.67 blocks per ACC game, and rank fourth in the nation at 6.3 per game overall.
Tech made just one three-point field goal in 11 attempts, its lowest percentage from beyond the arc this season (Tech went 1-for-10 against Georgia).
Tech’s 17 turnovers were its most since committing 20 in a victory at VCU on Dec. 7.
Pastner meter 1 (assists to made field goals): Tech assisted on 13 of 23 made field goals (56.5 pct.) vs. Clemson – 60 percent goal not accomplished. Tech is at 62.6 percent for the season, which ranks 12th in the nation, and 66.9 percent in ACC games.
Pastner meter 2 (free throws made to opponents’ attempts): Tech made 15 of 21 free throws to Clemson’s 21 of 32 (goal of making more than opponent tries not accomplished). The Yellow Jackets still maintain a 72.2-percent clip from the foul line in ACC games.
Pastner meter 3 (guard rebounding): Tech’s guards combined for 13 of Tech’s 26 defensive rebounds.
Georgia Tech has defeated its three top-25 team this season (No. 9 North Carolina, No. 6 Clemson, No. 14 Notre Dame), the most in one season for the program since the Yellow Jackets went 4-3 vs. top-25 teams in 2003-04. Tech has beaten as many as three top-25 teams in one season six times prior to this season.
Tech has beaten two top-10 teams this season — No. 9 North Carolina and No. 6 Florida State — the first time the Yellow Jackets have beaten multiple top-10 teams in the same season since 2004-05 (No. 5 Wake Forest in the regular season and No. 2 North Carolina in the ACC Tournament). It is the first time since 2003-04 that the Jackets have beaten multiple top-10 teams in the regular season (No. 1 Connecticut, No. 10 Wake Forest, No. 3 Duke). It is the 18th time in program history that Tech has defeated multiple top-10 teams in the same season.
Ben Lammers scored a career-high 25 points against Clemson, beating by one his previous best against Louisville on Jan. 7. It was his third 20-plus game against an ACC opponent this season, and his fourth overall. He scored in double digits for the 20th time this season, and established a career high for field goals made (12 of 18).
Lammers finished with nine rebounds, coming one rebound short of his 12th double-double this season.
Tadric Jackson scored 12 points and reached double figures in back-to-back games (scored 25 vs. Notre Dame) for the first time since scoring 10 in the first meeting vs. Clemson on Jan. 12 and following that with 13 at NC State, both of which Tech won. He went 4-for-8 from the floor and improved to 46,4 percent this season.
Josh Okogie returned to double figures with 12 points after scoring eight against Notre Dame, the only ACC game in which he has scored fewer than 10. He went 3-for-9 from the floor and 6-for-9 from the free throw line, adding three assists and three steals in 32 minutes.
Quinton Stephens scored 11 points for his sixth double-figure game against an ACC team and 14th overall this season. He grabbed six rebounds and remains among the ACC’s top 10 in rebound average at 8.2 per game.
Corey Heyward made his third consecutive start and 10th of the season. It was his 28th career start. He went scoreless for the second straight game, but helped limit the Tigers’ Jaron Blossomgame to 10 points (3-for-7, 0-for-2 on threes). It was his second straight game getting the lion’s share of time guarding the opposing team’s top scorer. He held Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia, who entered the game averaging 14.9 points, to five points (1-7 FG) in 39 minutes. In his three consecutive starts, Heyward has played 83 minutes and turned the ball over once with 11 rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Josh Heath had four assists and has averaged 6.3 over his last seven games, 5.0 per ACC game this season.
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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