Feb. 14, 2017
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech continues the back half of its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule Wednesday night when it visits Miami for an 8 p.m. regionally-televised game at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla.
Tech (15-10, 6-6 ACC), which has defied pre-season projections in its first season under head coach Josh Pastner, resumed its ACC schedule Saturday with a 65-54 win over Boston College at home. The Yellow Jackets, 2-7 on the road this season, including a win at NC State on Jan. 15, enter this week’s games tied for eighth place in the ACC standings with the Hurricanes and Virginia Tech.
Miami (16-8, 6-6 ACC) has has won four of its last six games to climb back toward the middle of the ACC standings, but dropped a 71-66 decision Saturday at No. 4 Louisville. The Hurricanes are 11-2 at home this season, including losses to Notre Dame and Florida State.
Wednesday’s game will be regionally televised on the ACC Network (Peachtree TV in Atlanta) 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. 135, XM ch. 382).
THE STARTING LINEUP
• Georgia Tech is at .500 after 12 games in the ACC (6-6) for the first time since the 2009-10 season. A win against Miami would put the Yellow Jackets above .500 after 13 games in the ACC for the first time since the 2000-01 season (also 7-6).
• Tech ranks No. 1 in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (39.9 pct.) vs. ACC teams, and ranks third in scoring defense (68.8 ppg). Nationally, Tech ranks 17th in field goal percentage defense and 57th in scoring defense against all opponents.
• Ben Lammers’ +11.1 per game scoring average increase over the 2015-16 season is the best in the ACC, No. 7 nationally. But Tadric Jackson (+6.5) and Quinton Stephens (+5.2) and also have posted significant increases over last season. Josh Heath (+2.9) has more than doubled his 2015-16 average.
• Three keys for Tech – The Jackets are 14-1 this season when they shoot a better percentage from the floor than their opponent, are 11-0 when scoring 70 points and 13-1 when attempting more free throws than the opponent.
• Georgia Tech is 4-6 against teams in the top 50 of CBSSports.com’s RPI rankings as of Thursday (2-3 vs. 1-25, 2-3 vs. 26-50).
• In the first half of its ACC schedule, Georgia Tech 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).
• Georgia Tech has defeated three top-25 teams 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.
SERIES NOTES VS. MIAMI
• After winning the first two meetings with Miami after the Hurricanes became members of the ACC, Georgia Tech has dropped nine of the last 13, including a 75-68 defeat last season in Atlanta.
• Miami has an 12-8 lead in the all-time series which dates back to 1953, and is 12-6 against the Yellow Jackets since joining the ACC.
• Tech has won its last two games against Miami in Coral Gables, including a 71-69 victory over 6th-ranked Miami on March 6, 2013. It was Tech’s first win at the Watsco Center since Feb. 26, 2005. Tech also captured a 70-50 victory over the Hurricanes in Coral Gables on Jan. 28, 2015.
• Miami has won the last five meetings in Atlanta and is 3-0 at McCamish Pavilion. Miami also won the only regular-season meeting between the two teams in 2011-12, as well as their ACC Tournament meeting, both games at Philips Arena.
• Miami was the opponent for Tech in its last game at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, a game the Yellow Jackets won 66-57 to close out the 2010-11 regular season. Tech won four of six games against the Hurricanes in the building.
• Tech is 2-5 against Miami teams coaches by Jim Larranaga, while Josh Pastner went 2-0 against Miami while the head coach at Memphis.
• Twelve of the 20 meetings have been decided by 10 points or less.
• The last meeting between the two schools prior to Miami’s joining the ACC occurred in December of 1997 as part of the Orange Bowl Classic doubleheader at Miami Arena, the Hurricanes’ home court until the team moved into the on-campus Convocation Center last year. The Yellow Jackets, led that year by senior forward Matt Harpring, won that game, 69-61.
• Tech played Miami twice under former head coach Whack Hyder, losing the first-ever meeting in the series by 22 points in 1953, then taking a six-point homecourt victory in 1967. That was the only pre-ACC visit by the Hurricanes to Alexander Memorial Coliseum, and the 90-84 Tech win has been the highest scoring game in the brief series.
PASTNER ON WINNING WITHOUT STEPHENS
“To be able to win the game without Quinton [Stephens], we rely on him so much, and for him to go down early shows you that this group of guys has become a good basketball team. Their fight and their resolve and their grit, anytime they’ve been knocked down they’ve always found a way to keep coming back and not let it avalanche. That’s a great credit to our young men.”
AUDIO FROM COACH PASTNER MONDAY MEDIA SESSION
MIAMI COACH JIM LARRANAGA ON TECH
“Josh Pastner and his staff have done an amazing job. The players have really embraced the schemes, both offensively and defensively. Ben Lammers has got to be seriously considered for most improved player in the league. Josh Heath has done a tremendous job of orchestrating what they are doing at both ends of the floor. Josh Okogie is really something, reminds me of Josh Hart from Villanova the way he plays.”
• Georgia Tech improved to 13-3 at home this season, becoming the 14th Yellow Jacket team to win 13 or more home games in one season. Only five of those teams won 14 or more (14-0 in 1962-63, 14-2 in 1994-95, 16-1 in 2006-07, 14-2 in 2009-10 and 14-5 in 2015-16). The Jackets have three more home games left.
• Tech started Josh Heath, Corey Heyward, Ben Lammers, Josh Okogie and Quinton Stephens for the sixth game in a row and for the seventh time this season. Three Yellow Jackets – Lammers, Okogie and Stephens – have started every game this season.
• Tech played its third straight game without backup forward Abdoulaye Gueye (fractured wrist). Backup point guard Justin Moore returned after a two-game absence (abdominal injury). Quinton Stephens played only five minutes after re-injuring his left ankle (first suffered against Notre Dame).
• Tech missed its first 10 shots from the floor, and 2 for its first 24, and went 22-for-35 the rest of the game. The Yellow Jackets finished the first half at 5-of-30 (16.7 percent). The Jackets flipped that around by connecting on 65.5 percent (19-of-29) in the second half and finished at 40.7 percent.
• Tech trailed at the half (22-15), with its fewest points of the season (Jackets scored 18 vs. Louisville and Georgia). It was Tech’s fewest points in a half since scoring 12 in the second half at Virginia during the 2014-15 season. The Yellow Jackets flipped that around by scoring 50 points after intermission, Tech’s highest-scoring half of the season other than the 58-point first half against Tusculum.
• Tech overcame its largest deficit of the season to win. The Jackets trailed Notre Dame by 10 in the first half and came back to win. It was the largest deficit Tech has erased to win a game since Clemson in last year’s ACC Tournament (won 88-85 in overtime after trailing by 18).
• Ben Lammers (14 points, 17 rebounds) and Josh Okogie (12 points, 12 rebounds) both had double-doubles against Boston College, the fifth time this season two Tech players have notched double-doubles in the same game. One of those was a points-assists double-double by Josh Heath at NC State.
• Tech had a 40-30 advantage on points in the paint, the first time in three ACC games the Jackets have come out on top in that category.
• Tech did not reach its magic number for points (70), but improved to 3-10 this season when it scores fewer than 70.
• Tech outshot Boston College 40.7 percent to 32.8 percent and improved to 15-1 when shooting a higher percentage from the floor than its opponent this season.
• Tech held its fifth ACC opponent and its 11th opponent overall this season under 40 percent from the floor. The Yellow Jackets lead the ACC in field goal percentage defense against conference teams (39.9 percent) and rank third in that category against all opponents (39.2 percent).
• Tech held its ninth ACC opponent in 12 games significantly below its season scoring average and offensive field goal percentage. Boston College scored 54 points after averaging 73.5 in its first 12 conference games, and shot 32.8 percent after coming into the game at 46.0 percent for the season.
• Pastner meter 1 (assists to made field goals): Tech had 18 assists on 24 made field goals (75 pct.) vs. Boston College (15 on 19 in the second half) – 60 percent goal accomplished. Tech is at 63.4 percent for the season, which ranks 13th in the nation, and 67.1 percent in ACC games.
• Pastner meter 2 (free throws made to opponents’ attempts): Tech made 14 of 21 free throws to Boston College’s 6-of-12 (goal of making more than opponent tries accomplished). The Yellow Jackets maintain a 72.1-percent clip from the foul line in ACC games, 68.9 percent in all games.
• Ben Lammers notched his 12th double-double this season (14 points, 17 rebounds) against Boston College, reaching double figures in points with a bucket at the 2:18 mark of the season half. He had 14 of his 17 rebounds by halftime. Lammers has had a double-double in each of Tech’s six ACC victories.
• Lammers reached double digits in rebounds for the first time in four games (10 vs. Notre Dame) with a career-high 17. It was his 12th double-digit rebound this season. His previous best was 15 vs. Southern in the second game of this season. The 17 rebounds was the third-most by a Tech player in an ACC game.
• Lammers didn’t get his first points until the 2:50 mark of the first half. He had 13 rebounds by that time.
• Tadric Jackson scored a career-high 29 points to post his fourth double-digit game in Tech’s last five games, and set a new career best for the second time in five games (25 vs. Notre Dame). It was his fourth game of more than 20 points this season (20 vs. Southern, 24 at VCU, 25 vs. Notre Dame). He is averaging 15.6 points and 2.6 assists over that stretch and has hit 31 of 62 shots from the floor, 6 of 12 from three.
• Jackson’s 29 points was the most by a Tech player coming off the bench since Matt Causey went off for 30 in a game against Virginia Tech on Jan. 19, 2008. It was also the second-most points scored by an ACC player off the bench this season.
• Justin Moore played for the first time in three games. He grabbed a season and career-high eight rebounds, surpassing his previous best of six against North Carolina. He also hit one three-point field goal, which gave Tech its first lead of the game at 34-32 with 12:28 left in the second half. It was just his second three-pointer of the season. He also has six assists with just one turnover.
• Josh Okogie scored 12 points, his 20th double-digit game out of 25 games overall. He grabbed 12 rebounds for his third double-digit rebound game this season and his second double-double.
• Lammers and Okogie each played 39 minutes, and Josh Heath played 38. Lammers is averaging 35.7 minutes in ACC games, 34.3 overall. Jackson and Moore combined for 61 minutes off the bench.
• Josh Heath dished seven more assists and is averaging 4.9 in ACC games.
• Lammers blocked three shots and Tech swatted seven, both figures near their respective season averages. Lammers ranks second in the nation at 3.24 per game and has 132 for his career, No. 7 on Tech’s all-time list.
• Corey Heyward, who started his seventh straight game, played 10 minutes with one turnover. In his six starts, he has committed just two turnovers in 134 minutes.
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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