Dec. 28, 2015
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech (9-3) finishes off its three-game holiday homestand Tuesday night when Duquesne (10-2) of the Atlantic 10 Conference comes to McCamish Pavilion for a 7 p.m. contest as the Yellow Jackets conclude their stretch run of the non-conference schedule.
In just the second meeting between the two schools in men’s basketball, Tech looks to build momentum as the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule approaches on Saturday7. The Yellow Jackets have won their last two games and improved their record at home to 7-1 with victories over Southeastern Louisiana and Colgate right before Christmas.
Tech opens its ACC schedule Saturday with a 12 noon tilt at seventh-ranked North Carolina.
Duquesne, which hasn’t played since a 72-65 win over Robert Morris on Dec. 19, is off to its best start since the 1979-80 season. The Dukes have won four straight games, including a 67-65 win at St. Francis (Pa.) in their only true road game to date.
Radio coverage of the game is provided by the Georgia Tech/IMG Sports Network, and can be heard in Atlanta on 680 the Fan (680 AM and 93.7 FM) as well as nationally on satellite radio (Sirius ch. 119). The game will be streamed live on ESPN3.
“It’s good to be 9-3 knowing that you can get a lot better. We need to keep getting better offensively, but the improvement really has to come on the defensive end. We’ve shown that we can be a much better defensive team, but in the last two games we haven’t played with the conviction level that you need to play with to be a good defensive team.” – Brian Gregory following Tech’s 76-60 win over Colgate on Dec. 23
• Duquesne ranks 36th in the nation in scoring average (82.8 ppg) and 20th in three-point field goals per game (10.0).
• Duquesne lost its third-leading scorer, senior forward Jeremiah Jones, for the season to a knee injury suffered in the Dukes’ Dec. 19 win over Robert Morris. Jones, who averaged 9.6 points per game and had made 51.3 percent of his shots from the floor, had started 84 consecutive games for the Dukes.
• Still relentless on the boards – Tech is out-rebounding its opponents by 10.8 per game, which ranks seventh in the nation and No. 3 in the ACC behind Louisville and Pittsburgh. Tech is No. 3 in the ACC and 13th nationally in offensive rebounds per game (14.9).
• Turnovers down – Tech has turned the ball over only 15 times in its last two games, and the Yellow Jackets are averaging 10.9 this season, down nearly two per game (12.7) from last season.
• Scoring up – Tech is averaging 78.1 points per game (10th-highest in the ACC), nearly 15 points per game higher than last season, and has hit the century mark twice this season. The Yellow Jackets have connected on 46.4 percent of their field goal tries, an increase of six percent over last year.
• Outside threat – Tech’s 35.3-percent success rate from three-point range is ninth in the ACC but a six-percent jump over last year. The Yellow Jackets have hit 38.4 percent over their last six games.
• Three Georgia Tech players are scoring in double digits – Marcus Georges-Hunt (14.1 ppg), Charles Mitchell (13.1) and Adam Smith (12.8). Nick Jacobs dropped to 9.8 after Tech’s last game. Tech has not finished a season with four or more players averaging in double figures since 2008-09.
• Tech made the first change in its starting lineup for the season on Dec. 21 against Southeastern Louisiana, inserting graduate senior forward James White in place of Nick Jacobs. Tech’s starting lineup for the first 10 games had been Josh Heath at point guard, Marcus Georges-Hunt and Adam Smith on the wings, and Nick Jacobs and Charles Mitchell at the post positions.
• Of the six players to start a game for Georgia Tech this year, only one – Georges-Hunt – began his career at Tech.
• Tech has played at least 10 players in every game this season except VCU (Travis Jorgenson sat with an ankle injury), and played its entire 12-man roster against Cornell, Green Bay, Wofford and Colgate.
• Charles Mitchell’s 10 double-doubles this season is the second-most in the nation behind a group of four players who have 11. Mitchell is bidding to become the first Tech player to average in double digits in points and rebounds since Alvin Jones in 2000-01. Only Jones and Malcolm Mackey (1991-92 and 1992-93) have done so since Tech joined the ACC.
• Mitchell leads the ACC in rebound average (11.8 rpg) and is third in field goal percentage (59.8 pct.). Mitchell ranks seventh and 29th, respectively, in the nation in those categories.
• Georges-Hunt is ninth in the ACC in free throw percentage (84.2) and is 23-for-26 in Tech’s last four games. Of the top 10 in percentage, only Anthony Barber of NC State have been to the line more than Georges-Hunt (64-of-76).
• Georges-Hunt ranks 25th on Tech’s all-time scoring list. He now has 1,296 points and needs seven to reach 24th-place Michael Maddox (1,303 from 1994-98).
• In 12 games, Smith has made more three-pointers (34) than Tech’s leader – Quinton Stephens with 32 – made all of last season. Tech’s leaders the last four years under Coach Gregory have been Stephens’ 32 last year, Trae Golden with 46 in 2013-14, and Mfon Udofia with 38 in 2012-13 and 35 in 2011-12.
• Smith is third in the ACC in three-point field goals made (2.83 per game) and seventh in percentage (43.6). He has made at least one three in every game this season, 18 in his last six games.
• Heath is fifth in the ACC in assist-turnover ratio (3.33-1) and has 16 assists with two turnovers in Tech’s last three games. Tech’s point guard tandem of Heath and Travis Jorgenson have 81 assists and 21 turnovers for a 3.86-1 ratio. Tech has a 1.36-1 team ratio (6th in the ACC).
• Tech’s top five scorers this season – Marcus Georges-Hunt, Charles Mitchell, Adam Smith, Nick Jacobs and Quinton Stephens – have hit a combined 81.7 percent (138-for-169) of their charity tosses this season.
• Tech has gone 55-for-74 from the line in its last four games (74.3 pct.). As a team, Tech ranks fifth in the ACC at 71.3 percent.
INSIDE THE SERIES WITH DUQUESNE
Georgia Tech and Duquesne have met only one time on the hardwood, and it occurred in the opening round of the National Invitation Tournament in 1970. Tech won that game, 78-68, at Madison Square Garden. The Yellow Jackets’ time in New York came to an end in the next round with a 56-55 loss to St. John’s.
Tech head coach Brian Gregory has history with the Dukes, facing them 15 times and compiling a 9-6 record while he was the head coach at Dayton.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is beginning its fifth year under head coach Brian Gregory. The Yellow Jackets have 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).