Feb. 9, 2016
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech (12-11, 2-8 ACC) concludes a three-game homestand bridging the two halves of the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule when the Yellow Jackets host Wake Forest (10-13, 1-10 ACC) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at McCamish Pavilion.
Tech dropped a 75-68 decision at home to No. 17 Miami Sunday afternoon and have lost three straight since capturing a 90-83 win at NC State on Jan. 27. The Jackets are 1-4 at home in ACC play, a Jan. 9 win over No. 4 Virginia. Tech’s eight ACC losses this season have come by a total of 46 points, an average of 5.8 points per game, no loss by more than nine points.
Wake Forest comes to Atlanta with eight straight losses since defeating NC State (77-74) on Jan. 10, including a 91-71 defeat to Florida State at home Saturday. The Demon Deacons had an impressive non-conference slate, defeating Indiana, UCLA, LSU, Rutgers and Arkansas.
Wednesday’s game will be televised regionally on the ACC’s Regional Sports Network (Fox Sports South in Georgia) and will be streamed live on ESPN3. 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). The game can also be heard nationally on satellite radio (Sirius ch. 134, XM ch. 193).
Wednesday is the only scheduled meeting between Tech and Wake Forest during the regular season. The two teams played a home-and-away series last year, each team winning on its home court, and previously were permanent home-and-away partners before Notre Dame joined the ACC.
Tech’s 10 ACC games have been decided by an average of 5.6 points, none by more than the nine-point defeat to Duke on Feb. 2. Wake Forest has three of its games decided by three points or less, but has seen its 11 ACC games decided by 12.4 points, seven by more than 10 points.
Tech has played nine of the top 10 teams in the current ACC standings (Clemson the exception), and the Yellow Jackets’ 10 opponents have a combined regular-season record of 169-60 (.734).
Tech’s overall strength of schedule is the 12th strongest in the CBSSports.com RPI rankings. The Jackets’ non-conference schedule strength is rated No. 92.
Dating back to the 2014 ACC Tournament, 22 of Tech’s 25 losses to ACC teams in that period have been decided by nine points or fewer.
Tech has a minus-0.77 “Luck” rating, KenPom.com’s measure of a team’s number of close games and its success in them. The Jackets rank No. 326 in that category, or to look at it another way, the 25th unluckiest team in the country. Tech was No. 323 out of 354 last year.
According to KenPom.com, Tech has the ninth most experienced roster in the nation, with an average number of years experience at 2.37.
Still relentless on the boards – Tech is out-rebounding its opponents by 7.3 per game, which ranks 22nd in the nation and No. 3 in the ACC. Tech has out-rebounded 18 of 23 opponents this season with two ties. Tech is No. 4 in the ACC and 20th nationally in offensive rebounds per game (13.7).
Turnovers down – Tech is averaging 10.3 turnovers this season (2nd in the ACC, 15th NCAA), down two-and-a-half per game (12.7) from last season. Tech has averaged 9.8 turnovers in ACC play, the second-lowest figure among the 15 teams.
Scoring up – Tech is averaging 75.3 points per game, 72.8 in ACC games, both figures around 12 points per game higher than a year ago. The Yellow Jackets have connected on 44.6 percent of their field goal tries, an increase of four percent over last year.
Outside threat – Tech’s 35.7-percent success rate from three-point range is up nine percent over last year. The Yellow Jackets have hit 35.2 percent against the ACC.
Tech has shot 70.4 percent from the free throw line this year, its best figure since the 1994-95 season. The Jackets are converting 69.7 percent in ACC games, best since 2006-07.
However, Tech has been outscored from the free throw line nine times in 10 ACC games, and by a total of 193-129. In the second half of those games, the difference is 140-71. Only at NC State did the Yellow Jackets have the advantage (29-19).
Four Georgia Tech players are averaging in double digits – Marcus Georges-Hunt (15.7 ppg), Adam Smith (14.4), Nick Jacobs (11.4) and Charles Mitchell (10.8). Tech has not finished a season with four or more players averaging in double figures since 2008-09.
Nick Jacobs has scored in double figures in seven of Tech’s last eight games, averaging 14.5 points (52.1 pct. FG, 18-of-22 FT) and 6.6 rebounds over that stretch.
Charles 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 has 12 double-doubles this season.
Mitchell has dropped from his season-long ACC lead in rebound average (10.1 rpg) and is now No. 2. He is also No. 2 in offensive rebounds (3.74 per game). Mitchell ranks 20th in the nation in rebound average and 16th in offensive rebounds.
Adam Smith leads the ACC in three-point field goals made (3.13 per game) and ranks sixth in percentage (41.9). He ranks 22nd and 48th, respectively, in the nation in those two categories. He has averaged 3.4 three-pointers in ACC games and has made 40 percent of his tries.
In 23 games, Smith has made more three-pointers (72) than Tech’s leader in each of the past seven seasons and the most for any Tech player since 2007-08.
INSIDE THE SERIES WITH WAKE FOREST
Georgia Tech has a 40-38 lead in the all-time series and a 39-36 lead in games played since it became a member of the ACC.
Tech has won five of the last six meetings between the two teams, and each team won at home during the 2014-15 regular season – Wake Forest won 76-69 in Winston-Salem, and the Yellow Jackets won 73-59 in Atlanta.
Tech has won its last 10 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 both meetings so far at McCamish Pavilion.
Tech was 24-9 against Wake Forest in games played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, and is 27-9 against the Demon Deacons in Atlanta.
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 33 of the last 44 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 PLAYERS VS. WAKE FOREST
Marcus Georges-Hunt has been a key figure in nearly every game of his career vs. Wake Forest as Georgia Tech has won four of the five games in which he has played.
The Tech senior has averaged 16.0 points, reaching double figures in every game, and 4.6 rebounds while hitting 52.9 percent from the floor and 52.9 percent from three-point range. He scored a high of 23 in Tech’s 79-70 win in Winston-Salem in 2014.
Charles Mitchell averaged 13.5 points (11-18 FG) and 5.0 rebounds in two meetings last year for Tech, including 15 points and six rebounds in the Yellow Jackets’ win in Atlanta. He averaged 6.5 points (11-22 FG) and 5.0 boards in four games while at Maryland.
Adam Smith has averaged 17.0 points in three career meetings against the Demon Deacons. He achieved what remains his collegiate career high in points with 32 (12-22 FG, 7-12 on threes) in a game at Wake Forest during his freshman year at UNC Wilmington.
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).