Jan. 29, 2016
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech (12-8, 2-5 ACC), which snapped a three-game losing streak Wednesday night at NC State, looks to make it two in a row Saturday when it travels to Syracuse (14-8, 4-5 ACC) for a 12 p.m. nationally-televised Atlantic Coast Conference game at the Carrier Dome.
The Yellow Jackets picked up their first road win in the ACC this year and their first win in four games since upending fourth-ranked Virginia at McCamish Pavilion on Jan. 9. Tech defeated NC State and scored their most points in an ACC game since the 2007-08 season. Tech’s five ACC losses this season have come by a total of 27 points, an average of 5.4 points per game.
Syracuse has a short turnaround after defeating 25th-ranked Notre Dame Thursday night (81-66), their fourth win in five games. The Orange lost their first four games in conference play this season to Pittsburgh, Miami, Clemson and North Carolina, then reeled off three straight wins over Boston College, Wake Forest and Duke before dropping a close game at Virginia last Sunday.
Saturday’s game will be televised nationally on ESPNU and will be streamed live on the WatchESPN app. 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. 113, XM ch. 193).
“I’m proud of the way our guys responded. We did a great job on the glass, offensive rebounds were a big key, and our seniors led us which is something we need. Those guys need to carry us and that’s exactly what they did. Marcus [Georges-Hunt], Adam [Smith] and Nick [Jacobs] did exactly that and we got just enough from the other guys.” – Tech coach Brian Gregory following Tech’s 90-83 win Wednesday night
• A win Saturday would give Georgia Tech its first back-to-back ACC wins since Syracuse (March 4, on the road) and Virginia Tech (March 8, at home) to finish the 2013-14 regular season.
• Tech’s last back-to-back road wins in the ACC happened on Feb. 9 (Virginia Tech) and Feb. 16 (Wake Forest) during the 2012-13 season. There was a home game in between (loss to Clemson).
• Tech is 2-4 on the road this year, 1-3 in conference play. The four losses have occurred by an average of 8.8 points. Syracuse is 9-3 at home this season, 2-2 in ACC games.
• Tech has already played five of the top seven teams in the current ACC standings, and the Yellow Jackets’ seven opponents have a combined regular-season record of 106-38 (.736), the strongest schedule to date of any conference team behind Clemson, whose ACC foes are 125-37 (.771) combined.
• Tech’s overall strength of schedule ranks the 22nd strongest in the CBSSports.com RPI rankings (4-6 vs. top-100 teams). The Jackets’ non-conference schedule strength is rated No. 92.
• Tech’s two road games this week give the Yellow Jackets five in their first eight ACC games. They follow with three straight home games against No. 24/20 Duke, No. 15/13 Miami and Wake Forest.
• Saturday is the only scheduled meeting between Tech and Syracuse during the regular season. The two teams have yet to play home-and-away in the Orange’s three years in the ACC.
• Still relentless on the boards – Tech is out-rebounding its opponents by 8.2 per game, which ranks 21st in the nation and No. 3 in the ACC. Tech has out-rebounded 16 of 20 opponents this season with two ties. Tech is No. 4 in the ACC and 22nd nationally in offensive rebounds per game (13.8).
• Turnovers down – Tech is averaging 10.2 turnovers this season (4th in the ACC, 12th NCAA), down two-and-a-half per game (12.7) from last season. Tech has averaged 9.4 turnovers in ACC play, the second-lowest figure among the 15 teams.
• Scoring up – Tech is averaging 77.1 points per game, 76.0 in ACC games, both figures more than 14 points per game higher than a year ago. The Yellow Jackets have connected on 44.8 percent of their field goal tries, an increase of four percent over last year.
• Outside threat – Tech’s 36.9-percent success rate from three-point range is up 10 percent over last year. The Yellow Jackets have hit 38.7 percent against the ACC, which leads the conference.
• Tech ranks 44th in the nation and No. 3 in the ACC in three-point field goal defense (31.2 pct.). The Jackets’ six ACC opponents have converted only 29.4 percent, the third-best figure in the league.
• Tech outscored NC State from the free throw line, 29-19 (23-12 in the second half), the first time this season the Yellow Jackets had been on the positive side of that comparison. In its first six ACC games, Tech had been outscored 134-74 from the line overall, 110-33 in the second half.
• Four Georgia Tech players are averaging in double digits – Marcus Georges-Hunt (16.4 ppg), Adam Smith (14.4), Charles Mitchell (11.7) and Nick Jacobs (11.2). Tech has not finished a season with four or more players averaging in double figures since 2008-09.
• Tech started its fourth different lineup of the season at NC State, replacing Travis Jorgenson with Josh Heath and Charles Mitchell with Nick Jacobs. Heath had started Tech’s first 15 games of the season, coming off the bench the last four. Jacobs had started 13 of 19 games before NC State and had come off the bench the last four. Mitchell had started Tech’s first 19 games this season. Marcus Georges-Hunt and Adam Smith are the only Jackets to start every game this season.
• Of the eight players to start a game for Georgia Tech this year, only three – Georges-Hunt, Jorgenson and Quinton Stephens – began their careers at Tech.
• Marcus Georges-Hunt has averaged 25.3 points over his last three games, scoring 27 vs. Virginia Tech, 23 vs. Louisville and 26 at NC State. He has hit 24-of-47 from the floor over that stretch.
• Georges-Hunt has averaged 19.7 points per game against ACC teams this season, ranking No. 2 in the league.
• Georges-Hunt has hit his last 22 straight free throws, including 9-for-9 at NC State and 12-for-12 against Louisville the game before.
• Nick Jacobs has scored in double figures five straight games, averaging 15.4 points (31-for-56 FG, 15-of-17 FT) and 6.8 rebounds over that stretch.
• Charles Mitchell’s 12 double-doubles this season is tied for the ACC lead and ranks ninth in the nation. 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 (10.9 rpg) and is No. 2 offensive rebounds (4.1 per game). Mitchell ranks 11th and ninth in the nation, respectively, in those categories.
• Adam Smith leads the ACC in three-point field goals made (3.3 per game) and fifth in percentage (43.4). He ranks 18th and 35th, respectively, in the nation in those two categories. He has averaged 4.0 three-pointers in ACC games and has made 43.1 percent of his tries.
• In 19 games, Smith has made more three-pointers (66) than Tech’s leader in each of the past five seasons and the most for any Tech player since 2008-09.
INSIDE THE SERIES WITH SYRACUSE
Syracuse won the only meeting between the two teams in 2014-15, a 46-45 nail-biter on Jan. 7 at McCamish Pavilion that evened the overall series at three wins apiece.
Tech won the first meeting between the two teams as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, 67-62, on March 4, 2014, the only regular-season meeting in 2013-14.
•Three of the first four games in the series were played on neutral courts, the first of which had the highest stakes, a second-round NCAA Tournament game at the Omni in Atlanta in 1985. The Orange were led at the time by guard Pearl Washington.
•The most recent meeting between the two teams before Syracuse joined the ACC occurred in the championship game of the Legends Classic in Atlantic City in 2010, and 9th-ranked Syracuse survived a 32-point effort by Brian Oliver (who later transferred to Seton Hall) to win, 80-76.
•Tech’s only other trip to the Carrier Dome came in December of 2003, when the Orange, led by freshmen Carmelo Anthony and Gerry McNamara, routed the Jackets and Chris Bosh, 92-65, and eventually won the national championship.
•Syracuse had never played on Tech’s campus until this season, but the Yellow Jackets did host the 13th-ranked Orange in a Delta Air Lines Classic for Kids game at Philips Arena in 2001. Jim Boeheim missed the game due to prostate surgery and the Yellow Jackets won by 16.
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).