Jan. 1, 2016
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech (10-3) concluded a successful non-conference season with three straight wins and now turns its attention to the Atlantic Coast Conference, where the Yellow Jackets open with a road game against seventh-ranked North Carolina (12-2, 1-0 ACC) at 12 noon Saturday at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Tech finished the pre-conference slate with a 73-67 victory over a 10-2 Duquesne team Tuesday night, and has also defeated Tennessee, Arkansas, Tulane and VCU during the months of November and December. The Jackets’ 10 wins matches a pre-conference high in five seasons under Brian Gregory and has been exceeded only twice since Tech’s Final Four season of 2003-04.
North Carolina has won their last five games, including an 80-69 win over Clemson in its ACC opener Wednesday night, and is undefeated in the Smith Center (8-0) this season. The Tar Heels boast non-conference victories over Temple, Northwestern, Kansas State, Maryland, Davidson and UCLA.
Saturday’s game will be televised regionally on the ACC Network (check local TV listings for affiliates) 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 be heard nationally on satellite radio (Sirius ch. 84, XM ch. 84).
• Georgia Tech is opening the ACC schedule on the road for the third straight year, and will play three of its first four ACC games on the road – at No. 7 North Carolina, at No. 25 Pittsburgh, at home vs. No. 5 Virginia, at Notre Dame (receiving votes).
• Tech’s five ACC openers under Brian Gregory – at No. 7 North Carolina, at No. 14 Notre Dame, at Maryland, Miami at home, No. 5 Duke at home.
• Tech’s last victory in an ACC opener was a 63-54 win at home over Virginia on Dec. 4, 2005. The Yellow Jackets have lost the last nine, three of them in overtime.
• Tech and North Carolina have faced two common opponents – Wofford (Tech won 77-61, North Carolina 78-58, both at home) and Tulane (Tech won 76-68 on the road, North Carolina 96-72 at home).
• North Carolina has the second-highest-scoring offense in the ACC to date (87.1 points per game, 8th nationally) and ranks fifth in field goal percentage (50 percent, 18th nationally). The Tar Heels have outscored opponents by 17 points per game, rank No. 6 nationally in assists per game and No. 2 in assist-turnover ratio.
• Still relentless on the boards – Tech is out-rebounding its opponents by 10.6 per game, which ranks 18th in the nation and No. 3 in the ACC behind Louisville and Pittsburgh. Tech is No. 4 in the ACC and 20th nationally in offensive rebounds per game (14.3).
• Turnovers down – Tech has turned the ball over only 22 times in its last three games, and the Yellow Jackets are averaging 10.6 this season (5th in the ACC, 22nd NCAA), down more than two per game (12.7) from last season.
• Scoring up – Tech is averaging 77.7 points per game (10th-highest in the ACC), more than 14 points per game higher than last season, and has hit the century mark twice this season. The Yellow Jackets have connected on 46.0 percent of their field goal tries, an increase of six percent over last year.
• Outside threat – Tech’s 36.1-percent success rate from three-point range is up nearly 10 percent over last year. The Yellow Jackets have hit 40 percent over their last seven games.
• Four Georgia Tech players are averaging in double digits – Marcus Georges-Hunt (14.5 ppg), Adam Smith (13.1), Charles Mitchell (12.8) and Nick Jacobs (10.2). Tech has not finished a season with four or more players averaging in double figures since 2008-09.
• After James White started two games in place of Nick Jacobs, Tech went back to its original starting lineup against Duquesne – Marcus Georges-Hunt, Josh Heath and Adam Smith at the guards; Jacobs and Charles Mitchell at forward. Tech is 8-3 with that lineup.
• 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 third-most 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 (11.6 rpg) and is third in field goal percentage (58.4 pct.). Mitchell ranks seventh and 35th, respectively, in the nation in those categories.
• Georges-Hunt ranks 22nd on Tech’s all-time scoring list. He has leaped past 13 players on the list this season and now has 1,316 career points.
• Georges-Hunt grabbed six rebounds against Duquesne to reach 500 for his career, and became the 19th Tech player to reach 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in his career.
• In 13 games, Smith has made more three-pointers (38) than Tech’s leader in three of the past four seasons (Trae Golden had 46 in 2013-14).
• Smith is third in the ACC in three-point field goals made (2.92 per game) and seventh in percentage (43.7). He has made at least one three in every game this season, 14 in his last four games.
• Heath is third in the ACC and 23rd nationally in assist-turnover ratio (3.44-1) and has 21 assists with three turnovers in Tech’s last four games. Tech’s point guard tandem of Heath and Travis Jorgenson have 88 assists and 22 turnovers for a 4.00-1 ratio. Tech has a 1.41-1 team ratio (5th in the ACC, 35th nationally).
• Tech’s top five scorers this season – Marcus Georges-Hunt, Charles Mitchell, Adam Smith, Nick Jacobs and Quinton Stephens – have hit a combined 76 percent (152-200) of their charity tosses this season.
INSIDE THE SERIES WITH NORTH CAROLINA
• North Carolina has a 66-24 lead in the all-time series between the two teams, and a 52-22 advantage since Tech joined the ACC.
• North Carolina has won the last six meetings in the series, sweeping the regular-season series from the Yellow Jackets in 2014-15 by an average of 30.5 points.
• Before that, Tech had won four games in a row for its longest winning streak in the series. Tech is 10-13 against North Carolina dating back to the 2001-02 season.
• The teams have played 39 times in the city of Atlanta, but met only 23 times at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, where the Tar Heels won 12 of 23. Tech won six of the last seven meetings in the Thrillerdome, however, and won six of eight against UNC in the Coliseum under Paul Hewitt.
• Between 1982 and 1996, the Yellow Jackets played eight of their home games with the Tar Heels at the old Omni arena in downtown Atlanta (2-6 record). Counting ACC and SIC Tournament games played in the city, Tech is 14-21 vs. North Carolina in Atlanta.
• Tech is 8-5 in games played away from Chapel Hill since 2000-01, including three ACC Tournament wins. The Jackets are 8-12 against the Tar Heels under Roy Williams, 8-13 against Williams all-time. Brian Gregory is 1-6 as a head coach against North Carolina, having beaten the Tar Heels in the 2010 NIT Championship while head coach at Dayton.
• Tech has lost 10 of the last 11 meetings in the Smith Center and is 4-23 all-time in the building. Counting regular-season games in Greensboro, Tech is 5-30 on the road against UNC.
• Tech’s greatest success in its series with North Carolina occurred during the middle 1990s when the Jackets won five of seven meetings, including three straight wins over No. 1-ranked Tar Heel teams during the 1993 and 1994 campaigns.
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).