Dec. 18, 2015
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech (7-2) carries a three-game winning streak into its second true road game of the season Saturday with a nationally televised (SEC Network) game at 12 noon against Georgia (4-3) at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga.
It is the 192nd renewal of the state rivalry, the longest-running series in Georgia Tech basketball, and the Yellow Jackets have had the upper hand in recent years, winning all four meetings since Brian Gregory took over as head coach in the 2011-12 season.
Tech extended its current winning streak to three games Tuesday night with a 77-64 victory over VCU at McCamish Pavilion after a 10-day layoff for fall semester final exams. The Jackets have also beaten Wofford at home and Tulane on the road since their Nov. 27 loss to 8th-ranked Villanova.
Georgia is coming off an 11-day layoff, having last played on Dec. 8, a 74-64 Bulldog victory over Winthrop. The ‘Dogs are 4-2 at home this season and have not had a game decided by more than 11 points either way.
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. 83, XM ch. 190). The SEC Network will televise the game live nationally.
• Georgia Tech’s four-game winning streak in the series with Georgia is the longest for either team since Georgia won seven straight in the early 1980s. It is the longest for Tech since winning four straight its final two seasons in the Southeastern Conference (1962-63 and 1963-64).
• A win Saturday would produce the longest winning streak for Tech in the series since the Yellow Jackets reeled off 10 in a row from December of 1958 through February of 1961. That is the longest run for either side.
• Tech has won its last three games (Wofford, Tulane, VCU) largely on excellent second-half defense. The Jackets held those teams to 32.9 percent from the floor (30-91) collectively.
• Four Georgia Tech players are scoring in double digits through nine games – Marcus Georges-Hunt (15.2 ppg), Charles Mitchell (14.2), Adam Smith (11.8) and Nick Jacobs (10.2). Tech has not finished a season with four or more players averaging in double figures since 2008-09.
• Tech is out-rebounding its opponents by 11.6 per game, which ranks 12th in the nation and No. 2 in the ACC behind Louisville (+16.9). Tech is No. 2 in the ACC and seventh nationally in offensive rebounds per game (15.7).
• No Tech player in the Atlantic Coast Conference era has begun a season with nine straight double-doubles as has Charles Mitchell, and the longest streak of double-doubles at any point in a season has been five (Malcolm Mackey in 1991-92 and Gani Lawal in 2008-09).
• Only one other player in the nation has more than Mitchell’s nine double-doubles in nine games (Joel Bolomboy of Weber State has nine in nine games). Mitchell leads the ACC, and his nine double-digit rebound games also lead the ACC.
• Tech is averaging 80.6 points per game (seventh-highest in the ACC) and has hit the century mark twice this season. The Yellow Jackets have connected on 46.3 percent of their field goal tries (No. 9 in the ACC).
• In a reversal from previous Brian Gregory-coached Tech teams, Tech ranks higher in offensive categories than in defensive ones, at least in the early going. The Jackets are currently 11th in scoring defense and 10th in field goal percentage defense.
• Tech’s starting lineup for the first nine games has 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. Only Georges-Hunt began his career at Georgia 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 and Wofford.
• Mitchell leads the ACC in rebound average (12.9 rpg) and in field goal percentage (61.2 pct.). Mitchell ranks fourth and 29th, respectively, in the nation in those categories.
• Marcus Georges-Hunt is 10th in the ACC in free throw percentage (83.9). Of the top 10 in percentage, only Grayson Allen of Duke and Anthony Barber of NC State have been to the line more than Georges-Hunt (52-of-62).
• With three more points, Georges-Hunt is poised to leapfrog two players on Tech’s all-time scoring list. Georges-Hunt is 27th with 1,264 points. Jarrett Jack (1,265) is 26th and Bud Blemker (1,266) is 25th.
• Adam Smith is fifth in the ACC in three-point field goals made (2.67 per game). He has made at least one three in every game.
• Josh Heath is seventh in assist-turnover ratio (2.62-1). Tech’s point guard tandem of Heath and Travis Jorgenson have 54 assists and 18 turnovers for a 3.00-1 ratio. Tech has a 1.28-1 team ratio (8th 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 79.3 percent (111-for-140) of their charity tosses this season. They went 15-for-16 against VCU. As a team, Tech ranks fourth in the ACC at 72.9 percent after going 24-for-26 against the Rams.
• Georgia is the last of four non-conference teams on Tech’s 2015-16 non-conference slate that Tech also faced during its run to the NCAA national championship game in 2004 (Cornell, Tennessee, Georgia and VCU).
INSIDE THE SERIES WITH GEORGIA
• Georgia Tech has won four consecutive games over Georgia for the first time since winning 10 in a row over the Bulldogs, the longest for either team in the series, from December of 1958 to February of 1961.
• Tech snapped a 13-game losing streak in games played at Stegeman Coliseum with a 68-56 win over Georgia on Dec. 7, 2011. It was Tech’s first win in Athens since Nov. 26, 1976, a stretch that spanned three Tech coaches – Dwane Morrison (0-for-his-last-4), Bobby Cremins (0-4) and Paul Hewitt (0-5).
• With Tech’s 80-71 win in the Nov. 15, 2013 contest in Athens, the Yellow Jackets have won back-to-back in Athens for the first time since winning three in a row from 1959-61.
• Brian Gregory is the first Tech coach to win his first four meetings against Georgia since Roy McArthur, who won his first four during the 1946-47 and 1947-48 seasons.
• Georgia Tech leads the overall series 105-86 and has played the Bulldogs more than any other opponent in its basketball history.
• The series has been played alternately on the respective schools’ campuses since the 1995-96 season. The series is tied 10-10 over that period,
• In the 20 on-campus meetings since 1995, each team has won twice on the other’s home court. Tech has won the last two meetings in Athens to put the series back “on serve,” while Georgia has won twice in Atlanta, both at Alexander Memorial Coliseum in 2000 and 2010.
• Before that December, 1995 meeting in Athens, the teams played 14 straight years at the Omni in downtown Atlanta, which was located on the site of the current Philips Arena. Tech went 8-6 against the Bulldogs in the facility, including eight of the last 10 before the neutral series ended. The teams have played on neutral sites other than the SEC or Southern Intercollegiate Championships only one other time, that coming at the 1960 Gator Bowl Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla.
• Tech is 4-2 against Georgia teams coached by Mark Fox, who won his first two encounters against the Jackets.
• Tech and Georgia were both charter members of the Southeastern Conference, and the Yellow Jackets went 55-29 against the Bulldogs in the SEC before leaving the conference after the 1963-64 season.
• Tech is 35-30 against Georgia since leaving the SEC.
TECH PLAYERS VS. GEORGIA
• Marcus Georges-Hunt has been around for the last three games of this series, hitting double figures in each meeting and averaging 13.3 points per game. He has gone 12-of-27 from the floor, 3-of-7 from three-point range and 13-for-21 from the foul like. He also has averaged 3.0 assists and 4.7 rebounds. His high game was 18 points as a freshman at McCamish Pavilion.
• Charles Mitchell and Quinton Stephens each had big games in Tech’s victory last year in McCamish Pavilion. Mitchell made his Tech debut with 20 points, going 8-for-10 from the floor. Stephens torched the Bulldogs with six threes and scored 22 points in his best game of the entire season. He scored seven points in the win in Athens his freshman year.
• In five games against Georgia while at Alabama, Nick Jacobs averaged 4.6 points and went 9-for-20 from the floor.
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).