Feb. 27, 2015
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech makes its final road trip of the 2014-15 regular season this weekend when the Yellow Jackets meet Clemson at 12 noon Saturday at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, S.C.
Tech, 12-16 overall and 3-13 in the ACC in its fourth season under head coach Brian Gregory, is looking for a season sweep of the Tigers after defeating them 63-52 on Feb. 16 at McCamish Pavilion. Since then, the Yellow Jackets have lost consecutive games to No. 15 North Carolina and No. 17 Louisville and are in 13th place in the ACC standings.
Clemson, 15-12 overall and 7-8 in the ACC, had a bye this week after suffering a 78-56 defeat at Duke last Saturday, the Tigers’ only game since facing Tech in Atlanta. In its fifth season under head coach Brad Brownell, Clemson has lost four of its last five games and sit in a tie for 10th place in the ACC standings.
Saturday’s game will be regionally televised on the ACC Network (WATL-TV in Atlanta), and will be streamed live on ESPN3. The Georgia Tech IMG Radio Network, with flagship station WCNN (680 AM/93.7 FM) will also carry the game. Tech’s radio coverage can be heard on satellite radio nationally (Sirius Ch. 136, XM Ch. 194).
Following Saturday’s game, Tech closes its regular season Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at home against No. 15 North Carolina. The Yellow Jackets have a bye on the final weekend before the ACC Tournament.
STARTING FIVE (PLUS ONE) FOR SATURDAY’S GAME
Saturday will mark Tech’s second meeting with Clemson in 13 days. Tech will finish its regular season Tuesday night with its second meeting in 14 days against North Carolina.
Tech’s strength of schedule is ranked No. 18 in ESPN’s RPI rankings, and its non-conference strength of schedule is ranked No. 69.
Tech ranks 15th nationally in rebound margin (+7.3), 12th in offensive rebounds per game (13.9).
Eleven of Tech’s 13 conference losses have come by a total of 39 points (North Carolina and Virginia the exceptions, each by 29). Tech has lost three times by one point, twice by two points, once by three, once by four, once by five, once by six and twice by seven. Two of those losses went to overtime. Conversely, Tech has defeated its three conference opponents by a total of 45 points, all in double digits and all wire-to-wire.
Tech ranks No. 26 in the nation in the adjusted defensive efficiency rating by Ken Pomeroy. The Jackets rank fourth in the ACC in scoring defense vs. conference teams.
Tech has a minus-0.66 “Luck” rating, KenPom.com’s measure of a team’s number of close games and its success in them. The Jackets rank No. 311 in that category, or to look at it another way, the 45th unluckiest team in the country.
SERIES NOTES VS. CLEMSON
This is the oldest and longest-running series the Yellow Jackets have with an ACC member. The 126 all-time meetings are 33 more than Tech has played with any other ACC opponent. The series dates back to the 1912-13 season, when John Heisman coached the Tech basketball team.
Clemson is one of two permanent home-and-away opponents on Tech’s schedule each year (Notre Dame is the other).
Clemson has won 17 of the last 20 meetings in the series, and had won 10 straight games in the series until Tech captured a 63-52 win on Feb. 16 at McCamish Pavilion.
The Yellow Jackets trail 43-32 to the Tigers since joining the ACC.
Clemson head coach Brad Brownell is 9-1 vs. Tech, while Brian Gregory is 1-7 vs. Clemson. In the 10 meetings with the Tigers and Brownell, the Yellow Jackets have averaged 55.4 points per game, never scoring more than 65 in any one game.
Tech actually won four of the first five meetings with Clemson at Littlejohn Coliseum under Paul Hewitt, but the Tigers have won the last nine in a row there.
Tech is just 16-41 all-time in games played at Clemson, including an 8-34 mark in Littlejohn Coliseum. Tech was Clemson’s first opponent in Littlejohn Coliseum back on Nov. 30, 1968. The Tigers won, 76-72.
Tech’s 111-108 win against the Tigers at Littlejohn Coliseum on Jan. 24, 2001 is the highest-scoring regulation game Tech has had with any ACC opponent. The Jackets defeated Florida State by the same score in Tallahassee (in two OTs) on Feb. 11, 1999, and lost to Wake Forest in the 2007 ACC Tournament, 114-112 in double-overtime.
THEY SAID IT…
“You know Georgia Tech is just like us. We have two better players than them, but they’re just like us. They run great stuff, but the ball doesn’t go in. They’re not a good shooting team and we’re not a good shooting team. And that’s the most frustrating thing because they do so many great things offensively and so many great things defensively, and so did we. But when the ball doesn’t go in you struggle. But they’re a team that played Duke to the wire and had them. Notre Dame in overtime. They’re young right now and they suffer the same things we suffer and that’s `you have wide open shots and they don’t go down.'” – Louisville coach Rick Pitino
“You know I’ve always said that sometimes a lack of patience is the worst thing programs can do. Sometimes you just have to be patient with young guys, because they’ll get it. I’m not telling the athletic director he is the next John Wooden, but I can tell you something right now that he’s a top 15 coach in the nation. There’s no doubt. He kicked my [expletive] one time at Dayton and made me look like I never coached.” – Louisville coach Rick Pitino
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is beginning its fourth 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 (@GTMBK).