Nov. 18, 2001
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech plays its second straight home game at 7 p.m. Monday night against Pennsylvania at Alexander Memorial Coliseum at McDonald’s Center after opening its 2001-02 campaign with a 97-62 win over Florida A&M Friday. It will be the first time on the court for the Quakers, who have not played an exhibition game.
The game will be televised throughout the Southeastern United States on Fox Sports Net South. Radio coverage on the Georgia Tech Radio Network can be heard in Atlanta on WMAX-FM (98.1) and WSNY-FM (100.1).
Five players scored in double figures against the Rattlers in a balanced offensive effort, led by sophomore Clarence Moore (6-5, Norco, La.) and freshman B.J. Elder (6-3, Madison, Ga.) with 16 points each. Senior point guard Tony Akins (5-11, Lilburn, Ga.), sophomore guard Marvin Lewis (6-4, Germantown, Md.) and sophomore forward Halston Lane (6-5, Oak Ridge, Tenn.) scored 14 each for the Jackets.
Tech, which averaged 101 points in its two exhibition games, opened the season shooting 45 percent from the floor, 43.8 percent (14-of-32) from three-point range while holding FAMU to 33.3 percent overall (6-of-25 on threes) from the floor. The Jackets outrebounded the Rattlers, 64-33, Tech’s highest rebound total since grabbing 70 against Loyola Marymount in 1990.
Head coach Paul Hewitt’s starting lineup includes Akins and Lewis at the guards, Moore and freshman Ed Nelson (6-7, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at the forwards, and freshman Luke Schenscher (7-0, Hope Forest, Australia) at center. Nelson had six points and 13 rebounds against Florida A&M, while Schenscher added seven points and six boards.
Tech has quality depth on the bench in sophomores Halston Lane (6-5, Oak Ridge, Tenn.) and Robert Brooks (6-8, Saginaw, Mich.). Along with Schenscher and Nelson, three other freshmen will play significant minutes – sharpshooting 6-3 guard B.J. Elder (Madison, Ga.), 6-5 forward Isma’il Muhammad (Atlanta, Ga.) and 6-6 point guard Anthony McHenry (Birmingham, Ala.). Muhammad missed Friday’s game with an ankle injury, but is expected to play against the Quakers.
Penn Game is 1st Round of Las Vegas Invitational
Though Monday’s game is being played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum at McDonald’s Center, it is actually Tech’s first-round game of the Las Vegas Invitational, an eight-team event with first-round games being played at campus sites. The tournament resumes Thursday at Valley High School in Las Vegas.
The field is divided into two pools, with pool play standings determining the final-round matchups Saturday. Tech faces Eastern Illinois at 3 p.m. Eastern time Thursday and No. 2-ranked Illinois at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Friday. In Saturday’s finals, the Jackets will meet either Iowa State, Saint Louis, Hartford or Southern Illinois.
First Meeting With Penn Since 1987
Monday night is the sixth meeting between Georgia Tech and Pennsylania, with the Quakers having won three of the five previous games.
Tech and Pennsylvania are meeting for the first time since 1987, when the Yellow Jackets and Quakers completed a home-and-away arrangement. Tech defeated Penn at the Palestra, 79-55, on Dec. 19, 1987, and also defeated the Quakers at home, 84-57, on Dec. 1, 1986.
The first two meetings took place on Penn’s home court in 1929 and 1937, with the Quakers winning both games, 33-23 and 31-30. Penn won the third meeting in 1951, which took place in the Heisman Gym, where Tech played its home games from 1938 through 1956.
Tech in the Thrillerdome
Georgia Tech is playing its 46th season at Alexander Memorial Coliseum at McDonald’s Center in 2001-02. The Jackets have a record of 447-151 (.747) in the facility, which opened Nov. 30, 1956 with a 71-61 Tech loss to Duke.
Since the beginning of the 1981-82 season, Tech is 209-50 (.805) in its on-campus home, including an 11-3 mark last season.
Georgia Tech is 118-5 against non-conference opposition at Alexander Memorial Coliseum since the beginning of the 1981-82 season. The only non-conference teams to win at the Thrillerdome during that period are Georgia (Dec. 6, 2000), Penn State (March 18, 1998) Richmond (Dec. 22, 1987), Louisville (Jan. 15, 1989) and the College of Charleston (Jan. 16, 1993).
Freshman Group Largest Since Final Four Season
Georgia Tech’s freshman class could be a starting five, with Anthony McHenry at the point, B.J. Elder at shooting guard, Isma’il Muhammad at small forward, Ed Nelson at power forward and Luke Schenscher at center.
This year’s class represents the largest group of freshmen to enter the program since 1989-90, when the Yellow Jackets welcomed Kenny Anderson, Malcolm Mackey, Ivano Newbill, Darryl Barnes and Rod Balanis. Newbill and Balanis red-shirted, and the other three helped lift the Jackets to the Final Four in Denver.
Akins For Three
Tony Akins is making his mark as one of the top three-point shooters in Georgia Tech history. Only Dennis Scott (351-for-831), Travis Best (258-for-656) and Matt Harpring (211-for-585) rank ahead of Akins on Tech’s career lists for three-point field goals made and attempted.
Akins is 207-for-577 in his career (35.9 percent). Scott, who set his records in three seasons, shot 42.2 percent from three-point range. Akins needs five three-pointers to move past Harpring for third place on the Tech list.
Tech Gets “Mo” Moore
Sophomore forward Clarence Moore, who broke a bone in his left foot in early September of last year and played just five games last season, has returned to health and is in the starting lineup for the Yellow Jackets. He scored 16 points (7-of-11 FG) with nine rebounds in Tech’s season opener Friday night vs. Florida A&M.
The 6-5 Moore sustained the injury in a pickup game on Sept. 3, 2000, and underwent two surgical procedures, one in September and one in February, before being cleared to play in August. His request for a medical hardship was approved by the NCAA, and he has three years of eligibility remaining.
Known as “Mo,” Moore averaged 4.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 30 games as a freshman in 1999-2000, including 10.2 points and 8.6 rebounds in five starts. In Tech’s two exhibition games, Moore averaged 10.5 points and 6.0 rebounds.
Bench a Necessary Component for Tech
Playing with a 10-man rotation since the arrival of head coach Paul Hewitt, Georgia Tech has come to rely more on its bench for scoring. Tech received 20.4 points per game from its reserves last season, roughly 25 percent of its total scoring output.
Against FAMU Friday night, Tech’s reserves scored 40 of the Jackets’ 97 points, led by 16 from B.J. Elder and 14 from Halston Lane. Tech’s best bench effort last year was 39 points in an 86-84 victory over Kentucky, followed by 38 and 35 in the two meetings vs. Clemson. When the Jackets won last season, the bench average was 24.5. In losses, the bench averaged 14.7. Tech was 11-4 when its bench outscored the opposition’s reserves, 6-8 when it did not.
Georgia Tech (1-0) vs. Pennsylvania (0-0) November 19, 2001 — 7 p.m. Alexander Memorial Coliseum at McDonald’s Center — Atlanta, Ga.
TV: Fox Sports Net South, Mike Hogewood, pbp/Dan Bonner, color Radio: WMAX-FM (98.1), WSNY-FM (100.1), Wes Durham, pbp/Randy Waters, color, also on Ramblinwreck.com Tech Record: 1-0, 0-0 ACC (H: 1-0, A: 0-0, N: 0-0) Series Record vs. Penn: Penn leads 3-2 Last meeting: Dec. 19, 1987, Tech d. Penn, 79-55, @The Palestra Hewitt Record: 84-40 (.677), 5th season Hewitt at Tech: 18-13 (.581), 2nd season Last game: Nov. 16, Tech d. Florida A&M, 97-62 Next game: Nov. 22 vs. Eastern Illinois, 3 p.m. ET, Las Vegas Invitational More info: Ramblinwreck.com
Probable Starters F 5 Clarence Moore 6-5 Jr. 16.0 ppg 9.0 rpg F 32 Ed Nelson 6-7 Fr. 6.0 ppg 13.0 rpg C 12 Luke Schenscher 7-0 Fr. 7.0 ppg 6.0 rpg G 3 Tony Akins 5-11 Sr. 14.0 ppg 2.0 apg G 24 Marvin Lewis 6-4 So. 14.0 ppg 6.0 rpg
Top Reserves F 33 Halston Lane 6-5 So. 14.0 ppg 7.0 rpg F-C 34 Robert Brooks 6-8 So. 6.0 ppg 6.0 rpg G 1 B.J. Elder 6-3 Fr. 16.0 ppg 3.0 rpg G-F 2 Isma’il Muhammad 6-5 Fr. – – G 55 Anthony McHenry 6-6 Fr. 3.0 ppg 3.0 apg