Dec. 16, 2012
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech, which ran its homecourt record to 4-0 with a 73-66 victory over UNC Wilmington Saturday night, continues its seven-game homestand against Alabama State at 7 p.m. Monday night at McCamish Pavilion.
Tech (6-2) is looking to continue its best start since the 2009-10 season with a victory against the Hornets. The Yellow Jackets’ two losses have come to California, which was undefeated at the time and went on to win the DirecTV Classic, and undefeated and 10th-ranked Illinois on the road.
Monday’s game will be televised on the ACC’s Regional Sports Cable network (RSN) and can be seen in the Southeast on Fox Sports South. The game also can be heard over the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network (790 AM, 106.7 FM in Atlanta), as well as satellite radio on Sirius Ch. 113 and XM Ch. 190. It is also available online at ESPN3 outside the ACC footprint.
Tech, in its second season under head coach Brian Gregory, is 4-0 at home this season, including victories over Tulane and Presbyterian in early November. The Yellow Jackets also have victories over Rice and Saint Mary’s in the DirecTV Classic.
Alabama State (1-8), in its eighth season under head coach Lewis Jackson, lost its first seven games of the season, the closest being a four-point loss at Troy and a five-point home loss to Savannah State, before capturing a victory over Troy Thursday night. The Hornets come to Atlanta on the heels of an 80-67 loss at Evansville Saturday.
Following Monday night’s game, Tech will host The Citadel at 4 p.m. Saturday at McCamish Pavilion before breaking for the Christmas holiday.
Every player who has suited up for Georgia Tech in its first eight games is from the state of Georgia, seven of those from the Atlanta metropolitan area. That will change this week when Kentucky transfer Stacey Poole, Jr., and his younger brother, freshman guard Solomon Poole, become eligible to play (more details below).
Tech was ranked No. 50 in CollegeRPI.com after its first six games with an overall strength of schedule ranked No. 60. As of Sunday, two wins hence, Tech’s RPI rank was No. 80, and its strength of schedule was No. 167.
Tech’s two losses have come to teams with a combined record of 17-2 (as of Dec. 12).
Tech’s three games immediately before Georgia were played against teams either ranked in the nation’s top 25 or are receiving votes. California and Saint Mary’s were Tech’s final two opponents in the DirecTV Classic, and Illinois jumped into the top 25 following its victory in the Maui Invitational.
Tech has defeated its in-state rival, Georgia, in consecutive years for the first time since winning three straight from 1992-94.
In both of Tech’s losses, the Yellow Jackets held leads well into the second half. Tech led Cal by three at the 15:33 mark, and Illinois by four with 7:15 left.
Tech’s most frequent starting lineup this season has been Mfon Udofia and Brandon Reed at the guards, Marcus Georges-Hunt and Robert Carter, Jr., at the forwards and Daniel Miller at center. Jason Morris started in place of Georges-Hunt against California.
Tech has not played a game closer than seven points. Its six wins have come by an average of 12.3 points, its two losses by 12.0 points.
Tech has held its opponents to 56.8 points per game, third-best in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets have held two opponents under 40 points.
Tech’s opponents have shot 38.1 percent from the floor collectively, also in the ACC. California had the best success rate at 44.2 percent.
Tech ranks fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference in turnover margin (+2.1) and sixth in assist/turnover ratio (1.0+) after ranking last in those categories a year ago. Only one team – Clemson – has turned the ball over less than Tech has, and the Jackets rank 29th in the nation in fewest turnovers per game.
Series Notes vs. Alabama State
Georgia Tech and Alabama State are playing for just the second time. The first meeting was a 74-37 Tech victory at Alexander Memorial Coliseum that opened the 2004-05 season.
The 37 points scored by the Hornets matched the fewest permitted by Tech in the modern era (1949-50 season to the present), a figure broken Nov. 22 when the Yellow Jackets defeated Rice, 54-36, in the DirecTV Classic.
Georgia Tech is 13-1 all-time against current members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The lone loss came to Southern University in the first round of the 1993 NCAA Tournament.
Tech head coach Brian Gregory has never faced Alabama State.