Nov. 10, 2011
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech will open its 2011-12 season and play its first game under new head coach Brian Gregory at 8 p.m. Friday night against Florida A&M at the Arena at Gwinnett. The game is the nightcap of a double-header involving the Yellow Jackets’ women’s team, which will open its season at 5:30 against Alabama State.
Tickets for the men’s game are $10 and are available at the door. Seating for all Tech games at the Arena at Gwinnett are general admission.
Radio coverage is provided by the Georgia Tech/IMG Sports Network and available in Atlanta on 790 AM and 106.7 FM. The Tech broadcast can also be heard on Sirius satellite radio channel 137.
Tech hired Gregory, who enjoyed a successful eight-year run as the head coach at Dayton, as its head coach last March. The new Yellow Jackets’ skipper compiled a record of 172-94 at the Atlantic 10 institution, guiding the Flyers to two NCAA Tournaments and three berths in the NIT, which they won in 2010.
Gregory inherits two returning starters and nine letterwinners from a team that went 13-18 overall, 5-11 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, a year ago. Two of the three leading scorers from last season are gone – Iman Shumpert going in the NBA Draft, where he was the 17th overall selection, and Brian Oliver, who transferred to Seton Hall.
Tech’s returning players, however, have combined to start 120 games in their careers. Back are juniors Glen Rice, Jr., a 6-5 forward from Marietta, Ga., and Mfon Udofia, a 6-2 point guard from Stone Mountain, Ga., sophomore forwards Jason Morris (6-5, Augusta, Ga.) and Kammeon Holsey (6-8, Sparta, Ga.), and sophomore centers Daniel Miller (6-11, Loganville, Ga.) and Nate Hicks (6-10, Panama City Beach, Fla.), who combined to score 51 percent of Tech’s points in 2011-12.
Rice, Jr., is Tech’s top returning scorer at 12.8 points a game, while Udofia averaged 6.7 points a game to rank fourth on the team. Morris, who averaged 6.0 points a game, also hit 40 percent of his three-point shots. Miller, the only returning player to start every game last year, averaged 4.4 points and 5.0 rebounds.
Gregory welcomes three newcomers, including 6-7 freshman forward Julian Royal of Milton High School in Alpharetta, Ga., 6-3 sophomore guard Brandon Reed, an Atlanta prep product who played at Arkansas State in 2009-10 before transferring to Tech, and 6-0 senior point guard Pierre Jordan, who graduated over the summer from Florida State and is completing his eligibility at Tech.
The Rattlers, who went 12-20 overall last year and 7-9 in the Mideastern Athletic Conference, also have a new coach in Clemon Johnson.
Tale of Two Homes
For the 2011-12 season, Georgia Tech will play five November and December non-conference games at the Arena at Gwinnett, located up I-85 North in Duluth, Ga. Tech’s men’s team has never played a game in the building. Tech’s women will play 12 of their 13 home games there.
The Yellow Jackets will play all eight of their ACC games and non-conference games against Northwestern and Alabama in Philips Arena, which is located downtown and is the home arena of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. Tech has an all-time record of 4-3 in the building, but has not played there since Dec. 11, 2004, a 64-42 win over Air Force in the last Chick-fil-A Classic for Kids.
Tech also played its first ACC-Big Ten Challenge game in Philips Arena, a game won by Michigan, 80-77, on Dec. 1, 1999. The 2012 ACC Tournament will be held at Philips Arena Mar. 8-11.