Jan. 22, 2010
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s 19th-ranked (AP) basketball team plays its fifth road game in the last seven Sunday afternoon when the Yellow Jackets visit Florida State in a regionally-televised (Raycom) game at 12 noon at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Fla.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (14-4, 3-2 ACC) vs.
Florida State Seminoles (14-4, 2-2 ACC)
Date: Sunday, January 24, 2010
Tipoff: 12 noon Eastern time
Site: Donald L. Tucker Center, Tallahassee, Fla.
Television: Raycom – Bob Rathbun play-by-play, Mike Gminski color (WATL-TV in Atlanta)
Radio: Georgia Tech/ISP Sports Network, live on flagship station WQXI-AM (790 the Zone) and WYAY-FM (106.7). Wes Durham play-by-play, Randy Waters color.
Satellite Radio: XM 190, Sirius 213
On the web: Audio and live stats available at Ramblinwreck.com. Live video streaming at ESPN360.com.
Series History: Florida State leads, 33-27
Tech in the Donald L. Tucker Center: Tech has a 7-10 record in Florida State’s home arena.
National Rankings: Tech is ranked No. 19 in the Associated Press poll and No. 18 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. Florida State is receiving votes in both polls.
Tech is 14-4 overall, 3-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, is off to its best start since the 2003-04 season and has beaten three top-25 teams in the last 11 days, including a 71-67 win over No. 5 Duke on Jan. 9, a 73-71 triumph at No. 12 North Carolina Jan. 16 and a 66-64 win over No. 17 Clemson Tuesday night in Atlanta.
The Yellow Jackets are 1-1 on the road in conference play this year, 3-2 in all games.
Florida State, 14-4 overall and 2-2 in the ACC, evened its conference mark with a 63-58 homecourt victory over Virginia Tech last Saturday. The Seminoles, who have not played since last Saturday, are 1-1 at home in conference play, 9-1 overall this season.
Sunday’s game is the second meeting between the two teams this year. Florida State captured the first meeting on Dec. 20, outlasting the Yellow Jackets, 66-59 in overtime at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Tech sophomore guard Iman Shumpert missed that game following knee surgery, but returned Jan. 2 and has played in the Jackets’ last six games.
The Seminoles appeared in the AP Top 25 for two weeks since the teams first played, but dropped out this week. The teams have met only once before when both were in the top 25 (Jan. 31, 1993).
The Jackets have been one of the better defensive teams in the ACC so far, ranking second in the ACC and seventh in the nation in field goal percentage defense (37.0 pct.). Tech ranks fifth in the conference and 25th nationally in lowest three-point percentage yield (.298). The Jackets held Duke 19 points under, North Carolina 12 under, and Clemson 13 under their seasonal scoring averages and have allowed 70 points in a game only three in the last 13 games.
Tech returned to full strength Jan. 2 when Iman Shumpert, the sophomore guard, returned from a six-game absence due to surgery to repair a damaged meniscus in his right knee. Shumpert, who has played an average of nearly 33 minutes in his six games back, has averaged 12.5 points and 4.0 assists in that stretch.
The Yellow Jackets have been in and out of the Associated Press poll of writers after beginning the season ranked 22nd, and have risen to No. 19 this week. Tech has been in the ESPN/USA Today coaches top 25 each week of the season, currently holding the 18th position for the second straight week.
Series with Florida State
> Florida State leads the all-time series with Georgia Tech, 33-27, and has won the last four games in the series.
> Since FSU joined the ACC, Tech is 17-19 against the Seminoles. Florida State won the first six in a row, Tech followed by winning five straight, and is 12-13 against the Seminoles since then.
> In those 36 games, 17 have been decided by four points or less, 26 by 10 points or less. One of those games went to double-overtime, which the Yellow Jackets won 111-108 on Feb. 11, 1999 in Tallahassee.
> The teams have split the regular-season series six of the last 11 years except the 2001-02, 2004-05 and 2006-07 seasons, when Tech won both games.
> Tech is 9-8 against FSU with Paul Hewitt as its head coach, and is 6-7 against Seminole teams led by head coach Leonard Hamilton. Tech is 7-7 against Hamilton overall, with a victory over his Miami team in December of 1997.
> Tech is 10-17 in games played in Tallahassee, including a 7-10 mark at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, formerly known as the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center.
Head Coach Paul Hewitt …
On what the Yellow Jackets have to do differently this time around against Florida State:
“Make more shots, take better shots. They did a great job in the last game of really bothering our guards. They didn’t get the ball where it needed to be and they shot too quick, but a lot of that had to do with how much pressure they got them.”
On what strides the team has made since the last Florida State game on Dec. 20:
“I think offensively we’re a lot better. Florida State is easily the best defensive team in the league. They have the best front line in the league with [Solomon] Alabi, [Ryan] Reid and [Chris] Singleton ,who are all very long and athletic. It’s still a big challenge for us.”
On having Iman Shumpert back for this game (he missed the Dec. 20 game):
“It should be a big plus because it gives us another ball handler and a guy that can break down a defense. Having Iman out there will be a really big help.”
On Tech’s tendency to pull out close games despite having a young lineup:
“We’re getting better defensively, and that is still the strength of this team. That’s what helps us in those late game situations. They get stops, and it gives us the chance to win those close games.”
On Florida State’s Solomon Alabi:
“You talk about the four blocks he had against us in the last game, but there’s another five or six shots he changed or altered with his play. He’s much improved offensively. He has that classic hook shot. He draws a lot of attention, so it makes everyone around him better. On defense, guys can take more chances and on when they get into a jam on offense they can just dump it down to him. I think their guards have really benefited from his presence on the floor.
“I don’t think any team in the country has a guy like him. He’s a classic center, and when you have a center like him; it strengthens your whole team.”
On the matchup itself between the Yellow Jackets and the Seminoles:
“Well, I saw what happened last time, so hopefully we’ll get a different look this game. It’s going to be an entertaining game. Anyone that’s a fan of post play is going to enjoy it, but obviously for us our post players have to continue the way they’ve been playing and our guard play has to improve from the last time we played.”