Dec. 27, 2009
ATLANTA – Having won eight of its last nine games, Georgia Tech resumes its holday schedule Tuesday with an afternoon meeting against Winston-Salem State at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Alexander Memorial Coliseum at the Henry F. McCamish, Jr., Basketball Complex.
Tech, ranked 22nd in the coaches poll, is 9-2 following an 80-55 win over Kennesaw State on Dec. 22, which got the Yellow Jackets back on the winning track following a loss to Florida State in their Atlantic Coast Conference opener. Head coach Paul Hewitt’s team will play three more non-conference games before resuming ACC play on Jan. 9 against Duke.
Winston-Salem State is 2-7 overall and has faced a pair of ACC opponents already this year, dropping a 76-52 decision at Wake Forest and a 98-55 game at Maryland.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-2, 0-1 ACC) vs.
Winston-Salem State Rams (2-7, 0-1 vs. MEAC teams)
Date: Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Tipoff: 1 p.m. Eastern time
Site: Alexander Memorial Coliseum at the Henry F. McCamish, Jr., Basketball Complex
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
On the web: Audio and live stats available at Ramblinwreck.com
Tickets: $20, available at www.Ramblinwreck.com/tickets
Series History: Tech leads, 2-0
Georgia Tech and Winston-Salem State have met twice before on the hardwood, both in the last three seasons since the Rams became a Division I program. The Jackets won the first meeting, 97-46, on Jan. 3, 2007, and 92-47 to open last season.
The Jackets have, on the strength of strong inside play, shot the ball well early in the season, hitting 51.1 percent of their shots from the floor through their first eight games. But Tech has struggled to find the basket the last three times out, hitting less percent from the floor against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Florida State and the first half of the Kennesaw State game before turning it around in the second half against the Owls (65.5 percent).
Tech will play without sophomore guard Iman Shumpert for the sixth straight game as he recovers from surgery to repair a damaged meniscus in his right knee. He is expected back toward the end of December.
The Yellow Jackets began the season ranked 22nd in the Associated Press writers poll, and 20th in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. Tech fell out of the AP poll Monday following the loss to Florida State, and fell from No. 15 to No. 22 in the coaches poll. The Jackets have been in the coaches top 25 each week of the season.
Jackets Struggling Offensively
After not shooting less than 46.9 percent from the floor in any one game over the first eight, and averaging better than 80 points a game during that stretch, Georgia Tech struggled to put the ball in the basket against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Florida State, and the first half of its game against Kennesaw State.
Tech poured in 60.8 percent of its field goal tries and scored 95 points at Chattanooga last Monday night, but against Pine Bluff and FSU, the Yellow Jackets shot just 35.4 percent from the floor and averaged 62 points. The Jackets shot 39.6 percent in the first half against the Owls, but found the range in the second half and hit 65.5 percent.
> Tech committed fewer than 10 turnovers for the second time this season (8) against Kennesaw State and posted its best assist-turnover ratio (21-8) for a single-game.
> Tech has shot better than 50 percent in six of 11 games this season, compared to only seven times all of last season.
> Georgia Tech’s seven-game winning streak before its loss to Florida State was its longest since opening the 2006-07 season with seven wins in a row. The 2003-04 team that reached the National Championship game won its first 12. Those are the Yellow Jackets’ longest winning streaks under head coach Paul Hewitt.
> Tech ranks second in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (35.6 pct.) and second in three-point percentage defense (26.7 pct.). Only Dayton and Florida State have shot as high as 40 percent from the floor against the Jackets this year. Only three teams have made 30 percent or higher of their three-point attempts.
> Tech’s opponents are AVERAGING nearly seven three-point attempts per game MORE than the Yellow Jackets, but have made just four more TOTAL for the season.
> Tech has two of the top five players in the ACC in field goal percentage – Derrick Favors No. 4 at 60.2 percent and Gani Lawal No. 5 at 58.8 percent … Zachery Peacock has hit 67.2 percent of his tries, but he does not have enough field goals to qualify.
> Tech’s starting big men (Lawal, Favors) have had 14 assists, 23 blocks and 13 steals in the Yellow Jackets’ last five games.