Jan. 13, 2014
THE FLATS – With its first Atlantic Coast Conference win under its belt, Georgia Tech continues its three-game homestand at 9 p.m. Tuesday night when it hosts No. 21-ranked Pittsburgh in a nationally televised game at McCamish Pavilion.
ESPNU will provide national television coverage of the game. Radio coverage of the game will be provided by the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network and can be heard in Atlanta on WYAY-FM (106.7). The Tech radio broadcast can be heard nationally on satellite radio (Sirius ch. 85, XM ch. 85).
Tech brings an 8-1 homecourt record into Saturday’s game, which will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools as members of the ACC. The Yellow Jackets (10-6, 1-2 ACC) knocked off Notre Dame, 74-69, Saturday after beginning the conference schedule with road losses to Maryland and No. 16 Duke.
In its third season under head coach Brian Gregory, Tech has continued to improve offensively while maintaining its solid defense and excellent rebounding. The Yellow Jackets’ 70.5 points per game average this season is their highest under Gregory by more than six points. Defensively, Tech ranks 83rd nationally in scoring yield (66.9 ppg) and 48th in field goal percentage defense (39.8 pct.) while also outrebounding 14 of 15 opponents this season.
Pittsburgh (15-1, 3-0 ACC) has begun its first season in the ACC by defeating NC State, Maryland and Wake Forest by nearly 16 points per game. The Panthers ranked third in the ACC in scoring offense and fourth in fewest points allowed. Pitt’s only loss was a 44-43 decision at Cincinnati on Dec. 17.
Tech concludes its homestand Saturday afternoon with a 2 p.m. game against defending ACC champion Miami.
Fast Break Points
Tuesday night is the first of three 9 p.m. games on Tuesday nights for Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets will visit Boston College next Tuesday at 9 p.m., and host Duke Feb. 18 at 9 p.m.
Tech has been without sophomore forward Robert Carter, Jr., the ACC’s top rebounder, for its last three games after he sustained a tear of the meniscus in his left knee during the Yellow Jackets’ game at Charlotte Dec. 29. Carter, Jr., underwent surgery Jan. 7 and it is not yet known whether he can return this season.
This is the second significant injury Tech has sustained since the season began. Freshman guard Travis Jorgenson, who had averaged nearly 20 minutes a game off the bench, was lost for the season with a torn ACL in the season’s fourth game.
Senior Kammeon Holsey, who had started 43 games in his first two seasons at Tech but none last year, returned to the starting lineup at Maryland to replace Carter, Jr. That is Tech’s second significant lineup change since the Christmas break.
Jason Morris made his first start of the season at Charlotte, replacing Chris Bolden in the lineup. He has averaged 3.3 points and 3.7 rebounds in 17.3 minutes in three ACC games. Morris missed Tech’s first 10 games this season after undergoing surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left foot in October.
As part of Tech’s rotational adjustment, freshman forward Quinton Stephens has averaged 20 minutes in Tech’s last four games, initially at small forward but now also at big forward in the wake of Carter, Jr.’s injury. The 6-9 Stephens has averaged 6.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in the last four games.
Tech out-rebounded 14 of 15 opponents this season. Duke is the only team to win the board battle, 33-25, on Jan. 7. The Yellow Jackets rank sixth in the ACC in rebound margin and 42nd nationally.
Ten of the 15 ACC schools are ranked higher than Tech’s current No. 120 (as of Monday), and six of those are in the top 68. They Said it
“That was a great atmosphere. The one thing I tried to tell our fans and our team going into the ACC is that it’s going to be harder to win on the road than in the Big East because everything is an on campus facility. Today was the ultimate. Their fans were great. Their fans gave them probably the confidence to win the basketball game.” – Notre Dame coach Mike Brey after Tech’s 74-69 victory Saturday
Series vs. Pittsburgh
Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh are playing for the first time as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and are meeting for the first time since the 1989-90 season. The Yellow Jackets have won all five meetings in the series.
The two most entertaining games between Tech and the former Big East member played in the same month of the 1989-90 season, when the Yellow Jackets were on the way to their second ACC title and first Final Four appearance. Bobby Cremins and Paul Evans were the respective head coaches at the time.
Tech overcame an early 26-5 deficit to win the ACC/Big East Challenge game in Hartford in early December, getting 42 points from Dennis Scott, including the game-winner with 8 seconds left. Later in the month, the Panthers came to Atlanta for a Kuppenheimer Classic game at the Omni, and Tech won the game without head coach Bobby Cremins, who was attending his father’s funeral. Kenny Anderson recorded a triple-double with 32 points, 12 rebounds and 18 assists.
Tech scored easy wins over Pitt in the first three games of the series, all under head coach Whack Hyder, two of which were played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum on the Tech campus.
Tech coach Brian Gregory is 1-1 all-time vs. Pitt (both while at Dayton), including an 80-55 win over the 6th-ranked Panthers on Dec. 29, 2007 in Dayton.
About Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its third year under head coach Brian Gregory. The Yellow Jackets have been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships, played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004).