Aug. 14, 2002
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s 2002-03 men’s basketball schedule will be typically tough, with 13 games against teams who played in last year’s NCAA Championship or National Invitation Tournament, including the past two national champions, Maryland and Duke.
Five opponents played in last year’s NCAA Tournament, including arch-rival Georgia, and three played in the NIT, among them Tech’s ACC/Big Ten foe Minnesota. The Bulldogs who visit Alexander Memorial Coliseum at McDonald’s Center on Nov. 27, the Yellow Jackets’ second game of the season. Georgia Tech visits Minnesota as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Dec. 4, one of seven scheduled national television appearances on ESPN or ESPN2, and Tennessee is Tech’s opponent in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Classic for Kids on Dec. 15 at Philips Arena (Georgia vs. Gonzaga is the first game of the annual doubleheader).
The Yellow Jackets’ December will be spent mostly away from home, with trips to Minnesota, Marist (Dec. 7, Madison Square Garden), Syracuse (Dec. 21), Maryland (Dec. 29) and Tulane (Jan. 2), as well as the game with the Volunteers at Philips Arena. Head coach Paul Hewitt has nine letterwinners and three starters returning from a team that went 15-16 overall last season and 7-9 in the ACC, just missing out on a possible post-season bid.
“The last two national champions have come from the ACC, and everyone else has improved themselves, so the conference race will be very exciting this year,” said Hewitt, who is two wins why of 100 for his career (98-56 over five years). “Our non-conference schedule includes a lot of teams Georgia Tech has not played in some time, as well as some good trips, including two to New York, which will be exciting for our players. It should prepare us very well for the ACC schedule, which will be very competitive top-to-bottom.”
All told, 21 of Tech’s 27 games will be televised. In addition to the ESPN and ESPN2 dates, the Jackets will appear twice on the ACC’s Sunday Night national telecast on the Fox Sports Net (Dec. 29 at Maryland and Jan. 19 at Wake Forest), once on CBS (Feb. 9 vs. Maryland) and twice on ABC (Mar. 1 at North Carolina and Mar. 8 vs. Clemson).
The ACC television schedule includes an all-time high 154 televised games, nine more than last season.
Other non-conference dates at home include the season-opener Nov. 23 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Gardner Webb on Dec. 1, Troy State on Dec. 17, Cornell on Jan. 8 and Elon on Jan. 22. All but Troy State and Cornell are first-time opponents for Tech. The Jackets also host two exhibition games on Nov. 10 (Southeastern All-Stars) and Nov. 19 (Nike-Marathon).
Tech’s Dec. 29 game at Maryland is significant because it will be the first ACC game for the Terrapins in their new Comcast Center arena on the College Park campus.
The Yellow Jackets’ meeting with Minnesota will be the first for the two schools since they met in the 1990 NCAA Southeast Regional final at New Orleans, a 93-91 Tech victory that vaulted the Jackets into the Final Four, and the game with Tennessee will be the first meeting for the schools in basketball since 1968. The Jackets last met Marist in 1990, and Troy State in 1981.
The Tech team that will face this slate includes 6-4 junior Marvin Lewis (Germantown, Md.), 6-3 sophomore B.J. Elder (Madison, Ga.) and 6-7 sophomore and ACC Rookie of the Year Ed Nelson (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), all of whom were part of Tech’s starting lineup last season. Also returning are a talented cast of reserves, including 6-8 junior forward Robert Brooks (Saginaw, Mich.), 7-foot sophomore center Luke Schenscher (Hope Forest, South Australia), 6-5 sophomore forward Isma’il Muhammad (Atlanta, Ga.) and 6-6 sophomore swingman Anthony McHenry (Birmingham, Ala.).
Hewitt and his staff recruited a freshman class, rated as high as ninth nationally by some publications.
GEORGIA TECH 2002-03 MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
November 10 – SOUTHEASTERN ALL-STARS/ exhibition, 5 p.m. 19 – NIKE-MARATHON/ exhibition, 6:30 p.m. 23 – ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF, 2 p.m. 27 – GEORGIA [FSNS], 7 p.m.
December 1 – GARDNER-WEBB, 1 p.m. 4 – at Minnesota [ESPN]/ ACC-Big Ten Challenge, 7 p.m. 7 – Marist/ Madison Square Garden, New York [MSG/FSNS], 12 noon 15 – Tennessee/ Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Classic, Philips Arena [RSN], 4 p.m. 17 – TROY STATE, 7 p.m. 21 – at Syracuse [ESPN], 12 noon 29 – at Maryland [FSN], 5:30 p.m.
January 2 – at Tulane [FSNS*], 9 p.m. 8 – CORNELL, 7 p.m. 11 – NC STATE [RJ], 4 p.m. 14 – FLORIDA STATE [RSN], 9 p.m. 19 – at Wake Forest [FSN], 6:30 p.m. 22 – ELON, 7 p.m. 25 – at Duke [ESPN], 12 noon 29 – NORTH CAROLINA [ESPN], 7 p.m.
February 1 – VIRGINIA [RJ], 4 p.m. 5 – at Clemson, 7 p.m. 9 – MARYLAND [CBS], 1 p.m. 12 – at NC State [RJ], 9 p.m. 15 – at Florida State [RSN], 12 noon 20 – WAKE FOREST [ESPN2], 7 p.m. 26 – DUKE [ESPN], 7 p.m.
March 1 – at North Carolina [ABC], 1 p.m. 5 – at Virginia [ESPN], 7 p.m. 8 – CLEMSON [ABC], 3:30 p.m. 13-16 – ACC Tournament, Greensboro, N.C.
All times Eastern and subject to change
Home games in all capital letters, at Alexander Memorial Coliseum at McDonald’s Center
TV regional designations: FSNS (Fox Sports Net South); RSN (ACC Regional Cable Network of Fox Sports Net South, Sunshine Network, Comcast Sports Net); RJ (Raycom/Jefferson-Pilot); MSG (Madison Square Garden Network); *also on Sunshine Network and ESPN Regional