Dec. 23, 2015
By Jon Cooper | The Good Word
– Georgia Tech looks to make it two in a row tonight, despite playing its third game in five days, hosting Colgate of the Patriot League. Tip-off at McCamish Pavilion is at 7 p.m.
The Yellow Jackets got back to their winning ways Monday night, rolling over Southeastern Louisiana, 75-62. Charles Mitchell recorded his 10th double-double in 11 games, going for 14 points and 15 rebounds, while James White, making his first start, also went for the deuce, getting 12 points and 13 rebounds. Guards Adam Smith and Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 16 and 14 points, each making four three-point field goals and combining to go 8-for-13 as Tech shot 9-for-22 from three. The Jackets nailed three of their first four three-point attempts as part of an 11-0 run to take an 11-2 lead. They never trailed thereafter. Tech used a 17-2 run bridging the final 6:43 of the first half and the first 1:38 of the second to turn a five-point game into a 20-point runaway.
The Raiders are riding their first winning streak of the season, after knocking off New Hampshire, 75-59, but have been off since Dec. 13. Forward Malcolm Regisford had a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double to lead three double-digit scorers, and Colgate hit 11 three-pointers in the win. The game was tied at 27 at the half before homestanding Colgate pulled away on the strength of a 14-3 run. The Raiders shot 48.0 percent in the second half (29-of-61). Jordan Robertson had a team-high 15 points, Tom Rivard added 13, and point guard Austin Tillotson handed out 10 assists, while chipping in eight points. Seven players scored for Colgate, none scoring fewer than eight points. Cornell also had a tune up on Saturday, easily handling Keuka, 90-40, in an exhibition.
Tonight’s game will be the first meeting between the two schools and is the 12th meeting for Georgia Tech against a Patriot League school. The Jackets are a combined 9-2.
The game will be streamed on ESPN3 with Nathan McCreary and Jon Babul calling the action. It also can be heard on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, WYAY (93.7 FM) and 680 The Fan (680 AM), with Brandon Gaudin and Randy Waters on the call and on satellite radio on Sirius Channel 119. Tech fans also can get up-to-the-minute stats on Ramblinwreck.com and the GT Gameday App.
And now, the Starting Five for tonight’s game.
Gotta Run: Georgia Tech has used the running game in a fashion that would make football coach Paul Johnson proud. The Jackets have had seven games this season where they’ve gone on at least one double-digit run, including their 11-0 burst early Monday night after spotting SELU the game’s first bucket, which allowed them to play downhill pretty much the rest of the way. It was Tech’s first double-digit run in four games. While the Jackets have used big runs to their advantage they’ve kept their opponents on a relatively short leash. Only two opponents can boast a double-digit run, both of them of the 11-0 variety, with none coming over the last five games and only one in the last nine. That included keeping VCU to no bigger than a 5-0. Seven of the Jackets’ biggest runs in games have equalled at least four possessions (10-to-12 points), with one of those runs good over five-possessions — a season-high 14-0 outburst vs. Green Bay. Of the opposition’s largest runs, four were the equivalent of two possessions (four-to-six points) with five others maxing out at three (seven-to-nine).
Behind-The-Arc Angels: The three-point shot has been a good friend to Georgia Tech this season. The Yellow Jackets have hit at least five three-point shots in nine of their 11 games, including nine in Monday’s win over Southeastern Louisiana, It was the most they’d hit in eight games and two off their season-high against Green Bay on Nov. 19. It was the Jackets’ fifth game shooting at least 40 percent from downtown. Last season Tech had 14 games all season with five three-point field goals and only five shooting 40 percent or better. The arrival of Adam Smith has contributed greatly to the turnaround from three-point range. Smith has hit a team-leading 31 3’s, is converting at 42.5 percent. Including Monday’s 4-for-7 outing, he now has four games with at least four three-pointers, and has five games shooting over 50 percent — including an 80 percent game (4-for-5 vs. Wofford) and a 71.4 percent effort (5-for-7 vs. Arkansas). Marcus Georges-Hunt also got into the act against SELU, nailing a season-high four from deep. it was the second such effort of his career, with the first coming back in his freshman year, when he hit 4-of-5 against The Citadel on Dec. 22, 2012.
Tech Trivia: Adam Smith and Marcus Georges-Hunt each hit four three-pointers against Southeastern Louisiana. Last year only two Jackets hit four 3’s in a game all season (never in the same game). Who were they?
Charles (Back) In Charge: Forward Charles Mitchell bounced back from his tough game at Georgia in a big way against Southeastern. He went for 14 points and 15 rebounds and even threw in an assist and a steal. Mitchell’s 10th double-double kept him in a five-way tie for the most in the nation, while his 15 rebounds matched his second-biggest haul of the season (Dec. 1 vs. Wofford), three off his best day, when he grabbed 18 against Arkansas on Nov. 26. Mitchell shook off a slow start, as he went 0-for-4 and 0-for-2 from the line in the first half before going 4-for-5 in the second and 6-for-9 at the line. Mitchell’s 12.2 RPG lead the ACC and rank fifth in the nation, while his 57.7 field goal percentage is fifth in the Conference.
A Good First Start: Coach Brian Gregory rewarded James White for his superb play off the bench with his first start of the season Monday night. White rewarded Gregory by recording a 12-point, 13-rebound double-double. White, who started in place of Nick Jacobs, matched his season high with six field goals (6-for-10), and recorded season highs with six offensive rebounds (sharing game-high honors with Mitchell), seven defensive rebounds and 13 total boards. His 22 minutes played also were tops for the season. The six ORBs and 13 total rebounds matched his collegiate highs, set last season against Cal State Northridge on Nov. 23, 2014, while playing for Arkansas-Little Rock but that required double-overtime. The double-double was the seventh of his career and second this season — also getting one in the season opener against Cornell (14 points, 11 rebounds) — making him the only Jacket not named Charles Mitchell to record one.
The Sixth Man: When Gregory started White in place of Jacobs, it was only the second different starting lineup he’d used. The Jackets had started Mitchell, Jacobs, Georges-Hunt, Smith and Josh Heath for its first 10 games. Last season Gregory used nine different starting lineups, only one for as many as eight straight games (Quinton Stephens, Mitchell, Demarco Cox, Travis Jorgenson and Georges-Hunt)…Georgia Tech led pretty much wire to wire on Monday. It was the seventh time this season its largest deficit has been two-or-fewer possessions. Tech has only trailed by as many as three-or-more possessions four times and by double-digits twice — the latter two resulted in losses to Villanova and at Georgia…Trivia Answer: Quinton Stephens hit six in the season-opener against Georgia on Nov. 14 at McCamish Pavilion then hit four on Jan. 25 against Boston College, also at McCamish. Bolden hit four in back-to-back games at Duke on Feb. 4 then against Wake Forest three days later at McCamish…Georgia Tech was actually outshot by SELU, which hit 45.5 percent of its shots vs. Tech’s 43.5. Usually that a bad omen for the Jackets, who are 10-59 under Gregory when being outshot by the opposition. This season they’ve made some headway in that career mark, as they are 2-3, also winning at Tulane…Point guard Josh Heath handed out a career-high nine assists Monday night. His previous career-high had been eight, on March 4, 2014 at Houston, while at South Florida. His Georgia Tech high had been seven, done four times, most recently in this season’s opener. He also had only one turnover against Southeastern. Heath and Travis Jorgenson combined for 11 assists with only two turnovers. They boast a 3.38-1 assist-to-turnover ratio (71 assists, 21 turnovers).
GEORGIA TECH SCORING LEADER: Marcus Georges-Hunt, 14.7 ppg
COLGATE SCORING LEADER: Austin Tillotson, 11.5 ppg
GEORGIA TECH REBOUNDING LEADER: Charles Mitchell, 12.2 rpg
COLGATE REBOUNDING LEADER: Malcolm Regisford, 7.0 rpg
GEORGIA TECH ASSISTS LEADER: Josh Heath, 4.2 apg
COLGATE ASSISTS LEADER: Austin Tillotson, 5.4 apg
GEORGIA TECH PPG: 78.3 ppg
OPP. 2014-15 PPG: 69.6 ppg
COLGATE PPG: 67.5 ppg
OPP. PPG: 73.9 ppg
COLGATE Player To Watch – Austin Tillotson: The lone returning starter from the 2014-15 team that went 12-6 in Patriot League play, and a co-captain this season, the 6-0, 175-pound guard leads the team in scoring (11.5 ppg), assists (5.4 apg), field goals made (41), three-point field goals made (15) and steals (18). He ranks 21st in the Patriot League in scoring (out of the top 20 by 1/10th of a point), is third in in assists, fourth in steals (1.8 spg), second in assist/turnover ratio (2.3), fifth in minutes played (34.0 mpg) and is 12th in three-point field goals (1.5 per game). He’s coming off his second 10-assist game of the season (10 in the Dec. 13 win over New Hampshire) and recorded a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double in the Raiders’ Nov. 16 win over Cornell.