Jan. 20, 2014
By Jon Cooper
The Good Word
Georgia Tech will try to change its luck on the road and in conference play when it heads north to take on Boston College. Tip-off at Conte Forum is scheduled for 9 p.m.
The Yellow Jackets, who are 0-2 in ACC road games, lost their second straight at home on Saturday afternoon, a 56-42 loss to Miami. Trae Golden had 12 points and Marcus Georges-Hunt added 10 to lead the depleted Yellow Jackets, whose roster was down to eight scholarship players for the second consecutive game due to maladies that forced forward Jason Morris and guard Solomon Poole out of the lineup.
Tech was limited to 29.5 percent shooting (13-for-44) by the relentless Miami defense, and struggled from behind the arc, making only four of 20 attempts. The Jackets hung tough for most of the first half and Quinton Stephens’ 3-pointer with 3:23 left in the half cut Miami’s lead to 19-17. But the Hurricanes closed the half on an 8-0 run then scored the first seven points of the second half and led by double-digits most of the rest of the way. The Jackets used a 7-0 run to get the lead down to nine, 44-35, with 5:23 left, but could get no closer.
The Eagles also are looking to turn things around. They have dropped six of seven overall and three of four within the conference, including an 81-72 decision to North Carolina at the Dean Smith Center on Saturday afternoon. Olivier Hanlan had a team-high 16, Lonnie Jackson added 14 and Ryan Anderson had 11 points and 12 rebounds for B.C., which had five double-figure scorers. The Eagles hit 11 3-point field goals but also committed 18 turnovers, which the Tar Heels turned into 27 points. They trailed 56-55 following a Hanlan layup with 10:17 left, but Carolina answered with a 10-2 run over the next 3:40 to get some breathing room and was able to cruise home. The Eagles went 0-for-2 and committed three turnovers in the run.
Tonight’s game will be the 18th meeting between the schools. Georgia Tech holds a slim 9-8 edge, but has dropped three in a row and six of the last eight. The Jackets are 2-5 in Chestnut Hill, having dropped four in a row. The series began in 1946, with a 54-50 Tech road win. Following a 34-year hiatus, the teams met again in 1980 in Boston Garden in a game won by the Eagles, again in 1986 in Tokyo, Japan in the Suntory Ball, an overtime thriller won by Tech, 65-62, then in the NCAA Tournament in 1996 and 2004. The Jackets won both of those, as well. The schools have met regularly since 2006 when they became conference rivals. Georgia Tech is 5-7 since then.
The game can be seen on ESPNU, with Tom Hart and Len Elmore calling the action. It also can be heard on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, WYAY (106.7 FM), with Brandon Gaudin and Randy Waters on the call and via satellite radio on Sirius and XM (Channel 85 on both systems — the BC telecast will be heard). Tech fans also can see the game online on WatchESPN and get up-to-the-minute stats or Ramblinwreck.com.
And now, the starting five for tonight’s game.
The Last Time We Met: Meeting up for the second time in five days,Georgia Tech and Boston College hooked up in the first round of the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, on March 14, 2013. The Eagles came away with an 84-64 victory on the back of a record-setting performance by freshman Olivier Hanlan. Marcus Georges-Hunt had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Jackets, who scored the game’s first 15 points and led by 14 with 7:11 to play in the first half. But the Eagles went on a 37-10 run to take a 38-33 lead into intermission then open up a 13-point lead with 14:41 remaining. The game never got closer than eight the rest of the way. Tech had no answer for the Eagles’ three-point shooting, especially Hanlan’s. B.C. shot 58.3 percent from behind the arc (14-for 24) with Hanlan nailing eight of his 10 attempts. He was 14-of-18 on the day and made his final 12 shots on the way to an ACC Tournament freshman scoring record 41 points.
Tech Trivia: Which Yellow Jacket set the school record for three-point field goal percentage and tied the school record for steals in an NCAA Tournament game against Boston College in the 1996 second-round game?
Hunting For Eagle: Sophomore guard Marcus Georges-Hunt hopes his history of personal success can repeat tonight when the Jackets face Boston College. In his two games against B.C. last season, Hunt shot 46.7 percent (14-for-30), 45.5 percent from downtown (5-for-11), and the last time he saw the Eagles, Georges-Hunt had 21 points and 11 rebounds — both career highs. He also set career bests for field goals attempted (20) and field goals made (8, which he tied this season on Dec. 7 against East Tennessee State). So far in ACC play, Hunt is shooting 39.6 percent (21-for-53), but, in the three games since his 8-for-12 night at Duke on Jan. 7, he’s shot 30 percent (8-for-30). He is at 40 percent (8-for-20) from long distance in conference play, shooting 41.7 over the last three (5-for-12).
Access Denied: Georgia Tech has been blocking shots at a tremendous rate all season and has continued the trend in ACC play. The Jackets have 83 blocks vs. 61 for opponents and have recorded more blocks than their opponent in eight of their last nine games (the other game they were even). In ACC games Tech holds a 21-10 edge in blocked shots. Leading the block party is redshirt senior center Daniel Miller, who has 41 of the swats and has a league-leading 15 blocks, 3.0 bpg in conference play. In the two games prior to Saturday’s against Miami, Miller had nine rejections, four against Notre Dame and five against Pittsburgh. It was the most productive two-game stretch of Miller’s career since a similar nine-block stretch last Dec. 17 and 22 vs. Alabama State and The Citadel. Miller, who is second in school history in blocks and 15th in ACC history, has been an all-around defensive stalwart, ranking ninth in rebounding (7.4 rpg) and fourth in steals (1.8).
Free Wheelin’: The Yellow Jackets have made tremendous progress at the free throw line this season. Heading into tonight’s game they are shooting 68.9 percent, more than five points better than last season’s 63.5. They’re attempting four more per game than last season (20.1 vs. 16.1) and are making just about all of them, as they’re scoring 3.8 more points from the line per game than last year (13.9 this season vs. 10.1). The problem lately, however, has been getting to the line, as the Jackets have taken fewer attempts than their opponent in six of the last seven games. In conference play, the Jackets have been outshot from the line, 101-78, and outscored, 74-49. Trae Golden hasn’t had much trouble getting there and then cashing in. He’s been to the line a team-high 103 times — 42 more than Marcus Georges-Hunt, who is next — and he’s made 79 of them, a 76.7 percent success rate.
The Sixth Man:Saturday’s game was the first all season that the Yellow Jackets scored fewer than 20 points in the paint and was only the second time in 10 games that they lost when holding opponents under 70 points … Tech Trivia: Stephon Marbury. Marbury shot .857 (6-for-7) and made four steals. The four thefts tied James Forrest’s 1992 record set against Memphis State in 1992. Jarrett Jack would tie the steals mark eight years later against Kansas … Kammeon Holsey has been on fire since moving into the starting lineup. Holsey is shooting 55.9 percent (19-for-34). Holsey had been shooting at 49.2 percent (31-for-63) coming off the bench … Tonight’s game begins a stretch that sees Georgia Tech play for of its next five on the road. The next home game is against North Carolina on Jan. 29.
GEORGIA TECH SCORING LEADER: Trae Golden, 13.5 ppg
BOSTON COLLEGE SCORING LEADER: Olivier Hanlan, 18.9 ppg
GEORGIA TECH SCORING LEADER (ACC): Trae Golden, 14.4 ppg
BOSTON COLLEGE SCORING LEADER (ACC): Olivier Hanlan, 19.2 ppg
GEORGIA TECH REBOUNDS LEADER: Daniel Miller, 7.9
BOSTON COLLEGE REBOUNDS LEADER: Ryan Anderson, 7.3 rpg
GEORGIA TECH REBOUNDS LEADER (ACC): Daniel Miller, 7.4 rpg
BOSTON COLLEGE REBOUNDS LEADER (ACC): Ryan Anderson, 7.8 rpg
GEORGIA TECH ASSISTS LEADER: Trae Golden, 3.3 apg
BOSTON COLLEGE ASSISTS LEADER: Joe Rahon, 3.2 apg
GEORGIA TECH ASSISTS LEADER (ACC): Trae Golden, 2.8 apg
BOSTON COLLEGE ASSISTS LEADER (ACC): Joe Rahon, 4.6 apg
GEORGIA TECH PPG: 69.1/61.6 ppg
OPP. PPG: 67.1/72.4 ppg
BOSTON COLLEGE PPG/ACC: 70.1/66.4 ppg
OPP. PPG/ACC: 75.2/72.0 ppg
BOSTON COLLEGE Player To Watch: Olivier Hanlan: The 6-4, 181-pound sophomore guard has picked up where he left off last season, when he was named ACC Freshman of the Year. Hanlan begins play tonight third in the ACC in scoring (18.9 ppg) and minutes played (35.8) and ranks seventh in free throw percentage (82.9 on 126-for 152). In conference play, he’s third, fifth and seventh in those categories (19.2 ppg, 84.6, 36.4 mpg). A big-time second-half scorer, Hanlan was trouble all game long against Georgia Tech last season, shooting 74.1 percent (20-for-27) in the two games. In addition to his 41-point outburst in the ACC Tournament, Hanlan went for 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting in the teams’ previous meeting at Boston College.
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