Feb. 22, 2011
Starting Five: Georgia Tech (11-15, 3-9) vs. Virginia (13-13, 4-8)
By Jon Cooper
VIRGINIA LEADING SCORER: Mustapha Farrakhan, 13.2 ppg
VIRGINIA LEADING SCORER, ACC: Mustapha Farrakhan, 14.0 ppg
VIRGINIA LEADING REBOUNDER: Mason Plumlee, 5.4 rpg.
VIRGINIA LEADING REBOUNDER, ACC: Assane Sene, 7.3 rpg.
TECH PPG: 68.6/66.5 (ACC)
OPP. PPG: 68.0/70.8 (ACC)
VIRGINIA PPG: 61.8/58.3 (ACC)
OPP. PPG: 62.7/63.2 (ACC)
Virginia Player to Watch: Mustapha Farrakhan: The senior tri-captain has been the Cavs’ big gun in ACC play, leading, or having a share of the team lead, in scoring in nine of their 12 ACC games. Against Virginia Tech on Saturday, he hit for double figures for the 19th time this season. Farrakhan is second on the team in three-point shots (43), is second in assists (43) and is the team’s best foul shooter, at 76.6 percent. He shot 60 percent (6-for-10), 50 percent from three (2-for-4) in the previous meeting with Georgia Tech.
Here now, the Starting Five for today’s game.
Georgia Tech will try to get back in the win column in ACC play when they take on the Virginia Cavaliers tonight at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
The Yellow Jackets dropped their sixth straight conference game on Sunday night, falling to Duke, 79-57, at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Tech led 18-13 early on, but the Blue Devils took control of the game over the next 20-plus minutes following a technical foul on Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski, going on a 54-22 run, to put the game away. Iman Shumpert and Moe Miller each had 13 to lead the Jackets.
The Cavaliers snapped their three-game losing streak their last time out, on Saturday, in Charlottesville, knocking off Virginia Tech, 61-54. The win completed their first sweep of the Hokies since 2006. Mustapha Farrakhan scored a team-high 16, and Joe Harris added a 15 with a team-high seven rebounds. Harris (4), Farrakhan (3) and Sammy Zeglinski (3) combined for 10 of the team’s 11 threes.
Georgia Tech and Virginia will meet for the 71st time. While the Jackets hold a 38-32 all-time series edge, they have lost three of four to the Cavs, including two straight at home. Even with those two losses the Jackets are 22-9 all-time at the Thrillerdome against the Wahoos. In their previous meeting, on Jan. 13, UVa got the better of Georgia Tech, winning 82-75. An 18-3 run at the end of the first half gave the Cavs a 43-29 halftime lead and proved decisive. Iman Shumpert led the way with 19, while Brian Oliver added 13. Farrakhan had a game-high 23 and K.T. Harrell added 17 for the Cavs.
Tonight’s game will be telecast on ESPNU, with Carter Blackburn calling the play-by-play, and LaPhonso Ellis providing color. As always, the game can be heard on the Georgia Tech/IMG Sports Network’s flagship stations WQXI-AM (790 the Zone) and WYAY (106.7 FM). Wes Durham and Randy Waters call the action. Fans also can follow the game on RamblinWreck.com.
Here now, the starting five for today’s game.
C-3P Woe: For Georgia Tech to have success tonight, they’re going to have to slow down the ACC’s top three-point shooting team, Virginia leads the ACC, shooting 40.0 percent from three (90 for 225). Seven times this season UVa has made at least 10 threes and nine times they’ve shot better from three than from two. But opponents’ three-point field goal percentage shrinks some on the road, as opponents make only 31.7 percent of threes at AMC. Tech has allowed opponents to convert at 41.6 percent and allowed the Cavs to shoot 10-of-15 from behind the arc in their first meeting.
Lucky 13: Moe Miller’s team-high 13 points at Duke were something of a bright spot for the Yellow Jackets’ senior on what was a not-so-good night for Tech. Miller snapped a streak of 15 straight games scoring in single-digits, hit a season-high five field goals and shot 62.5 percent for the game (5-for-8). He also had five assists, one off his season-high and his best in an ACC game this year, while committing but only one turnover
Home Sweet Home: Georgia Tech’s differential at home and on the road is best personified by Iman Shumpert, who is averaging more than three points a game more at home (18.9 vs. 15.6), shooting more than 70 points higher at home (42.7 vs. 35.0), more than 60 points higher from three at home (29.7 to 23.5), grabs three more rebounds per game (7.6 to 4.6), is plus-20 in assists to turnovers (52-32) vs. 1-to-1 on the road (1-1) and has 23 more steals (40-17). Oddly, he shoots free throws better on the road (84.0 percent to 78.3).
Need To Make Them Pay: Georgia Tech is the best in the ACC and fifth in the country in steals (9.5 per game) and leads the conference in turnover margin (plus-2.58) but has been letting opponents off the hook of late once taking the ball away. The Jackets have been outscored in points off turnovers in each of the last three ACC games. They’d controlled that stat in six of the first nine ACC tilts. The last two games, at Virginia Tech and at Duke, they’ve been outscored off T.O.s, 52-26.
Block Party: Daniel Miller swatted away five shots in the game at Duke, matching his high in ACC play and marking his high-game away from AMC. He had two multi-block road games on the season (at Kennesaw State on Nov. 15 and at Virginia Tech on Feb. 13). Miller snapped a dry spell of sorts, in which he’d blocked only five shots over the previous three games and seven over his last five, since a five-block effort against Maryland.
The Sixth Man: Daniel Miller set his season-high for field goals (6) and matched his ACC highs for rebounds (6), and points (12) the first time he saw the Cavaliers. His 30 minutes in the game had been his ACC high, until he played 32 against Clemson.