Nov. 21, 2015
By Jon Cooper | The Good Word
Georgia Tech looks to complete a perfect season-opening four-game home stretch as it takes on East Tennessee State University in a Sunday matinee as part of the NIT Season Tipoff. Tipoff at McCamish Pavilion is set for 2 p.m.
The Yellow Jackets put together its second impressive wire-to-wire victory of the season Thursday night, crushing Green Bay, 107-77. The Jackets hit their first eight shots, four of them from three-point range, in jumping out to a 20-7 lead and never looked back. Forward Charles Mitchell had 15 to lead six Jackets that scored at least 12 points. He also pulled down 12 rebounds, both game-highs in recording his third straight double-double to start the season and fourth straight dating back to last season’s ACC Tournament. The Jackets shot a sizzling 71 percent in the first half, and hit 60 percent from three in taking a 56-30 lead into the break. They made 11 three-pointers in all, led by Adam Smith, who shot 4-for-6 from downtown. Tech led by as much as 37 late in the second half..
The Buccaneers, of the Southern Conference, are coming off a short turnaround and are looking to bounce back from their first loss of the season, an 86-51 thumping at the hands of No. 8 Villanova Friday night. The Bucs were blitzed by a Wildcat attack that hit 14 three-pointers in the first 20 minutes. ETSU actually led 9-4 but fell prey to a ‘nova 31-2 run that put the game away. They trailed 49-27 at the half and by as much as 47 in the second half. Junior guard T.J. Cromer had 12 points to lead the Bucs, who fell to 2-1 on the season and had beaten Green Bay, 103-90, earlier in the week and will be playing their third game in this week and fourth in 10 days
Today will be the sixth meeting between the two teams, with Georgia Tech holding a 4-1 all-time edge. The first three meetings, including the Jackets’ one loss, came between 1976 and ‘78. They met again in 1990, then renewed the hostilities in 2013.
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. It also can be heard on satellite radio on Channel 84 on both Sirius and XM. Tech fans also can get up-to-the-minute stats on Ramblinwreck.com and the GT Gameday App.
And now, the Starting Five for Sunday’s game.
The Last Time We Met: Georgia Tech got 18 points from Marcus Georges-Hunt to lead four double-digit scorers in wiping out East Tennessee State 87-57, at McCamish Pavilion on Dec. 7, 2013. Georges-Hunt shot 8-for-13 for the game (2-for-5 from three-point range), and put in 14 points in the first half to spark the Tech. The Yellow Jackets closed the first half on an 11-0 run to take a 44-23 lead into the locker room and never looked back. The Jackets, who led by as much as 43 in the second half, outscored the Buccaneers, 42-28 in the paint, 22-4 in the first half, and held ETSU to 31.3 percent shooting, 21.9 in the first half. Trae Golden added 13 off the bench, while Robert Carter and Stacey Poole added 11 each for the Jackets who shot 50.8 percent for the game and recorded 26 assists on 33 baskets. Daniel Miller pulled in a game-high 11 rebounds for Tech, which also blocked seven shots, two by freshman Quinton Stephens.
Tech Trivia: Georgia Tech holds a 107-32 record all-time against current members of the Southern Conference. Against which team has the Jackets had the most victories?
Making ‘em Pay: Points off turnovers has been an improved area for Georgia Tech this season and one that has contributed greatly to the Jackets’ 3-0 start. In its first three games, the Yellow Jackets have won the turnover battle by a total of 39-32 (winning it in two of its three games), committing only six in the opener, and have outscored opponents 49-42 (winning that twice, as well). Tech is cashing in 16.3 ppgs off giveaways, up 3.3 points from last year. ETSU has struggled the last two games, losing the turnover battle 30-24 against Green Bay and Villanova and points off turnovers, 50-25. Against Villanova they committed 17 turnovers and were outscored off giveaways, 29-12.
The Haves…: Georgia Tech not only has made the most of its possessions as far as not turning the ball better but also has had the most possessions of any team in school history. Through its first three games the Jackets have had the ball 77. 3 possessions per game. That’s 14 more than they had last season (63.1). The Jackets also have been tremendously unselfish, as they have assists on better than 58 percent of their made field goals (68 assists on 117 field goals). Their 22.7 assists per game is better than an assist per game over the school record of 21.3, set in 1987-88.
Are You Ready For That Great Adam-ic Power…: Grad student Adam Smith was expected to juice up the offense, especially from three-point range and he’s already delivered. Smith has hit eight three-point field goals, the most on the team, and has converted at 40.0 percent (8-for-20). No one else on the team has more than four (Quinton Stephens has four) and is shooting 28.2 percent (13-for-46). Smith has not only been hitting shots, he’s been setting up teammates, as he’s already dished out 12 assists while committing but one turnover.
The Sixth Man: Georgia Tech has two 100-point games in a season for the first time in nine years. The last time they hit the century mark twice in a season came in on November 13, 2006, when they beat Jackson State 100-70 then beat Georgia State three days later, 103-74…Tech’s 97.3 ppg leads the ACC. That’s a bucket better than No. 2 Florida State (94.7) and is 34 points higher than the Jackets’ final total last season…Trivia Answer: Mercer College. The Jackets have 28 wins against the Bears, who joined the conference in 2015…Sophomore center Ben Lammers is off to a great start. He’s averaging 5.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in 14.0 minutes, including eight points and nine rebounds in 19 minutes — all career-highs — against Green Bay. Lammers, who battled a knee injury at the start of his freshman season, chipped in 1.2 points and 1.5 rebounds in 5.9 minutes, with single-game highs of six points and four rebounds in 16 minutes, all last Feb. 21 at North Carolina. Lammers has been red-hot from the field, converting 72.7 percent of his shots (8-for-11)…Marcus Georges-Hunt looks to continue his ascent up the all-time scoring charts. He begins Sunday’s game with 1,174 points, 11 points away from moving into 30th, passing Sammy Drummer, who had 1,184 points in two seasons at Tech (1977-78 and 1978-79). Marcus is third among active ACC players in career scoring, behind only North Carolina’s Marcus Paige (1,416) and Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon (1,180).
GEORGIA TECH SCORING LEADER: Charles Mitchell, 16.0 ppg
ETSU SCORING LEADER: Ge’Lawn Guyn, 18.0 ppg
GEORGIA TECH REBOUNDING LEADER: Charles Mitchell, 11.7 rpg
ETSU REBOUNDING LEADER: A.J. Merriweather, Abednego Lufile, 5.3 rpg
GEORGIA TECH ASSISTS LEADER: Josh Heath, 5.0 apg
ETSU ASSISTS LEADER: Ge’Lawn Guyn, 3.7 apg
GEORGIA TECH PPG: 97.3 ppg
OPP. 2014-15 PPG: 75.0 ppg
ETSU PPG: 87.0 ppg
OPP. PPG: 78.3 ppg
ETSU Player To Watch: Ge’Lawn Guyn: The explosive 6-2, 185-pound senior-transfer guard from Cincinnati is leading ETSU, putting in 18.0 ppg. He does it at both ends of the floor as he’s twice led the team in scoring, as well as in assists and blocked shots. The Lexington, Ky., native, leads the team in three-point field goals (7), free throws (13), and assists (11) and is tied for the team lead in blocks. HIs 17 field goals are two off the team lead. Guyn is a money foul shooter, converting at 81.3 percent (13-for-16). He’ll also hit the glass, as he’s third on the team with 4.7 rebounds.