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Starting Five: Georgia Tech (7-6) at. Boston College (11-4, 1-0)

Jan. 7, 2011

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

TECH LEADING SCORER: Iman Shumpert, 15.8 ppg
BOSTON COLLEGE LEADING SCORER: Reggie Jackson, 18.5 ppg

TECH LEADING REBOUNDER: Iman Shumpert, 5.8 rpg
BOSTON COLLEGE LEADING REBOUNDER: Corey Raji, 6.7 rpg.

TECH PPG: 71.0 ppg
OPP. PPG: 66.5 ppg

BOSTON COLLEGE PPG: 75.5 ppg
OPP. PPG: 68.9 ppg.

Boston College Player to Watch: Reggie Jackson. The 6-3 junior guard, who was one of five ACC players recently named to the Wooden Award Midseason Watch List, is shooting 53.2 percent from the field, 46.4 percent from three and 76.3 percent from the line. He’s also running the attack with a 2.37 assists-to-turnovers ratio. Jackson had 13 points and 10 assists in last year’s game against Tech.

Georgia Tech goes for both its first road win and first conference win when they head to Chestnut Hill for their ACC opener against Boston College. Tip-off is at 4 p.m.

The Yellow Jackets are 0-3 in “true” road games this season — they’re 2-1 in neutral-site games — and are looking to snap out of a stretch that has seen them lose two of three. They’re coming off a disappointing 86-83 double-overtime loss to Charlotte at AMC on Sunday. Iman Shumpert had a season-high 28 and Glen Rice added 18, with eight rebounds and five assists with no turnovers, but those numbers were overshadowed by a costly 0-for-4 at the foul line.

The Eagles are off to an 11-4 start, but have lost two of three since a seven-game winning streak, which included a win in their ACC opener at Maryland on Dec. 12. B.C. has been very good at Conte Forum, holding a 6-2 record, but they dropped their last home game, Wednesday night, a surprising 78-69 loss to Harvard.

Georgia Tech snapped a two-game series losing streak against the Eagles last year, winning 73-68 at AMC. The Jackets are 5-3 against B.C. under Paul Hewitt but 1-2 at Conte. The Jackets are 8-4 overall in the series, 2-2 on the road.

This afternoon’s game can be seen on Fox Sports South with Rich Waltz doing the play-by-play and Larry Conley providing the color. As always, the game can be heard on the Georgia Tech/ISP 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.

Overdue: As Georgia Tech opens its 2011 ACC season, their three-game road streak on the year isn’t nearly as troublesome as their road losing streak in ACC play. The Yellow Jackets lost their final six ACC road games last season, as part of their 1-7 road mark within the conference. The streak was especially frustrating as five of the seven losses were by nine points or fewer, with three of those by two points. They’ve also lost their last two ACC road openers, in 1999-00 and 2006-07.

The Go-Go 80s: Georgia Tech has crossed the 80-point mark in each of its last two games. While the results have been mixed — an 87-78 win over Mercer and the loss to Charlotte — 80 is a good number for the offense, which had averaged 68.5 points over its first 11 games. Historically, 80 also has been very good for Tech under Paul Hewitt, as the Jackets boast an 81-22 record (78.6 winning percentage) in those games.

Can You Paint Me A Picture?: Charlotte’s outscoring Georgia Tech, 28-26, in the paint Sunday evening was very much the exception to the rule this season. It marked only the fourth time that it happened all season and only the second time at home — they were outscored by a total of four points in those games, as Georgia had a 26-24 edge on Dec. 7. The only other times Tech didn’t own the paint were on Nov. 27 against Syracuse in the final game of the Legends Classic and Nov. 15 at Kennesaw State.

Foul Play: Another rarity for this season’s Yellow was their foul shooting against Charlotte. Tech shot 63.2 percent, missing seven free throw attempts. It was the first time in five games and only the fifth time all season that they shot below 70 percent from the line. Tech, which enters the game converting at 72.5 percent has had only two back-to-back sub-70 percent shooting games from the line (Nov. 27 vs. Syracuse and Nov. 30 at Northwestern).

The Runaways: Georgia Tech has had a distinct edge in fast break points, holding a 133 to 77 edge. They’re averaging 10.2 fast break points a game to opponents’ 5.9 and have out-run opponents eight times (they’ve been even two others). The three times they’ve been outscored in FB points have all been losses, to Kennesaw, Syracuse and Georgia. Over their last three games, the Jackets have outscored the opposition 39 to 18 on the break. They’ve held opponents in single digits in that category five straight games and 10 times overall.

The Sixth Man: Georgia Tech has had solid production off the bench, as their reserves have scored 75 points in the last three games and outscored their counterparts, 75-44. The Jackets had three 20-point games off the bench in their first 10 games.

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