Dec. 21, 2012
By Jon Cooper
Georgia Tech looks to extend its winning streak to a season-high four games and move to 6-0 at McCamish Pavilion when it takes on The Citadel of the Southern Conference this afternoon. Tip-off is at 4 p.m.
The Yellow Jackets had little trouble with Alabama State in their last game, a 75-41 victory. Tech led virtually wire-to-wire, opening up a 25-point first half lead by virtue of a 25-3 run and led 40-20 at the half. An early 14-3 second-half run insured the Hornets would not challenge. Brandon Reed led the Jackets with 14 points and four assists, and Robert Carter, Jr., had 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, five of them on the offensive glass for the Jackets, who saw every player get some playing time, including recent signee Solomon Poole, Stacey’s younger brother.
The Bulldogs will try to end a long and grueling month of December in which they’ll have played all five of their games on the road. They are 0-4 thus far, including a 97-57 loss to St. Bonaventure in their last game on Wednesday night. Center Mike Groselle, forward Matt Van Scyoc and guard Ashton Moore each scored in double-digits, but Chuck Driesell’s charges — yes, he is the son of former legendary coach Lefty Driesell — shot only 37.5 percent and never led, falling behind 15-2 less than four minutes in and 43-28 at the half. A Bonnies’ 15-0 run in the second 20 put the game on ice.
Today’s game will be the sixth meeting in the series, but the first since 1998. The Yellow Jackets have won all five games, having a perfect 3-0 record in Atlanta and a 2-0 mark in Charleston.
The game can be seen on line on RSN (Fox Sports South in Atlanta) with Rich Waltz and Mike Gminski calling the action. It also can be heard on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, WQXI-AM (790 the Zone) and WYAY (106.7 FM), with Randy Waters and Jon Babul calling the action. It also can be heard via satellite radio on Sirius (Ch. 93) and XM (Ch. 191). Tech fans can follow the game online on ESPN3 or on Ramblinwreck.com.
And now, the starting five for today’s game.
Do You Reed Me?: With Brandon Reed’s 2-for-4 night from three against Alabama State, he raised his three-point shooting percentage to .350, second on the team behind only Mfon Udofia (.480). Reed has been kind of feast or famine this season, as against Saint Mary’s he hit 4-of-6 from downtown, but he’d been 0-for-5 in his previous three games. He has been much more consistent on the boards, as he’s fifth on the team with 3.7 rebounds per game.
After You…: Making the extra pass is becoming a trademark of this year’s Georgia Tech team. Against ASU, they had assists on 20 of their 29 field goals. It gave them 38 assists in their last two games and marked the third straight game and sixth time this season that they had more assists than their opponent. It also marked the fourth time the Jackets had more assists than turnovers. They are 4-0 in those games.
No Poole’n: Solomon Poole didn’t have to wait long to get his first taste of college basketball. With the Georgia Tech program less than a week, the highly regarded 6-0, 180-pound guard, got on the court Monday night against Alabama State. With 6:10 left in the game and the Jackets leading 67-35, Poole replaced Pierre Jordan at the point. It took him 35 seconds to get his first collegiate assist, as on his first offensive possession he passed to Kammeon Holsey, who buried a jumper in the lane. Two possessions later he got his first college points, making a pair of free throws. He’d add his first turnovers, rebounds and steal before the night was done.
Oh, Brother: While Solomon got the jump on older brother, Stacey, as far as first Georgia Tech points, the older Poole will have a chance to catch up very soon. Stacey, who transferred from Kentucky last January, was ruled eligible to play now that the fall semester is officially over and will make his Yellow Jackets debut today. Stacey will wear No. 12. Solomon wore No. 45 in his debut. The Pooles are the only non-Georgians on this year’s roster.
Blocking It Out: Center Daniel Miller swatted away five shots in the win over Alabama State. That gave the 6-11 1/2 center 16 rejections in the Yellow Jackets’ last four games and gave him his sixth multi-block game in nine games this season. The rest of the Jackets combined have 16 blocks, with freshman Robert Carter, Jr., next with seven. Miller currently ranks second in the ACC in blocked shots, at 2.3 per game, behind only Maryland’s Alex Len (2.6).
The Sixth Man: While Georgia Tech isn’t playing a lot of close games they are winning them when they do. Tech is 3-0 in games decided by 10-or-fewer points. That matches their total from last season, when they were 3-10 in such games…One harbinger to Jackets success so far is their ability to win the opening tap. Thus far, Daniel Miller is 8-for-9, with his only loss coming on Opening Night against Tulane… Jackets freshmen Marcus Georges-Hunt (11.4 ppg), Robert Carter, Jr. (9.3 ppg) and Chris Bolden (5.1 ppg) are accounting for 40.2 percent of the Yellow Jackets’ scoring and 34.5 percent of the rebounding (12.9 rpg)…Georgia Tech is 93-18 all-time against the Southern Conference, and 83.8 winning percentage. They have one more meeting with a SoCon team when they host Chattanooga on Jan. 2.
GEORGIA TECH LEADING SCORER: Marcus Georges-Hunt, 11.4 ppg
THE CITADEL LEADING SCORER: Mike Groselle, 15.9 ppg
GEORGIA TECH LEADING REBOUNDER: Robert Carter, Jr., 6.6 rpg
THE CITADEL LEADING REBOUNDER: Mike Groselle, 8.3 rpg
GEORGIA TECH PPG: 64.3 ppg
OPPONENT PPG: 55.0 ppg
THE CITADEL PPG: 67.9 ppg
OPPONENT PPG: 75.0 ppg
The Citadel Player to Watch: Mike Groselle: At 6-8, 245, Mike Groselle is literally the big dog for the Bulldogs. He’s also big-time as their leader. The senior center is coming off his 59th career double-digit scoring game, a 14-point effort in the loss at St. Bonaventure. He hasn’t scored in single digits all season and over his last four games has shot over 55 percent (25-for-45). That’s with a 5-for-14 night at Gardner-Webb. He’s shooting .585 for the season and is a superb free throw shooter, converting at .846, having made 16 of his last 19 attempts. His 33 FTMs are actually one more than the nearest teammate has attempted. The Plano, Texas, big can be trouble on the offensive glass, as he has 31 offensive rebounds in the Bulldogs nine games. No other teammate has more than eight. He has 13 ORs in the last two games, nine of them coming at Gardner-Webb.