March 2, 2012
By Jon Cooper
– Georgia Tech wraps up its 2011-12 regular season, hosting Wake Forest. Tip-off at Philips Arena is scheduled for noon.
The Yellow Jackets finished the road portion of their 2011-12 schedule Wednesday night, dropping a 56-52 decision at Boston College. Daniel Miller had 13 and Kammeon Holsey added 12 as the Jackets nearly overcame a 17-point, second-half deficit, but couldn’t overcome cold shooting, as they converted only 37.7 percent of their shots (23-for-61) and only 22.2 percent from three (4-for-18). Tech finished 3-9 on the road in 2011-12, 1-7 in ACC road games.
The Demon Deacons finished their home slate on Tuesday night, dropping a 79-71 decision to No. 4 Duke. Senior Nikita Mescheriakov and Tony Chennault each scored a team-high 18, with nine of Chennault’s points fueling a 23-7 run over six minutes that nearly brought Wake back from a 60-38 deficit.
Today will be the 73rd meeting in a series that dates back to 1949. The Jackets trail in the series, 37-35, but have won eight of the last 11 meetings and are 24-9 all-time in Atlanta.
Today’s game can be seen on the ACC Network, with Bob Rathbun and Cory Alexander calling the action. Of course, fans can listen to Wes Durham and Randy Waters on Georgia Tech/ISP Sports Network’s flagship stations WQXI-AM (790 the Zone) and WYAY (106.7 FM). The game also can be heard via satellite radio on Sirius (Channel 113) and XM (Channel 190). Tech fans can always follow the game and get live stats on Ramblinwreck.com.
And now, the starting five for today’s game.
The Last Time We Met: Glen Rice Jr. had 12 points to lead three double-figure scorers, but the Jackets surrendered a late 11-0 run in falling, 59-50, to Wake Forest on Feb. 15 at Joel Coliseum. Daniel Miller had 11 points and seven rebounds and Brandon Reed chipped in with 11, hitting 3-of-8 from three. Tech overcame a seven-point halftime deficit and led 41-38 with 7:00 to go before Wake went on its decisive run.
Two For the Money: While Georgia Tech has struggled at the foul line this season, shooting 66.0 percent, sophomore center Daniel Miller has thrived there. Miller is shooting 84.6 percent from the line in conference play and that includes his struggles at Philips Arena, where he’s made 62.5 percent of his tries (5-for-8). His percentage at Philips has dragged down his season percentage, which stands at 78.9 percent. Miller can still hit the 80.0 percent mark for the season, should he go 2-for-2 from the line. Should he miss one, he would have to go 4-for-5 to get over 80 percent. His season-high for FTAs is seven, set on opening night. He hasn’t taken more than three in an ACC game and hasn’t attempted more than two over the last 13.
Six(ty) Shooter: Kammeon Holsey has been red-hot from the floor down the stretch, as he’s shooting 58.5 percent over his last five games (22-for-33). Should Holsey shoot at that same percentage he would finish the season shooting over 60 percent. Averaging 6.5 shots per game, Holsey needs to shoot at least 4-for-7 to finish over the 60 percent line.
Thanks Fore Everything: Senior guard Nick Foreman, who plays his final collegiate game tonight, is leaving on a good note. Over his last two games, in limited minutes (15 vs. Maryland, 18 vs. Boston College), the former walk-on has taken six shots, making five of them. That includes 4-of-6 from behind the arc. On the season he’s hit 42.9 percent of his shots and has made 40.9 from three (9-for-22). He’s also pulled down five boards in the last two games.
Craig’s List of Honorees: Senior guard Derek Craig also is playing his final game tonight. It will be the 21st of his career and seventh in ACC competition. The one-time walk-on hit the first two three-pointers of his career on Jan. 29th at North Carolina, making both in only two minutes of action. His two assists this season match his season best. Senior student trainer/manager Marcus Fondon also will be honored prior to the game.
The Sixth Man: Today’s game is important for the Yellow Jackets and Demon Deacons looking toward next Thursday’s ACC Tournament. A Tech win and a Boston College loss to Miami would give the Yellow Jackets the No. 11 seed and a 9 p.m. first-round game next Thursday against the No. 6 seed. A Tech win and a BC win, or a Tech loss, would make the Jackets the No. 12 seed with a 2 p.m. start Thursday against the No. 5 seed.
GEORGIA TECH LEADING SCORER: Glen Rice, 13.0 ppg
LEADING SCORER (ACC): Glen Rice, 13.7 ppg
WAKE FOREST LEADING SCORER: C.J. Harris, 16.8 ppg
LEADING SCORER (ACC): C.J. Harris, 15.1 ppg
GEORGIA TECH LEADING REBOUNDER: Glen Rice, 6.7 rpg
LEADING REBOUNDER (ACC): Glen Rice, 6.6 rpg
WAKE FOREST LEADING REBOUNDER: Travis McKie, 7.0 rpg
LEADING REBOUNDER (ACC): Travis McKie, 8.1 rpg
GEORGIA TECH PPG/ACC: 60.7/57.9 ppg
OPP. PPG/ACC: 62.9/65.7 ppg.
WAKE FOREST PPG/ACC: 65.8/61.3 ppg
OPP. PPG/ACC: 70.0/70.3 ppg.
WAKE FOREST Player to Watch: Travis McKie. The sophomore forward comes in ranked sixth in the ACC in scoring (15.9 ppg), eighth in rebounding (7.0 rpg) and fourth in the ACC in minutes (34.4 mpg). McKie not only is on the floor a lot, he’s on the floor a lot, as he leads the team in charges drawn, with seven. He did a ton of damage in the team’s first meeting, scoring a game-high 23 and pulling in 11 rebounds.