Nov. 15, 2013
By Jon Cooper
With two solid wins under its belt, Georgia Tech takes to the road for the first time this season when it travels to Athens to battle rival Georgia. Tip-off at Stegeman Coliseum is set for 7:00 p.m.
The Yellow Jackets took care of business in their first two games, both at McCamish Pavilion, routing Presbyterian and Delaware State, winning by a combined 49 points. The Jackets made it 2-0 on Monday night, routing the Hornets. Transfer guard Trae Golden led the Jackets with 16 points, while last year’s big guns, Marcus Georges-Hunt and Robert Carter also had big games, with Georges-Hunt scoring 12 while grabbing a team-high eight rebounds while Carter had 11 while rejecting a game-best five shots. Tech put the clamps on early, limiting Delaware State to 23.3 percent shooting and below 10 percent from three (1-for-11) in the first half, while shooting 50 percent (11-for-22), in running out to a 13-point halftime lead. It was more of the same in the second half, as the Jackets shot 56.5 percent (13-for-23) and led by double-digits most of the way. The Hornets cut the lead to eight with 5:30 left but a 9-0 Tech run put the game away.
The Bulldogs got their season off to a successful start, routing Wofford, 72-52, last Friday at Stegeman. Georgia limited the Terriers to 29.2 percent shooting in the first half and closed the half on a 14-0 run to take a 19-point lead into intermission. They never looked back, leading by as much as 25 in the second half. Junior forward Nemanja Djurisic had a game-high 12, while senior Donte’ Williams pulled down a game-high nine rebounds for the Bulldogs, who trailed early on, although never by more than one possession.
Today’s game will be only the 190th meeting between the schools in a series that began in 1906 and has become an annual series since 1925. It’s the longest-running series in program history. The Yellow Jackets hold a 103-86 overall lead and are riding a two-game winning streak, but they are 29-51 in Athens and only 4-25 at Stegeman Coliseum. The Jackets won in Athens the last time there, on Dec. 7, 2011, snapping a 13-game losing streak and marking the first win in Athens since Nov. 26, 1976.
Tonight’s game can be seen on FOX Sports South, with Bob Rathbun and Larry Conley calling the action. It also can be heard on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, WYAY (106.7 FM), with Brandon Gaudin and Randy Waters calling the action and via Satellite Radio (Sirius Ch. 108, XM Ch. 199). Tech fans also can follow the game online on ESPN3 or Ramblinwreck.com.
And now, the starting five for tonight’s game.
The Last Time We Met: Georgia Tech led wire-to-wire in knocking off Georgia, 62-54, in the first meeting between the schools at McCamish Pavilion. Marcus Georges-Hunt had a game-high 18 and Mfon Udofia added 12 for the Jackets. Tech led by a dozen at the break and by as much as 15 in the second half. The Jackets smothered the Bulldogs, holding them 31.6 percent shooting, 29.0 percent in the second half, and only 11.8 from three, 2-for-17, on the day, making one three-pointer in each half.
Tech Trivia: With a win tonight Brian Gregory can go 3-0 against Georgia to start his Georgia Tech coaching career. Who are the only two coaches in school history to start 3-0 against Georgia?
¡Trae Bien!: It hasn’t taken long for senior guard Trae Golden to make his presence felt as a Yellow Jacket. The transfer from Tennessee leads the team in field goals made (12), is second on the team in scoring (14.0 ppg), and is third on the team in field goal percentage (.632, 12-for-19), assists (6) and minutes played (52, 26.0 mpg). Golden, who scored a team-high 16 against Delaware State, would have led the Jackets in scoring and assists last season, with his 12.1 ppg and 3.9 apg. He may be new to Georgia Tech fans, but Georgia fans know all about him and that he’s due for some redemption. Last year he had an off-day against the Bulldogs, scoring four points on 1-for-10 shooting, 1-for-5 from three. In 2011-12, however, he lit them up for 16 points in each meeting, going 7-for-17 (1-for-5 from three) on Jan. 18 at Stegeman, then having 5-for-8 (1-for-3 from three), with six rebounds and five assists on Feb. 4, at Thompson-Boling Arena. Golden has lost both games at Stegeman.
Stege-Freight: Golden’s new school, Georgia Tech, hasn’t fared much better in Athens — or at Stegeman Coliseum — than Golden has. The Yellow Jackets haven’t won back-to-back road games in the series since the 1960 and 1961 seasons. But at least they’ve done that. The Jackets have NEVER won back-to-back games at Stegeman Coliseum, something they have an opportunity to do tonight and have only claimed victory there five times in 30 games played. They won for the first time in 1967 then in ’71, ’74 and `76 before the drought that ended last season.
Positive Assist-Turnover Ratio: A key to the Jackets success in their first two games this season has been their ability to move the basketball as well as take care of it. The Jackets have had assists on nearly two-thirds of their baskets thus far (37 of 59 field goals or 62.7 percent) and were especially unselfish against Delaware State, recording assists on 79.1 percent of made field goals (19 of 24). The point guard tandem of sophomore Solomon Poole and freshman Travis Jorgensen have 15 of the team’s 37 helpers (Poole 8, Jorgensen 7), but the unselfishness has been team-wide, as every player that has seen at least 10 minutes of action has at least one assist. They’ve been as careful with the basketball. Tech has committed only 18 turnovers in the first two games, and only six against Presbyterian. The latter is the fewest in a game in the Brian Gregory Era. Poole has been outstanding with the ball thus far recording eight assists vs. just one turnover.
The Sixth Man: Georgia Tech is 2-for-2 in holding opponents under 40 percent shooting so far, holding Presbyterian and Delaware State to identical .339 shooting. The Jackets are now 18-10 in the 28 games they’ve held opponents under 40 percent shooting…In the last two games against Georgia, both Georgia Tech wins, the Jackets have held the Bulldogs under 35 percent shooting (34.7 in 2011, 33.3 last season)…The Jackets have shot over 50 percent in their first two games and have raised their record in such games to 15-2 under Gregory
Tech Trivia: Roy McArthur is the last Yellow Jackets coach to start 3-0 against Georgia. McArthur went 4-0, winning both matchups during the 1946-47 season and the first two of the ’47-48 season. The only other coach to do it was McArthur’s predecessor, Dwight Keith, who won both games in 1943-44 and all three in 1944-45. He is the only Tech coach to start 5-0 against UGA. Both streaks came when Georgia Tech was still in the SEC…Tech has recorded back-to-back wins over UGA for the first time since winning three straight games in 1992-94…Senior forward Jason Morris needs 10 points to get to the 500 mark for his career. The last time he played in Athens, Morris poured in 15, all in the second half, in the monumental victory over Georgia.
GEORGIA TECH LEADING SCORER: Marcus Georges-Hunt, 14.5 ppg
GEORGIA LEADING SCORER: Nemanja Djurisic, 12.0 ppg
GEORGIA TECH LEADING REBOUNDER: Marcus Georges-Hunt, 8.5 rpg
GEORGIA LEADING REBOUNDER: Donte’ Williams, 9.0 rpg
GEORGIA TECH PPG: 78.0 ppg.
OPP. PPG: 53.5 ppg.
GEORGIA PPG: 72.0 ppg.
OPP. PPG: 52.0 ppg.
GEORGIA Player To Watch: Charles Mann The 6-5, 210-pound sophomore guard is back looking to improve on a debut season that saw him earn Freshman All-SEC honors. Although he only started eight games last season he still led the Bulldogs in assists (92, 2.85 per game) and free throw attempts (170). Mann shot .333 from three (6-for-18), and .688 from the line. In the season-opening win against Wofford, the former Milton High School (Alpharetta) star had seven points on 2-for-6 shooting with three assists.
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