Nov. 13, 2012
By Jon Cooper
Coming off a rousing victory in its season- and McCamish Pavilion opener, Georgia Tech looks to make it 2-0 when it takes on Presbyterian. Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m.
In it’s opener, Kammeon Holsey led four double-figure scorers with 18, as Tech easily disposed of Tulane, 79-61 Friday night. The Yellow Jackets shot 56.1 percent, 63.0 in the second half, and didn’t trail after Holsey’s free-throw made gave Tech a 7-6 lead at the 15:04 mark of the first half. They’d lead by nine at intermission and by as much as 21 in the second half.
The Blue Hose, who have five freshmen and five sophomores on their roster, are playing their second game against an ACC opponent, having dropped their opener at Clemson Monday night. Junior power forward Joshua Clyburn had a career-high 19 points and nine rebounds to lead Presbyterian. PC was limited to 30.2 percent shooting by the Tigers, falling behind 7-0, then allowing a 15-1 run as Clemson opened a 20-point lead and led 38-21 at the half. It didn’t get any better in the second half, as Clemson opened on a 19-6 run then went on cruise control, as PC never got closer than 23.
Tonight’s game will be the eighth meeting in a series that began in 1975 and has seen the Yellow Jackets win all seven games. Tech has hosted all seven games. One of those was on Nov. 30, 1981, Bobby Cremins’ first win as Jackets’ head coach.
The game can be seen online on ESPN3 and can be heard on Georgia Tech/IMG Sports Network’s flagship stations WQXI-AM (790 the Zone) and WYAY (106.7 FM), with Wes Durham and Randy Waters calling the action. It also can be heard on Sirius and XM radio, channel 117. 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: Georgia Tech fought off a stubborn Presbyterian team, winning 77-64 on Jan. 6, 2008, at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Anthony Morrow had a team-high 16 points and Gani Lawal and Moe Miller each had 13. The Jackets shot 56.5 percent for the game and 50.0 from three (60.9 and 60.0 in the second half) but had to fend off a furious Presbyterian rally that saw the Blue Hose nearly come all the way back from 17 down, pulling within two with 3:30 remaining. A three by Morrow, a steal and breakaway dunk by D’Andre Bell and a Lawal basket gave Tech breathing room and they finally pulled away.
First in Score, First in Free: Freshman Marcus Georges-Hunt will never forget his first collegiate game. The freshman from College Park and star at North Clayton High School was the first Yellow Jacket to register a point at McCamish Pavilion, hitting a pair of free throws at the 18:30 mark. He also put in the Jackets’ first basket, hitting a lay-up at the 17:32 mark after pulling down an offensive rebound — he got beaten to the punch on that by guard Brandon Reed, who grabbed the rebound of his own missed jumper five seconds earlier, then by Daniel Miller, who pulled in the rebound of Reed’s follow two seconds after that. When Miller missed his jumper, Georges-Hunt got the board then scored. Georges-Hunt nearly completed the scoring trifecta, but his 3-point shot at 17:05 — Tech’s first attempt in the new building — did not go.
Think Tifton!: Two firsts that Georges-Hunt didn’t get were recorded by fellow freshman and Tifton, Ga., native Chris Bolden. Bolden hit the very first three-point basket at McCamish, nailing one at 12:10 to give Tech a 16-10 lead. Bolden’s was the game’s third three-point field goal attempt, as Georges-Hunt and Tulane’s Jordan Callahan each missed one from behind the arc. Bolden, who starred at North Gwinnett High School, recorded the first assist at McCamish at the 13:14 mark, feeding Holsey for a layup and a 13-10 Jackets lead.
Downright Offensive: Georgia Tech wanted to improve its shooting from last year and the opener was a good start. Tech’s 56.1 percent shooting was a best in the Brian Gregory era. The Jackets had five players shoot over 50 percent in the game, led by Holsey, last season’s field goal percentage leader, who picked up where he left off nailing 7-of-9 shots. Georges-Hunt canned 6-of-8 shots, Mfon Udofia made 4 of his 5 tries. Bolden (5-for-10) and Miller (4-for-8), also hit over 50 percent.>
Chairmen of the Boards: When Yellow Jackets’ shots weren’t falling, they were crashing the glass. Georgia Tech out-rebounded Tulane by nearly a 2-to-1 margin, 47-23. The plus-24 margin was one shy of the Jackets’ high under Gregory, a plus-25 (46-21) in last year’s season opener, Nov. 11, against Florida A&M. Tech had as many offensive rebounds (16) as the Green Wave had defensive boards. Daniel Miller grabbed a team-high 10, but got plenty of help, as Holsey, Georges-Hunt, and fellow freshman forward Robert Carter, Jr. (who grabbed the first rebound at McCamish) each had seven and guard Brandon Reed had six. On the offensive glass, Miller had a game-high six, with Holsey and Georges-Hunt each pulling down three.
Georgia Tech was very good taking care of the ball, committing only 10 turnovers, Interestingly, they actually lost the turnover battle, 10-4….Tech’s freshman trio of Bolden, Carter and Georges-Hunt was particularly thrifty with the ball, turning the ball over but one time in a combined 72 minutes, while dishing five assists…The Jackets easily won the assists-to-turnovers battle, handing out 18 assists to six for Tulane. The 18 assists were one short of the Gregory-era high…Miller led Tech with a career-high-tying six assist…The junior center got off to a good start in establishing his reputation as one of the ACC’s top shot-blockers, rejecting three shots, one fewer than the entire Green Wave team. Tech blocked six shots on the night.
GEORGIA TECH LEADING SCORER: Kammeon Holsey, 18.0 ppg
PRESBYTERIAN LEADING SCORER: Joshua Clyburn, 19.0 ppg
GEORGIA TECH LEADING REBOUNDER: Daniel Miller, 10.0 rpg
PRESBYTERIAN LEADING REBOUNDER: Joshua Clyburn, 9.0 rpg
GEORGIA TECH PPG: 79.0 ppg
OPP. PPG: 61.0 ppg.
PRESBYTERIAN PPG: 44.0 ppg
OPP. PPG: 77.0 ppg.
Presbyterian Player to Watch: Khalid Mutakabbir: The 6-4, 190-pound senior two-guard had a tough opening night at Clemson, scoring three points, on 1-for-9 shooting (1-for-5 from three), with five assists and three turnovers in 36 minutes, but the Preseason All-Big South selection from Suwanee, Ga. (Peachtree Ridge High School), can score. He’s second all-time in Presbyterian school history in the D-I era (since 2007), in points (1,075) scoring average (11.8), free throws (193) and assists (204) and is in the top five in three-pointers (98), rebounds (290), steals (99) and starts (90). He will be on a mission to bounce back, especially returning to his home state.