June 24, 2009
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s 2009-10 season will mark the 93rd season of basketball at the Institute, but it also marks the anniversary of three important events in the history of the Yellow Jackets’ program.
Fifty years ago, in 1960, Tech made the NCAA Tournament for the first time as an automatic qualifier out of the Southeastern Conference. Roger Kaiser, a consensus All-American from Dale, Ind., led the Yellow Jackets to a first-round victory over Ohio University before Tech fell to eventual national champion Ohio State in the second round. Tech finished the year 22-6.
Twenty-five years ago, in 1985, Tech won the first of its three Atlantic Coast Conference titles and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since that 1960 team. Called the “Thin Gold Line,” the Bobby Cremins-coached team featured All-Americans Mark Price, John Salley and Bruce Dalrymple, and also included future All-American Duane Ferrell. That Yellow Jackets’ unit won the ACC Tournament at the Omni in Atlanta, defeating Virginia, Duke and North Carolina, then reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, where they fell to defending champion Georgetown and finished 27-8.
Twenty years ago, in 1990, Tech reached the NCAA Final Four for the first time behind the famous “Lethal Weapon 3” trio of Brian Oliver, Dennis Scott and Kenny Anderson. The Cremins-coached Yellow Jackets defeated East Tennessee State, LSU, Michigan State and Minnesota on the way to Denver, where they fell to eventual champion UNLV and finished 28-7. That Tech team also won the ACC title in Charlotte, beating NC State, Duke and Virginia.
Tech will honor these teams by wearing throwback uniforms throughout the 2009-10 season. The Yellow Jackets’ home white uniforms will resemble those of the 1960 team, with simple block gold letters in the jerseys spelling out “TECH” and gold trim. The road gold uniforms will be replicas of those worn by the 1985 and 1990 teams, with the name “GEORGIA TECH” stylized and stacked on the front of the jerseys with the player’s number in between. The shoulders, neck and bottom of the shorts are trimmed in blue and white, and a “GT” logo appears on each hip of the shorts.
PUERTO RICO TIPOFF FIELD COMPLETE
Boston University of the America East Conference is the eighth and final team added to the field for the third annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tipoff to be played November 19, 20 and 22. The 12-game, bracketed collegiate basketball event will again be played at the 18,000-seat Coliseo de Puerto Rico in the Hato Rey district of San Juan. Pairings will be announced at a later date.
Tournament pairings and game times will be announced at a later date. The field for 2009 includes Dayton (Atlantic 10 Conference), George Mason (Colonial), Indiana (Big 10), Kansas State (Big 12), Mississippi (Southeastern) and Villanova (Big East). Dayton and Villanova earned berths in the 2009 NCAA Tournament while George Mason and Kansas State competed in the NIT. Villanova advanced to the NCAA Final Four and lost to North Carolina in Detroit.
Here’s a detailed look at the field: School (2008-09 Record, RPI rank), Conference Boston University (17-13, 161), American East Dayton (27-8, 27), Atlantic 10 George Mason (22-11, 51), Colonial Georgia Tech (12-19, 139), Atlantic Coast Indiana (6-25, 216), Big Ten Kansas State (22-12, 81), Big 12 Mississippi (16-15, 82), Southeastern Villanova (30-8, 13), Big East
Fans can purchase tickets for the event, produced by ESPN Regional Television and hosted by the Big East Conference, through Ticket Pop at www.ticketpop.com or telephone 866/994.0001. Tickets will be available Sept. 1.
LAWAL’S RETURN PUTS TECH AT SCHOLARSHIP LIMIT
With Gani Lawal’s decision to withdraw from next week’s NBA Draft, Georgia Tech will have 13 players on scholarship, the limit allowed by the NCAA, for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
It also means that the Yellow Jackets return four of their five starters from last year’s team – Lawal, 6-2 junior guard Maurice “Moe” Miller and 6-5 sophomore guard Iman Shumpert, and 6-8 senior forward Zachery Peacock – and five players with significant starting experience, including 6-5 senior and team captain D’Andre Bell, who was medically cleared to play in early June following surgery to correct a congenital spinal condition.
Of Tech’s returning players, seven have started at least two games in their careers, and they have combined for 198 career starts. Tech’s returning players accounted for 66 percent of the Yellow Jackets’ scoring from last season, and 72.5 percent of the minutes played.
Tech’s other scholarship returnees include Lance Storrs, a 6-5 junior guard, and Brad Sheehan, a 7-0 junior center. Nick Foreman, a 6-3 sophomore walk-on who played every game last season and started twice, also returns.
TECH RECRUITING CLASS RANKED AS HIGH AS FOURTH NATIONALLY
Rivals.com has ranked Georgia Tech’s recruiting class fourth in the nation behind Kentucky, Villanova and Texas, while ESPN has the Jackets’ incoming class No. 7 Kentucky, North Carolina, Villanova, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Tech signed six incoming freshmen, four of whom are listed among ESPN’s top 100 prospects.
Tech’s freshman class includes 6-9 forward Derrick Favors of Atlanta, Ga., 6-8 forward Kammeon Holsey of Sparta, Ga., 6-11 center Daniel Miller of Loganville, Ga., 6-6 forward Brian Oliver of New Castle, Del., 6-4 guard Glen Rice, Jr., of Marietta, Ga., and 6-2 guard Mfon Udofia of Stone Mountain, Ga.