Nov. 17, 2016
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech continues its season-opening five-game homestand Friday night when the Yellow Jackets entertain Ohio University from the Mid-American Conference at 8 p.m. at McCamish Pavilion.
Tech has opened its first season under new head coach Josh Pastner Friday night with a pair of victories over Tennessee Tech (70-55) and Southern University (76-62) at McCamish Pavilion. Pastner inherits seven letterwinners, but none of its top four scorers, from a team that went 21-15 last season and advanced to the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament.
Ohio, in its third season under head coach Saul Phillips, plays its first road game against the Yellow Jackets after opening the season with a pair of homecourt victories over Southern (77-67) and Sam Houston State (96-75). The Bobcats return four starters from a team that won 23 games and played in last year’s College Basketball Invitational post-season tournament.
Friday’s game will not be televised, but will be streamed live online via the ACC Network Extra, accessible through the WatchESPN app. Radio coverage is provided by Tech’s flagship station, WCNN-AM (680 AM/93.7 FM).
• Friday’s game is the third of five consecutive home games to begin Josh Pastner’s first season on The Flats. Tech doesn’t play away from home until Nov. 29, and plays 10 of its 14 non-conference games at home. The Yellow Jackets play three games away from home in November and December, all in a row (Nov. 29 at Penn State, Dec. 3 at Tennessee, Dec. 7 at VCU).
• Each of Tech’s first four opponents played in a post-season tournament at the end of the 2015-16 season – Tennessee Tech (Vegas 16), Southern (NCAA), Ohio (CBI) and Sam Houston State (CIT) – and averaged 20.5 wins last season. Ohio reached the semifinals of the College Basketball Invitational.
• Tech’s first four games this season are part of an exempt multi-team event, similar to many of the early season tournaments, which will count as one game toward the NCAA regular-season limit. Ohio, which defeated Southern Saturday and Sam Houston State Monday night, hosts Tennessee Tech next Friday. Sam Houston State visits Ohio and Tennessee Tech around a home game vs Southern before coming to Atlanta next Tuesday. Tech is playing a program-record 31 regular-season games this season.
• According to ESPN.com’s John Gasaway, Tech is the least experienced team in Division I, returning only 25 percent of its possession-minutes from 2015-16. Gasaway measures experience by calculating a team’s “returning possession minutes,” the percentage of minutes that a player recorded last season, multiplied by the percentage of the team’s possessions that he used (as listed at kenpom.com).
• Tech lost 78 percent of its scoring and 67 percent of its minutes from last year’s team, which went 21-15 and reached the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament.
• The only previous meeting between Georgia Tech and Ohio was a big one, the Yellow Jackets’ first-ever NCAA Tournament game. Tech, led by All-American Roger Kaiser, escaped with a 57-54 victory on March 11, 1960 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky., which earned the Jackets the right to face Ohio State. The Buckeyes won the second-round game, 86-69, and went on to win the national championship.
• This is Tech’s fourth game against a Mid-American Conference team in program history. Aside from the previoys meeting with Ohio, the Jackets defeated Central Michigan in 1983 and lost to Bowling Green in 1972.
• Tech head coach Josh Pastner won his only meeting with Ohio while he was the head man at Memphis, an 84-58 win on Dec. 5, 2012.
16TH ANNUAL Michael Isenhour TOY DRIVE
The Georgia Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Board will hold the 16th annual Michael Isenhour Toy Drive during the Georgia Tech football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and women’s volleyball games this weekend, Nov. 18-20.
Fans are asked to donate new, unwrapped toys for any age. Monetary donations will also be accepted. If patrons wish to make a monetary donation, please make checks payable to “Georgia Tech Athletic Association”.
Georgia Tech student-athletes will be on site at all four contests this weekend to help collect the donations and collection bins will be staged at several entrances to each facility.
Nov. 18 Women’s Volleyball vs. Louisville | 7 p.m.; Men’s Basketball vs. Ohio | 8 p.m.
Nov. 19 Football vs. Virginia | 12:30 p.m.
Nov. 20 Women’s Basketball vs. Georgia | 2 p.m.
For fans that wish to donate a toy, but are unable to attend any event this weekend, collection bins will be available in the Edge Athletic Center until December 9, Monday-Friday during business hours.
The toys collected will be delivered to the Atlanta Children’s Shelter which provides childcare for homeless families. The Atlanta Children’s Shelter was founded in 1986 and is dedicated to helping families overcome the issues that contribute to homelessness.
The toy drive was founded by former men’s basketball player Michael Isenhour following 9/11 in an effort to assist families impacted by the events. The toy drive began in 2001 as Isenhour was battling leukemia. The Georgia Tech Student- Athlete Advisory Board renamed it the Michael Isenhour Toy Drive to create an ongoing legacy to their fellow student-athlete, who lost his battle to cancer in 2002.
NOTABLE FROM SOUTHERN GAME
Tadric Jackson scored 11 consecutive points in the first half and finished with a career-high 20 points on Monday as Georgia Tech beat Southern 77-62. Ben Lammers added 13 points, 15 rebounds and blocked a career-best nine shots for Georgia Tech (2-0), which had a school record 16 blocks.
Jackson, who missed the season opener with a hamstring injury, came off the bench to help Tech expanded an 18-16 lead to 29-21. Corey Heyward added a 3-pointer and a free throw to push the margin to 12.
Tech played closer to the pace that Pastner is seeking since leaving Memphis. But after building a 41-25 lead with a 19-4 run to close the first half, the Jackets shot just 40 percent (12-of-30) in the second. They made just 1 of 6 3-pointers and went 11-of-20 from the free-throw line.
• Everybody except Josh Heath (suspension) and two freshman walk-ons saw action in the game. Seven played double-digit minutes, nine players made the scoring column.
• Tech set a school record by blocking 16 shots in the game, led by center Ben Lammers, who had nine. The previous Tech record was 15 against the University of the South on Dec. 13, 1982.
• Tech held Southern to 33.3 percent shooting from the floor, same as Tennessee Tech. Broken down by half in two games, Tech has allowed 31.3 pct., 35.5 pct., 30.6 pct. and 36.1 pct.
• Tech shot 59.3 percent from the floor in the first half, on the heels of a 69.2 percent performance in the second half against Tennessee Tech. The Jackets shot just 40 percent in the second half, however, to finish at 49 percent.
• Tech turned the ball a season-low 12 times, three in the second half. In two games, Tech has just seven second-half turnovers.
• Tech assisted on 14 of its 28 made field goals (50 percent) and has 31 assists on 56 field goals for the season. Head coach Josh Pastner’s objective each game is for the Jackets to assist on 60 percent of their field goals.
• Tech shot 17-for-31 from the free throw line, making more free throws than Southern attempted (7-for-12). Another of Pastner’s goals is for his teams to make more free throws than the opponent attempts.
• Jackson finished the game with a career-high 20 points, eclipsing the 17 he scored as a freshman against Marquette. It was the 12th double-digit scoring effort of his career. Jackson hit 8-of-11 from the floor, made his only three-ppint attempt and grabbed five rebounds. He scored 13 of his 20 in the last 10 minutes of the first half, keying a 19-4 Tech run heading into intermission.
• Ben Lammers entered rarified air with nine blocked shots. Only three times in Tech’s basketball history has a player blocked nine or more – Alvin Jones twice blocked nine shots in a game and has the Tech record of 11. Lammers was Tech’s blocked shot leader last season (47) and has 13 in two games so far.
• Lammers came within one blocked shot of posting the rarest of triple-doubles. He finished the game with 13 points, a career-best 15 rebounds and nine blocks. Tech has had four triple-doubles in its history, all the points-rebounds-assists variety. The most recent was recorded by Iman Shumpert against Virginia Tech in 2011 (22 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists).
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its first year under head coach Josh Pastner. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram.
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