Dec. 19, 2013
THE FLATS – Riding a three-game winning streak, Georgia Tech’s basketball team now faces a stretch of four consecutive road games beginning with a visit to Vanderbilt for a 4 p.m. Eastern time contest Saturday at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tenn.
Fox Sports South will provide regional television coverage of the game throughout its 13-state reach. Radio coverage of the game will be provided by the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network and can be heard in Atlanta on WYAY-FM (106.7). The Vanderbilt radio broadcast can be heard nationally on channel 85 on the Sirius and XM satellite radio networks. Fans can also watch online at ESPN3.
The Yellow Jackets (8-3) came off fall semester final exams with a 74-57 victory over neighboring Kennesaw State, extending to three games a winning streak that began with Tech’s 67-64 win over Illinois on Dec. 3. All three wins in the streak have come at home, and Tech’s visit to Vanderbilt will be its first on an opponent’s home court since Nov. 15, when the Jackets won at Georgia.
In its third season under head coach Brian Gregory, Tech has returned four starters – center Daniel Miller, big forward Robert Carter, Jr., and wings Marcus Georges-Hunt and Chris Bolden – from a team that posted a 16-15 overall record last season and went 6-12 to tie for ninth place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Jackets are averaging 74.1 points per game and hitting 44.9 percent of their shots from the floor so far. Tech also has out-rebounded each opponent by an average of 7.6 per game, has a plus-1.2 assist/turnover ratio and has improved vastly at the free throw line (71.0 pct.) over last year.
Vanderbilt (6-3), in its 15th season under head coach Kevin Stallings, has won its last two games, including a 58-56 win over Austin Peay Tuesday night. All three of the Commodores’ losses have come away from home.
Following Saturday’s game, Tech finishes out its December schedule with Sunday night game at Charlotte (7-2) on Dec. 29.
Fast Break Points
The Vanderbilt game is the last of three against Southeastern Conference opponents on Georgia Tech’s non-conference schedule, all of them away from home. The Yellow Jackets won at Georgia, 80-71, on Dec. 15 and lost to Mississippi, 77-67, on Nov. 29 in Brooklyn, N.Y. Tech is 366-398 all-time against current SEC teams.
Tech plays its next four games on the road and does not play again at home until Jan. 11, when Notre Dame tips off a stretch of three straight ACC games at McCamish Pavilion. The Jackets visit Charlotte on Dec. 29 to complete their non-conference schedule, then open ACC play at Maryland (Jan. 4) and Duke (Jan. 7).
Tech has won its only game this season on an opponent’s home court, at Georgia on Nov. 15. The Jackets are 0-2 on neutral courts. Tech is 7-1 at home this season, with the only loss coming to Dayton on Nov. 20.
What team besides Ole Miss (North Carolina A&T, Mississippi Valley State and Dayton) has the most common opponents with Georgia Tech on its non-conference schedule? IPFW (Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne) of the Summit League, which is 9-4 this season. The Mastodons lost to Dayton by 1, lost to Illinois by 2, and defeated Kennesaw State by 10.
Tech’s three losses have come to teams with a combined record of 21-7 and RPI rankings of 25, 40 and 46 (CBS). Illinois had an RPI rank of 18 at the time of the Dec. 3 game and is currently No. 45.
Series vs. Vanderbilt
Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt are meeting for the 72nd time Saturday, the first of a two-game series in which the Commodores will return the trip next season. Vandy leads the series, which dates back to 1914, 38-33.
Vanderbilt is Tech’s third most-common opponent outside the Atlantic Coast Conference, behind Georgia (190 meetings) and Auburn (114). The teams met 14 times prior to the formation of the Southeastern Conference (Tech won nine), 52 times as SEC brethren (Vanderbilt won 31 of those) and five times since Tech left the conference (Tech leads 3-2 in those games).
The teams engaged in a four-game series from the 2005-06 season through the 2008-09 season, each team winning twice, both times on its home court. The only other time the teams have met since Tech left the SEC was an 86-77 overtime victory at the Georgia Dome on Dec. 18, 1993, the only time both teams were ranked in the top 25 when they played.
The last meeting was a 63-51 Tech victory Dec. 6, 2008 in Atlanta in which the Yellow Jackets got a team-high 18 points from current New York Knick Iman Shumpert. The rest of the Tech starting lineup in that game included four players currently playing professionally overseas – Gani Lawal, Zachery Peacock, Alade Aminu and Maurice Miller. Vandy captured a 92-79 win in Nashville in the last meeting at Memorial Gym in 2007.
In Nashville, the Commodores have a 25-8 advantage over Tech, and a 13-1 record against the Yellow Jackets in 60-year-old Memorial Gymnasium. Tech’s only win in the building occurred on Feb. 28, 1959, and Vandy has won the last seven meetings there. Tech was led in that 1959 victory by Terry Randall with 25 points, Bud Blemker with 20, and 16 points from sophomore and future All-American Roger Kaiser.
Tech defeated Vanderbilt all three times the teams met in the SEC Tournament, including a 50-18 victory in 1938 which helped the Yellow Jackets win their only SEC title.
Tech coach Brian Gregory faced Vanderbilt twice at head coach at Dayton, and the Commodores won both, including a 90-74 win in Nashville on Dec. 29, 2004.
About Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its third year under head coach Brian Gregory. The Yellow Jackets have been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships, played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004).