Jan. 1, 2013
THE FLATS – Riding its longest winning streak since the 2009-10 season, Georgia Tech opens the New Year by hosting Chattanooga at 7 p.m. Wednesday evening at McCamish Pavilion. It is the final non-conference game of the 2012-13 season for the Yellow Jackets.
Tech (9-2) has won its last five games, defeating the last three by an average of 30.3 points, and looks to continue its best start in three years with a win over the Mocs. The Yellow Jackets’ two losses have come to California, which was undefeated at the time and went on to win the DirecTV Classic, and to 12th-ranked Illinois on the road.
Wednesday’s game can be heard over the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network (790 AM, 106.7 FM in Atlanta), and is also available online at ESPN3.
Tech, in its second season under head coach Brian Gregory, has won five straight games for the first time since early in the 2009-10 season and also has its best 11-game record since that season. That edition of the Jackets went 12-2 in non-conference play, reached the finals of the ACC Tournament and the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Chattanooga (5-8) comes to Atlanta for the first time since the 2010-11 season with consecutive wins over Reinhardt, High Point and Utah Valley after a 2-8 start. The Mocs have played two other major conference opponents, dropping a 69-55 decision at Kansas on Nov. 15 and an 80-67 contest at LSU on Dec. 11.
Tech closes out its seven-game homestand and opens Atlantic Coast Conference play Saturday with a 2:30 p.m. regionally-televised game against Miami.
Tech has won five straight games and is off to its best start since the 2009-10 season, in which the Yellow Jackets won seven in a row on their way to an 11-2 start.
Tech is 7-0 at home in its first season in McCamish Pavilion and has averaged 7,248 in attendance with two sellouts.
Tech has won its last three games by 25 or more points, the first time that has happened since the 2006-07 season (Elon, Jackson State, Georgia State).
Tech has held its last three opponents under 50 points (41 each to Alabama State and The Citadel, 48 to Fordham). It is the first time the Yellow Jackets have held three consecutive opponents under 50 points since the 1959-60 season (Kentucky, Alabama, Auburn).
You have to go all the way back to the beginning of the 1948-49 season to find the last time four consecutive Tech foes failed to score 50 points against the Jackets (Birmingham Southern, Howard College, Chattanooga, Furman).
Tech also has held each of those three opponents under 30 percent from the floor (26.1 pct. collectively).
Tech ranks among the nation’s top 10 in scoring yield (6th, 53.1 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (7th, 34.5 pct.) for the season, second in the ACC in both categories. California’s 44.2 percent is the best against Tech this year.
Tech has not played a game closer than seven points. Its seven wins have come by an average of 18.3 points, its two losses by 12.0 points.
Tech was listed No. 50 in CBSSports.com’s RPI ranking after its first six games with an overall strength of schedule ranked No. 60. As of Monday, five consecutive wins later, Tech’s RPI rank was No. 115 in that service, and its strength of schedule was No. 292. Tech’s highest RPI rank is 59th (Kenpom.com).
Tech’s two losses have come to teams with a combined record of 21-5 (as of Dec. 31).
In both of Tech’s losses, the Yellow Jackets held leads well into the second half. Tech led Cal by three at the 15:33 mark, and Illinois by four with 7:15 left.
Tech’s most frequent starting lineup this season (10 of 11 games) has been Mfon Udofia and Brandon Reed at the guards, Marcus Georges-Hunt and Robert Carter, Jr., at the forwards and Daniel Miller at center. Jason Morris started in place of Georges-Hunt against California.
Series Notes vs. Chattanooga
Georgia Tech and Chattanooga are playing for the 18th time in a series that dates back to the 1913-14 season. Tech leads 15-2 all-time, having won the last 13 in a row. Both losses occurred in the 1920s.
The teams are meeting for the third time in the last five seasons. The Yellow Jackets took a 95-64 win at McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga on Dec. 14, 2009, and a 62-53 decision at Alexander Memorial Coliseum on Feb. 16, 2011.
Tech’s current players who played in the last meeting against Chattanooga combined for four points (Kammeon Holsey 2, Daniel Miller 1, Jason Morris 0, Mfon Udofia 1). No current UTC player appeared in that game.
Tech and UTC met 11 times between 1914 and 1950, six times from 1984 to the present. In the six meetings since 1984, the closest game has been seven points, an 81-74 win at Chattanooga in 1992.
This is Tech’s second meeting against a team from the Southern Conference this season. The Yellow Jackets defeated The Citadel, 73-41, on Dec. 22. Tech is 92-18 all-time against teams presently in the Southern Conference.
Tech head coach Brian Gregory has never faced Chattanooga as a head coach.