Nov. 28, 2013
Brooklyn, N.Y. – With some momentum built on consecutive wins over North Carolina A&T and Mississippi Valley State this week, Georgia Tech (5-1) travels to Brooklyn, N.Y., to face undefeated Mississippi (4-0) Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. in the Barclays Center Classic.
Penn State (5-1) and St. John’s (4-1) face off in the other semifinal game at 2 p.m. Friday. The winners meet for the title at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, while the losers meet for third place at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Both of Tech’s games will be televised on the NBC Sports Network. Radio coverage of the games will be provided by the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network and can be heard in Atlanta on WYAY-FM (106.7) Friday and WCNN-AM (680 the Fan) Saturday. The Tech broadcast can be heard nationally on Sirius satellite radio channel 158 and XM channel 192.
Bouncing back from a homecourt loss to Dayton on Nov. 20, Tech defeated North Carolina A&T, 78-71, and MVSU, 76-59, at home this week.
The Jackets are averaging 77 points per game and hitting 47 percent of their shots from the floor so far. Tech also has out-rebounded each opponent by an average of 9.0 per game and demonstrated vast improvement at the free throw line (70.8 pct.) over last year.
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.
Mississippi has played one road game, escaping with a 72-70 win at Coastal Carolina on Nov. 16. The Rebels destroyed North Carolina A&T (84-50) and Mississippi Valley State (111-82), opponents assigned to both Ole Miss and Tech as part of the Barclays Center Classic event.
Following this weekend’s action, Tech returns home to face Illinois Tuesday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at McCamish Pavilion, the first of three straight home games for the Yellow Jackets.
Fast Break Points
Tech and Mississippi are meeting for the first time since the Yellow Jackets were members of the Southeastern Conference. The last meeting took place in 1964 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
Friday marks the second time this season that Tech has faced a head coach who is a former NC State player. Andy Kennedy played for Jim Valvano during the 1986-87 season, and the teams split two games. The Jackets lost to Dayton, coached by former Wolfpack player Archie Miller, on Nov. 20.
Tech last played in the New York area on Dec. 29, 2011, with a 72-66 loss at Fordham. This weekend marks Tech’s tournament in the New York area since the 2003 Pre-Season NIT, which it won. The Yellow Jackets are no strangers to the Big Apple. however, having participated in seven holiday events in New York since 1986. Tech has played in three Pre-Season NIT events and four Holiday Festivals at Madison Square Garden.
Tech is 39-25 in holiday (Thanksgiving and Christmas) events away from Atlanta since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference, winning five. In Thanksgiving week events since 2006, when Tech went to the Maui Invitational, the Yellow Jackets are 10-8.
Tech has played away from home once in its first six games, an 80-71 win at Georgia on Nov. 15.
A win for Tech Friday would give the Yellow Jackets’ their first 6-1 start since the 2009-10 season (same for 7-1 and 8-1).
Friday’s game against Mississippi marks the 100th game and start of Miller’s career at Tech. The Loganville, Ga., senior has never missed a game in his career, and is second among active ACC players in games played and starts (Travis McKie of Wake Forest is first).
Six former Georgia Tech players have suited up for the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, the NBA team that plays in the Barclays Center: Kenny Anderson (1991-95), Stephon Marbury (1999-2001), Travis Best (2005), Derrick Favors (2011), Mario West (2011), Anthony Morrow (2011-12).
Series vs. Barclays Opponents
Mississippi – From its time as a member of the Southeastern Conference, Tech played Mississippi 19 times, winning 11, between 1926 and 1964. This will be the teams’ first meeting on a neutral floor since the 1939 SEC Tournament in Knoxville, Tenn.
Penn State – The Yellow Jackets are 1-2 against Penn State, including a post-season NIT loss in 1998 and a split of two ACC-Big Ten Challenge contests in 2006 and 2008. Each of those games were played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum in Atlanta.
St. John’s – Tech and St. John’s have split eight previous meetings, seven of them on neutral floors. The most recent meeting took place at Alexander Memorial Coliseum in Dec. 21, 2003, a 79-66 Tech win. Three of those meetings took place in the aforementioned Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden. The first meeting took place in the quarterfinals of the Post-Season NIT in 1970, also at Madison Square Garden, with the Red Storm winning 56-55.
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).