Feb. 15, 2013
THE FLATS – Looking to sweep the season series and earn its second road win in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Georgia Tech travels to Winston-Salem, N.C., to take on Wake Forest in the teams’ second meeting this season, a regionally televised game that tips off at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Tech (13-10, 3-8 ACC) has split its last six games since an 0-5 start to the conference schedule, and the Yellow Jackets go to Winston-Salem on the heels of a 56-53 home-court loss to Clemson Thursday night. The Wake Forest game is Tech’s second in a 43-hour period.
Saturday’s game can be heard over the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network (790 AM, 106.7 FM in Atlanta), as well as satellite radio (Sirius Ch. 85, XM Ch. 85). The game is being televised on the ACC’s regional cable network, including Fox Sports South in Atlanta, and is also available online via ESPN3 outside the ACC footprint.
Wake Forest (11-13, 4-8 ACC) has dropped seven of its last nine games, and four of five since its first meeting with Tech in Atlanta. The Demon Deacons crushed Florida State (71-46) last Saturday at home, but then lost 66-63 at Boston College Wednesday night. The Demon Deacons are 4-1 at home in ACC play, including victories over Virginia and NC State.
Tech, which earned its first ACC road win of the season last Saturday at Virginia Tech, completes a stretch of three games in six days when it hosts North Carolina at 9 p.m. Tuesday night.
With a win over Wake Forest, Georgia Tech would accomplish its first season sweep of an ACC opponent since the 2010-11 season. The opponent then was Wake Forest, whom Tech defeated 74-39 at home and 80-54 in Winston-Salem.
A win Saturday would give Tech four conference victories, matching last season’s total.
A win Saturday would give Tech two road wins in the ACC for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
Tech has a one-day prep for a game twice this season. The UVA and FSU games were both at home and had tip times 54 hours apart. Tech has 43 hours between Thursday night’s tip with Clemson and its game Saturday at Wake Forest.
Tech is on the road for four of the last five weekends of the season. The Yellow Jackets’ only weekend home game the rest of the year is Mar. 3 vs. NC State.
Georgia Tech is four games ahead of its 23-game record a year ago.
Tech has led at the half in six of its 11 ACC games. Tech’s biggest halftime lead has been 23 over Wake Forest, and its largest deficit was 10 to Miami. Tech is 4-5 this season overall when it has trailed at the half.
Four of Tech’s eight conference losses have come by five points or less – 56-53 to Clemson, 56-54 to Florida State, 63-60 at Clemson and 70-65 (in overtime) to Virginia Tech.
Tech continues to be ranked high in the nation in scoring defense (34th) and field goal percentage defense (19th), and ranks third and fourth, respectively, in the ACC in those categories.
Tech has never led in two games this season, Thursday night against Clemson (there was one tie, 30-30 in the second half), and Jan. 23 at North Carolina (no lead, no tie). Tech has led wire-to-wire in three games – Georgia, The Citadel and Wake Forest.
Five of Tech’s losses this year have come against teams ranked in the top 50 of the CBSSports.com RPI rankings including ACC foes Miami (2), NC State (18), Duke (1) and North Carolina (36). The Yellow Jackets have lost only three times to teams outside the top 100.
Tech’s non-conference losses came to teams with a combined 32-17 record. Illinois is No. 28 in the current CBS RPI rankings, while California is No. 57. Saint Mary’s (20-5, No. 52) has the best overall record and highest ranking among the opponents Tech has beaten.
After getting outrebounded in its first three ACC games by an average of 9.3, Tech has outrebounded six of the last eight teams it has played (one tie) by an average of 3.8 per game, including the last two by an average of 13.
Tech is 10-4 at home in its first season in McCamish Pavilion and has averaged 7,217 in attendance with two sellouts.
Tech has played just five true road games this season, four against teams ranked in the top 35 of the CBSSports.com RPI rankings top 25 – a 75-62 loss to No. 22 Illinois on Nov. 28, an 83-70 loss to No. 16 NC State on Jan. 9, a 73-57 loss at No. 1 Duke on Jan. 17 and a 79-63 loss to No. 34 North Carolina on Jan. 23.
Tech still has its best 23-game start since the 2009-10 season, in which the Yellow Jackets won seven in a row on their way to a 17-6 start. Tech had won six straight this season before a Jan. 5 loss to Miami.
NC State is the only team to reach 80 points (83) against Tech this season and one of only two teams to shoot 50 percent from the floor.
Head coach Brian Gregory utilized seven different starting lineups last season. Two players – Kammeon Holsey and Daniel Miller – started every game. This year he has utilized three different lineups, and three players – Carter, Jr., Miller and Udofia – have started every game.
Tech’s lineup for 15 of the first 16 games had been Mfon Udofia and Brandon Reed at the guards, Marcus Georges-Hunt and Robert Carter, Jr., at the forwards and Daniel Miller at center. Chris Bolden replaced Reed in game 16 at Duke and has started the last seven games.
Series Notes vs. Wake Forest
The Yellow Jackets have won eight of the last 11 meetings, including an 82-62 victory over the Demon Deacons in the first meeting of the season at McCamish Pavilion.
That victory gave Tech a 36-35 lead in games played since it became a member of the ACC and tied the all-time series at 37-37.
Tech made a sweep of the season series in 2010-11, setting school records in each game for margin of victory in an ACC game (74-39 at home on Jan. 19) and for margin of victory in an ACC road game (80-54 on Mar. 3).
Tech was 24-9 against Wake Forest in games played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, winning each of the last seven meetings in the building, and is 26-9 against the Demon Deacons in Atlanta.
The home team has won 31 of the last 40 regular-season games in the series, with Wake Forest winning four times in Atlanta during that span, and Tech winning five times in Winston-Salem.
Tech has lost 11 of the last 14 meetings at the Joel Coliseum, and is just 6-17 in the building. Tech is 10-24 against Wake Forest on the road, including a 2-3 mark in regular-season games played in Greensboro and a 2-4 mark in games played in Winston-Salem prior to the opening of Joel Coliseum.
Tech is 34-26 against Wake Forest since 1985, including 12 straight victories from 1985-91.
Wake Forest has won all four of its meetings with Georgia Tech in the ACC Tournament, including a 75-74 triumph in the 1996 championship game in Greensboro. Wake Forest took the 2007 first round meeting, winning 114-112 in double-overtime, the highest-scoring game in ACC Tournament history and the highest-scoring game for Tech involving an ACC opponent in its history.