Feb. 13, 2013
THE FLATS – Looking to even the season series and begin a slate of three games in six days, Georgia Tech is home to face Clemson in the teams’ second meeting this season, a regionally televised game that tips off at 7 p.m. Thursday night at McCamish Pavilion.
Tech (13-9, 3-7 ACC) has won three of its last five games, including a 64-54 win Saturday at Virginia Tech, which snapped a four-game losing streak in the series and was the Yellow Jackets’ first-ever win in Blacksburg. Tech has improved since beginning the ACC slate with five straight losses, outscoring its last five opponents by more than six points a game and holding them to 39.5-percent shooting from the floor.
Thursday’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.
Clemson (12-11, 4-7 ACC) has lost three straight games since the tigers and Jackets first met at Littlejohn Coliseum on Jan. 29 (a 63-60 Clemson win), including a last-second 58-57 homecourt loss to NC State Sunday. The Tigers are 0-5 on the road in the ACC.
Tech, 2-3 at home in the ACC, has a quick 43-hour turnaround following Thursday night’s game to prepare for a road game at Wake Forest (2 p.m. Saturday), then comes back home to host North Carolina at 9 p.m. Tuesday night.
The Yellow Jackets look to snap a six-game losing streak in the series with Clemson, which has defeated Tech on its last two trips to Atlanta. Tech’s last win in the series was a 66-64 decision at Alexander Memorial Coliseum on Jan. 19, 2010. Both teams were ranked in the nation’s top 20 at the time.
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 five games ahead of its 22-game record a year ago.
Tech has led at the half in six of its 10 ACC games. Tech’s biggest halftime lead has been 23 over Wake Forest, and its largest deficit was 10 to Miami. Tech is 4-4 this season overall when it has trailed at the half.
Three of Tech’s seven conference losses have come by five points or less – 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 fourth in the ACC in both categories.
Tech’s loss at North Carolina is the only game this season in which the Yellow Jackets neither led, nor were tied past opening tip. 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 (17), Duke (1) and North Carolina (36). The Yellow Jackets have lost only twice to teams outside the top 100.
Tech’s non-conference losses came to teams with a combined 30-17 record. Illinois is No. 26 in the current CBS RPI rankings, while California is No. 59. Saint Mary’s (20-4) has the best overall record among the opponents Tech has beaten.
After getting outrebounded in its first three ACC games by an average of 9.3, Tech has outrebounded Duke, North Carolina, Clemson, Virginia and Virginia Tech, and tied Wake Forest, on the boards in its last seven games.
Tech is 10-3 at home in its first season in McCamish Pavilion and has averaged 7,244 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 22-game start since the 2009-10 season, in which the Yellow Jackets won seven in a row on their way to a 16-6 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. Clemson
This is the oldest and longest-running series the Yellow Jackets have with an ACC member. The 121 all-time meetings are 31 more than Tech has played with any other ACC member. The series dates back to the 1912-13 season, when John Heisman coached the Tech basketball team.
Clemson has been one of two permanent home-and-away opponents on Tech’s schedule each year (Wake Forest is the other) since the ACC expanded to 12 schools, and will be the only one beginning with the 2012-13 season.
Clemson has won 12 of the last 15 meetings in the series, including the last six in a row. The Yellow Jackets trail 39-31 to the Tigers since joining the ACC.
The Tigers won the teams’ earlier meeting this year, 63-60, on Jan, 29 at Littlejohn Coliseum, as well as the last meeting in Atlanta, 56-37, on Feb. 21, 2012 at Philips Arena. Tech’s 37 points in the second meeting was its fewest in any game of the series since the Jackets joined the ACC.
Tech actually won four of the first five meetings with Clemson at Littlejohn Coliseum under Paul Hewitt, but the Tigers have won the last eight in a row there.
Tech is just 16-40 all-time in games played at Clemson, including an 8-33 mark in Littlejohn Coliseum.
Tech was Clemson’s first opponent in Littlejohn Coliseum back on Nov. 30, 1968. The Tigers won, 76-72.
Tech’s 111-108 win against the Tigers at Littlejohn Coliseum on Jan. 24, 2001 is the highest-scoring regulation game Tech has had with any ACC opponent. The Jackets defeated Florida State by the same score in Tallahassee (in two OTs) on Feb. 11, 1999, and lost to Wake Forest in the 2007 ACC Tournament, 114-112 in double-overtime.
Tech has an record of 40-22 against the Tigers at home, including a 27-15 record at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The Jackets have won 21 of 29 against the Tigers at home since 1983.
Clemson head coach Brad Brownell is 5-0 vs. Tech, while Brian Gregory is 0-3 vs. Clemson.
The Yellow Jackets have won all three ACC Tournament meetings with the Tigers, including a 69-61 semi-final decision on the way to the 1993 conference title in Charlotte.