Dec. 21, 2012
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech, which ran its homecourt record to 5-0 with a 75-41 victory over Alabama State Monday night, continues its seven-game homestand against The Citadel at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon at McCamish Pavilion.
Tech (7-2) is looking to continue its best start since the 2009-10 season with a victory against the Bulldogs. The Yellow Jackets’ two losses have come to California, which was undefeated at the time and went on to win the DirecTV Classic, and undefeated and 10th-ranked Illinois on the road.
Saturday’s game will be televised on the ACC’s Regional Sports Cable network (RSN) and can be seen in the Southeast on Fox Sports South. The game also can be heard over the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network (790 AM, 106.7 FM in Atlanta), as well as satellite radio on Sirius Ch. 93 and XM Ch. 191. It is also available online at ESPN3 outside the ACC footprint.
Tech, in its second season under head coach Brian Gregory, has won its last three games, matching the season-opening 3-0 start and the Yellow Jackets’ longest winning streak of early December last season.
The Citadel is 3-6 in its third season under head coach Chuck Driesell, son of the legendary coach Lefty Driesell, and comes to Atlanta having lost five straight games following a 3-1 start, including a 97-57 loss at St. Bonaventure Wednesday night.
Tech takes a break for the Christmas holiday following Saturday’s game, resuming its homestand against Fordham at 7 p.m. on Dec. 29.
Every player who suited up for Georgia Tech in its first eight games is from the state of Georgia, seven of those from the Atlanta metropolitan area. That changed Monday night when freshman Solomon Poole (Jacksonville, Fla.) took the floor at McCamish Pavilion for the final six minutes of Tech’s 75-41 win over Alabama State.
His older brother, Stacey, Jr., became eligible to play for Tech this week when fall semester grades became official and will be in uniform for Saturday’s game.
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 Thursday, three wins later, Tech’s RPI rank was No. 74 in that service, and its strength of schedule was No. 179.
Tech’s two losses have come to teams with a combined record of 19-3 (as of Dec. 19).
Tech’s three games immediately before Georgia were played against teams either ranked in the nation’s top 25 or are receiving votes. California and Saint Mary’s were Tech’s final two opponents in the DirecTV Classic, and Illinois jumped into the top 25 following its victory in the Maui Invitational.
Tech has defeated its in-state rival, Georgia, in consecutive years for the first time since winning three straight from 1992-94.
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.
The Yellow Jackets’ third-place finish in the DirecTV Classic was their best finish in a holiday tournament since finishing third in the 2007 Paradise Jam.
Tech’s most frequent starting lineup this season (eight of nine 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.
Tech has not played a game closer than seven points. Its seven wins have come by an average of 15.4 points, its two losses by 12.0 points.
Tech has held its opponents to 55.0 points per game, second-best in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets have held two opponents under 40 points.
Tech’s opponents have shot 36.4 percent from the floor collectively, third-best figure in the ACC. California had the best success rate at 44.2 percent.
Series Notes vs. The Citadel
Georgia Tech and The Citadel are playing for the sixth time, and the first time since the 1998-99 season, when the Yellow Jackets took a 73-50 victory at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
Tech has won all five of the previous meetings, dating back to a 41-35 win in Charleston on Dec. 26, 1928.
The middle three meetings all took place within a 12-month period in 1976 and 1977, two at Alexander Memorial Coliseum and one in Charleston.
Georgia Tech is 93-18 all-time against current members of the Southern Conference, and has one more meeting against the league on this year’s schedule – Chattanooga on Jan. 2.
Tech head coach Brian Gregory has never faced The Citadel as a head coach.