March 2, 2011
ATLANTA – Looking to close out the regular season on a high note, Georgia Tech prepares for a couple of rematches this week, visiting Wake Forest for an 8 p.m. game Thursday night at the Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C., then finishing the schedule at home Sunday against Miami (2:30 p.m.). Both games will be regionally-televised on the ACC Network (WATL-TV in Atlanta).
Tech (11-17, 3-11 ACC) is looking to snap an eight-game conference losing streak which has dropped the Yellow Jackets to 11th place in the ACC standings. Tech has a two-game lead on Wake Forest, a team the Yellow Jackets defeated on Jan. 19 in Atlanta, 74-39. The Jackets are two games behind a group of three teams at 5-9 (Miami, NC State and Virginia).
If it remains the 11th seed, the most likely scenario at this point, the Yellow Jackets would open the ACC Tournament at 9 p.m. next Thursday against the No. 6 seed.
Tech leads the ACC in turnovers forced (16.4 per game) and steals (9.1 per game), but has averaged just 62.8 points and shot just 37.2 percent during its last nine games (including a non-conference win over Chattanooga).
The Jackets are led by All-ACC candidate Iman Shumpert, a 6-5 guard from Oak Park, Ill., who is bidding to become the fourth player in ACC history to lead his team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals. He has averaged nearly 20 points a game over his last 13 games. The Jackets remain without third-leading scorer Brian Oliver, who is not expected back before the ACC Tournament due to a fractured left thumb.
Head coach Paul Hewitt’s team, which returned two starters and eight letterwinners from a team that reached the championship game in last year’s ACC Tournament and won their first-round game in the NCAA Tournament, is one of the youngest in the ACC, with freshmen and sophomores making 88 of 140 possible starts and playing around 70 percent of the minutes.
Wake Forest (8-21. 1-13 ACC) has lost eight straight games, and its only victory in conference play occurred at home against Virginia (76-71) on Jan. 29. The Demon Deacons are 7-11 at home overall.
Tech set a school record for largest margin of victory in an ACC game and its largest margin in the history of the series in the teams’ first meeting on Jan. 19. But the Yellow Jackets are just 5-16 against Wake Forest at the Joel Coliseum and have not won there since the 2007-08 season.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (11-17, 3-11 ACC) vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-21, 1-13 ACC)
Date: Thursday, March 3, 2011
Tipoff: 8 p.m. Eastern time
Site: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum (capacity 14,407), Winston-Salem, N.C.
Television: ACC Network – Bob Rathbun, play-by-play; Mike Gminski, color
Radio: Georgia Tech Sports Network from IMG College, live on flagship station WQXI-AM (790 the Zone) and WYAY-FM (106.7) – Wes Durham, play-by-play; Randy Waters, color.
Satellite Radio: Sirius Ch. 214, XM Ch. 190 (Wake Forest broadcast)
Tech Record Breakdown: 9-6 at home, 0-10 on the road, 2-1 neutral
Series History: Wake Forest leads, 36-34 (16-5 at Joel Coliseum)
Series History – Tech vs. Wake Forest
> The Yellow Jackets have won five of the last seven meetings, including a 74-39 win on Jan. 19 in Atlanta that was the largest margin of victory for Tech ever in an ACC game and the largest in the series. Tech now trails the overall series, 36-34.
> Tech is 23-9 in games played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, winning each of the last seven meetings in the building.
> The home team has won 28 of the last 36 regular-season games in the series, with Wake Forest winning four times in Atlanta during that span, and Tech winning four times in Winston-Salem.
> Tech has lost 10 of the last 12 meetings at the Joel Coliseum, and is just 5-16 in the building. Tech is 9-23 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 31-25 against Wake Forest since 1985, including 12 straight victories from 1985-91.
> Tech is 11-12 against Wake Forest under head coach Paul Hewitt, and 12 of the 22 meetings have been decided by fewer than 10 points (four in overtime).
First Meeting vs. Wake Forest
Jan. 19 in Atlanta – Glen Rice Jr. scored 21 points, Iman Shumpert had 20, and Georgia Tech cruised to its biggest win ever in the Atlantic Coast Conference, beating Wake Forest 74-39.
The Yellow Jackets (9-8, 2-2) didn’t have a letdown coming off a 78-58 win over North Carolina. They led by as many as 42 and eclipsed their previous mark for largest conference win, a 31-point blowout of Florida State in 2002.
Wake Forest (7-12, 0-4) lost for the eighth time in nine games and hasn’t come close in ACC play, losing by an average of 26 points. The Demon Deacons made 14 of 54 shots (26 percent) from the field, 9 of 26 (35 percent) at the foul line and had no one in double figures.
Georgia Tech hardly tried to run it up, clearing the bench and scoring its final points with 5:27 remaining.