Feb. 21, 2009
ATLANTA – Looking to even the season series and stop a five-game losing streak, Georgia Tech hosts 13th-ranked Clemson in a regionally-televised Atlantic Coast Conference game Sunday afternoon at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Tickets to the game are $30 and can be purchased at gate 1 beginning at 11:30 a.m.
The game is being televised regionally over the ACC-Raycom Sports Network, and can be seen in Atlanta on WATL-TV (Ch. 36). For a list of all affiliates carrying the game, click here.
Radio coverage is provided by the Georgia Tech-ISP Sports Network, and can be heard locally on flagship station WQXI-AM (790) and WTSH-FM (107.1). The Tech broadcast also can be heard nationally on XM Satellite Radio Ch. 190.
Tech (10-15 overall, 1-11 ACC), has lost 10 of its last 11 games, the lone victory a 76-74 triumph over No. 6 Wake Forest on Jan. 31. The Yellow Jackets, three games behind Virginia in the loss column at the bottom of the ACC standings, have dropped their last two games by wide margins to NC State (86-65 at home) and Wake Forest (87-69 on the road).
Clemson (21-4, 7-4 ACC), which captured a 73-59 win over Tech in Clemson on Jan. 25, is locked in a battle for second place in the ACC, tied with Wake Forest, Duke and Florida State two games behind North Carolina. The Tigers have won four of six games since the teams’ Jan. 25 meeting, including a 93-64 rout of Maryland on Tuesday.
The Tigers are the second of three consecutive top-25 teams the Jackets will play, concluding with No. 3 North Carolina on Feb. 28. Tech is 1-3 against top-25 teams this year, 29-57 against them under head coach Paul Hewitt.
Tech has had success against the Tigers at home traditionally, defeating Clemson in the last two meetings at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The Jackets have won nine of the last 11 meetings on its home floor and 20 of the last 26. Last year’s 80-75 Tech win was the closest final score in the last 10 games played in Atlanta, dating back to a 66-62 Tech win in January of 1999.
After having its first 10 conference games this season decided by an average of 5.6 points, Tech has lost its last two games by nearly 20 points each. Tech had been one of the ACC’s top defensive teams, giving up an ACC-low 38.9 percent shooting from the floor in its first 10 conference games, but NC State and Wake Forest combined to connect on 59.2 percent of their field goal tries.
Three-Guard Lineup Produces Mixed Results
It allowed junior Zachery Peacock, who has played the small forward position for most of this season, to return to the strong forward position where he is most effective. Until Jan. 25, Tech started two guards along with Peacock, Aminu and sophomore Gani Lawal in the front court.
The alignment has worked well for Aminu, not so well for Miller, who was replaced in the starting five for the Wake Forest game by walk-on Nick Foreman.
Miller, a 6-1 sophomore averaging 4.4 points and 3.5 assists in ACC games, has struggled the entire season, suffering two concussions and missing seven games with a broken nose. Foreman, a 6-3 freshman from Bellaire, Texas, averaging 1.8 points per game, has provided energy and hustle on the defensive end, and will get this second start Sunday against Clemson.
For Aminu’s part, the 6-10 senior has averaged 10.6 points and 8.1 rebounds in seven games coming off the bench. He has shot 47.7 percent from the floor and blocked 14 shots. He has reached double figures in five of the seven games.
Quick Look at Tech
Tech has relied heavily on post players Gani Lawal (15.3 ppg, 10.0 rpg), Alade Aminu (11.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg) and Zachery Peacock (10.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg), who rank 1-2-5 on the team in scoring and 1-2-3 in rebounding. Lawal leads the ACC in rebounding and is third in field goal percentage, while Aminu ranks fourth in rebounding and fifth in field goal percentage.
Freshman Iman Shumpert, who will start at the point for the second straight game Sunday, is Tech’s third-leading scorer overall (11.7 ppg) and No. 2 in conference games (12.7 ppg). Tech’s top shooting threat (34.4 pct. from three-point range) among its guards, Shumpert ranks third in the ACC and 38th nationally in assists with 5.2 per game.
Senior Lewis Clinch has started the last 18 games after missing the first seven games due to academic ineligibility. He has scored in double digits in 12 of the 18, averaging 12.2 points and 3.1 assists a game, but he struggled with his outside shot, hitting just 28.1 percent from three-point range.
Freshman Nick Foreman, a walk-on who has played in every game this season because of his defensive abilities, made his first start Wednesday at Wake Forest and will start again Sunday at the other guard spot.
Sophomore Moe Miller, who averages 5.6 points and 4.2 assists per game, and sophomore Lance Storrs (4.4 ppg, 37.3 pct. from three-point range) are the key reserves in the backcourt. Brad Sheehan, a 7-foot sophomore averaging 2.7 points and 2.1 rebounds, is a key reserve in the post.
Series With Clemson
> Overall, Tech holds a 57-55 lead in a series that began in 1913. It is the oldest and longest-running series the Yellow Jackets have with an ACC member. The 112 all-time meetings are 28 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.
> Tech has an all-time record of 40-18 against the Tigers at home, including 26-13 record at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The Jackets have won the last two games between the two teams at home, nine of the last 11, and 20 of 26 against the Tigers at home since 1983.
> Clemson is 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.
> Clemson has won five of the last seven meetings in the series, and the Yellow Jackets trail 32-29 to the Tigers since joining the ACC.
> Tech and Clemson have split their season series 19 times since the 1982-83 season, and there has been a home-team-victory split 15 times. The home team has won 35 of the last 45 meetings.
> The Jackets swept the season series from the Tigers three times in six seasons under Paul Hewitt. Clemson last swept Tech in the 2005-06 season, and has done so only three times since the 1982-83 season.
> The Yellow Jackets have won 10 of the 17 games between the two teams since Paul Hewitt became Tech’s head coach, with a 6-2 record at home and a 4-5 mark at Clemson. Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell is 5-6 vs. Tech.
> 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 Players vs. Clemson
Alade Aminu – came off the bench for the first time this season after 18 starts in Jan. 25 game at Clemson, scored 12 points (5-10 FG), took 8 rebounds, played 21 minutes … 6.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 64.3 pct. FG in six career games vs. Tigers
Lewis Clinch – 6 points (2-10 FG, 1-5 3FG) in 31 minutes on Jan. 25 … 7.2 ppg, 35.1 pct. FG, 23.1 pct. on threes in five career games vs. Tigers
Nick Foreman – 2 points and 1 steal in 15 minutes in teams’ first meeting this year
Gani Lawal – 14 points (6-8 FG), 10 rebounds in Jan. 25 game at Clemson … 11.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 61.9 pct. FG in three career games vs. Tigers
Maurice Miller – made his first start since early in the season in Jan. 25 game at Clemson, 0 points (0-6 FG), 2 assists in 26 minutes … 3.3 ppg (2-13 FG), 3.0 apg in three career meetings vs. Tigers
Zachery Peacock – 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals in Jan. 25 game at Clemson … 7.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 38.2 pct. FG in five career games vs. Tigers
Brad Sheehan – 4 points, 2 rebounds in 4 minutes in Jan. 25 game at Clemson … scoreless in one 2008 meeting
Iman Shumpert – 9 points, 5 assists, 3 steals in 35 minutes in Jan. 25 meeting at Clemson
Lance Storrs – 2 points in 13 minutes in teams’ first meeting this year … scoreless in two games (11 minutes) last year