Nov. 7, 2013
THE FLATS – With five of its top six scorers back and ready to take another step forward, Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team opens its third season under head coach Brian Gregory at 7:30 p.m. Friday night against Presbyterian College at McCamish Pavilion. Tickets are available for the game for $15 and available at the main ticket windows on the 10th Street side of the arena beginning at 6:30 p.m. Radio coverage of the game will be provided by the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network and can be heard in Atlanta on WYAY-FM (106.7).
Tech returns four starters – center Daniel Miller, big forward Robert Carter, Jr., and wings Marcus Georges-Hunt and Chris Bolden – from a team that posted a 16-15 overall record last season and went 6-12 to tie for ninth place in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The only starter and the top scorer gone from last year’s team is senior point guard Mfon Udofia, who graduated in the summer.
Presbyterian begins its second season as a full-fledged Division I basketball program and its 25th season under head coach Gregg Nibert after posting an 8-24 mark a year ago. The Blue Hose return one starter from last year’s team and have seven newcomers.
The Yellow Jackets turn around and host Delaware State at 7 p.m. Monday night. Friday night’s game is the first of three straight road games to begin the season for Presbyterian, which visits The Citadel Tuesday and Wake Forest next Friday. Parking for Friday’s Double-header
Friday’s men’s basketball game with Presbyterian is the nightcap of a double-header involving Georgia Tech’s women’s team, which will host Coppin State at 5 p.m. Some parking information for patrons:
Parking at the Georgia Tech Family Housing (free parking) will open to the public at 4 p.m. Parking will be available in Peters Parking Deck (4th and Fowler Streets), State Street Deck (10th Street at State Street) and the Centergy Deck (across I-75/85 via Fifth Street) will open at 5 p.m.
One for 200
Georgia Tech head coach Brian Gregory is one win away from 200 for his head coaching career. The third-year Yellow Jacket skipper is 27-35 at Tech after posting a 172-94 mark in eight seasons as the head man at Dayton.
Games of November Remembered
Friday night’s game against Presbyterian is significant because it will be the earliest calendar date that Georgia Tech has ever played a regular-season basketball game. It falls one day earlier than last year’s opener against Tulane, and Tech’s season opener of the 2007-08 season against UNC Greensboro, which both fell on Nov. 9.
Friday’s game is the first of eight scheduled games for the Yellow Jackets in the month of November, an all-time high. Tech previously played seven games in November in the 2011-12, 2010-11 and 2006-07 seasons.
A check of Tech’s all-time scores and accounting for the number of games it has played in November provides a glimpse into the gradual lengthening of the college basketball season over time. In three seasons under Gregory, Tech has averaged 6.9 November games. Tech averaged 4.9 in 11 seasons under Paul Hewitt, with a low of two in the 2002-03 season. Tech averaged 2.5 games in November in 19 seasons under Bobby Cremins, including NONE in the 1992-93 season, and 1.3 games in November in eight seasons under Dwane Morrison. Whack Hyder’s 22 Tech teams played a TOTAL of four November games.
Tech’s first November game was played Nov. 30, 1956, also the first game ever played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, and resulted in a 71-61 loss to Duke. The Jackets are 95-34 all-time in November, including an 8-3 mark under Gregory.
Sophomore Robert Carter, Jr., led four Yellow Jackets in double figures as Georgia Tech rolled to a 90-53 victory over Young Harris College in an exhibition game last Friday night.
Carter poured in 13 on 5-of-6 shooting and had six rebounds, while senior Daniel Miller added 12 points (6-of-7 shooting) with eight rebounds and three steals. Tennessee transfer, senior Trae Golden scored 12 and junior Stacey Poole, Jr., chipped in 10.
Freshman Quinton Stephens was impressive in his debut, scoring nine points and swiping a game-high 16 rebounds, with three blocks and two assists in 19 minutes. Fellow freshman Travis Jorgenson dished out a game-high seven assists.
Young Harris, which competes in the Division II Peach Belt Conference, scored the game’s first basket on a layup from Herdie Lawrence and Isiah Johnson nailed a three to pull the Mountain Lions within 8-7 at the 15:55 mark, but it was all Jackets after that.
Tech embarked on a 33-7 run following Johnson’s three. Sophomore Marcus Georges-Hunt, who finished with nine points and four boards in 15 minutes of action, converted a three-point play to help trigger the run and then threw down a fast-break dunk from sophomore Solomon Poole that made it 32-13 at 8:36.
The Jackets led 52-26 at the half, and expanded the margin to as many as 46 points (74-28) midway through the second half.
Series vs. Presbyterian
Georgia Tech has won all eight previous meetings with Presbyterian in a series that dates back to 1975, including a 52-38 win over the Blue Hose in the second game of last season at McCamish Pavilion.
The first seven meetings all took place at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, the first being an 89-84 overtime victory on Jan. 24, 1975. The closest game in terms of point differential was a 64-61 win on Dec. 17, 1980, and the Blue Hose were Tech’s first opponent under head coach Bobby Cremins, an 82-66 Jacket win on Nov. 30, 1981.