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Tech Returns Home to Host Miami

Feb. 16, 2008

ATLANTA – Returning home after a three-game road swing, Georgia Tech plays its next two games at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, beginning with a 1 p.m. regionally-televised Atlantic Coast Conference contest Sunday against Miami. The Yellow Jackets play four of their next six games at home, where they are 4-5 this season overall, 1-3 in ACC games.

The game will be regionally televised on the ACC/Raycom television network, and will air in Atlanta on WATL-TV (Ch. 36).

Click here for a complete listing of affiliates carrying the game.

Radio coverage of the game is provided on the Georgia Tech/ISP Sports Network, and can be heard in Atlanta on WQXI-AM (790), WREK-FM (91.1) and WTSH-FM (107.1).

Tech, 11-12 for the season and 4-5 in the ACC, has won four of its last six ACC games since an 0-3 start, but dropped an 82-67 decision at Clemson Thursday night. The Jackets have lost three of their last four games, however, including a non-conference defeat at Connecticut a week ago, and remain alone in seventh place in the ACC standings (as of Friday).

At home, the Yellow Jackets are 1-3 in conference play, with the three losses coming by a TOTAL of five points. Tech is 5-6 on opponents’ home courts this season, 3-2 in ACC road games, the first time the Jackets have won as many conference road games since the Final Four season of 2003-04.

Miami, 16-7 overall and 3-6 in the ACC, meets the Yellow Jackets for the second time this season following a week off. The Hurricanes defeated Tech, 78-68, on Jan. 12 in Coral Gables following a nine-day break. UM snapped a three-game losing streak by winning at Virginia Tech, 74-71, on Feb. 9.

Tech has played a strong schedule, posting a schedule strength rank of No. 7 according to this week’s RPI rankings. The teams Tech lost to have a combined record of 211-79 (through Thursday’s games), including losses to six top-25 teams who have a combined mark of 122-24.

Series vs. Miami

> Miami has won the last three games against Georgia Tech to even the series at 4-4. The last two occurred in Coral Gables, but the Hurricanes also won the last meeting between the two teams in Atlanta, 70-53, in February of 2006. Tech had won four in a row prior to that.

> Earlier this season: In Coral Gables, James Dews scored 16 of his 20 points after intermission, while Miami shot 48 percent from the floor and captured a 78-68 victory at BankUnited Center. Tech forged a 12-point lead midway through the second half, but Miami went on an 11-0 run and took a two-point lead into the locker room at halftime.

> The teams met three times prior to Miami’s joining the ACC, most recently in December of 1997 as part of the Orange Bowl Classic doubleheader at Miami Arena, the Hurricanes’ home court until the team moved into the BankUnited Center. The Yellow Jackets, led that year by senior forward Matt Harpring, won that game, 69-61.

> Tech played Miami twice under former head coach Whack Hyder, losing the first-ever meeting in the series by 22 points in 1953, then taking a six-point homecourt victory in 1967. That was the only pre-ACC visit by the Hurricanes to Alexander Memorial Coliseum, and the 90-84 Tech win has been the highest scoring game in the brief series. Ted Tomasovich led the Yellow Jackets with 27 points.

> Tech coach Paul Hewitt is 2-3 against Miami, and Hurricanes head coach Frank Haith is 3-2 against the Yellow Jackets.

Quick Look at Tech

Georgia Tech’s starting lineup for the last nine games (beginning Jan. 12 at Miami) has included freshman Moe Miller at point guard and junior D’Andre Bell at one wing. Seniors Anthony Morrow (wing) and Jeremis Smith (big forward) have started all 23 games for the Yellow Jackets, while freshman Gani Lawal has started the last 16 games at center.

Miller, who replaced Matt Causey in the lineup, had started Tech’s first two games of the season before injuring his back in the Virgin Islands. Regardless of which player starts, Miller and Causey both play significant minutes at the point, combining to average 16.1 points and 7.4 assists in ACC games.

Despite playing only 18 minutes a game, the 6-0 Causey ranks eighth in the ACC in assists and assist-turnover ratio. Tech’s top scorer for four straight games in late January, Causey has averaged 10.9 points and 3.9 assists since moving to the bench. Miller, a 6-1 rookie from Memphis, Tenn., has accumulated 50 assists and just 21 turnovers in the last 14 games, and has averaged 5.8 points and 3.9 assists per game as a starter.

Morrow, a 6-5 guard from Charlotte, N.C., who is the Yellow Jackets’ top returning scorer from 2006-07, currently ranks 14th in the ACC with 14.3 points a game, 13.3 vs. the ACC. One of Tech’s best all-time three-point shooters with 232 for his career, Morrow has hit 43.5 percent from that distance this season.

Bell, a 6-5 junior, provides good physical defense on the perimeter and can score when needed (three double-figure games in ACC play). He averages 6.3 points for the season, 8.0 vs. the ACC, and has shot 49.5 percent from the floor. Bell started four games at point guard in Miller’s absence and now is playing primarily on the wing as Miller and Causey have developed into a solid tandem.

Smith, the team captain and a 6-8 forward from Fort Worth, Texas, is Tech’s third-leading scorer at 9.7 points per game and its leading rebounder at 7.0 per game (11th in the ACC). Smith has averaged 10.1 points and 7.4 rebounds in ACC games thus far, including two double-doubles.

Lawal, a 6-8 rookie from Riverdale, Ga., averages 7.4 points and 3.9 rebounds while leading the Jackets in field goal percentage at 60.0.

Backcourt reserves — Clinch, a 6-3 guard from Cordele, Ga., has reached double-digits in scoring in 14 games this year, including an average of 8.4 points in Tech’s last five games. He is Tech’s second-leading scorer at 10.7 points per game, but has been inconsistent in ACC games (7.3 ppg, 39.7 pct. FG). Six-foot-4 freshman Lance Storrs of Decatur, Ga., averaging 1.4 points per game, has begun to see more significant playing time off the bench in the last four games as an additional perimeter defender.

Frontcourt reserves — Hewitt can go to 6-8 sophomore Zack Peacock of Miami, Fla., and 6-10 junior Alade Aminu of Stone Mountain, Ga. Peacock is Tech’s fourth-leading scorer (9.4) and No. 3 rebounder (4.3), and has averaged 13.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in Tech’s last five games. Aminu, who started Tech’s first seven games of the season, has averaged 6.9 points and 4.2 rebounds while hitting 55.8 percent of his shots from the floor. Tech also has 6-11 red-shirt freshman Brad Sheehan of Latham, N.Y., who has played in just one ACC game.

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