Nov. 20, 2012
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech sets out on its only road trip of the pre-conference season this week when it competes in the DirecTV Classic in Anaheim, Calif. The Yellow Jackets, who haven’t played since Nov. 14, take on Rice for their first-round game Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET, a game nationally-televised on ESPNU.
Tech will play either California or Drake on Friday, either in a winner’s or loser’s bracket game depending on the outcome of Thursday’s contests. After a day off Saturday, Tech will play a team from the other side of the bracket – Drexel, Pacific, Saint Mary’s or Xavier – for its final-round game Sunday.
All games in the DirecTV Classic will be televised on either ESPNU or ESPN2, and can be viewed online through the WatchESPN app or ESPN3. The Tech-Rice game will be aired on ESPNU and is available on WatchESPN.
All Tech games in the tournament can be heard on the radio over the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network (790 AM, 106.7 FM in Atlanta). The Tech-Rice broadcast can be heard on Ch. 128 on Sirius and Ch. 193 on XM satellite radio.
The Yellow Jackets enter their first trip away from home with a 2-0 record, having defeated Tulane (79-61) and Presbyterian (52-38) in their new on-campus arena, McCamish Pavilion.
Rice, in its fifth season under veteran head coach Ben Braun, is 1-2 following a 77-63 loss Saturday at Temple. California is 3-0 following Friday’s 72-61 win at Denver; the Bears have won their three games by an average of 13.7 points. Drake (1-1) lost at Detroit Saturday after opening with a 30-point win over William Jewell.
Following this weekend’s tournament, Tech travels to Illinois to take on the Fighting Illini in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge Wednesday night, Nov. 28.
JACKETS IMPRESS VS. TULANE, GET BY PRESBYTERIAN
Georgia Tech avenged last year’s loss to Tulane in New Orleans and stopped a three-game losing streak in the series by defeating the Green Wave, 79-61, to open the 2012-13 season.
Kammeon Holsey, who didn’t start the game because he had missed a significant amount of practice time with an ankle injury, came off the bench less than five minutes in and wound up leading the Yellow Jackets in scoring, getting 18 points in 18 minutes. He scored seven straight points for Tech early in the second half during a 19-7 run that gave Tech control of the game.
Tech also got double-figure efforts from freshman Marcus Georges-Hunt (14 points, seven rebounds), freshman Chris Bolden (12 points) and junior Daniel Miller, who notched the third double-double of his career with 10 points and 10 boards.
The Yellow Jackets struggled in their second game against Presbyterian, trailing by one at the half and three early in the second period before scoring 18 straight points to take command. Tech shot just 33.3 percent in the game, but turned the ball over just seven times and scored 23 points off 18 Blue Hose turnovers.
It’s only two games, but Georgia Tech ranks fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference in turnover margin and second in assist/turnover ratio after ranking last in those categories a year ago. The Yellow Jackets have a combined 28/17 assist/turnover ratio in their two games, and a +2.5 turnover margin.
Tech leads the ACC in rebound margin (+14.0), mostly from its 47-23 smothering on the glass of Tulane in which five Jackets grabbed six or more boards. Tech ranks third in offensive rebounds per game (14.5).
Tech shot 56.1 percent from the floor, a high for the Yellow Jackets under Brian Gregory, and hit 63 percent of its shots after halftime in its game against Tulane.
Tech’s three freshmen, Bolden, Carter, Jr., and Georges-Hunt, have combined for just two turnovers turnover in 144 minutes.
Tech had 18 assists on 32 field goals made against Tulane, one off the team high under Gregory (19 vs. Fordham last year), and has 28 assists on 51 field goals in two games.
Miller, the center, led the team with six assists against Tulane, matching a career best.
On the other side of the coin, Tech has struggled from long range, hitting 17.6 percent of its threes (6-of-34). That has been balanced by the Jackets ability to get the ball in the post (Holsey 66.7 pct., Georges-Hunt 52.6 pct., Miller 54.5 pct.).