Jan. 20, 2012
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ATLANTA – Continuing a rugged early Atlantic Coast Conference schedule, Georgia Tech plays its second game in three days Saturday afternoon when the Yellow Jackets visit Clemson in a 2:30 p.m. regionally televised game at Littlejohn Coliseum.
It is the second of three games in a six-day stretch for the Yellow Jackets, who return home for a Tuesday night 9 p.m. game against Miami.
Tech (8-10, 1-3 ACC) looks to bounce back from a tough loss to Virginia Thursday night in a game that can be seen on the ACC Network (check local listings). The Tech radio broadcast can be heard in Atlanta on flagship station 790 the Zone (790 AM) and True Oldies 106.7 FM. The Clemson broadcast can be heard nationally on Sirius satellite radio channel 94, and XM satellite radio channel 190.
In its first year under head coach Brian Gregory, Tech has been competitive in conference play until Thursday night’s loss, having played Duke within two points inside the final minute of an 81-74 loss and defeating NC State by 11 points in Raleigh. Still, the Yellow Jackets have lost six of their last seven games overall.
Clemson (9-9, 1-3 ACC) has lost its last three games (Boston College, Duke, Miami), two of those on the road, after opening conference play with a 79-59 win over Florida State. The Tigers are in their second season under Brad Brownell, who guided Clemson to the NCAA Tournament in his first year.
Tech, which has yet to win on its “home” court of Philips Arena this year, has fared better on the road, going 3-3. The Tigers are 6-4 at home this season.
Tech’s primary goals this season have been to play solid team defense, win the rebounding battle, and be efficient on offense. The Yellow Jackets have allowed only six teams to score as many as 70 points and two to shoot 50 percent from the floor. Tech has a +4.5 edge in rebounding for the season and has won that battle in 11 of 18 games.
The Yellow Jackets rank No. 4 in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (38.8 pct.) and in fifth in scoring defense (62.3 ppg). Tech has held 11 of its 18 opponents under 40 percent from the field, and have held eight teams under 60 points.
Offensively, Tech is averaging 63.2 points a game, 11th in the ACC, and hitting 44.3 percent of its field goal tries (6th). The Yellow Jackets have shot 50 percent or better from the floor seven times, and are at 41.0 percent in their conference games.
Clemson boasts the second-best defense in the ACC by scoring yield (59.6 ppg) behind Virginia, and ranks seventh in field goal percentage yield (41.8 pct.), while averaging 64.8 points per game (10th) and hitting 43.4 percent of its field goals (9th).
Whom to Watch
Two Yellow Jackets are averaging double figures in scoring, led by 6-5 junior Glen Rice, Jr., of Marietta, Ga., who is scoring 13.3 points (12th in the ACC) and grabbing 6.4 rebounds per game (10th). Mfon Udofia, a 6-2 junior from Stone Mountain, Ga., averages 10.7 points per game.
Both players got off to great starts in conference play but have tailed off. Rice has averaged 15.8 ppg while hitting 48.9 percent of his shots from the floor, while Udofia has averaged 12.3 ppg while hitting 50 percent.
6-5 sophomore Jason Morris also has reached double figures twice in three games, averaging 8.8 ppg.
6-11 sophomore center Daniel Miller ranks 11th in the ACC in rebounding (6.4 pg) and 2nd in blocked shots (2.6 pg).
6-8 sophomore forward Kammeon Holsey is hitting 62.9 percent of his shots from the floor, but has not taken enough shots to be listed in the ACC rankings.
This is the oldest and longest-running series the Yellow Jackets have with an ACC member. The 118 all-time meetings are 31 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.
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 nine of the last 12 meetings in the series, including both regular-season meetings in the 2010-11 season. The Yellow Jackets trail 36-31 to the Tigers since joining the ACC.
Tech and Clemson have split their season series 20 times since the 1982-83 season, and there has been a home-team victory split 16 times. The home team has won 38 of the last 51 meetings.
The Jackets swept the season series from the Tigers three times under Paul Hewitt. Clemson swept Tech three times in that time, but has done so only four times since the 1982-83 season.
The Yellow Jackets won 11 of the 22 games between the two teams with Paul Hewitt as Tech’s head coach, with a 7-4 record at home and a 4-7 mark at Clemson.
Clemson head coach Brad Brownell is 2-0 vs. Tech.
Tech actually won 4 of the first 5 meetings with Clemson at Littlejohn Coliseum under Hewitt, but the Tigers have won the last 6 in a row there.
Tech is just 16-38 all-time in games played at Clemson, including an 8-31 mark in Littlejohn Coliseum. The Yellow Jackets have lost their last six games at Littlejohn.
Tech was Clemson’s first opponent in Littlejohn Coliseum back on Nov. 30, 1968. The Tigers won, 76-72.
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.