Dec. 4, 2007
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech plays its seventh consecutive game away from home Wednesday when it visits cross-town rival Georgia State at 9 p.m. at the GSU Sports Arena. The game, which is being nationally televised on ESPNU, marks Tech’s first visit to the GSU campus since 1973.
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 is 3-4 for the season, having lost two straight games at Indiana (83-79 on Nov. 27) and Vanderbilt (92-79) last Saturday. The Yellow Jackets are under .500 for the first time since the end of the 2005-06 season.
> Georgia State is 2-4 following a 72-64 homecourt loss to Old Dominion Saturday night, which snapped a two-game winning streak.
> Georgia Tech is in the midst of a 38-day stretch between home games at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, the longest such stretch since the 1986-87 season. Last Saturday’s trip to Vanderbilt, however, was Tech’s last trip outside the city until Jan. 9, when the Jackets visit Georgia in Athens.
> Tech is off for 13 days after Wednesday’s game, next hosting Kansas on Dec. 18.
> Tech is in its 92nd season of men’s basketball at Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have an all-time record of 1,192-1,040, dating back to Feb. 17, 1906. Tech is in its eighth season under head coach Paul Hewitt (130-99).
Series vs. Georgia State
> Georgia Tech has a 15-2 lead in the overall series, having won 12 straight meetings dating back to a 69-62 loss on Jan. 21, 1976.
> The Yellow Jackets won last year’s game, the first meeting between the two schools in 13 years, by a score of 103-74 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, site of 16 of the 17 games in the series.
> Tech’s only other loss in the series coincided with its only other visit to GSU’s home arena, a 77-73 verdict on Mar. 10, 1973.
Quick Look at Tech
Junior D’Andre Bell has been Tech’s starting point guard for the its last four games, beginning with the Yellow Jackets’ loss to Winthrop in the semi-finals of the Paradise Jam. The rest of the starting lineup has remained the same for all seven games of the season — senior Anthony Morrow and junior Lewis Clinch on the wings, senior Jeremis Smith at strong forward, and junior Alade Aminu at center.
Head coach Paul Hewitt will make one change in Tech’s starting lineup for the Georgia State game, replacing Aminu with 6-8 freshman Gani Lawal of Riverdale, Ga. Lawal had his best game of the season at Indiana with 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting, and the freshman has averaged 6.7 points and 3.1 rebounds this year while hitting 57.6 percent of his shots from the floor.
Morrow, a 6-5 guard from Charlotte, N.C., who is the Yellow Jackets’ top returning scorer from 2006-07, currently ranks sixth in the ACC with 17.7 points a game. One of Tech’s best all-time three-point shooters with 196 for his career, Morrow has hit 47.5 percent of his three-point attempts this season, and ranks second in the ACC in three-pointers per game (2.71). He also is rebounding at a 5.7-per-game clip, second on the team.
Smith, the team captain and a 6-8 forward from Fort Worth, Texas, made the all-tournament team at the Paradise Jam. Tech’s fourth-leading scorer at 10.7 points per game and its leading rebounder at 7.6 per game, Smith has four double-figure rebound games this season, including a pair of double-doubles.
Clinch, a 6-3 guard from Cordele, Ga., has reached double-digits in scoring in six straight games, including an average of 16.5 against Indiana and Vanderbilt. He is Tech’s second-leading scorer at 12.6 points per game, and has hit 45.7 percent of his three-point attempts.
Bell, a 6-5 native of Los Angeles, scored 12 points with eight rebounds against Charlotte and has been solid at the point guard position. He averages 5.0 points for the season with 15 assists and seven steals and has hit 57.1 percent of his shots from the floor.
Backcourt reserves — Moe Miller, a 6-1 native of Memphis, Tenn., averaged 9.0 points and 3.5 assists in Tech’s first two games before a back injury sidelined him for the Paradise Jam. He has returned but played limited minutes in the last two games. Causey, a 6-0 native of Gainesville, Ga., who hit the game-winning three-point shot against Notre Dame in the Paradise Jam, leads the team and ranks ninth in the ACC in assists (4.0 per game). Six-foot-4 freshman Lance Storrs of Decatur, Ga., has excellent long-range shooting ability but has played limited minutes thus far.
Frontcourt reserves — Hewitt can go to 6-10 junior Alade Aminu of Stone Mountain, Ga., 6-8 sophomore Zack Peacock of Miami, Fla., 6-11 red-shirt freshman Brad Sheehan of Latham, N.Y., and 6-10 sophomore Mouhammad Faye of Dakar, Senegal. Aminu is Tech’s third-leading scorer (11.3 ppg) and rebounder (5.7 rpg), and Peacock scored 17 points in 19 minutes at Vanderbilt, his second game back after missing the first five games with a foot injury. Sheehan has seen limited action, but played 21 minutes in a reserve role at Vanderbilt, and Faye has played mostly in situations where Tech needs his length on defense.
Injured Players Return
> Sophomore center Zack Peacock returned Nov. 27 at Indiana after missing the first five games with a stress reaction in his right foot. The 6-8 Miami native played eight minutes at Indiana, scoring just two points, but scored 17 points in 19 minutes Saturday at Vanderbilt.
> Moe Miller, Tech’s freshman point guard who started the first two games of the season, also played at Indiana after missing all three games in the Paradise Jam with a back injury. Miller, a 6-1 native of Memphis, Tenn., took a spill into the base of a goal standard in practice the day before the first round of the tournament, sustaining a bone bruise in his lower back. He played nine minutes against Indiana, 11 at Vanderbilt (4 pts, 2 assists).
Last Time Out — Vanderbilt 92, Georgia Tech 79
Georgia Tech dropped below .500 on the season for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign in a 92-79 loss at Vanderbilt that was not as close as the final score indicated. The Commodores remained undefeated by opening a 51-31 lead at the half while hitting 65 percent of their field goal tries. They expanded that lead to as many as 28 in the second half.
Tech Carries on Offensively
Head coach Paul Hewitt has said repeatedly this season that his Yellow Jackets can score, but the team’s success will depend on defense and rebounding the basketball.
> Tech is averaging 79.4 points per game (5th in the ACC), is hitting 47.4 percent of its shots from the floor (3rd in the ACC) and 40.0 percent of its three-point attempts (4th in the ACC). Last season, the Jackets’ season scoring average of 78.6 points per game (3rd in the ACC) and its field goal percentage of 49.0 percent (also No. 3) were the best figures the Jackets have achieved in seven seasons under head coach Paul Hewitt.
> Tech ranks fourth in the ACC in assist-turnover ratio (1.04-to-1) and second in assist average (16.57 per game). The Jackets have assisted on 57.4 percent of their made field goals.
> Four Yellow Jackets are averaging in double figures, led by Anthony Morrow (17.7 ppg). In the Paradise Jam, four Tech players averaged between 12.0 and 13.7 ppg over three games, and the Jackets have had at least four players in double digits in each victory.
> Without Zack Peacock, Tech has not been as dominant on the boards as it was last year, but the Yellow Jackets still hold a rebounding edge of 1.3 per game this year.
> Defensively, Tech ranks at or near the bottom of the league in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense, three-point percentage defense and blocked shots.
Quick Personnel Notes
> Tech’s win over Notre Dame left head coach Paul Hewitt (196-126 career record) four wins shy of 200 for his career, and left Tech eight wins shy of 1,200 all-time.
> Anthony Morrow, who has 19 three-point field goals in seven games, has moved into 7th place on Tech’s all-time list for three-point field goals with 196. A comparable year to his last two, when he averaged 70 three-pointers, would vault him into fourth place, ahead of B.J. Elder, Marvin Lewis and Matt Harpring.
> With his first basket against Charlotte in the Paradise Jam, Morrow became the 37th Tech player to score 1,000 career points. He now stands 36th all-time with 1,068 points and needs 13 to move into 34th place.
> Morrow has made at least one three-point basket in 16 straight games dating back to last season, and has scored in double figures in 11 straight games. That streak was tested Saturday at Vanderbilt, when he did not score his first point until 13:41 remained in the game.
> Morrow has played the most minutes (220) for Tech this season, and committed the fewest turnovers (6).
> Morrow is hitting 90.5 percent of his free throws (19-of-21), which ranks 6th in the ACC.
> Jeremis Smith has four double-figure rebound games this season, twice as many as he had all of last year when he led the team with 5.9 boards per game. He currently paces Tech with 7.6 rebounds per game, and ranks 8th in the ACC.
> Smith has 16 double-figure rebound games in his career, and has led the team in rebounds 37 times.
> Smith, a strong forward, has 23 assists, second on the team behind Matt Causey, and the team’s best assist-turnover ratio (just nine turnovers). Smith and Causey rank 4-5 in the ACC in assist-turnover ratio.
> Smith surpassed 500 rebounds for his career against Charlotte, and now has 534.
> After hitting just 3-of-14 shots in his first three games, Matt Causey has gone 11-for-20 (6-for-12 on threes) in his last four games.
> Since scoring just five points in the season opener, Alade Aminu put together four straight double-figure games (16.3 ppg) before Indiana. He ranks third in the ACC in field goal percentage (57.6 pct.).
> D’Andre Bell went 7-for-9 from the floor in the Virgin Islands, and has shot 57.1 percent for the season.
> Lewis Clinch has hit double figures in six straight games (13.8 ppg) while hitting 15-of-30 three-point attempts.
> Gani Lawal scored a season-high 17 points at Indiana after getting just 14 in the previous four games. He is shooting 57.6 percent from the floor.
Tech Stock Tips
> Tech has shot 53 percent from the floor, 46.8 percent from three-point range, in its three wins, while holding its foes to 41.2 percent from the floor overall and 36.1 percent from bonus range. It’s just the opposite in the four losses, 43.8 percent from the floor overall (35.6 percent from three) to 50.7 percent for the opponents (41.2 percent from three).
> Scoring averages are mirror opposites in the wins and losses as well (83.7 to 77.0 in the victories, 76.2 to 84.2 in the defeats).
> Tech’s bench players have logged 32.5 percent of available minutes, compared to 28 percent for its opponents. Tech’s reserves have shot 46.6 percent from the floor and averaged 21.3 points a game.
> Tech’s opponents have made nearly as many free throws (147) as Tech has attempted (151) this season. The Yellow Jackets have been on the short end of the free throw parade in all but one game (Tennessee State).
> In its Final Four season of 2004 and the 2004-05 season that followed, Georgia Tech was 24-16 away from Alexander Memorial Coliseum and 11-11 on opponents’ home floors. In the two-plus seasons since, Tech is 8-26 away from home and 2-20 on opponents’ home floors. Tech is 1-2 on opponents’ home floors this season.
> Tech’s seniors and juniors have made 33 of a possible 35 starts this season. Seniors Morrow, Smith and Causey have started 15 between them, while juniors Aminu, Bell and Clinch have 18 starts combined.
> Tech head coach Paul Hewitt stands 19th for career victories by an ACC coach with 130.
> Tech is 76-25 in the last four-plus seasons when it has held its opponent under 80 points. Giving up 80 points in a game has resulted in a loss for Tech almost every time in that stretch — Tech is 5-29 in such games. The Jackets are 11-48 in the Paul Hewitt era when they give up 80 points.
> When Tech has allowed less than 70 points, it is 97-16. Tech was 24-0 during its Final Four season in 2003-04 when holding opponents under 70, and 14-1 in 2006-07.
> Tech is 49-9 under Paul Hewitt in games that it has shot 50 percent or better.
> Under Hewitt, Tech is 117-27 when outshooting its foe from the floor and 11-71 when it does not.