Jan. 31, 2012
ATLANTA – Facing its second straight road game against a top 25 team, Georgia Tech closes out the first half of its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule at 7 p.m. Wednesday night with a visit to 21st-ranked (AP) Florida State at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Fla.
Wednesday’s game, the only scheduled meeting between the two teams this season, can be seen on the ACC’s Regional Sports Network (FS South in Atlanta). The Tech radio broadcast can be heard in Atlanta on flagship station 790 the Zone (790 AM) and True Oldies 106.7 FM. The Florida State broadcast can be heard nationally on Sirius satellite radio channel 134.
In its first year under head coach Brian Gregory, Tech (8-13, 1-6 ACC) has stumbled to losses in its last five games, and nine of its last 10, winning only at NC State, 82-71, on Jan. 11. The Yellow Jackets dropped a 93-81 decision at No. 7 North Carolina in their last outing Tuesday night.
The Seminoles are the second of two consecutive road games against top-25 opponents for Tech, and its last nationally-ranked foe on the 2011-12 schedule. The Yellow Jackets play each of the four ranked ACC teams just once this year.
Florida State (14-6, 5-1 ACC) has won five straight games since opening its conference slate with a 79-59 loss at Clemson. During the streak, the Seminoles have defeated North Carolina by 33 points and scored a road win at Duke.
Tech is 3-5 in road games this season, while the Seminoles are 10-1 at home, the lone loss coming to Auburn on Jan. 4. The Yellow Jackets have lost six straight games to FSU, including the last two meetings in Tallahassee.
Tech’s last victory over a top 25 team occurred in the 2010 ACC Tournament against No. 19 Maryland. Its last win over a top-25 team on the road was a 76-68 win at Duke on Mar. 3, 2004.
Georgia 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 seven teams to score as many as 70 points and three to shoot 50 percent from the floor. Tech has a +4.4 edge in rebounding for the season and has won that battle in 13 of 21 games.
The Yellow Jackets rank No. 5 in the ACC (66th nationally) in field goal percentage defense (40.4 pct.) and in scoring defense (63.9 ppg). Tech has held 11 opponents under 40 percent from the field, and have held eight teams under 60 points.
Offensively, the Yellow Jackets have struggled of late, but their 81 points at North Carolina was the most since Jan. 11 at NC State, and their 49 second-half points against the Tar Heels nearly matched the 49.5 points-per-game average the team had compiled during the previous four games.
Florida State ranks first in the ACC and third nationally in field goal percentage yield (36.8 pct.), and ranks fourth in the conference in scoring defense (62.0 ppg). FSU also ranked 8th nationally in blocked shots (6.4). Offensively, the Seminoles rank fourth in the league in scoring (72.3 ppg), scoring margin (+10.4 ppg) and field goal percentage (45.6 pct.).
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 13.1 points (13th in the ACC) and grabbing 6.5 rebounds per game (11th). Mfon Udofia, a 6-2 junior from Stone Mountain, Ga., averages 11.0 points per game.
Both players got off to good starts in conference play – Rice has averaged 14.1 ppg while hitting 37.5 percent of his three-point shots, while Udofia has averaged 12.7 ppg while hitting 46.3 percent. Both have scored in double digits in the same game four times.
6-11 sophomore center Daniel Miller ranks 13th in the ACC in rebounding (6.2 pg) and 2nd in blocked shots (2.4 pg).
6-8 sophomore forward Kammeon Holsey is hitting 62.0 percent of his shots from the floor, but has not taken enough shots to be listed in the ACC rankings.
Three Seminoles average better than 10 points a game – Michael Snaer (13.8), Ian Miller (11.2) and Bernard James (10.4).
Tech-Florida State History
Florida State has won the last six games in the series, with none of those games being decided by more than nine points. Georgia Tech’s last win over the Seminoles occurred in Tallahassee on Feb. 13, 2007 by a score of 63-57.
The scores of each of the last seven games, dating back to the last Tech win, have been in the 60s, with the exception of FSU’s 72-66 win last year in Atlanta. Tech has not scored more than 66 points against FSU in any of the last six meetings.
Since FSU joined the ACC, Tech is 17-21 against the Seminoles. Florida State won the first six in a row, Tech followed by winning five straight, and is 12-15 against the Seminoles since then.
In those 38 games, 19 have been decided by four points or less, 28 by 10 points or less. One of those games went to double-overtime, which the Yellow Jackets won 111-108 on Feb. 11, 1999 in Tallahassee.
Tech was 9-10 against FSU with Paul Hewitt as its head coach, and is 6-9 against Seminoles teams led by head coach Leonard Hamilton. Tech is 7-9 against Hamilton overall, with a victory over his Miami team in December of 1997.
Tech is 10-18 in games played in Tallahassee, including a 7-11 mark at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, formerly known as the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center.
Tech is 16-15 against the Seminoles in Atlanta, all but one of those games at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
Tech and Florida State were both members of the old Metro Conference from 1976-78, and the Seminoles won three of those four meetings.
Florida State has won both ACC Tournament meetings between the schools, including a 64-62 win at the Georgia Dome in 2009.