March 10, 2014
By Jon Cooper
The Good Word
Georgia Tech begins postseason play in the final game of the first day of the 2014 ACC Tournament when it takes on Boston College. It’ll be the second-straight year the teams have met in an ACC Tournament Opener. Tip-off at Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C., is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Yellow Jackets come in riding a two-game winning streak, their first winning streak in conference play and longest streak since a three-gamer in early December. The Jackets closed the season out by taking out Virginia Tech, 62-51, on Senior Day, Saturday at McCamish Pavilion. Forward Robert Carter, Jr., scored a team-high 16 points and seniors Daniel Miller and Trae Golden each added 14. The Jackets limited the Hokies to 31.0 percent shooting in the first half and took a 29-22 lead into the locker room. They then put the game on ice by opening the second half on a 15-6 run to open up a 16-point lead. The lead hit 19 as Tech, which shot 54.5 percent in the second 20, cruised home.
The Eagles hobble into the ACC Tournament, having lost two straight and nine of 11 in conference play. BC dropped its regular-season finale, 78-68, at NC State on Saturday. Sophomore guard Olivier Hanlan led the way with 29 points and added five assists, while junior forward Ryan Anderson added 15 and five rebounds. The Eagles, who trailed 42-31 at the half, regained the lead with a 15-0 run, but State scored seven straight points as part of a 15-3 run of its own to take a 71-61 lead with 97 seconds left and staved off the Eagles.
The game will be the 20th meeting between the schools and third this season. Georgia Tech holds an 11-8 edge, and has taken both games this year. Tech won the games by a total of 11 points, including a dramatic 74-71 win on Feb. 13 at McCamish Pavilion. Last year, BC won all three games over Georgia Tech, including in the ACC Tournament first-rounder, when the eighth-seeded Eagles overcame a 15-0 game-opening deficit to win, 84-64, over the No. 9 Jackets.
The game can be seen locally on WATL with Tim Brando and Dan Bonner on the call and nationally on ESPN2, with Dan Shulman and Sean Farnham calling the action. It also can be heard on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, WYAY (106.7 FM), with Brandon Gaudin and Randy Waters on the call and via Satellite Radio on Sirius and XM (Channel 85 on both systems). Tech fans also can see the game online on WatchESPN and get up-to-the-minute stats on Ramblinwreck.com.
And now, the Starting Five for Wednesday night’s game.
The Last Time We Met: Georgia Tech pulled off a miracle finish to beat Boston College, 74-71, Feb. 13, 2014 at McCamish Pavilion. Marcus Georges-Hunt went the length of the court in 2.3 seconds and hit a long three-pointer, while drawing a foul for a four-point play, to provide the margin of victory. Georges-Hunt, who scored 15, put Tech ahead scoring a lay-up with 19 seconds left, but BC nemesis Olivier Hanlan hit a jumper with three seconds remaining to give the Eagles a 71-70 lead, setting up Georges-Hunt’s last-second heroics. Daniel Miller had a team-high 18 to lead the Jackets, who had four double-digit scorers, despite playing without leading scorer Trae Golden. Kam Holsey had 15 with a game-high nine rebounds, and Robert Carter, Jr., in his second game back from injury, added 10.
Tech Trivia: Georgia Tech has a perfect record against one school in ACC Tournament history. Name that school.
Dan The Man: As redshirt senior center Daniel Miller puts the wraps on an amazing college career he is finally getting some recognition overdue. Miller was named to the All-ACC Third Team by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA) on Monday. The 6-11 ½ center had season-highs in scoring (11.9 ppg), rebounds (7.7 rpg), and field goal percentage (58.9 percent) this season and he enters tomorrow night’s game two points away from becoming the 42nd player in Tech history score 1,000 points. Miller already is second all-time in school history in blocked shots and is 11th all-time in ACC history. Miller, who will play in his 125th straight game against B.C., has started every one and has never missed a game in his collegiate career.
Hitting His Stride (And His Shots): It appears that Robert Carter, Jr., is back and is making a difference. He’s averaging 12.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in the eight games since he returned from a knee injury that cost him 10 games and is shooting .487 percent (37-for-76). Over his last four games, he’s really come on, averaging 16.8 points with 19, 20, 12 and 16-point games, while hitting 52.0 percent of his shots (25-of-48). He has a double-double in that stretch (19 points, 10 rebounds at Notre Dame on Feb. 26) and just missed another on March 4 at Syracuse (12, 9). For the year, Georgia Tech is 12-9 with Carter, 3-7 without him, is scoring nearly four more points a game, is allowing nearly seven fewer and grabs nearly five more rebounds a game with him than their opponents (37.5 to 32.1, plus-4.4 to minus-1.1).
Careful Corey: Redshirt freshman Corey Heyward has been a master of ball control since moving into the starting lineup on Jan. 21 at Boston College. Heyward has a near 2:1 assists-to-turnovers ratio (30:16) and in those13 games he’s had six clean games, nine with one or fewer turnovers, and only one game with more turnovers than assists. Saturday against Virginia Tech was his first game without an assist since Jan. 18 against Miami and only his third game out of 19 all season in which he’s played at least 10 minutes but did not record an assist.
The Sixth Man: Georgia Tech is 14-8 this season and 35-25 overall under Brian Gregory in games in which they have out-rebounded their opponent. They’re 7-26 (1-8 this season) when they don’t. The Jackets have out-rebounded Boston College by 12 (32-20) and 17 (36-19) in the two games this season…Tech has come up big at the foul line down the stretch. The Jackets have hit 47 of 62 FTAs over their last four games, a 75.8 percent success rate. That’s 10 points higher than their regular-season average…
Tech Trivia Answer: Clemson. The Yellow Jackets are 3-0 all-time against the Tigers, beating them, 79-61, as a top seed in the first round of 1986, in the second round, 69-61, as a six in 1993, and in 2009, in Atlanta, as a 12, upsetting the No. 5 Tigers, 86-81…Georgia Tech lost 78 manpower games this season due to injury, forcing Coach Brian Gregory to use nine different starting lineups…Kam Holsey will play in his 124th career game Wednesday. That’s one fewer than Miller among active players and will put him 13th all-time in school history. Holsey had six double-figure games in ACC play. That’s double his total in non-conference games.
GEORGIA TECH SCORING LEADER: Trae Golden, 12.9 ppg
BOSTON COLLEGE SCORING LEADER: Olivier Hanlan, 18.6 ppg
GEORGIA TECH SCORING LEADER (ACC): Trae Golden, 12.7 ppg
BOSTON COLLEGE SCORING LEADER (ACC): Olivier Hanlan, 18.4 ppg
GEORGIA TECH REBOUNDS LEADER: Robert Carter, Jr., 8.1
BOSTON COLLEGE REBOUNDS LEADER: Ryan Anderson, 7.1 rpg
GEORGIA TECH REBOUNDS LEADER (ACC): Daniel Miller, 7.7 rpg
BOSTON COLLEGE REBOUNDS LEADER (ACC): Ryan Anderson, 7.1 rpg
GEORGIA TECH ASSISTS LEADER: Trae Golden, 3.1 apg
BOSTON COLLEGE ASSISTS LEADER: Joe Rahon, 3.2 rpg
GEORGIA TECH ASSISTS LEADER (ACC): Trae Golden, 2.8 apg
BOSTON COLLEGE ASSISTS LEADER (ACC): Joe Rahon, 3.6 apg
GEORGIA TECH PPG: 66.5/62.6 ppg
OPP. PPG: 66.6/67.8 ppg
BOSTON COLLEGE PPG/ACC: 68.6/66.5 ppg
OPP. PPG/ACC: 73.6/71.5 ppg
BOSTON COLLEGE Player To Watch: Olivier Hanlan: The 6-4, 181-pound sophomore guard had another super year, being named Third-Team All-ACC after ranking third in the conference in scoring (18.6 ppg), sixth in free throw percentage (.819), and seventh in field goal percentage (.450). He turned it up in ACC play, finishing second in scoring (18.4 ppg) and fourth in field goal percentage (.460). Hanlan had 12 games in which he scored at least 20 points and had 29 games in which he hit double-digits. Two of those games came against Georgia Tech, as he averaged 20 ppg, on 64.0 percent shooting (16-for-25) and 62.5 percent from three (5-for-8). Hanlan torched the Yellow Jackets in last year’s ACC Tournament first-round game, scoring an ACC-record 41 points on 14-for-23 shooting, 8-of-10 from three. He hit his final 12 shots of the game.
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