Dec. 11, 2009
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s basketball team emerges from its final exam break with a visit to Chattanooga for a 7 p.m. game Monday night, Dec. 14, at the McKenzie Arena on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. It is the Yellow Jackets’ first meeting with UTC since the 1992-93 season.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-1, 0-0 ACC) vs.
Chattanooga Mocs (4-4, 0-1 SoCon)
Date: Monday, December 14, 2009
Tipoff: 7 p.m. Eastern Time
Site: McKenzie Arena, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Television: FS South and other Fox regional networks around the country (Bob Rathbun, play-by-play; Larry Conley, color)
Radio: Georgia Tech/ISP Sports Network, live on flagship station WQXI-AM (790 the Zone) and WYAY-FM (106.7). Wes Durham calls the play-by-play, Randy Waters provides color.
Satellite Radio: XM channel 190
On the web: Audio and live stats available at Ramblinwreck.com. TV broadcast available on ESPN360.com.
Tech is 6-1 following a 79-53 homecourt victory over Southern California on Saturday, and has won five straight games since an opening-round loss to Dayton in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off. This is the first game for the Yellow Jackets at an opponent’s home arena this season.
Chattanooga is 4-4 overall, with a game to play Saturday against Mississippi Valley State, and 0-1 in the Southern Conference, an 82-63 loss to Elon Saturday.
The Jackets are shooting 49.9 percent from the floor as a team (the second-best figure in the ACC), have exceeded 50 percent in four of seven games, have outscored their opponents by an average of 16.1 points a game and outrebounded them by an average of 7.7. They have struggled, however, with turnovers, committing 16.6 per game.
Tech will play without sophomore guard Iman Shumpert for at least the next four or five games as he recovers from surgery to repair a damaged meniscus in his right knee.
The Yellow Jackets began the season ranked 22nd in the Associated Press poll, and 20th in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. The Jackets are now No. 23 in the AP poll and 21st in the coaches poll.
Series With Chattanooga
> Georgia Tech holds a 13-2 lead over Chattanooga in a series that dates back to 1914. Eight of the games have been played in Chattanooga, where the Yellow Jackets have won six times, including a 2-0 mark at the McKenzie Arena.
> This will be the Yellow Jackets’ third visit to McKenzie Arena, also known as the Roundhouse, since 1985. Tech defeated the Mocs then, 94-74, and also captured an 81-74 win in 1992.
> The Mocs will return the game with a trip to Atlanta next season.
> Tech and UTC have played four times since the Yellow Jackets became a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, all victories for Tech.
> Tech has won the last 11 meetings in the series, dating back to a 41-29 loss to the Mocs in Chattanooga in 1923.
> Monday will mark the fifth straight game in the series in which Tech has been ranked in the top 25 in the nation. The Jackets were ranked 18th or higher in the previous four, and No. 5 for the December, 1985 game in Atlanta.
> A member of the Southern Conference from 1921-32, Georgia Tech is 89-19 all-time against current members of the league.
Big Win over USC Highlights Five-Game Streak
Georgia Tech goes to Chattanooga riding a five-game winning streak, which includes a 79-53 win over Southern California, the Yellow Jackets’ first game against a “BCS Conference” team this year and their biggest margin of victory since the season opener against Florida A&M.
In Tech’s only loss, a 63-59 decision to Dayton, the Jackets blew a late seven-point lead and committed 26 turnovers.
Since then, Tech has averaged 78.6 points a game, outscored its opponents by an average of 15.2 points, shot 50.2 percent from the floor, posted a plus-1.1 assist turnover ratio and averaged 14.4 turnovers.
Tech’s opponents are shooting 35.6 percent from the floor and 22.1 percent from three-point range in that span.
Comments from head coach Paul Hewitt
On practice during final exam week: “Wednesday was our first [practice], and I thought it went well. We’ll do another one today, and tomorrow we’ll just do some individual instruction. We’ll get back into team practice on Saturday and Sunday before we go to Chattanooga.”
On shortening the rotation of lineups: “I don’t want to do that, but I think our depth or the ability to put fresh bodies on the floor, considering our style of play, is something that could work to our benefit. If we’re not getting production, then we’re going to have to change our style of play a bit.
“Right now, I’m not seeing guys get rebounds or being disruptive defensively. We chart deflections and I’m just not seeing enough guys get their hands on the basketball or get out into transition and create easy baskets. If our bench is not going to create positive stats for us, then what is the point of playing nine or ten guys?”
On how unusual final exam week is: “You get used to it more and more as you go through a college basketball season. It’s actually a pretty good time of the year as you can put in some new sets, and you have some games under your belt, so you know what things you need to work on. We’ll probably put it two or three new plays between now and when we play Florida State on Dec. 20.”
On how much the team will be affected by Iman Shumpert’s loss: “It’s a big loss, but it does have a chance to be a plus in the long run. We have the chance to develop more depth and get some guys some more playing time and see which guys are capable of helping us.”
On Brian Oliver: “Brian’s a free sprit, he doesn’t care. You can wake him up at three in the morning and put him on the court and he’s still going to make shots. If he’s open, he’s going to put it up.”
On how D’Andre Bell has looked off his injury: “He’s getting there. I don’t think I have a good enough appreciation of how difficult it has been for him to come back after having eight months of no physical activity. Yesterday, he was clearly one of the two best players at practice. It could have had something to do with being a veteran, but D’Andre looked as impressive offensively as I’ve seen him in a long time.”