Feb. 3, 2003
ATLANTA – With some close misses in their pocket, Georgia Tech looks for its first road win of the season on Wednesday night at Littlejohn Coliseum against Clemson. The Jackets also are trying to finish the first rotation of the ACC schedule with a 5-3 record.
TECH’S RUGGED ROAD
In retrospect, Tech’s 0-6 road record this year maybe should not be a total surprise. Think where the Jackets have been in those six games and combined with a young team in December, perhaps we should have seen this struggle coming.
As of Monday, Tech’s six road opponents are a combined 64-5 (92.7%) at their respective arenas (By the way, I only counted Tulane games at Fogleman Arena). That number is pretty staggering. The three ACC schools (Maryland, Wake, Duke) are a combined 32-1, at home, with the only loss being Maryland’s to Florida at Comcast Center.
Starting Wednesday night at Clemson, Tech will face schools in the second half of the ACC season that have suffered all seven of the home ACC losses to date (Clemson, 3; Carolina, 2; FSU, 2). That does not make it any easier for Paul Hewitt and his club, but on paper it is a small positive to what has been a frustrating performance to date.
Numbers wise, the road woes are easy to see in the ACC. The Jackets have hit just better than 39% from the floor and only 23% from behind the three-point arc. They have been out boarded by better than 5 per game and have posted only 33 assists (11.0 avg.) to 43 turnovers (14.3 avg.).
Chris Bosh is the only players with a field goal percentage of better than 50 (16-28, 57.1). Tech has been outscored by an average of 11.4 points on the road in the ACC as well.
If you add the other three games in with those three conference games, the numbers actually get dimmer. That is in part to the loss at Syracuse on December 21.
JACK STARTS JACKING IT UP
After posting 12 points and 7 assists in Saturday’s win over Virginia, rookie Jarrett Jack went back-to-back double-figure scoring for the first time this season. The Jackets are 7-0, when Jack records 10+ points in a game. But his assist/turnover ratio is 2:1, in those games as well.
Jack is 8 of his last 13 from the floor entering the Clemson game on Wednesday. He has averaged 7.7 points and 5.6 assists on the road in the conference this season, while hitting less than 35% from the floor.
A LITTLE FUN WITH THE RPI
As the schedule moves through February, it will be fun to crunch numbers in the ACC as they might relate to post-season play. Here are a couple to get started, courtesy of Jerry Palm at CollegeRPI.com.
With their two wins last week, Tech moved up 18 slots in the RPI to #53. The wins last week helped Tech’s record against the Top 100 in the RPI, move to 5-6 overall. The Jackets are 7-7, against the Top 200 teams.
Strength of schedule also plays a key role at the end of the season. Tech’s overall number is #37, with a breakout of (Non-Conference, #109; ACC #18).
One of the critical pieces down the stretch for the Jackets will be their last ten regular season games. Virginia was the first of those final ten.
TIGERS TO WATCH
#10 Edward Scott (6’0, Sr.): The Tigers leader in many areas, Scott has been asked to take on a lot of the scoring for Larry Shyatt. He is averaging nearly 17 points a game and posted just 12 at NC State on Sunday. His assist/turnover number is nearly 3:1.
#5 Sharrod Ford (6’9, Soph.): Most of you are probably saying, “Who?”. Well, Chris Hobbs now comes off the bench for the Tigers as Coach Shyatt makes adjustments during the course of the game to help balance his lineup. That means that Ford is expected to help with rebounding and fill the role of athletic big man (ie. guard Chris Bosh). His is Clemson’s leading rebounder at 7.5 per game.
#14 Chey Christie (6’4, Soph.): Like his older brother, Tony, who played for the Tigers, this Christie is expected to be a defensive stopper for Clemson. He also is the only other double-digit scorer for the Tigers (10.9 per game). Christie and Scott are the only players on the roster playing more than 30 minutes per game. Clemson has nine players who average more than 10 minutes per outing.
THE IN-HOUSE SIGNAL
We have set up an in-house radio signal for fans to enjoy the broadcast while attending games at Alexander Coliseum. 100.1 FM is the spot where you can hear the games. Please bring your radios and tune us in at tip-off.