Jan. 28, 2013
THE FLATS – Having broken through for its first Atlantic Coast Conference victory Saturday over Wake Forest, Georgia Tech plays its third road game in the last four Tuesday night with a 7 p.m. regionally-televised visit to Clemson at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Tech (11-7, 1-5 ACC) set or matched highs for points, margin of victory and field goals made for an ACC game under head coach Brian Gregory with Saturday’s 82-62 win over Wake Forest at McCamish Pavilion. The Yellow Jackets are averaging nearly five points a game higher in conference play this year than they did a year ago.
Tuesday’s game can be heard over the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network (790 AM, 106.7 FM in Atlanta), as well as satellite radio (Sirius Ch. 123, XM Ch. 190). The game will be regionally televised on the ACC’s Regional Sports Network (Fox Sports South in Atlanta) and can also be viewed outside the ACC region on ESPN3.
Five of Tech’s losses this year have come against teams ranked in the top 35 of the CBSSports.com RPI rankings – Illinois (31), Miami (4), NC State (13), Duke (1) and North Carolina (34). The Yellow Jackets have return meetings with Miami, NC State and North Carolina in the second half of the conference season.
Clemson (11-8, 3-4 ACC), picked to finish eighth in the ACC in pre-season polls, just ahead of Georgia Tech, snapped a two-game skid with a 77-70 home win over Virginia Tech Sunday afternoon. Like the Yellow Jackets, the Tigers have beaten Wake Forest at home and lost to Duke and NC State on the road this season.
This is the first of two meetings with Clemson this season. The Tigers come to Atlanta on Feb. 14. Following Tuesday’s game, Tech returns home for a pair of games in three days when it hosts Virginia at 3 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday and defending ACC Champion Florida State at 9 p.m. Feb. 5.
The Yellow Jackets will try and snap a five-game losing streak to Clemson, which is Tech’s longest in the series since a 14-game skid that was in progress at the time the Jackets joined the ACC.
Georgia Tech’s win over Wake Forest gave the Yellow Jackets 11 wins for the season, matching last year’s total.
Tech’s 82 points matched a high in an ACC game under head coach Brian Gregory. The Yellow Jackets’ 20-point margin of victory, 32 field goals made and 20 assists were all ACC bests under Gregory.
Tech is averaging 64.3 points per game in ACC games this season, 5.7 points higher than it did a year ago. Tech is attempting 10 more field goals per game in ACC play than it did a year ago.
Tech has led at the half in four of its six ACC games. The Yellow Jackets trailed by 10 to Miami and eight at North Carolina.
Tech’s loss at North Carolina was the first game this season in which the Yellow Jackets neither led, nor were tied past opening tip. Tech had led wire-to-wire in three games – Georgia, The Citadel and Wake Forest.
Tech has reversed two trends in its last two games, one good and one bad. The good – after getting outrebounded in its first three ACC games by an average of 9.3, Tech outrebounded both Duke and North Carolina and tied Wake Forest on the boards.
After averaging just 11.5 turnovers in its first 15 games, the Yellow Jackets have 55 turnovers in the last three games.
Tech is 9-2 at home in its first season in McCamish Pavilion and has averaged 7,276 in attendance with two sellouts.
Tech has played just four true road games this season, all against teams ranked in the top 35 of the CBSSports.com RPI rankings top 25 – a 75-62 loss to No. 22 Illinois on Nov. 28, an 83-70 loss to No. 16 NC State on Jan. 29, a 73-57 loss at No. 1 Duke on Jan. 17 and last Wednesday night’s 79-63 loss to No. 34 North Carolina.
Tech still has its best 18-game start since the 2009-10 season, in which the Yellow Jackets won seven in a row on their way to a 14-4 start. Tech had won six straight this season before a Jan. 5 loss to Miami.
Six of Tech’s seven losses have come by double digits, the 70-65 overtime loss to Virginia Tech being the exception. Eight of the Yellow Jackets 11 victories have been by double digits, the closest game being a 73-66 win over UNC Wilmington.
NC State is the only team to reach 80 points (83) against the Yellow Jackets this season and the only team to shoot 50 percent (50.9) from the floor.
Tech continues to be ranked high in the nation in scoring defense (39th) and field goal percentage defense (19th), and ranks fourth in the ACC in both categories.
Tech’s losses have come to teams with a combined record of 95-34 (as of Jan. 26), and only two of those games were at home.
Series Notes vs. Clemson
This is the oldest and longest-running series the Yellow Jackets have with an ACC member. The 120 all-time meetings are 31 more than Tech has played with any other ACC member. The series dates back to the 1912-13 season, when John Heisman coached the Tech basketball team.
Clemson has been one of two permanent home-and-away opponents on Tech’s schedule each year (Wake Forest is the other) since the ACC expanded to 12 schools, and will be the only one beginning with the 2012-13 season.
Clemson has won 11 of the last 14 meetings in the series, including the last five in a row. The Yellow Jackets trail 38-31 to the Tigers since joining the ACC.
The Tigers won 64-62 at home in 2011-12, and 56-37 at Philips Arena. Tech’s 37 points in the second meeting was its fewest in any game of the series since the Jackets joined the ACC.
Tech actually won four of the first five meetings with Clemson at Littlejohn Coliseum under Paul Hewitt, but the Tigers have won the last seven in a row there.
Tech is just 16-39 all-time in games played at Clemson, including an 8-32 mark in Littlejohn Coliseum.
Tech was Clemson’s first opponent in Littlejohn Coliseum back on Nov. 30, 1968. The Tigers won, 76-72.
Tech’s 111-108 win against the Tigers at Littlejohn Coliseum on Jan. 24, 2001 is the highest-scoring regulation game Tech has had with any ACC opponent. The Jackets defeated Florida State by the same score in Tallahassee (in two OTs) on Feb. 11, 1999, and lost to Wake Forest in the 2007 ACC Tournament, 114-112 in double-overtime.
Tech has an all-time record of 40-22 against the Tigers at home, including 27-15 record at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The Jackets have won 21 of 29 against the Tigers at home since 1983.
Clemson head coach Brad Brownell is 4-0 vs. Tech, while Brian Gregory is 0-2 vs. Clemson.
The Yellow Jackets have won all three ACC Tournament meetings with the Tigers, including a 69-61 semi-final decision on the way to the 1993 conference title in Charlotte.