Starting Five: MBB Hosts Wake Forest
Preview of Wednesday night match-up between the Yellow Jackets (12-11, 2-8) and Demon Deacons (10-13, 1-10)
By Jon Cooper | The Good Word
Georgia Tech concludes its three-game homestand hosting Wake Forest in a Wednesday night match-up. Tip-off at McCamish Pavilion is set for 7 p.m.
The Yellow Jackets lost for the sixth time in seven games and the fourth straight time at home, dropping a 75-68 decision to Miami Sunday afternoon at McCamish Pavilion. Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 19 points and added five assists, and Adam Smith and Tadric Jackson chipped in with 14 and 13 points for the Jackets, who shot 50 percent for the game both from the floor and from three-point range. Tech trailed 33-32 at the break and by as much as seven in the second half but couldn’t equalize, despite shooting 54.2 percent, 66.7 from three in the second half, hurting themselves at the foul line, missing seven of 13 second-half attempts. They committed 14 turnovers on the day, getting outscored 18-7 off miscues.
The Demon Deacons dropped their eighth straight on Saturday, 91-71, to Florida State at Joel Coliseum. Cornelius Hudson matched his season-high with 17 points to lead four double-digit scorers and Devin Thomas added an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double. The game saw 15 first-half lead changes but FSU closed the half on an 8-0 run to take a 37-33 lead into halftime. Wake used a 15-5 run to tie the game early in the second half but then allowed the Seminoles to go on a 15-5 run to re-open the 10-point lead and the Noles pulled away late. Wake was outrebounded off the offensive glass, 12-6, and was outscored 19-7 on second-chance points. The Deacons also lost the turnover battle, 13-6, getting outscored 14-3 off them.
This game will be the 79th between the schools, with Georgia Tech holding a 40-38 edge, having won 10 straight at home and seven of the last nine meetings overall.
The game can be seen on Fox Sports South with Wes Durham and Dan Bonner calling the action. The game also will be streamed on the ESPN3. It can be heard on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, WYAY (93.7 FM) and 680 The Fan (680 AM), with Brandon Gaudin and Randy Waters on the call. You can also hear their call via satellite radio, on Sirius (Channel 134) and XM (Channel 193). Fans also can get up-to-the-minute stats on RamblinWreck.com and the GT Gameday App.
And now, the Starting Five for tonight’s game.
The Last Time We Met: Georgia Tech evened up the season series by routing Wake Forest, 73-59, last Feb. 7 at McCamish Pavilion. Charles Mitchell led the Jackets with 15 points and got reinforcements from Chris Bolden (14) and Marcus Georges-Hunt (13). Tech led wire-to-wire, scoring the game’s first 11 points and never looked back. The Jackets led by 12 at the break and by as much as 23. They held the Demon Deacons to 20 percent shooting in the first half and below 30 percent for the game, while shooting 45 percent from three. Georgia Tech held a 10-1 advantage in points off turnovers, despite committing one more (10-9).
Back-To-Back Is a Matter of Fact: Tadric Jackson continued his hot shooting on Sunday afternoon against Miami. The sophomore went for 13 points against the Canes, on 5-9, 2-for-4 from three. The 13 points, 28 over two games, gave Jackson his first career back-to-back double-digit scoring games. The two three-point field goals marked his third multi-3PT FGM game of the season, his first since Dec. 19, and matched his output from behind the arc from the previous five games. In this two-game homestand, Jackson is shooting 50 percent (11-for-22).
Tech Trivia: What is Georgia Tech’s largest margin of victory in an ACC game?
On The Marc: Marcus Georges-Hunt is going out in blaze of glory. Over his last seven games he’s gone for at least 18 points five times. He’s also shot over 40 percent in five of the seven games. Against Miami, he shot 3-for-5 from three, one three-pointer off his season high. He’s also been superb at the foul line, going 38-for-44 (86.4 percent). His percentage would have been even higher but for his 4-for-7 against UM. To show how odd Sunday was, his three missed free throws matched his total from the previous six games. If history means anything, Georges-Hunt should add to his numbers, as he is scoring 16.0 ppg in five games against Wake, has never scoring fewer than 12 points -- that was his first game against the Deacons as a freshman -- and is shooting 52.9 percent from both in front of (28-for-53) and behind the three-point line (9-for-17), with 4.6 rebounds per game (six offensive, 17 defensive). Tech is 4-1 against Wake in Georges-Hunt’s years at Tech.
Payback's a Mitch(ell): Charles Mitchell was extremely hard on himself following Sunday’s two-rebound game against Miami. Precedent shows he’s been even harder on opponents in games that immediately follow. As a Yellow Jacket, he’s had three games in which he’s grabbed two-or-fewer rebounds. In the ensuing games he’s grabbed 31 boards (10.3 rpg), twice having double-figure-rebound games and twice recording double-doubles. The last follow-up game came against Louisville, last Feb. 23, where Mitchell set his GT ACC-high and matched his season-high with 14 rebounds, 10 of them on the defensive end, also matching his career-best. Prior to Sunday, his rebound low for the season was four, Dec. 19 at Georgia. He responded two days later with a double-double against Southeastern Louisiana at McCamish Pavilion, grabbing 15 rebounds with 14 points.
The Sixth Man: Georgia Tech's 50.0 shooting day against Miami was its ACC best and the fourth time this season the Jackets shot better than 50 percent. They had two such games last season. It also was the fourth game shooting north of 50 percent from three-point range. Last year they had three such games...Ben Lammers had three blocked shots on Sunday. It broke a two-game streak in which he went without a block and was his eighth multi-block game of the season and the fourth with at least three...Trivia Answer: 35 points. The Yellow Jackets blasted the Demon Deacons, 74-39, on Jan. 19, 2011 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum...Neither Georgia Tech nor Wake Forest has gotten much help from their schedules. Georgia Tech, has played the 12th-toughest schedule, according to CBSSports.com RPI ratings and has played nine of the top 10 teams in the conference in its first 10 ACC games. Wake has played the toughest schedule nationally according to Sagarin Ratings, ESPN BPI, and KenPom, with played 23 games against ranked teams, including four straight at the end of January (at No. 2 North Carolina, at No. 15 Miami, vs. No. 11 Virginia and at No. Notre Dame). Tech is 1-5 against ranked ACC teams (1-6 overall), while Wake is 0-6 against ranked conference teams (1-8 overall). Of their 10 ACC losses, eight have been by double-digits, with six of their current eight straight coming by at least 13 points...Nick Jacobs saw his streak of seven double-digit-scoring games end on Sunday. It beat his career-best by two games and is the third-longest this season. Charles Mitchell began the season with nine straight and Adam Smith is next with eight.
GEORGIA TECH SCORING LEADER (ACC): Marcus Georges-Hunt, 17.3 ppg
WAKE FOREST SCORING LEADER (ACC): Devin Thomas, 15.5 ppg
GEORGIA TECH REBOUNDING LEADER: Charles Mitchell, 10.1 rpg
GEORGIA TECH REBOUNDING LEADER (ACC): Charles Mitchell, 8.2 rpg
WAKE FOREST REBOUNDING LEADER (ACC): Devin Thomas, 9.6 rpg
GEORGIA TECH ASSISTS LEADER (ACC): Marcus Georges-Hunt, 3.4 apg
WAKE FOREST ASSISTS LEADER (ACC): Codi Miller-McIntyre, 3.8 apg
OPP. PPG / ACC: 72.0 / 76.2 ppg
OPP. PPG / ACC: 79.4 / 80.9
WAKE FOREST Player To Watch, Devin Thomas: The 6-9, 245-pound senior forward has been his usual double-double machine this season. The ACC’s active leader with 32, has put up 11 of them this year, including five 20-point, 10-rebound games (two more than anyone in the ACC) and two 20-15’s. Thomas also the ACC’s leading active rebounder (993) and double-figure-rebounding games (41) is fourth in the conference. He’s looking to become only the fourth player in school history to lead the team in rebounding for four straight seasons, and with seven more rebounds, would become the 16th player in ACC history with 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 125 blocked shots. He’s 19 free throws away from hitting the 200 FTAs mark, the first Wake Forest player to get to the line that often since current Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague did it during the 2008-09 season. Thomas would like to avenge last season’s matchup at McCamish, where he managed only six points on 3-for-9 shooting, with five rebounds.