@GTMBB on the Road to Face Clemson
127th meeting between the Jackets and Tigers tips at 2 p.m., Saturday in Greenville, S.C.
THE FLATS - Georgia Tech (13-11, 3-8 ACC), which finished off a three-game homestand with a 71-66 victory over Wake Forest Wednesday night, plays its next two games on the road, beginning with a visit to Clemson (14-10, 7-5 ACC) at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C.
Tech’s win over the Demon Deacons Wednesday snapped a three-game losing streak. The Yellow Jackets are 1-4 on the road in ACC play this year, having defeated NC State in Raleigh on Jan. 27. Tech’s ACC wins this season have come by an average of 5.6 points, while its ACC losses have come by a total of 46 points, an average of 5.8 points per game, no loss by more than nine points.
Clemson won five of its first six ACC games this season but has dropped four of its last six. The Tigers played five consecutive top-25 teams at one point, winning four of those, but they have lost three of four games since then, including an 89-83 defeat to Notre Dame Monday night in Greenville.
Saturday’s game will be televised regionally on the ACC’s Regional Sports Network (Fox Sports South in Georgia) and will be streamed live on ESPN3. Radio coverage of the game is provided by the Georgia Tech/IMG Sports Network, and can be heard in Atlanta on 680 the Fan (680 AM and 93.7 FM). The game can also be heard nationally on satellite radio (Sirius ch. 81, XM ch. 81).
• Saturday’s game is the first of two meetings against Clemson in the span of 11 days. The Tigers come to Atlanta on Feb. 23. Clemson is one of two permanent home-and-away partners in the ACC for Tech; Notre Dame is the other.
• Bon Secours Wellness Arena is the first of two venues which the Yellow Jackets will visit for the first time this season. The Jackets will see Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center for the first time on March 1.
• Tech’s 11 ACC games have been decided by an average of 5.6 points, none by more than the nine-point defeat to Duke on Feb. 2. Seven of Clemson’s ACC games have been decided by single digits.
• Tech has played nine of the top 10 teams in the current ACC standings (Clemson the exception), and the Yellow Jackets’ 10 opponents have a combined regular-season record of 171-68 (.715).
• Tech’s overall strength of schedule is the 16th strongest in the CBSSports.com RPI rankings. The Jackets’ non-conference schedule strength is rated No. 103.
• Dating back to the 2014 ACC Tournament, 22 of Tech’s 25 losses to ACC teams in that period have been decided by nine points or fewer.
• Tech has a minus-0.61 “Luck” rating, KenPom.com’s measure of a team’s number of close games and its success in them. The Jackets rank No. 305 in that category, or to look at it another way, the 46th unluckiest team in the country. Tech was No. 323 out of 354 last year.
• According to KenPom.com, Tech has the ninth most experienced roster in the nation, with an average number of years experience at 2.37.
• Still relentless on the boards - Tech is out-rebounding its opponents by 7.2 per game, which ranks 25th in the nation and No. 4 in the ACC. Tech has out-rebounded 19 of 24 opponents this season with two ties. Tech is No. 4 in the ACC and 23rd nationally in offensive rebounds per game (13.6).
• Turnovers down - Tech is averaging 10.3 turnovers this season (3rd in the ACC, 15th NCAA), down two-and-a-half per game (12.7) from last season. Tech has averaged 10.0 turnovers in ACC play, the third-lowest figure among the 15 teams.
• Scoring up - Tech is averaging 75.4 points per game, 72.6 in ACC games, both figures around 12 points per game higher than a year ago. The Yellow Jackets have connected on 44.6 percent of their field goal tries, an increase of four percent over last year.
• Outside threat - Tech’s 35.3-percent success rate from three-point range is up nine percent over last year. The Yellow Jackets have hit 34.3 percent against the ACC.
• Tech has shot 70.2 percent from the free throw line this year, its best figure since the 1995-96 season. The Jackets are converting 69.3 percent in ACC games, best since 2006-07.
• However, Tech has been outscored from the free throw line nine times in 11 ACC games, and by a total of 206-142. In the second half of those games, the difference is 146-84. Only at NC State did the Yellow Jackets have the advantage (29-19).
• Four Georgia Tech players are averaging in double digits - Marcus Georges-Hunt (16.3 ppg), Adam Smith (14.0), Nick Jacobs (11.4) and Charles Mitchell (10.9). Tech has not finished a season with four or more players averaging in double figures since 2008-09.
• Tech has used six different starting lineups this season. Marcus Georges-Hunt is the only Jacket to start every game.
• Nick Jacobs has scored in double figures in eight of Tech’s last nine games, averaging 14.4 points (52.7 pct. FG, 21-of-27 FT) and 6.2 rebounds over that stretch.
• Charles Mitchell is bidding to become the first Tech player to average in double digits in points and rebounds since Alvin Jones in 2000-01. Only Jones and Malcolm Mackey (1991-92 and 1992-93) have done so since Tech joined the ACC. Mitchell has 12 double-doubles this season.
• After a one-game drop to second, Mitchell is back in the ACC lead in rebound average (10.3 rpg) following his 15-rebound effort against Wake Forest. He ranks No. 2 in offensive rebounds (3.89 per game). Mitchell ranks 17th in the nation in rebound average and 12th in offensive rebounds.
• Adam Smith leads the ACC in three-point field goals made (3.04 per game) and ranks fifth in percentage (41.5). He ranks 25th and 49th, respectively, in the nation in those two categories. He has averaged 3.18 three-pointers in ACC games and has made 39.3 percent of his tries.
• In 24 games, Smith has made more three-pointers (73) than Tech’s leader in each of the past seven seasons and the most for any Tech player since 2007-08.
ON THE THRESHOLD OF 1,000
Georgia Tech already has two career 1,000-point scorers in its roster, and could soon have two more.
Senior post players Charles Mitchell and Nick Jacobs are both getting close. Mitchell, who enters Saturday’s game with 983 career points (565 at Tech), could reach the mark in the next game or two. Jacobs recent string of double-digit games (eight in the last nine) has him within reach as well, with 953 points after Wednesday night’s game against Wake Forest.
Marcus Georges-Hunt, who moved into 16th place on the Yellow Jackets’ all-time list Wednesday night, has 1,519 career points, and Adam Smith, who began the season over the 1,000 plateau, now has 1,357.
INSIDE THE SERIES WITH CLEMSON
• This is the oldest and longest-running series the Yellow Jackets have with an ACC member. The 126 all-time meetings are 33 more than Tech has played with any other ACC opponent. The series dates back to the 1912-13 season, when John Heisman coached the Tech basketball team.
• Clemson is one of two permanent home-and-away opponents on Tech’s schedule each year (Notre Dame is the other).
• Clemson has won 17 of the last 20 meetings in the series, and had won 10 straight games in the series until Tech captured a 63-52 win on Feb. 16 at McCamish Pavilion.
• The Yellow Jackets trail 43-32 to the Tigers since joining the ACC.
• Clemson head coach Brad Brownell is 9-1 vs. Tech, while Brian Gregory is 1-7 vs. Clemson. In the 10 meetings with the Tigers and Brownell, the Yellow Jackets have averaged 55.4 points per game, never scoring more than 65 in any one game.
• Tech actually won four of the first five meetings with Clemson at Littlejohn Coliseum under Paul Hewitt, but the Tigers have won the last nine in a row there.
• Tech is just 16-41 all-time in games played at Clemson, including an 8-34 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.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is beginning its fifth year under head coach Brian Gregory. The Yellow Jackets have been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB).