Tech Resumes Long-Running Series with Tulane
Yellow Jackets and Green Wave tip at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at McCamish Pavilion
THE FLATS - Georgia Tech finishes off its season-opening five-game homestand Saturday night when the Yellow Jackets entertain Tulane from the American Athletic Conference at 7:30 p.m. at McCamish Pavilion.
Tech (3-1) has begun its first season under head coach Josh Pastner with over Tennessee Tech (70-55), Southern (77-62) and Sam Houston State (81-73) sandwiched around a 67-61 loss to Ohio. All four of those teams played in post-season tournaments at the end of the 2015-16 season. Pastner inherited seven letterwinners, but none of its top four scorers, from a team that went 21-15 last season and advanced to the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament.
Tulane (1-4), in its first season under head coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr., has not played since Sunday. The Green Wave dropped three games to Oklahoma, Arizona State and Missouri at the Tire Pros Invitational in Orlando, Fla. They began the season with a loss to North Carolina and a win over Southeastern Louisiana in New Orleans. Saturday will be Tulane’s first game on an opponent’s home court.
Saturday’s game will not be televised, but will be streamed live online via the ACC Network Extra, accessible through the WatchESPN app. Radio coverage is provided by Tech’s flagship station, WCNN-AM (680 AM/93.7 FM).
• Friday’s game is the last of five consecutive home games to begin Josh Pastner’s first season on The Flats. Tech doesn’t play away from home until Nov. 29, and plays 10 of its 13 non-conference games at home. The Yellow Jackets play three games away from home in November and December, all in a row (Nov. 29 at Penn State, Dec. 3 at Tennessee, Dec. 7 at VCU).
• Senior guard Josh Heath will suit up for the Yellow Jackets for the first time against Tulane after serving a six-game suspension (which included Tech’s private scrimmage and exhibition game).
• Each of Tech’s first four opponents played in a post-season tournament at the end of the 2015-16 season - Tennessee Tech (Vegas 16), Southern (NCAA), Ohio (CBI) and Sam Houston State (CIT) - and averaged 20.5 wins last season.
• According to ESPN.com’s John Gasaway, Tech is the least experienced team in Division I, returning only 25 percent of its possession-minutes from 2015-16. Gasaway measures experience by calculating a team’s “returning possession minutes,” the percentage of minutes that a player recorded last season, multiplied by the percentage of the team’s possessions that he used (as listed at kenpom.com).
• Tech lost 78 percent of its scoring and 67 percent of its minutes from last year’s team, which went 21-15 and reached the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament.
Georgia Tech and Tulane are meeting for the 71st time, with the Yellow Jackets holding a 37-33 lead. The Yellow Jackets defeated the Green Wave, 76-68, last December in New Orleans.
• The schools were both charter members of the Southeastern Conference, which Tech left after the 1963-64 academic year, and Tulane departed after the 1965-66 academic year. They were also both members of the Metro Conference from 1975-78. Tech left to join the ACC after the 1977-78 season, while Tulane remained until 1985. The teams played each other in basketball regularly between those periods.
• Only Georgia (192 meetings), Auburn (114), Vanderbilt (73) and Kentucky (71) have been more frequent opponents for Tech among non-ACC foes. The Yellow Jackets will play Tennessee for the 71st time on Dec. 3.
• Tulane was Tech’s first opponent in McCamish Pavilion when it opened on Nov. 9, 2012, and the Yellow Jackets won, 79-61. Tech is 22-10 against Tulane at home.
• Tech is 17-13 against Tulane since leaving the SEC, was 4-2 against Tulane as members of the Metro Conference, and 17-18 as a member of the SEC.
• Head coach Josh Pastner’s Memphis teams were 8-3 against Tulane. Both institutions are members of the American Athletic Conference and, before that, were members of Conference USA.
TECH-TULANE COACHING CONNECTIONS
Georgia Tech and Tulane have some notable connections in coaching:
• Perry Clark - Tech assistant basketball coach under Bobby Cremins from 1982-88 is the only head coach to lead Tulane to the NCAA Tournament, going 3-3 in three appearances in 1992, 1993 and 1995. Clark coached the Green Wave from 1989-2000 (11 seasons) and compiled a 185-145 record,also taking them to three NITs. Later a head coach at Miami (Fla.) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Clark is now in his fourth season as an assistant coach at South Carolina.
• Rick Jones - Tech assistant baseball coach from 1990-93 is Tulane’s all-time winningest head coach in baseball, compiling an 814-439-2 record in 21 seasons with 12 NCAA regional appearances and two trips to the College World Series. He retired following the 2014 season.
• Lisa Stockton - Tech assistant women’s basketball coach from 1990-94 has led the Tulane program for 22 years, compiling a 461-227 record heading into this season with 11 NCAA and six NIT appearances. The Green Wave, who had never made a post-season appearance before her arrival, have won 20 or more games each of the last seven years.
JACKETS REBOUND VS. SAM HOUSTON STATE
Ben Lammers scored 12 of his 19 points in the first half as Georgia Tech built a 20-point lead and held on for an 81-73 win over Sam Houston State on Tuesday night. Lammers added eight rebounds and blocked six shots.
Georgia Tech (3-1) led 40-20 at halftime only to watch Sam Houston State pull within 55-47 on Jamal Williams’ layup with 8:49 left, but the Jackets answered with a 10-2 run and held on from there. The Bearkats pulled within seven points late, but did not seriously threaten.
• Tech has led at the half in all four games, and led Sam Houston State by its largest margin of the season (40-20).
• Tech held the Bearkats to 29.6-percent shooting from the floor in the first half, and has held the Jackets’ opponents under 40 percent in six of eight halves this season.
• Tech connected on a season-high six threes in 11 attempts against Sam Houston State, getting a pair of triples each from Tadric Jackson and Quinton Stephens. The Jackets had hit only 10 in their first three games (28.6 percent).
• Tech placed five players in double figures for the first time this season. Nine Yellow Jackets played in the game, seven of them scored.
• Tech blocked eight more shots against Sam Houston State and has 41 in four games (10.3 per game), which leads the ACC and the nation.
• Tech shot 52.9 percent from the floor in the game (including 60 percent in the second half), its second 50-percent game this season. The Yellow Jackets shot 56 percent in the opener and stands at 46.9 percent for the season.
• Tech turned the ball a season-high 16 times, 10 in the second half. Tech had just 12 second-half turnovers in its first three games.
• Tech’s 81 points was a season high, but its 73 points allowed also was a season high.
• Tech set season highs for free throws (21) and attempts (36) against Sam Houston State. Tech has made one more free throw than its opponents have attempted this season.
• Tech scored 40 points in the paint, and has averaged 38.5 points per game there this season.
• Ben Lammers reached double figures in scoring for the fourth time in four games with 19 points (6-8 FG, 7-9 FT) against Sam Houston State. He had just two double-digit games in his career (10 points twice last year) before this season.
• Tadric Jackson reached double figures for the third straight game after missing the opener, scoring 15 points in just 19 minutes off the bench. It was the 14th double-digit scoring effort of his career. Jackson hit 5-for-5 from the floor in the game (2-for-2 on threes), and is 19-of-29 from the floor (6-of-7 on threes) in three games.
• Quinton Stephens scored in double figures (10 points) for the third time in four games and posted his second career double-double with 10 rebounds against SHSU. He also had four steals and two assists. He had 13 points and 10 rebounds vs. IPFW as a freshman.
• Josh Okogie returned to double digits after scoring just five against Ohio, getting 16 against Sam Houston State. He scored 18 in each of his first two games as a collegian.
• Corey Heyward started for the first time this season (19th career), and notched the first double-figure scoring game of his career.
• Lammers blocked six more shots against Sam Houston State, giving him 24 in four games to maintain his average of 6.0 per game, which leads the nation and the ACC.
• Freshman point guard Justin Moore has 14 assists in his last two games.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its first year under head coach Josh Pastner. Tech has 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) and Instagram.