Starting Five: UNC Wilmington (4-4, 0-0 CAA) at Georgia Tech (5-2, 0-0 ACC)
Preview of Tech's fourth ever meeting against the Seahawks
Dec. 7, 2012
By Jon Cooper
Georgia Tech looks to stay on a roll and stay perfect at McCamish Pavilion, hosting the Seahawks of the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.
The Yellow Jackets made it two wins in their last three games and 3-0 in their new home Tuesday night, taking care of Georgia, 62-54, at McCamish Pavilion. Freshman Marcus Georges-Hunt had a game-high 18 points and the Jackets held Georgia to 31. 6 percent shooting in the wire-to-wire win. The Jackets shot a sizzling 60 percent from three in the first half and kept the lead at two possessions for the final 29 minutes of the game in beating the Bulldogs in back-to-back years for the first time since winning three straight 1992-94.
The Seahawks made it three wins in four games Wednesday night, drubbing Division-II Coker, 62-47. Keith Rendleman had game-highs with 20 points and 13 rebounds, and the Hawks limited the Cobras to 37.7 percent shooting, while committing a season-high 14 steals. UNCW also made a season-best six three-point field goals and shot a season-high 40.0 from behind the arc.
Tonight's game will be the fourth meeting in a series that began in 1977. The Yellow Jackets hold have won all three games, all of which were played in Atlanta. The teams played in back to back years, with the Jackets taking a 63-57 decision on Feb. 21, 1977, then beat the Seahawks again the following season, 77-67, on Nov. 28, 1977. The teams didn't meet again until 1995, when Tech romped to an 87-68 victory.
The game can be heard on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, WQXI-AM (790 the Zone) and WYAY (106.7 FM), with Wes Durham and Randy Waters calling the action. It also can be heard via satellite radio on Sirius (Ch. 117) and XM (Ch. 190). Tech fans can follow the game online on ESPN3 with Richard Musterer and Nolan Alexander on the call or on Ramblinwreck.com.
And now, the starting five for tonight's game.
The Last Time We Met: The No. 22/18 Yellow Jackets led wire-to-wire in handing UNCW its seventh loss in eight games, winning 86-68 on Jan. 19, 1995 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Travis Best had 24 points and James Forrest and Matt Harpring each added 14. Drew Barry's three with 16:54 to play, broke a 6-6 tie and the Tech led the rest of the way. The Jackets led 41-34 at the half but saw their lead cut to six, 45-39, almost two minutes into the second half. A Harpring layup ignited a 20-6 run that opened a 65-45 lead and the Jackets led by at least 13 the rest of the game.
B.G. = Beats Georgia!: When Georgia Tech knocked off Georgia Tuesday night, it raised head coach Brian Gregory's record against the Bulldogs to 2-0. While he'll admit it's still very early in his tenure, his going 2-0 against UGA puts him in a very special place among Tech coaches. Only three other coaches in Georgia Tech's history can say they've started 2-0 against the Bulldogs and none since Roy McArthur did it in 1946-47 season. McArthur's club beat UGA twice, 51-44 on Feb. 4, 1947 in Athens, then 70-46 15 days later in Atlanta. The other two coaches to do it were Dwight Keith, who did it during the 1943-44 season and Roy Mundorff, who won both meetings in 1926-27. Legendary coaches Bobby Cremins, William Alexander and John Heisman were unable to perform the feat, as Cremins lost his first four meetings with Georgia and Heisman never beat them, going 0-6 in his tenure. Alexander might have gone 2-0, but his teams only played UGA one time, winning in 1922-23.
Forecast, Cold, With A Chance of Frost: The Yellow Jackets 5-2 record and 3-0 home mark are a direct result of their opponents' lack of shooting success. In its first seven games, Tech has held opponents to 37.9 percent shooting, with only one team shooting as well as 45.0 percent -- Illinois, which shot 47.4 on its home floor. Tech's freezing out of Georgia, which shot 31.6 percent and 11.8 from three, was the best field goal defense at home this season. At McCamish, the Jackets are allowing teams to convert at 37.2 percent (58-for-156), while from three, opponents are converting at a mere 22.7 percent (10-for-44).
Senior Moments: Senior point guard Mfon Udofia is showing the kind of leadership expected from a senior. The team's leader in minutes (30.7 mpg), he's tied for second on the team in scoring, and is hitting his shots at a career-best 51.9 clip. He's also become a reliable threat from three, making 40 percent of his attempts from behind the arc. His long-range game has come to the forefront in the last two games, as he's converted 5-of-8, going 2-for-2 at Illinois and 3-for-6 against Georgia. He'd made three three-pointers in the team's first five games, shooting 3-for-12. Udofia, who has scored in double-figures in each of Tech's last four games and is eight points away from the 800-point plateau.
A Bolden Statement: Freshman Chris Bolden is starting to feel comfortable and is starting to heat up. He's hit four threes in the last two games (two in each) on nine attempts, a .444 percentage. It's a nice turnaround for Bolden, who made three of his first 19 tries. The Georgia game was by far his best shooting night at McCamish, as he made both three-point field goal attempts. He'd been 2-for-9 in his first two home games.
The Sixth Man: Freshman forward Robert Carter, Jr. has been rock solid with the rock. He's tied for the team lead in rebounds with 5.6 rpg, and once he gets the ball, he knows what to do with it, as he's committed just six turnovers in 169 minutes of play...Fellow frosh Marcus Georges-Hunt is shooting a red-hot 45.5 percent and has scored in double figures six times in Tech's first seven games. He's also careful with the ball, committing but six T.O.s ... Udofia and Pierre Jordan also have been superb at taking care of the ball, as the duo has turned the ball over 45 times in the last 16 games, an average of 2.9 a game ... Center Daniel Miller is six rebounds from 400 for his career...Miller has eight blocks in his last two games, after going blockless in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. He has only nine games without a block in his two-plus seasons on The Flats...Brandon Reed has been money at the line as he's hit seven of his last eight attempts in his last three games, going 3-for-4 against St. Mary's in the DirecTV Classic and 4-for-4 against Georgia. He's 0-for-1 in the other five games combined.
GEORGIA TECH LEADING SCORER: Marcus Georges-Hunt, 12.0 ppg UNCW LEADING SCORER: Keith Rendleman, 15.9 ppg GEORGIA TECH LEADING REBOUNDER: Robert Carter, Jr. and Kammeon Holsey 5.6 rpg UNCW LEADING REBOUNDER: Keith Rendleman, 9.6 rpg GEORGIA TECH PPG: 61.6 ppg OPPONENT PPG: 55.4 ppg. UNCW PPG: 55.2 ppg OPPONENT PPG: 64.5 ppg.
UNCW Player to Watch: Keith Rendleman: If you're a fan of inside play, then watching the 6-8, 220-pound forward is worth the price of admission. A first-team All-CAA selection last season when he was one of 15 players in the nation to average a double-double (15.3 points, 10.0 rebounds), Rendleman continues to dominate. He's led the Seahawks in scoring and rebounding six times each in the first eight games this season and in UNCW's last outing, recorded his 25th career double-double, a 20-point, 13-rebound effort against Coker. He also had six steals in the game. Rendleman is a career .540 shooter, but is shooting at .553 this season, and his 15.9 ppg is nearly double his nearest teammate. He's ascending the career record books in several categories, including blocked shots, as his 103 career blocks are 40 off the school record and his 818 career rebounds also rank second all-time in school history.