Georgia Tech Basketball Hosts Wofford
Yellow Jackets and Terriers tip at 7:30 p.m. Thursday [ACC Network Extra] at McCamish Pavilion
THE FLATS - Georgia Tech finishes a stretch of three home games in five days Thursday night with a 7:30 p.m. contest against Southern Conference member Wofford at McCamish Pavilion.
Tech (6-4), in its first season under head coach Josh Pastner, is playing its third straight home game since a nine-day hiatus for exams, having defeated Alcorn State, 74-50, on Sunday before falling to Georgia, 60-43, Tuesday night. The Yellow Jackets are 5-2 at home this season.
Wofford (5-7) has won its last two games, defeating Austin Peay, 96-77, at home on Dec. 15 and Coastal Carolina, 75-74, on the road Monday night. The Terriers, 1-3 in road games this season, have played four Power-5 conference teams, losing to LSU, Colorado, Miami and TCU.
Thursday’s game will not be televised, but will be streamed live online on ACC Network Extra, available through the WatchESPN app. Radio coverage is provided by Tech’s flagship station, 680 the Fan (680 AM/93.7 FM).
• Thursday night’s game is the third of five straight home games coming up for the Yellow Jackets, who host North Carolina A&T on Dec. 28 after a short break for Christmas, then begin ACC play against North Carolina (Dec. 31).
• Center Ben Lammers leads the ACC in blocked shots (4.1 per game), offensive rebounds (4.6 pg), ranks third in rebound average (10.7 per game), fourth in field goal percentage (58.1) and second in double-doubles (6). He leads the nation in blocks and ranks 16th in rebound average.
• Georgia Tech has hit 61.8 percent of its free throws in its wins, 73.2 percent in its losses. However, the Jackets have outscored their opponents 17.5-10.5 points per game from the line in their six wins, and have been outscored 12.0-10.3 per game in four losses.
• Tech has limited its last three opponents to 37.1 percent shooting from the floor, forced an average of 18.3 turnovers and averaged 9.0 steals per game.
• Ten Yellow Jackets earned a grade-point average of 3.0 or better during the fall semester, and Tech’s cumulative fall GPA of 2.85 is the highest on record for the team. All four seniors are among the group with 3.0+ GPA’s, including Josh Heath, Corey Heyward (fifth-year because of an injury red-shirt in 2012-13), Rand Rowland and Quinton Stephens. Rowland graduated last Saturday, and the other three are scheduled to graduate in May.
Georgia Tech leads the all-time series with Wofford, 13-2, with all 15 previous meetings taking place in Atlanta. Tech won last year’s meeting, 77-61, at McCamish Pavilion. The teams will face off next season in Spartanburg, competing a three-game contract.
• The first 13 meetings were played in the Yellow Jackets’ former home arena, Alexander Memorial Coliseum, where the Jackets won 12 of 13 games. The lone Wofford win, and the last one for the Terriers in the series, occurred on Dec. 20, 1980, a 49-44 decision in head coach Dwane Morrison’s final season at Tech. Tech has won nine straight since.
• The teams played six times between 1996 and 2001, Tech winning the most recent meeting 79-70 on Dec. 21, 2001, before the current three-game contract.
• Wofford won the teams’ first encounter, 20-18, on Jan. 14, 1921.
• This is the first time Tech coach Josh Pastner has faced Wofford. His Memphis teams played one game against a Southern Conference foe, that against Samford. The Yellow Jackets faced Wofford under its current head coach, Mike Young, for the first time last year.
• Tech is 85-17 all-time against current Southern Conference members. The last loss occurred to UNC Greensboro, which downed the Jackets, 83-74, in Atlanta to open the 2007-08 season.
PASTNER ON TECH’S LOSS TO GEORGIA
“I’ve got no issue with our effort from our guys. They did what they have done pretty much all season besides one game where they just played. They’ve given me every ounce of energy and effort that they can give you, but we just struggled scoring. When you struggle scoring like that it makes it really, really tough. Obviously you’ve got to give Georgia credit for that but for us that has been one of our things for this season. We’ve got to continue to find solutions to help us on that and we’ll keep attacking that and finding a way to help us try to get some points on the board.”
PASTNER ON ATMOSPHERE AT MCCAMISH or Jacket Nation. As I said in the radio, we’re going to get it back. As this rebuild happens, here in a short amount of time as we continue to put recruiting classes together, I want that building to be filled up like that all the time. That is the vision, having the Georgia Tech fans in there filled up to see their team play night in and night out every time we step on the floor. I really believe in our vision and how we are going to get there as we continue to move forward and especially through recruiting and everything else.”
• Georgia Tech has started the lineup of Lammers, Stephens, Moore, Heyward and Okogie in six of 10 games this season. Three Yellow Jackets – Ben Lammers, Josh Okogie and Quinton Stephens – have started every game this season.
• Tech trailed at the half (39-22) against Georgia for the third time in 10 games, and is 0-3 this season when behind at the half.
• Tech’s 43 points was its lowest output in 88 games, dating back to scoring 41 in a loss at Clemson on February 4, 2014.
• Tech shot under 40 percent for the fourth time this season, each time resulted in a loss.
• Tech held Georgia to 37.1 percent from the floor, the fourth time this season that the Yellow Jackets have limited an opponent to under 40 percent, but the first time Tech has lost the game.
• Tech is 0-4 this season when shooting a lower percentage than it’s opponent, 6-0 when shooting a higher percentage.
• Georgia’s 60 points were actually the third-lowest total for a Tech opponent this season. Tennessee Tech scored 55, Alcorn State 50.
• Tech got its only three-point basket (Tadric Jackson) with 6:37 left in the game. Tech is 3-for-22 from three-point range in the last two games.
• Tech used 10 players in the game, eight for double-digit minutes.
• Tech went 6-of-10 from the free throw line, its second-fewest attempts of the season (5-for-7 at Penn State).
• Tech was out-rebounded 40-31, its biggest deficit on the boards this season.
• Ben Lammers kept alive his streak of scoring in double digits in every game this season (10 points, 8 rebounds). He also had three assists and three blocked shots in 36 minutes. He is averaging 4.1 blocks per game, entering tonight as the national leader.
• Lammers is averaging 10.7 rebounds per game, third in the ACC, and also is tied for the lead in the conference in offensive rebounds (4.6 per game) after corralling four on the offensive glass against Georgia.
• Quinton Stephens went scoreless for the first time since last season’s final game at San Diego State. He did have seven rebounds and three steals.
• Josh Okogie matched Lammers’ team high of eight rebounds, but failed to reach double figures in points (8) for the third time this season. He went 2-for-2 from the foul line to improve his season rate to 73.3 percent. At his current rate, he will shoot 192 free throws this year (Tech record is 205).
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.