Atlanta, GA - In its last game before fall semester final exams, Georgia Tech hosts Savannah State in a 4 p.m. contest Saturday at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
Tech (4-4) looks to get back in the win column against the Tigers after dropping its last three games, including a 73-72 heart-breaker Tuesday night against Georgia. The Yellow Jackets lost road games against Northwestern (91-71) and No. 9 Syracuse (80-76) prior to Tuesday’s loss.
Head coach Paul Hewitt’s team returns two starters and eight letterwinners from a team that won three games in last year’s ACC Tournament to reach the championship game, then won their first-round game in the NCAA Tournament. Tech has been picked to finish ninth in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Savannah State (1-9), in its sixth season under former Georgetown great Horace Brodnax, has lost nine in a row following a season-opening win over Brewton Parker College, most recently a 79-54 defeat at Indiana. But the Tigers’ average margin of defeat in the first eight losses in the streak was just 7 points.
Following Saturday’s game, Tech takes six days off for finals before resuming its schedule Saturday, Dec. 18, against Richmond in Paradise Island, the Bahamas.
Hewitt is in his 11th season at Tech, the third-longest tenure of any ACC head coach behind Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (30th season) and Maryland’s Gary Williams (22nd season), and has a record of 181-148.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-4, 0-0 ACC) vs. Savannah State Tigers (1-9, independent)
Date: Saturday, December 11, 2010
Tipoff: 4 p.m. Eastern time
Site: Alexander Memorial Coliseum (capacity 9,191), Atlanta, Ga.
Tickets: Available at the gate or at www.ramblinwreck.com/tickets
Radio: Georgia Tech/ISP Sports Network, live on flagship station WQXI-AM (790 the Zone) and WYAY-FM (106.7) - Wes Durham, play-by-play; Randy Waters, color.
Satellite Radio: Sirius Ch. 212, XM Ch. 190
On the web: www.Ramblinwreck.com; www.twitter/com/gtathletics; www.facebook.com/gtathletics
Tech Record Breakdown: 3-1 at home, 0-2 on the road, 1-1 neutral
Series History: first meeting
At Alexander Memorial Coliseum: Georgia Tech is 549-189 in its 54th and final season in the building.
Tech vs. Savannah State
Georgia Tech and Savannah State are meeting for the first time in basketball, the fourth opponent on Tech’s schedule this year without a series history with the Yellow Jackets. Albany, Niagara and Northwestern were the others.
> Tech is 174-14 against non-conference foes at Alexander Memorial Coliseum since the beginning of the 1981-82 season. Penn State, UIC and Georgia are the only teams to beat the Jackets twice in that time frame.
> A win Saturday would be the 550th for Tech at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
> More than 71 percent of the available minutes (1,137 of 1,600) for Georgia Tech have been played by freshmen or sophomores. Tech’s starting lineup for each game has been one junior, three sophomores and one red-shirt freshman.
> Tech’s two seniors average a combined 27.6 minutes per game.
> Tech’s turnovers are down by 2.6 per game this year over last year (the Jackets have averaged 13.8 per game, 4th-best in the ACC).
> Tech’s turnover margin has improved by 4.1 per game (+3.9 this year, 2nd in the ACC), and the Jackets have won the turnover battle in all four of their wins and one of their losses.
> Despite its smaller lineup, Tech has outrebounded six of its last seven opponents, including Georgia (43-30) and a bigger Syracuse team (31-30), and has a +4.0-per-game rebound surplus for the season (5th in the ACC).
> As a team, Tech has a +8 assist-turnover margin (5th in the ACC) for the season, and has recorded more assists than turnovers in four of the last six games (including Northwestern). Tech has finished the last six seasons on the negative side of that ratio, after being on the positive side in Paul Hewitt’s first four years.
> The Yellow Jackets have assisted on 58.4 percent of their field goals for the season. Last year’s rate - 53.6 percent. In first 10 years under Paul Hewitt - 56.2 percent.
> Tech leads the ACC in steals (10.3 per game) and has 10 or more in four games. Three players rank in the ACC’s top 10 (Shumpert 2nd, Daniel Miller and Rice tied for 8th).