North Carolina (18-8, 8-5) vs. Georgia Tech (12-14, 3-11)
Chapel Hill, N.C. - Dean E. Smith Center
Saturday, 12:00 p.m.
ACCN (Wes Durham, Mike Gminski)
“I like the way our guys are competing and playing. Our practices have been good. It’s shown in our offensive efficiency. It’s shown in our defense, as well. What we need to do is continue that steady incline in terms of performance.” - Georgia Tech head coach Brian Gregory
“We have to do a great job on the glass and we have to do a great job in transition. Offensively, we have to be very efficient because they will turn any mistake into an easy basket.” - Gregory
Season to Date: Georgia Tech enters Saturday’s contest with a 12-14 (3-11 ACC) record. The Yellow Jackets have recorded just one victory (a 70-50 road win at No. 23 Miami) against a ranked opponent and dropped their first seven contests in conference play. Other than its loss to ACC-leading Virginia, Georgia Tech's league losses have come by an average of 3.8 points, including two in overtime.
Scoring Troubles: This is a team that has really had a hard time scoring the basketball. Georgia Tech currently has the second-worst scoring average (64.4 points per game) in the ACC. What is even more troubling is that the Yellow Jackets are tied for the fourth-most field goal attempts in the league (1,500), but have converted just 41.5 percent of those opportunities (14th in the ACC). Only two players on the roster are currently averaging more than 10 points a game (forwards Marcus Georges-Hunt and Charles Mitchell).
Georges-Hunt Carrying the Team: One of the few bright spots for Georgia Tech has been the play of junior forward Marcus Georges-Hunt. The College Park, Ga. native is averaging 13.8 points per game to go along with 5.7 rebounds per game. Georges-Hunt, who leads the team with 89 career starts, has averaged 16.6 points on 53.4 percent shooting and 6.8 rebounds over his last eight games.
Strength on the Boards: Georgia Tech ranks 13th nationally in rebound margin (plus-7.9) and 12th in offensive rebounds per game (14.1). Only UNC and Virginia lead the Yellow Jackets in rebound margin in the ACC. Gregory's squad ranks 10th nationally in offensive rebounding percentage (38.9) and 14th in opponents' offensive rebounding percentage (25.6), according to kenpom.com.
Problems from 3: Georgia Tech is easily the poorest 3-point shooting team in the ACC. Yellow Jackets players have converted the fewest deep balls (111) by a significant margin (the next closest team is Clemson with 147). As a team, Tech has connected on just 27.7 of its chances from behind the three-point line (the worst percentage in the ACC).
Bolden Suspended: Junior wing Chris Bolden was suspended before Georgia Tech's game against Clemson on Monday for "not adhering to the standards" of the program, according to Gregory.The suspension carries through Tech's first game in the ACC Tournament. Bolden was averaging 21.3 minutes and 6.9 points per game and had started seven straight games before his suspension.
Last Meeting: The Tar Heels defeated the Yellow Jackets, 78-65, in Atlanta on Jan. 29, 2014. Marcus Paige scored 17 of his 19 points after halftime as UNC shot 67 percent from the floor in the second half. James Michael McAdoo added 17 points and Leslie McDonald added 15 points.
Series History: UNC leads the all-time series with Georgia Tech, 64-24. The Tar Heels have won 14 of the last 16 meetings at the Smith Center.
3 Marcus Georges-Hunt (6-5, 214, Jr.) - 13.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg
4 Demarco Cox (6-8, 276, Sr.) - 8.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg
10 Travis Jorgenson (6-0, 177, RS Fr.) - 3.8 ppg, 3.3 apg
13 Robert Sampson (6-8, 224, Sr.) - 5.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg
1 Tadric Jackson (6-2, 215, Fr.) - 4.3 ppg, 1.2 rpg
00 Charles Mitchell (6-8, 269, Jr.) - 10.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg
11 Josh Heath (6-2, 172, So.) - 4.5 ppg, 3.0 apg
12 Quinton Stephens (6-9, 187, So.) - 6.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg
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