Previewing Georgia Tech

The No. 1-ranked Tar Heels face a struggling Georgia Tech team on Wednesday at Alexander Memorial Coliseum -- where UNC hasn't won since 2001. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN.

North Carolina (17-0, 2-0) vs. Georgia Tech (7-8, 0-2)
Chapel Hill, N.C. - Dean E. Smith Center
9 p.m., ESPN (Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes)

Quotables

"Anytime that you play [the Tar Heels] you have to stop them in transition. If you can stop the transition and easy baskets, then you have a chance, and we have been able to do that over the last few years at home. In the Smith Center, we have had a hard time stopping them in transition, but at our place and in neutral-type situations, we have been able to slow them." -- GT head coach Paul Hewitt

"Right now, Georgia Tech is 0-2 in the league. We're 2-0 in the league, and we're going to have to play our tails off to get out of there alive. And that's just the way it is. It's not going to change. It's going to be that way and we've got to play our tails off to win. If you told me right now I was going to win by one, I'd be the happiest guy in America and I'd get the heck out of town as soon as I could." – UNC head coach Roy Williams

PREGAME NOTES


Smith
Season to Date: Georgia Tech enters Wednesday night's contest with a 7-8 (0-2 ACC) record. The Yellow Jackets started the season on a disastrous note by losing to UNC-Greensboro in their home opener in Atlanta, 83-74, and their road to the conference slate has been a roller coaster ride ever since that embarrassing upset. Head coach Paul Hewitt's squad sandwiched a four-point loss at No. 13 Indiana (83-79) and a five-point defeat to No. 3 Kansas (71-66) around a five-point victory at Georgia State (72-67) in which Tech had to overcome an eight-point second-half deficit.

Defensive Deficiency: While Georgia Tech ranks in the middle of the league in most offensive categories, the Yellow Jackets occupy the ACC cellar in scoring defense (73.1), field goal percentage defense (45.3 percent), 3-point field percentage defense (36.1 percent) and scoring margin (+3.1).

Upperclassmen Taking Charge: Senior guard Anthony Morrow (15.0 points, 5.3 rebounds per game), senior forward Jeremis Smith (9.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and junior guard Lewis Clinch (12.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg) anchor Hewitt's eighth club in Atlanta. With an ever-changing lineup, these three players have combined for 44 of 45 starts on the season, while playing more than 26 minutes per contest. No other Tech player is averaging more than 20 minutes per game. Morrow and Clinch have been especially dangerous from long-range, shooting 46.8 percent (36-of-77) and 39.0 percent (32-of-82), respectively.

Ramblin' Man: Red-shirt senior point guard Matt Causey (4.9 ppg, 3.7 assists per game) is wearing his third different collegiate uniform this season. The Gainesville, Ga. native originally signed with Georgetown out of high school, before transferring back home to North Georgia College and State University. Causey earned NAIA All-American honors and was named the Southern States Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 2005, averaging 23.7 ppg and 6.8 apg. He was also a two-time Academic All-American at North Georgia, before transferring to Georgia Tech and sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer policy. The 6-foot guard represents the fourth different starting point guard that Hewitt has utilized in the last four years.

Odd Fact: By season's end, Georgia Tech will have played 17 away games (three on neutral sites), compared to just 13 home games in Atlanta this season, marking the fewest amount of home contests for the Yellow Jackets since the 1990-91 season.

Last Meeting: Georgia Tech built an early lead that proved too big for North Carolina to overcome as the Tar Heels lost 84-77 at Georgia Tech on March 1, 2007. Brandan Wright led UNC with 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting, while Tyler Hansbrough posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, despite being sick enough the day before the game that doctors at UNC Hospitals had to give him fluids via an IV.

Series History: North Carolina leads the all-time series with Georgia Tech, 58-20, including a 44-18 edge since the Yellow Jackets joined the ACC. The Yellow Jackets have won four of the last seven meetings and six of the last 11. Georgia Tech is 9-11 against UNC at the Alexander Memorial Coliseum, including a four-game winning streak dating back to 2001, and the Atlanta school is the only ACC opponent that Williams has not defeated on its home floor.

Projected Starters:
 2 Matt Causey (6-0, 186, Sr.) – 4.9 ppg, 3.7 apg
00 Lewis Clinch (6-3, 195, Jr.) - 12.9 ppg
23 Anthony Morrow (6-5, 210, Sr.) – 15.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg
31 Gani Lawal (6-8, 216, Fr.) - 6.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg
32 Jeremis Smith (6-8, 236, Sr.) – 9.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg

Key Reserves:
35 Zack Peacock (6-8, 235, So.) – 8.4 ppg, 3.5 reb
44 Alade Aminu (6-10, 225, Jr.) – 8.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg
 3 Maurice Miller (6-1, 181, Fr.) – 6.0 ppg, 2.8 apg
13 D'Andre Bell (6-5, 210, Jr.) – 5.6 ppg

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