Archive for March, 2012

Rice suspension continues into ACC tournament

Georgia Tech guard Glen Rice Jr. will remain suspended through the upcoming ACC tournament, coach Brian Gregory said Monday in the ACC coaches teleconference.

Rice was suspended prior to the Virginia Tech game Feb. 18 and has not played since, a total of five games. Gregory has declined to address the matter further, calling it an internal matter.

Gregory praised his players for responding to the suspension. Tech has won two of the five games and easily could have won another two.

“Our guys understood the challenge that was posed to us when the suspension happened, and I think our guys have responded pretty well,” he said.

Tech will play Miami Thursday night in the first round of the ACC tournament at Philips Arena.

“I don’t know what [Rice's absence] has to do with (Tech’s play), but clearly they are playing terrific right now,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “Their performance against Maryland, the way they shared the ball, the way they played defense, was very impressive …

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Paul Johnson Q&A, part 3

Q: (Continuing questions about improving pass rush) Is this a matter of getting the right fits for the 3-4?

A: Maybe as guys get older. The thing I said last year, we don’t have very many seniors. We’ve got nine this year. … We’ll be into our own guys. This senior class will be the transition class. The junior class has 23 in it. Then we’ll kind of be back on norm. Now, you’ll lose a few of them. (But) the more seniors you’ve got, the better.

This class would have had a few more seniors, but we’re going to have a couple that graduate, but not guys who were playing. If Julian (Burnett) doesn’t play, that’s another one of the seniors. Stephen Hill would have been another senior. But it’s the transition. And what happens when you get so young is you get classes where you can only sign 15, 16, 17 and then if you have any attrition, you’re not going to have any seniors. So we’re still working our way into that.

Q: To what degree did youth impact the season?

A: You go back and you …

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Tech to face Miami in ACC tournament

Miami has drawn the No. 6 seed in the ACC tournament to set up a matchup with Georgia Tech in the opening round, scheduled for 9 p.m. Thursday at Philips Arena.

Tech received the No. 11 seed with its win over Wake Forest Saturday and Boston College’s loss to the Hurricanes the same day.

The Jackets will be playing a team that will be trying to play its way into the NCAA tournament. The Hurricanes are considered a bubble team at 18-11 overall and 9-7 in the ACC. Miami appeared to be in good shape in early February but lost four of its final seven games.

In their only meeting this season, Miami gave Tech one of its most thorough losses of the season, a 64-49 decision at Philips Jan. 24. The Jackets shot 35.7 percent from the field and were never closer than eight points in the second half.

The winner of the Tech-Miami game will face No. 3 seed Florida State in a Friday quarterfinal scheduled for 9 p.m.

The first-round games:

No. 8 Maryland vs. No. 9 Wake Forest, noon

No. 5 N.C. …

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Georgia Tech-Maryland live blog

Greetings-

Georgia Tech’s women’s basketball team has the opportunity to win its first ACC championship in school history and, despite top-seeded Duke and second-seeded Miami being ousted, the fourth-seeded Yellow Jackets have a challenging and perhaps fitting test.

Maryland trailed Tech by 20 points with 17 ½ minutes remaining before beating the Jackets 77-74 Jan. 6 in College Park, Md. In the rematch at Gwinnett Arena Feb. 6, the Terrapins were the more physical and aggressive team and took a 64-56 win. The Jackets were in the game, using a 10-0 run to take a 54-52 lead with 3:16 to play, but faltered after that.

What will be important Sunday is how aggressively Tech plays and how it competes with Maryland on the glass. Tech was out-rebounded by a total of 20 rebounds in the two regular-season games and Maryland took 18 more free throws.

In some ways, it’s a test against itself. Tech has the talent to stay on the floor with the Terrapins, but is 1-7 against teams in the AP …

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Tech women reach ACC final for 2nd time in history

Here’s our report by AJC correspondent Neil Amato from the ACC women’s tournament in Greensboro, N.C.:

The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team already set records for conference and regular-season victories. Now, the Yellow Jackets get to play Sunday for the conference championship for only the second time in school history and the first in 20 years.

Georgia Tech hit 24 of its first 34 shots and demolished North Carolina State 87-61 on Saturday in the ACC women’s tournament semifinals. Georgia Tech, ranked No. 15, has won seven in a row.

The Yellow Jackets (24-7) will take on Maryland, the team it tied in the standings at 12-4. The Terps held off Wake Forest, the No. 7 seed, to win the other semifinal.

In its quarterfinal victory against No. 5 seed North Carolina on Friday, Georgia Tech made 20 field goals in 52 attempts yet prevailed 54-53. Saturday, the Jackets had 20 fields in the first 17:55, taking a 50-32 halftime lead and threatening the tournament record for …

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Georgia Tech-Wake Forest live blog

Greetings-

Some thoughts and notes before the final home game at Philips Arena (not counting the ACC tournament)

1. Coach Brian Gregory expects to see more zone. Wake Forest was one of the few teams in the ACC to play zone against the Jackets in their 59-50 win in Winston-Salem. Gregory wants to see better ball movement.

Just playing the ball on the perimeter would keep Wake’s guards on the perimeter, which in the last game made them more able to start their transition.

“So we need to get the ball under, below and behind the zone,” he said.

2. Seniors Derek Craig and Nick Foreman will start on senior day. Both for

“They’ve done a lot for this program, not only on the court but behind the scenes as well,” Gregory said. “It hasn’t always turned out he way they wanted, but they’ve bought in and done exactly what we’ve asked them this year.”

Both came to Tech as walk-ons and were granted scholarships for this season.

3. Backup center Nate Hicks could play after missing the past …

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Hicks, Jordan on All-ACC academic team

Georgia Tech basketball players Nate Hicks and Pierre Jordan were named to the 12-member All-ACC academic team Friday. To earn the distinction, the athlete had to earn a 3.0 GPA in the previous semester and hold an overall 3.0 GPA.

Hicks, a sophomore center, is a management major. Jordan, a guard who transferred to Tech after graduating from Florida State last summer, is a grad student in Tech’s building construction school.

Another honoree was Clemson guard Tanner Smith from Alpharetta and Wesleyan. Smith, a marketing major, has earned the distinction four times.

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Tech women edge UNC

The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team advanced to the ACC tournament semifinals with a 54-53 win over North Carolina Friday in Greensboro, N.C.

Yellow Jackets guard Tyaunna Marshall’s drive with 1:35 to go proved to be the winning basket. No. 15 Tech then withstood two Tar Heels field-goal attempts, the second of which was a missed three-point try at the buzzer, to secure the victory. The Jackets move on to a Saturday 11 a.m. matchup with the winner of Friday’s Duke-N.C. State quarterfinal. The top-seeded Blue Devils have beaten the Jackets 34 consecutive times.

Marshall, a second-team All-ACC pick, led all scorers with 21 points on 8-for-14 shooting to go with five rebounds, four assists and three steals. She scored Tech’s final seven points, helping erase a four-point Tar Heels lead with just under four minutes to play.

Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said Marshall took over the game and “just decided not to be denied and went to the rim about three or four times in a row and …

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Paul Johnson Q&A, Part 2

Greetings-

The second segment of the Paul Johnson Q&A.

Q: Had you heard the rumor about Ralph Friedgen?

A: (Laughing) There wasn’t any truth to that.

Q: I imagine it must have amused you.

A: Somebody told me about it. I hadn’t thought abut it until you mentioned it. I think Wes (Durham) told me something like that. We were laughing about it.

Q: Any idea where it came from?

A: Probably some of those Internet sites. … It’s turned into anything that people post on the Internet, people take it as truth. People read stuff all the time that’s a joke, never happened. That’s just like in recruiting, you’ll see guys say they’ve been offered here and we don’t even know who they are. But the way the (NCAA) rules are set up, you can’t say anything about it. The kid can say whatever he wants.

Q: Does that happen often?

A: It happens a lot.

Q: Has the video review of the season produced any revelations?

A: We have a process. It’s still ongoing right now, still going through cut-ups and that …

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Paul Johnson Q&A, part 1

Greetings-

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson sat for an interview with the AJC Tuesday for a lengthy interview covering a variety of subjects, including recent rules changes, position changes going into the spring, Stephen Hill and his thoughts on various position groups. Part of it will run in Friday’s newspaper. I’ll break up the rest into different segments to go on the blog, starting with the rules changes.

Starting in the fall, kickoffs will move from the 30- to the 35-yard line, and touchbacks on kickoffs will go to the 25-yard line. There was a modification to rules on blocking below the waist. From an NCAA article:

“Offensive players in the tackle box at the snap who are not in motion are allowed to block below the waist legally without restriction. All other players are restricted from blocking below the waist with a few exceptions (for example, straight-ahead blocks).”

I’ll post the next one Friday morning.

Q: What do you think about the rules changes moving the …

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