Dogs vs. Jackets tonight in Athens

Greetings from Athens. Once again, it’s Georgia vs. Georgia Tech — this time in hoops. Eleven days after the rivals met in football at Bobby Dodd Stadium, they’ll convene tonight for the 188th time in men’s basketball. Tipoff is 7 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum, where Tech hasn’t won in 35 years. Tickets are available. The game will be televised on Fox Sports South. If you missed it, here’s a preview of the game from today’s AJC:

State of the teams

Tech was picked to finish 10th in the 12-team ACC and Georgia eighth in the 12-team SEC — prognostications that reflected two programs in transition. Georgia lost last season’s two leading scorers and rebounders, Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, to the NBA draft, and other than a pair of senior guards the Bulldogs have a young team that coach Mark Fox labeled “as green as the New York Jets.” Tech also lost its top scorer and best player, point guard Iman Shumpert, to the NBA, and the Yellow Jackets have no seniors on the roster except for a pair of former walk-ons.

So far this season

Both teams are 4-4 and on short losing streaks. Georgia has lost its past three games (Xavier, Colorado and Cincinnati), while Georgia Tech has dropped its past two (Northwestern and Tulane).

New to the rivalry

Former Dayton coach Brian Gregory, who replaced the Jackets’ Paul Hewitt after last season, officially joins the Tech-Georgia series. Gregory received his first exposure to the rivalry by attending the schools’ football game on Nov. 26, a 31-17 UGA victory at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

A low-scoring game?

That would be the logical assumption. Both teams have struggled to score: Tech averages 65.3 points per game, which ranks 229th among 338 Division I teams, and Georgia averages 59.9, which ranks 301st. Defensively, the Jackets and Bulldogs have held opponents to 59.1 and 61 points per game, respectively.

And a close game?

History says so. The past four Tech-Georgia games have been decided by seven points or fewer, as have 11 of the past 15.

Home-grown players

Most of the players on both teams grew up with this rivalry. Ten of the 14 on each roster are from Georgia. All five of Tech’s probable starters are Georgians, as are four of UGA’s.

Keep an eye on …

Georgia freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a McDonald’s high school All-American, is the Bulldogs’ leading scorer, averaging 13.9 points. The Dogs’ only other double-figure scorer is guard Gerald Robinson, who has come off the bench the past two games, at 11.6. Tech’s Glen Rice Jr., suspended the first three games for a violation of team rules, has scored in double figures in each of the five games he has played; he is shooting 52.5 percent and averaging 14.8 points.

The Jackets in Stegeman

Tech has not won in Stegeman Coliseum since Nov. 26, 1976, when the Jackets beat the Bulldogs 64-43. The drought is somewhat exaggerated because the teams played at a neutral site — The Omni in downtown Atlanta — for 14 years, beginning in the 1981-82 season. But since the series returned to the campuses on an alternating basis in 1995-96, Tech has lost all eight games played in Stegeman. (Georgia, by the way, has won only twice at Tech since 1995-96.)

Speaking of Stegeman

If this is your first trip of the season to Stegeman Coliseum, you’ll notice two changes: a new $600,000 sound system and a nearly new $90,000 playing court. The court was purchased from the NCAA, which used it for this year’s Women’s Regional in American Airlines Arena in Dallas. (The NCAA typically installs new courts for its regionals and Final Fours, and then sells them to member schools.)

Dog-turned-Jacket

Daniel Miller, a 6-foot-11 center from Loganville, originally signed with Georgia, but was released from his letter of intent and enrolled at Tech in 2009. He has started 39 consecutive games for the Jackets.

Last year’s star

Guard Dustin Ware’s seventh 3-pointer of the game, with 18 seconds to play, was the difference in Georgia’s 73-72 victory over Tech at Alexander Memorial Coliseum last season. Ware, a senior, is off to a rough start this season, shooting 27.7 percent from the field, down from 44.2 last season.

Series history

This will be the 188th men’s basketball game between Tech and Georgia. The Jackets lead the series 101-86 but are 28-51 in Athens, including 3-25 at Stegeman.

Probable starters

Georgia Tech

Pos. Player Class Height RPG PPG

C Daniel Miller So. 6-11 7.8 8.9

F Kammeon Holsey So. 6-8 4.5 10.4

G/F Glen Rice Jr. Jr. 6-5 7.2 14.8

G Mfon Udofia Jr. 6-2 3.9 11.9

G Brandon Reed So. 6-3 4.4 7.3

Georgia

Pos. Player Class Height RPG PPG

F Marcus Thornton So. 6-7 6.9 3.5

F Donte Williams So. 6-9 5.9 7.6

G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Fr. 6-5 5.3 13.9

G Dustin Ware Sr. 5-11 2.3 6.4

G Vincent Williams Jr. 6-0 1.1 4.3

139 comments Add your comment

bgdawg

December 7th, 2011
5:40 pm

nice write up chip. hope the trend continues and the dawgs get a W at the steg!

P-Man

December 7th, 2011
5:42 pm

Should be a good game!

bgdawg

December 7th, 2011
5:44 pm

Oh, my bad TT, im too used to seeing chip’s mug on here. good article Sir!!

Tim Tucker

December 7th, 2011
6:10 pm

bgdawg: Thanks….

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Honey Badger's mammy

December 7th, 2011
6:24 pm

Oh it’s GREAT to be a Georgia Bulldog. We run this state

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Dawg48

December 7th, 2011
7:10 pm

Pope is a beast!

PTC DAWG

December 7th, 2011
7:28 pm

Both are sub par. IMHO.

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Sven Ottke

December 7th, 2011
7:54 pm

Nice back acne on Djurisic!

south

December 7th, 2011
7:57 pm

This is going to be a long year for “insert your team here”

Sven Ottke

December 7th, 2011
8:03 pm

1 Free Throw for Tech, 13 for Georgia. Hello Ted Valentine!

Supersize that order, mutt

December 7th, 2011
8:31 pm

Why is there no Tech blog for the game tonight?

101>86

December 7th, 2011
8:32 pm

101 > 86 we own you rednecks…

GT BBall Fan

December 7th, 2011
8:32 pm

GT up 10!!!!! Let’s go Tech!!!!!

Supersize that order, mutt

December 7th, 2011
8:32 pm

Soon to be 102 > 86

phil

December 7th, 2011
8:34 pm

Fire Mark Fox!!

He should’ve been canned after the Bama debacle in the tourney last spring.

phil

December 7th, 2011
8:36 pm

Who is the hyper dude coaching Tech?

Supersize that order, mutt

December 7th, 2011
8:36 pm

Can’t believe the ref didn’t stop play with a shoe lying on the court

Supersize that order, mutt

December 7th, 2011
8:37 pm

phil he is the future of basketball in the state of Georgia

101>86

December 7th, 2011
8:37 pm

Mark Fox looks like a fat baby Huey…

phil

December 7th, 2011
8:37 pm

Will we even win 12 games this year?

GA is awful….truly wretched. Can’t wait for the annual butt kickings in gainesville and lexington!

Supersize that order, mutt

December 7th, 2011
8:38 pm

Actually, Fox looks like the proverbial nerd the dawgs like to call Tech fans. LOL

GT BBall Fan

December 7th, 2011
8:39 pm

Tech is taking them leg humpers out!!!!!! To Hell with Georgia!

GT runs this state!

phil

December 7th, 2011
8:39 pm

Fox is in over his head.

That TO with one second left against Bama confirmed all i ever needed to know about this genius.

Dawg48

December 7th, 2011
8:39 pm

We could not throw a basketball in the ocean standing on the beach right now!

GT BBall Fan

December 7th, 2011
8:40 pm

Tech on an 18-4 run. Kickin dawg tail and taking names!

phil

December 7th, 2011
8:41 pm

And tonight’s pathetic performance against a shell of a Tech team is just more icing on the cake…

Fire Mark Fox!!

101>86

December 7th, 2011
8:41 pm

WHY IN GODS NAME IS UDOFIA BACK IN THE GAME!?

Supersize that order, mutt

December 7th, 2011
8:42 pm

101, I agree, we were better with him out, but he just got another foul, so he’s out again

101>86

December 7th, 2011
8:42 pm

Thank you for fouling Udofia. You help take yourself out of the game : )

phil

December 7th, 2011
8:44 pm

The only good news is no more having to watch the moron trey thompkins throw games away with his lack of hustle and situational smarts…..man was he dumb.

101>86

December 7th, 2011
8:44 pm

Udofia is lost on the court, and the simple fact he cant make threes but shoots them at will is a big concern. Reed is looking good with Rice on the court in Guard spots.

Dawg48

December 7th, 2011
8:45 pm

phil

December 7th, 2011
8:45 pm

Fire Fox!

Hire Mark Slonaker or Bobby Knight! Is John Wooden still available?

101>86

December 7th, 2011
8:45 pm

That lineup right now of Miller, Halsey, Morris, Reed and Rice Jr. is pretty good.

phil

December 7th, 2011
8:46 pm

Don’t fire me! I’m trying to help us…lol

101>86

December 7th, 2011
8:47 pm

Are you guys insane… Fox is the best thing you got going for you guys. You are not, I repeat not going to get a Knight caliber coach to come to UGA.

Dawg48

December 7th, 2011
8:48 pm

phil

December 7th, 2011
8:48 pm

Yeah….

Let’s see that vaunted lineup against Duke and Carolina….

You bums won’t lose under 25 even once in any game with them.

Supersize that order, mutt

December 7th, 2011
8:49 pm

UGA has never had a consistent basketball program and never will. Bad coaches get fired, and good ones move on to greener pastures

Dawg48

December 7th, 2011
8:49 pm

I like fox!
Talk to Phil…….

phil

December 7th, 2011
8:50 pm

No kidding we won’t get a Knight like coach. Neither will a certain team from Atlanta….

That said, Fox is a doof. He proved it last spring.

101>86

December 7th, 2011
8:50 pm

LOL… We play in the best conference in America for Bball, UGA wouldnt register a single win in the ACC conference play… Just sayin.

Supersize that order, mutt

December 7th, 2011
8:50 pm

phil, there is no doubt about that, but we don’t expect to do better than that in Gregory’s first year. Top 15 recruiting class for next year in early signing period means the future looks damn good though

Dawg48

December 7th, 2011
8:51 pm

Phil
Your starting to sound like A tech football fan!
” wait till you play bama or LSU”