Tallahassee, FL – Two teams at opposite ends of the ACC ranked Florida State Seminoles.
Georgia Tech's first season under head coach Brian Gregory hasn't gone according to plan, as the team is just 8-13 overall and has just one win in seven league bouts thus far. The Yellow Jackets have lost their last five games, and nine of their last 10 overall, with a 93-81 setback at North Carolina being the most recent. They are 3-5 in true road games this season.
Florida State is 14-6 on the year, and coach Leonard Hamilton's club is tied for second place in the ACC standings with Duke, as both teams sport 5-1 league ledgers -- just a half game back of UNC's 6-1 mark. The Seminoles are in the midst of their longest win streak since 1993 (five games), with their latest triumph coming in a 75-52 rout of Wake Forest last Wednesday. They will try to add to their impressive 10-1 home record with a win tonight.
Florida State owns a 35-27 lead in the all-time series with Georgia Tech, and the Seminoles have won the last six meetings.
Despite a record that sits five games below .500 on the year, Georgia Tech is scoring nearly the same number of points as it allows (63.3 to 63.9 ppg), and the team is out-shooting the opposition from the field (.439 to .404). The Yellow Jackets routinely win the battle on the boards (+4.4), but they are hitting just 31.6 percent of their three-point tries and they currently have only two double-digit scorers on the roster -- Glen Rice, Jr. (13.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and Mfon Udofia (11.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg). Udofia was high man for Tech in its recent loss to North Carolina, netting 16 points, but Rice was off his game as he tallied just four points after missing five of his seven field goal attempts. Jason Morris nailed three treys on his way to 15 points for the Yellow Jackets, who made good on 45.6 percent of their total shots, which included an impressive 9-of-20 showing from beyond the arc. Unfortunately, 15 turnovers and a 54.1 percent shooting effort, which include 10 three-pointers, from the Tar Heels was simply too much to overcome.
Florida State's bread and butter this season is its ability to control the tempo of a game, and do yeoman's work at the defensive end. The Seminoles are yielding just 62.0 ppg while allowing a league-low 36.8 percent field goal efficiency to the opposition. FSU also leads the ACC in steals (8.6 per game), and the team ranks third in defending the three-point shot (.277). Offensively, the 'Noles put up 72.3 ppg on typical shooting outputs of 45.6 percent overall, 33.5 percent from beyond the arc and 71.2 percent from the free-throw line. They also own a +5.0 rebounding margin, and come into this clash boasting three double-digit scorers in Michael Snaer (13.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg), Ian Miller (11.2 ppg) and Bernard James (10.4 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 2.3 bpg). Snaer was a perfect 4-of-4 from three-point range in scoring a game-high 18 points, as Florida State whipped Wake Forest last week by 23. Okaro White came off the bench to tally 11 points, and Xavier Gibson chipped in 10 for the Seminoles, who shot 50.9 percent from the floor, nailing half of their 16 three-point attempts along the way, while at the same time limiting the Demon Deacons to 34.9 percent field goal efficiency and goading them into 18 turnovers.