Georgia Tech (3-0) vs. California (4-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 23, 11:59 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Anaheim Convention Center Arena (9,000) -- Anaheim, California. Television: ESPN 2. Home Record: GT 2-0, Cal 2-0. Away Record: GT 0-0, Cal 1-0. Neutral Record: GT 1-0, Cal 1-0. Conference Record: GT 0-0, Cal 0-0. Series Record: California leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The defensive minded Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will try to derail the California Golden Bears when the two schools tangle in the semifinal round of the DirectTV Classic at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena.
The winner of this game will advance to face the victor of St-Mary's-CA and Pacific's semifinal round contest in the championship.
The Yellow Jackets have won all three of their games to start the season, but it has not been pretty. Georgia Tech is a relentless team on the defensive end, as all three of its wins ended with a frustrated opponent. First it took down Tulane 79-61 in its season opener by holding the Green Wave to 42.4 percent shooting from the floor. The Yellow Jackets then took down Presbyterian 52-38 before shutting down the Rice Owls for a 54-38 win in the opening round of the tourney. Rice's total of 38 points was the lowest the program had achieved since 2000. Now three games into his tenure at the school, coach Brian Gregory's squad is holding opponents to 45.7 ppg.
California meanwhile is off to a fast 4-0 start after its 73-70 triumph over Drake in the first round. The Golden Bears overcame a nine-point over the final seven minutes to stay perfect on the season. Prior to the tournament, they defeated Cal State Bakersfield, Pepperdine, and Denver by double-digit margins. Coach Mike Montgomery's team began last season with four straight wins as well, but lost its fifth game to Missouri in the CBE Classic.
California owns a 2-0 all-time series lead in this rivalry, but this will be the
The Yellow Jackets have been tremendous on the defensive end which had led for some room to relax on the offensive end. Since their season opener in which they tallied 79 points on Tulane, the Yellow Jackets have totaled only 106 points in two games. In Thursday's win, Georgia Tech shot just 38.9 percent from the field including a poor 3-of-18 mark from three-point range. However, it made up for it with a sizeable 50-26 advantage on the glass. Marcus Georges- Hunt paced the team with 11 points and nine rebounds while Kammeon Holsey and Mfon Udofia scored nine points each. Gregory is clearly not afraid to go to his bench as 10 different players saw 14 minutes of action or more on Thursday.
In its first four games, California has outscored its opponents by 10 ppg., while shooting 48.7 percent from the floor. The Golden Bears have also been active up on the glass with 41.2 rebounds per game. The backcourt duo of Crabbe and Justin Cobbs has been unstoppable for the Golden Bears. Cobbs led the way on Thursday with 21 points, an 11-of-13 clip at the charity stripe and four assists. Crabbe added 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field, which he accompanied with seven rebounds. The duo is scoring a combined average of 44.6 ppg, which equals 59.1 percent of the teams points average. None of the other Golden Bears are scoring at noticeably high rates. The six of the remaining eight players in the team's regular rotation are all scoring between 4.3 and 6.5 ppg. David Kravish is a factor in on the boards with 8.5 rpg.
Although Georgia Tech's defense has been exceptionally stingy in the early going, it has yet to face an opponent with the type of offensive firepower the Golden Bears bring to the table. California will be able to score an amount of points that the Yellow Jackets lack the capability of matching.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: California 67, Georgia Tech 60
11/23 10:37:01 ET