North Carolina (12-7, 2-4) vs. Georgia Tech (11-9, 2-5)
Atlanta, Ga. -- McCamish Pavilion
Wednesday, 7 p.m.
“If they shot their free throws in November and December, they would have been 13-0 and been in the top 10, maybe No. 1. They’re a really good team.” – Georgia Tech head coach Brian Gregory on UNC
“We’re not defending as well as we need to in this league and we’ve got to get back to being a very good rebounding team. If we do those things, then that would create some offense for us as well. In this league, you’ve got to have a short memory and be able to bounce back.” – Gregory
Season to Date: Georgia Tech enters Wednesday’s contest with an 11-9 (2-5 ACC) record. The Yellow Jackets won five of their first six games before dropping consecutive double-digit losses to Mississippi and St. John’s in the Barclays Center Classic. Third-year head coach Brian Gregory’s squad picked up ACC wins over Notre Dame and Boston College while losing to Maryland, Duke, Pittsburgh, Miami and N.C. State.
Golden Boy: Tennessee transfer Trae Golden has elevated his play against ACC competition, averaging a team-high 16.3 points (7th in ACC) and 3.4 assists per game. The senior point guard has scored 20 points or more in four of his last eight games, including 24 against Boston College. Golden scored nine points in the final 2:15 to hold off the Eagles and drilled dramatic 3-pointers in the final minute of Georgia Tech’s wins over Charlotte and Notre Dame. He’s been effective getting to the free throw line via penetration, shooting 77.7 percent on nearly six attempts per game.
Injuries Adding Up: Freshman point guard Travis Jorgenson was playing nearly 20 minutes per game off the bench before suffering a season-ending knee injury in Georgia Tech’s 82-72 loss to Dayton on Nov. 20. That was the first of three critical losses this season for the Yellow Jackets. ACC leading rebounder Robert Carter tore the meniscus in his left knee during Georgia Tech’s win at Charlotte on Dec. 29. The sophomore forward hasn’t been ruled out for the season, but there is no timetable for a possible return. A update is expected on Wednesday. Sophomore guard Solomon Poole, who started five games earlier in the year, has not played since the loss to Duke on Jan. 7 due to a migraine.
Force Inside: Fifth-year senior center Daniel Miller has been consistent on the interior all season long. The 6-foot-11, 275-pounder is averaging 10.7 points on 60 percent shooting to go 8.0 rebounds per game. He also leads the team in blocks (42) and steals (23). Miller turned in his fourth double-double of the season on Sunday with a career-high 21 points and 14 rebounds at N.C. State.
Relying on Rebounding: Georgia Tech has won the rebounding in all but three games this season and rank seventh in the ACC (64th nationally) in rebound margin at plus-4.5. That mark currently stands as the Yellow Jackets’ third highest in ACC history. Carter’s injury has dealt a severe blow to Georgia Tech’s effective on the boards, however. In ACC play, Gregory’s squad ranks ninth in rebounding margin with a minus-0.9 mark.
Defense Leaving Plenty to be Desired: The Yellow Jackets entered their conference slate with a strong defensive resume, holding opponents to 38.8 percent shooting, including a 32.0 percent mark from 3-point range. In ACC play, however, Georgia Tech is allowing its opponents to shooting 47.0 percent from the floor, good for 14th in the league, and 35.8 percent from long range (11th). Not helping those statistics is the fact the Yellow Jackets are forcing a league-low 8.6 turnovers per game.
Last Meeting: The Tar Heels defeated the Yellow Jackets, 70-58, at McCamish Pavilion on Feb. 19, 2013. James Michael McAdoo led UNC with 22 points and 11 rebounds. The Tar Heels used a 12-0 second-half run to take a 59-41 lead with 8:47 to play.
Series History: UNC leads the all-time series over Georgia Tech, 63-24. The programs have split the last 20 meetings dating back to the 2001-02 season, although the Tar Heels have won three straight.
23 Trae Golden (6-2, 205, Sr.) - 14.3 ppg, 3.4 apg
30 Corey Heyward (6-1, 221, Fr.) - 0.8 ppg, 0.9 apg
3 Marcus Georges-Hunt (6-5, 219, So.) - 11.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg
24 Kammeon Holsey (6-8, 234, Sr.) - 7.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg
5 Daniel Miller (6-11, 275, Sr.) - 10.7 ppg, 8.0 rpg
11 Chris Bolden (6-3, 216, So.) - 4.8 ppg, 1.7 rpg
12 Quinton Stephens (6-8, 184, Fr.) - 4.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg
Roster & Bios
(Photos by USA Today Sports)