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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 15, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stegeman Coliseum (10,523) -- Athens, Georgia. Television: FSN, ESPN3.com. Home Record: GT 2-0, UGA 1-0. Away Record: GT 0-0, UGA 0-0. Neutral Record: GT 0-0, UGA 0-0. Conference Record: GT 0-0, UGA 0-0. Series Record: Georgia Tech leads, 103-86.
GAME NOTES: The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets hit the road for the first time this season, as they make a brief trip east to Athens to take on the Georgia Bulldogs at Stegeman Coliseum on Friday night.
The Yellow Jackets opened their 2013-14 schedule with a pair of convincing home wins over Presbyterian (88-57) and Delaware State (68-50). It's a promising start for Georgia Tech, which is in its third season under head coach Brian Gregory. The team went 16-15 overall last season and has four starters back for another.
Georgia, which is led by fifth-year head coach Mark Fox, had a lackluster season in 2012-13 (15-17), but managed to raise some eyebrows in the SEC where it went 9-9. The Bulldogs began the new campaign in style last Friday at home with a 72-52 triumph over Wofford.
These intrastate rivals have seen plenty of each other over the years, with Georgia Tech leading the all-time series, 103-86. The Yellow Jackets have won two straight over the Bulldogs, and will try for their first three-game winning streak in the series since 1992-94.
Although Georgia Tech's 68-point output against Delaware State earlier in the week doesn't seem especially impressive, the squad was able to drain 53.3 percent of its field goal attempts and 90 percent of its free throws. It also played shutdown defense in the 18-point victory, holding Delaware State to just 19-of-56 shooting from the floor (.339). Trae Golden shot 7-of-10 from the field for a game-high 16 points, while Marcus Georges-Hunt and Robert Carter, Jr. were also solid with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Solomon Poole went 0-of-4 from the field but still managed to make an impact with eight assists. While still very early, the Rambling Wreck are averaging 78.0 points per game, and each of their top six scorers are shooting better than 50 percent from the field. Georges-Hunt (14.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg) appears to be a nightly double-double threat, while Golden (14.0 ppg) assumes a large role in the backcourt a season removed averaging 12.1 points and 3.9 assists per game at Tennessee.
Last season, the Bulldogs allowed their opponents to score more points per game (61.6) than they put up themselves (60.8), but they started anew in the opener with an impressive 20-point victory. The balanced effort was led by Nemanja Djurisic with 12 points and seven rebounds, and he is the top returning scorer from 2012-13 with 7.9 points per game. Kenny Gaines tallied 10 points from his guard position, and he and Charles Mann (seven points) will be asked to pick up the slack in the backcourt for the departed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (18.5 ppg), the reigning SEC Player of the Year. Donte Williams made a strong impression in the frontcourt with 11 points and nine rebounds. One thing UGA hopes to improve upon is its slow start from 3-point range, as it made just 2-of-11 from long distance.
While Georgia Tech should be improved with the return of several starters as well as the addition of a proven commodity in Golden, Georgia lost a star in Caldwell-Pope, and he is not easily replaceable. Even with the Bulldogs holding the home court advantage, expect the Yellow Jackets to move to 3-0.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia Tech 67, Georgia 62
11/15 10:32:42 ET