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Georgia Tech loses after tipping missed shot into its own basket

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Just days after beating Northwestern on a Tadric Jackson layup as time expired, Georgia Tech lost a game in shocking fashion to Grambling State Friday night. After trailing for much of the game the Yellow Jackets mounted a furious rally and was one stop away from escaping with the win.

Josh Pastner’s team was unable to get that stop however, as Ivy Smith Jr.’s missed layup was mistakenly tapped into the basket by a Georgia Tech player. Both Curtis Haywood II and Ben Lammers attempted to grab the rebound, but the combination of hands wound up knocking the ball into the basket. Final score: Grambling State 64, Georgia Tech 63.

Entering Friday’s game, Grambling State was on a run of 63 consecutive losses to teams from high-major conferences. And in the five seasons prior to the 2016-17 campaign, a season in which the Tigers won 16 games, Grambling State won a total of 18 games.

Grambling State wasn’t expected to be in the game at all, much less play as well as it did before Georgia Tech made its second-half rally. The Tigers got the win in the end, albeit in bizarre fashion.

Josh Okogie suffers fracture in finger in Georgia Tech’s exhibition loss

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Georgia Tech sophomore guard Josh Okogie could miss time for the Yellow Jackets after leaving Saturday’s exhibition game against Georgia State with an apparent compound fracture to one of the fingers on his left hand.

One of the nation’s most productive freshman last season, the 6-foot-4 Okogie left in the second half and left the court with a finger that was heavily wrapped, according to a report from Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. After the game, Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner said the injury was a compound fracture, saying a bone in one of his fingers pierced the skin.

“We’ll just have to wait till the doctors to come back (with a diagnosis), but he could be out for a while,” Pastner said after the game. “We just don’t know yet.”

The loss of Okogie is a potentially big one for the Yellow Jackets as he was sensational at times during a surprise freshman season. Without his scoring punch in the lineup, Georgia Tech will look to a pair of seniors in big man Ben Lammers and guard Tadric Jackson to increase their scoring after both averaged double-figures last season.

Georgia State pulled off the minor upset over Georgia Tech with the 65-58 exhibition win as guard D’Marcus Simonds scored a game-high 30 points to pace the Panthers. The exhibition, played for charity hurricane relief efforts as many teams have done this fall, was the first time the two programs had met since 2008.

Okogie wasn’t the only Yellow Jacket to suffer an injury in this one as guard Branson Alston suffered a sprained MCL. Georgia Tech opens its regular season with a tough test against UCLA on Nov. 10th.

 

 

VIDEO: Josh Okogie’s buzzer-beating layup lifts Georgia Tech over No. 14 Notre Dame

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Freshman Josh Okogie made the game-winning layup at the buzzer as Georgia Tech stunned another ranked ACC opponent with a 62-60 home win over No. 14 Notre Dame on Saturday.

The Yellow Jackets (13-8, 5-4) have now picked off North Carolina, Clemson, Florida State and Notre Dame at home during ACC play as they’ve become a legitimate NCAA tournament contender in head coach Josh Pastner’s first season.

Okogie struggled to find his rhythm offensively and only finished with eight points, but he came through when Georgia Tech needed him the most as the Yellow Jackets continue to be a really tough out at home.

Georgia Tech was led by 25 points from guard Tadric Jackson while junior big man Ben Lammers added a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Notre Dame (17-5, 6-3) had a strong game from senior V.J. Beachem as he paced the Irish with 25 points — hitting multiple clutch three-pointers to help put Notre Dame back in the game. The Irish also had solid outings from Bonzie Colson (13 points, 13 rebounds) and Matt Farrell (15 points) but the rest of the team struggled to a 2-for-17 performance from the field.

This win will certainly put Georgia Tech in the NCAA tournament conversation now that they’ve earned three quality wins over ranked opponents in ACC play. There is still work to be done for the Yellow Jackets to make the big dance, but Pastner has to be considered the runaway ACC Coach of the Year and a major candidate to be national Coach of the Year.

Three Takeaways from Georgia Tech’s blowout win over No. 6 Florida State

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Georgia Tech pulled off another upset in the ACC on Wednesday night as they jumped out to a huge first-half lead and never looked back in a 78-56 win over No. 6 Florida State.

1. Georgia Tech shouldn’t be taken lightly

Before this season began new head coach Josh Pastner made some statements about how the Yellow Jackets didn’t have a lot to be ready for the ACC this season. Something like that was to be expected. Georgia Tech (12-8, 4-4) is supposed to be rebuilding right now and a lot of their pieces are young.

Except Georgia Tech has accelerated its rebuild by showcasing some really talented young players who are proving to be capable ACC players.

Freshman Josh Okogie has been one of the best freshmen in college basketball in terms of production and he backed that up with 35 points, 13 rebounds and five assists on Wednesday. Nobody has put up numbers like that in an ACC game since 2009. Junior Ben Lammers (18 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks) has improved a ton since last season as he’s now one of the nation’s shot blockers.

Of the four double-figure scorers on the Yellow Jackets only Quinton Stephens (13 points) is a senior while Tadric Jackson is only a junior.

With ACC wins over North Carolina, N.C. State, Clemson and Florida State, that is a pretty solid group of wins so far as Georgia Tech sits as the surprising .500 team in the loaded ACC.

2. Florida State’s defense was disappointing 

The Seminoles (18-3, 6-2) losing on the road in the ACC wasn’t the disappointing part of Wednesday. It was how poorly Florida State played coming off of back-to-back ranked wins over Notre Dame and Louisville.

Off-nights on the offensive end are bound to happen — and that was certainly the case for Florida State on Wednesday night. Dwayne Bacon (12 points, 4-for-15) had a rough shooting night and freshman Jonathan Isaac (six points, 3-for-10 shooting) slowed down a bit after a hot recent stretch. Florida State only shot 28 percent from the field and 24 percent from three-point range. Some nights, the jumper just isn’t going to go.

But Florida State’s defense didn’t show up in a game where they could have stayed in it had they gotten stops. Georgia Tech jumped out to the huge early lead and ended up piling 41 points on the Seminoles in the first half.

3. Florida State needs to bounce back quickly on the road

The next two games for Florida State also come on the road as they still have to play at Syracuse and Miami during this three-game swing. Losing this badly to Georgia Tech to start this three-game trip as the co-leader of the ACC is not a good look for Florida State, especially when teams like Duke and Notre Dame lost on Tuesday night.

Florida State still only has one road win this season, and that win came at Virginia so it was really good, but it also points to the Seminoles being inconsistent away from home. These next two games are going to be more chances for Florida State to prove that they can win on the road and be a factor in the ACC conference race.

Five-star 2017 power forward trims list to eight

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One of the top prospects in the Class of 2017 announced on Monday that he’s trimmed his list down to eight schools. 6-foot-10 power forward Wendell Carter Jr., a native of Atlanta, revealed his final list Monday afternoon on Twitter with some of the nation’s best programs making the cut.

The final eight schools in the running for Carter’s commitment are Arizona, California, Duke, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Harvard, Kentucky and North Carolina.

The power forward position in the Class of 2017 is loaded, with Carter joining the likes of DeAndre Ayton and Mohamed Bamba at the head of the class. Seeing perennial powers on Carter’s list comes as no surprise given his skill level, with both in-state power conference programs still in the mix as well. The inclusion of Harvard may surprise some, but Carter’s performance in the classroom has opened that door for him should he choose to go that route.

Something else to keep in mind when it comes to Carter’s recruitment: how guard Gary Trent Jr. approaches his recruitment. It’s been reported in the past that the two friends are hoping to attend the same school. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, as recruiting tends to be a fluid situation, but it is something to consider as Carter, Trent and the rest of this class makes its decisions as to where they’ll attend college.

VIDEOS: University of Mary’s Devan Douglas wins college dunk contest

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Thursday night the annual State Farm College Slam and 3-Point Championships were held in Cypress, Texas, with the event serving as a “kickoff” event of sorts to Final Four weekend. The winner of the slam dunk contest came from the Division II ranks, as University of Mary’s Devan Douglas took home the championship belt.

With his first dunk Douglas jumped over IPFW’s Max Landis and threw down a two-handed dunk. Douglas proved to be the most consistent dunker on the night, and there were times when it appeared as if he would hit his head on the rim.

UNLV’s Ike Nwamu finished second in the dunk contest, with two of his better dunks being his opening round between the legs dunk and a Vince Carter-inspired windmill in which he finished with his arm inside of the rim.

The best missed dunk came courtesy of Mississippi State’s Craig Sword, who attempted to jump over the Denny’s pancake mascot. Sword was unsuccessful on three attempts, with the pancake looking better equipped to take a charge than serve as a prop.

And his heels were inside the restricted area, so it would have been a block if we’re being completely serious about this.

The men’s and women’s three-point contests were also held Thursday night, with Georgia Tech’s Adam Smith and Minnesota’s Rachel Banham winning the respective titles. And in the matchup of champions that followed, Banham edged out Smith to take home a second trophy on the night.