Brian Gregory

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McClellan, Newton lead No. 17 Miami past Georgia Tech 75-68

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ATLANTA (AP) Sheldon McClellan scored 22 points and Ja’Quan Newton hit a huge 3-pointer to lead No. 17 Miami to its fifth win in six games, 75-68 over Georgia Tech on Sunday.

In a game that was tight all the way, the Hurricanes (18-4, 7-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) were clinging to a 63-60 lead with the shot clock running down when Newton hurled up a desperation shot from the corner with 1:49 remaining.

Nothing but net.

Georgia Tech (12-11, 2-8) lost another tight one in the ACC, keeping the heat on embattled coach Brian Gregory. All eight of its conference defeats have been by less than 10 points, little consolation to a program that has struggled throughout Gregory’s five-year tenure.

Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 19 points to lead the Yellow Jackets before a sparse crown at McCamish Pavilion.

Miami made nine straight free throws in the final minute to seal the victory.

Lee, Mahmoud lead No. 17 Louisville past Georgia Tech 75-71

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ATLANTA (AP) Damion Lee scored 17 points, Anas Mahmoud added 15 and No. 17 Louisville held on in the closing seconds to beat hard-luck Georgia Tech 75-71 on Saturday.

In a back-and-forth game that was close all the way, Mahmoud was in the middle of a crucial sequence with 1:01 remaining that helped the Cardinals (16-3, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) claim their third straight win.

With the scored tied at 69, the 7-foot sophomore got free under the basket for a pass from Trey Lewis. Georgia Tech’s Marcus Georges-Hunt came in from behind to make the block, but he appeared to get Mahmoud with the body. Georges-Hunt, who led the Yellow Jackets with 23 points, fouled out on the play.

Mahmoud made both free throws to give Louisville a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

Georgia Tech (11-8, 1-5) has lost its five ACC games by a total of 26 points.

After Mahmoud’s free throws, Georgia Tech struggled to get off a shot with Georges-Hunt on the bench. Tadric Jackson drove toward the lane, tried to make an awkward pass back to Adam Smith, only to have Lee step in for the steal.

The Yellow Jackets were forced to foul Quentin Snider, who made both free throws with 25.2 seconds remaining. Smith scored on a driving layup to give Georgia Tech one more chance, but Donovan Mitchell knocked down two free throws to seal the victory.

Lewis and Chinanu Onuaku had 12 points each for the Cardinals. Mitchell chipped in with 11.

Georges-Hunt carried the offensive load for the Yellow Jackets, drawing foul after foul before he fouled out. He finished 12 of 12 at the free throw line. Nick Jacobs had 16 points, and Smith finished with 12.

Georgia Tech closed the first half on a 7-0 run to take a 39-32 lead. The Cardinals really bogged down in the closing minutes of the period, missing 10 of their last 12 shots. Overall, they shot just 33 percent before halftime.

It was the Yellow Jackets who started slowly in the second half. Louisville forced three quick turnovers, scoring the first seven points to pull back into a tie. It was tight the rest of the way.

Louisville came into the game ranked 15th nationally in field goal shooting, hitting 49.2 percent. The Cardinals rallied from the slow start to make 15 of 25 in the second half.


Louisville: Onuaku had his sixth straight double-double, also pulling down 11 rebounds. … Lewis surpassed 1,300 points in his career during the first half. … The Cardinals shot 44.3 percent (27 of 61) from the field.

Georgia Tech: Outrebounded the Cardinals 41-33 to keep up its strong play on the boards. Jacobs and Charles Mitchell has 10 rebounds apiece. … The Yellow Jackets went with a three-guard lineup, giving Travis Jorgenson his first start of the season in place of Quinton Stephens. The other starters remained the same. … Georges-Hunt had a spectacular block with about 9 minutes remaining, after Louisville appeared to be setting up for an easy basket. Mitchell swiped the ball from Jorgenson in the backcourt, and Lee took a pass all alone beneath the basket. But as Lee went up for an apparent dunk, Georges-Hunt raced back to knock it away.


Louisville: At Virginia Tech on Wednesday night.

Georgia Tech: At North Carolina State on Wednesday night.

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at . His work can be found at .

Second-half cold spell dooms No. 4 Virginia at Georgia Tech

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Five days after falling at Virginia Tech No. 4 Virginia lost its second consecutive road game Saturday afternoon, as a second-half cold spell proved to be their undoing.

After erasing an 11-point deficit Tony Bennett’s team went more than four minutes without scoring, and during that period Georgia Tech ripped off an 11-0 run to establish the separation they needed to pull off the upset. Georgia Tech won by the final score of 68-64, and while that 11-0 stretch stands out Virginia had issues on the offensive end of the floor throughout the game.

The Cavaliers shot just 40.4 percent from the field, and while they did manage to score 38 points in the paint Virginia had trouble finding quality looks offensively. Malcolm Brogdon scored 19 points but did so on 8-for-20 shooting, and he combined with London Perrantes to shoot 2-for-13 from beyond the arc. With the supporting cast having some issues with consistency, off days from Brogdon, Perrantes and/or Anthony Gill hurt Virginia more than they would in previous years.

Defensively Virginia is still looking for another forward to emerge alongside Gill, with the role played by departed ACC Defensive Player of the Year Darion Atkins yet to be filled. Mike Tobey grabbed a team-high seven rebounds but he isn’t the defender that Atkins was, especially when it comes to ball-screen situations.

Georgia Tech’s Nick Jacobs and Quinton Stephens were able to take advantage of this, scoring 16 points apiece and Stephens hitting two critical three-pointers during the 11-0 run that shifted the game for good. Add in James White grabbing five of Georgia Tech’s 11 offensive rebounds, and the Yellow Jacket front court outplayed their opponents Saturday afternoon.

The good news for Virginia is that three of their next four games are in Charlottesville, beginning with No. 13 Miami Tuesday night. But given the way the Hurricanes like to use ball screens in their offensive system, that matchup is a concerning one. Already two games behind the leaders in the ACC in the loss column, that contest sets up as one of high importance if Virginia is to entertain thoughts of a third straight ACC regular season title.


Georgia Tech keeps four-star forward home

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Georgia Tech landed its second verbal commitment in the Class of 2016 Saturday night, and in doing so Brian Gregory and his staff managed to keep a talented in-state prospect home.

6-foot-9 power forward Romello White, a Georgia native who attends Wheeler HS in Marietta, announced that he will play his college basketball in Atlanta. White joins small forward Christian Matthews in Georgia Tech’s 2016 recruiting haul to date, and his ability to both score around the basket and rebound will help the Yellow Jackets when he arrives on campus in 2016.

That’s key, given the fact that among the players Georgia Tech will lose at the end of the 2015-16 season are power forwards Nick Jacobs and Charles Mitchell. Among the front court players with eligibility remaining beyond the 2015-16 season are sophomores Abdoulaye Gueye and Ben Lammers, and freshman Sylvester Ogbonda.

Originally a Tennessee commit, White reopened his recruitment in April following the school’s firing of Donnie Tyndall. White also held offers from programs such as Georgia, Iowa State, Missouri and South Carolina. White played with the Stackhouse Elite program this summer, and he averaged 14.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game at the adidas Uprising Gauntlet Finale in Atlanta in early July.

Georgia Tech’s leading scorer ruled out for Bahamas trip

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Georgia Tech began a seven-day trip to the Bahamas earlier this week. But the Yellow Jackets will have their leading scorer and graduate transfer on the sidelines for the entire week.

Georgia Tech Brian Gregory says Marcus Georges-Hunt and Virginia Tech graduate transfer Adam Smith have been ruled out, according to Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“If we had pushed it, we would have had (medical clearance) by now, but we made the decision actually in the beginning of the summer that this was the game plan for us,” he told the AJC.

Georges-Hunt, the rising senior wing, averaged a team-high 13.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. However, his junior season ended on a sour note when he suffered a fracture in the fifth metatarsal of his right foot in the regular season finale against North Carolina on March 3. Georges-Hunt is hoping to be ready for workouts later this month.

Adam Smith, who transferred in from Virginia Tech on April 24, will miss the entire trip after re-aggravating a leg injury. Smith averaged 13.4 points per game, shooting 42 percent from the beyond the 3-point line in his final season with the Hokies. He is eligible immediately.

The Yellow Jackets were scheduled to play in games on Saturday and Sunday after winning their first contest, 101-60, on Thursday.

Looking Forward: Seven coaches who’ll enter 2015-16 on the ‘hot seat’

Buyout aside, 2015-16 will be big for Tom Crean (AP Photo)

With the early entry process over and with just about every elite recruit having picked a school, we now have a pretty good idea of what college basketball will look like in 2015-16. Over the next three weeks, we’ll be taking an early look at next season.

Today, we’re Looking Forward at some coaches who are on the proverbial hot seat:

READ MORE: The preseason top 25

Tom Crean, Indiana: Without much in the way of front court depth the Hoosiers won 20 games and reached the NCAA tournament in 2014-15, but even that isn’t enough for a fan base accustomed to seeing high-level basketball. That’s what makes the 2015-16 season such an important one for Crean, $7.5 million buyout (come July 1) or not. Guards Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr. both decided to return to school, and five-star big man Thomas Bryant will be joining the program as well. The pieces are there for Indiana to make some noise nationally, and Crean needs to take advantage.

Brian Gregory, Georgia Tech: With one above-.500 season in four years in Atlanta (16-15 in 2012-13), the 2015-16 season is an important one for Gregory. The Yellow Jackets went 12-19 last season, and their interior depth took a hit with Demarco Cox and Robert Sampson running out of eligibility. But Charles Mitchell returns and Alabama transfer Nick Jacobs will be eligible, and on the perimeter players such as Marcus Georges-Hunt and Tadric Jackson are back as well. In short, Georgia Tech needs to make some serious progress in the win column and that won’t be easy to do in the ACC.

John Groce, Illinois: The Fighting Illini have missed the NCAA tournament in each of the last two seasons, the first time that’s happened since 1991 and 1992. Rayvonte Rice and Nnanna Egwu may be gone, but junior guards Malcolm Hill, Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate all return to Champaign as will Tracy Abrams (torn ACL in 2014-15). Illinois also adds four freshmen, led by guard Jalen Coleman-Lands, and even with questions to be answered in the front court getting back to the tournament is something that needs to happen.

READ MORE: Eleven potential Breakout Stars in 2015-16 | Eight intriguing coaching hires

Barry Hinson, Southern Illinois: At the end of last season SIU lost five players to transfer, with three of those players deciding to leave after their freshman year. Add in two 14-win seasons followed by a 9-22 campaign in 2014-15, and the 2015-16 season becomes a very important one for Hinson. Leading scorer Anthony Beane returns for his senior season, but outside of him there are a lot of personnel questions to be answered in Carbondale. That could make it tough for the Salukis to take a step forward in the Missouri Valley.

Dave Rice, UNLV: Rice and his staff have made significant strides on the recruiting trail during his tenure, but that hasn’t led to great results both within the Mountain West and nationally. Since Rice took over his alma mater UNLV’s finished no higher than third in the Mountain West, and after reaching the NCAA tournament in each of his first two seasons (losing their opener in both) the Runnin’ Rebels missed out on the Big Dance in 2014 and 2015. With one of the nation’s top recruiting classes led by Stephen Zimmerman arriving on campus, UNLV will once again be expected to be a player within the conference and nationally.

Lorenzo Romar, Washington: Romar and his staff have managed to put together a seven-member recruiting class ranked tenth nationally by And it’s a good thing they did, as the Huskies lost a number of players either to graduation or transfer, with point guard Nigel Williams-Goss ultimately landing at Gonzaga. That leaves rising senior guard Andrew Andrews as the most experienced player for a program that hasn’t reached the NCAA tournament since 2011. Young roster or not, especially in a Pac-12 that will be improved, that drought can’t get to the fifth straight season.

Kevin Willard, Seton Hall: Last season got off to such a positive start for the Pirates, spending three straight weeks in the national polls in the middle of the season. Then, the roof caved in. Injuries and chemistry issues led to the Pirates losing nine of eleven games, going from a team that appeared to be headed to the NCAA tournament to one that didn’t play in any postseason tournament. Add in the midseason departure of Jaren Sina and Sterling Gibbs’ decision to transfer, and Willard’s Pirates have some holes to fill on the perimeter. Willard will need his sophomore class led by Isaiah Whitehead and Angel Delgado to produce in a big way in 2015-16.