ATLANTA -- Marcus Georgia-Hunt and Robert Carter Jr. had solid freshman years for Georgia Tech, but even more is expected from them as sophomores this season.
Georges-Hunt had 17 points and nine rebounds, and Carter had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead Georgia Tech to an opening 88-57 victory over Presbyterian on Friday night."I would say confidence," Georges-Hunt said when asked the difference between last season and this one. "I feel like last year as freshmen in the ACC we were thrown into the fire, so we had to learn as the season went on.""Experience," added Carter. "Just knowing what we needed to work on. Just going out there and executing and playing with more confidence."Senior center Daniel Miller added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Yellow Jackets, while Trae Golden, a senior transfer from Tennessee, scored 12 points and freshman Travis Jorgenson contributed eight points, five assists and four steals off the bench.Jordan Downing had a game-high 22 points for Presbyterian and freshman Markus Terry scored 13. The Blue Hose, a member of the Big South Conference, fell to 0-9 all-time against the ACC opponent.The Yellow Jackets shot 51 percent to 34 percent for Presbyterian and out-rebounded the Blue Hose 47-32. Tech reserves contributed 26 points, while Presbyterian got just four points from its bench."Overall, a lot of positives," said coach Brian Gregory, in his third season as Tech coach. "I thought we shared the ball well and did a better job the last 22 minutes going to the offensive glass."The Yellow Jackets never trailed, but led by just two points with under two minutes left in the first half before scoring eight straight to go up 42-32 at intermission.Then Tech broke the game open with nine straight points to start the second half, taking a 51-32 lead. Georges-Hunt and Solomon Poole hit 3-pointers and Golden converted a 3-point play."The second half got away from us because we were going way too fast," Presbyterian coach Gregg Nibert said."They really pushed it out on us," added Nibert, who thought the difference was Tech's strengths. "We showed we've got a young team and we panicked."Tech finished the game with just six turnovers and used 10 steals to score 22 fast-break points. The Yellow Jackets had 50 points in the paint to 26 for Presbyterian."I thought our guys handled the zone well," Gregory said. "It's a little concern anytime you face a zone in your first game."The Yellow Jackets began the season 11-2 a year ago, but finished 14-16 overall and 6-12 in the ACC. They were picked to finish 11th in the expanded ACC in the preseason poll.Tech played without senior forward Jason Morris, recovering from foot surgery, and sophomore guard Chris Bolden, suspended for the first three games.The Yellow Jackets host Delaware State on Monday, then play at rival Georgia on Friday.