Georgia Tech will renew a series with one of its oldest non-conference rivals this season when the Yellow Jackets and Tennessee begin a four-game non-conference series at McCamish Pavilion.
The Volunteers will visit Tech on Monday, November 16, to begin the series, and return to Atlanta during the 2017-18 season. The Yellow Jackets will play Tennessee in Knoxville during the 2016-17 and 2018-19 seasons.
Tennessee holds a 42-27 lead in the all-time series, which dates back to 1921. The bulk of those meetings took place while the Yellow Jackets were members of the Southeastern Conference from 1932-64. Since Tech’s exit from the SEC, the teams have met nine times, most recently on Dec. 15, 2002, when the Volunteers won 70-69 on a half-court heave at Philips Arena, and Feb. 7, 2004, when the Yellow Jackets won 77-62 at Thompson-Boling Arena during its most recent Final Four season.
“Each year we want to anchor our non-conference home schedule with a major opponent, and Tennessee has a long tradition of success that will only continue with Rick Barnes leading the program,” said Tech coach Brian Gregory. “It’s a big name and a big draw in the Southeast that should excite our fans, and Georgia Tech has a history with them that goes back a long way. Our non-conference schedule was one of the strongest in the country last season, and we fared well against it, and this game will help us have another strong slate.”
Gregory’s fifth Tech team returns three starters, including senior forward Marcus Georges-Hunt, the sixth-leading returning scorer in the Atlantic Coast Conference and promising sophomore scoring guard Tadric Jackson, as well as one of the top double-double practitioners in the ACC in senior forward Charles Mitchell. All told, 11 letterwinners are back, including six of the team’s top nine scorers. The Jackets also welcome to their ranks the ACC’s top three-point shooter from last season, Adam Smith, who is transferring from Virginia Tech, and high-scoring forward Nick Jacobs, a transfer from Alabama who sat out the 2014-15 season.
Tennessee is entering its first season under Barnes, who became the Volunteers’ head man after 17 seasons at Texas, where he guided the Longhorns to 16 NCAA Tournament appearances.