Hewitt, Georgia Tech welcome old friend Keener, James Madison

Former Assistant tries to pull upset

Dec. 14, 2004

Paul Hewitt reached a coaching milestone by leading Georgia Tech to the NCAA championship game last season. Dean Keener was standing right there beside him.

Now, Hewitt faces his former assistant for the first time when the third-ranked Yellow Jackets host James Madison on Wednesday.

Keener was one of Hewitt's first hires when he landed the Georgia Tech job in 2000. The two had met at Southern California a decade earlier when Keener was an assistant to former Trojans coach George Raveling and Hewitt was completing a stint as a graduate assistant with the team.

The two friends helped Georgia Tech to a 76-54 mark over the last four years, including last year's title game loss to Connecticut. Keener left to take over at James Madison in April.

The Yellow Jackets (6-0) had their second-lowest scoring game of the season in a 64-42 win over Air Force on Saturday at Philips Arena. Georgia Tech was forced into a slower pace by Air Force's "Princeton offense" and managed a season-low 40 shots.

"They definitely took control of the tempo," Georgia Tech center Luke Schenscher said. "We couldn't run it like we normally like to do."

Schenscher had 15 points and eight rebounds as Georgia Tech dominated despite the slowdown strategy. The Yellow Jackets built a 32-12 halftime advantage and were never threatened.

Georgia Tech failed to make a 3-pointer for the first time since 1987, missing its only two attempts.

"It's not necessarily important, but there's always a reason why things happen to a team," Hewitt said. "For us to only have two 3-point attempts was a combination of the fact that in the first half we wanted to go inside, and in the second half we didn't pass the basketball."

The Yellow Jackets' victory margin this season is 25.7 points per game.

James Madison (2-3) has lost three straight, including a 77-53 loss at Virginia Tech on Saturday. The Dukes never led and didn't get any closer than 12 points in the second half.

Cavell Johnson scored a career-high 17 points to lead James Madison and Ray Barbosa added 14. Barbosa has bounced back from a hamstring injury that hampered him in the preseason to shoot 42 percent (27-of-62) and average 15.8 points per game.

The Dukes are 4-26 all-time against current Atlantic Coast Conference teams, with all four wins coming against ACC newcomer Virginia Tech.

Georgia Tech defeated James Madison 93-69 in the first round of the 1991 Preseason NIT in the only previous matchup between the teams.

Related Stories