Advanced News and Notes in College Hoops For Feb 4

Updated constantly. Keep checking back to The top sports service plays are available at the Center of the Handicapping Universe These are advanced news and notes available before the opening lines. They are updated often, so keep checking back. Joe Duffy’s private clipboard begins with games of February 4, 2006
Miami (Fl)-Georgia Tech
Press Notes
Hoping to snap a six-game losing streak, two of which have come at home, Georgia Tech returns to Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Tech (9-10 overall, 2-6 ACC this season) has lost consecutive games to No. 18 NC State, Wake Forest, Clemson, No. 18 Maryland, Boston College and Virginia Tech. It is the Jackets’ longest losing streak since the 2001-02 season (also six games), and Tech is under .500 overall for the first time since the end of that season. The Jackets, tied for 10th place in the ACC standings, are 8-3 at home this season. Miami (13-8 overall, 5-3 ACC) has won six of its last eight games, including two straight over Florida State and Wake Forest. The Hurricanes, in fourth place in the ACC standings, come to Atlanta having made more three-point field goals in ACC play (67) than all but two teams in the league. The Yellow Jackets’ last two losses have occurred by a total of three points, 66-64 at Boston College Sunday and 63-62 at Virginia Tech Tuesday. Tech played well defensively, holding those two teams to 40 percent shooting from the floor and 30.3 percent from three-point range.
San Diego-Pepperdine
Press Notes
The USD Toreros (14-6, 4-3 WCC) will put their three-game winning streak on the line. This is the 75th meeting between USD and Pepperdine with the Waves owning a commanding 52-22 advantage. earlier this season the Waves held on for a 55-54 win at Firestone Fieldhouse on January 9th. last season the Toreros won 2 of 3. The USD Toreros earned solid back-to-back WCC road contests this past week with wins over Saint Mary’s (86-78) and Santa Clara (81-66). USD has now won 4-of-5 heading into their 3-game homestand. San Diego has gone 4-1 in league play after starting with tough back-to-back road losses at LMU and Pepperdine. USD’s three WCC losses are by a combined 4 points. USD is off to a 7-2 start in games played at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. the two losses are by a combined 4 points (94-91 to Texas-Arlington in overtime; 64-63 to then No. 6 Gonzaga). USD is averaging 83.1 ppg and 35.6 rpg while limiting opponents to 68.0 ppg and 35.1 rpg. Waves finished the first half of WCC play with a 3-4 mark and 7-12 overall record. Pepperdine comes to USD with a modest two-game winning streak after home wins over Santa Clara (65-45) and LMU (70-62).
Wake Forest-Virginia
Press Notes
Wake Forest is 12-9 overall and 1-7 in the ACC after a 78-69 loss at Miami Tuesday night. Virginia is 10-7 and 4-3 heading into Wednesday’s game at NC State. Wake Forest, which won just two of eight games in the month of January, hopes for a fresh start in February as the Demon Deacons embark on the second half of the ACC schedule beginning Saturday at Virginia. he Demon Deacons, 12-9 overall, 1-7 in the ACC and owning a four-game losing streak, have a lot of ground to make up. Wake is in last place in the ACC standings with eight league games and one nonconference game left. Wake Forest’s last two losses — 78-69 at Miami Tuesday night and 76-70 against Virginia Tech last Saturday — have been especially dis- appointing. The Deacons led Miami at halftime and they held a 12- point second-half advantage in the Virginia Tech game. Wake Forest swept the regular season series last year, breaking a streak of seven consecutive years that the Deacs and Wahoos had split two regular season meetings. Wake won 90-68 in Winston-Salem and 89-70 in Charlottesville. Last year’s win in Charlottesville snapped a streak of four consecutive Deacon losses in University Hall. Virginia leads the series in Charlottesville, 35-20, including a 29-10 advantage in University Hall.
South Carolina-Arkansas
Press Notes
Doubtful is Gamecock Renaldo Balkman who leads the team with 6.3 rpg and is third in scoring with 10.3 ppg. He has played in all 20 of USC’s games this season, starting 13. USC is 11-9 and 2-5 in the SEC.
Utah State-Louisiana State
Press Notes
Louisiana Tech is 14-7 on the season and in first-place in the Western Athletic Conference with a 7-1 league record after defeating San Jose State (75-55) and Fresno State (68-66 ot) on the road last weekend. The Bulldogs, who are 7-0 at home this year, have won seven of its last eight games, losing only at Utah State 64-55. Utah State will be making its third appearance on ESPN this year against Louisiana Tech Saturday afternoon. The last time USU appeared on ESPN it defeated Hawai’i 63-52 in Logan on Mon., Jan. 30. Overall, USU teams have won 18 of its last 20 games that have been televised by ESPN.
Miami (Oh)-Buffalo
Press Notes
After averaging 47.0 ppg over the previous three games, Miami regrouped and has had its best offensive efforts since scoring a season-high 80 points at Michigan on Dec. 22, amassing 73 points at Ohio on Jan. 29 and 77 points against Bowling Green on Feb. 1. Miami rounds our a four-game stretch where it plays three on the road. After road games at Akron and Ohio last week and a home game with Bowling Green on Feb. 1, the RedHawks again take to the road for a 7 p.m. contest at Buffalo on Saturday, Feb. 4. Miami leads the all-time series 11-3, but Buffalo has won two of the last three match-ups. At Alumni Arena, Miami has a 5-2 edge, however, the last time the RedHawks were victorious in Buffalo was in 2004, 72-62. A hallmark of Miami men’s basketball in recent years is a strong emphasis on defense, and the 2005-06 RedHawks are continuing the trend. Miami ranks 18th nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 59.1 ppg. In Mid-American Conference play, the RedHawks rank first in scoring defense (55.7), rebounding defense (27.9), defensive rebounds (25.00) and field goal percentage defense (.397).
UAB-Central Florida
Press Notes
The Golden Knights enter the game with a 9-9 overall mark and a 3-2 league record and will be looking to for their eighth win at home this year. UAB (15-4, 5-1) has won 11 of its last 12 games. Dating back to the start of the 2001-02 season, the Golden Knights are 50-13 in games played at UCF Arena. In 2004-05, the team went 12-3 at home, the second-best home win total in program history (14 in 1993-94). This season, the squad is 7-3 in Orlando.
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