ATLANTA -- The Georgia Tech basketball team might not need that big bus Tuesday for the ride to Clemson. They might just be able to pile into head coach Brian Gregorys car. The roster keeps shrinking by the day.
The latest subtraction from the roster came Monday, when the school announced the dismissal of sophomore Solomon Poole, who was averaging 6.4 points in 14 games this season, for what Gregory called conduct and accountability issues in a news release.
But while the number of available players gets smaller, the Yellow Jackets keep toughing it out. Their 79-70 win Saturday at Wake Forest was a textbook example of determination, which will need to be duplicated if they have any chance to win their second straight ACC road game.
We want to build our program on toughness, Gregory said. People ask me about the mood of the team, and I think we showed it. The kids showed it. They showed theyve got fight and theyve got toughness.
Senior guard Trae Golden added his name to the list of the injured during the Wake Forest game when he aggravated a pulled groin. Golden had been nursing the injury, but he made a move in the first part of the game that caused enough pain to force him out. Golden didnt return and played only eight minutes.
Golden joined the list that includes Robert Carter Jr. (knee), Travis Jorgenson (knee) and Jason Morris (broken foot). Poole also missed time because of migraines.
Goldens injury leaves his status as day-to-day.
As a result of Goldens injury, Georgia Tech had four players log 32 or more minutes against Wake Forest: Marcus Georges-Hunt, Daniel Miller, Corey Heyward and Chris Bolden. Even walk-on guard Ron Wamer got five significant minutes.
You saw some pretty interesting combinations, said Gregory, his team now 12-10 overall and 3-6 in the ACC. We had some combinations that I never thought Id see on the court, but everybody stepped up and it was a total team win. Despite a little bit of a depleted roster, our guys are still getting better and hanging in there.
The one constant was Miller, the 6-11 senior who had 16 points and 14 rebounds. Miller has five double-doubles this year, including a career-high 21 points and 14 rebounds a week ago at N.C. State.
Georges-Hunt had a career-high 23 points against Wake Forest. He has averaged 17.6 points over the last three games and is averaging 13.7 points in ACC games.
Clemson wont be an easy foe for Georgia Tech. Not only are the Tigers (14-6, 5-3 ACC) an improved team that has already surpassed last years win total, but Georgia Tech has always had difficulty winning at Littlejohn Coliseum. Georgia Tech has lost the past eight meetings at Clemson and has an 8-33 record in the building. Its last win there was Feb. 8, 2005.
The Tigers are led by junior forward K.J. McDaniels, who had 26 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots in Saturdays 53-49 win at Florida State. McDaniels combined for 29 points in Clemsons two victories over Georgia Tech last season.
Clemsons game with Georgia Tech is the lone home game in a six-game stretch. The Tigers are the second-best scoring defense in the ACC (55.8 points) and are 9-1 at home this season, including a win over Duke.