ATLANTA -- Five seniors will line up for what could be the final home game of their career on Saturday afternoon. And while the efforts of all will be acknowledged by the fans, most of the attention will focus on Marcus Georges-Hunt.
And rightfully so.
Georges-Hunt has been the one constant in the past four seasons, and he finally has some positive results to show for it.
The College Park native was one of three marquee signees by head coach Brian Gregory in his first recruiting classes. The other two didn't pan out: gifted forward Robert Carter Jr. heeded the advice of outside agencies and bolted the program after two years and transferred to Maryland, and guard Chris Bolden lost his shot and his way and was shown the door after his third year.
But Georges-Hunt remains and will be held in high regard by the Georgia Tech faithful, maybe not in the manner as Mark Price, John Salley or Matt Harpring, but certainly because of his determination and unwillingness to quit.
"Time flew by pretty fast -- it went pretty quickly," Georges-Hunt said. "I've kind of watched myself grow, and I'm just fortunate to be able to play in front of the great fans and alumni here. Just being thankful for the opportunity to play here at Georgia Tech in front of great people."
Georges-Hunt and the other seniors -- forwards Charles Mitchell, Nick Jacobs and James White and guard Adam Smith -- will be honored before Saturday's 2 p.m. game against Pittsburgh. And while the plaques and handshakes are nice, the Yellow Jackets still have work to do.
The Yellow Jackets had their four-game winning streak broken on Tuesday Louisville. With a win over Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech (17-13, 7-10 in the ACC) can further establish its credentials for a postseason invitation and even keep alive its quixotic hopes for an NCAA bid.
The team has responded against a tough schedule. The ESPN Basketball Power Index ranks the Yellow Jackets No. 49 with an overall schedule strength of No. 4. They are the highest-ranked team that is not currently seen as an NCAA invitee.
It is generally believed that should Georgia Tech fail to make the NCAA field, the Yellow Jackets would certainly be included in the NIT. It's no guarantee that they will get a chance to play again at McCamish Pavilion this year, which gives fans one final chance to see this group -- many of them in pursuit of records.
Georges-Hunt scored nine points against Louisville -- breaking a string of eight straight double-figure games -- but moved past two-time All-America Roger Kaiser and into 12th on the all-time scoring list. He is only 26 points away from catching Tony Akins for 11th. Georges-Hunt will graduate this spring with a degree in science, technology and culture.
Mitchell is trying to become the first player since Alvin Jones in 2001 to average a double-double. Mitchell is currently at 10.4 points and 9.9 rebounds and has 27 career double-doubles.
Jacobs needs four points to reach the 1,000 total for his career. The first 680 came during his three seasons at Alabama before he transferred to Georgia Tech.
Georgia Tech lost an 89-85 decision to Pittsburgh on Jan. 6. That game was lost at the line: The Panthers made 25-of-30 free throws, while the Yellow Jackets only got 15 chances and made eight of them. Pittsburgh's Jamel Artis and James Robinson each scored 18, and Michael Young added 17. Robinson and Young both went 7-for-8 from the line.
Georgia Tech can nail down 11th place in the ACC with a win. The Yellow Jackets are currently tied with Florida State (17-12, 7-10) and the Seminoles finish the season at home against Syracuse. If Georgia Tech and Florida State end up tied, the Yellow Jackets win the tiebreaker based on their win over the Seminoles.
That scenario would give Georgia Tech the 10th seed for the tournament and mean a first-round matchup against either Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia Tech or Clemson.
If Georgia Tech loses to Pitt and FSU wins on Saturday, the Yellow Jackets would get the 11th seed and be forced to play a first-round game on Tuesday against Boston College.