ACC notes: CBI a possibility for Tech

With its 84-64 loss to Boston College on Thursday, Georgia Tech has virtually no chance of making the NIT. Before the start of the ACC tournament, NIT selection committee chair C.M. Newton said that the Yellow Jackets were on the NIT bubble “at best,” and a 20-point loss isn’t going to help the situation.

The College Basketball Invitational, a five-year-old tournament that takes the NIT’s leftovers, is a possibility.

“We’ve got to make a decision on what’s best for the program, what’s best for the seniors, what’s best for us moving forward, too,” coach Brian Gregory said after the game.

No ACC team has accepted a CBI invitation since Virginia played in the inaugural CBI in 2008. However, Pac-12 teams have played in it regularly. Gregory noted last week that Pittsburgh played in and won the tournament last year in circumstances similar to Tech’s — a young team looking for more playing experience.

While Tech will be on spring break next week, Mfon Udofia, Robert Carter and Daniel Miller all indicated an interest in continuing to play.

“Of course,” Miller said. “You can’t end a season like that, a 20-point loss. But it’d be good.”

Last shot: If Tech chooses not to play, Thursday's loss will turn out to be the final game for Udofia and backup point guard Pierre Jordan. Udofia scored 10 points on 4-for-11 shooting with three assists against no turnovers. Jordan did not play.

For his career, Udofia has 117 3-pointers and 283 assists, 14th and 18th in Tech history, respectively.

“It’s tough,” Udofia said. “It really hit me when I came in the locker room, hugged all my teammates. They said they loved me and were thanking me for everything I’ve done to help those guys out.”

Udofia will play in a college all-star game at the Georgia Dome on April 5, the Friday before the Final Four, following the participating teams’ workouts.

Near record: Just five more points, and Boston College point guard Olivier Hanlan could have broken a 56-year-old record for most points scored in an ACC tournament game. As it stands, Hanlan had to settle for 41 points against Tech — tied for third most points and most by a freshman.

“On defense, we were scrambling a lot, and he had a lot of open shots, and he knocked ’em down,” Tech forward Marcus Georges-Hunt said. “He’s a great player.”

Fans gave him a standing ovation when Eagles coach Steve Donahue pulled him from the game with 2:13 to go. Donahue said he didn’t know about the record and indicated he wouldn’t have kept him in to chase it.

Among other things, Hanlan is the only Canadian player in the ACC. He grew up in Quebec and came to Donahue’s attention through a coaching colleague in Canada. He led all ACC freshmen in scoring in the regular season with 14.6 points per game.

Said Donahue, “I think he got underrecruited a little bit.”

The only players to score more against Tech in a single game — Furman’s Frank Selvy (51) in 1954, N.C. State’s Rodney Monroe (48) in 1991, Rice’s Doug McKendrick (47) in 1965 and North Carolina’s Shammond Williams (42) in 1998. Hanlan tied Clemson’s Will Solomon (41 in 2001).

Above .500: Unless they go to the CBI and lose their first game, the Jackets (16-15) will finish with a winning record. It would be an achievement for the team and Gregory, as no Tech coach has had a winning record in his second season since Dwight Keith in 1945. Roy McArthur, Whack Hyder, Dwane Morrison, Bobby Cremins and Paul Hewitt all had losing records in their second seasons.

Gregory said that not many people expected Tech to finish above .500 after winning 11 games last season and starting three freshmen this season, but he added that “no one’s satisfied with this. We need to keep growing, keep getting better, and that’s going to be a challenge to those guys.”

Brown dishes, denies: N.C. State guard and Centennial High grad Lorenzo Brown had a game to remember in the Wolfpack's 80-63 win over Virginia Tech. Brown, the ACC's assist leader, had 12 assists Thursday, setting a school record for an ACC tournament game. Brown also took the lead in limiting Hokies guard Erick Green, the nation's leading scorer and ACC player of the year, to 15 points on 5-for-19 shooting.

“I basically fed off the energy of my teammates,” Brown said. “They did a great job of helping me on the screen and driving.”

He's No. 1: It appears that Green will end the season No. 1 in the country in scoring at 25.4 points per game, which would make him the first ACC player to do so since South Carolina's Grady Wallace in 1957. Even if the No. 2 scorer, Creighton's Doug McDermott, had six games in the NCAA tournament, he would need to average 38.2 points per game to pass Green.