Tech-Georgia game at Philips Arena a possibility

Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory and Mark Fox, his counterpart at Georgia, have had trouble the past two years scheduling their annual rivalry game. Because of various conflicts, the teams will play in the season opener Nov. 14, the first day of the season and the earliest the two teams have played.

As a result, Gregory said he and Fox plan to get together this summer to see if they can come up with a permanent spot on the calendar for the game, possibly just before Christmas or as the last game before both teams start conference play. They’ve also kicked around the idea of playing every three years at Philips Arena.

“We want to get it where it’s a big game in the state,” Gregory said late Tuesday. “I think that’d be good for us, and it’d be good for college basketball in the state.”

The game has been played strictly on campus since 1995, but before that was played at the Omni from 1981-94.

Philips Arena general manager Trey Feazell said Wednesday that “we would be thrilled to have the opportunity to host that game again.”

Carter comment: Gregory said that he kept an open door for former Tech forward Robert Carter up to the point he decided to transfer to Maryland. However, he said he had no knowledge that Carter may have been close to returning to Tech and apparently planned to meet with Tech before deciding against it, as Carter's AAU coach Winfred Jordan said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution following Carter's decision.

Said Gregory, “Like any player of mine, if they go through situations like that and they wanted to talk about coming back, I’d be more than willing to sit down with them because I truly believe that Georgia Tech was the best place for Robert, just like I believe it’s the best place for any kid that’s part of our program.”

Possible transfer: Charles Mitchell, who is transferring from Maryland, made an official visit to Tech on Tuesday and Wednesday. The 6-foot-8, 260-pound forward is a Wheeler High graduate and is seeking to be closer to his ailing grandmother. Mitchell also is reportedly considering Georgia and Auburn.

Mitchell, who has two seasons of eligibility remaining and last season averaged 6.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in a backup role, likely would be eligible to receive a hardship waiver from the NCAA and be able to play immediately. Mitchell would take the last remaining scholarship available.

He would be the fourth transfer to join the roster since the end of last season, following center Demarco Cox (Ole Miss), forward Nick Jacobs (Alabama) and point guard Josh Heath (South Florida). Heath has enrolled. Cox and Jacobs have made commitments. Cox is scheduled to graduate from Ole Miss and will have one season of eligibility. Jacobs will sit out a season and have one to play.

Poole leaving: Forward Stacey Poole did not have his scholarship renewed for next season, which would have been his senior season. Poole's brother, Solomon, was dismissed from the team during the season for conduct and accountability issues.

Stacey Poole faces limited choices in transferring. He sat out parts of two seasons after transferring to Tech from Kentucky in January 2012 and is entering his fifth and final season in which he can play. His only option to play at another NCAA school may be to receive a waiver from the NCAA.

Said Gregory, “We’re looking into options for Stacey.”

Etc.: Tech has filed a request for an NCAA waiver for Heath, who transferred from South Florida after that school fired his father Stan as head coach. There is a precedent for waivers granting immediate eligibility in such circumstances. Heath has begun working out with the team and is fitting in well, Gregory said. … Point guard Travis Jorgenson, who tore his ACL in the fourth game of last season, is running and cutting and taking part in some basketball activities. Gregory said Jorgenson is "working as hard as anybody" and hopes to be cleared when the fall semester begins. … Incoming freshman Ben Lammers, who suffered a knee injury during his senior season in San Antonio has been cleared. He is scheduled to enroll this summer.

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