By Guy Curtright
ATLANTA - Kansas is hardly the team anyone wants to play after a 12-day layoff for semester exams. That's the task facing Georgia Tech tonight, however.
The Jayhawks, 10-0 and ranked No. 3, visit Alexander Memorial Coliseum and offer an extremely difficult challenge under any circumstance for the 4-4 Yellow Jackets.
Georgia Tech hasn't played since a 72-67 victory at Georgia State on Dec. 5 and will be playing only its second home game of the season.
The Yellow Jackets haven't hosted a Top 10-ranked team from outside the ACC since Jan. 15, 1989, when they lost 67-65 to No. 9 Louisville.
Georgia Tech has struggled to find the right offensive and defensive combinations this season and inactivity during exams certainly didn't help the situation. Gwinnett County products Gani Lawal (Norcross) and Matt Causey (Berkmar) started together for the first time in the victory against Georgia State and may both get the call again.
Causey, who played at Georgetown and Division II North Georgia before transferring to Tech for his senior year, had six assists and no turnovers against Georgia State. The point guard is averaging 5.1 points and 4.3 assists per game.
Lawal, a 6-foot-8 freshman, made his first start at Georgia State. He is averaging 6.9 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.
The Yellow Jackets have five players scoring in double figures, led by Anthony Morrow at 16.4. But coach Paul Hewitt's team has struggled on defense against better competition, allowing just under 80 points per game for the season.
The home game with Kansas is the belated second half of a home-and-home series. The teams played on Jan. 1, 2005 and Kansas won 70-68 in overtime. With Brandon Rush coming back from knee surgery, the Jayhawks have spread the offense around so far this season. Sophomore forward Darrell Arthur is the leading scorer at just 13.9 points per game.
The meeting with Kansas is the first of five straight at home for the Yellow Jackets. Included is their ACC opener against Florida State on Dec. 30.
SideBar: KANSAS AT GEORGIA TECH
' When: Today, 7 p.m.
' Where: Alexander Memorial Coliseum
' TV/radio: ESPN/790-AM