Tech Hosts UTRGV on Thanksgiving Eve

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THE FLATS  –  Georgia Tech plays its third home game of the 2018-19 season and the first of two this week Wednesday night when the Yellow Jackets take on UT Rio Grande Valley at 7:30 p.m. at McCamish Pavilion.

Tech (2-1), in its third season under head coach Josh Pastner, has won both of its home games in convincing fashion, 88-69 over Lamar and 79-54 over East Carolina, sandwiched around a 66-53 road loss at No. 5 Tennessee.

UTRGV (3-2), in its third season under head coach Lew Hill, comes to Atlanta following a 69-64 loss at East Carolina Monday night. The Vaqueros’ only other loss came at home to Oklahoma (91-76 on Nov. 9), and they won their only other road game this season, 76-68 over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Nov. 12.

Wednesday’s game will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra through the ESPN app. Radio coverage is provided on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, airing in Atlanta on 680 AM and 93.7 FM the Fan. The Tech broadcast can also be heard on satellite radio (XM ch. 383, internet ch. 974).

STARTING LINEUP

  • 104th season – Georgia Tech is playing its 104th season of basketball and has an all-time record of 1,364-1,227.
  • Showcase – Georgia Tech and its first four home opponents are part of an NCAA-exempt multi-team event known as the Deep South Showcase, in which each team plays the other four. The Yellow Jackets finish out the event Friday against Prairie View A&M. UTRGV defeated Prairie View, lost to East Carolina and hosts Lamar Friday.
  • On the road – Tech plays away from home just three times before January. Aside from last week’s game at Tennessee, the Yellow Jackets visit Northwestern for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Nov. 28, followed by a trip to Miami to play St. John’s in the Hoophall Miami Invitational.
  • Tough slate – Eight opponents on Georgia Tech’s schedule were ranked in the top 25 of the preseason AP and coaches polls, including No. 5 Tennessee and ACC foes Duke (4/3), Virginia (5/5), North Carolina (8/7), Virginia Tech (15/17), Syracuse (16/14), Florida State (17/15) and Clemson (22/23).
  • Bank on it – James Banks, a 6-9 forward/center from Decatur, Ga., transferred to Tech in the summer following two seasons at Texas, was granted immediate eligiblity by the NCAA last Tuesday and made his Tech debut in the game at Tennessee (five points, seven rebounds and a blocked shot in 16 minutes).
  • Long bench – Tech has deployed nine players for significant minutes (10 or more per game) in each of its two games so far. All 12 scholarship players saw action at Tennessee.
  • Filling up – Georgia Tech has averaged 8.0 three-point field goals in three games, 24 total threes made by six different players. Tech averaged just 3.3 through its first three games last season and finished the year at 4.9.
  • Creating offense with defense – Georgia Tech has forced an average of 17.7 turnovers per game, 2.7 per game more than through three games last season, and has turned those into 16.7 points per game.
  • Picking up the pace – Through three games, Tech is averaging 72.2 possessions per game to rank No. 129 in the nation, according to KenPom.com. The Jackets averaged 66.1 possessions last year (277th) and 68.2 in 2016-17 (179th).
  • Unlucky 13 – Tech was picked to finish 13th in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season in a vote of the ACC media, ahead of Pittsburgh and Wake Forest. The Yellow Jackets finished 13th last season.
  • Seven – Number of freshmen and sophomores expected to play significant roles for the Yellow Jackets this season.
  • Four – Number of eligible fifth-year (Brandon Alston, Abdoulaye Gueye) or fourth-year (Sylvester Ogbonda, Shembari Phillips) student-athletes on Tech’s roster this season.
  • 578 – Career points for Brandon Alston, the most of any current Tech player. Shembari Phillips is next with 386, followed by Jose Alvarado with 334 and Abdoulaye Gueye with 227. Georgia Tech finished last season with a trio of 1,000-point career scorers on its roster for the first time since 1989.

SERIES VS. UTRGV

  • Georgia Tech evened the all-time series with UT Rio Grande Valley with a 78-68 victory last November at McCamish Pavilion. Tech had lost its only prior meeting against UTRGV by an 80-73 score on Jan 28, 1975 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The institution was then known at Texas-Pan American.
  • Tech has a sparse history with teams from the Western Athletic Conference. Aside from its 1-1 mark against UTRGV, the Yellow Jackets downed CSU-Bakersfield in the semifinals of the NIT in March of 2017.

Senior forward Abdoulaye Gueye has averaged 6.0 points and 5.0 rebounds through three games. 

TEAM NOTES

  • Georgia Tech has held its three opponents an average of 17.3 points under their scoring averages – breakdown by game: Lamar 75.3 (69), Tennessee 86.5 (66), East Carolina 79.0 (54).
  • Tech has deployed nine players for significant minutes (10 or more per game) in each of its three games so far. All 12 scholarship players saw action at Tennessee and 11 (all except injured Evan Cole) against East Carolina.
  • Tech has yielded just 11 three-point field goals in its first three games (24.4 percent). The Jackets allowed an average of 7.1 per game and a success rate of 37.9 percent last season.
  • Conversely, Tech has attempted 66 threes (22 per game) and made 24 (8.0 per game), compared to averages of 15.3 attempts and 4.9 made per game in 2018-19. The Yellow Jackets made nine of 17 attempts against East Carolina, with six different players scoring them.
  • Defensively, Tech has forced 54 turnovers (18.0 per game, 35th in NCAA) and taken 29 steals (9.7 per game, No. 26 nationally). The Jackets forced an average of 12.6 turnovers per game last season and took 6.9 steals per game.
  • Tech has shot an even 50 percent from the floor in its two home games (50.8 percent against Lamar, 49.1 percent against East Carolina), while connecting on 21 of 47 three-point attempts (44.7 percent).
  • Tech held East Carolina to 35.6 percent from the floor in the game, more than 10 percent below the Pirates’ rate in their first three games. It was the third straight game the Jackets have limited their opponent to less than 40 percent. Tech is 26-8 when doing so under Josh Pastner.
  • Tech’s bench outscored that of East Carolina, 35-24. Yellow Jacket reserves have scored 110 points in three games.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • Moses Wright started for Georgia Tech against East Carolina in place of Evan Cole, who was sidelined with a sprained left ankle suffered in the Tennessee game. He played 16:37 and scored six points with six rebounds.
  • Curtis Haywood II reached double figures in points for the sixth time in his career (18 games), scoring a career-high 18 points against East Carolina with three three-point field goals. He went 5-of-9 from the floor, 3-of-5 from behind the arc and 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
  • Jose Alvarado collected a season-high six assists and three steals while going 4-for-7 from the floor (nine points) in a team-high 27 minutes.
  • Freshman guard Michael Devoe posted his first double-digit game with 13 points, and was perfect from the floor (4-for-4, 3-for-3 on 3s) with a season-best four steals in 27 minutes.
  • Brandon Alston fell short of his third straight double digit game (nine points) against East Carolina, but connected on his only three-point attempt and is 5-of-7 for the season. Alston is 13-for-24 from the floor overall in three games.
  • Transfer James Banks has averaged 5.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 16 minutes in his two games.

SEASON-TICKET HOLDER DISCOUNTS AND T-SHIRTS – Season-ticket holders can receive a 20-percent discount at select concession stands inside McCamish Pavilion, and a 25-percent discount off a single item at the Georgia Tech Bookstore location inside McCamish Pavilion, behind section 115. Season-ticket holders can simply present their season ticket prior to purchase to receive the discount. Participating concession locations will be clearly marked with appropriate signage.

SEASON-TICKET HOLDER T-SHIRTS – This season, each full season-ticket holder will receive an exclusive gold adidas performance t-shirt for each ticket purchased.  The voucher(s) for this shirt has included with each patron’s season tickets. The voucher can be redeemed at the t-shirt redemption table behind section 101 in McCamish Pavilion during any non-conference home game (last non-conference game is Jan. 2 vs. USC Upstate).  Sizes from XS-XXL are available and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and pickup will conclude at the end of halftime during each game.

CLEAR BAG POLICY – To provide a safer environment for the public and significantly expedite fan entry, the GTAA implemented a policy beginning with the 2018 football season that limits the size and type of bags that may be brought into athletics facilities. This policy continues with men’s basketball games at McCamish Pavilion. Prohibited items include, but are not limited to: purses larger than a 4.5″ x 6.5″ clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, grocery bags, cinch bags, non-approved chair backs and seat cushions, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size.

Full policy | Clear Bag FAQs

COMPLIMENTARY BAG VALET – A complimentary bag valet is available to fans who fail to comply with the clear bag policy. The bag valet location is located at the Byers Tennis Complex either inside the main lobby or located in a tent in the exterior courtyard. The location will be determined based on weather conditions.

SELF-SERVICE SCANNING KIOSKS – Self-service ticket scanning kiosks have been added to entrances at McCamish Pavilion to speed up entry procedures on game days.

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL

Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its third year under head coach Josh Pastner. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram.

For more information on Tech basketball, visit Ramblinwreck.com. Tickets for men’s basketball can be purchased here.

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