Feb. 13, 2018
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech looks to shake a three-game losing streak Wednesday night when its travels to play Wake Forest in a regionally-televised Atlantic Coast Conference game at 9 p.m. at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The Yellow Jackets (11-14, 4-8 ACC) have dropped seven of their last eight games, and saw their current skid extend to three games Sunday night with an 80-69 defeat at home to No. 9/8 Duke, which followed road losses at Boston College and Louisville. Tech last won on Jan. 31, a 55-51 victory at home over Syracuse.
The Demon Deacons (9-16, 2-11 ACC) also have lost three in a row since defeating Florida State at home on Jan. 31, falling to Clemson at home and Miami and Syracuse on the road. Wake lost to the Orange Sunday, 78-70, at Syracuse.
THE STARTING LINEUP
Georgia Tech plays three of its next four games on the road. Following Wednesday night’s game, the Yellow Jackets are home to face Virginia Tech Saturday before going back on the road to face No. 1 Virginia and No. 12 Clemson. Tech then finishes the regular season at home against NC State and Wake Forest.
Head coach Josh Pastner needs one win to reach 200 for his head coaching career. In nine-plus seasons, Pastner has a record of 199-103.
Tech will play the remainder of its season without freshman point guard Jose Alvarado, who dislocated his elbow in a fall during the first half of the Yellow Jackets loss to Duke on Sunday. X-rays also revealed the elbow was also fractured. Alvarado had played every minute of the previous four games and of eight games altogether this season.
Alvarado’s is the second season-ending injury suffered by a Tech player in the last two weeks. Freshman guard Curtis Haywood II was declared out for the season following the Jackets’ Jan. 28 loss to Clemson. Haywood had missed six games earlier in the season with a shin injury, and sophomore guard Josh Okogie missed the first eight games of this season with a dislocated finger.
Okogie has more career points (920) at this point in his sophomore season than any Tech player since Matt Harpring, who finished his sophomore year with 1,021 (1994-96) on the way to finishing No. 2 on Tech’s all-time list with 2,225 points. Five players in Tech history have reached 1,000 career points during their sophomore seasons.
Tech has a chance to have three 1,000-point scorers on its roster by the end of the regular season. Tadric Jackson already has passed the threshold (1,022), while Ben Lammers sits at 960 and Josh Okogie has rapidly risen to 920 (he is averaging 19.2 points a contest).
Four Atlantic Coast Conference teams are currently ranked in the Associated Press and coaches polls – Virginia (1/3), Duke (12/10), Clemson (12/10), North Carolina (14/16), while Florida State, Louisville, Miami and Virginia Tech are receiving votes. The Jackets have already faced UCLA (No. 21 in preseason) and Northwestern (No. 20 in preseason), as well as Tennessee (now No. 18/17).
COACH PASTNER AUDIO FROM MONDAY
SERIES VS. WAKE FOREST
Georgia Tech has a 41-39 lead in the all-time series and a 40-37 lead in games played since it became a member of the ACC.
Tech has won six of the last eight meetings between the two teams, but lost the only meeting between the two teams last season (81-69 in Winston-Salem).
The home team has won 35 of the last 46 regular-season games in the series, with Wake Forest winning four times in Atlanta during that span, and Tech winning seven times in Winston-Salem.
Tech has lost 13 of the last 18 meetings at the Joel Coliseum, but has one of its better records in an opponent’s building at 8-19. Tech is 12-26 against Wake Forest on the road, including a 2-3 mark in regular-season games played in Greensboro and a 2-4 mark in games played in Winston-Salem prior to the opening of Joel Coliseum.
Tech is 38-28 against Wake Forest since 1985, including 12 straight victories from 1985-91.
Tech made a sweep of the season series in 2010-11, setting school records in each game for margin of victory in an ACC game (74-39 at home on Jan. 19) and for margin of victory in an ACC road game (80-54 on Mar. 3). The Jackets also swept the Demon Deacons in 2012-13.
LEGENDARY COACH HYDER TO BE INDUCTED INTO ATLANTA SPORTS HALL OF FAME
— Georgia Tech Sports (@GTAthletics) February 13, 2018
Georgia Tech has started the same lineup for the past 13 games, with Abdoulaye Gueye playing the “4” position. The Yellow Jackets have used six different starting lineups this season.
Tech has had its full roster to practice only for six games this season, from Jan. 10 against Notre Dame through Jan. 28 vs, Clemson. Injuries or other absences have forced Tech players to miss 36 games cumulatively this season, a number which will continue to grow with Jose Alvarado and Curtis Haywood II out for the season with injuries.
Jose Alvarado and Ben Lammers are the only two Tech players to have started every game this season. Lammers, who has started Tech’s last 62 consecutive games, will be the only one beginning Wednesday night.
Tech’s playing rotation this season features four freshmen and a first-year graduate transfer who have combined to start 56 games and log 44 percent of the Yellow Jackets’ total minutes.
Tech committed just 10 turnovers against Duke, which has been bettered by the Jackets only against Clemson and Syracuse (nine each) and Notre Dame on Dec. 30 in conference play. Only three of those occurred in the second half while the Jackets rallied from a 17-point halftime deficit to as few as nine.
Tech hit seven three-point field goals for the second straight game and are 14-of-30 from distance in the last two games.
Tech received 26 points from its bench against Duke, a season high. The Jackets’ previous best was 23 against Virginia, and 20 before that against Florida A&M.
Tech matched its season high by grabbing 16 offensive rebounds and converted them into a season-best 16 points.
Against Duke, freshman forwards Evan Cole (21 minutes) and Moses Wright (20 minutes) received their most extensive playing time since before Christmas, combining for 19 points and 12 rebounds. After seeing spot duty in the first half, both entered the game in the second half with 17:56 left and stayed on the floor the remainder of the game. Each hit a three-point field goal and combined to go 6-of-13 overall from the floor, 5-of-8 from the free throw line.
Cole last played double-digit minutes against Florida A&M on Dec. 17, and his 10 points were a season high. He also grabbed five rebounds, his most since getting six against Coppin State. Wright last played double-digit minutes on Dec. 27 against Coppin State, and scored his most points (nine) since his season best of 19 against the Rattlers on Dec. 17. His seven boards were his most since getting his season high of eight against Bethune-Cookman.
Josh Okogie came up one point shy of getting his fourth career 30-point game, scoring 29 against No. 9 Duke, and also added six rebounds, four assists, a block and two steals in 40 minutes. It was his second 40-minute game this season.
Okogie has scored in double figures in his last seven games (20.9 ppg) after having a 25-game streak of double-digit games snapped against Virginia (nine points). The sophomore guard has scored in double figures 48 times in 54 career games. He has scored 30 or more three times (two vs. ACC), 20 or more 17 times (10 times in an ACC game).
Okogie has averaged 19.1 points per game after missing the first eight games of the season, including 19.2 in ACC games so far (fourth-best in league rankings). He averaged 16.1 points as a freshman, 17.1 against the ACC. The 6-4 sophomore has hit 41.2 percent of his shots from three-point range and 81.7 percent from the free throw line this season. Okogie has at least one three in 14 of his 17 games this season, including his first seven straight.
Okogie has scored more points in his first two seasons at Tech (920) since Matt Harpring accumulated 1,021 by the end of his sophomore season (1996-98). At his present rate, Okogie can become the sixth Tech player to reach 1,000 career points by the end of his sophomore season.
In nine games against top-25 opponents Georgia Tech has hosted at McCamish Pavilion, Okogie has averaged 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. He has shot 47.5 percent (57-of-120) from the floor, 38.7 percent (12-of-31) from three-point range and 81.2 percent (69-of-85) from the free throw line.
Okogie is averaging 7.2 rebounds per game in ACC play, third best among league guards, and 6.5 for the season. Okogie has snared 58 rebounds in his last seven games (8.3).
Okogie has 33 assists in his last 10 games, a 3.3 average, and has matched his career high of five twice (second meeting vs. Notre Dame and at Florida State) in that stretch.
Despite missing eight games, Okogie leads the Jackets in free throw attempts with 120, an average of 7.1 per game that leads the ACC. He averaged 6.5 as a freshman, which ranked third in the ACC.
Ben Lammers surpassed 700 career rebounds against Syracuse and now has 730, moving into 13th place on Georgia Tech’s all-time list with eight boards against Duke. He needs 10 to catch Jim Wood (740 from 1974-77) for 12th place.
Lammers blocked one shot against Duke, giving him 240 blocks for his career, good for sole possession of fourth place in Tech history and needing three to catch John Salley (243 from 1982-86) for third place.
Lammers also is drifting ever closer to 1,000 points for his career. With 960 career points, and needs four games at his current 11.2 per game rate to reach 1,000.
Abdoulaye Gueye went scoreless for the second time in four games against Duke, but has averaged 8.4 points (50 percent FG) and 6.2 rebounds in 13 games since conference play began. He has scored in double figures six times during that stretch, and also has blocked 21 shots.
Gueye has scored 109 points in the 13 games since sitting out Coppin State on Dec. 27. He had scored 70 points in 39 career games prior to Coppin State.
Before being injured in the Duke game, Alvarado had played every minute of the previous four games and in eight games altogether (seven 40-minute regulation games and one 45-minute overtime game). The freshman point guard averaged 39.3 minutes per ACC game prior to Duke, fourth-most in the conference, and ranked fourth among freshman nationally at 35.9 minutes per game overall. Since the beginning of ACC play, Alvarado had sat out just 15 minutes total in 12 games prior to Duke.
Lammers is averaging 36.4 minutes this season, sixth-most in the ACC (37.7 mpg vs. the ACC), and ranks No. 1 among centers nationally in average minutes played and percentage of possible minutes.
Tech, Syracuse and Boston College each have three players ranked among the ACC’s top 12 in average minutes per ACC game. Okogie is Tech’s third player among those 12, averaging 36.7 minutes per ACC game.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its second 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.