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Jackets Back Home to Take on Pitt

THE FLATS – Finishing a stretch of three games over five days, Georgia Tech returns home to face Pittsburgh for a 4 p.m. contest Sunday at McCamish Pavilion. The game is a makeup of the contest originally scheduled for Jan. 12 but was postponed under COVID-19 protocols.

The Yellow Jackets (9-8, 5-6 ACC), 3-5 since returning from its 17-day pause, are tied for 10th place in the ACC standings and have a NCAA NET ranking of No. 62. Tech, which is 5-1 at home against ACC teams this season, looks to end a two-game losing streak after falling 57-49 at home to Virginia last Wednesday and 74-72 on the road to Clemson Friday night.

The Panthers (9-6, 5-5 ACC), who haven’t played since last Saturday after having their midweek game at Louisville postponed, are tied for seventh place in the ACC. Pitt has lost three of its last four games, falling at Virginia, 73-66, in its last game Feb. 6. The Panthers are 1-2 on the road in the ACC this season, having beaten Syracuse on Jan. 6.

Sunday’s game will be televised nationally on the ACC Network and will be streamed live on the ESPN app. Radio coverage is provided by the Georgia Tech Sports Network by Learfield IMG College, with flagship station WCNN-Radio (680 AM, 93.7 FM) in Atlanta. The Tech broadcast can be heard on SiriusXM Ch. 371 (Internet 371) and the TuneIn app.

THE TIPOFF

  • Up for Naismith – Jose Alvarado was named Thursday to the Naismith Trophy Midseason Team for its men’s college player of the year. The senior guard is one of three ACC players on the 30-player list along with Pitt’s Justin Champagnie and Louisville’s Carlik Jones.
  • The gauntlet – Sunday’s game is a makeup of a postponed game between Tech and Pitt that was originally scheduled for Jan. 12. The Jackets’ game at Clemson Friday was moved ahead one day from Saturday to accomodate this makeup. It created a stretch of four games in eight days for Tech, which will host Boston College on Wednesday, a game moved back one day from its original Tuesday date.
  • Break up to make up – Two of Georgia Tech’s four postponed ACC games have been rescheduled, its game at Louisville (Feb. 1) and Sunday’s game against Pitt. No makeup dates have been set for the Yellow Jackets’ games at Notre Dame (originally Jan. 6) and NC State (Jan. 16).
  • No rest for the weary – As part of Tech’s effort to reschedule its postponed games, the Yellow Jackets are playing their third game on just one day’s rest while its opponents in those games have had four days (Louisville), five days (Clemson) and six days (Pitt).
  • All in for Alvarado – Jose Alvarado ranks among the ACC’s top 10 in eight statistical categories – No. 5 in ACC in scoring (17.06 ppg), No. 7 in FG percentage (.517), No. 4 in FT percentage (.843), No. 8 in 3-point FG made (2.18), No. 6 in assist average (4.00), No. 1 in steals (2.82), No. 9 in assist/turnover ratio (1.84), No. 2 in average minutes (37.12).
  • The Wright stuff – Moses Wright holds top 10 raankings in seven ACC stat categories – currently No. 7 in the ACC in scoring (16.00), No. 9 in rebound average (7.43), No. 9 in field goal percentage (.498), No. 4 in steals (1.76 per game), No. 5 in blocked shots (1.76), No. 5 in offensive rebounds (2.76) and No. 7 in average minutes played (35.68). He is the only ACC player to rank in top 5 in blocks and steals.
  • Looking large – Michael Devoe is just five points away from 1,000 for his career at Georgia Tech. He would be the 46th Yellow Jacket to reach that benchmark.
  • Moses climbing the mountain – Moses Wright is close to becoming the 21st played in Tech history to score 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds in a career. The 6-9 senior now has 967 career points and 540 career rebounds.
  • Long streak from long range – Alvarado, with two three-point field goals at Clemson, extended his streak of made three-pointers to 35 straight games. It is the longest streak by a Tech player since Anthony Morrow made one in 41 straight games spanning the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, and is the fifth-longest streak in Tech history.
  • Dynamic duo – Jose Alvarado (16.70 ppg vs. ACC) and Michael Devoe (15.18) rank No. 6 and 10, respectively, in the ACC and have accounted for 45.4 percent of the Yellow Jackets’ points in conference games. They have scored or assisted on 70.4 percent of Tech’s field goals in conference play. The Jackets are 6-1 this season when both players score in double digits, 4-0 in the ACC.
  • Bombs away – Alvarado and Devoe have combined to make 43.5 percent of their three-point shots in ACC games.
  • Call me Ush – Jordan Usher has averaged 13.4 points over Tech’s last eight games, six of them in double digits, and has his 49.4 percent of his field goal tries over that period.
  • Ball security – The Jackets remain No. 1 in the ACC in turnover margin (plus-4.29) and rank No. 11 nationally in turnover margin. Tech’s margin of plus 4.36 in ACC games also ranks No. 1. Tech leads the ACC in turnovers forced (15.41), and fourth in turnovers committed (11.12).

Michael Devoe needs five points Sunday against Pitt to reach 1,000 career points. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

SERIES VS. PITTSBURGH

Georgia Tech holds a 9-5 lead in its all-time series with Pittsburgh. The teams split their regular season meetings in 2019-20, falling 73-64 in Pittsburgh and winning 73-57 in Atlanta … Tech’s 73-57 win in the last meeting was the widest margin of victory for either team since Pitt joined the ACC. Seven of the nine meetings as ACC foes have been decided by eight points or less … Tech won the first five games in the series, prior to Pitt’s entry into the ACC, all of which took place between 1966 and 1989, and the Panthers have won five of nine as members of the conference … Tech is 3-1 against the Panthers’ current head coach, Jeff Capel, having scored an 86-65 victory over VCU during the 2003-04 season when Capel was the Rams’ head coach.

TEAM TRENDS

  • Four of Tech’s starters are averaging in double figures in scoring for the season, only Bubba Parham below that mark at 7.8 points per game. Four or more Yellow Jackets have reached double figures in seven games this season, at least three in all but three games.
  • Tech has shot better than 50 percent from the floor in seven games this season, winning the first six games before falling at Clemson Friday despite hitting 52 percent of its field goal tries.
  • Tech has hit just 9-of-40 three-point tries in its last two games and failed to reach 30 percent in four of its last five games (7-of-14 vs. Notre Dame the exception). The Jackets still have connected on 37.5 percent for the season in ACC games.
  • Tech has won the turnover battle (13 to Clemson’s 16) 14 times in its last 15 games.
  • Tech collected nine steals against Clemson and is averaging 9.0 in conference games, 8.94 in all games, both of which rank No. 2 in the ACC. The Jackets are No. 11 nationally in steal percentage (12.6 percent).
  • Tech had at least one player go the full 40 minutes in six straight games before Friday night. Alvarado has done so four times, Moses Wright twice, Michael Devoe and Bubba Parham once each. Prior to that, no one played the full 40 this season.
  • Michael Devoe’s 23 points against Clemson were his most in a game since going for 24 in Tech’s four-overtime season opener against Georgia State. It was his fifth 20-point effort of the season. It may have been his best all-around performance of the season as he was perfect from the free throw line (8-of-8), went 7-of-12 from the floor and added six assists and five steals.
  • For only the second time this season, Alvarado was not credited with a steal at Clemson, and his season average dipped to 2.8 in all games, 3.2 in ACC games. Still, his overall rate is the most by an ACC player since Tim Pickett of Florida State in 2003 (also 2.8), and his rate in ACC games is the most since Clemson’s Vernon Hamilton set the conference record of 4.1 in 2006.
  • Alvarado’s 2.06 steals per game career would put him among the ACC’s all-time top 20 if his career ended today.

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the A-T Fund’s Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes, and the Support The Swarm Fund, created to give fans an opportunity to help Georgia Tech athletics maintain its recent momentum through the financial challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic! To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL

Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its fifth season under head coach Josh Pastner, having finished fifth in the ACC in 2019-20, the program’s highest finish since 2005. 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.

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