THE FLATS – Georgia Tech takes on its third power conference team in four games this season Monday night when the undefeated Arkansas Razorbacks come to Atlanta for a 7 p.m. contest at McCamish Pavilion.
Tech (2-1. 1-0 ACC) began its fourth season under head coach Josh Pastner with a dramatic 82-81 overtime victory over NC State in Raleigh, N.C., and followed with a 64-41 homecourt win over Elon on Nov. 11. The Yellow Jackets fell 82-78 at Georgia for their first loss Wednesday night. Tech has the ACC’s leading scorer in sophomore guard Michael Devoe.
Arkansas (5-0, 0-0 SEC), in its first season under head coach Eric Musselman, is playing its first road game of the 2019-20 season after winning five games at Bud Walton Arena. The Razorbacks have held their five opponents to 47.8 points per game and won by an average of 28.2 points. Opponents have made just 11 of 81 three-point field goals and 33.7 percent from the floor overall.
Monday’s game will be televised live on the ACC Network, with live streaming available through the ESPN app. Radio coverage is provided through Learfield IMG College, airing in Atlanta on 680 AM and 93.7 FM the Fan and through the TuneIn app. The Tech broadcast is also available on satellite radio (XM ch. 388, internet ch. 978).
- No ducking – Georgia Tech’s schedule includes six power conference teams in its first eight games, including road games at NC State and Georgia among the first three. Arkansas comes to McCamish Pavilion Monday night, with Nebraska (Dec. 4), Syracuse (Dec. 7) and Kentucky (Dec. 14) to follow.
- Beefing up – With a more veteran team in 2019-20, Georgia Tech made an effort to strengthen its non-conference schedule, beginning a two-game series with Kentucky and finishing another two-game set with Arkansas, while accepting an invitation to play in the Diamond Head Classic, in which the Jackets could wind up playing a pair of 2019 NCAA Tournament teams in Houston and Washington. Also on the schedule are the annual meeting against Georgia and the Big Ten/ACC matchup against Nebraska.
- Coming faster – After playing just three games in the first 20 days of the season, Georgia Tech will play four games in 13 days, all at home, beginning with Monday night’s game against Arkansas.
- Michael Devoe leads the ACC and ranks fourth nationally in scoring average (26.0 ppg). He leads the nation and the conference in three-point field goal percentage (.733), and he ranks fourth in the ACC and 14th nationally in field goal percentage (.591).
- James Banks III leads the nation and the ACC in blocked shots (5.67 per game), while Tech also leads that category as a team (10.0 per game).
- Khalid Moore leads the ACC in steals (3.0 per game), while Georgia Tech is sixth as a team (7.7 per game).
- Michael Devoe (35.97) and James Banks III (34.79) rank No. 2 and 4 in the ACC in most average minutes played this season.
James Banks III leads the nation in blocked shots with 5.67 per game. (photo by Danny Karnik)
SERIES VS. ARKANSAS
Georgia Tech improved 5-1 all-time against Arkansas after the Yellow Jackets’ 69-65 victory over the Razorbacks last Dec. 19. Arkansas is the second of three Southeastern Conference foes on Tech’s 2019-20 schedule.
- Monday’s game will mark the Yellow Jackets’ first game against Arkansas in Atlanta since the mid-1960s, when the Razorbacks came to Alexander Memorial Coliseum in back-to-back seasons. It is the back end of a two-game contract between the two teams.
- Before last season’s meeting, three of the five games occurred in tournaments. Tech won the most recent one, 83-73, on Nov. 26, 2015 in the NIT Season Tipoff at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
- The teams first met in the 1961 Poinsettia Tournament in Greenville, S.C., the Razorbacks’ lone victory in the series (72-42). The teams met again in the 1984 Rainbow Classic, a 72-52 Yellow Jacket triumph in the opening round, the most recent meeting before the NIT Season Tipoff three years ago.
- The teams played twice in the 1960s at Tech’s Alexander Memorial Coliseum, where the Jackets won 93-83 in 1965 and 88-75 in 1966.
- Since leaving the SEC following the 1963-64 season, Georgia Tech is 29-57 against teams from that conference, not including Georgia. Since joining the ACC for the 1979-80 season, the Jackets are 17-21 vs. the SEC. Tech has not faced Missouri or Texas A&M since they joined the SEC.
Michael Devoe leads the ACC in scoring at 26.0 points per game. (photo by Danny Karnik)
FOLLOWING THE TRENDS
- Through three games, Georgia Tech ranks sixth nationally in effective defensive field goal percentage (37.3), fourth in two-point field goal defense (36.7) and 36th in three-point defense (35.8), according to KenPom.com.
- Since the beginning of last season, Tech has held 20 opponents last season, and nine ACC opponents, under 40 percent from the floor. The Jackets have limited 17 opponents, nine in the ACC, to 30 percent or less from three-point range.
- Tech leads the nation in blocked shots with 30 in three games (10.0 per game). Tech blocked a season-high 11 at Georgia, its most in a game since swatting away 12 against Pittsburgh last Feb. 20. James Banks III blocked six of those and leads the nation with 17 in three games (5.67 per game).
- Tech ranks third in the nation in defensive rebounding with 35 per game, and had 30 against Georgia. Tech’s perimeter players took 16 of those, eight by Michael Devoe.
- Georgia Tech’s adjusted tempo is 72.4 possessions per game according to KenPom.com, well ahead of the 66.1 possessions per game last season and 66.8 in 2016-17. Game-by-game, Tech has 73, 77 and 78 possessions and has exceeded 100 points/100 possessions twice.
- Tech has reached 70 possessions per game over the course of a full season only four times since 1997, the first year KenPom kept 1997-98 (72.3), 2000-01 (72.1), 2001-02 (70.5) and 2008-09 (70.5).
- Tech’s 74.7 points per game this season is more than any Yellow Jacket team has been able to sustain over a full season since 2007-08 (77.6). The Jackets have finished a season at 70 points or more per game only once in the last nine seasons (73.2 in 2015-16).
- Tech hit 8-of-19 three-point field goals (42.1 pct., best rate this season) against Georgia to improve to 33.3 percent for the season.
- Tech has averaged 11 fewer field goal attempts per game than its opponents, but has made nine more overall.
- Michael Devoe has matched or exceeded his career high in scoring in each game this season, scoring 34 at Georgia after getting 22 each against NC State and Elon. It was Tech’s first 30-point effort since Josh Okogie scored 30 in a Tech win over Miami on Jan. 3, 2018.
- Devoe’s 12 field goals, 21 attempts and nine rebounds at Georgia were all career highs.
- Devoe leads the ACC and ranks fourth in the nation in scoring at 26.0 points per game. He ranks No. 2 nationally and leads the ACC in three-point percentage (.733, 11-of-15). His 3.67 three-pointers per game lead the ACC and rank 14th nationally. He went 5-of-7 from distance at Georgia.
- James Banks III leads the nation and the ACC in blocked shots with 5.67 per game (17 in three games). He had six at Georgia, six against Elon and five at NC State.
- Moses Wright posted season highs for points (18) and rebounds (9) at Georgia, and hit 8-of-15 shots from the floor. Wright ranks seventh in the ACC in field goal percentage (.517), 16th in rebounds (7.7 per game) and tied for fourth in blocked shots (2.0 per game).
- Bubba Parham posted his first double-figure scoring game as a Jacket with 10 points at Georgia. He hit 2-of-4 from three-point range and is 3-for-8 in his last two games.
All fans can now order food from McCamish Pavilion concessions and have the items delivered to their seats.
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ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its fourth 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.
Season tickets for men’s basketball can be purchased here.