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Georgia Tech Basketball Hosts No. 2 Duke

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THE FLATS – Playing its first home game in three weeks, Georgia Tech continues Atlantic Coast Conference play Wednesday night against No. 2 Duke. Tip time is 9 p.m. at sold-out McCamish Pavilion.

Georgia Tech update (7-7, 2-2 ACC) – In its fourth season under head coach Josh Pastner, Tech is 3-2 in its last five games, including two wins in three games to capture third place at the Diamond Head Classic. The Yellow Jackets evened their ACC record and improved to 2-1 on the road Saturday with a 96-83 triumph at North Carolina, following a 70-58 loss at No. 18 Florida State on New Year’s Eve. Tech is 3-3 at home this season, including a 97-63 loss to Syracuse in its only conference home game.

Duke update (13-1, 3-0 ACC) – In its 40th season under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, Duke has won its last seven games by an average of 23.6 points per game since its OT loss at home to Stephen F. Austin. The Blue Devils, 6-0 away from home this season are playing their third ACC road game against the Yellow Jackets after having defeated Virginia Tech, 77-63, on Dec. 6, and Miami, 95-62, last Saturday night. Duke leads the ACC in scoring and scoring margin.

Broadcast information – Live coverage on the ACC Network, online streaming available through the ESPN app. Radio coverage by Learfield IMG College (680 AM and 93.7 FM the Fan in Atlanta, TuneIn app). Tech broadcast available on satellite radio (XM ch. 384, internet ch. 974).

Head coach Josh Pastner previews Georgia Tech's game against Duke.

THE TIPOFF

  • Duke is good – Based on KenPom.com rankings, Duke is the most efficient team, offensively and defensively, that Georgia Tech has faced this season. The Blue Devils are No. 5 nationally in offensive efficiency, No. 3 in defensive efficiency. Among Tech’s opponents prior to Duke, Florida State had the best combination of offensive (27th) and defensive (19th) efficiency.
  • Above water – Tech is looking to get above .500 in the ACC through five games for the first time since the 2017-18 season (Tech was 3-2, lost next three).
  • Chapel thrill – Georgia Tech’s win Saturday at North Carolina was its first in Chapel Hill since 2010, and the Yellow Jackets have won in Chapel Hill and Raleigh in the same season for the first time since the 1995-96 season.
  • Full deck – Georgia Tech has had its full roster available for only its last five games, beginning with the first game of the Diamond Head Classic on Dec. 22. Junior forward Jordan Usher became eligible for the Yellow Jackets’ Dec. 18 game against Ball State, and junior point guard Jose Alvarado played for the first time since Nov. 20 in the Jackets’ 74-60 win over Boise State in Hawai’i.
  • Remain calm, all is well – Tech has used five different lineups this season, but has sent the same five out for the opening tip in each of the five games since the return of Jose Alvarado, producing a 3-2 record with it.
  • Long time away – Georgia Tech has played only one home game since its Dec. 7 loss to Syracuse, that on Dec. 18 against Ball State, and went 3-3 in the six games on the road.
  • Offense for defense – Georgia Tech ranks fourth in the ACC in scoring average in conference games (74.75) and 14th in scoring defense (82.75), a reversal of last year’s final rankings (15th scoring offense, 7th scoring defense).
  • All-for-ado – Georgia Tech has averaged 71.4 points and shot 47.1 percent from the floor in the five games since Jose Alvarado returned to the court. That includes a 96-83 win Saturday at North Carolina in which the Yellow Jackets hit 59 percent from the floor.
  • Big miss – Jose Alvarado has averaged 11.6 points, 4.4 assists and 3.2 steals in five games since his return from an ankle injury which sidelined him for seven game. He leads the ACC in assists (6.7 pg) and steals (3.0 pg) in conference games only.
  • Ushering in – Jordan Usher made his debut for the Yellow Jackets Dec. 18 against Ball State after sitting out the required two semesters after he transferred from Southern California last January. The 6-7 junior guard/forward has averaged 9.7 points and 3.7 rebounds, hitting 38.2 percent of his shots from the floor and 14-of-15 from the free throw line.
  • Wright stuff – Moses Wright has scored in double digits in five straight games, averaging 17.6 points and 7.8 rebounds while hitting 61 percent of his shots from the floor. The 6-9 junior ranks No. 2 in the ACC in field goal percentage (57.2) and No. 8 in rebound average (7.8).
  • Crack that whip – Michael Devoe ranks fifth in the ACC in scoring (16.9 ppg), and eighth in field goal percentage (45.9). He also is No. 3 in minutes played (35.3). The 6-5 guard has hit 52.6 percent of his three-pointers in ACC games.
  • No ducking – Georgia Tech’s schedule is the second-strongest among power conference teams according to KenPom.com behind Kansas, and No. 7 overall. Tech’s schedule included six power conference teams in its first 10 games, including road games at NC State, Georgia and Kentucky, and home games against Arkansas, Nebraska and Syracuse. The Jackets’ non-conference schedule rates seventh-toughest among power conference teams, 47th overall.

SERIES VS. DUKE

  • Georgia Tech and Duke have met only once each of the past five seasons, including a 66-53 Blue Devil win last Jan. 26 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in the teams’ most recent game.
  • Duke has won 36 of the last 39 games in the series, including the last 12 in a row.
  • The Blue Devils won 11 of the last 13 meetings at Alexander Memorial Coliseum and posted a 21-13 lead over Tech in games played on the Jackets’ former home court, as well as a 28-15 mark in games played in Atlanta. Duke has won all three of its visits to McCamish Pavilion.
  • Duke leads the overall series 73-23, and is 61-19 against Tech since the Jackets joined the ACC.
  • Tech’s best stretch of the series occurred between 1982 and 1989, with 10 wins in 17 meetings. Tech has never won more than two in a row.
  • Tech is 19-59 against Duke teams coached by Mike Krzyzewski, 12-22 in games played in Atlanta.

Jose Alvarado talks about North Carolina, Duke and getting more comfortable after his injury.

WHAT’S TRENDING

  • Georgia Tech ranks No. 33 in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com (90.5 points per 100 possessions), No. 31 nationally in effective defensive field goal percentage (44.4) and 34th in two-point field goal defense (43.4).
  • Since the beginning of last season, Tech has held 25 opponents, including nine ACC opponents, under 40 percent from the floor. Seven Tech opponents this season have shot under 40 percent, including Hawai’i and Boise State in the Diamond Head Classic. Tech limited its three foes in the Diamond Head Classic to 38.4 percent from the floor collectively.
  • The Jackets have limited 21 opponents, nine in the ACC, to 30 percent or less from three-point range in the same time frame. Seven Tech opponents have shot under 30 percent from three this season. Tech limited its three foes in the Diamond Head Classic to 22 percent from behind the arc collectively.
  • Tech has held five opponents to their lowest offensive efficiency of the season, including two of its foes in Hawai’i – Elon, Arkansas, Nebraska, Boise State and Hawai’i.
  • Georgia Tech’s adjusted tempo is 71.2 possessions per game according to KenPom.com (103rd in the nation), well ahead of the 66.1 possessions per game last season and 66.8 in 2016-17. Game-by-game, Tech has played less than 70 possessions just five times and has exceeded 100 points/100 possessions five times, including a season high of 132.2 at North Carolina.
  • Tech has reached 70 possessions per game over the course of a full season only four times since 1997, the first year KenPom kept track – 1997-98 (72.3), 2000-01 (72.1), 2001-02 (70.5) and 2008-09 (70.5).
  • Two fouls in the first half? No problem. Georgia Tech ranks No. 2 in the nation, according to KenPom.com, in 2-foul participation, a measure of percentage of available minutes played by players with two fouls (65.5 pct. for Tech). The Jackets led the nation in this category in 2018-19, was fourth in 2017-18 and 35th in 2016-17.
  • Head coach Josh Pastner used nine players at North Carolina, and all nine scored, the first time this season that has happened. Pastner went to his bench for a total of 57:27 in the game, the most minutes by the Yellow Jackets’ reserves since Dec. 18 vs. Ball State. Tech ranks No. 302 in the nation in minutes by reserves, just 25.6 percent.
  • Tech has led at halftime in just three games this season, but held a 20-point lead at intermission against North Carolina, the largest halftime lead by any opponent in the history of the Smith Center. With a 47-27 lead at the half, Tech improved to 3-0 this season and 40-12 under Josh Pastner when leading at halftime.
  • Tech hit 18-of-24 shots from the free throw line against North Carolina and has connected on 73-of-97 (75.2 pct.) in its last five games. Tech had not hit the 70-percent mark since making 72.7 percent in the season opener at NC State but has done so in five consecutive games.
  • Tech has hit 14-of-36 three-point attempts in its last two games (38.8 percent), including 8-of-22 at Florida State and 6-of-14 at North Carolina. The Jackets have hit 35.4 percent from distance in ACC games.
  • Tech began the season hitting 21-of-63 in its first three games (33.3 percent). In the nine games in between, Tech connected on just 36-of-149 attempts (24.2 percent).
  • Tech turned the ball over just 13 times at North Carolina after committing 23 in its last outing against Florida State. The Jackets caused 15 North Carolina miscues, improving their record to 25-16 under Pastner when Tech has committed fewer turnovers than its opponent.
  • Tech’s 58 points in the paint at North Carolina were 10 more than its previous high this season (48 vs. Nebraska), its 21 points off turnovers matched a season high (21 vs. Syracuse).
  • Tech’s 26 bench points against North Carolina were 10 more than its previous season best (16 vs. Elon), and more than its previous four games combined (19).

PERSONNEL TRENDS

  • Moses Wright has four double-doubles this season after notching 13 points and 10 rebounds against Florida State. He also posted double-doubles against Bethune-Cookman (12/12), Kentucky (19/10) and Houston (13/10).
  • Wright scored a season-high 22 points at North Carolina and pulled down seven boards on 9-for-13 shooting. He has averaged 17.6 points and 7.8 rebounds in his last five games, connecting on 36-of-59 of his shots from the floor (61.0 percent). In Tech’s two wins against the schools in his home area (Raleigh, N.C.), the 6-9 junior has scored 34 points, hitting 15-of-22 shots from the floor with 16 rebounds.
  • Wright is Tech’s high scorer in ACC games at 16 points per game, and he has hit 55.8 percent of his shots from the floor against the league.
  • Jose Alvarado turned in his best outing of the year at North Carolina with season-highs of 25 points on 8-of-12 from the field and 4-of-6 from deep. He posted career-bests of six steals and eight assists. It was his second highest scoring game, career-wise, behind his 29 points against Pittsburgh last Feb. 20.
  • Bubba Parham notched his fifth double-figure scoring game of the season with 11 points at North Carolina, going 6-for-6 from the foul line. All five of his double-figure games have come against power-conference foes (Georgia, Arkansas, Syracuse, Kentucky and North Carolina).
  • James Banks III has averaged 12.0 points and 7.3 rebounds against ACC teams this season, hitting 59.4 percent of his shots from the floor.
  • Michael Devoe snapped a five-game streak of double-figure scoring games at North Carolina (four points, three rebounds, two assists), but remains the Tech leader and the No. 5 scorer in the ACC at 16.9 points per game. He has hit 43.9 percent of his three-point tries in all games, 52.6 percent in ACC games.

James Banks III talks to the media about tomorrow night's game.

About the ACC Network: The ACC Network (ACCN) is a new national network dedicated to 24/7 coverage of Atlantic Coast Conference sports. ACCN is currently available through seven national providers: AT&T U-Verse (Ch. 610), DirecTV (Ch. 612), Dish Network (Ch. 402), Sling, Hulu, PlayStation Vue and YouTube TV. ACCN is also available via 60-plus local cable/digital providers. To learn what providers carry ACCN in your area, visit getaccn.com.

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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.

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