Dec. 21, 2017
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech finishes off a stretch of three games in six days this week by facing Wright State for the first time ever in a 9 p.m. regionally-televised game Friday night at McCamish Pavilion.
The Yellow Jackets (5-5) are in their second season under head coach Josh Pastner, the 2017 ACC Coach of the Year, after going 21-16 overall, finishing 8-10 (11th) in the ACC and reaching the championship game of the NIT last season. Tech has lost four of its last five games, dropping an 80-59 decision Tuesday night at Georgia following a 79-54 win at home over Florida A&M.
Wright State (7-5) is in its second season under Scott Nagy, who guided the Raiders to 20 wins last season. The Raiders lost a 66-50 decision Tuesday night at Missouri State, and are 1-4 on the road this season. Wright State opens Horizon League play in their next game Dec. 28 against Illinois-Chicago.
Friday’s game will be televised live on the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Regional Sports Network (Fox Sports South in Georgia) and streamed live on the ACC Network Extra. Radio coverage is provided by the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network and can be heard in Atlanta on flagship station 680 the Fan (680 AM/93.7 FM). Tech’s broadcast can also be heard nationally on SiriusXM satellite radio (Sirius ch. 145, XM ch. 193).
THE STARTING LINEUP
• Georgia Tech is in a stretch of three games in six days this week with Friday night’s game leading into the holiday break. The Yellow Jackets then host Coppin State Dec. 27 before opening Atlantic Coast Conference play Dec. 30 at Notre Dame.
• Tech has yet to play a game with its entire roster healthy and available. The Yellow Jackets played their first eight games without its leading scorer and ACC All-Freshman player from last season, Josh Okogie. They played without senior guard Tadric Jackson for the first three games; without sophomore point guard Justin Moore for three games; and were without Curtis Haywood II and Sylvester Ogbonda (injured) for Florida A&M and Georgia.
• Five Atlantic Coast Conference teams are currently ranked in both the Associated Press polls – Duke (4), North Carolina (5), Miami (6), Virginia (13) and Florida State (24). Notre Dame was a top 25 team until this week, but still is receiving votes along with Clemson and Syracuse. The Jackets have already faced UCLA (No. 21 in preseason) and Northwestern (No. 20 in preseason).
• Head coach Josh Pastner needs seven victories to reach 200 for his head coaching career. In nine-plus seasons, Pastner has a record of 193-94.
SERIES VS. WRIGHT STATE
• Georgia Tech and Wright State are meeting for the first time on the basketball court.
• This is the Yellow Jackets’ first game against a Horizon League team since a 107-77 victory over Green Bay on Nov. 19, 2015. Tech is 4-3 all-time against the Horizon League.
• Tech coach Josh Pastner is 1-0 all-time against Horizon League teams, but has never faced Wright State.
COACH PASTNER AUDIO FROM THURSDAY
• Head coach Josh Pastner has used four different lineups this season, but has started the same lineup in Tech’s last two games following the return of Josh Okogie to action. Okogie started against Florida A&M and Georgia along with Jose Alvarado, Tadric Jackson, Ben Lammers and Moses Wright. Jackson started his fifth straight game against Georgia, and Wright second straight start and third of the season. Curtis Haywood II, who had started seven straight games, sat out for the second consecutive game with a shin injury.
• Alvarado and Lammers have started every game this season. Lammers has started Tech’s last 47 consecutive games.
• Tech gave up its most points this season (80) against Georgia and suffered its largest defeat of the season against the Bulldogs (21 points).
• The Yellow Jackets had held every opponent under its season scoring average this season until Georgia, which averaged 73.1 points per game prior to scoring 80 against Tech.
• Tech came into the game 11th in the nation in field goal percentage defense (38.6 percent) but yielded a season-high 58 percent from the floor to Georgia, including 71 percent in the second half. The Bulldogs also made a season-high nine three-point field goals, the second most allowed by Tech this season (Wofford made 12).
• Tech shot 50 percent in the first half against Georgia but finished at 36.7 percent, the sixth time this season the Jackets have converted less than 40 percent.
• Tech had made 37.4 percent of its three-point field goals and averaged 6.0 per game (43-for-115) over the last seven games, but made a season-low two in 13 attempts against Georgia.
• Tech ranks 25th nationally in scoring defense at 63.1 points per game, and No. 52 in field goal percentage defense (40.1 percent). The Jackets now rank No. 41 in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com.
• Tech rank 16th nationally according to KenPom.com in lowest two-point field goal percentage yield (41.9 percent), No. 25 in block percentage (14.7) and No. 29 in steal percentage (11.7).
• Tech has accumulated 23 steals in its last two games. Tech’s 12 steals were a season-high and eclipsed the 11 the Yellow Jackets had against Florida A&M and North Texas.
• Tech blocked only two shots against Georgia, second-fewest this season, and Ben Lammers had neither.
• Tech remains 24th nationally in percentage of points scored from the free throw line (24.2) and are No. 28 in ratio of free throw attempts to field goal attempts (42.9 percent).
• Pastner meter 1 (assists to made field goals): Tech assisted on a season low five of 22 made field goals (22.7 percent), falling short its nightly goal of 60 percent for the first time this season. The Jackets have assisted on 61.1 percent of their made field goals in eight games (ranked No. 7 in the nation according to KenPom.com coming in), after finishing last season at 62.7 percent (63.2 percent rate in ACC games).
• Pastner meter 2 (free throws made to opponents’ attempts): Tech made 13-of-17 free throws to Georgia’s 13-of-18 (goal of making more than opponent tries not accomplished). For the season, Tech has converted 157 free throws, while opponents have attempted 165. Tech is 25-6 under Josh Pastner when attempting more free throws than the opponent.
• Pastner meter 3 (guard rebounding): Tech’s guards combined for only five of Tech’s 17 defensive rebounds.
• Josh Okogie has scored 19 and 21 points in his two games back on the court. The 6-4 sophomore has hit 11-of-29 shots from the floor, 3-of-6 from three-point range and 15-of-19 from the free throw line. Okogie has scored in double figures 34 times in 39 career games. He scored 20 or more for the 10th time against Georgia.
• Tadric Jackson has scored in double digits in each game since returning to the court, and had 17 against Georgia. Jackson has scored 28 points in 40 minutes in Tech’s last two games (11 in just 14 minutes against FAMU when he missed the second half with an ankle injury). The senior guard has reached double figures 16 times in his last 18 games and 30 times since the beginning of last season.
• Jackson went 8-for-16 from the floor against Georgia (1-for-5 on threes), and is hitting 61.9 percent of his shots (39-of-63) from inside the three-point arc this season.
• Jackson, who finished second in the balloting for ACC Sixth Man of the Year last season, made his fifth start of the 2017-18 season against Georgia, and the 6-2 senior has started 17 games in his career.
• Freshman Jose Alvarado reached double digits for the first time since the Tennessee game, scoring 12 points (5-of-9 FG) against Georgia.
• Freshman Moses Wright scored four points with six rebounds in his third start of the season and has averaged 8.8 points in his last four games (14-24 FG).
• Ben Lammers has failed to reach double figures in scoring in consecutive games for the first time since his sophomore year. The 6-10 senior scored six points against Florida A&M and four at Georgia, hitting a combined 4-of-16 shots from the floor.
• Lammers did not block a shot against Georgia, the first time he hasn’t blocked a shot since the Belmont game in the second round of the NIT last March. Lammers has 204 blocks for his career, sitting in sole possession of fourth place in Tech history and needing 39 to catch John Salley (243 from 1982-86) for third place.
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.