THE FLATS – Georgia Tech plays its first game in nine days and its second road game in three this season when it travels to Athens for a 7 p.m. contest Wednesday night against in-state rival Georgia at Stegeman Coliseum.
Tech (2-0. 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 are looking for their first 3-0 start since the 2015-16 season.
Georgia (3-0, 0-0 SEC), in its second season under head coach Tom Crean, is playing its fourth straight home game to open the season. The Bulldogs have averaged 93 points in victories over Western Carolina, The Citadel and Delaware State.
Monday’s game will be streamed live on SEC Network Plus, 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. 380, internet ch. 979).
- Three’s the charm – Georgia Tech is looking for its first 3-0 start since the 2015-16 season. Tech began the 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons with three wins before losing a game.
- Four no more – Georgia Tech has lost its last four games in the series with Georgia and its last two games against the Bulldogs in Athens. It is the longest skid for Tech in the series since dropping seven in a row from 1980-83.
- 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 its Nov. 25 game against Arkansas.
- 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 power conference foes Georgia and Nebraska.
- Rise above – The Yellow Jackets finished last season 10th in the ACC after being projected to finish no higher than 13th in the preseason. It was Tech’s highest finish since tying for ninth in 2013. Tech also outperformed projections in 2016-17, finishing 11th after being picked to finish 14th in Josh Pastner’s first season. The Jackets have been projected to finish 12th this season in the official preseason poll of ACC media.
- Michael Devoe ranks fourth in the ACC in scoring average (22.0 ppg), first in three-point field goal percentage (.750) and fourth in overall field goal percentage (.609).
- Khalid Moore leads the ACC in steals (4.5 per game), while Georgia Tech is third as a team (8.5 per game).
- James Banks III leads the ACC in blocked shots (5.5 per game), while Tech also leads that category as a team (9.5 per game). Banks also is third in rebound average (10.0).
Head coach Josh Pastner
SERIES VS. GEORGIA
- Georgia Tech leads the overall series 105-90 and has played the Bulldogs more than any other opponent in its basketball history.
- Georgia has won the last four games in the series, two of those in Athens and two in Atlanta. The Bulldogs captured a 70-59 victory last December at McCamish Pavilion.
- It is Georgia’s first four-game winning streak in the series since the Bulldogs won seven in a row in the early 1980s.
- Prior to that, Georgia Tech had won four consecutive games over Georgia for the first time since winning 10 in a row over the Bulldogs, the longest for either team in the series, from December of 1958 to February of 1961.
- Tech snapped a 13-game losing streak in games played at Stegeman Coliseum with a 68-56 win over Georgia on Dec. 7, 2011. It was Tech’s first win in Athens since Nov. 26, 1976, a stretch that spanned three Tech coaches – Dwane Morrison (0-for-his-last-4), Bobby Cremins (0-4) and Paul Hewitt (0-5).
- With Tech’s 80-71 win in the Nov. 15, 2013 contest in Athens, the Yellow Jackets won back-to-back in Athens for the first time since winning three in a row from 1959-61.
- The series has been played alternately on the respective schools’ campuses since the 1995-96 season. Georgia holds an 14-10 lead over that period.
- In the 24 on-campus meetings since 1995, Georgia has won three times in Atlanta, and Tech has won twice in Athens.
- Before that December, 1995 meeting in Athens, the teams played 14 straight years at the Omni in downtown Atlanta, which was located on the site of the current Philips Arena. Tech went 8-6 against the Bulldogs in the facility, including eight of the last 10 before the neutral series ended. The teams have played on neutral sites other than the SEC or Southern Intercollegiate Championships only one other time, that coming at the 1960 Gator Bowl Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla.
- Tech was 4-5 against Georgia teams coached by Mark Fox, who won his first two encounters against the Jackets.
- Tech and Georgia were both charter members of the Southeastern Conference, and the Yellow Jackets went 55-29 against the Bulldogs in the SEC before leaving the conference after the 1963-64 season.
- Tech is 35-33 against Georgia since leaving the SEC.
Sophomore guard Michael Devoe
FOLLOWING THE TRENDS
- Through two games, Georgia Tech ranks third nationally in effective defensive field goal percentage (33.1), second in two-point field goal defense (33.3) and 11th in three-point defense (21.7), according to KenPom.com.
- Georgia Tech’s adjusted tempo is 72 possessions per game according to KenPom.com, well ahead of the 66.1 possessions per game last season and 66.8 in 2016-17. 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).
- According to KenPom.com, Tech has the 30th tallest team in Division I, with an average height of 77.7 inches.
- The 41 points scored by Elon were the fewest surrendered by Georgia Tech since last Dec. 9 in a 73-40 win over Florida A&M, which is the fewest given up by a Josh Pastner-coached Georgia Tech team. Twenty-two of the 41 points were scored in the final 10:58 of the game.
- Elon connected on just 21.6 percent of its shots from the floor, the second-lowest yield in the modern history of Tech basketball (1949-50 to the present). The record for lowest percentage by an opponent is 16.3 percent by Kentucky on Jan. 2, 1960. Most recently, Rice shot 22.9 percent against Tech in the DirecTV Classic in Anaheim, Calif., on Nov. 22, 2012 and scored just 36 points in the game.
- 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.
- The 13 points in the first half by Elon matched the fifth fewest the Yellow Jackets have allowed in a half, and the fewest since Florida A&M scored 13 in the first half of the game on Dec. 9, 2018. Tech is 38-13 under Josh Pastner when holding opponents under 40 percent.
- Elon converted only 3-of-30 three-point attempts (10 pct.), but that was slightly better than Duke’s 2-for-21 (9.5 pct.) in the team’s last meeting on Jan. 26, 2019.
Senior center James Banks III
- Michael Devoe posted his 17th double digit game and tied his career high of 22 points first set at Virginia Tech last year (2/13) and matched Nov. 5 at NC State. In two games, the sophomore is 14-of-23 (60.9 percent, 5th in the ACC) from the floor, 6-of-8 on threes (1st in the ACC) and 10-of-12 from the free throw line. He has led Tech in scoring in both games.
- James Banks hit 7-of-9 free throw attempts and is 11-for-13 for the season, including the two game-winning points at NC State.
- Banks blocked six shots against Elon, giving him 11 over two games. The 6-10 senior’s 5.5 average is one block shy of the ACC lead (NC State’s Manny Bates has 12 in two games), but Tech leads the ACC as a team with 9.5 per game (NC State is second at 6.5 per game).
- Khalid Moore has stuffed the stat sheet in each of Tech’s two games. The 6-7 sophomore scored eight points with nine rebounds, five assists and three steals in 28:20 against Elon. At NC State, he scored 11 points with four rebounds, three assists and six steals in 39:21.
- Junior point guard Jose Alvarado missed the game with a sprained right ankle. Bubba Parham started in his place, scoring five points with six rebounds, but no assists and three turnovers in 27:46.
- Best plus/minus game? Freshman guard Asanti Price (+28), who went just 2-of-8 from the floor for five points, but snared 10 rebounds and had two assists, a block and a steal in 20:25.
- Evan Cole had nine points and nine rebounds with a pair of assists in 19:36.
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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.