Feb. 3, 2018
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech opens the month of February and the second half of its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule with a trip North to Boston College for a nationally-televised game at noon Sunday at the Silvio O. Conte Forum.
The Yellow Jackets (11-11, 4-5 ACC) are looking to build off a 55-51 homecourt victory Wednesday night, which snapped a four-game losing streak. Tech started the ACC 3-1 for the first time since the 2003-04 season, including home victories against No. 15 Miami and No. 25 Notre Dame. The Jackets are 1-3 in ACC road games this seaso, having won at Pittsburgh on Jan. 13.
The Eagles (13-9, 3-6 ACC) have lost three straight games following a 3-3 start in ACC play this season. A 95-90 overtime loss at home to Virginia Tech Wednesday night followed road losses at Louisville and Syracuse. The Eagles have beaten Duke, Wake Forest and Florida State at home and are 11-2 at Conte Forum.
Sunday’s game will be televised nationally on ESPNU and streamed live on the ESPN app. 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). The game can also be heard nationally on SiriusXM satellite radio (Sirius ch. 81, XM ch. 81, Internet ch. 81).
THE STARTING LINEUP
Georgia Tech’s trip to Boston College is the first of two consecutive road games for the Yellow Jackets, who visit Louisville Wednesday.
Head coach Josh Pastner needs one win to reach 200 for his head coaching career. In nine-plus seasons, Pastner has a record of 199-100.
Sunday’s game is the only scheduled meeting between Tech and Boston College this season. Tech won the only meeting between the teams last season, in Atlanta, and this is the Yellow Jackets’ first trip to Chestnut Hill since Feb. 27, 2016, a 76-71 Tech win.
Senior guard Tadric Jackson scored 29 points in Tech’s home win over Boston College last season, which remains his career high. He helped the Jackets recover from a 15-point, first half deficit.
Sophomore guard Josh Okogie has more career points (854) at this point in his sophomore season than any Tech player since Matt Harpring, who finished his sophomore year with 1,021 (1994-96).
Pastner’s Georgia Tech teams are 5-7 against top-25 teams (5-3 at home), including a 2-4 mark this season (2-2 at home).
In the last two seasons (since Pastner arrived), no team has more wins at home over AP Top 15 teams as an unranked opponent than Georgia Tech (Tech and Colorado with four each, Syracuse with three).
Four Atlantic Coast Conference teams are currently ranked in the Associated Press and coaches polls – Virginia (2/2), Duke (4/5), North Carolina (19/17), Clemson (20/20), while Florida State, Louisville and Miami are receiving votes. The Jackets have already faced UCLA (No. 21 in preseason) and Northwestern (No. 20 in preseason), as well as Tennessee (now No. 18/19).
SERIES VS. BOSTON COLLEGE
Georgia Tech leads the all-time series with Boston College, 14-10, after winning the teams’ only meeting of 2016-17, 65-54 in Atlanta. Tech has won the last two meetings after losing the two prior to that.
Last year’s win gave Tech a 10-9 advantage since the Eagles joined the ACC.
Eighteen of the games in the short series have been decided by less than 10 points, 13 of them by four points or less, and two in overtime.
Tech is 6-2 against the Eagles at home, earning the last four wins on three different home courts – one each at Alexander Memorial Coliseum and Philips Arena and the last two at McCamish Pavilion.
Tech has played BC at three different venues in the Boston area. The Jan. 29, 2005 game was Tech’s first visit to the Conte Forum, BC’s current home court, where the Jackets are 2-5. The first game in the series on Dec. 31, 1946, was played at Boston Arena, and the teams also played in the Boston Garden on Jan. 19, 1980.
Prior to BC’s entry into the ACC, the teams met four times on neutral floors, including one outside the United States, a 65-62 overtime win for the Yellow Jackets in the 1986 Suntory Ball in Tokyo, Japan.
The teams have met twice in NCAA Tournament competition, both of them won by Tech. The Yellow Jackets downed the Eagles, 103-89, in the 1996 Southeast Regional second round in Orlando, and eliminated the Eagles two seasons ago, 57-54, in the second round in Milwaukee.
COACH PASTNER AUDIO FROM FRIDAY
Georgia Tech has started the same lineup for the past 10 games, with Abdoulaye Gueye playing the “4” position. The Yellow Jackets have used six different starting lineups this season.
Georgia Tech has had its full roster to practice and its full seven-man rotation for only six games (Jan. 6 vs. Yale through Jan, 24 at Florida State) this season. Injuries or other absences have forced Tech players to miss 39 games cumulatively this season.
Tech will not have its full rotation for the rest of the season after it was learned Wednesday that freshman Curtis Haywood II would be sidelined for the remainder of the season with a stress reaction in his right leg.
Georgia Tech’s playing rotation this season features four freshmen and a first-year graduate transfer who have combined to start 48 games and log 47 percent of the Yellow Jackets’ total minutes.
Against Syracuse, Tech played before a sellout crowd for the third straight home game, and will make it four Feb. 11 when No. 4/5 Duke visits.
Tech has scored 55 points or fewer three times this season and won two of those games — 52-51 over Northwestern and 55-51 over Syracuse. Only North Texas scored fewer than 51 against the Jackets this season.
Syracuse had scored less than 51 points only once this season (51-49 loss to Notre Dame), and its 30-percent clip from the floor was a season low for the Orange.
Syracuse’s 30-percent shooting from the floor was the best mark for Georgia Tech defensively this season, and was the 10th time this season the Yellow Jackets have held an opponent under 40 percent. Tech is 8-2 when holding an opponent under 40 percent this season, 23-6 under Josh Pastner.
Tech’s own 33.3 percent was its lowest from the floor this season. The Jackets are 4-5 this season when they shoot less than 40 percent.
Tech outscored Syracuse 30-10 in the paint, 14-4 off turnovers, 11-8 on second chances and 16-7 in transition, only the fifth time all season the Yellow Jackets have won each of those categories.
Tech has committed nine turnovers in each of its last two games after giving up 49 in the previous three games. Tech has 33 assists and 18 turnovers in its last two games, reversing a stretch in which the Jackets had 83 assists and 92 turnovers in its first eight ACC games. For the season, Tech has committed 12.7 turnovers per game, and 12.2 vs. ACC teams, both figures down from last season.
Tadric Jackson reached 1,000 career points with his lay-in off a Ben Lammers pass at the 6:56 mark of the second half against Syracuse. He is the 44th player in Georgia Tech history to reach that plateau. He finished with 15 points, his highest-scoring game since getting 15 at Notre Dame on Dec. 30. He added four rebounds, three assists and no turnovers in 27 minutes.
Jackson has scored in double figures off the bench in 36 games during his career, 27 since the beginning of last season
Jackson shot 7-of-12 from the floor, 6-of-9 from inside the three-point arc against Syracuse. For the season, Jackson has converted 55.2 percent of his shots from inside the arc.
Ben Lammers recorded his eighth double-double of the season and the 24th of his career with his 11-point, 12-rebound performance against Syracuse. He added four assists and two blocks with no turnovers in 40 minutes.
Lammers has 17 double-digit scoring games this season, including the last four straight, and has averaged 11.5 over his last four games.
Lammers surpassed 700 career rebounds against Syracuse and now has 706, moving into 15th place on Georgia Tech’s all-time list. He needs two to catch Jeremis Smith (708 from 2005-08) for 14th place.
Lammers blocked two shots against Syracuse, improving his career total to 236 blocks, good for sole possession of fourth place in Tech history and needing seven to catch John Salley (243 from 1982-86) for third place.
Lammers also is drifting ever closer to 1,000 points for his career. With 936 career points, and would need six games at his current 11.6 per game rate to reach 1,000.
Jose Alvarado has hit at least one three-point field goal in eight consecutive games (18-of-41). He is hitting 39.0 percent of his threes in ACC games, 36.7 percent for the season.
Alvarado did not shoot the ball well (1-for-8) against Syracuse but had four rebounds, five assists, a season-high four steals and just one turnover in 40 minutes.
Josh Okogie has scored in double figures in his last four games after having a 25-game streak of double-digit games snapped against Virginia (nine points). The sophomore guard has scored in double figures 45 times in 51 career games. He has scored 30 or more three times (two vs. ACC), 20 or more 15 times (eight times in an ACC game).
Okogie has averaged 18.4 points per game in his 14 games back on the court, including 18.2 in ACC games so far (fourth-best in league rankings). He averaged 16.1 points as a freshman, 17.1 against the ACC. The 6-4 sophomore has hit 40 percent of his shots from three-point range and 80.8 percent from the free throw line this season. Okogie has at least one three in 12 of his 14 games this season, including his first seven straight.
Okogie is averaging 6.9 rebounds per game in ACC play, third best among league guards, and 6.1 for the season, after grabbing six against Syracuse. He has snared 35 rebounds in his last four games.
Okogie has 24 assists in his last seven games, a 3.4 average, and has matched his career high of five twice (second meeting vs. Notre Dame and at Florida State) in that stretch.
Despite missing eight games, Okogie leads the Jackets in free throw attempts with 99, an average of 7.1 per game that leads the ACC. He averaged 6.5 as a freshman, which ranked third in the ACC.
Abdoulaye Gueye has averaged 9.2 points (39-of-69 FG, 56.5 percent) and 6.2 rebounds in nine games since sitting out the Coppin State game with an ankle injury. He has scored in double figures five times during that stretch. He went scoreless against Syracuse, attempting just three shots, but grabbed five rebounds and blocked five shots in 27 minutes.
Gueye has scored 92 points in the 10 games since sitting out Coppin State on Dec. 27. He had scored 70 points in 39 career games prior to Coppin State.
Alvarado and Lammers each played the full 40 minutes against Syracuse, giving them 10 40-minute games combined this season (six for Alvarado). Alvarado ranks seventh in the ACC averaging 35.3 minutes per game, fifth in the ACC in average minutes per conference game (38.6). After missing nearly the entire second half of the Coppin State game with a head injury, Alvarado has played 385 minutes in Tech’s last 10 games, sitting out just 15 minutes.
Lammers is averaging 36.2 minutes this season, sixth-most in the ACC (37.7 mpg vs. the ACC), while Okogie averages 35.1 (36.1 in ACC games), but he has not played enough games to qualify for the league rankings. Tech, Syracuse and Boston College each have three players ranked among the ACC’s top 12 in average minutes per ACC game.
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.