Dec. 19, 2017
Athens, Ga. – Georgia Tech continues a stretch of three games in six days this week with a visit to state rival Georgia at 9 p.m. Tuesday night, the 194th renewal of the series in a nationally televised game at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga.
The Yellow Jackets (5-4) 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 came out of a 10-day layoff for fall semester final exams by defeating Florida A&M, 79-54, Sunday at McCamish Pavilion, which snapped a three-game losing streak.
Georgia (7-2), in its ninth season under head coach Mark Fox, had a three-game winning streak snapped Saturday in a 72-62 loss at Massachusetts. The Bulldogs had earned a pair of quality wins away from home in the winning streak, defeating Saint Mary’s and Marquette. Georgia is 5-0 at home this season.
Tuesday’s game will be televised live on ESPN2 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). Tech’s broadcast can also be heard nationally on SiriusXM satellite radio (Sirius ch. 138, XM ch. 193).
THE STARTING LINEUP
• Georgia Tech is in a stretch of three games in six days this week, visiting Georgia Tuesday night and hosting Wright State Friday 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.
• Tuesday is Georgia Tech’s third game away from home this season and second on an opponents’ home floor. The Yellow Jackets dropped a 63-60 last-second decision at Wofford on Dec. 6, and lost to No. 21 UCLA by the same score to open the season on Nov. 11 in Shanghai, China.
• The Yellow Jackets have lost their four games by a combined 15 points, with their largest margin of defeat coming to Tennessee by seven points.
• 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) Sunday against Florida A&M.
• 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 193-93.
SERIES VS. GEORGIA
• Georgia has won the last two games in the series, a 60-43 decision in December of this season at McCamish Pavilion and a 75-61 loss in the teams’ last meeting in Athens in December of 2015.
• 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.
• Georgia Tech leads the overall series 105-88 and has played the Bulldogs more than any other opponent in its basketball history.
• The series has been played alternately on the respective schools’ campuses since the 1995-96 season. Georgia holds a 12-10 lead over that period.
• In the 22 on-campus meetings since 1995, Georgia has won three times in Atlanta; 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 is 4-4 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 35-32 against Georgia since leaving the SEC.
AUDIO FROM COACH PASTNER MONDAY MEDIA SESSION
• With the return of Josh Okogie to action against Florida A&M, head coach Josh Pastner has employed four different starting lineups this season. Against FAMU, he inserted Okogie along with Jose Alvarado, Tadric Jackson, Ben Lammers and Moses Wright. Jackson started his fourth straight game, and Wright made his first start since the season opener against UCLA, replacing Abdoulaye Gueye, who started the first eight games of the season. Curtis Haywood II, who had started the last seven games, sat out due to a shin injury.
• Alvarado and Lammers have started every game this season. Lammers has started Tech’s last 46 consecutive games.
• Tech has led at the half in two straight games and went into the locker room against FAMU with its biggest halftime advantage of the season (35-22, previous 35-29 vs. Bethune-Cookman). The 22 points were the second-fewest the Jackets have allowed in the first half (19 vs. North Texas). Tech is 5-1 this season and 22-3 under Josh Pastner when leading at the half.
• Tech built its largest lead of the season (38 points with 5:04 left in the game) and settled for its largest margin of victory under coach Josh Pastner with the 25-point win over FAMU. It was the Jackets’ largest margin of victory since defeating Tusculum, 96-58, last Feb. 7 and its largest over a Division I team since a 107-77 win vs. Green Bay on Nov. 19, 2015.
• The Jackets have converted 51.5 percent of their shots in the last two games, including a season-high 57.1 percent from the floor against Wofford, the highest accuracy rate for the Yellow Jackets under Josh Pastner. Tech put together its third-best shooting performance from the floor this season against FAMU (47.5 percent, including 46.7 in the first half and 48.3 in the second).
• Tech’s 79 points, 28 field goals and 59 field goal attempts against the Rattlers were all season highs.
• Tech has made 43 three-pointers in 115 attempts (37.4 percent) its last seven games (6.0 threes per game). The Jackets canned a six three-point field goals in 15 attempts against Florida A&M, and.
• Tech has limited six of its nine opponents beneath 40 percent shooting from the floor this season and rank fifth in the ACC and No. 25 in the nation in field goal percentage defense (38.3 percent). The Yellow Jackets held Florida A&M to 32.3 percent from the floor, the lowest by any opponent this season. Tech is 20-6 under Josh Pastner when holding an opponent under 40 percent and 26-4 when shooting a higher percentage than an opponent.
• The Yellow Jackets have held every opponent under its season scoring average this season, all of them significantly lower except for Tennessee. Florida A&M averaged 61.5 points per game through its first 13 games and scored just 54 against the Yellow Jackets. At 61.2 points allowed per game, Tech ranks third in the ACC and 11th nationally in scoring defense.
• Tech ranks No. 34 in the nation in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com. A big factor in that is that the Yellow Jackets rank fourth nationally in two-point field goal percentage allowed (39.8).
• Tech’s 45-34 rebound margin against Florida A&M was easily its best of the season, beating the plus-7 marks against Bethune-Cookman and Wofford.
• Tech’s 11 steals matched a season-high first set against North Texas on Nov. 24.
• Tech blocked seven shots and Ben Lammers had only one of them. Six different Jackets had a blocked shot.
• Tech continues to score a high percentage of its points from the free throw line, 24.4 percent, which ranks fourth in the nation according to Kenpom.com. The Jackets have scored 16 points per game from the charity stripe, 2.4 per game better than last season.
• Pastner meter 1 (assists to made field goals): Tech assisted on 15 of 28 made field goals (53.6 percent), falling short its nightly goal of 60 percent for the secondj time this season. The Jackets have assisted on 65.3 percent of their made field goals in eight games (ranked No. 9 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 17-of-27 free throws to FAMU’s 9-of-15 (goal of making more than opponent tries accomplished). For the season, Tech has converted 144 free throws, while opponents have attempted 147. 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 11 of Tech’s 31 defensive rebounds, five from Jose Alvarado.
• Moses Wright notched his first career double-figure game against Florida A&M with 19 points (he scored 28 total in the first eight games). The 6-9 freshman had scored 12 by halftime, easily doubling his previous best of six points against both Tennessee and Wofford. He has averaged 10.3 points in his last three games (12-19 FG).
• Wright, who made his first start since the season opener vs. UCLA, also set new personal highs for field goals (8-9), free throws (3-7), rebounds (7) and steals (3) against FAMU.
• Tadric Jackson has scored in double digits in each game since returning to the court, and had 11 against Florida A&M in just 14 minutes. The senior guard has reached double figures 15 times in his last 17 games and for the 28 times since the beginning of last season. Jackson did not play in the second half due to sprained ankle.
• Jackson, who finished second in the balloting for ACC Sixth Man of the Year last season, made his fourth start of the 2017-18 season, and the 6-2 senior has started 16 games in his career.
• Josh Okogie made his 2017-18 debut for the Yellow Jackets against Florida A&M, starting and playing 28 minutes. He scored 19 and surpassed the 600-point plateau for his career. The 6-4 sophomore went 6-of-13 from the floor (with two 3s) and 5-of-6 from the free throw line. He reached double figures on a fast break basket with 16 minutes remaining in the game, giving him his 33rd game in double digits in 38 career games. He wound up one point short of his 10th career 20-point game.
• Jose Alvarado dished a career/season high in assists with seven (previous six vs. Texas-Rio Grande Valley) and had just one turnover in 26 minutes.
• Ben Lammers scored six points to reach exactly 800 for his career. He committed two fouls early in the first half and wound up playing only 22 minutes, but he grabbed eight rebounds and had two assists.
• Lammers blocked one shot against FAMU, giving him 204 for his career. He is in sole possession of fourth place in Tech history, needing 39 to catch John Salley (243 from 1982-86) for third place.
• Brandon Alston made his first three-point field goal since the Grambling State game and scored nine points, his most since scoring nine against Grambling State.
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.