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Georgia Tech Hosts No. 20/22 Clemson

THE FLATS – Playing its first game in 17 days, Georgia Tech returns to the court Wednesday for a 7 p.m. ACC home contest against No. 20/22 Clemson at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta, the first of two contests Tech will play this week against top-25 teams.

The Yellow Jackets (6-3, 2-1 ACC) have won six of their last seven games following an 0-2 start, including homecourt wins over North Carolina (72-67) and Wake Forest (70-54) in the last two games before their shutdown. Tech downed Florida A&M (74-64) and Delaware State (97-69) the weekend before Christmas, and also knocked off No. 20 Kentucky (79-62) and Nebraska (75-64) away from home before dropping its ACC opener Dec. 15 at No. 15 Florida State (74-61).

The Tigers (9-2, 3-2 ACC), in their fourth season under head coach Kevin Keatts, had a four-game winning streak snapped Saturday in an 85-50 home loss to No. 18 Virginia. Before that, Clemson had defeated No. 18 Florida State (77-67, Miami (66-65) and NC State (74-70 in overtime) in succession. Clemson has split its two ACC road games, falling at Virginia Tech (66-60) on Dec. 15 and beating the Hurricanes on Jan. 2.

Wednesday’s game will be televised regionally on the ACC’s Regional Sports Network (Fox Sports South in Georgia) and will be streamed live on the ESPN app. Radio coverage is provided by the Georgia Tech Sports Network by Learfield IMG College, with flagship station WCNN-Radio (680 AM, 93.7 FM) in Atlanta. The Tech broadcast can be heard on SiriusXM Ch. 381 (internet Ch. 971) and the TuneIn app.

Senior forward Moses Wright speaks with the media Tuesday.

THE TIPOFF

  • Longest layoff – Wednesday’s game will be Georgia Tech’s first in 17 days (16 days off), ending the longest in-season break in program history. The Yellow Jackets once before went 16 days between games, during the 1982-83 season, which was an extended holiday break.
  • Changing stripes – A win over Clemson would be Georgia Tech’s third in a row in the series, which would be the first time that has happened since the Yellow Jackets won five straight over the Tigers spanning the 2002-03 through 2004-05 seasons.
  • Brown-out – The Yellow Jackets have won five of the last 11 meetings with Clemson (a sixth win was vacated by the NCAA Committee on Infractions), which follows a 10-game skid in the series .
  • Jose can you see – Senior guard Jose Alvarado was named ACC Player of the Week Jan. 4 after averaging 22.5 points in leading the Yellow Jackets to a pair of ACC victories in its most recent games against North Carolina and Wake Forest. Alvarado also averaged 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in the two games, while hitting 17-of-24 from the floor, 3-of-7 from three-point range and 8-of-10 from the foul line.
  • Making their points – Tech leads the ACC in scoring average (80.11 points per game), an average bolstered by a 123-120, four-overtime loss to Georgia State in its season opener. However, the Jackets scored 77 in regulation of that game, and have scored more than 70 points in eight games this season, including 97 against Delaware State, a high for a regulation game under Pastner.
  • Balance – Three Tech starters are averaging in double figure points for the season, with Jordan Usher and Bubba Parham just under double digits at 9.7 ppg.
  • Dynamic duo – Michael Devoe and Jose Alvarado are averaging 19.3 and 17.3 points per game in ACC games, ranking No. 3 and 6, respectively. They have shot 56.3 percent from the floor combined (40-of-71) and 42.4 percent (14-of-33) from three-point range. The Jackets are 4-1 this season when both player score in double digits, including both ACC wins.
  • Triple threat – Jose Alvarado, Michael Devoe and Bubba Parham have hit 29-of-64 collectively (45.3 percent) from three-point in Tech’s last four games, and are 19-of-44 (43.2 percent) against the ACC.
  • Top of the heap – Three of the four highest scoring games by individuals in the ACC this season belong to Georgia Tech players – Moses Wright (31 points) vs. Georgia State and Jose Alvarado (29 points each vs. Georgia State and Delaware State).
  • Small ball – Tech moved 6-9 senior Moses Wright, who has played the “4” position most of his career, into the “5” spot and started 5-10 senior Bubba Parham beginning with the Dec. 6 win over Kentucky. The re-alignment has worked as the Jackets have shot 49.3 percent from the floor, hit 8.3 three-point field goals per game (36.5 percent), turned the ball over just 73 times and forced 115 in its last seven games. Tech also has assisted on 63 percent of its field goals in that stretch.
  • Size doesn’t matter – Since going to its small starting lineup, Tech has seen only six of its shots blocked after having 13 swatted away in its first two games. At the time of Tech’s meetings with them, Kentucky ranked No. 4, Nebraska No. 28, FSU No. 1 and North Carolina No. 8 in average height, according to KenPom.com. The Jackets rank No. 283.
  • Ball security – The Jackets rank No. 4 in the ACC and No. 36 nationally in assist/turnover ratio (1.35), and they rank No. 3 in the ACC and No. 28 nationally in turnover margin (plus-3.9). Only three ACC teams have turned the ball over fewer times per game than has Tech (12.2) in all games, and Tech has forced the most average turnovers in conference games. Six of Tech’s top seven scorers have positive assist/turnover ratios.
  • Minutemen – Tech has three of the top 10 players in the ACC in average minutes played (Jose Alvarado, Moses Wright, Michael Devoe), while Bubba Parham ranks inside the top 20.
  • Prospecting for gold – Tech and Clemson have just one common opponent to date – Florida State. Tech lost to the Seminoles, 74-61, on Dec. 15 in Tallahassee. The Tigers scored a 77-67 home win over the Noles on Dec. 29.
  • Dean x 7 – Tech placed seven members of its team on the fall semester Dean’s List, a high for one semester for the program – seniors Jose Alvarado, Shaheed Medlock and Malachi Rice, and sophomores Niko Broadway, Rodney Howard, Jehloni James and Kyle Sturdivant.

Head coach Josh Pastner speaks with the media Tuesday.

THEY SAID IT

“Point guard Jose Alvarado, who feels like he’s been playing forever, has emerged as an early candidate for ACC Player of the Year.” – Chris Carlson, Syracuse Post-Standard

SERIES VS. CLEMSON

  • This is the oldest and longest-running series the Yellow Jackets have with an ACC member. The 138 all-time meetings are more than 30 greater than Tech has played with any other ACC opponent. The series dates back to the 1912-13 season, when John Heisman coached the Tech basketball team.
  • Clemson is one of two permanent home-and-away opponents on Tech’s schedule each year (Notre Dame is the other).
  • Tech swept the seaosn series in 2019-20 for the first time since the 2004-05 season, winning 68-59 at home and 65-62 at Clemson. The win at Clemson was the Yellow Jackets’ first since the 2004-05 season, snapping a 14-game road losing streak in the series.
  • The Yellow Jackets trail 50-37 to the Tigers since joining the ACC.
  • Tech has an all-time record of 44-26 against the Tigers at home, including a 27-15 record at Alexander Memorial Coliseum and a 4-4 mark at McCamish Pavilion.
  • Tech’s 111-108 win against the Tigers at Littlejohn Coliseum on Jan. 24, 2001 is the highest-scoring regulation game Tech has had with any ACC opponent. The Jackets defeated Florida State by the same score in Tallahassee (in two OTs) on Feb. 11, 1999, and lost to Wake Forest in the 2007 ACC Tournament, 114-112 in double-overtime.

Michael Devoe has averaged 19.33 points over Tech’s three ACC games, ranking No. 3 in the conference. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the A-T Fund’s Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes, and the Support The Swarm Fund, created to give fans an opportunity to help Georgia Tech athletics maintain its recent momentum through the financial challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic! To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL

Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its fifth season under head coach Josh Pastner, having finished fifth in the ACC in 2019-20, the program’s highest finish since 2005. 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.

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