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Georgia Tech Basketball Hosts Notre Dame

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THE FLATS – Back at home for the first of two straight games at McCamish Pavilion, Georgia Tech continues Atlantic Coast Conference play Wednesday night against Notre Dame. Tip time is 8:30 p.m.

Georgia Tech update (8-8, 3-3 ACC) – In its fourth season under head coach Josh Pastner, Tech is 4-3 in its last six games, including two wins in three games to capture third place at the Diamond Head Classic. The Yellow Jackets evened their overall record and their ACC record with a 71-52 victory Saturday at Boston College. Tech has won three ACC road games this season, including an 82-81 overtime triumph at NC State and 96-83 at North Carolina, but is 0-2 at home.

Notre Dame update (10-6, 1-4 ACC) – In its 20th season under head coach Mike Brey, the Fignting Irish come to Atlanta on the heels of two straight close losses to NC State (73-68) and Louisville (67-64). After a 75-64 loss at North Carolina, Notre Dame’s last four ACC games have been decided by a combined eight points. Its lone victory was an 88-87 decision at Syracuse on Jan. 4. The Irish are 1-4 away from home this season.

Broadcast information – Live coverage on the ACC Network, online streaming available through the ESPN app. Radio coverage by Learfield IMG College (680 AM and 93.7 FM the Fan in Atlanta, TuneIn app). Tech broadcast available on satellite radio (XM ch. 380, internet ch. 970).

Head coach Josh Pastner previews Georgia Tech-Notre Dame

THE TIPOFF

  • Home cooking – The fact that Georgia Tech has two home games this week would normally be good news after having played six of seven games away from home. But the Yellow Jackets are 4-3 away from home this season, 3-4 in McCamish Pavilion.
  • More snacks – Tech’s win at Boston College was its third ACC road win this season, something the Yellow Jackets haven’t done since the 2015-16 season. The last time the Jackets won four ACC road games in a season was 2007-08, when they went 4-4.
  • Full deck – Georgia Tech has had its full roster available for only its last six games, beginning with the first game of the Diamond Head Classic on Dec. 22. Junior forward Jordan Usher became eligible for the Yellow Jackets’ Dec. 18 game against Ball State, and junior point guard Jose Alvarado played for the first time since Nov. 20 in the Jackets’ 74-60 win over Boise State in Hawai’i.
  • Remain calm, all is well – Tech has used five different lineups this season, but has sent the same five out for the opening tip in each of the seven games since the return of Jose Alvarado, producing a 4-3 record with it.
  • Offense for defense – Georgia Tech ranks third in the ACC in scoring average in conference games (72.33) and 13th in scoring defense (76.00), a reversal of last year’s final rankings (15th scoring offense, 7th scoring defense).
  • All-for-ado – Georgia Tech has averaged 70.3 points and shot 45.8 percent from the floor in the seven games since Jose Alvarado returned to the court. The Yellow Jackets have shot 50 percent or better in three of those games.
  • Big miss – Jose Alvarado has averaged 12.1 points, 5.0 assists and 2.7 steals in seven games since his return from an ankle injury which sidelined him for seven games. He ranks No. 2 in the ACC in assists (6.60 pg) and is third in steals (2.40 pg) in conference games only, and has hit 8-of-20 (40 percent) from three-point range.
  • Ushering in – Jordan Usher made his debut for the Yellow Jackets Dec. 18 against Ball State after sitting out the required two semesters after he transferred from Southern California last January. The 6-7 junior guard/forward has averaged 8.9 points and 3.6 rebounds, hitting 39.4 percent of his shots from the floor and 17-of-18 from the free throw line.
  • Wright stuff – Moses Wright has scored in double digits in seven straight games, averaging 16.9 points and 8.4 rebounds while hitting 55.7 percent of his shots from the floor. The 6-9 junior ranks No. 2 in the ACC in field goal percentage (55.2) and No. 7 in rebound average (8.2).
  • Crack that whip – Michael Devoe ranks fifth in the ACC in scoring (16.1 ppg), and 10th in field goal percentage (43.9). He also is No. 3 in minutes played (35.3). The 6-5 guard has hit 41.4 percent of his three-pointers in ACC games.
  • No ducking – Georgia Tech’s schedule is the thirdd-strongest among power conference teams according to KenPom.com behind Kansas, and No. 2 overall. Tech’s schedule included six power conference teams in its first 10 games, including road games at NC State, Georgia and Kentucky, and home games against Arkansas and Nebraska along with the ACC schedule. The Jackets’ non-conference schedule rates sixth-toughest among power conference teams, 48th overall.

SERIES VS. NOTRE DAME

  • Georgia Tech holds a slim 11-10 lead in the all-time series that began in the 1940-41 season (one Tech victory was vacated by the NCAA Committee on Infractions). Tech and Notre Dame split their regular-season meetings the last three seasons, each team winning at home.
  • The Yellow Jackets are 5-8 against Notre Dame since the Fighting Irish joined the ACC, the 13 meetings decided by a total of 68 points. That includes the teams’ first ACC Tournament encounter last season, a 78-71 Fighting Irish victory. Notre Dame’s 69-59 win in South Bend on Feb. 10, 2019 is the widest margin.
  • At McCamish Pavilion, Tech is 5-1 against the Irish, and the games have been decided by a total of 20 points, including last season’s 63-61 victory.
  • The Yellow Jackets won five straight meetings between the two teams from 1972 through Tech’s 74-69 victory in McCamish Pavilion on Jan. 11, 2014, the team’s first meeting as ACC foes.
  • All but one game in the series has been played on the two campuses, the exception being a 2007 meeting in the third-place game of the Paradise Jam. The Yellow Jackets erased a 9-point deficit in the final 5:11 and won the game on a three-point basket by Matt Causey with two seconds remaining.
  • Tech is 8-1 all-time against Notre Dame in Atlanta, three of those wins at Alexander Memorial Coliseum and five at McCamish Pavilion.

Junior guard Jose Alvarado talks about the jackets recent resurgence.

WHAT’S TRENDING

  • Georgia Tech ranks No. 25 in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com (89.6 points per 100 possessions), No. 32 nationally in effective defensive field goal percentage (44.4) and 32nd in two-point field goal defense (43.5).
  • Since the beginning of last season, Tech has held 26 opponents, including 10 ACC opponents, under 40 percent from the floor. Eight Tech opponents this season have shot under 40 percent, including Boston College (29.8 pct.) last Saturday.
  • The Jackets have limited 22 opponents, 10 in the ACC, to 30 percent or less from three-point range in the same time frame. Eight Tech opponents have shot under 30 percent from three this season, (Boston College went 3-for-18).
  • Tech has held five opponents to their lowest offensive efficiency of the season, including two of its foes in Hawai’i – Elon, Arkansas, Nebraska, Boise State and Hawai’i. Five other teams, including NC State, Kentucky, Duke and Boston College, posted one of their five lowest offensive efficiency ratings against the Yellow Jackets.
  • Georgia Tech’s adjusted tempo is 70.2 possessions per game according to KenPom.com (117th in the nation), well ahead of the 66.1 possessions per game last season and 66.8 in 2016-17. Game-by-game, Tech has played less than 70 possessions just five times and has exceeded 100 points/100 possessions six times, including NC State, North Carolina and Boston College in the ACC.
  • Tech has reached 70 possessions per game over the course of a full season only four times since 1997, the first year KenPom kept track – 1997-98 (72.3), 2000-01 (72.1), 2001-02 (70.5) and 2008-09 (70.5).
  • Two fouls in the first half? No problem. Georgia Tech ranks No. 2 in the nation, according to KenPom.com, in 2-foul participation, a measure of percentage of available minutes played by players with two fouls (65.1 pct. for Tech). The Jackets led the nation in this category in 2018-19, was fourth in 2017-18 and 35th in 2016-17.
  • Tech improved to 4-0 this season when leading at halftime at Boston College, and is 41-12 when leading at the half under Josh Pastner.
  • Tech has trailed at halftime in 12 of its 16 games this season, coming back to win four of those games. The Jackets are 14-48 when trailing at the half under Josh Pastner.
  • Tech has averaged 71.2 points per game away from home this season (76.75 in its four ACC road games), 62.9 at McCamish Pavilion.
  • Tech dominated Boston College in the paint, outscoring the Eagles, 42-18, and the Yellow Jackets have scored 136 points in the paint over their last three games, an average of 45.3 per game.
  • Tech has shot 50 percent from the floor four times this season, and three times in its last five games, all on the road. The Jackets connected on 50.9 percent at Boston College, hitting 50 percent in each half.
  • Tech assisted on 18 of 27 made field goals at Boston College and has assisted on 104 of 162 made field goals in ACC games (64.2 percent).
  • Tech has enjoyed a plus-15 advantage on the boards combined in its last two games, outrebounding Boston College 40-34 and Duke 39-30. The Jackets have outrebounded their opponent only five times this season.
  • Tech has taken 24 offensive rebounds in the last two games, and scored 25 second-chance points from them.
  • Tech has hit the 70-percent mark from the free throw line in its last seven straight games after missing that mark in eight straight games prior to its trip to Hawai’i. Tech went 13-of-18 from the stripe at Boston College and has converted 99-of-130 attempts (76.1 percent) in its last seven games.
  • The Jackets have hit 23-of-64 three-point attempts in its last four games (35.9 percent). The Jackets have hit 34.6 percent from distance in ACC games.
  • Tech began the season hitting 21-of-63 in its first three games (33.3 percent). In the nine games in between, Tech connected on just 36-of-149 attempts (24.2 percent).
  • Tech has averaged 15.4 turnovers over its last seven games since the return of Jose Alvarado, compared with 17.4 prior to that. With Alvarado on the floor this year, Tech has averaged 15.7 turnovers, compared with 18.6 in the seven games in which he was absent.

Jose Alvarado has 18 assists in his last three games. (photo by John Quackenbos)

 

PERSONNEL TRENDS

  • After hitting only 10-of-34 shots from the floor against Duke, James Banks III, Moses Wright and Jordan Usher combined to go 18-of-26 at Boston College and score 44 of the Yellow Jackets’ 71 points.
  • Tech won at Boston College with neither Jose Alvarado nor Michael Devoe reaching double figures in points (9 each), but they combined for 11 assists.
  • Moses Wright posted his sixth double-double this season and has four in his last six games after scoring 18 points with 10 rebounds at Boston College. The last five double-doubles have come against Kentucky, Houston, Florida State, Duke and Boston College.
  • Wright has scored in double figures in seven consecutive games, averaging a team-high 16.9 points and 8.4 rebounds over that stretch while hitting 55.7 percent of his shots from the floor. The 6-9 junior ranks No. 2 in the ACC in field goal percentage (55.2) and No. 7 in rebound average (8.2).
  • Wright is Tech’s high scorer and rebounder in ACC games at 15.7 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, and he has hit 51.9 percent of his shots from the floor against the league.
  • Wright has connected on 69.2 percent of his free throws (18-of-26) over Tech’s last seven games after going just 4-of-14 in the first nine games of the season.
  • James Banks III has averaged 12.5 points and 8.2 rebounds against ACC teams this season, hitting 55.8 percent of his shots from the floor.
  • Banks blocked four Boston College shots and has 11 in his last two games. He had seven against Duke, one off his career high of eight set against Bethune-Cookman on Dec. 1. He remains No. 2 in the ACC at 3.13 per game.
  • Jose Alvarado scored just nine pints at Boston College but matched his career high of eight assists against one turnover in 33:29. The junior has 21 assists, nine steals and eight turnovers in his last three games, and has a 41/19 assist/turnover ratio for the season. Alvarado is averaging 6.6 assists in ACC games.
  • Alvarado has hit 8-of-14 shots from three-point range in his last three games (2-of-4 at BC) and is 17-of-31 overall during that stretch.
  • Jordan Usher has scored in double digits four times in eight games as a Yellow Jacket, hitting 5-of-7 shots from the floor for 13 points at Boston College. He hit all three free throw attempts against the Eagles and is 17-of-18 for the season.
  • Bubba Parham is 10-of-20 from the floor in his last five games, 5-of-9 on threes. All five of his double-figure games this season have come against power-conference foes (Georgia, Arkansas, Syracuse, Kentucky and North Carolina).

 

Jordan Usher has reached double figures in four of his eight games. (photo by John Quackenbos)

 

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 Athletics Initiative 2020, Georgia Tech athletics’ ongoing $125 million initiative to allow Tech to recruit the nation’s most elite student-athletes, build a better student-athlete once they arrive on The Flats and, ultimately, win! 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 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.

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