THE FLATS – Finishing off a short two-game homestand at McCamish Pavilion, Georgia Tech continues Atlantic Coast Conference play Saturday night against reigning NCAA Champion Virginia. Tip time is 8 p.m.
Georgia Tech update (8-9, 3-4 ACC) – In its fourth season under head coach Josh Pastner, Tech is 4-4 in its last eight games, including two wins in three games to capture third place at the Diamond Head Classic and a pair of road ACC wins against North Carolina (96-83) on Jan. 4 and Boston College (71-52) on Jan. 11. The Yellow Jackets have yet to win an ACC game at home, however, with losses to Syracuse, Duke and Notre Dame (78-74 Wednesday night). Tech is 3-5 at home overall this season.
Virginia update (11-5, 3-3 ACC) – In its 11th season under head coach Tony Bennett, the Cavaliers come to Atlanta on a three-game losing streak, having lost to Boston College, Syracuse (ot) and Florida State by a total of 21 points. The losses to the Eagles and the Seminoles came on the road, where Virginia is 1-3 this season. The Cavs remain the nation’s top defensive team, yielding an average of 49 points per game.
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. 371, internet ch. 371).
JACKETS RECOGNIZING 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF 1990 FINAL FOUR TEAM
Georgia Tech basketball will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its 1990 NCAA Final Four and Atlantic Coast Conference championship team Saturday night. The entire 1989-90 team is expected to attend, with the exception of Dennis Scott and Brian Oliver, who have TV game broadcast duties that will keep them out of town. The members of the team will sign autographs before the game and be introduced on the court at halftime. Replica team posters for the 1990 team will be given away to fans attending the game while supplies last.
Coached by the legendary Bobby Cremins and led by the “Lethal Weapon 3” group of Scott, Kenny Anderson and Brian Oliver, the 1990 Yellow Jackets won 28 games and were one of the nation’s highest scoring teams, setting Tech records for most points (3.096) and highest scoring average (88.5 points per game) in a season. Scott, a 6-8 junior forward, Oliver, a 6-4 senior guard, and Anderson, a 6-foot freshman point guard, each averaged more than 20 points per game.
Head coach Josh Pastner previews Georgia Tech-Virginia
- Wins needed – Georgia Tech and Virginia are both coming off four-point losses in midweek games, the Jackets falling at home to Notre Dame (78-74) and the Cavaliers at No. 9 Florida State (54-50).
- 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, 3-5 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.
- All hands on deck – Georgia Tech has had its full roster available for only its last eight 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 eight games since the return of Jose Alvarado, producing a 4-4 record with it.
- Offense for defense – Georgia Tech ranks third in the ACC in scoring average in conference games (72.57) and 13th in scoring defense (76.29), a reversal of last year’s final rankings (15th scoring offense, 7th scoring defense).
- All-for-ado – Georgia Tech has averaged 70.8 points and shot 45.6 percent from the floor in the eight games since Jose Alvarado returned to the court. The Yellow Jackets have shot 50 percent or better in four of those games.
- Big miss – Jose Alvarado has averaged 11.5 points, 5.5 assists and 2.4 steals in seven games since his return from an ankle injury which sidelined him for seven games. He leads the ACC in assists (7.0 pg) and is sixth in assist/turnover ratio (2.47) in conference games only, and has hit 11-of-29 (37.9 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 8.8 points and 3.6 rebounds, hitting 39.5 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 eight straight games, averaging 16.8 points and 8.0 rebounds while hitting 55.6 percent of his shots from the floor. The 6-9 junior ranks No. 2 in the ACC in field goal percentage (55.1) and No. 7 in rebound average (8.0).
- Crack that whip – Michael Devoe ranks fifth in the ACC in scoring (16.5 ppg), and eighth in field goal percentage (45.0). He also is No. 3 in minutes played (35.44). The 6-5 guard has hit 42.4 percent of his three-pointers in ACC games.
- No ducking – Georgia Tech’s schedule is the third-strongest among power conference teams according to KenPom.com behind Kansas, and No. 4 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 fifth-toughest among power conference teams, 46th overall.
SERIES VS. VIRGINIA
- Virginia has won 13 of the last 15 meetings to move ahead 42-40 in the all-time series, which dates back to 1947.
- The Cavaliers have won the last five games in the series, including an 81-51 win in Charlottesville in the teams’ only regular-season meeting in 2018-19.
- Tech is 2-2 against Virginia in McCamish Pavilion and was 21-8 against the Cavaliers in Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Overall, the Yellow Jackets are 24-13 on all home courts and 26-14 in games played in the city of Atlanta.
- Since Tech joined the ACC, the Yellow Jackets are 38-41 against Virginia.
- Tech was 11-8 against Virginia under Paul Hewitt, including wins in all three meetings in Hewitt’s first season of 2000-01. Josh Pastner is 0-5 vs. Virginia (one loss at Memphis), and Tony Bennett is 12-2 vs. Tech.
- Tech has averaged 53 points per game in 14 meetings against Bennett’s Virginia teams, failing to reach 50 points in five of those games.
James Banks III talks to the media on Friday
- Georgia Tech ranks No. 28 in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com (90.6 points per 100 possessions), No. 33 nationally in effective defensive field goal percentage (44.7) and 38th in two-point field goal defense (44.0).
- 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 70.3 possessions per game according to KenPom.com (100th in the nation), well ahead of the 66.1 possessions per game last season and 66.8 in 2016-17. Tech has played less than 70 possessions just six times. In ACC games, Tech has averaged a league-high 72 possessions
- Tech has exceeded 100 points per 100 possessions seven times, including NC State, North Carolina, Boston College and Notre Dame in the ACC.
- 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 (66.8 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 has trailed at halftime in 12 of its 17 games this season, coming back to win four of those games. The Jackets are 14-49 when trailing at the half under Josh Pastner.
- Tech’s 74 points against Notre Dame was a season-high at home. Tech has averaged 71.2 points per game away from home this season (76.75 in its four ACC road games), and averaged 62.9 at McCamish Pavilion coming into the game.
- Tech has shot 50 percent from the floor five times this season, and four times in its last six games. The Jackets connected on 51.7 percent against Notre Dame, hitting 67.9 percent in the second half. It was the first time, however, that Tech has lost this season when shooting 50 percent, and the Jackets are 20-5 when shooting 50 percent under Josh Pastner.
- Tech assisted on 15 of 30 made field goals against and has assisted on 119 of 192 made field goals in ACC games (62 percent).
- Tech has averaged 45.5 points in the paint over its last four games, compared to 30.5 for its opponents.
- The Jackets have hit 33.6 percent of their three-point field goal attempts in ACC games, compared with just 25.4 percent out of conference.
- Tech has averaged 15.1 turnovers over its last eight games since the return of Jose Alvarado, compared with 17.4 prior to that. With Alvarado on the floor this year, Tech has averaged 15.4 turnovers, compared with 18.6 in the seven games in which he was absent.
- Tech is plus-4 assist-to-turnovers in ACC games, minus-56 in non-conference games. The Jackets have been on the plus side of that ledger in three of the last four games.
Bubba Parham is hitting 50 percent from the floor, and from three-point range, over his last six games (photo by Danny Karnik)
- Michael Devoe posted his sixth game of 20 or more points this season with 22 against Notre Dame, and his first since Dec. 4 against Nebraska, when he scored 26. In four career games against Notre Dame he has averaged 15.3 points, reaching double digits in each, with a total of 14 assists. He has hit 23-of-43 shots from the floor, 10-of-18 from three-point range.
- James Banks III has averaged 11.8 points and 9.8 boards in four games against the Irish, hitting 22-of-35 from the floor and blocking eight shots.
- For the second time this season, Banks did not block a shot. The 6-10 senior had swatted 11 in the two games before Notre Dame. He still ranks No. 2 in the ACC at 2.94 per game overall, 2.71 per game in conference play.
- Moses Wright has scored in double figures in eight consecutive games, averaging a team-high 16.8 points and 8.0 rebounds over that stretch while hitting 55.6 percent of his shots from the floor and 71 percent from the free throw line. The 6-9 junior ranks No. 2 in the ACC in field goal percentage (55.1) and No. 7 in rebound average (8.0).
- Wright is Tech’s high scorer and rebounder in ACC games at 15.7 points (11th ACC) and 8.6 rebounds (4th ACC) per game, and he has hit 52.2 percent of his shots from the floor against the league (7th ACC).
- Wright has connected on 71.0 percent of his free throws (22-of-31) over Tech’s last eight games after going just 4-of-14 in the first nine games of the season.
- James Banks III has averaged 12.1 points and 7.9 rebounds against ACC teams this season, hitting 56.9 percent of his shots from the floor.
- Jose Alvarado has set or matched his career high in assists three times in the last four games, dishing eight at North Carolina, eight at Boston College and nine against Notre Dame. The 6-foot junior leads the ACC in assist average at 7.0 in league games. Alvarado has 30 assists, nine steals and 11 turnovers in his last four games, and has a 53/22 assist/turnover ratio for the season. His 2.47 assist/turnover ratio in ACC games ranks sixth in the league.
- Alvarado has hit 9-of-18 shots from three-point range in his last four games (1-of-4 vs. Notre Dame) and is 20-of-38 overall during that stretch.
- Bubba Parham is 13-of-26 from the floor in his last six games, 6-of-12 on threes. All five of his double-figure games this season have come against power-conference foes (Georgia, Arkansas, Syracuse, Kentucky and North Carolina).
James Banks III has averaged 12.1 points and 7.9 rebounds against ACC teams this season, hitting 56.9 percent of his shots from the floor. (photo by Danny Karnik)
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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.