THE FLATS – Home for the fourth time in the last six games, Georgia Tech continues Atlantic Coast Conference play Saturday afternoon against NC State at McCamish Pavilion. Tip time is 4 p.m. for the rematch of the teams’ season opener, won by Tech, 82-81 in overtime in Raleigh.
Georgia Tech update (8-11, 3-6 ACC) – In its fourth season under head coach Josh Pastner, Tech has lost four of its last five games, none of the losses by more than nine points, and has fallen to 11th place in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets have yet to win an ACC game at home this season, however, they are 3-2 on the road with victories over NC State (82-81/ot), North Carolina (96-83) and Boston College (71-52). Tech’s last four conference losses have come by a total of 23 points.
NC State update (14-5, 5-3 ACC) – In its third season under head coach Kevin Keatts, NC State has won its last three games, including a 53-51 victory at Virginia Tuesday night, and is in fourth place in the league standings. The Wolfpack have lost their other two road games at Clemson and Virginia Tech and are 3-3 on the road overall.
Broadcast information – Live coverage on the ACC’s Regional Sports Network (Fox Sports South in Georgia). Online streaming on ACC Network Extra 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).
Head coach Josh Pastner meets the media prior to Friday's practice
- Welcome back – Georgia Tech welcomes back more than 50 former players and staff Saturday for its annual Letterwinners Weekend. Among those expected to attend are the Jackets’ first All-American, Roger Kaiser in 1960 and 1961, as well as 2004 Final Four team members B.J. Elder, Marvin Lewis, Ismai’l Muhammad and Mario West, along with 1978 All-Metro Conference star Lenny Horton, late 1990s standout forward Jon Babul and forward Quinton Stephens, who played for head coach Josh Pastner’s first team in 2016-17.
- Home cooking – Georgia Tech is looking for its first ACC win at home this season. The Yellow Jackets lost to Syracuse back on Dec. 7, and have dropped close decisions to Duke (73-64), Notre Dame (78-74) and Virginia (63-58) this month.
- Full deck – Georgia Tech has had its full roster available for only its last 10 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.
- Stability – Tech has used five different lineups this season, but has sent the same five out for the opening tip in each of the 10 games since the return of Jose Alvarado, producing a 4-6 record with it.
- Offense for defense – Georgia Tech ranks eighth in the ACC in scoring average in conference games (70.00) and 12th in scoring defense (73.89), a reversal of last year’s final rankings (15th scoring offense, 7th scoring defense).
- All-for-ado – Georgia Tech has averaged 68.8 points and shot 46.8 percent from the floor in the 10 games since Jose Alvarado returned to the court. The Yellow Jackets have shot 50 percent or better in five of those games.
- Wright stuff – Moses Wright has scored in double digits in nine of his last 10 games, averaging 15.2 points and 7.2 rebounds while hitting 53.4 percent of his shots from the floor. The 6-9 junior ranks No. 2 in the ACC in field goal percentage (54.0) and No. 9 in rebound average (7.6).
- Crack that whip – Michael Devoe ranks fifth in the ACC in scoring (16.2 ppg), and sixth in field goal percentage (46.0). He also is No. 3 in minutes played (35.4). The 6-5 guard has hit 41 percent of his three-pointers in ACC games.
- Big miss – Jose Alvarado has averaged 12.5 points, 4.8 assists and 2.2 steals in seven games since his return from an ankle injury which sidelined him for seven games. He ranks No. 5 in the ACC in assists (5.75 pg) and is eighth in assist/turnover ratio (1.84) in conference games only, and has hit 16-of-48 (33.3 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 8.4 points and 3.5 rebounds, hitting just under percent of his shots from the floor and 80.8 percent from the free throw line.
- Bring ‘em on – Georgia Tech’s schedule is the fifth-strongest in the nation according to KenPom.com, also fifth among power conference teams. Tech’s schedule included six power conference teams in its first 10 games, including road games at 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, 45th overall.
SERIES VS. NC STATE
- NC State has a 57-42 lead in the overall series which dates back to 1925. Georgia Tech has won five of the last six meetings, including an 82-81 victory in Raleigh in the teams’ first regular-season meeting back on Nov. 5.
- Twenty-two of the last 26 meetings in the series have been decided by 10 points or less, with four of those decided in overtime.
- Tech is 23-18 against the Wolfpack in Atlanta, including one home-court meeting that was played at the Omni in 1986 and one at Philips Arena in 2012. NC State had won all three games played at McCamish Pavilion before Tech’s victory on March 1, 2018.
- Since it joined the ACC, Tech is 34-43 against NC State, including regular-season and tournament.
- Tech has won four of five games (one win was vacated by the NCAA Committee on Infractions) against the Pack under head coach Josh Pastner, and is 3-0 vs. NC State coach Kevin Keatts.
James Banks III talks with the media prior to Friday's practice.
- Georgia Tech ranks No. 34 in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com (92.4 points per 100 possessions), No. 35 nationally in effective defensive field goal percentage (45.1) and 49th in two-point field goal defense (44.6).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 69.8 possessions per game according to KenPom.com (No. 103 in the nation), ahead of the 66.1 possessions per game last season and 66.8 in 2016-17, but the first time this season its temp rate has fallen below 70. Tech has played less than 70 possessions just six times. In ACC games, Tech has averaged 70.3 possessions, third most in the league.
- 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).
- 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. 1 in the nation, according to KenPom.com, in 2-foul participation, a measure of percentage of available minutes played by players with two fouls (68.3 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’s bench played just 23:24 at Louisville and did not score a point for the second time this season.
- Tech has trailed at halftime in 13 of its 19 games this season, coming back to win four of those games. The Jackets are 14-50 when trailing at the half under Josh Pastner. The Jackets lost for the first time this season (5-1 record) when leading at halftime at Louisville.
- Tech has averaged 70.75 points per game away from home this season (75.00 in its five ACC road games), and averaged 63.6 at McCamish Pavilion.
- Tech has shot 50 percent from the floor six times this season, and five times in its last eight games. The Jackets connected on 51.7 percent against Notre Dame (67.9 percent in the second half) and 50 percent against Virginia (61.1 percent in the first half), but lost both games. The Jackets are 20-6 when shooting 50 percent under Josh Pastner, 4-2 this season.
- Tech assisted on 11 of 22 made field goals against Louisville and has assisted on 148 of 239 made field goals in ACC games (61.9 percent), the third-best rate in the ACC according to KenPom.com.
- Tech has averaged 41 points in the paint over its last six games, compared to 31 for its opponents.
- Tech went 15-of-20 from the free throw line at Louisville and has hit better than 70 percent in eight of its last 10 games. Tech has converted 127-of-174 attempts (73 percent) over that stretch, and has hit 70.4 percent on the road this season.
- The Jackets have hit 33.3 percent of their three-point field goal attempts in ACC games, which ranks middle-of-the-pack, compared with just 25.4 percent out of conference.
- Tech has averaged 15.6 turnovers over its last 10 games since the return of Jose Alvarado, compared with 17.4 prior to that. With Alvarado on the floor this year, Tech has averaged 15.8 turnovers, compared with 18.6 in the seven games in which he was absent.
- Tech is minus-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 six games.
James Banks is hitting 56.9 percent of his shots from the floor in ACC games. (photo by Evan Brown)
- Michael Devoe has scored 20 or more points in seven games this season, including a 21-point effort at Louisville Wednesday. He went 7-of-14 from the floor and 2-of-7 from three-point range.
- Alvarado has hit 13-of-31 shots (41.9 pct.) from three-point range in his last six games (2-of-6 vs. Louisvile) and is 32-of-63 overall (50.8 pct.) during that stretch.
- Alvarado posted his lowest assist total (2) of the season in each of Tech’s last two games. Still, he has set or matched his career high in assists three times in the last six games, dishing eight at North Carolina, eight at Boston College and nine against Notre Dame. The 6-foot junior has averaged 5.75 assists in league games, sixth-best in the league, and is eighth in assist/turnover ratio.
- James Banks has averaged 11.9 points and 7.9 rebounds against ACC teams this season, hitting 56.9 percent of his shots from the floor.
- Moses Wright has scored in double figures in nine of Tech’s last 10 games, leading the Jackets in scoring (15.2 ppg) while grabbing 7.2 rebounds, hitting 53.4 percent of his shots from the floor and 68.6 percent from the foul line. The 6-9 junior ranks No. 2 in the ACC in field goal percentage (54.0) and No. 9 in rebound average (7.6).
- Wright is Tech’s high scorer in ACC games at 14.2 points and No. 2 in rebounds per game (7.6), and he has hit 50.5 percent of his shots from the floor against the league.
- Wright has connected on 68.6 percent of his free throws (24-of-35) over Tech’s last 10 games after going just 4-of-14 in the first nine games of the season.
- Bubba Parham is 14-of-30 from the floor in his last seven games, 7-of-15 on threes. All five of his double-figure games this season have come against power-conference foes (Georgia, Arkansas, Syracuse, Kentucky and North Carolina). He did not attempt a shot at Louisville, but had three assists and no turnovers.
Michael Devoe has scored 20 or more points seven times this season. (photos 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.
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