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Jackets Come Home to Face Virginia Tech

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THE FLATS – Georgia Tech continues Atlantic Coast Conference play Tuesday evening against Virginia Tech at McCamish Pavilion. Tip time is 7 p.m. for the teams’ only scheduled regular-season meeting this season.

Georgia Tech update (10-12, 4-7 ACC) – Tech sits alone in 12th place in the ACC, one game out of a sixth-place tie that includes the Yellow Jackets’ two opponents this week – Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh – as well as Boston College, Clemson and NC State. Tech is 1-3 at home in conference play since January began, falling to Duke, Notre Dame and Virginia by a total of 13 points before downing NC State on Jan. 25. The Jackets come into Tuesday’s game on the heels of an 80-72 loss at Notre Dame.

Virginia Tech update (14-8, 5-6 ACC) – In its first season under head coach Mike Young, the Hokies have lost four of their last five games, the lone win coming in double-overtime at home against North Carolina on Jan. 22. Since then Virginia Tech, 3-3 on the road, has lost three tough games by an average of 8.7 points to Boston College, Miami and Florida State (a 74-63 home loss Saturday).

Broadcast information – Live television 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. 385, internet ch. 975).

Head coach Josh Pastner meets the media prior to Monday's practice

THE TIPOFF

  • Hokie, Hokie, Hokie low – The battle of the Techs in the ACC has gone decidedly in favor of the Northern team, which has won the last six meetings and 16 of the 21 since it joined the ACC. Home court has not helped the Yellow Jackets, who have won just three of 11 in the series.
  • Close calls – Tech’s last five ACC games have been decided by a total of 27 points.
  • Forever Young – Tuesday night will be the fourth game for Georgia Tech against a Mike Young-coached team. The Yellow Jackets won two of three games against Young-coached Wofford teams, both of those at McCamish Pavilion.
  • Less than a full deck – Georgia Tech has had its full roster available for only 10 games this season, from Tech’s Dec. 22 opener in the Diamond Head Classic, when Jose Alvarado returned from a seven-game injury absence, through Jan. 22 at Louisville. Leading scorer Michael Devoe was sidelined for Tech’s last three games with an injured left foot. Jordan Usher did not play in the season’s first seven games, sitting out as a transfer.
  • Six – The number of different starting lineups Tech has used this season. Before Michael Devoe missed last Saturday’s game with an injured foot, Tech had sent the same five out for the opening tip for 10 straight games since the return of Jose Alvarado.
  • Offense for defense – Georgia Tech ranks seventh in the ACC in scoring average in conference games (69.64) and 13th in scoring defense (73.0), a reversal of last year’s final rankings (15th scoring offense, 7th scoring defense).
  • All-for-ado – Georgia Tech has averaged 69.7 points and shot 45.8 percent from the floor in the 13 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 11 of his last 13 games, averaging 14.2 points and 6.7 rebounds while hitting 53.5 percent of his shots from the floor. The 6-9 junior ranks No. 2 in the ACC in field goal percentage (53.9) and No. 12 in rebound average (7.2).
  • Big miss – Jose Alvarado has averaged 14.2 points, 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals in 13 games since his return from an ankle injury which sidelined him for seven games. He’s averaged 16.9 points over the last nine games, scoring 20 or more points four times.
  • Brooklyn burglar – Alvarado’s nine steals vs. NC State broke the Tech single-game record of eight set by Kenny Anderson against Duke on Jan. 30, 1991. Only three players in ACC history have had more steals in a game, and only two of those occurred against an ACC opponent. He has averaged 2.5 per game in ACC games, the top figure in the conference.
  • Ushering in – Jordan Usher made his Tech debut 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 3.7 rebounds. In Tech’s six wins over that stretch, he has averaged 10.8 points (24-43 FG), 4.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists.
  • No ducking – Georgia Tech’s schedule is the ninth-strongest in the nation according to KenPom.com and the NCAA NET rankings, also ninth among power conference teams. Tech’s schedule includes 10 games against quad 1 teams and 12 against quad 2 teams, five of those 22 against non-conference teams. The Jackets’ non-conference schedule rates sixth-toughest among power conference teams, 45th overall.

SERIES VS. VIRGINIA TECH

  • Virginia Tech has won 20 of 26 all-time meetings with Georgia Tech, including 16 of 21 as a member of the ACC.
  • The Hokies have won the last six games of the series, four of which were decided in the final minute. Virginia Tech won the teams’ first regular-season meeting of 2018-19, 52-49, at McCamish Pavilion.
  • Tech has defeated Virginia Tech only three times in 11 meetings at home since the Hokies joined the ACC, and the Yellow Jackets received extraordinary performances by individuals to win two of those games. On Jan. 19, 2008, reserve guard Matt Causey came off the bench to hit seven threes and pour in 30 points in the Jackets’ 81-70 victory. On Jan. 25, 2011, Iman Shumpert recorded the fourth triple-double in Tech history with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in the Jackets’ 72-57 win.
  • The Hokies, led by future NBA star Dell Curry, held off the Jackets and their future All-Americans Mark Price and John Salley, 77-74, in the teams’ first meeting, a first-round post-season NIT game, at Cassell Coliseum in 1984.
  • The teams have split two ACC Tournament encounters, the Jackets capturing a 73-54 victory in the first round of the 2005 tournament in Washington, D.C., and the Hokies winning a 59-43 decision in the first round in 2011 in Greensboro.
  • Georgia Tech’s first victory over Virginia Tech occurred on Dec. 27, 1962, a 73-72 overtime triumph at the Gator Bowl Tournament that was part of an 11-0 start for the Yellow Jackets. Tech went on to finish the season 21-5. That remains the only meeting between the two teams when both were ranked in the nation’s top 25.
  • Both teams were members of the old Metro Conference, but not at the same time. Georgia Tech was a member for three seasons from 1975-76 through 1977-78 before leaving to join the ACC. Virginia Tech joined the league for the 1978-79 season.

Moses Wright has reached double digits in points in 11 of his last 13 games, including 17 points at Notre Dame. (photo courtesy of Notre Dame)

 

WHAT’S TRENDING

  • Getting offensive – Against ACC teams (according to KenPom.com), Tech ranks No. 5 in effective field goal percentage (50.2) against the league, the Yellow Jackets’ highest ranking in that category since they were No. 2 in 2010 (49.0).
  • Tough on twos – The Jackets also are No. 1 in percentage of points scored on two-point field goals (60.8), and have been the No. 1 team in the ACC in that category all four years under Josh Pastner. Tech also ranks No. 2 in the ACC in two-point percentage (51.4).
    Georgia Tech ranks No. 34 in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com (93.3 points per 100 possessions), No. 37 nationally in effective defensive field goal percentage (45.5) and 49th in two-point field goal defense (45.0).
  • Since the beginning of last season, Tech has held 28 opponents, including 11 ACC foes, under 40 percent shooting from the floor (NC State connected on 37.9 percent). Ten Tech opponents this season have failed to hit 40 percent.
  • The Jackets have limited 23 opponents, 11 in the ACC, to 30 percent or less from three-point range over the same period (NC State his 4-of-19, 21.1 percent). Nine Tech foes this season have made less than 30 percent.
  • 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. Six other teams, including NC State (both meetings), Kentucky, Duke and Boston College, posted one of their six lowest offensive efficiency ratings against the Yellow Jackets.
  • Georgia Tech’s adjusted tempo is 69.2 possessions per game according to KenPom.com (No. 122 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 nine times, including its last four games. In ACC games, Tech has averaged 69.6 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 eight times, including NC State, North Carolina, Boston College and both games against 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 (68.0 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 15 of its 22 games this season, coming back to win five of those games. The Jackets are 15-50 when trailing at the half under Josh Pastner. The Jackets are 6-1 when leading at halftime (only loss was at Louisville).
  • Tech has averaged 70.6 points per game away from home this season (73.8 in its six ACC road games), and averaged 65.3 at McCamish Pavilion.
  • Tech’s 74 field goal attempts (23 more than Notre Dame attempted) were a season high by one over the 73 it attempted against Nebraska on Dec. 4.
  • Tech, which made 30 field goals at Notre Dame, has connected on as many as 30 field goals five other times this season, but its four three-point field goals matched a season low for an ACC game, and the Jackets have made fewer than eight free throws in an ACC game just three times, all losses.
  • Jose Alvarado connected on 3-of-7 three-point attempts, but the rest of the team hit just 1-of-11.
  • Tech’s 20 offensive rebounds and 25 second-chance points also were season highs. Previous highs were 16 and 14 against Duke on Jan 8.
  • Tech has averaged 40.4 points in the paint over its last nine games (44 vs. Morehouse), compared to 28.2 for its opponents. Only Duke (38-36) and Louisville (32-30) have scored more than Tech in that stretch.
  • Tech’s five turnovers against Notre Dame were a season low and the fewest by a Josh Pastner-coached Yellow Jacket team, and the Jackets came one shy of tying the school-record low of four. Tech’s previous low this season was nine in a loss to Houston on Dec. 23. It’s previous low under Pastner has been six, accomplished four times, including against Notre Dame in last year’s ACC Tournament.
  • Tech has averaged just 10 turnovers in its last three games (13 each vs. NC State and Morehouse), and just 14.4 in the 13 games since the return of Jose Alvarado to the Yellow Jackets’ lineup, compared to 17.4 per game prior to that.
  • Tech went 8-of-12 from the free throw line against Notre Dame and has hit better than 70 percent in nine of its last 13 games. Tech has converted 163-of-224 attempts (72.8 percent) over that stretch.
  • Tech is plus-2 assist-to-turnovers in ACC games, minus-45 in non-conference games. The Jackets have been on the plus side of that ledger in six of the last nine games.
  • Notre Dame posted the second-most efficient offensive game against the Yellow Jackets this season (Syracuse on Dec. 7 is No. 1), while Tech posted its second-best offensive efficiency of the season against the Fighting Irish (North Carolina on Jan. 4 remains the Jackets’ best of the season).

Jose Alvarado has scored 20 or more points four times since the first of January, including 25 Saturday at Notre Dame. (photo courtesy of Notre Dame)

 

PERSONNEL TRENDS

  • James Banks III posted his fifth double-double this season and 12th of his career with 13 points (5-8 FG) and 10 rebounds at Notre Dame. He has averaged 11.5 points and 8.0 rebounds against ACC teams this season, hitting 57.3 percent of his shots from the floor and 80 percent from the foul line.
  • Moses Wright scored 17 points (8-17 FG) with eight rebounds against Notre Dame, his 11th double-dibgt game in the last 13. He also had a season-high four assists and matched his season high in blocked shots with three. Wright has averaged 19.3 points in his last three games against Notre Dame
  • Wright has connected on 66.7 percent of his free throws (28-of-42) over Tech’s last 13 games after going just 4-of-14 in the first nine games of the season.
  • Jose Alvarado scored 25 points, one shy of his season high of 26 set against NC State a week ago. The 6-foot junior has four 20-point games this season, all since Jan. 4 at North Carolina, and has 15 in his career.
  • Alvarado has hit 19-of-49 shots (38.8 pct.) from three-point range in his last nine games (3-7 vs. Notre Dame) and is 48-of-99 overall (48.5 pct.) during that stretch. He hit 10-of-19 at Notre Dame, including 3-of-7 from distance.
  • Alvarado played the full 40 minutes for the first time this season – the first time any Tech player has gone the distance this season. It was the 14th complete game of his career.
  • Khalid Moore has started the last three games for the Yellow Jackets in the absence of injured Michael Devoe, and 12 altogether this season. He scored five points against NC State and nine against Morehouse, but was scoreless against Notre Dame.

James Banks III has five double-doubles this season, including a 13-point, 10-rebound performance at Notre Dame. (photo courtesy of Notre Dame)

 

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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