THE FLATS – Georgia Tech continues Atlantic Coast Conference play Wednesday night, hosting No. 5 Louisville at McCamish Pavilion. Tip time is 8 p.m. for the rematch of the Jan. 22 meeting between the two teams, won 68-64 by the Cardinals at Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center.
Georgia Tech update (11-13, 5-8 ACC) – Tech sits in a three-way tie for 10th place in the ACC standings, a game and a half out of sixth place, with Clemson and Virginia Tech. The Yellow Jackets, which came up short, 73-64, Saturday at Pittsburgh, are 2-2 in their last four conference games, including home victories over the Hokies and NC State. Tech is 6-6 at home this season, 2-4 in ACC games.
Louisville update (21-3, 12-1 ACC) – The first-place Cardinals are undefeated on the road in the ACC this season, and are 6-1 at home, dropping a 78-65 decision to Florida State on Jan. 4. Since then, Louisville has won 10 straight games, including the victory over Georgia Tech on Jan. 22. The Cardinals have beaten Notre Dame, Pitt, Duke, Boston College and NC State on the road during that streak.
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
- Not in the Cards – Georgia tech is looking for its first win over Louisville since the Cardinals became a member of the ACC. The nine-game skid includes a 1999 loss at Freedome Hlal and a 2005 loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Of the seven games in the series played as ACC brethren, four have been decided by four points or less.
- Get a good one – Georgia Tech has lost its last 17 games against teams ranked in the top 25 of either the AP or coaches polls. Tech’s last win over a top-25 team was Notre Dame (rv AP/25 coaches) on Jan. 10, 2018.
- Never easy – Georgia Tech’s six ACC losses in January and February have come by an average of 6.5 points. It’s four wins have come by an average of 14.3 points.
- Efficient – Tech has scored at a rate over 100 points per 100 possessions five times in ACC play since the start of January (North Carolina, Boston College, Notre Dame twice, Virginia Tech). The Jackets were close to the mark (98.1) at Louisville.
- Twelve – The number of games missed due to injury for Tech players this season. Georgia Tech has had its full roster available for only 12 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 three games with an injured left foot. Reserve forward Evan Cole has missed the last two games with an ankle sprain. 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. The most frequent has been Jose Alvarado, Michael Devoe, Jordan Usher, Moses Wright and James Banks III, used 12 times in the last 15 games, interrupted only by Devoe’s injury that forced him to miss three games. Moses Wright is the only Jacket to start every game this season.
- Offense for defense – Georgia Tech ranks eighth in the ACC in scoring average in conference games (69.69) and 11th in scoring defense (71.77), 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 46.3 percent from the floor in the 15 games since Jose Alvarado returned to the court. The Yellow Jackets have shot 50 percent or better in six of those games.
- Wright stuff – Moses Wright has scored in double digits in 13 of his last 15 games, averaging 14.0 points and 6.7 rebounds while hitting 52.4 percent of his shots from the floor. The 6-9 junior ranks No. 2 in the ACC in field goal percentage (53.2) and No. 13 in rebound average (7.2).
- Big miss – Jose Alvarado has averaged 14.3 points, 4.3 assists and 2.3 steals in 15 games since his return from an ankle injury which sidelined him for seven games. He’s averaged 16.4 points over the last 11 games, scoring 20 or more points five times.
- Guard’s game – Georgia Tech has four starters averaging in double figures this season, both in all games and in ACC games only. But starting guards Michael Devoe and Jose Alvarado are Tech’s two leading scorers and have accounted for 37.7 percent of Georgia Tech’s points in ACC games this season, and 37.2 percent of the scoring since Alvarado returned from his ankle injury.
- No ducking – Georgia Tech’s schedule is the 15th-strongest in the nation according to KenPom.com and No. 8 according to the NCAA NET rankings. Tech has played eight games against quad 1 teams and nine against quad 2 teams, five of those 22 against non-conference teams. The Jackets have two remaining games against quad 1 teams (Louisville, Syracuse), two against quad 2 teams (Clemson, Wake Forest). The Jackets’ non-conference schedule rates 46th overall by KenPom, 65th in the NET.
SERIES VS. LOUISVILLE
- Of the four most recent newcomers of the expanded ACC, Tech has the longest history with Louisville, meeting 28 times prior to the Cardinals joining the conference.
- Louisville has won all seven games between the two teams as ACC brethren, the first three by a combined eight points. The Cardinals scored double-digit wins in the next three before escaping with a 68-64 win in the teams’ first meeting of the 2019-20 season at the KFC Yum! Center.
- Tech went 3-6 against the Cardinals with Whack Hyder as its head coach, all of those games between 1958 and 1965.
- After a 12-year hiatus, Tech was 2-2 vs. Louisville when both teams were members of the Metro Conference in the late 1970s. Dwane Morrison was the Yellow Jackets’ head coach for all those games, and Denny Crum was on the Cardinals’ bench.
- After another long break, the teams met 13 times between 1988 and 1999, with Bobby Cremins and Crum on the opposing benches in all those games. The Yellow Jackets went 8-5 against the Cardinals during this time. Three of the meetings took place at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, and six at Freedom Hall.
- The other four were played at the Georgia Dome. Tech won three of those, including the first-ever college basketball game played in the facility, and before the largest crowd ever to witness a college game in the state of Georgia at the time (28,885). That game will be forever remembered in Tech lore after James Forrest launched a half-court heave on an inbounds play that dropped through the net at the buzzer for an 87-85 Yellow Jacket victory,
- The teams have met seven times when both were ranked among the nation’s top 25 teams, and Tech has won four of those meetings.
- Tech coach Josh Pastner went 2-2 against Louisville during his seven-year stint as the head coach at Memphis and is now 2-6 against the Cardinals. The Jackets have lost both meetings against Chris Mack-coached Cardinal teams.
Junior Moses Wright meets the media prior to Monday's practice
- Against ACC teams (according to KenPom.com), Tech ranks No. 4 in effective field goal percentage (51.2) against the league, the Yellow Jackets’ highest ranking in that category since they were No. 2 in 2010 (49.0). They also are eighth in offensive efficiency (99.9).
- The Jackets rank No. 1 in percentage of points scored on two-point field goals (60.0), and have been the No. 1 team in the ACC in that category all four years under Josh Pastner. Tech ranks fourth nationally in all games.
- Tech has exceeded 100 points per 100 possessions nine times, six of those games coming since Jan. 4 at North Carolina, which was the Jackets’ highest efficiency rating of the season (132.2). Most recently, Tech exceeded 100 against Notre Dame and Virginia Tech.
- Georgia Tech ranks No. 32 in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com (93.2 points per 100 possessions), No. 31 nationally in effective defensive field goal percentage (45.3) and 39th in three-point field goal defense (30.2).
- Tech has held 11 opponents this season under 40 percent from the floor (four ACC opponents, Virginia Tech hit 38.2 percent), and eight under 30 percent from three-point range (three ACC opponents.
- 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. Seven other teams, including NC State (both meetings), Kentucky, Duke and Boston College, posted one of their eight lowest offensive efficiency ratings against the Yellow Jackets.
- Tech’s adjusted tempo is 69.3 possessions per game according to KenPom.com (No. 126 in the nation), its best rate and ranking in Josh Pastner’s four years at Tech. Tech has played in the mid-60s in each of its last six ACC games, but the Yellow Jackets’ tempo in league play (69.1) is the fifth-highest.
- 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. 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 (68.1 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 has averaged 70.5 points per game away from home this season (72.5 in its six ACC road games), and averaged 66.2 at McCamish Pavilion.
- Tech trailed at the half for the 17th time this season (28-24) and has come back to win five of those games.
- Tech has won the rebounding battle six times and held even twice in 11 games since the beginning of January. The Jackets are plus-22 on the boards in ACC games for the season, averaging around one per game more than their opponents.
- Tech has averaged 39 points in the paint over its last 11 games (36 vs. Pittsburgh), compared to 27 for its opponents. Only Duke (38-36) and Louisville (32-30) have scored more than Tech in that stretch.
- None of Georgia Tech’s starters played as many as 32 minutes (Moses Wright played 31:56), and the Yellow Jacket reserves played nearly 50 minutes of the game.
- Tech shot 48 percent against Pittsburgh, missing by one field goal made in 50 attempts. The Jackets have hit the 50-percent mark from the floor seven times this season and for the five time in ACC play (all since Jan. 4)..
- Tech has hit 14-of-34 (41.2 percent) of its three-point attempts in its last two games.
- Tech has hit the 20-turnover mark (22 vs. Pittsburgh five times this season. The Jackets had averaged just 10 turnovers in its prior four games (13 each vs. NC State and Morehouse, five at Notre Dame, 10 vs. Virginia Tech), and just 14.1 in 14 games after the return of Jose Alvarado.
Michael Devoe has eight games of 20 or more points this season for the Yellow Jackets. (photo by Danny Karnik)
- Michael Devoe scored 22 points at Pittsburgh, his first game over 20 points since Jan. 22 at Louisville (21 points), and his eighth this season. Three of those have come in ACC games (22 vs. Notre Dame on Jan. 15, 21 at Louisville, 22 at Pittsburgh). The sophomore guard hit 7-of-10 shots from the floor, 3-of-5 from three-point range and 5-of-5 from the foul line.
- Devoe’s seven assists matched a season high set against Nebraska on Dec. 4.
- Moses Wright scored 13 points (5-12 FG) with seven rebounds against Pittsburgh, his fifth double-digit scoring game in the last seven after a streak of eight straight with 10 or more. The 6-9 junior has failed to reach double figures just five times this season, never in back-to-back games.
- Wright has connected on 63 percent of his free throws (34-of-54) over Tech’s last 15 games after going just 4-of-14 in the first nine games of the season.
- Though Tech committed 22 turnovers against Pitt, only two of those came from Jose Alvarado and Bubba Parham (one each), who combined for seven assists.
- Jose Alvarado has hit 23-of-59 shots (39 pct.) from three-point range in his last 11 games (1-of-4 at Pitt) and is 59-of-121 overall (48.8 pct.) during that stretch.
- Alvarado and Devoe have combined to sink 38.5 percent of their three-point attempts in ACC games, 46.9 percent overall from the floor.
- Junior forward Evan Cole has missed Tech’s last two games with an injured right ankle, sustained in the team’s shootaround the day of the Virginia Tech game on Feb. 4.
Moses Wright ranks No. 2 in the ACC in field goal percentage. (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.
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