THE FLATS – Home for the fifth time in the last seven games, Georgia Tech takes a break from Atlantic Coast Conference play to host Morehouse College Tuesday night at McCamish Pavilion. Tip time is 7:30 p.m. for the teams’ first meeting since 2006.
GEORGIA TECH UPDATE (9-11, 3-6 ACC) – In its fourth season under head coach Josh Pastner, Tech has lost four of its last six games, none of the losses by more than nine points, and sits in 11th place in the ACC. But the Yellow Jackets captured their first homecourt ACC win Saturday over fifth-place NC State, securing a season sweep over the Wolfpack. Tech is 3-2 on the road this season 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.
MOREHOUSE UPDATE (9-9, 6-5 SIAC) – In its 20th season under head coach Grady Brewer, Morehouse has won two of its last three games, including a 67-62 homecourt win Saturday over Clark Atlanta. The Maroon Tigers, who have won 20 games each of the last two seasons, are in third place in the Southeern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings, two games behind Albany State.
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Head coach Josh Pastner meets the media prior to Monday's practice
- Bye week – Georgia Tech has the first of two byes in its ACC schedule this week. Tuesday’s game against Morehouse is filling one of those two. The other is the weekend of Feb. 15.
- Home cooking – Georgia Tech earned its first ACC home win of the season with a 64-58 victory over NC State. The Yellow Jackets lost to Syracuse back on Dec. 7, and dropped close decisions to Duke (73-64), Notre Dame (78-74) and Virginia (63-58) this month. Tech is 3-2 in ACC road games.
- Less than a full deck – Georgia Tech has had its full roster available for only 10 games this season, 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. Leading scorer Michael Devoe was sidelined for Tech’s win over NC State Saturday with an injured left foot.
- Stability – Before Michael Devoe missed 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 eighth in the ACC in scoring average in conference games (69.40) and 11th in scoring defense (72.3), a reversal of last year’s final rankings (15th scoring offense, 7th scoring defense).
- All-for-ado – Georgia Tech has averaged 68.4 points and shot 46.5 percent from the floor in the 11 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 11 games, averaging 14.2 points and 6.8 rebounds while hitting 53.3 percent of his shots from the floor. The 6-9 junior ranks No. 3 in the ACC in field goal percentage (53.9) and No. 10 in rebound average (7.4).
- 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. 4 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 averaged 13.7 points, 4.5 assists and 2.8 steals in 11 games since his return from an ankle injury which sidelined him for seven games. Hes averaged 16.9 points over the last seven games.
- Brooklyn burglar – Alvarado’s nine steals 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. It boosted his season average to 2.38 per game overall, 2.67 in ACC games.
- 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 8.3 points and 3.8 rebounds. In Tech’s five wins over that stretch, he has averaged 10.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
- No ducking – Georgia Tech’s schedule is the sixth-strongest in the nation according to KenPom.com and the NCAA NET rankings, also sixth among power conference teams. Tech’s schedule includes 10 games each against quad 1 and quad 2 opponents, four of those against non-conference teams. The Jackets’ non-conference schedule rates sixth-toughest among power conference teams, 44th overall.
SERIES VS. MOREHOUSE
- Georgia Tech and Morehouse have met once on the hardwood a Nov. 4, 2006 exhibition game which the Yellow Jackets won, 96-52, at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
- In 1990 Georgia Tech and Morehouse both made it to the NCAA Final Four, Tech in Division I and the Maroon Tigers in Division II. It is believed this is the only time two teams from the same city made it to the Final Four in the same year.
Jose Alvarado talks with the media prior to Monday's practice.
- Georgia Tech ranks No. 27 in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com (92.4 points per 100 possessions), No. 30 nationally in effective defensive field goal percentage (45.0) and 46th in two-point field goal defense (44.7).
- Since the beginning of last season, Tech has held 27 opponents, including 11 ACC foes, under 40 percent shooting from the floor (NC State connected on 37.9 percent). Nine 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 69.6 possessions per game according to KenPom.com (No. 121 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 70.1 possessions, second-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 (68.0 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’s bench played just 23:24 at Louisville and did not score a point. Saturday against NC State, reserves played 56:07 and scored 15 points.
- Tech has trailed at halftime in 14 of its 20 games this season, coming back to win five of those games, including Saturday’s win over NC State. The Jackets are 15-50 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 completed a two-game regular-season sweep of an ACC opponent for the first time since the 2013-14 season (Boston College), the first year after the conference expanded to 15 teams. Tech last swept the Wolfpack in the regular season in the 1995-96 season.
- Spurred by Jose Alvarado’s nine steals, Georgia Tech grabbed 11, the fourth time this season it has reached double digits in steals.
- Tech assisted on 11 of 23 made field goals against NC State and has assisted on 159 of 262 made field goals in ACC games (60.7 percent), the third-best rate in the ACC according to KenPom.com.
- Tech has averaged 39.7 points in the paint over its last seven games, compared to 30.2 for its opponents. Only Duke (38-36) and Louisville (32-30) have scored more than Tech in that stretch.
- Tech went 14-of-21 from the free throw line against and has hit better than 70 percent in eight of its last 11 games. Tech has converted 141-of-195 attempts (72.3 percent) over that stretch.
- The Jackets have hit 32.5 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 15.4 turnovers over its last 11 games since the return of Jose Alvarado, compared with 17.4 prior to that. The Jackets committed 13 against the Wolfpack, fewest since Jan. 11 at Boston College (also 13). Only against Houston (9) has Tech turned the ball over fewer than 13 times in a game. 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-2 assist-to-turnovers in ACC games, minus-56 in non-conference games. The Jackets have been on the plus side of that ledger in four of the last seven games.
Evan Cole notched his first double-figure scoring game this season with 11 points against NC State. (photo by Danny Karnik)
- Khalid Moore made his first start for the Yellow Jackets since Dec. 18 vs. Ball State, and his 10th of the season. He replaced the injured Michael Devoe, who had started all 19 games this season and 42 a row for the Jackets. Moore scored five points on 2-of-3 shooting and posted the Jackets’ best plus/minus mark (+13) in his 21:12 on the court.
- Jose Alvarado notched his third game of 20 or more points this season with 26 against NC State (also had 25 against North Carolina, 20 vs. Virginia) and the 13th of his career. Alvarado has averaged 19.7 points over Tech’s last three games.
- Alvarado has hit 15-of-39 shots (38.5 pct.) from three-point range in his last seven games (2-8 vs. NC State) and is 34-of-71 overall (47.9 pct.) during that stretch.
- Alvarado has put together two of the best defensive games in his career back-to-back. Against NC State, he recorded eight steals, two of them coming on the Wolfpack’s final two offensive possessions. Wednesday against Louisville, he defended the ACC’s leading scorer, Jordan Nwora, and held him to 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting.
- Evan Cole posted his first double digit game this season and first since scoring 16 against Kennesaw State on Jan. 2 of last season. It was his third double-digit game against an ACC team, first since his freshman year (10 vs. Wake Forest on March 3, 2018).
- 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.
- Jordan Usher matched his season high with seven rebounds (twice his season average) and set a season high with six assists (triple his season average) to go with eight points (3-6 FG).
- Bubba 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.
James Banks’ two late putbacks helped complete a 14-3 closing run for Tech against NC State. (photo by Danny Karnik)
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ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
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