THE FLATS – Playing its seventh game away from home in the last 10, Georgia Tech continues Atlantic Coast Conference play Wednesday night against No. 6 Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center. Tip time is 7 p.m.
Georgia Tech update (8-10, 3-5 ACC) – In its fourth season under head coach Josh Pastner, Tech has lost its last two games, both at home against Notre Dame (78-74) and Virginia (63-58), and fell to 11th place in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets have yet to win an ACC game at home this season, however, they are 3-1 on the road with victories over NC State (82-81/ot), North Carolina (96-83) and Boston College (71-52). Tech’s last three conference losses have come by a total of 19 points.
Louisville update (15-3, 6-1 ACC) – In their second season under head coach Chris Mack, the Cardinals share first place in the ACC after winning four straight games against Miami, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Duke. The last three wins came on the road by a total of 14 points. Louisville is one of seven teams to be ranked No. 1 in the nation this season, spending two weeks at the top spot after winning its first nine games.
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. 383, internet ch. 973).
Head coach Josh Pastner meets the media prior to Monday's practice
- More snacks – A win against Louisville would be Georgia Tech’s first against the Cardinals since they joined the ACC, its first win over a top-25 team on the road since 2016, and its first win over a top-10 team on the road since 2014. It would also be Tech’s fourth ACC road win this season. The last time the Jackets won four ACC road games in a season was 2007-08, when they went 4-4.
- 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. The Jackets have lost 19 straight road games against top 25 teams, dating back to a Jan. 25, 2015 game at Miami (23/23).
- Full deck – Georgia Tech has had its full roster available for only its last nine 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 nine games since the return of Jose Alvarado, producing a 4-5 record with it.
- Offense for defense – Georgia Tech ranks fourth in the ACC in scoring average in conference games (70.75) and 12th in scoring defense (74.63), a reversal of last year’s final rankings (15th scoring offense, 7th scoring defense).
- All-for-ado – Georgia Tech has averaged 69.3 points and shot 46.9 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 five of those games.
- Big miss – Jose Alvarado has averaged 12.4 points, 5.1 assists and 2.1 steals in seven games since his return from an ankle injury which sidelined him for seven games. He ranks No. 2 in the ACC in assists (6.3 pg) and is sixth in assist/turnover ratio (2.32) in conference games only, and has hit 13-of-36 (36.1 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 8.5 points and 3.3 rebounds, hitting 40 percent of his shots from the floor and 81.8 percent from the free throw line.
- Wright stuff – Moses Wright has scored in double digits in eight of his last nine games, averaging 15.7 points and 7.7 rebounds while hitting 53.2 percent of his shots from the floor. The 6-9 junior ranks No. 2 in the ACC in field goal percentage (53.8) and No. 8 in rebound average (7.8).
- Crack that whip – Michael Devoe ranks seventh in the ACC in scoring (15.9 ppg), and eighth in field goal percentage (45.7). He also is No. 3 in minutes played (35.37). The 6-5 guard has hit 42.4 percent of his three-pointers in ACC games.
- No ducking – Georgia Tech’s schedule is the 10th-strongest in the nation according to KenPom.com, eighth among power conference teams. 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 sixth-toughest among power conference teams, 44th overall.
SERIES VS. LOUISVILLE
- Of the four most recent newcomers in the expanded ACC, Tech had the longest history with Louisville, meeting 28 times prior to the Cardinals joining the conference.
- Louisville has won all six games between the two teams as ACC brethren, the first three by a combined eight points. The Cardinals scored double-digit wins in each of the last three, including a 79-51 victory at McCamish Pavilion on Jan. 19, 2019.
- 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 2-5 against the Cardinals.
James Banks came up one rebound short of a double-double against Virginia (photos by Danny Karnik).
- Georgia Tech ranks No. 35 in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com (92.1 points per 100 possessions), No. 35 nationally in effective defensive field goal percentage (44.1) and 49th in two-point field goal defense (45.5).
- 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 70.1 possessions per game according to KenPom.com (94th 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 70.9 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 (67.5 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 13 of its 18 games this season, coming back to win four of those games. The Jackets are 14-50 when trailing at the half under Josh Pastner.
- Tech has averaged 71.2 points per game away from home this season (76.75 in its four 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 seven 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 16 of 25 made field goals against Virginia and has assisted on 137 of 217 made field goals in ACC games (63.1 percent), the best rate in the ACC according to KenPom.com.
- Tech has averaged 43.2 points in the paint over its last five games, compared to 30.8 for its opponents.
- Tech is just 13-of-24 from the foul line in its last two games after hitting better than 70 percent in seven consecutive games. Tech has converted 112-of-154 attempts (72.7 percent) in its last nine games.
- The Jackets have hit 33.8 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 nine games since the return of Jose Alvarado, compared with 17.4 prior to that. With Alvarado on the floor this year, Tech has averaged 15.6 turnovers, compared with 18.6 in the seven games in which he was absent.
- Tech is plus-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 three of the last five games.
- Tech also is plus-9 collectively on the boards over its last six games since returning from Hawai’i (six ACC opponents).
Bubba Parham has had at least one three-point field goal in six straight games (photos by Danny Karnik)
- Jose Alvarado notched his second game of 20 or more points this season against Virginia (also had 25 against North Carolina) and the 12th of his career.
- Alvarado has hit 11-of-25 shots (44 pct.) from three-point range in his last five games (2-of-7 vs. Virginia) and is 28-of-52 overall (53.8 pct.) during that stretch.
- Alvarado posted his lowest assist total (2) since recording one against Boise State on Dec. 22. Still, he has set or matched his career high in assists three times in the last five games, dishing eight at North Carolina, eight at Boston College and nine against Notre Dame. The 6-foot junior has averaged 6,29 assists in league games. Alvarado has 32 assists, 10 steals and 13 turnovers in his last five games, and has a 55/24 assist/turnover ratio for the season. His 2.29 assist/turnover ratio in ACC games ranks sixth in the league.
- James Banks III came up one rebound shy of posting his fifth double-double this season (10 points, nine rebounds against Virginia).
- Banks has averaged 11.9 points and 8.0 rebounds against ACC teams this season, hitting 56.7 percent of his shots from the floor.
- Banks matched his career high with five assists against Virginia, but blocked just one shot.
- Moses Wright snapped a streak of eight straight games scoring in double figures after getting just seven points against Virginia (3-10 FG). The 6-9 junior ranks No. 2 in the ACC in field goal percentage (53.8) and No. 7 in rebound average (7.8).
- Wright is Tech’s high scorer and rebounder in ACC games at 14.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, and he has hit 50 percent of his shots from the floor against the league.
- Wright has connected on 71.0 percent of his free throws (22-of-31) over Tech’s last nine games after going just 4-of-14 in the first nine games of the season.
- Evan Cole is averaging 4.9 points per game and hitting 50 percent of his shots from the floor against power conference teams (6 pts, 3-6 FG, 4 reb vs. Virginia).
- Bubba Parham is 14-of-30 from the floor in his last six 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).
Evan Cole gave Tech excellent minutes against Virginia, scoring six points with four rebounds. (photos by Danny Karnik)
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.