THE FLATS – Georgia Tech continues Atlantic Coast Conference play with the second of two road games this week, paying a visit to Syracuse for a 4 p.m. tip Saturday at the Carrier Dome. It is the second of two scheduled games between the two teams this season; the Orange defeated Tech, 97-63, on Dec. 7 in Atlanta.
Georgia Tech update (13-13, 7-8 ACC) – Tech sits in a four-way tie for sixth place in the ACC standings with Syracuse, Clemson and Notre Dame, one game behind fifth place NC State. The Yellow Jackets have won their last two games, defeating No 5 Louisville (64-58) at home on Feb. 12 and Wake Forest (86-79) on the road Wednesday night, and four of their last six in conference play.
Syracuse update (14-12, 7-8 ACC) – Like the first meeting between Tech and Syracuse, the Orange face the Yellow Jackets having lost three straight games. including a home loss to NC State (79-74) on Feb. 11 and road losses to Florida State (80-77) and Louisville (90-66) in the last week. Going back further, Syracuse has lost five of seven is 3-5 at home on conference play.
Broadcast information – Live television on the ACC’s Regional Sport Network (Fox Sports South in Georgia). Online streaming available on ACC Network Extra via 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. 387, internet ch. 977).
Head coach Josh Pastner meets the media prior to Friday's practice.
- Back-to-back – Georgia Tech has won back-to-back games for just the third time this season, and has consecutive ACC wins since the end of the 2018-19 regular season (Boston College, NC State). Tech has not won three straight ACC games since early in the 2017-18 season (Miami, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh).
- Even it up – Tech sits at .500 for the first time since Jan. 11, when it defeated Boston College to get to 8-8 overall, 3-3 in conference play.
- More snacks – Tech is 4-4 on the road this season in the ACC, having defeated NC State, North Carolina, Boston College and Wake Forest. It is the first time since the 2007-08 season (4-4 record) that the Yellow Jackets have won four ACC games. The last time Tech won five conference road games was 1995-96 (5-3), when the Jackets finished 13-3 overall and won the ACC regular season title. It is the only time Tech has won as many as five ACC road games.
- Behind the eight ball – A win at Syracuse would give Tech eight ACC wins for the first time since the Yellow Jackets went 8-10 in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. Since its last regular-season ACC title in 1995-96, Tech has won as many as eight ACC games just six times.
- Never easy – Georgia Tech’s six ACC losses in January and February have come by an average of 6.5 points. It’s six wins have come by an average of 11.7 points.
- Home stretch – Tech has only one road game remaining after Saturday’s visit to Syracuse. The Yellow Jackets playe their next three games at home against Clemson, Miami and Pittsburgh before finishing the regular season at Clemson.
- Efficient – Tech has scored at a rate over 100 points per 100 possessions six times in ACC play since the start of January (North Carolina, Boston College, Notre Dame twice, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest). Three of those have come in the Jackets’ last four games.
- Twelve – The number of games missed due to injury for Tech players this season. Tech has had its full roster available for only 13 games, 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 13 times in the last 16 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.
- Balance – Tech ranks ninth in the ACC both in scoring average in conference games (70.40) and in scoring defense (71.33). The Jackets have typically ranked near the top in in defense (average ranking 4.3) and near the bottom in offense (14.3) the last three seasons.
- Guard’s game – Tech has four starters averaging in double figures this season in ACC game, but starting guards Michael Devoe and Jose Alvarado, Tech’s two leading scorers, have accounted for 39.4 percent of the Yellow Jackets’ points in ACC games, and 40.7 percent of the scoring in games in which they have both played.
- All-for-ado – Georgia Tech has averaged 70.4 points and shot 46.5 percent from the floor in the 17 games since Jose Alvarado returned to the court from injury Dec. 22. The Yellow Jackets have shot 50 percent or better in six of those games.
- Wright stuff – Moses Wright has scored in double digits the last six games in a row, averaging 13.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while hitting 52.5 percent of his shots from the floor. The 6-9 junior ranks No. 2 in the ACC in field goal percentage (53.4) and No. 13 in rebound average (7.2).
- Big miss – Jose Alvarado has averaged 14.9 points (45 FG pct., 34.9 3pt pct.), 4.1 assists and 2.0 steals in 17 games since his return from an ankle injury on Dec. 22. He has scored 20 or more points fsix times in his last 13 games.
- Ushering in – Jordan Usher has started every game since he became eligible on Dec. 18. the 6-7 junior has 10.3 ppg (34-of-62 FG), 4.7 rpg, 2.7 apg in the eight games Tech has won since he became eligible.
- No ducking – Georgia Tech’s schedule is the 20th-strongest in the nation according to the NCAA NET rankings. Tech has played eight games against quad 1 teams (two wins) and 10 against quad 2 teams (four wins), five of those against non-conference teams. The Jackets have one remaining game each against quad 1 teams (Syracuse) and quad 2 teams (Clemson). The Jackets’ non-conference schedule rates 90th in the NET.
SERIES VS. SYRACUSE
- Tech has won four of eight meetings between the two teams since Syracuse joined the ACC and six of 12 meetings in the history of the series, which dates back to the 1986 NCAA Tournament. (2017 victory vacated by the NCAA Committee on Infractions)
- Tech and Syracuse are meeting twice this season for only the second time since the Orange joined the ACC, with the Orange taking the first meeting, 97-63, on Dec. 7 in Atlanta. Each team won at home during the 2016-17 season.
- Tech won the teams’ only regular-season meeting in 2018-19 by a score of 73-59 at the Carrier Dome, where the Yellow Jackets have won twice in four visits, including a 67-62 decision on March 4, 2014, with the Orange ranked No. 7 in the nation.
- Five of the eight meetings as ACC brethren have been decided by six points or fewer.
- Three of the first four games in the series were played on neutral courts, the first of which had the highest stakes, a second-round NCAA Tournament game at the Omni in Atlanta in 1985.
- Tech’s first trip to the Carrier Dome came in December of 2003, when the Orange, led by freshmen Carmelo Anthony and Gerry McNamara, routed the Jackets with its freshman duo of Chris Bosh and Jarrett Jack, 92-65, and eventually won the national championship.
- Syracuse had never played on Tech’s campus until the 2014-15 season, but the Yellow Jackets did host the 13th-ranked Orange in a Delta Air Lines Classic for Kids game at Philips Arena in 2001. Jim Boeheim missed the game due to prostate surgery and the Yellow Jackets won by 16.
Junior forward talks to the media before Friday's practice.
- Among ACC teams (according to KenPom.com), Tech ranks No. 4 in effective field goal percentage (51.4) against the league, the Yellow Jackets’ highest ranking in that category since they were No. 2 in 2010 (49.0). They also are No. 7 in offensive efficiency (100.5).
- The Jackets rank No. 2 in percentage of points scored on two-point field goals (58.5), and have been the No. 1 team in the ACC in that category all four years under Josh Pastner. Tech ranks No. 7 nationally in all games (59.5 pct.).
- Tech has exceeded 100 points per 100 possessions 10 times, seven of those games coming since Jan. 4 at North Carolina, which was the Jackets’ highest efficiency rating of the season (132.2). In its last four games, Tech exceeded 100 against Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
- Tech ranks No. 34 nationally in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com (92.6 points per 100 possessions), No. 26 nationally in effective defensive field goal percentage (45.3) and 17th in three-point field goal defense (29.3).
- Tech has held 12 opponents this season under 40 percent from the floor (five ACC opponents, Louisville hit 33.9 percent), and nine under 30 percent from three-point range (four ACC opponents, Louisville hit 12.5 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. Four other teams, including Boston College, NC State, Virginia Tech and Louisville, posted one of their five lowest offensive efficiency ratings against the Yellow Jackets.
- Tech’s adjusted tempo is 69.8 possessions per game according to KenPom.com (No. 111 in the nation), its best rate and ranking in Josh Pastner’s four years at Tech. The Yellow Jackets’ tempo in league play (69.1) is the fifth-highest, hitting 70 or more in each of the last two games (Louisville, Wake Forest).
- 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 (68.4 percent 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 scored more than 80 points in three of its four ACC road wins this season, and has averaged 74.1 points in its eight ACC road games. Tech’s 86 points against Wake Forest was its second highest point total this season behind the 96 it scored at North Carolina on Jan. 4. In all games, Tech has averged 70.5 points on the road 66.0 at home.
- The Jackets are 8-1 this season when leading at the half.
- Tech hit 29 of 39 free throws in the game against Wake Forest, the most for the Yellow Jackets in three-plus seasons under Josh Pastner, surpassing highs of 28 free throws made against North Carolina on Dec. 31, 2016, and 36 attempts against Sam Houston State on Nov. 22, 2016. The Jackets are 49-of-67 from the stripe (73.1 percent) in their last two games.
- Tech converted 52 percent of its field goal tries against Wake Forest, the sixth time since the beginning of January the Yellow Jackets have hit at least half of their field goals in an ACC game.
- Tech has scored more than 80 points in three of its four ACC road wins this season, and has averaged 74.1 points in its eight ACC road games. Tech’s 86 points against Wake Forest was its second highest point total this season behind the 96 it scored at North Carolina on Jan. 4.
- Tech exceeded 100 points per 100 possessions (KenPom.com measure) for the sixth time in ACC play in 2020 (seventh time this season), and for the first time won a game in which it allowed its opponent over that mark.
- Tech has hit 23-of-62 (37.1 percent) of its three-point attempts in its last four games.
- Twenty Georgia Tech players have fouled out this season, the most for the Yellow Jackets since the 2003-04 season (20). In conference play, 13 Jackets have fouled out, matching the most in Tech’s tenure in the ACC (13 in 1989-90).
- Tech was whistled for 25 fouls at Wake Forest, the fourth time this season the Jackets have committed 25 or more fouls (season high 26 vs. Boise State). The 51 total fouls called in the game were the most in a Tech game this season.
- Tech has won the rebounding battle seven times and held even twice in 12 games since the beginning of January. The Jackets are plus-25 on the boards in ACC games for the season, averaging 1.7 per game more than their opponents.
Jose Alvarado and Michael Devoe have accounted for more than 40 percent of Tech’s points when both have been healthy. (photo by Danny Karnik)
- Jose Alvarado (22 points, 4-10 FG, 1-4 3pt, 13-15 FT against Wake Forest) has made a three-point basket in 13 straight games. That is the longest streak since Michael Devoe connected in 13 consecutive games during last season. Alvarado had a 10-game streak his freshman year.
- Alvarado has hit the 20-point mark three times in his last five games and six times in ACC play this season (all since Jan. 4).
- Alvarado has hit 27-of-69 shots (40 pct.) from three-point range in his last 13 games (1-of-4 at Wake Forest) and is 66-of-137 overall (48.2 pct.) during that stretch. He has hit 35.9 percent from distance in ACC games.
- Alvarado connected on 13-of-15 shots from the free throw line, career highs for both free throws made and attempted.
- Michael Devoe’s 24 points at Wake Forest was his highest-scoring game since notching 26 against Nebraska on Dec. 4, the sixth game of the season. It was his ninth 20-point game this season, fifth in ACC play.
- Last five games for Michael Devoe – 18 points per game, 4.8 assists per game, 53.6 percent (30-of-56) from the floor, 41.7 percent (10-for-24) from three-point range, 87 percent (20-of-23) from the free throw line. He has hit 42.1 percent of his threes in ACC games.
- Jordan Usher reached double figures in points for the second straight game with 10 points at Wake Forest and 11 vs. Louisville. The 6-7 junior has averaged 10.3 points in the nine games Tech has won since he became eligible.
- Moses Wright hit double figures for the seventh time in nine games (14 points, 6-10 FG, 1-2 FT) 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 fouled out at Wake Forest, but not before he dunked on an alleyoop with Tech clinging to a one-point lead and then draining a 3 at the shot clock buzzer to snap a 56-all tie.
- James Banks III fouled out after playing just 11:21 at Wake Forest, but Evan Cole came off the bench in his stead to score nine points with seven rebounds in 19:57 for the Jackets. Cole registered a plus-10 in the plus/minus column, the best of any Tech player.
- Alvarado and Devoe have combined to score 39.5 percent of Tech’s points and sink 38.5 percent of their three-point attempts in ACC games, 46.7 percent overall from the floor.
Moses Wright has scored in double digits in six straight games. (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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