THE FLATS – Georgia Tech finishes off its 2019-20 season with a rare Friday night Atlantic Coast Conference game, visiting clemson for the second of two schedules meetings at 7 p.m. at Littlejohn Coliseum. The Yellow Jackets, who defeated the Tigers, 68-59, on Jan. 25 in Atlanta, are attempting to complete their first season sweep of Clemson since the 2004-05 season.
Georgia Tech update (16-14, 10-9 ACC) – After sweeping a three-game homestand with victories over Clemson, Miami and Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech looks to finish the 2019-20 season with a .500 road record in the ACC, post its first winning conference record since the 2003-04 season and secure at least a tie for fifth place in the ACC standings. The Yellow Jackets enter the final weekend tied with Syracuse for that position.
Clemson update (15-14, 9-10 ACC) – Clemson is in a three-way tie for seventh place in the ACC standings, having won four of its last six games, with the two losses on the road at Georgia Tech on Jan. 25 and Virginia Tech on Wednesday night. The Tigers are 6-3 at home in the ACC this season, having beaten Duke, Syracuse, Louisville and Florida State.
Broadcast information – Live television is on ESPN2. Online streaming is available via the ESPN app. Radio coverage is provided by Learfield IMG College (680 AM and 93.7 FM the Fan in Atlanta, TuneIn app). Tech’s radio broadcast is available on satellite radio (XM ch. 380, internet ch. 970).
Highlights from Tech's 73-57 victory over PIttsburgh
- Never on Tuesday – Because Georgia Tech has dropped the appeal of its postseason ban by the NCAA, it will not play in next week’s ACC Tournament. It is worth noting, however, that the Yellow Jackets would be assured of a first-round bye for the first time since the conference expanded to 15 teams should they be playing next week. Tech enters the weekend in a tie with Syracuse for fifth place, and a win Friday would allow the Jackets to hold that position, which would be their highest ACC finish since tying for fourth place in 2005.
- The News at Ten – Tech’s win over Pittsburgh gave it 10 ACC wins for the first time since the Yellow Jackets went 13-3 to win the 1995-96 regular season title in the ACC. Tech has won 10 or more ACC games only three times in its 41-year history in the conference.
- Even it up – Tech is assured of its first .500 or better season in the ACC since 2006-07 (8-8 in a 16-game schedule). Since its last regular-season ACC title in 1995-96, Tech has finished the regular season .500 in conference games just four times. Tech’s last winning record in the ACC was 2003-04 (9-7), and the Jackets have posted only seven such seasons in 40 years in the league.
- Home stretch – Georgia Tech won its final seven home games (six of them ACC games) after starting the season 3-6 within the confines of McCamish Pavilion. Tech’s six-game home ACC win streak is its longest since the Jackets went 8-0 at home in the conference in 1995-96.
- More snacks – Tech is 4-5 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 road 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.
- Never easy – Since its 71-52 win at Boston College on Jan. 11, none of the Yellow Jackets’ ACC games have been decided by more than nine points with the exception of their 76-57 win over Virginia Tech on Feb. 4 and their 73-57 win over Pitt Wednesday night. Only six of Tech’s ACC games this season have been decided by double digits.
- A make-or-miss game – After ranking near the bottom of the ACC in shooting over the first three years under Josh Pastner, Georgia Tech now ranks No. 2 in the ACC in field goal percentage (46.3) against the conference, No. 6 in three-point percentage (33.8) and No. 9 in scoring (70.11). Tech has finished the season averaging 70 or more points against the ACC only once (2015-16) in the last nine years. See chart on page 4.
- More balanced – Tech ranks ninth in the ACC in scoring average in conference games (70.11) and sixth in scoring defense (69.58). The Jackets have typically ranked near the top in defense (average ranking 4.3) and near the bottom in offense (14.3) the last three seasons. Tech also ranks near the middle in offensive (9th) and defensive efficiency (5th) against the league, according to KenPom.com.
- Clamping down – Tech win its final six ACC games at home (NC State, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Clemson, Miami, Pittsburgh), holding all five to less than 60 points (57.7 ppg) and limiting them to 36.7 percent shooting from the floor, 18.1 percent from three-point range. See chart on page 6.
- Seven – 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 17 times in the last 21 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.
- Guard’s Game – Tech has three starters averaging in double figures this season, but starting guards Michael Devoe and Jose Alvarado, Tech’s two leading scorers, have accounted for 40.1 percent of the Yellow Jackets’ points in ACC games, and 41.7 percent of the scoring in games in which they have both played.
- All-for-ado – Georgia Tech has averaged 70.1 points and shot 46.3 percent from the floor in the 21 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 10 or more in all but seven games this season, and has doubled his scoring and rebounding averages over his sophomore season. He ranks 16th in the ACC in scoring, 14th in rebounding and third in field goal percentage. Until his 33 points at Syracuse, Wright had scored 20 or more in a game only once this season (22 at North Carolina on Jan. 4).
- Big miss – Jose Alvarado has averaged 15.2 points (45.9 FG pct., 34.9 3-pt pct.), 4.1 assists and 2.4 steals in 21 games since his return from an ankle injury on Dec. 22. He has scored 20 or more points seven times.
- 10-K – Alvarado became the 45th Georgia Tech player to cross the 1,000-point career milestone with his first basket against Pittsburgh Wednesday night. The junior, who has missed 16 games to injury in his career, has 1,021 points.
- Crack that whip – Michael Devoe’s line for last 10 ACC games (all in double digits) is 15.1 points per game, 4.8 assists per game, 51.3 percent (41-for-80) from the floor, 48.5 percent (16-for-33) from three-point range, 85.2 percent (23-for-27) from the free throw line. He has hit 44.4 percent of his threes in ACC games.
SERIES VS. CLEMSON
- This is the oldest and longest-running series the Yellow Jackets have with an ACC member. The 137 all-time meetings are more than 30 greater than Tech has played with any other ACC opponent. The series dates back to the 1912-13 season, when John Heisman coached the Tech basketball team.
- Clemson is one of two permanent home-and-away opponents on Tech’s schedule each year (Notre Dame is the other).
- Clemson had won five straight meetings, sweeping the regular-season series each of the last two seasons, before Tech defeated the Tigers at home on Feb. 25.
- The Yellow Jackets trail 40-35 to the Tigers since joining the ACC.
- Tech is 2-5 under head coach Josh Pastner against Clemson (the one victory was vacated by the NCAA Committee on Infractions), and 5-16 vs. Tiger teams coached by Brad Brownell.
- Tech is just 16-46 all-time in games played at Clemson, including an 8-39 mark in Littlejohn Coliseum. The Jackets have lost 14 straight games on the road in the series, and 13 in a row at Littlejohn, dating back to their last victory on Feb. 8, 2005 (70-62). Tech was Clemson’s first opponent in Littlejohn Coliseum back on Nov. 30, 1968. The Tigers won, 76-72.
- Tech’s 111-108 win against the Tigers at Littlejohn Coliseum on Jan. 24, 2001 is the highest-scoring regulation game Tech has had with any ACC opponent. The Jackets defeated Florida State by the same score in Tallahassee (in two OTs) on Feb. 11, 1999, and lost to Wake Forest in the 2007 ACC Tournament, 114-112 in double-overtime.
- The Yellow Jackets have won three of four ACC Tournament meetings with the Tigers, including a 69-61 semi-final decision on the way to the 1993 conference title in Charlotte.
Georgia Tech postgame press conference following Wednesday night' win over Pittsburgh
- Among 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 No. 9 in offensive efficiency (99.8).
- The Jackets rank No. 1 in percentage of points scored on two-point field goals (58.3), and have been the No. 1 team in the ACC in that category all four years under Josh Pastner. Tech ranks No. 8 nationally in all games (59.2 pct.).
- Tech has exceeded 100 points per 100 possessions 11 times, eight 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 seven games, Tech exceeded 100 against Notre Dame (first meeting), Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Pittsburgh (second meeting).
- Tech ranks No. 20 nationally in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com (91.8 points per 100 possessions), No. 13 nationally in effective defensive field goal percentage (44.8) and No. 6 in three-point field goal defense (28.6).
- Tech has held 14 opponents this season under 40 percent from the floor (seven ACC opponents), and 11 under 30 percent from three-point range (six ACC opponents – Louisville 3-of-24, Clemson 2-for-20, Miami 2-for-17).
- Tech has held four opponents to their lowest offensive efficiency of the season, including two of its foes in Hawai’i – Elon, Arkansas, Nebraska, Boise State. Seven other foes have posted one of their five lowest ratings against the Jackets.
- Tech’s adjusted tempo is 69.9 possessions per game according to KenPom.com (No. 88 in the nation), its best rate and ranking in Josh Pastner’s four years at Tech. The Yellow Jackets’ tempo in league play (69.8) is the fourth-highest, hitting 70 or more in five of the last six games (Louisville, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Clemson, Miami), and 17 times overall this season.
- 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 (68.7 percent for Tech). The Jackets led the nation in this category in 2018-19, was fourth in 2017-18 and 35th in 2016-17.
- In all games this season, Tech has averaged 72.2 points on the road, 66.4 at home.
- Tech limited its seven straight home opponents to fewer than 60 points, going back to the Yellow Jackets’ 64-58 win over NC State on Jan. 25. In those seven games, Tech’s foes averaged 57.1 points, shot 38 percent from the floor overall, 20.7 percent from three-point range.
- Tech improved to 11-2 this season when leading at the half.
- Tech has won the rebounding battle 10 times and held even twice in 15 games since the beginning of January. The Jackets are plus-49 on the boards in ACC games for the season, averaging 2.6 per game more than their opponents.
- Tech has hit 45-of-121 (37.2 percent) of its three-point attempts in its last eight games. The Jackets went 7-of-15 against Pittsburgh, and have hit 33.8 percent from distance in ACC games this season, which ranks No. 6 in the conference.
- Over its last 10 ACC games (7-3 record), Tech has averaged 70.2 points, has shot 46 percent from the floor, and 34.2 percent from three-point range. The Jackets also have a plus-4.5 scoring margin and a plus-4.9 rebound margin, have scored 14.3 points per game from the foul line and reduced its turnover rate to 15.1. Opponents have shot 40.1 percent from the floor, 24.2 percent from three-point range.
- Tech did not have a player foul out for the third straight game, even though the Jackets were whistled for 22 fouls. Twenty-two Georgia Tech players have fouled out this season, the most for the Yellow Jackets since the 1989-90 season (28 in 38 games). In conference play, 15 Jackets have fouled out, the most ever for the Jackets in an ACC season.
Jose Alvarado surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career against Pittsburgh. (photo by Danny Karnik)
- With his first field goal against Pittsburgh Wednesday night, at 18:41 of the first half, Jose Alvarado reached 1,000 points for his career, becoming the 45th Georgia Tech player to cross that milestone. The 6-foot junior now has 1,021 career points.
- Alvarado (23 points, 8-16 FG, 2-6 3pt, 5-5 FT against Pitt) has made a three-point basket in 17 straight games. That is the longest streak for a Tech player since Adam Smith knocked down a three in 24 straight games during the 2015-16 season.
- Over Tech’s last 10 ACC games, from Jan. 25 vs. NC State to the present, Alvarado has averaged 18.6 points, hit 47.8 percent of his shots from the floor, 36.2 percent of his three-point attempts and 77.8 percent of his free throws. He also has averaged 3.5 assists, 2.7 steals and 4.3 rebounds.
- Michael Devoe (13 points, 4-7 FG, 3-4 3pt, 2-2 FT vs. Pitt) has made a three-point field goal in nine straight games. His longest streak is 13 games, last year as a freshman.
- Over the same 10-game ACC stretch, Devoe is averaging 15.1 points while connecting on 51.3 percent of his field goals, 48.5 percent of his three-point attempts and 85.2 percent of his foul shots. He also is averaging 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds.
- Alvarado and Devoe have combined to score 40.1 percent of Tech’s points and sink 39.3 percent of their three-point attempts in ACC games, 47.1 percent overall from the floor. Over the aforementioned 10 ACC games, they have accounted for 43.7 percent of Tech’s scoring, shot 49.1 percent from the floor, 40.7 percent from three-point range and 80.6 percent of their free throws collectively.
- Jordan Usher had 10 points against Pittsburgh (along with four rebounds and four assists) for his seventh double-digit game this season. Tech has won five of the seven games in which he has scored in double digits.
- James Banks III scored just two points against Pitt but had nine rebounds, four blocked shots, four steals and two assists.
- Evan Cole posted his second double-figure game this season with 10 points (4-7 FG, 2-2 FT) against Pittsburgh, adding eight rebounds and two blocks. He had 11 against NC State on Jan. 25. Tech won both games.
- Moses Wright has failed to reach double figures in points in Tech’s last two games. He scored eight (4-9 FG) against Pitt with just three rebounds, but added three assists and two blocks. The 6-9 junior has scored 10 or more points in all but seven games this season.
Michael Devoe has knocked down a three-point field goal in nine 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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