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Jackets Return Home to Face Notre Dame

THE FLATS – Facing a stretch of five games in an 11-day period, Georgia Tech returns home Saturday to face a surging Notre Dame team for an 8 p.m. Atlantic Coast Conference contest Saturday night at McCamish Pavilion.

The Yellow Jackets (8-6, 4-4 ACC), who have lost three of their last four games, all three losses on the road, are tied for ninth place in the ACC standings and have a NCAA NET ranking of No. 59. Tech is coming off a 74-58 loss at Louisville Monday, a game rescheduled from a Jan. 9 postponement and played less than 48 hours after the Jackets had defeated No. 16 Florida State, 76-65, at home. Tech is undefeated at home in ACC play this season.

The visiting Fighting Irish (7-9, 4-6 ACC) have won four of their last five games and hold 11th place in the ACC standings following a pair of big wins at Pittsburgh (84-58) and at home against Wake Forest (79-58) in which Notre Dame shot better than 50 percent and held their opponents under 40 percent from the floor. The Irish also scored double-digit wins over Boston College and Miami, with the lone loss to Virginia Tech, during this stretch.

Saturday’s game will be televised nationally on the ACC Network and will be streamed live on the ESPN app. Radio coverage is provided by the Georgia Tech Sports Network by Learfield IMG College, with flagship station WCNN-Radio (680 AM, 93.7 FM) in Atlanta. The Tech broadcast can be heard on SiriusXM Ch. 371 and the TuneIn app.

THIS GAME IS NO SECRET

This weekend (Feb. 5-7, 2021) is the inaugural “This Game is No Secret” weekend, created by the Executive Committee of ERACISM. Teams across the country will honor the legacy of Coach John McLendon by wearing t-shirts with those words five words — THIS GAME IS NO SECRET. The idea is to make this an annual event. It is an opportunity for players, coaches, and fans to learn more about Coach McLendon who is one of the greatest coaches in basketball history.

Junior guard Michael Devoe speaks with local media Friday

THE TIPOFF

  • Georgia Tech has won 10 consecutive ACC home games, which is a program record. The previous mark of nine was set during the 1995-96 season (last home game of 1994-95, 8-0 at home in 1995-96). Tech has won all four home games this season and the final six of the 2019-20 season.
  • According to a Tweet by @ACCContent, Tech is the only team in the ACC and one of two teams in Division I to have three wins over top 20 opponents as an unranked team. Tech is 3-3 vs. top 25 teams this season, two wins at home, one at State Farm Arena, and is 9-24 against top-25 teams under Josh Pastner (8-8 at home).
  • The 511 – Saturday’s game begins a stretch of five games in 11 days created by the rescheduling of Tech’s home game with Pittsburgh on Sunday, Feb. 14 (rescheduled from Jan. 12). After Saturday, the Yellow Jackets host Virginia Wednesday, travel to Clemson next Friday, host Pitt on Feb. 14 and Boston College on Tuesday, Feb. 16. Four of the five games are at McCamish Pavilion.
  • One is the loneliest number – Georgia Tech and Notre Dame were scheduled to play in South Bend on Jan. 6, which was the first of four ACC games for the Yellow Jackets to be postponed under COVID-19 protocols. That game has not been rescheduled. The Fighting Irish are one of two permanent home-and-away opponents on Tech’s schedule each year.
  • Break up to make up – Only two of the Yellow Jackets’ four ACC games to be postponed have been rescheduled, beginning with last Monday’s contest at Louisville (original date Jan. 9). Pitt is the next one (original date Jan. 12).
  • Nuthin’ but Net – Georgia Tech is No. 59 in the NCAA NET rankings and in KenPom’s ratings, down from its highest positions of 55 (NET) and 51 (KenPom) this season.
  • For the defense – For the first time this season, Georgia Tech’s defensive efficiency in ACC games (5th) ranks ahead of its offensive efficiency (9th). The Yellow Jackets also rank No. 1 against the conference in turnover percentage and steal percentage. Tech still ranks fourth in effective field goal percentage, offensively, and third in three-point percentage, as well as No. 1 in percentage of assists to field goals made.
  • Moses climbing the mountain – Moses Wright is bidding to become the 21st played in Tech history to score 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds in a career. Wright has had two double-doubles in Tech’s last three games, averaging 16.7 points and 12.3 rebounds. The 6-9 senior now has 932 career points and 522 career rebounds.

Head coach Josh Pastner speaks with local media Friday

SERIES VS. NOTRE DAME

  • Notre Dame has won the last four meetings to take a 12-11 lead in the all-time series, which dates back to 1941. The current streak includes a win over Tech in the 2019 ACC Tournament and a sweep of the regular-season series in 2019-20. Tech and Notre Dame had split their regular-season meetings the previous three seasons, each team winning at home.
  • The Yellow Jackets are 5-10 against Notre Dame since the Fighting Irish joined the ACC, the 15 meetings decided by a total of 82 points. Notre Dame’s 69-59 win in South Bend on Feb. 10, 2019 is the widest margin. At McCamish Pavilion, Tech is 5-2 against the Irish, and the games have been decided by a total of 24 points.

TEAM TRENDS

  • Four of Tech’s starters are averaging in double figures in scoring for the season, only Bubba Parham below that mark at 7.7 points per game. Four or more Yellow Jackets have reached double figures in five games this season, at least three in all but two games.
  • Tech has turned the ball over just 11.4 times per game this season, most impressively Moses Wright who has just 18 turnovers in more than 512 minutes of action, and Bubba Parham, who has only six in 393 minutes. The Yellow Jackets are plus-4.2 in that category this season, ranking No. 1 in the ACC. Tech was minus-2.4 last year and ranked 14th. In ACC games, Tech also ranks No. 1 at plus-4.3.
  • Tech made great strides in its offensive efficiency during the latter part of last season and continues to progress, ranking No. 49 nationally at 110.4, its highest ranking under Josh Pastner. The Jackets have managed to exceed one point per possession in 11 of 14 games this season (Tech reached that benchmark 11 times in all of 2019-20).
  • Eleven times in its last 12 games, Tech has won the turnover battle and had more assists than turnovers (13 assists, eight turnovers). Only in the first meeting against Florida State on Dec. 15 (11 assists, 12 turnovers, FSU has 12 turnovers) did the Jackets fall short.
  • The Jackets are averaging 8.6 made threes per game (3.3 per game more than they made in 2019-20), making at least eight in all but three games (Georgia State, both games vs. Florida State), and rank fifth in the ACC. Tech is averaging 9.0 threes in ACC games (fourth-most).
  • Since going to its smaller lineup, Tech has had just 25 shots blocked in its last 12 games, seven of those by Virginia. The Yellow Jackets had 13 shots blocked in their two season-opening losses. Louisville rejected three Tech shots.
  • Tech has collected 57 steals in its last seven games and is averaging an ACC-high 9.14 in conference games. The Jackets are averaging 9.38 in all games, also the most in the conference
  • Moses Wright logged his second double-double in three games, third of the season and 10th of his career with 15 points and 16 rebounds at Louisville. Wright went for 12/14 at Duke, 31/19 vs. Georgia State, earlier this season.
  • Wright blocked a career-best seven shots against Louisville, beating his previous best of five at Virginia little more than a week ago (Jan. 23). In his last three games, Wright has set career highs for assists (6 at Duke), steals (6 vs. Florida State) and blocked shots (7 vs. Louisville).
  • Wright, who played in his 100th career game at Louisville, played the full 40 minutes for the second time in three games. In its last three games, Tech has had five complete games (Wright 2, Jose Alvarado 2, Michael Devoe 1). Alvarado and Wright rank No. 2-3 in the ACC in average minutes, trailing only Carlik Jones of Louisville, who held onto the top spot after logging 38:36 against the Jackets.
  • Jose Alvarado has connected on 55.4 percent of his shots from the floor in ACC games, 42.1 percent from three-point range and 84.2 percent from the free throw line. He entered the Louisville game ranking third in FG%, unranked in 3pt FG% (not enough made) and second in FT%, as well as No. 3 in scoring (now 16.8 ppg).
  • Alvarado made only one three-point field goal against Louisville, and it didn’t come until 1:07 remained in the game, but it extended his streak of made three-pointers to 32 straight games. He sits 12th on Tech’s all-time list for three-pointers with 156.
  • In his last two games, Michael Devoe has scored 36 points (6-of-13 three-point FG) with 17 rebounds and seven assists. He scored 17 points with nine boards against Louisville, leaving him a rebound shy of his second double-double this season.

Moses Wright has notched double-doubles in two of Tech’s last three games. (photo courtesy of Louisville athletics)

 

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

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 the Support The Swarm Fund, created to give fans an opportunity to help Georgia Tech athletics maintain its recent momentum through the financial challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic! 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 fifth season under head coach Josh Pastner, having finished fifth in the ACC in 2019-20, the program’s highest finish since 2005. 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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