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Tech Back on the Road to Face No. 25 Louisville

Louisville, Ky. – Back on the road for the third time in four games, Georgia Tech looks to build on an important win over No. 16 Florida State with a 2 p.m. Atlantic Coast Conference matinee Monday against No. 25/23 Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center.

The Yellow Jackets (8-5, 4-3 ACC) sit in seventh place in the ACC standings and a NCAA NET ranking of No. 55 following Saturday’s 76-65 homecourt win over the Seminoles, which kept the Jackets unbeaten at home in ACC games. The win followed a pair of close losses at No. 13 Virginia (64-62) and Duke (75-68) in which they led late, and Tech is looking for its first ACC win on the road. Prior to that, the Jackets had won three straight conference games, including No. 20 Clemson, Wake Forest and North Carolina by an average of 13 points. Tech remains one of the ACC’s highest scoring teams – third at 77.69 points per game overall.

The homestanding Cardinals (10-4, 5-3 ACC), who had a weekend bye, hold fifth place in the ACC following their 54-50 loss Wednesday at Clemson. After a 9-1 start this season, Louisville has dropped three of its last four, the lone win coming at home against Duke (70-65) last Saturday. The Cardinals lost at Miami and Clemson and at home to Florida State.

Monday’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. 380 (internet 970) and the TuneIn app.

THE TIPOFF

  • Let’s try this again – Monday’s Tech-Louisville game is a makeup of the game originally scheduled for Jan. 9, and was postponed after the Yellow Jackets entered their COVID pause. It is first of Tech’s four postponed games to be rescheduled.
  • The gauntlet – Georgia Tech is in the midst of a five-game stretch that includes four top 25 teams – No. 20/22 Clemson, No. 13/12 Virginia, Duke (previously ranked), No. 16/16 Florida State and No. 25/23 Louisville.
  • Home is sweet – 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).
  • Facing the best – Tech is 3-3 vs. top 25 teams this season, two wins at home, one at State Farm Arena.
  • Nuthin’ but Net – Georgia Tech are No. 55 in the NCAA NET rankings, its highest position during conference play in five seasons under Josh Pastner. The Jackets are No. 51 in KenPom’s ratings, also their highest position.
  • Both ends burning – Georgia Tech, one of the ACC’s top offenses all season, ranks No. 6 in the ACC in scoring average (70.29 ppg), and also ranks No. 4 in scoring defense (66.29). Florida State is the only other team to rank sixth or higher in both. According to KenPom.com, Tech has the ACC’s fifth-most efficient offense and the third-most efficient defense in conference play.
  • Making their points – Georgia Tech (77.69) remains third in the ACC in scoring average in all games. According to KenPom.com, Tech has the league’s fifth-most efficient offense (104.5), and ranks third in effective field goal percentage (56.3 pct.) and fifth in turnover percentage (17.0).
  • Balance – Four Tech starters are averaging in double figure points for the season, led by Jose Alvarado at 18.3 points per game, and also in ACC games, led by Alvarado’s 18.1.
  • Moses climbing the mountain – Moses Wright surpassed 900 career points and 500 career rebounds with his 23-point, 8-rebound game against Florida State. He is within reach this season of becoming the 21st played in Tech history to score 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds in a career.
  • Dynamic duo – Jose Alvarado and Michael Devoe are averaging 18.14 and 15.14 points per game in ACC games, ranking No. 3 and 11, respectively, and have accounted for 47.4 percent of the Yellow Jackets’ points. They have scored or assisted on 72.6 percent of Tech’s field goals in conference play. Combined, they have shot 51.2 percent from the floor and 46.7 percent from three-point range. The Jackets are 5-1 this season when both players score in double digits, including three ACC wins.
  • Triple threat – Alvarado, Devoe and Bubba Parham have combined to hit 53-of-112 collectively (47.3 percent) in Tech’s last eight games (7-of-14 vs. North Carolina, 6-of-12 vs. Delaware State, 8-of-19 vs. Florida A&M, 7-of-13 vs. Clemson, 6-of-9 at Virginia, 5-of-12 at Duke, 6-of-14 vs. FSU).
  • Call me Ush – Perhaps the least talked-about member of Tech’s starting lineup, Jordan Usher grabbed some attention by scoring 21 points vs. Clemson and 19 at Virginia (15-23 FG, 7-12 3pt FG, 10 rebounds, four assists). He has averaged 14 points over Tech’s last four games is averaging 11.9 points (50 pct. FG) in ACC games.
  • Small ball – Tech moved 6-9 senior Moses Wright, who has played the “4” position most of his career, into the “5” spot and started 5-10 senior Bubba Parham beginning with the Dec. 6 win over Kentucky. The re-alignment has worked as the Jackets have shot 48.4 percent from the floor, hit 8.9 three-point field goals per game (39.4 percent), have a plus-64 margin on turnovers, and assisted on 62.6 percent of its field goals in that stretch.
  • Size doesn’t matter – Since going to its smaller lineup, Tech has had just 22 shots blocked in its last 11 games, seven of those by Virginia. The Yellow Jackets had 13 shots blocked in their two season-opening losses. At the time of Tech’s meetings with them, Kentucky ranked No. 4, Nebraska No. 28, FSU No. 1 (both meetings) and North Carolina No. 8 in average height, according to KenPom.com. The Jackets rank No. 279.
  • Ball security – The Jackets rank No. 2 in the ACC and No. 20 nationally in assist/turnover ratio (1.43), and they rank No. 2 in the ACC and No. 15 nationally in turnover margin (plus-4.4). Only Virginia and Notre Dame have turned the ball over fewer times per game than has Tech (11.62) in all games, and Tech has forced the most average turnovers (16.00) behind NC State. Six of Tech’s rotation players have positive assist/turnover ratios.
  • Minutemen – Four Tech starters rank among the top 22 players in the ACC in average minutes played – Jose Alvarado (3rd), Moses Wright (4th), Michael Devoe (17th), Bubba Parham (23rd).

Georgia Tech's Jose Alvarado Does It All In Upset Win Over FSU

SERIES VS. LOUISVILLE

Of the four most recent newcomers of the expanded ACC, Tech has the longest history with Louisville, meeting 28 times prior to the Cardinals joining the conference … Louisville won the first seven games between the two teams as ACC brethren before Tech broke through with a 64-58 home win over the Cardinals in the second meeting of the 2019-20 season. It snapped a nine-game losing skid in the series that dated back to 1999. The teams split their two meetings in 2019-20, Louisville escaping with a 68-64 win in the teams’ first meeting at the KFC Yum! Center.

TEAM TRENDS

  • Tech has turned the ball over just 11.42 times per game this season, most impressively Moses Wright who has just 16 turnovers in more than 434 minutes of action, and Bubba Parham, who has only six in 383 minutes. The Yellow Jackets are plus-4.4 in that category this season, ranking No. 2 in the ACC. Tech was minus-2.4 last year and ranked 14th. In ACC games, Tech ranks No. 1 at plus-4.6.
  • Tech made great strides in its offensive efficiency during the latter part of last season and continues to progress, ranking No. 41 nationally at 111.2, its highest ranking under Josh Pastner. The Jackets have managed to exceed one point per possession in 11 of 13 games this season (Tech reached that benchmark 11 times in all of 2019-20). Tech’s efficiency was 94.8 in its first meeting vs. Florida State, 103.5 in the second.
  • According to KenPom.com, Tech ranks No. 3 in the nation in experience (average 2.56 years per player) and No. 9 in minutes continuity (75.4 percent), a measure of playing minutes from 2019-20 carrying over to 2020-21.
  • When Jose Alvarado and Michael Devoe both score in double figures this season, Tech is 5-1. The Jackets are 18-6 since the beginning of the 2019-20 season when they do so. When Alvarado, Devoe and Moses Wright all score in double figures this season, Tech is 3-1.
  • Ten times in its last 11 games, Tech has won the turnover battle and had more assists than 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. Tech forced 20 Florida State turnovers Saturday, the fifth time this year the Yellow Jackets have forced 20 or more, and scored 22 points from them. The Jackets have forced 16.0 turnovers per game this season, 16.0 per game against ACC foes, and has the second-best turnover margin in the conference (plus-4.4 overall, plus-4.6 in conference games).
  • Tech (7-of-24 against FSU) has connected on 77 of its 182 three-point attempts in its last seven games (42.3 percent) and is up to 37.0 percent for the season (No. 5 ACC), 40.5 percent in ACC games (No. 3 ACC).
  • Tech has collected 52 steals in its last six games (13 vs. FSU) and is averaging an ACC-high 9.9 in conference games. The Jackets are averaging 9.4 in all games.
  • Alvarado has scored 20-plus points in three straight games, notching 21 against Florida State (8-16 FG, 3-7 3pt FG) with six assists and five steals. It was his eighth game of 20 or more points this season, fifth against an ACC team.
  • In his last two games, Wright has set career highs for assists (6 at Duke) and steals (6 vs. Florida State).

Michael Devoe is averaging 15.1 points and hitting 46.5 percent of his threes in ACC games. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

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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