THE FLATS – Playing without three of its top seven scorers, Georgia Tech men’s basketball couldn’t overcome hot-shooting Louisville in a 79-51 loss to the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon at McCamish Pavilion.
Georgia Tech (10-8, 2-3 ACC) was never able to get anything going offensively without the services of its leading scorer (Jose Alvarado – injury), third-leading scorer (Brandon Alston – personal) and key post contributor Abdoulaye Gueye (medical condition) and shot just 38 percent from the field for the game (19-of-50). Meanwhile, Louisville (13-5, 4-1 ACC) made 47 percent of its shots (31-of-66), good for the third-highest field-goal percentage by a Tech opponent this season.
James Banks led Georgia Tech with 24 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, good for his fifth double-double of the season. Jordan Nwora paced Louisville with a game-high 25 points while the Cardinals’ Christen Cunningham dished out 11 assists.
Georgia Tech returns to action Tuesday for the back end of the two-game homestand versus Notre Dame at McCamish Pavilion. Tipoff for the ACC matchup is set for 7 p.m. The game will be televised regionally on the ACC’s Raycom Sports Network.
James Banks registered his fifth double-double of the season on Saturday against Louisville.
- Georgia Tech starting lineup: Devoe, Haywood II, Moore, Wright, Banks III
- First subs for Georgia Tech: Phillips for Moore – 17:47-1st half
- On the floor for Georgia Tech at the end: Phillips, Moore, Sjolund, Wright, Ogbonda
- Opening tap won by Georgia Tech – Georgia Tech has won the opening tap 10 times in 18 games this season
- Series record vs. Louisville: Georgia Tech is 13-21 overall, 7-7 at home, 0-3 under Josh Pastner, 0-1 vs. Chris Mack
- Current series trend: Louisville won the last eight meetings
- Georgia Tech is 8-4 at McCamish Pavilion this season, 80-41 in its sixth season in the building, 37-15 under Josh Pastner
- Georgia Tech is 2-3 on the road this season, 2-4 away from McCamish Pavilion
- Georgia Tech’s next game: Tuesday, Jan. 22, vs. Notre Dame (7 p.m., McCamish Pavilion)
- Georgia Tech used its eighth different starting five of the season against Louisville, with Moses Wright returning to the lineup at the big forward spot in the absence of Abdoulaye Gueye. Wright made his 14th start. Freshman Khalid Moore replaced the injured Jose Alvarado, making his seventh start of the season. Michael Devoe, Curtis Haywood and James Banks III completed the starting lineup. Devoe, a freshman, has started Tech’s last 10 games, having made his first collegiate start at Arkansas. Haywood started his third straight game and 13th of the season, while Banks has started the last 13 straight games in the post.
- No Tech player has started every game this season, and 10 different players have started three or more games.
- Despite the absences of Alston, Alvarado and Gueye, Tech used nine players in the game against Louisville, eight of them for at least five minutes and seven for 20 or more. At least eight players have seen significant minutes in all of Tech’s games this season, nine vs. Northwestern, St. John’s and Georgia despite Evan Cole missing those games with an ankle injury, and nine vs. Virginia Tech with Curtis Haywood out with an illness.
- Wake Forest (74.4 ppg, scored 79) and Clemson (71.4 ppg, scored 72) are the only Georgia Tech opponents to exceed their season scoring averages this season this season against the Yellow Jackets this season. Tech had held every other opponent this season under its season scoring average – breakdown by game: Lamar 81.8 (69), Tennessee 85.5 (66), East Carolina 71.1 (54), UTRGV 70.2 (44), Prairie View A&M 69.2 (54), Northwestern 73.5 (67), St. John’s 83.5 (76), Florida A&M 63.2 (40), Gardner-Webb 82.9 (79), Arkansas 81.8 (69), Georgia 79.2 (70), Kennesaw State 62.5 (57), USC Upstate 70.9 (63), Virginia Tech 81.1 (52), Syracuse 70.9 (59).
- Tech’s 38 percent shooting from the floor was its lowest figure since making 32.3 percent against Georgia at home on Dec. 22. In the six games in between, Tech connected on 54.2 percent of its field goal tries, 36.1 percent of its three-point attempts and 71.0 percent of its free throws, averaging 73.3 points per game.
- In the same six-game stretch, Tech’s opponents had hit 37 percent from the floor, 27.9 percent of their threes and 69.8 percent of their free throws, averaging 63.7 points per game. Louisville shot 47 percent from the floor but only 29.2 percent (7-for-24) on its threes.
- Reflecting an emphasis in practice on offensive tempo, particularly early in the shot clock, Tech has piled up 119 assists on 175 made field goals in its last seven games (68 percent), including 61.3 percent in ACC games.
- Tech’s ACC opponents have attempted 75 more shots from the floor and 53 more three-point field goals than have the Yellow Jackets through five games. The Jackets have outshot them, percentage-wise, 49.1-39.9 from the floor and 33.3-28.8 from three-point range. The Jackets have attempted 32 more free throws and made 14 more.
PASTNER’S KEY METRICS
- Assists to made field goals: The Jackets have 119 assists on 175 field goals (68 percent) in its last six games. The Jackets are at 59.6 percent for the season, 23rd in the nation, and 61.3 percent in ACC games. Tech assisted on 13 of 19 made field goals (68.4 percent) against Louisville, exceeding short its nightly goal of 60 percent.
- Free throws made to opponents’ attempts: Tech is 37-15 under Josh Pastner when attempting more free throws than the opponent. Tech connected on 12-of-24 free throw attempts to Louisville’s 10-of-14 (nightly goal of making more than opponent tries not accomplished).
- Turnovers: Tech has averaged 15.1 turnovers per game this season, 16.4 in ACC games to date (four more per game than opponents). Target each night is 11 or fewer, which Tech has met twice this season (both wins). More telling for Tech under Josh Pastner is that when Tech has committed fewer turnovers than its opponent, it is 22-13. When it has committed more, it is 18-24.
- Guard rebounding: The group of Alvarado, Alston, Devoe, Haywood, Moore and Phillips has combined to take 214 of Tech’s 463 defensive rebounds this season (46.2 percent). Tech’s guards combined for nine of Tech’s 27 defensive rebounds against Louisville.
- James Banks III posted his fifth double-double this season (24 points/11 rebounds vs. Louisville) and first since Dec. 19 at Arkansas (14 points/14 rebounds). His 24 points surpassed his previous best this season (22 vs. Gardner-Webb). Banks has nine double-figure scoring games this season and has hit 57.7 percent of his shots from the floor.
- Banks has averaged 18.7 points in his last three games (21-for-38 from the floor and 14-for-19 from the free throw line), and has averaged a team-high 15.6 points in ACC games, connecting on 57.4 percent of his shots from the floor and 72.7 percent from the foul line.
- Jose Alvarado missed the Louisville game with a groin injury suffered at Clemson on Jan. 16. The sophomore has 13 double-figure scoring games this season and eight in his last nine games. Since a 3-for-20 afternoon against Georgia, the gritty 6-foot guard has hit 24-of-48 from the floor, 11-of-25 threes, in his last six games, and he has 22 assists against just 13 turnovers, as well as 21 rebounds.
- Sophomore guard Curtis Haywood II started his second straight game and eighth of the season.
- Freshman Michael Devoe has started nine straight games and logged six double-figure scoring games this season.
- After a DNP at Syracuse, Moses Wright played 21 minutes off the bench at Clemson (nine points with four rebounds) and started (21 minutes again) against Louisville (seven points, three rebounds). He is 7-for-12 from the floor in the two games combined.
- Shembari Phillips played 22 minutes off the bench against Louisville and has played 32 minutes total in the last two games in the absence of Alston.
- The absence of Abdoulaye Gueye has allowed Sylvester Ogbonda to play in the last two games for a total of 11 minutes. Freshman Kristian Sjolund also has logged 11 minutes in the last two games.
- Abdoulaye Gueye, after returning to the starting lineup at Syracuse and scoring 10 points, has not played in Tech’s last two games due to an unspecified medical condition. Senior guard Brandon Alston has not played the last two games for personal reasons.
Tech great Anthony Morrow was recognized in front of Saturday’s sellout crowd at McCamish Pavilion.
Post-Game Interview with Coach Josh Pastner
Coach Josh Pastner Press Conference Audio