THE FLATS – James Banks torched Wake Forest for 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting to lead Georgia Tech to a 92-79 win over the Demon Deacons in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams on Saturday afternoon at McCamish Pavilion.
Georgia Tech’s 92 points were the most that it has scored in a non-overtime ACC game since it beat Virginia, 94-76, in the opening round of the 2008 ACC Tournament and the Yellow Jackets’ most in a non-overtime ACC regular-season game since it topped UVA, 92-69, in 2005.
For the third-straight game, Georgia Tech (9-5, 1-0 ACC) shot better than 55 percent from the field, as the Yellow Jackets made 55.8 percent of their shots (29-of-52) in the win. The Jackets are shooting 56.7 percent as a team over the past three games (93-of-164).
Defensively, the Yellow Jackets limited Wake Forest (7-6, 0-1 ACC) to 39.7-percent shooting (27-of-68), which marks the third-straight game that Georgia Tech’s opponent has made less than 42 percent of its field-goal attempts.
Banks led four Tech scorers in double-figures with his 20 points. The junior’s 20-point output was just two shy of his career high of 22, set last month against Gardner-Webb.
Freshman Michael Devoe, senior Brandon Alston and sophomore Jose Alvarado rounded out the four Yellow Jackets in double-figures with 16, 14 and 13 points, respectively. Devoe’s 16 points were a career high, surpassing the 14 he scored on Wednesday night against USC Upstate.
Georgia Tech closes a five-game homestand on Wednesday when it hosts No. 10 Virginia Tech for an ACC matchup at McCamish Pavilion. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
James Banks had four slam dunks during his 20-point performance in Saturday’s win over Wake Forest.
- Georgia Tech starting lineup: Alvarado, Devoe, Moore, Wright, Banks III
- First subs for Georgia Tech: Alston, Haywood, Gueye for Alvarado, Moore, Banks III – 13:03-1st half
- On the floor for Georgia Tech at the end: Alvarado, Devoe, Moore, Cole, Banks III
- Opening tap won by Georgia Tech – Georgia Tech has won the opening tap seven times in 13 games this season
- Series record vs. Wake Forest: Georgia Tech is 43-40 overall, 30-9 at home, 2-1 under Josh Pastner, 4-3 vs. Danny Manning
- Current series trend: Georgia Tech won the last two meetings
- Georgia Tech is 8-2 at McCamish Pavilion this season, 80-39 in its sixth season in the building, 37-13 under Josh Pastner
- Georgia Tech is 1-2 on the road this season, 1-3 away from McCamish Pavilion
- Georgia Tech’s next game: Saturday, Jan. 9 vs. Virginia Tech, 7 p.m., McCamish Pavilion
- Tech has won its last four ACC home openers. The Yellow Jackets are 13-6 at home vs. the ACC under Josh Pastner.
- Tech picked up its 80th home win in its sixth season at McCamish Pavilion. The Jackets have averaged 13.3 home wins over that time (with eight home games left to play in 2018-19).
- Tech’s 92 points against Wake Forest were its most in an ACC game under Josh Pastner (surpassing an 86-76 win at NC State on Jan. 15, 2016). It was the most points the Yellow Jackets have scored against an ACC team since a 94-76 win over Virginia in the first round of the 2008 ACC Tournament (March 13), and the most in a regulation game in the regular season since Jan. 13, 2005 (92-69 over Virginia.
- Tech posted its best shooting performance from the floor against an ACC team in four years. The last time the Yellow Jackets posted a higher percentage against an ACC team was 56.8 percent at Miami on Jan. 28, 2015. It surpassed the 51.6 percent Tech converted at NC State on Jan. 15, 2017 as the best under Josh Pastner.
- Tech had surpassed 50 percent from the floor in three straight games – 55.8 percent vs. Wake Forest, 58.0 percent vs. USC Upstate, 56.5 percent vs. Kennesaw State. Collectively, that’s 56.4 percent over the three games since the Jackets posted a 32.3-percent clip against Georgia on Dec. 22.
- Tech’s 28 free throws were its most since hitting 29 at N.C. State on Jan. 27, 2016, and matched the most under Josh Pastner (28 vs. North Carolina on Dec. 31, 2016.
- Tech continued to show balance in its scoring, with four or more players in double figures for the third straight game, with four players in double digits and another with nine against Wake Forest. Five Tech players scored in double figures against Kennesaw State.
- Reflecting an emphasis in practice on offensive tempo, particularly early in the shot clock, Tech has piled up 71 assists on 93 made field goals in its last three games (76.3 percent), including 20 on 29 field goals against Wake Forest.. Tech had just nine assists on 21 field goals against the Bulldogs on Dec. 22.
- Tech has deployed at least eight players for significant minutes in each of its 13 games so far, nine vs. Northwestern, St. John’s and Georgia despite Evan Cole missing those games with an ankle injury. Tech used nine players against Wake Forest, and all of them scored.
- Freshmen Michael Devoe and Khalid Moore started Tech’s last five games, having made their first collegiate starts at Arkansas. Georgia Tech has used five different starting lineups this season. Transfer James Banks III has started eight straight games in the post, and Moses Wright the last 12 at the big forward spot. Jose Alvarado has started 12 of the 13 Tech games. No Tech player has started every game this season.
- After having been outscored in three straight games, Tech has received 121 points (40.3 per game) from its bench in its last three games, including seven double-figure scorers combined. For the season, Tech reserves have averaged 28.1 points per game to 17.0 for the opponents.
- Wake Forest was the first team to exceed its season scoring average (74.4 ppg) against the Yellow Jackets this season, scoring 79 points. Tech had held every prior 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).
- Tech has connected on 48.7 percent of its field goals at home, 33.0 percent of its three-point attempts and 70.9 percent of its free throws.
- Tech has held nine of its 14 opponents under 40 percent from the field this season (Wake Forest finished the game at 40.3 percent). The Yellow Jackets’ opponents have shot 38.4 percent overall this season, which puts Tech fourth in the ACC.
PASTNER’S KEY METRICS
- Assists to made field goals: Tech assisted on 20 of 29 made field goals (69 percent) against Wake Forest, meeting its nightly goal of 60 percent for the third straight game and fourth time this season. The Jackets have 71 assists on 93 field goals (76.3 percent) in its last three games. The Jackets are at 59.8 percent for the season, well above the nation’s average of 52 percent.
- Free throws made to opponents’ attempts: Tech connected on 28-of-34 free throw attempts to Wake Forest’s 16-of-22 (nightly goal of making more than opponent tries not accomplished). Tech is 36-12 under Josh Pastner when attempting more free throws than the opponent.
- Turnovers: Tech has averaged 14.4 turnovers per game this season, but has committed 13 or fewer in four of its last six games (exception: 20 in victory at Arkansas, 16 in victory over USC Upstate). 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 17-21.
- Guard rebounding: Tech’s guards combined for 10 of Tech’s 25 defensive rebounds against Wake Forest. The group of Alvarado, Alston, Devoe, Haywood, Moore and Phillips has combined to take 171 of Tech’s 362 defensive rebounds this season (47.2 percent).
- James Banks reached double digits for the first time since Dec. 22 against Georgia, leading the Yellow Jackets with 20 points against Wake Forest. The 6-9 junior hit 9-of-11 shots from the floor and has converted 61.3 percent of his tries this season. Banks had scored 12 total points in 42 total minutes in Tech’s last two games against Kennesaw State and USC Upstate. It was the second 20-point game for Banks this season (22 vs. Gardner-Webb).
- Brandon Alston hit double digits for the third straight game (14 vs. Wake Forest) and for the eighth time this season. The 6-5 graduate senior has hit 48.5 percent of his shots from the floor this season, 41.5 percent of his threes and 81.4 percent of his free throw attempts. He went 4-for-7 from the floor and 6-for-6 from the line against Wake Forest.
- Freshman Michael Devoe has started five straight games and logged six double-figure scoring games this season, including a personal best of 16 points in his first ACC game against Wake Forest. Devoe went 4-for-6 from the floor, 3-for-4 from behind the arc and 5-of-8 from the foul line against the Demon Deacons. The 6-4 guard also had four assists, four rebounds and just two turnovers in 33:34. Devoe has 12 assists and four turnovers in Tech’s last three games.
- Continuing his comeback from an ankle injury, Evan Cole has scored 36 points in 47 minutes in Tech’s last three games. After scoring a double-double in Tech’s last meeting against Wake at the end of last season, Cole posted nine points (4-5 FG) and four rebounds Saturday against the Demon Deacons. Cole has hit 15-of-20 shots from the floor in the last three gaes. The 6-9 sophomore had missed seven games this season with an ankle injury suffered in game 2 at Tennessee. Cole played 13 minutes against Kennesaw State and scored 11 points, which was his previous career best.
- Sophomore Jose Alvarado scored 13 points against Wake Forest for his 10th double-figure scoring game this season, and dished a career-high seven assists against no turnovers in 37:32. Since a 3-for-20 afternoon against Georgia, the gritty 6-foot guard has hit 10-of-22 in Tech’s last three games, and he has 13 assists against just three turnovers, as well as 12 rebounds.
Senior Brandon Alston scored 14 points in Saturday’s ACC-opening victory.
Coach Josh Pastner Press Conference Audio