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Tech Hosts #13/12 Virginia to Close 2022

GEORGIA TECH (7-5, 0-2 ACC) VS. #13/12 VIRGINIA (9-2, 1-1 ACC)


THE FLATS – Georgia Tech continues a four-game homestand and resumes Atlantic Coast Conference play after a nine-day holiday break when No. 13/12 Virginia comes to McCamish Pavilion for a noon contest on New Year’s Eve.

Tech (7-5, 0-2 ACC), facing back-to-back games against teams ranked in the nation’s top 25, is looking for its first ACC win of the 2022-23 season against the Cavaliers after falling by double digits at North Carolina (75-59) on Dec. 10 and at home to Clemson (79-66) in its last game on Dec. 21. The Yellow Jackets are 6-1 at home this season, with their only loss to the Tigers and their most significant win coming over Georgia (79-77) on Dec. 6.

Virginia (9-2, 1-1 ACC) lost its last two games before the Christmas break – a 69-61 decision at home to No. 3 Houston and lost 66-64 at No. 14 Miami on Dec. 20 – before defeating Albany at home Wednesday. That followed an 8-0 start which lifted the Cavaliers to No. 2 in the nation in the Associated Press poll. UVA defeated Florida State, 62-57, on Dec. 3 at home.

Saturday’s game will be televised live on the ACC Network, with a live stream available on the ESPN app. Radio coverage is on the Georgia Tech Sports Network by Legends Sports and flagship station 680 the Fan (680 AM/93.7 FM), and also on satellite radio (SiriusXM channel 381, SXM app 971.

THE TIP-OFF

  • Tech is in the midst of its longest homestand of the season (four games). The Yellow Jackets hosted Alabama State and Clemson in its last two games before the Christmas break, with No. 13/12 Virginia Saturday and No. 14/14 Miami on Jan. 4 before their next road game, Jan. 7 at Florida State.
  • Virginia and Miami are the first two AP/Coaches Top 25 teams the Yellow Jackets have faced this season.
  • Tech is 1-1 in games played on New Year’s Eve during the tenure of head coach Josh Pastner, a 75-63 home win over North Carolina in 2016 and a 70-58 loss at Florida State in 2019. The Yellow Jackets are 12-3 all-time in games played on New Year’s Eve.
  • Virginia owns the third-best offensive efficiency rating (113.5), according to KenPom.com, of any Tech opponent to date (No. 15 nationally) and the best defensive efficiency rating (91.4, 21st nationally).
  • Tech’s turnover rate of 10.1 per game is a full turnover better than the best rate the Yellow Jackets have recorded for a full season going back to the 1992-93 season. The previous best is 11.2 accomplished in 2020-21 and 2015-16.
  • Tech is looking to snap a nine-game skid in the series against Virginia. The Yellow Jackets’ only wins against Tony Bennett’s Cavalier teams have occurred at McCamish Pavilion (2013 and 2016).
  • The last four meetings between Tech and Virginia have been decided by an average of 6.3 points, with the largest margin coming in the most recent meeting last season (63-53).

Jalon Moore has started the last seven games, reaching double figures in each. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

SERIES VS. VIRGINIA

  • Virginia has won the last nine games in the series, and 17 of the last 19 meetings to move ahead 46-40 in the all-time series, which dates back to 1947.
  • The Cavaliers won the only scheduled meeting between the two teams last season, 63-53 on Feb. 12. Tech’s last win over UVA occurred Feb. 9, 2016 in Atlanta (68-64).
  • Tech is 2-4 against Virginia in McCamish Pavilion after going 21-8 against the Cavaliers in Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Overall, the Yellow Jackets are 24-15 on all home courts and 26-16 in games played in the city of Atlanta.
  • Since Tech joined the ACC, the Yellow Jackets are 38-45 against Virginia.
  • Tech was 11-8 against Virginia under Paul Hewitt, including wins in all three meetings in Hewitt’s first season of 2000-01. Josh Pastner is 0-8 vs. Virginia (including one loss while at Memphis), and Tony Bennett is 16-2 vs. Tech.
  • Tech and Virginia have played to overtime seven times since the 1983-84 season, including a 72-71 triple-overtime win for Tech in Atlanta on Jan. 23, 1984, and an 88-85 double-overtime triumph for Virginia in Charlottesville on Jan. 22, 1995.

TEAM TRENDS

  • Tech has used nine or more players in all but one game this season (eight vs. Georgia).
  • Tech’s three sophomores – Miles Kelly, Deebo Coleman and Jalon Moore – who comprised a 2021 signing class ranked 28th in the nation, are currently 1-2-3 on the Yellow Jackets’ scoring chart, accounting for 45.9 percent of the Jackets’ points this season.
  • Kelly and Coleman have taken 119 of Tech’s 242 three-point attempts and have converted on 36.1 percent of them. The rest of the team has connected on 27.6 percent.
  • Tech’s bench has outscored that of its opponent in eight of 12 games. Tech leads the ACC in bench scoring (23.3 ppg).
  • Tech has reached its target of 11 turnovers or fewer for nine times in 12 games. The Yellow Jackets have a season turnover margin of plus-2.3, which ranks fourth in the ACC and ninth in the nation.
  • Tech’s percentage of possessions that end in turnovers (14.5 pct.) ranks 10th nationally, according to KenPom.com and is the best rate since KenPom began listing the stat in 1997. The teams closest to that figure were the Yellow Jackets’ ACC title team in 2021 (16.1) and its NIT team of 2016 (16.7).
  • Tech has permitted its opponents to make just 26.3 percent of their three-point field goal tries this season (Alabama State was 4-for-20, North Carolina 3-for-13, Clemson 5-of-18 in the last three games). Tech leads the ACC and ranks No 7 in the nation in three-point percentage defense.

PLAYER UPDATES

  • Jalon Moore has started Tech’s last seven games and also scored in double figures in each one, averaging 13.2 points and 6.9 rebounds over that stretch. He has hit 34-of-65 from the floor (52.3 percent) in those seven games.
  • Miles Kelly has started Tech’s last seven games, reaching double-digit points in each one, and has averaged 15.4 points and 4.2 rebounds over that stretch. He has connected on 38-of-77 shots from the floor (49.4 pct.), 19-of-43 from three-point range (44.2 pct.) and 13-of-14 from the line across those six games.
  • Deivon Smith leads the ACC with a 2.86-1 assist/turnover ratio. He has 40 assists (3.3 per game) against just 14 turnovers, and has recorded zero turnovers in four of his last five games. Smith’s ratio last season was 1.1-1.
  • Rodney Howard has connected on 20-of-25 shots from the floor dating back to Nov. 23 vs. Marquette, covering seven games. That includes a streak of 13 consecutive makes from his last two attempts of the Northeastern game through his first four of the Alabama State game (4-for-4 vs. Georgia, 3-for-3 at North Carolina). For the season he has connected on 65.1 percent (28-of-43).
  • Kyle Sturdivant has achieved season highs in points in each of Tech’s last two games – 13 vs. Alabama State, 14 vs. Clemson. He has hit 11-of-20 shots from the floor and 4-of-8 from three-point range.
  • Ja’von Franklin has been limited to 21 total minutes in Tech’s last three games, including a DNP vs. Alabama State, due to a groin strain suffered Dec. 10 at North Carolina. He did not grab a rebound in either game and scored just seven points total. He still ranks No. 2 in the ACC and 27th nationally in blocked shots (2.0 per game).

Deivon Smith leads the ACC in assist/turnover ratio. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 


Competitive Drive Initiative

In a unified endeavor, Georgia Tech, the Georgia Tech Foundation, Georgia Tech athletics and the Alexander-Tharpe Fund have come together to accelerate funding for student-athlete scholarships with the launch of the Competitive Drive Initiative. The initiative met its initial fundraising goal of $2.5 million in less than six weeks and has extended its target to $3.5 million raised by Dec. 31. Any new gift to the A-T Fund’s Athletic Scholarship Fund made through Dec. 31 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Georgia Tech Foundation, meaning that if the $3.5 million fundraising goal is met, the matching gift would result in a $7 million impact for Georgia Tech athletics. To learn more and to contribute online, visit atfund.org/accelerate.

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL

Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team has completed six seasons under head coach Josh Pastner, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference championship in 2021 and making its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 11 years. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won four ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993, 2021), played in the NCAA Tournament 17 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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