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Tech Hosts Duke for Senior Night

THE FLATS – Looking for its fifth straight win in Atlantic Coast Conference play, Georgia Tech concludes its 2020-21 home schedule with its Senior Night game, an 8 p.m. tip Tuesday night against Duke at McCamish Pavilion.

Georgia Tech update – The Yellow Jackets, winners of four straight and 7-5 since its 17-day COVID pause, are alone in seventh place in the ACC standings and have a NCAA NET ranking of No. 39. Tech’s current surge began with a 71-65 home win over Pitt on Feb. 14, and continued with a pair of big road wins at Miami (87-60) and No. 16 Virginia Tech (69-53) and Saturday’s 84-77 home victory over Syracuse. The Jackets are 7-1 at home in ACC play this season.

Duke update – The Blue Devils dropped an 80-73 overtime decision at home Saturday to Louisville, snapping a four-game winning streak that included double-digit wins over NC State, Wake Forest and Syracuse, as well as a one-point win over No. 7 Virginia. The Blue Devils are 5-4 since their 75-68 win over Tech on Jan. 26 and sit just a half-game behind the Yellow Jackets in the ACC standings.

Broadcast information – Live TV broadcast on the ACC Network and live streaming on the ESPN app. Radio coverage is provided by the Georgia Tech Sports Network by Learfield IMG College and flagship station WCNN-Radio (680 AM, 93.7 FM) in Atlanta. The Tech broadcast can be heard on SiriusXM Ch. 371 (internet 371) and the TuneIn app. ESPN Radio will broadcast the game nationally (SiriusXM Ch. 80).

BIG SENIOR NIGHT FOR TECH

In perhaps the largest Senior Night in team history, Georgia Tech will honor eight individuals – six players and two managers – prior to Tuesday night’s game against Duke.

The players include four of Tech’s starters for most of the year – guards Jose Alvarado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Bubba Parham (Snellville, Ga.), and forwards Jordan Usher (Canton, Ga.) and Moses Wright (Raleigh, N.C.) – as well as two non-scholarship players in guards Shaheed Medlock (Chicago, Ill.) and Malachi Rice (Indianapolis, Ind.).

Alvarado, Parham, Usher and Wright have combined to score 4,552 points in their careers and play in 413 games in their careers. Rice will be remembered as the man who, on a virtual team meeting in early summer shortly after the death of George Floyd, challenged his teammates to make their voices be heard by voting, inspiring campus effort that became a national movement.

The two managers – Luke Crabtree of Atlanta and Zach Wilson of Augusta, Ga. – have handled all of the traditional duties and more this year almost exclusively because of COVID-19 restrictions that have forced the team to reduce staff in order to limited exposure.

Head coach Josh Pastner speaks to the media Monday

THE TIPOFF

  • Long time coming – With its win over Syracuse Saturday, Georgia Tech improved to 9-6 in conference play and guaranteed itself winning ACC records in back-to-back seasons since 1989 and 1990 (both 8-6). Also, the Yellow Jackets are three games over .500 in the ACC for the first time since March 3, 1996.
  • Drive for five – Tech has won four consecutive ACC games, tying a program high under head coach Josh Pastner. The Yellow Jackets have not won five straight ACC games since they won the last five regular season games of the 2001-02 season.
  • Home sweet home – Tech is 7-1 at home in ACC games this season and has won 13 of its last 14 conference games at McCamish Pavilion. The Jackets have won three ACC games at home this season in which they trailed at halftime.
  • Never on Tuesday – One win this week would guarantee Tech an opening-round bye and a spot in Wednesday’s second round of the ACC Tournament. The Yellow Jackets have not had a first-round bye in the tournament since 2005, though last year’s regular-season finish would have given Tech a bye had it participated.
  • The winning dide – Tech now has a winning streak or has won the last meeting against 10 of its 14 ACC foes. A win over Duke Tuesday would make it 11 of 14.
  • Nothing but NET – Georgia Tech’s four-game winning streak has elevated the Yellow Jackets 22 spots in the NCAA’s NET rankings (from 62 to 40) and 23 spots in the KenPom.com rankings (from 55 to 32). Those are Tech’s highest positions in both rankings during head coach Josh Pastner’s tenure. Tech is 6-6 against quad 1 and 2 teams.
  • Tech’s ACC schedule rated the toughest – Georgia Tech’s ACC schedule is ranked No. 1 in strength according to KenPom.com. The Yellow Jackets have played five games against the top three teams in the current standings, dropping two games to Virginia by a total of 10 points, splitting with Florida State and beating Virginia Tech. Nine games have been played against teams ahead of the Jackets.
  • Big wins for the Jackets – Tech has defeated four AP top 25 teams this season – No. 20 Kentucky (Dec. 6), No. 20 Clemson (Jan. 20), No. 16 Florida State (Jan. 30) and No. 16 Virginia Tech – all by double digits, an average of 15.5 points per game. Only Virginia Tech has beaten as many top 25 teams (also four).
  • It’s nice to win – With a 9-6 ACC record to follow last year’s 11-9 finish, Georgia Tech has its most conference victories (20) in back-to-back years since the Yellow Jackets went 8-8 in 1994-95 and 13-3 in 1995-96 (21 wins).
  • Four-large – Georgia Tech is one of two NCAA Division I teams (Ole Miss is the other) to have four active players with 1,000 career points. This has never happened in Tech history. Moses Wright joined the group Feb. 20 at Miami and has 1,062 career points. Michael Devoe (1,067 points) reached that benchmark Feb. 14 against Pitt. Bubba Parham (1,430) already had 1,000 when he transferred to Tech, and Jose Alvarado (1,369) surpassed the mark late last season.
  • Up for Naismith – Jose Alvarado is on the Naismith Trophy Midseason Team for its men’s college player of the year. The senior guard is one of three ACC players on the 30-player list along with Pitt’s Justin Champagnie and Louisville’s Carlik Jones.
  • Irreconcilable differences – Only two of Georgia Tech’s five postponed ACC games were rescheduled and played, at Louisville (Feb. 1) and at home against Pitt (Feb. 14). The Yellow Jackets’ games at Notre Dame (originally Jan. 6) and NC State (Jan. 16) and the home game against Boston College (Feb. 17) will not be made up unless a cancellation occurs this week. Tech also had a non-conference game at UAB (Dec. 23) cancelled due to COVID concerns with the Blazers.
  • Doing it at both ends – Entering the final week of the regular season, Georgia Tech ranks No. 4 in the ACC (conference games only) in both scoring offense (70.3 ppg) and scoring defense (66.93 ppg).
  • On second thought – Tech has connected on 51.4 percent of its shots from the floor in the second half of its ACC games this year, making more than half in 11 of its 15 conference games. In Tech’s ACC wins, the Jackets have made 57.4 percent of their attempts after halftime.
  • All in for Alvarado – A season-long ACC Player of the Year candidate, Jose Alvarado ranks among the ACC’s top 10 in eight (8) statistical categories – No. 6 in ACC in scoring (15.95 ppg), No. 5 in FG percentage (.519), No. 9 in three-point FG made (2.0 per game), No. 1 in FT percentage (.869), No. 6 in assist average (4.19), No. 1 in steals (2.81), No. 7 in assist/turnover ratio (1.86), No. 3 in minutes (36.53) … With enough makes he would also rank in the top 10 in three-point percentage (.424).
  • Getting himself Wright – Moses Wright has had a remarkable stretch during Tech’s four-game winning streak, averaging 23.5 points and 10.5 rebounds while hitting 67.2 percent of his shots from the floor. He also had 10 assists, five blocked shots and four steals during this stretch.
  • The Wright stuff – Moses Wright ranks among the ACC’s TOP FIVE in scoring average (5th, 17.48 ppg), rebound average (3rd, 8.05 rpg), field goal percentage (4th, .535), steals (4th. 1.62 pg), blocked shots (5th, 1.67 per game), offensive rebounds (4th, 3.00 rpg) and minutes (5th, 35.55 mpg).
  • Moses climbs the mountain – Moses Wright has become the 21st player in Tech history to score 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds in a career, reaching the scoring mark Feb. 20 at Miami and the rebound mark Jan. 30 vs. Florida State. The 6-9 senior now has 1,062 career points and 582 career rebounds.
  • On guard – Michael Devoe (15.93) and Jose Alvarado (14.93 ppg vs. ACC) rank No. 8 and 12, respectively, in the ACC and have accounted for 45.2 percent of the Yellow Jackets’ points in conference games. They have scored or assisted on 68.1 percent of Tech’s field goals in conference play. The Jackets are 9-1 this season when both players score in double digits, 7-0 in the ACC.
  • The Three Amigos – Moses Wright (16.13), Michael Devoe (15.93 ppg) and Jose Alvarado (14.93) and all rank among the top 12 players in scoring average. They are within 18 total points of each other, and have accounted for 66.2 percent of the Jackets’ scoring in league games. Tech is 5-0 in ACC games (7-1 overall) this season when all three reach double figures.
  • Bombs away – Alvarado and Devoe have combined to make 42.7 percent of their three-point shots in ACC games, combining for 67 of the Yellow Jackets’ 118 threes.
  • Ball security – The Jackets remain No. 1 in the ACC in turnover margin (plus-4.47) and rank No. 12 nationally in turnover margin. Tech’s margin of plus 4.38 in ACC games also ranks No. 1. Tech leads the ACC in turnovers forced (15.27) in league games, and is third in turnovers committed (10.80).

Moses Wright speaks to the media Monday

SERIES VS. DUKE

Georgia Tech and Duke are meeting twice this season for the first time in seven years. The Blue Devils won the first game this season, 75-68, on Jan. 26 in Durham … Duke has won 38 of the last 41 games in the series, including the last 14 in a row … The Blue Devils won 11 of the last 13 meetings at Alexander Memorial Coliseum and posted a 21-13 lead over Tech in games played on the Jackets’ former home court, as well as a 29-15 mark in games played in Atlanta. Duke has won all four of its visits to McCamish Pavilion … Duke leads the overall series 75-23, and is 63-19 against Tech since the Jackets joined the ACC.

FOLLOWING THE TRENDS

  • Tech has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in three straight games (50 percent vs. Syracuse, 52 percent at Virginia Tech, 57.1 percent at Miami), connecting on 53.1 percent of its field goals over that stretch.
  • Tech has shot 50 percent or better in eight ACC games this season (also 52 and 57.4 in two games against Clemson, 58.3 against Notre Dame, 50 against Wake Forest, 52.9 against North Carolina), and has connected on 48 percent of its shots in ACC games this season.
  • In the second half during its four-game winning streak, the Yellow Jackets have shot 57.4 percent from the floor (62-of-108). Tech has shot 50 percent or better the second half of 11 of its 15 ACC games this season.
  • Tech has won the turnover battle in 18 of its last 19 games (13 to Syracuse’s 14), and the Yellow Jackets have a plus-4.5 turnover margin in conference play, plus-4.4 in all games. Both rank No. 1 in the ACC. Tech also leads the ACC in turnovers forced in conference games (15.3) and is second in all games (15.4).
  • Tech scored over a point per possession (KenPom.com offensive efficiency) for the fifth straight game and for the 17th time this season. The Yellow Jackets rank 18th in the nation on offensive efficiency (114.3).
  • Tech recorded 26 assists against Syracuse, its most in an ACC game since dishing 26 against Maryland on Jan. 4, 1994, tied for fifth most in the Tech record book. Four Jackets had five or more assists.
  • One of the bottom teams in the ACC in rebound margin, Georgia Tech has outrebounded its last three foes – Miami (35-26), Virginia Tech (31-23), Syracuse (41-36).
  • Moses Wright has posted a double-double in three straight games (31 points, 16 rebounds vs. Syracuse) and six times this season. Five of his double-doubles have come in ACC games, all of them in Tech’s last 10 games (Duke, Louisville, Miami, Virginia Tech, Syracuse). It was the first 30-point, 15-rebound ACC game for a Tech player since Matt Harpring had 30 and 16 against North Carolina on Feb. 8, 1998.
  • Over Tech’s last five games, Wright has averaged 22.0 points and 9.4 rebounds. He has hit 45-of-65 FG (69.2 pct.), 18-of-27 FT and 2-of 3 3pt FG, adding in 11 assists, 9 blocks, and 5 steals.
  • Wright’s 31 points against Syracuse represented his ninth game of 20-or-more points this season and he has assumed the team scoring lead at 17.5 points per game overall and 16.1 ppg in ACC games. He has hit 53.5 percent of his shots from the floor overall, 51.5 percent in conference games.
  • Jordan Usher scored 19 points against Syracuse, three more than he scored in his three previous games combined. The 6-7 senior hit 7-of-11 shots from the floor, 5-of-6 from the foul line, and had seven rebounds, six assists and three steals.
  • Jose Alvarado was credited with one steal against Syracuse, giving him 211 for his career, fourth place on Tech’s all-time list. He is bidding to become the first Tech player to lead the ACC in steals twice and the first ACC player to do so since Chris Paul in 2004 and 2005. Alvarado’s conference leading rate is 2.81 in all games, 3.07 in ACC games. His overall rate is the most by an ACC player since Johnny Rhodes of Maryland set the ACC record in 1996 (3.7), and his rate in ACC games is the most since Clemson’s Vernon Hamilton set the conference record of 4.1 in 2006.
  • Michael Devoe scored 18 points with six rebounds and five assists against Syracuse, the seventh time this season he has had a game of five or more assists, and his seventh game of five or more rebounds.
  • Starting his fourth straight game, Khalid Moore put forth one of his most complete efforts with nine points, five rebounds and six assists with no turnovers in 34:18. He has averaged 6.0 points and 3.8 rebounds over the four-game stretch.

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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