Coral Gables, Fla. – Coming off an unexpected midweek postponement, Georgia Tech plays the first of two straight road games Saturday with a noon tip against Miami at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla.
Georgia Tech update – The Yellow Jackets, 4-5 since returning from its 17-day COVID pause, are tied for 8th place in the ACC standings and have a NCAA NET ranking of No. 61. Tech, which is 6-1 at home against ACC teams this season, looks to build on a 71-65 victory over Pittsburgh last Sunday at home. Four of Tech’s five losses during this period came by a total of 19 points.
Miami update – The shorthanded Hurricanes have lost six of their last seven games but have been tough at home. Miami has a 6-6 record at the Watsco Center, downing Louisville and Duke, taking No. 16 Virginia Tech to overtime before falling, and losing by one point to Clemson and by two to North Carolina.
Broadcast information – Live TV broadcast on the ACC’s Regional Sports Network (Fox Sports South in Georgia) 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. 380 (internet 970) and the TuneIn app.
Head coach Josh Pastner speaks to the media Thursday
- Looking large – Georgia Tech is poised to have four players in its starting lineup with 1,000 career points, joining Ole Miss as the only teams in NCAA Division I with four active 1,000-point scorers. This has never happened in program history. Michael Devoe (1,008 points) reached that benchmark Sunday, joining Bubba Parham (1,421), who had already had 1,000 when he transferred to Tech, and Jose Alvarado (1,336), who surpassed the mark late last season. Moses Wright needs nine points Saturday to be Tech’s fourth active 1,000-point scorer.
- Up for Naismith – Jose Alvarado was named last week to 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.
- BC interruption – Tech got some extra rest after Wednesday’s game against Boston College at McCamish Pavilion was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns within the Eagles’ program. No makeup date has been determined.
- Break up to make up – Two of Georgia Tech’s five postponed ACC games were rescheduled and played, its game at Louisville (Feb. 1) and last Sunday’s game against Pitt. No makeup dates have been set for the Yellow Jackets’ games at Notre Dame (originally Jan. 6) and NC State (Jan. 16) or Boston College (Feb. 17). Tech also had a non-conference game at UAB (Dec. 23) cancelled due to COVID concerns with the Blazers.
- No rest for the weary – As part of Tech’s effort to reschedule its postponed games, the Yellow Jackets played three games on just one day’s rest while its opponents in those games had four days (Louisville), five days (Clemson) and six days (Pitt).
- Nothin’ but Net – Georgia Tech is No. 62 in the NCAA NET rankings (a quad 1 game for opponents playing in Atlanta) and No. 55 in KenPom’s ratings, down from its highest positions of 55 (NET) and 51 (KenPom) this season.
- Coming up – Tech has a quad 3 game (at Miami), quad 1 game (at Virginia Tech), a pair of quad 2 games (Syracuse and Duke) remaining, The Jackets have had a quad 1 game (at Notre Dame) and two quad 2 games (at UAB, at NC State), as well as a quad 4 game (Boston College on Wednesday), postponed or cancelled due to COVID.
- Tech’s ACC schedule the toughest – Georgia Tech’s ACC schedule is ranked the strongest according to KenPom.com. The Yellow Jackets have played four games against the top two teams in the current standings, dropping two games to Virginia by a total of 10 points, and splitting with Florida State. Seven games have come against the top five teams, and nine against teams ahead of the Jackets. Tech has played only three games against teams below it in the ACC standings, and defeated all of them. The three postponements Tech has yet to make up are all against teams in the bottom six.
- Big wins for the Jackets – Tech has defeated three AP top 25 teams this season – No. 20 Kentucky (Dec. 6), No. 20 Clemson (Jan. 20) and No. 16 Florida State (Jan. 30).
- All in for Alvarado – Jose Alvarado ranks among the ACC’s top 10 in seven statistical categories – No. 5 in ACC in scoring (16.78 ppg), No. 6 in FG percentage (.517), No. 1 in FT percentage (.860), No. 6 in assist average (4.06), No. 1 in steals (2.79), No. 8 in assist/turnover ratio (1.83), No. 3 in average minutes (36.87) … Also is No. 14 in 3-point FG made (2.06) and would rank among the top 10 in 3-point FG percentage with enough makes (.418).
- The Wright stuff – Moses Wright also holds top 10 rankings in seven ACC stat categories – currently No. 6 in the ACC in scoring (16.44), No. 10 in rebound average (7.28), No. 8 in field goal percentage (.509), No. 4 in steals (1.72 per game), No. 5 in blocked shots (1.78), No. 5 in offensive rebounds (2.67) and No. 7 in average minutes played (35.69).
- Moses climbing the mountain – With nine more points, Moses Wright also will become the 21st played in Tech history to score 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds in a career. The 6-9 senior now has 991 career points and 544 career rebounds.
- Long streak from long range – Alvarado’s streak of made three-pointers ended at 35 straight games Sunday after his missed his only attempt against Pitt. It was the longest streak by a Tech player since Anthony Morrow made one in 41 straight games spanning the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, and is the fifth-longest streak in Tech history.
- Dynamic duo – Jose Alvarado (15.92 ppg vs. ACC) and Michael Devoe (15.00) rank No. 8 and 9, respectively, in the ACC and have accounted for 45 percent of the Yellow Jackets’ points in conference games. They have scored or assisted on 70 percent of Tech’s field goals in conference play. The Jackets are 7-1 this season when both players score in double digits, 5-0 in the ACC.
- Bombs away – Alvarado and Devoe have combined to make 42.5 percent of their three-point shots in ACC games.
- Ball security – The Jackets remain No. 1 in the ACC in turnover margin (plus-4.33) and rank No. 9 nationally in turnover margin. Tech’s margin of plus 4.42 in ACC games also ranks No. 1. Tech leads the ACC in turnovers forced (15.33) in league games, and third in turnovers committed (10.92).
Senior forward Jordan Usher speaks to the media Thursday
SERIES VS. MIAMI
Miami has a 14-10 lead in the all-time series which dates back to 1953, and is 13-8 against the Yellow Jackets since joining the ACC … Georgia Tech won the first two meetings against Miami after they became members of the ACC, but has lost three of the last five meetings with the Hurricanes and have dropped 14 of the last 19 … Tech won the only regular-season meeting between the two teams in 2019-20, a 63-57 win at McCamish Pavilion …Tech has won two of its last four games against Miami in Coral Gables, including a 71-69 victory over 6th-ranked Miami on March 6, 2013. It was Tech’s first win at the Watsco Center since Feb. 26, 2005. The Jackets also captured a 70-50 win against No. 23 Miami on Jan. 28, 2015 … Tech is 4-7 against Miami teams coached by Jim Larranaga, and 5-7 against Larranaga, including a 70-62 win over his George Mason team on Nov. 20, 2009 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
BASKETBALL COACHES TO HONOR JOHN THOMPSON WITH TOWEL INITIATIVE
Coaches across men’s college basketball will pay tribute to John Thompson Jr. this week by wearing commemorative towels over their shoulders during games – mirroring the late coach’s signature sideline look.
The NABC launched the initiative – intentionally targeted to take place during Black History Month – to honor Thompson for his lasting impact both on and off the court. Towels featuring an image of Thompson were distributed to every NABC-member head men’s basketball coach in NCAA Divisions I, II and III and the NAIA. Additionally, every program in HBCU conferences currently competing in the 2020-21 season was outfitted with sets of towels.
- Four of Tech’s starters are averaging in double figures in scoring for the season, only Bubba Parham below that mark at 8.0 points per game. Four or more Yellow Jackets have reached double figures in eight games this season, at least three in all but three games.
- Tech has turned the ball over just 11.22 times per game this season, most impressively Moses Wright who has just 26 turnovers in more than 642 minutes of action, and Bubba Parham, who has only eight in 519 minutes. The Yellow Jackets are plus-4.33 in that category this season (plus-4.42 against ACC teams), ranking No. 1 in the ACC. Tech was minus-2.4 last year and ranked 14th.
- Tech has hit 36-of-42 from the free throw line in its last two games, including a 21-for-23 effort in the win over Pitt. The Yellow Jackets had averaged just 8.2 points from the charity stripe over its first 10 ACC games.
- Tech made great strides in its offensive efficiency during the latter part of last season and continues to progress, ranking No. 42 nationally at 111.8, its highest ranking under Josh Pastner. The Jackets have managed to exceed one point per possession in 14 of 18 games this season (Tech reached that benchmark 11 times in all of 2019-20).
- Tech has shot better than 50 percent from the floor in seven games this season, winning the first six games before falling at Clemson last Friday despite hitting 52 percent of its field goal tries.
- Tech’s 21 points from the free throw line against Pitt were its most in an ACC game this season and the most in any game since the Yellow Jackets went 22-for-28 vs. Delaware State. After averaging just 8.2 points from the free throw line in ACC play, the Jackets are 36-of-42 over their last two games.
- Tech went 21-of-23 from the line against Pitt (91.3 percent), its best percentage in an ACC game with 20 or more attempts since January 3, 1996 against Maryland (27of-28). Michael Devoe is 14-for-14, and Moses Wright is 8-for-9 in their last two games, while Bubba Parham is 8-for-8 in his last four games.
- Fifteen times in its last 16 games, Tech has won the turnover battle (13 to Pitt’s 18), and the Yellow Jackets have a plus-4.4 turnover margin in conference play, plus-4.3 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 (15.6).
- For only the fourth time this season, Tech’s bench outscored its opponent’s reserves (13-4). The Jackets are 4-0 when that happens.
- Bubba Parham came off the bench and scored in double digits for the second straight game, getting 11 points against Pitt with three three-point field goals and 2-of-2 from the foul line. He has scored in double figures five times this season. Parham’s two highest scoring games vs. ACC teams have been 22 at NC State in his collegiate debut at VMI, 16 at Pittsburgh in the second game of his sophomore year. His most points against an ACC team while at Tech was 12 last Friday at Clemson. He had 11 at North Carolina and 10 vs. Virginia Tech last season.
Moses Wright needs nine points Saturday to join Bubba Parham, Jose Alvarado and Michael Devoe at 1,000-point scorers for their careers. (photo by Anthony McClellan)
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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.