Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech
Time, TV: 7 PM, ACC Network
Virginia Tech will look to break a three-game losing streak against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Atlanta on Tuesday night. Overall, the Hokies have lost four of their last five games, and they’ll have a chance to get going in the right direction again against a Georgia Tech team that has struggled under fourth-year head coach Josh Pastner.
The Yellow Jackets come into this game with a 10-12 overall record and a 4-7 mark in ACC play. They’ve had their good moments and bad moments this year. They began the season by defeating NC State in overtime in Raleigh, and they’ve played well in close losses to teams such as UVA, Duke and Louisville. Many of their bad moments have come in part to their extremely difficult schedule. The Jackets have played the ninth most difficult schedule in the country so far, including the 47th most difficult non-conference schedule. As a comparison, the Hokies have played the 83rd toughest schedule in the country, and the No. 351 (out of 353 teams) non-conference schedule.
Virginia Tech has struggled on the offensive end of the court recently, and they’ll be facing a Georgia Tech team that has been very good defensively despite what their overall record suggests.
Adjusted Def. Efficiency: No. 34
Effective FG% Defense: No. 37
Block %: No. 47
2-Pt. % Defense: No. 49
3-Pt. % Defense: No. 69
They’ve put together those numbers despite facing the sixth most difficult schedule in the country in terms of opponents’ offensive efficiency.
However, the Yellow Jackets have been less effective on the offensive end.
Adjusted Off. Efficiency: No. 193
Effective FG%: No. 206
Turnover %: No. 326
3-Pt.%: No. 333
FT%: No. 311
Georgia Tech is one of the worst shooting teams in the country, as you can see by their three-point percentage and free throw percentage. They complicate matters by having one of the worst turnover rates in college basketball. If they could just avoid turnovers, their defense is good enough that they could win a lot of games in what is a down year in the ACC, but they haven’t been able to do that so far.
Here’s a look at the Georgia Tech starting lineup from their most recent game, an 8-point loss to Notre Dame…
G Jose Alvarado (6-0, 179, Jr.): 13.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg. Alvarado missed seven games with an ankle injury, but he’s been averaging 14.1 points per game since his return.
G/F Jordan Usher (6-7, 220, Jr.): 8.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg. Transfer from Southern Cal.
F Khalid Moore (6-7, 203, So.): 3.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg. Moore has started the last three games for the injured Michael Devoe. More on him later.
F Moses Wright (6-9, 230, Jr.): 12.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg. Wright is one of two good inside threats for Georgia Tech.
F James Banks III (6-10, 250, Sr.): 10.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg. Banks has 12 career double-doubles, including five this season.
6-5 guard Michael Devoe leads Georgia Tech in scoring at 16.2 points per game, and he’s the team’s only consistent 3-point threat at 40.7%. However, he’s missed the last three games due to a left foot injury, and he could miss tonight’s game against the Hokies as well.
“We’ll just take it day by day. I hope he plays Tuesday [vs. Virginia Tech], but probably I would say he’s doubtful or questionable because it’s a quick turnaround,” Pastner said after Georgia Tech’s loss to Notre Dame.
If Devoe can’t go tonight, that continues this season’s trend of top players being unavailable for their team’s game against Virginia Tech. The Hokies have been able to take full advantage most of the time, with wins over Syracuse, UNC and NC State, but failed to take advantage last week when Chris Lykes of Miami was absent with an injury. They should have a good opportunity to get back on track against the Yellow Jackets, but they must find a way to be more efficient on the offensive end.