Georgia Tech Basketball Hosts No. 9 Louisville
Yellow Jackets and Cardinals tip at 2 p.m. Saturday [ACC Network] at McCamish Pavilion
THE FLATS - Georgia Tech finishes off a gauntlet of top-10 teams to open its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule by hosting No. 9 Louisville at 2 p.m. Saturday in a regionally-televised game at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta.
Tech (9-5, 1-1 ACC), in its first season under head coach Josh Pastner, opened its ACC slate with a homecourt upset of No. 9 North Carolina, but fell victim to a hot-shooting No. 8 Duke team, 110-57, Wednesday night in Durham. The Yellow Jackets are 8-2 at McCamish Pavilion this season.
Louisville (12-3, 0-2 ACC) one of the nation’s top defensive teams, has opened its ACC season by losing at home to No. 12 Virginia and on the road Wednesday night to No. 23 Notre Dame, 77-70. The Cardinals, rank 18th in the NCAA in scoring defense and seventh in field goal percentage defense.
Saturday’s game will be televised regionally on the ACC Network (WATL-TV in Atlanta), and will be streamed live online on the ACC Network, available through the WatchESPN app. Radio coverage is provided by Tech’s flagship station, 680 the Fan (680 AM/93.7 FM), and is available via satellite radio (Sirius ch. 132, XM ch. 193).
• Georgia Tech began its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule facing three teams ranked in the top 10 of both the Associated Press and the coaches polls - North Carolina (No. 9 AP/No. 10 coaches), Duke (8/8) and Louisville (9/9). Tech has never faced three teams ranked in the top 10 of both polls in succession in its history, though it came close once. The Yellow Jackets began the 1994-95 campaign by facing Maryland (7/11), Duke (11/9) and North Carolina (4/2), with only the Tar Heels ranked in the top 10 of both polls. It is the only other time, however, in which Tech faced three teams in a row ranked in the top 10 of one poll or the other.
• The head coaches of Georgia Tech’s first three ACC opponents have combined to win 2,606 games and nine NCAA titles.
• Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner went 4-4 against ACC teams while he was the head coach at Memphis, but never faced North Carolina or Duke. He was 2-2 vs. Louisville, 2-0 vs. Miami, 0-1 vs. Syracuse and 0-1 vs. Virginia.
• Three keys for Tech - The Jackets have won every game this season (9-0) in which they shot a better percentage from the floor, are 8-0 when scoring 70 points and 8-1 when attempting more free throws than the opponent.
• Ten Yellow Jackets earned a grade-point average of 3.0 or better during the fall semester, and Tech’s cumulative fall GPA of 2.85 is the highest on record for the team. All four seniors are among the group with 3.0+ GPA’s, including Josh Heath, Corey Heyward (fifth-year because of an injury red-shirt in 2012-13), Rand Rowland and Quinton Stephens. Rowland graduated last Saturday, and the other three are scheduled to graduate in May.
• Of the four most recent newcomers of the expanded ACC, Tech has the longest history with Louisville, meeting 28 times prior to the Cardinals joining the conference.
• Louisville has won all three games between the two teams as ACC brethren, by a combined eight points. The Cardinals won both regular-season meetings last season, 75-71 at McCamish Pavilion and 56-53 at the KFC Yum! Center.
• Tech went 3-6 against the Cardinals with Whack Hyder as its head coach, all of those games between 1958 and 1965.
• After a 12-year hiatus, Tech was 2-2 vs. Louisville when both teams were members of the Metro Conference in the late 1970s. Dwane Morrison was the Yellow Jackets’ head coach for all those games, and Denny Crum was on the Cardinals’ bench.
• After another long break, the teams met 13 times between 1988 and 1999, with Bobby Cremins and Crum on the opposing benches in all those games. The Yellow Jackets went 8-5 against the Cardinals during this time. Three of the meetings took place at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, and six at Freedom Hall.
• The other four were played at the Georgia Dome, and Tech won three of those, including the first-ever college basketball game played in the facility, and before the largest crowd ever to witness a college game in the state of Georgia at the time (28,885). That game will be forever remembered in Tech lore after the James Forrest launched a half-court heave that dropped through the net at the buzzer for an 87-85 Yellow Jacket victory,
• The teams have met seven times when both were ranked among the nation’s top 25 teams, and Tech has won four of those meetings.
• Tech coach Josh Pastner went 2-2 against Louisville during his seven-year stint as the head coach at Memphis.
• Tech faced Rick Pitino once as the Louisville head coach prior to the Cardinals’ entry into the ACC, a 76-54 UofL win in the second round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament in Nashville, Tenn. The Yellow Jackets were 1-4 against Kentucky teams coached by Pitino, including an 81-80 victory over the Wildcats at Philips Arena on Dec. 21. 1991.
PASTNER ON LOSS TO DUKE
“The way Duke was shooting, it’s like they were standing on a pier shooting into the ocean tonight. You’ve got to give them credit. Obviously, the stars aligned with their energy and having Grayson Allen back and Coach K’s final game before his leave of absence. They just played with great fire, great energy and they were absolutely terrific offensively.”
• Georgia Tech started Jackson, Lammers, Moore, Okogie and Stephens for the fourth straight game. Coach Josh Pastner has used four different starting lineups this season. Three Yellow Jackets – Ben Lammers, Josh Okogie and Quinton Stephens – have started every game this season.
• Tech surrendered its most points ever in a regulation game against an ACC team (Wake Forest scored 114 in a double-overtime game in 2007). Only eight teams have ever scored more points against the Jackets.
• The 53-point margin of defeat was the highest ever for Tech against an ACC team and the highest against any team since Kentucky in 1956.
• Duke’s 16 three-point field goals represented the most Tech has ever given up in a game, eclipsing the 15 made by Presbyterian in 2008 and Louisville in 1994.
• Tech trailed at the half for just the fourth time this season. The Jackets are now 1-4 in those games. Tech scored the first two baskets of the game on layups, but led the game for just 1:56.
• Duke’s 55.7-percent shooting from the floor was a season-high against Tech, and its 51.6 percent on its threes was the second-highest (Tennessee made 54.5 percent, 6-for-11)
• Tech was out-rebounded for the seventh time this season, and the minus-18 margin was a season high. Tech has been out-rebounded in each of its last three games.
• Tech blocked only one shot against Duke, a season low. The Jackets blocked two against Tennessee.
• Josh Okogie scored 11 points and reached double figures for the 10th time this season.
• Tadric Jackson reached double figures for the eighth time this season, scoring 11 points in just 19 minutes. The junior guard has made 48.6 percent of his shots from the floor this season, 47.2 percent from three-point range.
• Justin Moore reached double figures for the second time this season (11 points) and attempted a season high 12 shots from the floor.
• Ben Lammers failed to reach double figures (9 points) for the first time this season. He had three assists and is averaging more than two per game this season.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its first year under head coach Josh Pastner. 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.