Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball Hosts Shorter in Exhibition
Yellow Jackets and Hawks tip at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at McCamish Pavilion
THE FLATS - Georgia Tech throws a soft launch of the Josh Pastner Era Saturday night when the Yellow Jackets entertain Division II Shorter University from Rome, Ga., at 7:30 p.m. at McCamish Pavilion.
It is the first public competition for the Jackets, following a private scrimmage last Saaturday. Tech opens its regular season next Friday against Tennessee Tech at 8 p.m., also at McCamish Pavilion.
Saturday’s will not be televised, nor will it be streamed live online. Radio coverage is provided by Tech’s student station, WREK-FM (91.1).
• Though this game doesn’t count on Georgia Tech’s record, it is the first of six consecutive home games to begin Josh Pastner’s first season on The Flats. Tech doesn’t play away from home until Nov. 29, and plays 10 of its 14 non-conference games at home.
• Georgia Tech is 4-1 all-time against in-state lower division teams in exhibition games. The lone loss occurred in 2010 to Clark-Atlanta in overtime.
• Tech is playing its first public exhibition game since that Clayton State contest in 2014. NCAA rules allow teams to play two publiic exhibition games against lower division teams, two closed scrimmages against Division I teams, or one against each.
• According to ESPN.com’s John Gasaway, Tech is the least experienced team in Division I, returning only 25 percent of its possession-minutes from 2015-16. Gasaway measures experience by calculates a team’s “returning possession minutes,” the percentage of minutes that a player recorded last season, multiplied by the percentage of the team’s possessions that he used (as listed at kenpom.com).
• Tech lost 78 percent of its scoring and 67 percent of its minutes from last year’s team, which went 21-15 and reached the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament.
• Georgia Tech and Shorter are meeting for the first time. Tech has played several exhibition games against state non-Division I teams, most recently against Clayhton State in 2014.
• Saturday marks Tech’s first game against a team from the Division II Gulf South Conference. Clayton State and Young Harris were members of the Peach Belt Conference when the Yellow Jackets played them.
New Era Beginning for Tech Basketball
Georgia Tech plays its 102nd season of basketball in 2016-17 under new head coach Josh Pastner, the 14th head coach in program history.
Pastner, 38, compiled a 167-73 record over seven seasons as the head coach at Memphis, where the Tigers earned bids to the NCAA Tournament four times. He is tied for the 10th most wins for a head coach in his first seven seasons in Division I basketball history, and is the second winningest active coach under the age of 40 in NCAA Division I.
Despite his young age, Pastner has been involved in basketball at the Division I level for 20 years, as a player and an assistant coach at Arizona, and as an assistant coach and the head coach at Memphis. He has been a part of teams that have won 490 games, played in 17 NCAA Tournaments and 18 total post-season events. Teams he has been involved with have won 12 conference tournament or regular-season championships, advanced to seven Sweet Sixteens, five Elite Eights, two Final Fours and two NCAA championship games.
Pastner inherits seven letterwinners from a team that won 21 games and advanced to the third round of the National Invitation Tournament last spring, including senior forward Quinton Stephens (6-9, Atlanta, Ga.), senior guards Josh Heath (6-2, Tampa, Fla.) and Corey Heyward (6-1, Duluth, Ga.) and junior guard Tadric Jackson (6-2, Tifton, Ga.), who have started 76 games between them in their careers, and junior center Ben Lammers (6-10, San Antonio, Texas).
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.